Go back ten or 15 years, and the word 'convergence' cropped up a lot with respect to the internet, telecommunications and media. What has converged in subsequent years has actually gone beyond what was envisaged then — at least in terms of technology.
ZDNet UK Book Reviews
Essential reading for technophiles
In 1998, the New Yorker writer Ken Auletta, author of Googled, asked Bill Gates which of his competitors he feared most. "I fear someone in a garage who is devising something completely new," Gates replied.
"It's not a question of money, but of cash," a friend of mine explained to his parents years ago, when we were still university students and planning an evening out together before ATMs. He was, of course, reassuring his parents that he hadn't done anything dumb that would require them to find thousands of dollars to support him for months to come; he was merely lacking the physical representation of the numbers in his bank account.
For a book so packed with fascinating and informative details, Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty starts much too slowly. The author is so keen to tell you what he's going to tell you, what difference he hopes it will make to you and why design literacy matters that the first 40 pages are essentially an extended introduction (even if reminding people to sketch out ideas is always a good thing).
There's a simple rule that the more complex a system is the harder it is to secure. Once upon a time, the web was a simple system…Today, anyone trying to advise a web site owner on security has to balance elements within the site owner's control — fonts, domain names, sources of content, validation of user input, for example — against extrinsic elements the site owner can't touch.
Cybercrime is now allegedly a bigger problem in the UK than street crime, but hackers may not be the biggest problem.
During the 2003 London march to protest the beginning of the Iraq war, we shuffled very, very slowly over a clogged Waterloo Bridge. Monitoring helicopters waggled overhead.
If your industry hasn't been disrupted by Google yet, observed the New Yorker writer Ken Auletta in his 2010 book Googled, it will be soon. Two recent books look at the next stage of those disruptions — one academic, one popular.
Whenever possible, learn from other people's failures — it's cheaper than learning from your own. Eric Ries didn't have this advantage when, as a Yale undergraduate, he co-founded Catalyst Recruiting.
"Love makes the odds irrelevant," writes Lawrence Lessig at the end of Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress — and a Plan to Stop It. "It is a commitment to doing whatever can be done — sometimes destructively so — to beat the odds and save the soul who taught you that love.
In 1996 I reviewed three books for New Scientist about the same 1995 events: the chase (through cyberspace and the physical United States) after and capture of Kevin Mitnick. Who's that, you say?
"I came for the crack," a woman once said to me reproachfully at a party. She was miffed that I and the third person in the conversation had embarked on an impassioned discussion of…cryptography.
What's it like to work at Microsoft? Better still, what do the people who write software at Microsoft actually do?
You probably have an old family photo album with pictures of relatives you may or may not recognise. Perhaps you inherited knickknacks or heirlooms, holiday souvenirs, or bundles of old love letters.
The experience is the thing. Joseph Pine has this story he likes telling, and uses to open Infinite Possibility: Creating Customer Value on the Digital Frontier.