Daily Archives: February 13, 2012

Recent books — Ebenezer Le Page, Inside Apple, Calvino, Atom Chips

* “The Book of Ebenezer Le Page”:amazon by G. B. Edwards. Well this really grew on me. The life tale of a Guernsey resident over most of the 20th century, it was rough sledding at first, but I was in love with Ebenezer by the end. He knows every person and every scandal on the island, many of which touch his life. Great tale.
* “Inside Apple”:amazon by Adam Lashinsky. Much more interesting than the Jobs biography, gives some insight into the operations of Apple and speculation about how it might fare with the loss of Jobs. Really useful operational insights for any company.
* “If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler”:amazon by Italo Calvino. A novel that explores the nature of reading and the nature of books via a very unusual structure. I didn’t really enjoy the fabulist elements, not my taste, but a unique structure.
* “Atom Chips”:amazon, edited by Jakob Reichel and Vladen Vuletic. After the navel-gazing of the Calvino piece, I needed something much more definite. This is a pretty dense graduate-level text on chip-level designs to manipulate individual atoms. I am wading thru it, not a quick read.

I might as well just publish my SSN and credit card numbers on my blog

“Taking your computer or phone into china”:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/11/technology/electronic-security-a-worry-in-an-age-of-digital-espionage.html?pagewanted=all is a bad idea, and I assume you are at risk in other countries as well. And why do we think we are safe here, when “someone can just litter around these sniffers”:http://www.theverge.com/2012/1/27/2753176/f-bomb-diy-darpa-funded-spy-computer, and “squadrons of these things may be flying around”:http://www.realdanlyons.com/blog/2012/02/01/these-mini-copters-flying-in-formation-are-the-coolest-thing-ive-seen-all-day/, and not that far in the future — the “FAA is letting these things in domestic airspace this year”:http://www.allgov.com/Controversies/ViewNews/Arrival_of_Domestic_Drones_Challenges_Air_Safety_120207.

Probably time to radically rethink my approach to data security.

UPDATE: and of course today I got a call from my bank and my credit card has been compromised. Somebody trying to sneak in $1 charges repeatedly. I don’t need to even put my card numbers up here, I should just assume that they are compromised from the get-go. In some sense it makes life easier — I don’t worry about giving my credit card numbers out to anyone because I assume they are already in circulation. What is important is watching my account statements carefully.