Sunday, July 27, 2014

What I am reading 7/27/2014

Books -

Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet - I think the title kind of says it all.  THe Politics behind the formation of DARPA and it's early investment in computer technology is pretty interesting.

Recruit (The United Federation Marine Corps Book 1) - Pretty standard fare.  Recruit from extremely humble background joins the military in order to improve his lot in life.  Unable to join the higher prestige Navy or Legion he instead joins the materially poor, but rich in spirit, Marines.  At first aloof and somewhat isolated in Boot Camp he grows to see the wisdom of his DIs and does something unspeakable heroic to earn their respect.  He then goes to his unit out in the fleet where he does something else heroic, but has rekindled doubts about fitting in.  Reuniting with his Senior DI he does yet another incredibly heroic thing.  As a reward he visits home and realizes that the Corps is now his true home and re-enlists.  The story itself isn't that bad, but the writing is clunky as hell; still if you are just looking for an easy read to throw on the Kindle you could do worse.

Press Gang! -  See the review for recruit.  It's pretty much the same thing, only instead of joining the Marines the heroic is viciously beaten and forced in, just like the press gangs of the 18th and 19th century.  Just a guess but that's probably where the title comes from.

Speaking of cheesy Military Sci-Fi - I see that The Helmsman has been released in Kindle version.  I reviewed this book a couple years ago - here.

Articles -

NY Times - Army War College Starts Plagiarism Inquiry of Senator John Walsh’s Thesis and Plagiarism Scandal Tests a Senator Still Forming a Rapport With Montanans

Wired - How Hackers Hid a Money-Mining Botnet in the Clouds of Amazon and Others -

At the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas next month Ragan and Salazar plan to reveal how they built a botnet using only free trials and freemium accounts on online application-hosting services—the kind coders use for development and testing to avoid having to buy their own servers and storage. The hacker duo used an automated process to generate unique email addresses and sign up for those free accounts en masse, assembling a cloud-based botnet of around a thousand computers.
That online zombie horde was capable of launching coordinated cyberattacks, cracking passwords, or mining hundreds of dollars a day worth of cryptocurrency. And by assembling that botnet from cloud accounts rather than hijacked computers, Ragan and Salazar believe their creation may have even been legal.

Not to be dense but isn't this the exact purpose of services like AWS?  Not the cyberattacks obviously but the distributed computing.  I guess I don't understand why this is that big a deal.

Endgadget - Filmmaker Ridley Scott is tackling a Phillip K. Dick project for Amazon -

The Man in the High Castle.

Medium - We All Got Trolled -

Supporters of Internet freedom rallied around weev before he went to prison. But now that the hacker is out, he’s douchier—and maybe scarier—than ever
Hey guys be happy, you got what you asked for

Quartz - I’ve worked at McDonald’s for 10 years and still make $7.35 an hour -

I don't know this woman and I don't know her situation, but at a certain point in time don't you have to ask yourself, "Why am I still working at McDonalds for minimum wage after 10 years?"

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What I am reading (or maybe watching) 10/18/2017

DefCon - ICS Village: Grid Insecurity and How to Really Fix This Shit - I tried to see this talk while at DefCon, but the room they ...