REVIEW: "Halting State", Charles Stross

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. BKHLTSTT.RVW 20090419

    "Halting State", Charles Stross, 2007, 978-0-441-01498-9,
    U$25.95/C$30.00
    %A Charles Stross www.antipope.org/charlie/index.html
    %C 10 Alcorn Ave, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario, M4V 3B2
    %D 2007
    %G 978-0-441-01498-9 0-441-01498-4
    %I Penguin/Signet/Roc
    %O U$25.95/C$30.00 416-925-2249 Fax: 416-925-0068
    %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0441014984/robsladesinterne
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0441014984/robsladesinte-21
    %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0441014984/robsladesin03-20
    %O Audience n+ Tech 2 Writing 3 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
    %P 351 p.
    %T "Halting State"

    If you like William Gibson's writing, then you will probably like this
    book. Charles Stross isn't quite up to that level yet, but, with a
    little more work, he could be.

    Stross does seem to know his technology. Which makes the few errors
    all the more annoying, when they pop up. He seems to understand (as
    very few computer or security industry trade journalists do) the
    difference between quantum cryptography and decryption of RSA keys by
    quantum computer: he still manages to link them together in a
    confusing fashion in the story. (And, no, even with a quantum
    computer you probably don't have a universal decryptor.) Also, top
    level domain country codes are two letters, not three.

    However, Stross does understand societal dependence on computers, the
    activities and misunderstandings of various communities, and that
    disaster is more likely to arise due to ignorance than direct attack.
    The work is very realistic, in those terms, and worth reading as a
    warning of a substantial threat in that regard.

    copyright Robert M. Slade, 2009 BKHLTSTT.RVW 20090419

    --
    ======================

    "Dictionary of Information Security," Syngress 1597491152
    http://blogs.securiteam.com/index.php/archives/author/p1/
    http://blog.isc2.org/isc2_blog/slade/index.html
    http://twitter.com/rslade
    ============= for back issues:
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    Review mailing list: send mail to
    or
    Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor, Jul 2, 2009
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor wrote:
    > BKHLTSTT.RVW 20090419
    >
    > "Halting State", Charles Stross, 2007, 978-0-441-01498-9,
    > U$25.95/C$30.00
    > %A Charles Stross www.antipope.org/charlie/index.html
    > %C 10 Alcorn Ave, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario, M4V 3B2
    > %D 2007
    > %G 978-0-441-01498-9 0-441-01498-4
    > %I Penguin/Signet/Roc
    > %O U$25.95/C$30.00 416-925-2249 Fax: 416-925-0068
    > %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0441014984/robsladesinterne
    > http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0441014984/robsladesinte-21
    > %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0441014984/robsladesin03-20
    > %O Audience n+ Tech 2 Writing 3 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
    > %P 351 p.
    > %T "Halting State"
    >
    > If you like William Gibson's writing, then you will probably like this
    > book. Charles Stross isn't quite up to that level yet, but, with a
    > little more work, he could be.
    >
    > Stross does seem to know his technology. Which makes the few errors
    > all the more annoying, when they pop up. He seems to understand (as
    > very few computer or security industry trade journalists do) the
    > difference between quantum cryptography and decryption of RSA keys by
    > quantum computer: he still manages to link them together in a
    > confusing fashion in the story. (And, no, even with a quantum
    > computer you probably don't have a universal decryptor.) Also, top
    > level domain country codes are two letters, not three.
    >
    > However, Stross does understand societal dependence on computers, the
    > activities and misunderstandings of various communities, and that
    > disaster is more likely to arise due to ignorance than direct attack.
    > The work is very realistic, in those terms, and worth reading as a
    > warning of a substantial threat in that regard.
    >
    > copyright Robert M. Slade, 2009 BKHLTSTT.RVW 20090419
    >


    Stross has a background in the IT sector, prior to becoming a full-time
    writer.

    You should have cross-posted to rec.arts.sf.written - it would make more
    sense, in this case, than misc.books.technical, and Stross is an
    irregular contributor there.

    What is the Vancouver Institute for Research into User Security and why
    doesn't it have a web presence? - if it does, why isn't it near the top
    of Google results?

    Also, I liked the book as well - if you haven't already, you might check
    out Accelerando, by the same author - it deals with the Technological
    Singularity, and, IMO, was quite interesting.

    Finally, why are you revealing so much via headers?

    Cheers.
    Kyle T. Jones, Aug 4, 2009
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor

    ~BD~ Guest

    > What is the Vancouver Institute for Research into User Security and
    > why doesn't it have a web presence? - if it does, why isn't it near
    > the top of Google results?


    Maybe you should look here:-

    http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/product-compint-0001283794-page.html


    It was, btw, the *first* Google result when I searched for "Vancouver
    Institute for Research into User Security"

    Note the use of 'speech marks" - inverted commas

    HTH
    --
    Dave
    ~BD~, Aug 5, 2009
    #3
  4. ~BD~ wrote:
    >> What is the Vancouver Institute for Research into User Security and
    >> why doesn't it have a web presence? - if it does, why isn't it near
    >> the top of Google results?

    >
    > Maybe you should look here:-
    >
    > http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/product-compint-0001283794-page.html
    >
    >
    > It was, btw, the *first* Google result when I searched for "Vancouver
    > Institute for Research into User Security"
    >
    > Note the use of 'speech marks" - inverted commas
    >
    > HTH
    > --
    > Dave
    >


    It's the first result I got, too, Dave. Then I scanned down the rest of
    the top ten.

    Are you implying that this constitutes a "web presence"? Every Tom Dick
    and Harry has a website of their own now - I found it curious that
    either (a) this Institute doesn't have one, or (b) it has one but isn't
    using any SEO - especially given the area of research the Institute
    purportedly conducts.

    Cheers.
    Kyle T. Jones, Aug 5, 2009
    #4
  5. Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor

    ~BD~ Guest

    Kyle T. Jones wrote:
    > ~BD~ wrote:
    >>> What is the Vancouver Institute for Research into User Security and
    >>> why doesn't it have a web presence? - if it does, why isn't it near
    >>> the top of Google results?

    >>
    >> Maybe you should look here:-
    >>
    >> http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/product-compint-0001283794-page.html
    >>
    >>
    >> It was, btw, the *first* Google result when I searched for "Vancouver
    >> Institute for Research into User Security"
    >>
    >> Note the use of 'speech marks" - inverted commas
    >>
    >> HTH
    >> --
    >> Dave
    >>

    >
    > It's the first result I got, too, Dave. Then I scanned down the rest
    > of the top ten.
    >
    > Are you implying that this constitutes a "web presence"? Every Tom
    > Dick and Harry has a website of their own now - I found it curious
    > that either (a) this Institute doesn't have one, or (b) it has one
    > but isn't using any SEO - especially given the area of research the
    > Institute purportedly conducts.
    >
    > Cheers.



    On reflection (*after* I'd pressed the send key!) I realised that the
    acronym for the Institute was .......... VIRUS ;>)

    Then I realised that this is/was probably a promotion for book
    publications.

    So sorry to have butted in and got things wrong, Kyle!

    Please forgive!
    --
    Dave
    ~BD~, Aug 6, 2009
    #5
    1. Advertising

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