Michael Stephan Fuchs's 2006 novel The Manuscript is just what a technothriller should be: taut, violent, smart, and very, very technical. There's plenty of "technothrillers" where the two key elements -- weapons and computers -- are treated as magic stage-props, able to do anything (or be confounded by anything) that moves the plot along. They're written by writers who confuse "programmers" with "network administrators" and think that 200 years from now, "mainframes" will be important and sexy (rather than ancient and useless).
In The Manuscript, an enormous cast of characters comprising many sysadmins, many gun-freaks, several combat veterans, spooks from a number of agencies, named and unnamed, ten zillion cops, a group of murderous avenging Taoists, and Sir Richard Francis Burton and a group of Andean holy men who have discovered the secret of the universe.
Fuchs does a remarkable job of staying within the confines of what technology actually does (both the guns and the computers) while still putting together an immensely entertaining book filled with likable, bloodthirtsy people doing incredible things while the whole world is on the line.
It's everything a technothriller should be. I don't care much about guns, but I do know an awful lot about computers. Fuchs manages to make the gun geeking every bit as interesting as the computer geeking, which is the definitive sign of really good geeking. Hell, he even makes the philosophy geeking as interesting as the computers (he's got a graduate degree in philosophy and Big Questions are the Maltese Falcon of this book).
Though the technology is out of date (the story revolves around shenanigans on Usenet's alt.* hierarchy), The Manuscript packs several kinds of punch -- it's as if The Da Vinci Code had been written by someone who wasn't an idiot.
The Vingcard Vision locks are RFID-based hotel locks; at this week's Infiltrate conference in Miami, Tomi Tuominen and Timo Hirvonen from F-Secure will present a method for combining a $300 Proxmark RFID tool with any discarded key from a given hotel to derive the master keys that allow them to unlock every room in the […]
Johns Hopkins Computer Science prof Professor Peter Fröhlich grades his students on a curve: the highest score on the final gets an A and everyone else is graded accordingly.
How about a whole album full of 11 excellent songs you’ve never heard before, which Joni wrote between 1964 and 1969 but never got around to recording.....sung by an excellent singer....with expert tasteful backup....including the first song she ever wrote, “Hunter,” which until now had appeared on a handful of early unreleased test-pressings of BLUE? Songs so good, they all sound like just-discovered outtakes from SONG TO A SEAGULL—which is basically what they are? How ‘bout, all this for only a sawbuck, US? (or $13 for a physical CD)
Total versatility isn’t something you’d typically find in a telescope. While magnification tech has come a long way, most telescopes are designed to either gaze upon the stars or view the landscapes beneath them. The Omegon Maksutov Telescope MightyMak 60 lets you do both, and thanks to its compact design, you can easily incorporate some sightseeing into […]
The web is an invaluable tool for connecting small businesses with their target audiences. However, when it comes to building a website and marketing online, the learning curve can be steep if you’re doing it on your own. The WordPress Essentials Lifetime Bundle can help you out by getting you up to speed with the platform […]
Most of us understand that when we visit a website, we’re subjecting ourselves to surveillance by trackers. And, while these tools are usually used for innocuous purposes, like determining which ads to show you, they can be leveraged for much more nefarious goals, and they have the potential to tank your browsing speed as well as […]