Tech is as much a lifestyle choice these days as it is a career. The geeks and nerds have risen to rule the world. Don’t believe me? Ask Bill Gates! Sometimes it is good to step back and take a wide look at how technology has changed the world we live in – for better and worse. My selection below I have found to be enjoyable and thought provoking in many different ways and I recommend them to everyone who is interested in tech.
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1. Daemon – Daniel Suarez [Fiction]
A glimpse into the future of where drones and augmented reality may take us. That may not necessarily be a good place either.
2. Freedom TM – Daniel Suarez [Fiction]
A follow up to Daemon. What happens when technology dominates the world? Who benefits?
3. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline [Fiction]
Much like the Matrix. What is life like if you live inside the machine? You can be just about anyone you choose. I also love this book for all the retro technology that was part of my life. TRS-80 anyone? This book has become so popular that there is now a movie. Believe me, the book is better.
4. Future Crimes: Inside the Digital Underground and the Battle for our Connected World – Marc Goodman [Non-fiction]
Technology will ultimately doom us all I believe because we are building our world on stuff that unfortunately places a low regard for security and privacy. This book will show you why that is a road to ruination.
5. Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon – Kim Zetter [Non-Fiction]
If you don’t believe cyber warfare is real then read this book to understand how software is now a weapon as potentially devastating as any nuclear device.
6. Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly about Security in an Uncertain World – Bruce Schneier [Non-Fiction]
Security is important but it is important in context. We need to be rational when we consider our security not emotional. A great level headed approach to how we need to be secure.
7. American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt or the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road – Nick Bilton [Non-Fiction]
An amazingly detailed book on the rise and fall of Ross Ulbricht, the creator of the Silk Road web site. In here are asked to think about whether technology plays something more than a neutral role in today’s world.
8. The Cuckoos Egg – Clifford Stoll [Non-Fiction]
Before the Internet was in the public sphere it existed in the world of academia. This is the story of how one man’s search for the source of an accounting error uncovered something are more sinister.
9. Takedown – John Markoff and Tsutomu Shimomura [Non-Fiction]
The pursuit and eventual capture of notorious hacker Kevin Mitnick makes for great reading.
10. Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution – Steven Levy [Non-Fiction]
Ah, the good ole days when it was more about proving how smart you were than trying to actually cause harm. If you think hacking is something new, then you’re in for a surprise with this book