REVIEW: "Halting State", Charles Stross

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BKHLTSTT.RVW   20090419

"Halting State", Charles Stross, 2007, 978-0-441-01498-9,
%A   Charles Stross
%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  ( product link shortened)
  ( product link shortened)
%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

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Re: REVIEW: "Halting State", Charles Stross

Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor wrote:
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Stross has a background in the IT sector, prior to becoming a full-time

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?


Re: REVIEW: "Halting State", Charles Stross

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Maybe you should look here:-

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


Re: REVIEW: "Halting State", Charles Stross

~BD~ wrote:
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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.


Re: REVIEW: "Halting State", Charles Stross

Kyle T. Jones wrote:
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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

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

Please forgive!

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