Archive for December, 2010

Dec 30 2010

An Impressive Product

Published by under General

Intel has announced a new line of solid state “drives” in a very small form factor. The device are smaller than your finger nail (51 mm x 30 mm x 5 mm), weigh 10 grams, and store either 40 or 80 Gigabytes of data! (Their announcement is here.)
Undoubtedly only a step on path to even smaller and higher capacity, but impressive.

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Dec 16 2010

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Published by under Books

by Stieg Larsson
This should be a widely recognized title as this book was “an international best seller” and was made into a somewhat popular movie (2009) which I have not seen. For the most part, this is a very good mystery. The story is set up very well in a believable manner and situation. The mystery is intriguing and develops well with a herd of interesting characters. The crux of the mystery is a very dark, violent and nasty crime, but the book doesn’t wallow in the details or description of the crime. Rather it focuses on the investigation and resolution as it should.
For about 500 pages, I was thinking I’d read and enjoy the next two books in the “Millennium Trilogy” which this book starts. But, then the girl with the tattoo became too good to be real, and the book ran on. After the main mystery was revealed and the crime ‘solved’ two additional ‘endings’ were tacked on and that didn’t work for me. They seemed unnecessary and anti-climactic. Too bad.
I’ve looked at the next two books but probably won’t read them.

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Dec 08 2010

Zero History

Published by under Books

by William Gibson

This is the third book in a trilogy which is set more or less in the present among moneyed, young, brilliant and adventurous people. Most are involved in the worlds of entertainment, fashion, and advertising with a heavy overlay of technology. Overall a well crafted story that moved along with multiple strands but was not particularly satisfying except as an entertainment. At times it seemed a novel that wanted to be an action movie; 80 some short chapters jumping between threads, occasional bursts of racing around on motorcycles, chasing or being chased, and aggression (though no heavy violence as required in an action movie).
Much of the supporting material concerns the branding of products and the creation of want. Especially implicit rather than explicit marketing; underground brands. Lots of descriptions of real and a few imagined products and how they fit into lives and affect there users. Apple Computers get a lot of play, but there is not much imagining of potentially new and exotic technologies. Lots of ‘color’ commentary.
So a very mixed reaction; enjoyable, well told story but little intensity or substance.

PS. A good review in the Guardian (UK).

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