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Thursday, December 25, 2008
Read this book
 
I could have started with "steal this book" which was one of the many inspirations for Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother". However, as he offers this book for free via a creative commons license, it wouldn't really be stealing now would it?

Little Brother is set in the near future, where the liberties and freedoms we know today, already reduced by the government's response to 9/11, are further curtailed in the face of a fresh terrorist attack. The story chronicles the fight wrought on the streets of San Francisco to regain these liberties and stop the totalitarian control of the DHS.

Through innovative use of the ubiquitous technology of the time our protagonists chronicle their fight, their triumphs and their heartbreaking losses. A powerful tribute to the way our world could have been (and might very well end up) this novel is a must read for anyone interested in freedoms lost and found in the face of terrorism, the subculture of hackers or even just those with an insatiable desire to know or figure out how things work.

Download a copy today or purchase the dead (but recycled) tree version at your local book store.

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Monday, December 15, 2008
The Christmas countdown
 
Growing up just a stone throw from New York meant that we often came into the city, even in the traffic-heavy month of December. One staple, for as long as I can remember, has been the countdown to Christmas, as seen underneath the Panasonic billboard on the ramp to the Lincoln tunnel. As a commuter who drives by this daily, I expected to see it up now that the cooler months have come and the holidays are just around the corner.

Imagine my surprise then when the bus pulls around the ramp as it spirals down towarda the gaping tunnel mouths, and not seeing this classic countdown looming overhead. How will I know how many shopping days remain till the holiday is upon us.

Of course, I now just pull up amazon's home page where I can see how many days left I have to get free super shipping before Christmas.

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Friday, December 12, 2008
Titles
 
Naming things, especially personal things, has always been tough for me. Whether it was coming up with a screen name back in days of old or a personal domainname more recently, it has never been easy. I believe that this has to do with my inner perception that these names must somehow be a total embodiement of who I am.

As a result I usually fall back on my name, as it is in one sense, one of the few things that can in some way sum me up. While logically I know the fallacy of this, I can't help but let it influence my thoughts and actions in these situatons.

In cases where my name wasn't chosen (such as smallwalls) it took a long time for me to be comfortable putting my thoughts down under this name in their totality due to my inability to let the name stand for the whole. More recently I've come to at least understand this tendency and am working on moving past these limitations.

We'll see how things go as I try to expand the writing beyond the ins and outs of daily life.

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