A Cuckoo’s egg and no birds

Quite some time ago I read an awesome book. In German it’s called Kuckucksei. After a day of dealing with Mylyn (I was trying to write a Mylyn connector to Excel files, don’t ask why), I’m pretty much lacking creativity. So I’ll just post the cover text (actually the description from Amazon):

Geradezu zufällig kommt Clifford Stoll 1986 als neu eingestellter Systemmanager am Berkeley Laboratory in Kalifornien einem deutschen Hacker auf die Spur, der militärische Geheimnisse an den damals noch existierenden sowjetischen Geheimdienst KGB verraten hat. Da alle Warnungen an die Behörden nichts bewirken, nimmt Stoll die Nachforschungen selbst in die Hand und führt uns zurück in die frühen, wilden Pionierjahre des Internet. In seinem Bestseller Kuckucksei schildert Clifford Stoll diese atemberaubende Verfolgungsjagd durch das Netz. Wir erfahren, wie man durch Löcher in elektronischen Zäunen schlüpft, wie eine digitale Falle funktioniert und wo es mit der Datensicherheit hapert …

Just by accident, in 1986 Clifford Stoll, as newly employed system manager at the Berkely Laboratory in California, got wise of a German hacker who had given information to the at this time still existing KGB. As all warnings to the officials didn’t lead to something, Stoll takes the investigation on his own and leads us back into the wild first years of the internet. In his bestseller Kuckucksei, Clifford Stoll explains this breath-taking chase thru the net. We find out how to slip thru holes in electrical fences, how a digital trap works and where the weak points of data security are. …

Again, I can only recommend reading this book if you’re interessted in a fascinated piece of IT history.


Limits to growth

There’s a book I read some time ago and found it extremly interesting. It’s called Limits to Growth published by the Club of Rome. The book is the latest update to Beyond the Limits.

What the authors did in this book is, they created a mathematical model/representation of the world (focusing on special features like material flow, agriculture, population size) called World3. Based on that model they ran several scenarios with different assumptions, e.g. that sustainable technology will dramatically improve in the future. But the bottom line stays the same (in most scenarios except for a very few): In a world with limited resources, there can’t be unlimited growth. The hard numbers are not usefull (as it’s not possible to build a model that precise), but the trends shown of the system we call society and our planet are extremely interesseting and well argumented.

I strongly endorse this book to anyone interessted in sustainability, system analysis and wants to have a scientific base for argumenting against wild and uncontrolled growth. If you do totaly disagree with the ideas of the last scentence you propably should give this book a try, too.

Limits to growth

Limits to growth

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