The first cyber war attack by the US targeting centrifuges in Iran.
This was the first attack, but it is seen as only the beginning and shows that many systems all over the world are in danger of being exploited.
Real physical destruction can be caused by a malicious computer code.
This book is not the first cyber security book I’ve read. The story telling was done well, if a little long winded, like many non-fiction books I think this book could have been condensed further. At times it read as though the author was trying to make an article into a book, but at 400 plus pages, I think there was too much repetitive content. Nonetheless, this was an interesting book and covers a pivotal part of cyber history. Stuxnet is mentioned and discussed in many of the virtual training classes I have been taking in the last few months.
Who Should Read It
I think there are two categories of people who would be interested in this book. One being history people. I fit in this category as well. This was such a pivotal part of how technology is changing modern warfare that it can’t be ignored.
The second group that will be interested in this book are those with an interest in computers especially information security folks. This is the first virus designed specifically to target a very niche device. It was purposely written to attack, just that device to accomplish political goals.
It made me aware that governments can leverage malicious code to attack each other, minimizing human loss
I learned that governments is keeping zero days to themselves in order to carry out attacks against their enemies
…and ways people can take advantage of this new artificial intelligence.
I’ve been hearing a lot about ChatGPT and I wanted to explore more of what it can do. I wanted to see how easy it was to use myself. I created a user account and typed in my prompt:
write an information article about software bill of materials in easy to understand terms
I published what I got as a post on this website. This strikes me as interesting initially in two ways. First, I can type in questions and have this AI produce short and easy to understand articles for me to learn more about whatever topic I want, probably cybersecurity for the moment.
Secondly, I could also have it write lots of content for this blog or any other along with google adwords or anything else. All I’m doing is posting content, and I don’t even have to write it anymore. ChatGPT comes up with the content about a subject I want it to write about and people visit the site to read the content. I mean it’s not horrible content after all. Nothing really wrong with it.
This could flood the internet with many useless sites that are written by the same AI. Yes, I’m well aware that the internet is already flooded with lots of useless content, but not all of it is generating revenue for the owners. Just an idea. This is pretty neat, but getting a little scary quickly too!
The good: In my opinion Field Roast has the best breakfast sausage I’ve tried. It has great texture and taste and most of all is the correct size (large) to fit nicely in a bagel or English muffin. They did a fantastic job on this. The “egg”; Just Folded Egg is your only option. It is simply the best vegan egg on the market. It has no challengers as far as I am concerned.
The bad: It’s the cheese. That is where this falls apart. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been vegan for 2 years, I know good plan-based cheese is hard to find, but this stuff just has a bad flavor that ruins the rest of the sandwich. I think they would be better leaving it off. The English muffin bun did get hard in the microwave, that could have been user error, but in my experience it happens to most of these breakfast sandwiches when microwaved. So no points off for that.
Summary: I would not buy this again, but I would buy all the components separately save the cheese. Field Roast makes a delicious breakfast sausage and Just Folded Egg does not disappoint. Buy your favorite plant-based cheese (if at all) and make your own.
350.org – Climate change non-profit fighting the use of fossil fuels.
waterfootprint.org – The Water Footprint Network is a platform for collaboration between companies, organizations and individuals to solve the world’s water crises by advancing fair and smart water use.
eartheconomics.org – We all rely on services provided by nature, often without realizing it or in ways we don’t fully recognize. Earth Economics identifies and quantifies those benefits to ensure they are included in the decision-making process at all levels, so communities can mitigate risk, increase resilience, and protect their natural capital wealth.
Paradigms are so pervasive and invisible that they can be easily mistaken for truth. When this happens, we limit our creativity in finding solutions to the problems we face, since our thinking is cramped and predefined by society’s dominant framework.
There are the downshifters, those who voluntarily live simply, unplugging from commercial culture, working, and buying less.
…downshifting, enough-ism, or voluntary simplicity–involves embracing a shift towards working and spending less.
I had high hopes for 2020 as far as reading went. But 2020 had other plans for all of us. My wife and I welcomed a new baby girl into our lives and the world gave us a global pandemic. You would think I would have more time on my hands with a global pandemic, but preparing and having a third little girl did divert my time slightly. While I planned to read many more books in 2020 I only made it through 36 books this year. Less than the 55 I was able to read in 2019.
Although I read less I think I did better with reading diversity. In 2019 I read only 23% female authors’ books, while in 2020 I managed 40%, still less than half, and something I can still improve upon, but better. 89% of the books I read were non-fiction. I believe fiction is important to read, but my favorite genre is definitely non-fiction, I really feel like reading those books is time well spent. Back to diversity; I also look at the nationality of the writers I read. In 2020, I read 77% from United States writers. I did manage to read 3 Canadians, but that’s still the North American continent.
As far as how I liked the books, my average score was 4, the lowest was 2, and the highest was 5. I’ll make sure to link to all the 5-star books below. My favorite binding or way of reading was Kindle (48.6%). This makes sense when you see how many books I read about minimalism this year and last. Next was audiobooks, 31.4%. I’m sure I would have read even more audiobooks in 2020 if my commute would have lasted past March.
I read 6,524 pages digital and real this year. I listened to 6,170 minutes (102.8 hours, 4.3 days) of audiobooks. I enjoyed listening to books on walks while riding an indoor bike and sometimes laying on the ground waiting for a child of mine to fall asleep.
Topics or why I read the books I did this year. 9 books were related to minimalism, 5 were general education, 4 on the environment and cycling (4 each). This is a big one. I saved $310.09 by using the library in 2020.
One thing that was different this year is that each book got a blog post, something I have not been very good at doing in the past. I hope to get better at this.
This year changed a lot of things. A major one of those things was the Black Lives Matter movement. It brought to the forefront hundreds of years of oppression. I’m no expert on this movement and as a privileged, white, heterosexual, male, I can’t begin to understand the struggle of African-Americans in this country. Having said that, not trying is failing. Reading a book doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t make a huge difference. I’m trying to learn and see things from another person’s eyes.
Ibram’s book does that. I encourage you to listen to this 6 minute NPR story about this book:
Emily is a member of a family in the antebellum Southern aristocracy; after the Civil War, the family has fallen on hard times.
A very short story that you can read online here. A bit of history and a somewhat sad story. Very well-written and an enjoyable read. Only 4 stars as I wish it was longer. Looks like the whole movie is available on youtube:
Rose George writes a very extensive (verbose) description of the shipping industry as it is today. In order to accomplish this she actually gets on a ship and sails with the crew of a cargo ship through their normal route, including pirate infested waters. I read the book more for the economics of shipping. I wanted to understand how we got to this place where it is insanely cheap to ship via cargo ships and cargo containers. She covers this and so much more.
The extra is where she loses me. At times she dives into the history of shipping, then she passes to the legality of it, then the a short biography of the current captain of the ship she is on, then the shipping company Maersk, then it reads as a travel book, then she covers a short history of harbor towns. You can see what I am getting at here. It’s just too much. She managed to pack in 3 or 4 book subjects into one book. While the title speaks to me, the economy of shipping, there is so much more in this book. For this reason, it gets only 3 stars.
Good biography from Harris. Obviously focusing on her professional career the most. People who want to know her stance on things may benefit from reading this. Boiled down to fairness for all and climate change is important. Not bad, but you have to wonder how much of this was her telling us exactly what we want to hear.
I’m really glad that I read this before she became America’s first female, first Black, and first South Asian vice president-elect. That’s a lot of first and she has a lot to be proud of already. I’m looking forward to seeing what she and Biden can do.