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[] REVIEW: "Pearl Harbor Dot Com", Winn Schwartau, von Robert Slade,

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From: Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Hannah
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Sent: 12 September 2002 04:46
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Subject: [techbooks] REVIEW: "Pearl Harbor Dot Com", Winn Schwartau

BKPRHRDC.RVW   20020628

"Pearl Harbor Dot Com", Winn Schwartau, 2002, 0-9628700-6-4, U$9.99
%A   Winn Schwartau winns -!
- gte -
%C   11511 Pine St. N., Seminole, FL   33772
%D   2002
%G   0-9628700-6-4
%I   Inter.Pact Press
%O   U$9.99 727-393-6600 fax: 727-393-6361
%P   512 p.
%T   "Pearl Harbor Dot Com"

Dear Winn,

Thank you for the copy of "Pearl Harbor Dot Com."  In recognition of
this book's demonstration of your deep personal commitment to
recycling (and at least you admit that this story started life as
"Terminal Compromise": many don't) I was going to reprint my original
review (cf. BKTRMCMP.RVW) but I suppose that wouldn't be fair to

You have tightened up the writing considerably.  (With age, and a few
more books under the belt, comes grammar, eh?)  However, I still note
"refuse" for "refuge," a semicolon for "that," "hesitancy"  for
"hesitation," and a whole lot of redundancy.  (And what is with your
fetish for "Glen Fetich"?)

Your characters are a little more interesting and consistent, although
Miles Foster (and most of the other technical people) still seem to be
geek wish fulfillment.

The plot has more tension, but it is still *way* too convoluted. 
You've got a whole shoal of red herrings (and you know what they say
about old fish after a while) and a ripped-out wiring closet full of
loose ends.

Even disregarding a computer system that will crack Blowfish and AES
in seconds, and the wonderful, mythical lethal virtual reality
feedback bug, I still have some technical bones to pick with you.  Why
does a power outage shut down a battery operated radio?  Carbon
dioxide does not suck oxygen out of the air.  And my son-in-law is a
pilot on that type of aircraft, and has had power failures at exactly
that point in the flight (the latest due to a lightning strike).  My
grandchildren aren't orphans yet.

I couldn't ignore your "virus" now, could I?  In having it burn out a
printer port, were you trying to resurrect the old "Desert Storm
virus" canard?  I recognized the old timing based video burnout trick
and the somewhat debated issue of excessive diskette read head travel
(neither was ever used in a virus).  But, for crying out loud, if you
sold three hundred million "infected" programs, why would you need a
virus?  And if you distributed that many copies of malware, you think
nobody would notice?  (Yes, OK, "Windows."  Partial point to you.  But
people are finding bugs in it every day.)

I agree with your basic point: the general public should be more aware
of the weaknesses in the technology that controls so much of modern
life.  But you don't strengthen your argument by making enough
mistakes that it looks like you don't understand it either.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1993, 2002   BKPRHRDC.RVW   20020628

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