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Book details of 'Acts of the Apostles'

Cover of Acts of the Apostles
TitleActs of the Apostles
Author(s)John Sundman
ISBN192975213X
LanguageEnglish
PublishedNovember 1999
PublisherRosalita Associates
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The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'Acts of the Apostles':

Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
Is Gulf War Syndrome the result of a massive experiment in the nanotechnological modification of human DNA? The answer, according to Sundman's book, is a resounding "Wouldn't you like to know?" The central thesis of the book is that technology is incompatible with freedom, although you'll only know this if you read the dust jacket. Basically, this is your common potboiler-thriller, with technical add- ons. Sundman has a fine hand with humorous dialogue, and the plot twists, where they don't rely on implausible technologies, are nicely kinked. There are so many megalomaniacs floating around that you'll think you've wondered into Redmond. He does, however, tend to telegraph deeply hidden secrets too long in advance. It's also a little difficult to keep your confidence in a secret conspiracy so powerful that it can find you anywhere, and can get into your residence, hotel room, or domicile within hours of your arrival anywhere, but can't catch you. The technology rather spoils what might otherwise be a good story. This is despite the fact that the author obviously considers himself a technical insider. The book contains many computer industry references, and the knowledgeable can amuse themselves (for a while) by playing "Spot the (Real) Company." Like many another before him, Sundman tries to get a little tougher than science will allow. The characters party with 200 proof alcohol, a substance which does exist, but which, because of the chemicals needed to keep it clear of water, is a bit toxic. If you are faking a suicide, the use of a silencer is a bit of a problem: silencers aren't as common as Saturday night specials, and suicides usually aren't *that* considerate about ensuring that they don't startle people. The mistakes in the computer area range from "yes-buts" to howlers. Yes, many Web browsers have some kind of Usenet news capability built in, but most techies will use the more appropriate newsreader. Hash algorithms are one-way encryption, since the "address space" of the final code is much smaller than the possible number of original messages. (A code that uses a book as a reference is neither encryption nor a hash code, it's a variation on a one-time pad.) Ken Thompson's proposed trap door relies on a pretty long lead time, and Ken never did create it, he just made a speech with a "what-if" scenario. And we have the ever popular self-destructing file that will erase itself if anyone copies it or even looks at it. (Nobody's ever heard of a write-protect tab?) This one is a bit more ... violent than most. Ultimately, though, this is a book with a Point, and the Point is confusing. Any sufficiently advanced technology becomes an entity unto itself, with aims and goals that are beyond our ken. Why? How? Who knows. Sundman seems to believe it, and that should be good enough for us. copyright Robert M. Slade, 2000
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