THE HACKER CRACKDOWN

LAW AND DISORDER ON THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER

Thoroughly researched, this account of the government's crackdown on the nebulous but growing computer-underground provides a thoughtful report on the laws and rights being defined on the virtual frontier of cyberspace. First-rank sf novelist Sterling (coauthor, The Difference Engine, 1991; Crystal Express, 1989, etc.) reports that, following the 1990 crash of AT&T's long-distance switching system, a coalition of telephone companies and state and federal agencies struck back at what the public perceived as bright, playful kids. The crash was actually a glitch, not sabotage, but it scared authorities and spurred the nationwide series of arrests and seizures known as Operation Sundevil. The high-profile police actions were intended, in part, to teach the public to think of hackers—from petty vandals out joyriding to real Tom Paines—as genuinely dangerous, and to let the hackers know that, henceforth, they'd be treated as criminals. Chronicling Sundevil (including the unprecedented confiscation of computers, disks, books, and games from some never accused of a crime), Sterling includes a concise history of the communications industry and a perceptive ethnography of the sometimes flamingly puerile hacker underground, and profiles both the first generation of cyberspace cops and the glamorous civil libertarians battling them for access to their beat. An enjoyable, informative, and (as the first mainstream treatment of the subject) potentially important book; though occasionally obtrusive, Sterling is a fine and knowledgeable guide to this strange new world.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1992

ISBN: 0-553-08058-X

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Bantam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1992

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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