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REVIEW: "Hackerteen volume one: Internet Blackout", Marcelo Marques

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Han
    BKHKTNIB.RVW 20081005 Hackerteen volume one: Internet Blackout , Marcelo Marques, 2008, 978-0-596-51647-5, U$19.99/C$19.99 %A Marcelo Marques %C 103
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 10, 2008
      BKHKTNIB.RVW 20081005

      "Hackerteen volume one: Internet Blackout", Marcelo Marques, 2008,
      978-0-596-51647-5, U$19.99/C$19.99
      %A Marcelo Marques
      %C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
      %D 2008
      %G 978-0-596-51647-5
      %I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
      %O U$19.99/C$19.99 800-998-9938 fax: 707-829-0104 nuts@...
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596516479/robsladesinterne
      http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596516479/robsladesinte-21
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596516479/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience n- Tech 1 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 101 p.
      %S Hackerteen
      %T "Hackerteen volume one: Internet Blackout"

      This is a comic book. (Oh, sorry, "graphic novel.") It's light (in
      terms both of weight and attention demand), and can be read quickly
      while you are waiting to board an airplane. It is also a kind of
      pamphlet on computer and Internet security and dangers.

      Unfortunately, the dangers, aside from social engineering, aren't
      spelled out too clearly. In fact, the story arc makes it seem as if
      the technically competent are in the most danger.

      A number of issues are addressed, but only peripherally. There is
      repeated mention of electronic voting or balloting, although the
      specific problems are not mentioned. The fact that DNS (the Domain
      Name Service) can be attacked in order to create problems on the
      Internet is a major factor in the plot (eventually), but, again, the
      details and difficulties are left out.

      The characters are fairly thin. We have a young hacker, on the path
      to social isolation, who gets into a situation (with a semi-religious,
      semi-martial arts orientation) that allows him to expand his skills
      and use them in a more productive fashion: all well and good. We have
      a shadowy leader, who, despite the implication that he is a good guy,
      could be any shadowy leader for anything. We have a nebulous and
      disjointed set of attackers, who nevertheless seem to be able to pull
      off not only individual penetrations and data thefts, but a major
      global conspiracy to boot. (We also have a cute technopeasant who,
      without any training whatsoever, seems to be able to figure out how to
      use a Linux system, but can't protect it.) We also seem to have
      spyware that works across platforms.

      We have various URL footnotes to explain references in the story.
      There is an associated Website (http://www.hackerteen.com), but even
      at the site the various references can't be found easily: you have to
      type in the URLs individually to find the background material. If
      there is any. Some is extensive, some is non-existent, some is not
      exactly on topic. (A fair amount is in Portuguese.) A reference to
      ethical hacking takes you (eventually) to Plato's cave, which is great
      for philosophy majors, but doesn't serve as a terrific introduction to
      ethics.

      The book ends rather abruptly. I imagine this is supposed to be a
      cliff-hanger and make us want to buy the next comic (sorry: "graphic
      novel") in the series.

      I'm all for computer and Internet security awareness, particularly for
      kids. I'm not sure that this is a useful tool in that regard.
      Certainly it is aimed at an older audience than Winn Schwartau
      addressed in "Internet and Computer Ethics for Kids" (cf.
      BKINCMEK.RVW), but the necessary content just doesn't seem to be
      there.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2008 BKHKTNIB.RVW 20081005


      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
      The chief object of education is not to learn things but to
      unlearn things. - G.K. Chesterton
      victoria.tc.ca/techrev/rms.htm blogs.securiteam.com/index.php/archives/author/p1/
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