• Secrets and Lies by Bruce Schneier   Review

    Mr. Schneir is the author of the seminal work Applied Cryptography , which I found to be a bit dense for light reading -- lots of practical stuff, but not exactly the sort of thing you just want to sit down and read through. In this book, he argues that though cryptography is great, it can be pretty useless if people don't pay attention: "Digital certificates provide no actual security for electronic commerce; it's a complete sham." This is less nuts-and-bolts, so it should be ok.

  • Rebel Code: Inside Linux and the Open Source Revolution by Glyn Moody   Review

    An even better account of [why people write software to give away], more riveting than "AntiTrust" for those who are truly interested in the Microsoft case, is "Rebel Code: Inside Linux and the Open Source Revolution" by Glyn Moody, a London-based reporter with the patience to explain every twist and turn. This is a superlative book. It makes clear how those code poets in the garage -- and in universities, corporations, the Pentagon -- pose a threat to the shrink-wrapping Gates, by writing protocols (rules) that everyone can use.