walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

Not a book review: _Future Crimes_, Marc Goodman

I downloaded the sample from this, because I don't know what the hell is wrong with me but I've been inadvertently trying to read books that I wind up loathing so much that I go back to rereading old favorites rather than risk another dodgy book. (I've even resorted to reading _The Box_ in hardcover from 2006 -- pre-kindle purchase for my husband! I never read it, but I figured, what the hell. It might fill in some missing pieces. And it is! Review will follow when I finish it, but I've been walking about a quarter more than I normally do and so I'm tired a lot and it's harder to read things I want to remember.) Anyway. This looked like one of those books that would be GREAT! perfect! on a topic I am really interested in, by someone who is clearly intelligent, articulate and has relevant background.

Alas. So, a lot of details get left out whenever you tell a story. That's the price of telling a story. Narrative is as much about what you don't tell as what you do. I GET THAT. But at the same time, when the wrong details are left out, I can find narratives just ... unacceptable. And that happened really fast with this book. He retells the Mat Honan saga, and fails to describe how quickly (under a month), comprehensively (he only lost applications and settings, no photos, no movies, etc.) and inexpensively (under $2K all-in, as near as I could tell) Honan was able to recover from a really comprehensive hack. Obvs, when you are living through what Honan lived through, your life is hell. But I could tell you this story about W.B. from when he was staff at UW and I was an undergrad and his account got nuked and all the files became available storage space and he wound up having to do _by hand_ the kind of recovery that Honan was able to hire done. And what W.B. lost was about a hundred thousand words of a non-fiction book he'd been working on for years. No backup. No printed draft. Nothing. It took him a really long time, so I calibrate pretty much every data loss story against W.B.

In fact, as near as I can tell, Honan's loss is presented as permanent. Which puts just a completely different spin on the tale. I don't feel like fact checking everything else that appears in this book, so I'm gonna delete the sample and forget I ever took a look at this thing. If you know, from having read the book, that Honan appears later in the book and the recovery is presented, let me know and I'll give it another shot.

Maybe.

Oh, you want Honan linkage? Okay:

http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/6/3224597/mat-honan-hacked-apple-icloud-google-twitter

http://www.wired.com/2012/08/mat-honan-data-recovery/all/

I remembered the coverage from reading it when it was all exciting and new, and I remembered his recovery being so comprehensive and quick (and I know it felt really expensive, but again, it's all about calibration). I pulled the links to make sure I didn't imagine what I remembered. And I didn't.
Tags: not-a-book-review
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