Brrrrr. I thought The System was scary. This book is worse, even scarier. Daniel Suarez knows what he is talking about in Daemon, in which a rich game designer dies and leaves a program running that rather takes over the world. And almost none of the technology is too far-fetched.

I'm currently attending the 27C3, and there were two things spoken about at the conference today that are in the book: one is the 3D part manufacturing system, the other the possibility of identifying people trying to be anonymous on the net.

MakerBot Industries has a pretty cool rapid prototyping machine, the "Thing-O-Matic". For just $1225 you can make things up to muffin size by applying layer on layer of plastic that gets melted and extruded. Get more and colored plastic stuff to feed in for just 65$ for 5 pounds. In Daemon there are bits of weapons produced on printers like this, picked up by people who walk at the directions of the AI system, meet anonymous people on the street and snap their parts together - CrowdManufacturing.

And then there's this anonymity thing - I used to think it was possible to be anonymous on the web if you took precautions, like using Tor and all that. Nope. Dominik Herrmann and his pals have been doing a lot of data mining on this topic and have discovered that they can pretty much identify you by the size of the data packets you send and recieve and the time of day you are looking at which site. Scary. Listening to Internet-Radio helps a bit, but not much. So the only thing I found far-fetched in Daemon, the identifying one of the heros when they go online, isn't that far-fetched at all.

New Year's resolutions
1) Start learning data mining
2) Get the next Suarez book, Freedom, the minute it is published in paperback (Jan. 4, 2011)
3) Find some excuse and funding to purchase a Thing-O-Matic


Anonymous said...

You see - nice books I order!!

James said...

I guess you know about this:

WiseWoman said...

No, hadn't heard about RepRap. Brrrrrrrrrrr.