Category Archives: Books & Films

Favourite Films

OK, I think am going to start doing a rolling list and revise it from time to time, this first list is going to be skewed to sci-fi/tech, it’s just the way I am feeling today!

  • Brazil / The Matrix (sorry it’s a solid classic)
  • Enemy of the State
  • Blade Runner – used to be #1, but unfortunately I cannot play it home anymore, Missus X’s client over played it 🙁 + the book is way better
  • V for Vendetta
  • Gattica
  • Code 46
  • Leon (the nice US uncontroversial version)
  • The Ipcress File
  • A wonderful life – thanks Paul, watched it 2009-09-26, yes I was in tears at the end..

Captive State by George Monbiot

Captive State by George Monbiot
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Captive-State-Corporate-Takeover-Britain/dp/0330369431
ISBN-13: 978-0330369435

Great book explaining:

How the NHS is being killed by PFI
Monsanto
Supermarkets
The Corporate Takeovers of Universities

P11
Corporates were originally non profit and charitable
1600s – By the Crown
The East India Company broke this in 1642 when it became profit making for it’s company of shareholders
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Dyn3oh06ue8C&pg=PA222&lpg=PA222&dq=1640+shareholders++east+india+company&source=web&ots=wigc1IHp03&sig=Y7ZaMqswzJ_pb7-2a78NmY09VaE&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=result

P235
rBST works by forcing the cow to produce increased quantities of IGF-1. It crosses over in the gut wall and IGF-1 in milk could cause breast cancer and colon cancers in humans… Menopausal women with levels of IGF-1 in their blood stream were seven times more susceptible to breast cancer.

P264
Tory government allows the permitted level of glyphosate in soya beans for human consumption. Normally levels are lowered but for Monsanto’s Roundup – glyphosate it was raised 200 times or 20,000 per cent.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is up 80% since the 1970’s and increased exposue to glyphosate was reported in 1999, in the Journal of American Cancer Society.

P342
Public Order Act 1986 – restricts right to demonstrate
Trade Union Act 1992 – criminalised previously legal union activity
Criminal Justice Act 1994 – the right to break up most protests
Security Services Act 1996
Police Act 1997 – “conduct by a large number of persons in pursuit of a common purpose”
Anit-stalking Act 1997 – could be used against non-violent demontrations

Digital Fortress

it’s that man again!

Mr da vinci – “Dan Brown” himself!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0552151696/

Damn romantic slushy stuff, reasonably factually OK and you can’t put the bugger down. Took me three days! Both this book and the Singh book were lent to me by the same person. A very non-geek friend of my wife’s.

Verdict: This guy is a bit like JA, but we don’t know what is crime is yet. (A damned good simple storyteller, but uses an even smaller vocab.)

I think he should quit living in the states and pitch his writing with a higher reading level age, then I think he could write best sellers with lot more respect.

Primer

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0390384/

OK, but not a make out movie. Whoops – bad choice.

OK screen play, IMHO could have done with better editing – which may have lead to better direction. Hard to determine why this film didn’t quite work and I bet the pace at the start of the film looses 99% of the viewers.

In it’s present cut, only geeks need watch this.

Secretary

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0274812/

Different, one of Mrs X friends recommended to see. OK, not too bad, but not something we would have picked out together or individually. (or so I thought… 🙂

My angle would if it had been directed by a Brit, as I think that his or her style of portrale would have been very different.

The lighting work is not disimilar from a European Foreign sub-titled film – appauling. Over lit.

Acting given script and direction – not too bad. But I did get the impression that she did it to launch her career. However having said that it probably has open doors for her in either direction. More of the same or wait for the right script to come along.

The Hacker Crackdown

by Bruce Sterling I bought this book years ago, but for some reason decided to reread it before checking it out.

What a mistake that would have been, after reading Freakonomics which gives you a different way of looking at facts I learnt more about the effects of perceived computer intrusion than at first glance.

Little snippets:

The US Secret Service was set up to counter conterfeit currency, protecting the President was a duty tacked on. Thus in the early ’90s these guys had to into wirefraud in big way.

The amount of money lost to phone freaking paled into significance the volume of money extracted out of people on the back of charity raising scams.

Hacks “used” to use war dialers to derive 800 pre-paid telephone cards, scammers would set up shell company 10 deep, hack US phone exchanges to forward calls via an anonymous warehouses and call up little old grannies who regularly gave money to charity. They got the credit users details from hackers as well. Setup up a credit card account. Next, “Hello I’m calling from Lightbulbs for the Blind…”. Bank the money for a month and wind up the shell companies and start all over again!

It left me thinking – what the hell are the dark sided phone freaks up to now!

The IPCRESS File

There’s “not a lot” you can say about this one.

Classic film – even better book!

Completed on the way back from Boston.

The New Jerusalem

Stunning history book by Adrian Gilbert, available cheaply on amzon in the second hardback edition. HERE.

What’s it about?
The rebuilding of London after the fire of London in 1666 and an awful lot of history your probably never got taught at school.

Brief summary for me
British involvement in the 30 year war. John Wycliffe influenced Jan Huss. The Wikipedia author also states – “He initiated a religious movement based on the ideas of John Wycliffe”.

All the European intellectuals buggered off to Britain where the “flat earth” debate – was actually up for discussion.

Thus this may have precipitated the birth of the industrial revolution for 200 years.

Blown to Bits

How the New Economics of Information Transforms Strategy (Hardcover)
by Philip Evans, Thomas S. Wurster

amazon.com

Got a bad book, great explaination of richness of information versus reach and generally how businesses can be decontructed when the jig saw pieces fall into place.

Reefer Madness

…and Other Tales from the American Underground [Paperback… 736-1985286-5675562 February 25, 2005

Fast Food Nation

What the All-American Meal Is Doing to the World [Paperback… 736-6963350-0210725 February 25, 2005

Bushwhacked

Life in George W. Bush’s America [Paperback] by Ivins, Molly… 736-0645809-3508331 February 25, 2005