Sunday, 21 March 2010

Little Brother

I've just finished reading "Little Brother" by Cory Doctorow, which was a great read; it's about a tech-savvy group of high school kids who are victimised by the Department of Homeland Security after a terrorist attack on San Francisco, and their subsequent war on the DHS, using various illicit networks they set up. Read it online if you like, Doctorow has released it under a Creative Commons licence.
The Creative Commons license at the top of this file probably tipped you off to the fact that I've got some pretty unorthodox views about copyright. Here's what I think of it, in a nutshell: a little goes a long way, and more than that is too much.
Doctorow is at the Leipzig Book Fair this week, having a great time, but he also has some strongly expressed advice for the organisers about wireless coverage, demonstrating how ubiquitous wi-fi has become in North America in recent years.
There seems to be no WiFi, free or paid in the hall. FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL. Hey bookfair, a hint: when foreigners travel to your event, their phones' data-plans don't work. Which means that people here to do business need WiFi to stay in touch. Way to make publishing seem far behind the times. It's 20-goddamned-10. You are a huge, bustling international event. Every last centimetre of your hall should be bathed in so much broadband that you get a sunburn if you stand still for too long. Christ.
I certainly intend to read more of his writing. He aims at the young adult market, but his themes are definitely adult material.

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