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« Colombiana | Main | OMA Original: String Cutter »
Thursday
Jan052012

Random Ramblings: The Techxmex Omnibus

Submitted by:

Techxmex

Hello OMA peeps! I know it’s been a while but here is a quick rundown of what I have been into lately. Enjoy!

Books

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

“Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world’s greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong. Born to Run explores the life and running habits of the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyon.“

I was very interested in the science of running and how these extremely poor people who don't wear shoes run without major leg injuries but instead most of the book is about the authors trip to visit these people which got me board and I lost interest in the story I give it a 2.

Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin Mitnick

 “Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world's biggest companies--and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable. But for Kevin, hacking wasn't just about technological feats-it was an old fashioned confidence game that required guile and deception to trick the unwitting out of valuable information.”

This book peaked my interests right from the start. Due to his plea agreement Kevin Mitnick was not permitted to explain his life story for years after his release. Well that time is now in this tell all book. He explains in detail how he was able to gain access to billions of dollars’ worth of company information and also events that the feds didn't know about till now! (There is another book titled Take Down by the two main people who busted Kevin Mitnick,  but it’s not available in ebook format. There was also a crappy movie called Trackdown/Take Down based on that book. It’s on Netflix but it’s really not worth your time.) Awesome read i give it a 5.

A Lions Tale: Around the World in Spandex & Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 easy Steps by Chris Jericho

Both of these books are the autobiography of professional wrestler Chris Jericho. The first book “A Lions Tale” details his start in pro wrestling till his first retirement. This book was really good and entertaining and told a great message. The second book “Undisputed” is a follow-up which details his return and second retirement. This second book was bit as entertaining as the first but it finishes his story up till now. Both are highly recommended if you're a wrestling fan i give them a 5 & 4 respectively.

Shaq Uncut: My Story buy Chaquille O’Neal

“Superman. Diesel. The Big Aristotle. Shaq Fu. The Big Daddy. The Big Shaqtus. Wilt Chamberneezy. The Real Deal. The Big Shamrock. Shaq. You know him by any number of names, and chances are you know all about his legendary basketball career. His presence-both physically and psychologically-made him a dominant force in the game for two decades. But if you follow the game, you also know that there's a lot more to Shaquille O'Neal than just basketball.”

This is a no-nonsense straight to the point autobiography of Shaq by Shaq. This was a quick read and it seems to go by very fast. It seemed that the plot of the book was a series of fleshed out bullet points. Not very high on the entertainment side but very to the point and insightful into the journey of “just another kid” to “sports prodigy” to “the man” of pro sports. I liked the book so I give it a 3.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

“FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BESTSELLING BIOGRAPHIES OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND ALBERT EINSTEIN, THIS IS THE EXCLUSIVE BIOGRAPHY OF STEVE JOBS. Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.”

This book was in a way a rare gift bestowed on so few. The true life details from someone who was notoriously private. We get the real story from a person who was very polarizing. People love him like a deity and hate him like the devil. Either way he has changed your life. I don’t think I need to say more, must read 5.

Zero Day: A Novel by Mark Russinovich

A first novel by Microsoft computer expert Mark Russinovich. This story is a cautionary about cyber-terrorism though this novel is a work of fiction the tools and code referenced in this book are not only plausible but based on real experience. The best part of this book is the expertise from the author, the story itself was OK but you can tell the author is on the right track to perhaps being the next Michael Crichton. I give it a 3.

Movies

Limitless

“An unsuccessful writer’s life is transformed by a top-secret “smart drug” that allows him to become a perfect version of himself.”

I never heard much about his movie but after watching it on Netflix the premise is very well done (reminded me of the first Matrix movie) and the performances were well done and felt real. Very good movie and I hope sequels will follow. I give it a 4.

The Final Countdown (1980)

“What if a 1980’s American aircraft carrier (with its modern firepower) time-warped back to the Pacific waters just outside of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941? World history -- and the U.S. entry into World War II -- might have played out very differently. Given that scenario, should the crew prevent the disaster, or let history remain?”

I never heard of this little gem until i stumbled across it on Netflix. This was a very well done movie and holds up well even today. Even though the ship and its aircraft was “modern” by 1980’s standards most of the armament was still actively used until a just a few years ago. The F-14 Tomcat for example (made famous by movies like Top Gun) was decommissioned by the US Air Force in 2006. The story was well told and as they used their modern tech (radar and spy recon planes) to find and track the Japanese navy as it approaches Hawaii you really felt the dilemma that the captain and crew felt. Should they change history or not? I think this would be a nice movie to remake; a great find you gotta check it out. I give it a 4.

Techxmex is a founding contributor of OneManAsylum.com. You can find her on Twitter @techxmex.

 

Rating (1- 5)

Born to Run - 2

Ghost in the Wire - 5

A Lion's Tale - 5

Undisputed - 4

Shaq Uncut - 3

Steve Jobs - 5

Zero Day - 3

Limitless - 4

The Final Countdown - 4

If you would like to purchase this, click the links below:

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