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A practical (bit boring) executive summary of AC
on April 16, 2003
For those of you (including myself) who were expecting an updated version of the Applied Cryptography, this book is NOT it. Based on the pre-publication blurbs here and there, I thought it may be a simple how-to book without too much theory. The book didn't turn out to be that sort of thing either.
This book is, sort of an executive summary of Applied Cryptography (AC), with some updates. It touches upon the insights that Scheneier mentioned in Secret and Lies (like crypto is the easy part and that won't solve security). It mentions some newer material, notably AES related stuff. The description is, in effect, a simplified version of AC. Also, it doesn't try to cover everything, and yes, some explanations about the practical applications are stressed slightly more than in AC.
So if you want to be practical, just go over the essential and latest stuff, this is a good book to read. But I must say that it's not as fun to read as AC. Not as many jokes, and absolutely no crazy stuff (like bio-computing and the significance of dark matters). Oh well, maybe that's what being practical means... But it doesn't give you the feeling of throughness that AC gave. Maybe this comes from my reading AC too much in detail (I actually translated the whole book into Japanese), but I think it is inherent in the book itself. In trying to cover as much ground as possible, the book hurries a lot.
So if you are in a hurry to cover just enough important stuff, get this book. And if you need some explanation on the newer stuff, get this. But I also recommend getting AC as well.