- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books; Reprint edition (February 5, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780465031382
- ISBN-13: 978-0465031382
- ASIN: 0465031382
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,271,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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When Gadgets Betray Us: The Dark Side of Our Infatuation With New Technologies Reprint Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
PCWorld's Vamosi offers a solid analysis of just how deeply technology can be used to gather personal information about us without our awareness, a scenario more alarming than we can imagine. His thoroughly researched look at the products being used in many unintended ways, and unintentionally, by their owners is exhaustively detailed: how auto antitheft technology can be used to help car thieves; how mobile phone conversations can be intercepted without our knowledge; how "black box" data recording technology in automobiles as well as "in our digital cameras, our photocopiers, and even those convenient toll-booth bypass gadgets on the freeway" can be used by companies to surreptitiously gather personal information. Vamosi's goal is to shock, but he also argues that, in certain cases, such as data-mining health information, "electronic data can sometimes be better at telling us what is happening in the world around us than our own senses." But overall, he convincingly shows how and why we need to "scrutinize the gadgets we now take for granted, and view with suspicion new gadgets that come our way." (Apr.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The Guardian (UK)
A fascinating overview of hardware hacking,' from lockpicking and stealing cars to tapping mobile phones or cloning Oyster cards and passports. The vulnerabilities in modern tech that Vamosi describes can be alarming.... This text itself could, of course, make a fine mischief-maker's cookbook.”
[H]as our technophilia left us too vulnerable? Exactly how long is the trail of digital bread crumbs we leave behind on a daily basis?.... When Gadgets Betray Us, Robert Vamosi's meticulously researched new book, offers a revealing look at the dark underbelly of our rapidly advancing electronics. This is not some Orwellian indictment of new technology, but instead a call for caution: Our gadgets are evolving faster than we can successfully secure them.”
BBC Focus (UK), four-star review
This book isn't a Luddite call to smash our smart phones. Vamosi is careful to point out how mobile tech is helping the human race worldwide, as well. All he does is ask that every sexy new gizmo be greeted with a healthy does of skepticism, and that we follow a few basic rules that will leave us with little to fear.”
Written in a way for all to understand, Robert Vamosi exposes the dangers of inherently trusting electronic gadgets and gracefully reveals just how widespread the security problems are. You'll never treat technology the same after reading this book and you shouldn't!"
Jeff Moss, Founder of Black Hat and DEFCON
Like the great Oz behind the curtain, devices run our lives sometimes in unexpected ways. When Gadgets Betray Us opens your eyes to the implications of dependence on devices that don't always behave.”
A compelling scrutiny of the ways in which technological enhancements can be exploited for nefarious purposes.... An erudite wake-up call.”
Post and Courier
Vamosi has done his homework, offering a detailed recap of where we are now and what's coming next.... When Gadgets Betray Us helps us become aware of the benefits and the shortfalls of many scientific marvels.”
You'd think the tech folks would be able to secure the data held in various devices we use daily, but Vamosi, IT security analyst and contributing editor to PCWORLD, strongly and meticulously suggests otherwise. He exposes a technology-development landscape chock-full of inadequately guarded data and programming.... Read this, and you'll never again ignore the default security settings on accounts or your devices again.”
Law Technology News
Vamosi is a skilled writer and the topic is fascinating, both to the non-technical and technical alike Vamosi breaks down our infatuation with gadgets so that even those of us without information systems responsibility can think differently about how we interact with and rely on the technologies around us.”
Good Men Project Magazine
[Vamosi's] clearly done a lot of research, and his message about it all is important, too. Sometimes our gadgets really can betray us.”
Post and Courier
Vamosi has done his homework, offering a detailed recap of where we are now and what's coming next When Gadgets Betray Us helps us become aware of the benefits and the shortfalls of many scientific marvels.”
In When Gadgets Betray Us, [Robert Vamosi] points the finger at our unthinking relationship with technology. We put our faith in gizmos, he says, but our silicon helpers are too often not up to the job.... The interplay between humans and their gadgets is fascinating and complex. It is shaped by economics and psychology and the cultures we live in. Somewhere in the mix of those forces there may be a recipe for a more judicious use of technology, for some blend of techno-enthusiasm and common sense.”
San Jose Mercury News
How worried should we be about the technology that pervades our daily lives, from the wireless router at home to our car to our smartphones to even, believe it or not, the chip we inserted into Fido? Very.... [Vamosi's] message: We are so dazzled by our bright, shiny tech toys that we continue to strike the wrong balance between convenience and security. We must be more aware of the risks we are taking and learn to be more vigilant.”
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Top customer reviews
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This clearly written survey manages to be totally engaging despite its technical subjects. It feels sophisticated and yet makes its information accessible to everyone. It is full of enjoyable vignettes of real people and the grief their gadgets have wrought, yet at the same time quite scholarly. Unobtrusive references make clear where the information came from and how to find more. What I enjoyed most about the book is the feeling it left me with that I actually understood (superficially at least) what is going on in the invisible wireless world of RFID's, SIM's, etc. I was not the least surprised by the kerfuffle in the recent press about Google tracking the whereabouts of iPhone users. Who knew? Anyone who had read this book would have guessed.
Vamosi's stated purpose is to make us aware of these potential threats, and he does so in a highly readable and scholarly manner. The depth and breadth of the information is quite astonishing, and for such a technology-rich book the information is easily digested. The author uses individual cases to review problems encountered by others, and discusses studies conducted by experts who have explored the limitations and risks of commonly used gadgets. No universal solutions are offered to cope with the potential misuse of acquired information, as in fact there is no simple solution. The message here is clear, however: Be aware of what gadgets are potentially capable of invading your privacy, and of what steps you can take to minimize this invasion. This book is a must read for all.
Vamosi has an easy writing style....absolutely worth a read.