Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review of Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein

I just read starship troopers by Robert A. Heinlein. It was definitely not what I was expecting, but I enjoyed it. It’s completely different from the movie. He spends like 60% of it in boot camp the other 30% in officer training and 10% in combat. During most of the time while in boot camp, he has flashbacks to his social and political class. And during his officer training they talk mostly about social and political stuff. So this is political and social essay hidden as a science fiction book. Considering this was written in 1959 it seamed like he was talking about today’s society. He was spot on with a lot of subjects. I would recommend this book.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Review of The Circle by Ted Dekker.


I just read the first three books of the circle series by Ted Dekker. I was quite disappointed. The first book had a good hook with the main character living in two worlds. When he falls asleep in one he awakes in the other. This was very interesting. One of the worlds was loosely based on the Bible where in one generation they go from the Garden of Eden to the equivalent of crucifixion of Christ. The other is modern day where some baddy is trying to take over the world with a virus. The mechanics of jumping between worlds and seeing his version of the bible was the only thing that kept me reading. Other then that the characters are just too simple, and the plot is rather weak. He kills off and brings back characters so often that you expect everyone who dies to come back. The events in the modern earth are so unlikely and insulting to my intelligence that in the last book I just scanned though them so I can skip ahead to the bible world, which itself was very predictable. So my conclusion is that I would not recommend these books to a friend.

But here are books I would recommend:
The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jorden and Brandon Sanderson,
The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson,
The Honor Harrington series by David Weber,
The Banned and the Banished series by James Clemens,
The Gaunt’s Ghosts series by Dan Abnett,
The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson,
The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z by Max Brooks,

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Smudge proof Touch Screen password screen.

The current problem with touch screen password screens is that smudges can give away what your password is if you don’t clean them right after you log in. The smudges reveal where you put your finger to press the numeric touchpad or the pattern you put in.

The simple solution is to randomly change the location of the buttons each time the screen is presented. This only works for numeric touchpad’s though and has the issue of people expecting numbers to be in order. So I recommend using colors instead.
Here are examples of what it would look like:



This would eliminate the issue of smudges giving away passwords making a much more secure way of protecting cell phones.