Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A Non Fiction Summer Read

A colleague of mine suggested I put “The Shadow Factory” by James Bamford on my summer reading list. The book is a good primer about the growth and importance of the National Security Agency at Fort Meade.

Forget about Silicon Valley, some of the most groundbreaking work in computer technology is going on right here in our backyard.

“in 2010, the NSA expects delivery of the Cray X-3, known as Cascade. Funded with $250 million from DARPA, it will likely be the most expensive computer ever created, and the fastest- designed to break the petaflop barrier with a sustained speed of more than a quadrillion calculations a second.”

It’s not always an easy read and he tends to be overly alarmist with his privacy concerns but Bamford offers pretty good insight about the agency’s work and burgeoning contractor community springing up around Fort Meade.

And speaking of books, Barnes and Noble in Ellicott City is now offering free Wi-Fi in its Ellicott City store. It wasn’t that long ago that they were charging four bucks for this service.