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In most thrillers, "hardware" consists of big guns, airplanes, military vehicles, and weapons that make things explode. Dan Brown has written a thriller for those of us who like our hardware with disc drives and who rate our heroes by big brainpower rather than big firepower. It's an Internet user's spy novel where the good guys and bad guys struggle over secrets somewhat more intellectual than just where the secret formula is hidden--they have to gain understanding of what the secret formula actually is.

In this case, the secret formula is a new means of encryption, capable of changing the balance of international power. Part of the fun is that the book takes the reader along into an understanding of encryption technologies. You'll find yourself better understanding the political battles over such real-life technologies as the Clipper Chip and PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) software even though the book looks at the issues through the eyes of fiction.

Although there's enough globehopping in this book for James Bond, the real battleground is cyberspace, because that's where the "bomb" (or rather, the new encryption algorithm) will explode. Yes, there are a few flaws in the plot if you look too closely, but the cleverness and the sheer fun of it all more than make up for them. There are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing and a lot of high, gee-whiz-level information about encryption, code breaking, and the role they play in international politics. Set aside the whole afternoon and evening for it and have finger food on hand for supper--you may want to read this one straight through. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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ISBN-10:  9780312995423
ISBN-13:  978-0312995423
Author:  Dan Brown
Genre:  Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher:  St. Martin's Paperbacks
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Quick Tip by . March 24, 2011
Digital Fortess, an exciting and informative techno-thriller about computer hardware and software, codes and codebreaking, is a quick read and is thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining! But like most every one hour made for TV thriller movie, it is also eminently forgettable in very short order and has nothing at all to commend it as being memorable!
review by . March 24, 2011
TRANSLTR is perhaps the most powerful multiple parallel processor computer on the earth, run by the National Security Agency, dedicated solely to the process of brute force code breaking. An extraordinary weapon against crime, drugs and terrorism, TRANSLATR clearly has enormous potential for human rights abuses and Ensei Tankado, a brilliant program and disgruntled former NSA employee is determined to find a way to pull this abusive tool out of the hands of the government. He has written DIGITAL …
Digital Fortress: A Thriller
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