LEVI McPHERSON, a graduate student of analytical chemistry at the University of North Central Florida, is approached by agents of the Homeland Security’s Counter-terrorism Unit. The agency is recruiting Lee to study and expose the loopholes of screening instruments in airports. Struggling financially, he accepted the offer, making him a paid, benevolent hacker of the nation’s gateway. Yet Levi is horrified when an Airbus from Los Angeles disintegrated in mid-air.

At 40, when everybody’s career trajectory is going up, Levi’s still a poor graduate student, struggling financially. His research projects however, are worth million dollars. Researching the highly classified and heavily guarded secrets of detecting traces of explosives, what Lee know was a goldmine. The agency's offer is his financial break . So Levi tackles the problem like a scientist, detailing the loopholes of the aviation security and turning what he knew into a big time money machine.

JIM and JONATHAN of the counter-terrorism unit, where nowhere to be found after Charlotte International Airport, a hub of Delta Airlines closed abruptly because of instrument malfunctions in their security lines. And in a post-Osama Bin Laden’s era, the biggest blow to the United Stated after the 9/11 disaster comes unexpectedly when a passenger plane blew up in the skies of Washington D.C., in the heart of the nation.

Levi knew it was only the start of more troubles, so he recruits his fellow graduate students to counter the future attacks. They have to think like criminals—and scientists too. With the help of FBI counter-terrorism experts, Homeland Security and Transportation Security Agency, the team races to close and plug the loopholes Lee identified.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The SEARCH : History of the search engine

I'm an MS-DOS baby. If you don't know what MS-DOS operating system is, it's the predecessor of Windows. It's old school.

I realized MS-DOS is an ancient technology, after reading the book. Computer technology grow so fast. Although the book is not about the operating system, reading the history and battles of the search engines is like reading how operating systems evolved (and made money). I can't tell you much about the war between Microsoft and Apple; I'm too young to remember. Reading the evolution of the search engine in contrast is nostalgic, I was using the technology, during the growing years of the Internet.
It's a new world economy, but I never thought of the search engine as a business model. It's hard to conceptualize. It's not like the gold rush: gold is synonymous to money. And companies who didn't understand how search engines could be made as a source of income, those companies were doomed.
Who were the casualties of war? If you were old enough to witness the growth of the internet, in one time or another you heard about,, (I'm not familiar with this, but it was acquired by yahoo),, and Yahoo is still alive (and struggling). These companies were mentioned in the book, and I was using these search engines before.
Nostalgic. You know why? I just visited those sites a while ago, and the designs of the sites are reminiscing of the late 1990s. Those were the days.

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