The top 25 technology books of all time

Technology teaches us to forget the past. Last year’s tech news seems like it has no use whatsoever. Thankfully, historians beg to differ, and they have begun to preserve the history of the tech industry as it becomes more and more important to the evolution of our lives and world. Those who understand the history of technology and the people who made it happen can probably figure out more quickly how to build on the shoulders of giants and advance technology further. Here’s some books that are great fun to read because they either relate great ideas that influenced a generation of technologists or because they chronicle the lives of people who changed the world. This list includes books that have stood the test of time and are worth a look for the history lover. And it includes new books, such as Walter Isaacson’s tome on Steve Jobs, that are likely to be the new classics. It doesn’t, however, include any tech textbooks. My focus is on books that deliver not just a technical understanding of how something works today, but hard-earned wisdom.

The wild wild web: top U.S. cyber-cop says we’re losing the war against computer criminals

The outgoing executive assistant director of the F.B.I., Shawn Henry, is not leaving on an optimistic note. “We’re not winning,” the nation’s top cyber-cop told the Wall Street Journal. “I don’t see how we ever come out of this without changes in technology or changes in behavior, because with the status quo, it’s an unsustainable model. Unsustainable in that you never get ahead, never become secure, never have a reasonable expectation of privacy or security.”

Hackers land big checks as Spotify looks to open its app store by end of March

VentureBeat spent some time this weekend at the Spotify music apps hackathon, 48 hours of coding, ping pong and pizza in New York. It was an interesting chance to see what is possible on Spotify’s platform, and we picked up some useful gossip along the way. According to two sources we chatted with, Spotify is hoping to open up its App Store, which currently has only ten hand-picked partners, to all third party developers by the end of March.

Israeli hackers attack Saudi & UAE stock exchange websites

The Middle East has always been a troubled place, and now people are taking to the web to launch their attacks. On Tuesday, a group of Israeli hackers took down the Saudi Arabia stock exchange and the United Arab Emirates stock exchange websites, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports. The group, which calls itself IDF-Team, was able to paralyze the Saudi stock exchange site and cause delays on the UAE site.

Photos show the cultural difference between Black Hat and Defcon hacker events

Thousands of security professionals, hackers, federal agents and media descended on Las Vegas this week to attend the Black Hat and Defcon conferences. The two conferences exhibit the extremes of hacker and security culture, with federal agents and major corporations descending on Black Hat in large numbers and mohawk-styled hackers and Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers attending Defcon. It’s like the difference between law enforcement and pranksterism, where both have the object of protecting freedom.