I am a theoretical physicist with an insatiable taste for all things technological. My home is filled with all sorts of gadgets, I am subscribed to several technology magazines, checking up on several tech websites and blogs is part of my morning routine, and I regularly write reviews of technology books and gadgets on Amazon and a couple other websites. I am also a bookworm and love reading and writing. With all this in mind a book that purports to be a collection of the best technology writing would seem like an ideal reading material for me. Unfortunately, this turned out not to be the case and this collection of essays is one of the more disappointing books that I've had the displeasure of reading in recent months. It turns out that most of the articles (with a few notable exceptions) in this collection deal with technology as a background for some other social, political, or artistic development. Rhapsodizing at length about blogging (which, by the way, is already considered passé) is no different than talking about sitcoms in the early days of television. An article about a "green" Danish island is actually very explicit about this point. The writer clearly says: "And that is the real lesson from Samso. What has happened here is a social not a technological revolution." Apparently, the editor of this collection didn't get that lesson. The collection overall seems much more concerned with making the "technology" writing palatable to the general technophobic audience than it is trying to appeal to people who are actually interested in technology. If that really is the case, then I think that the editor is underestimating the technological sophistication of today's general reading public.
To be fair, there are a few essays in this collection that I found genuinely interesting and informative. I particularly liked "Secret Geek A-Team Hacks Back, Defends Worldwide Web." It is a shocking revelation about a serious flow of in the web's architecture and how a major worldwide disaster had been barely averted. This is a real example of what good technology writing ought to be like - it presents an interesting technology that is not familiar to the general public and does so in an informative and engaging manner.
One of the articles in this collection was taken from The Onion, the satirical newspaper that takes an amusing spin on current news and trends. Unfortunately, even here the editor of this collection gets things wrong. The said Onion article was taken from The Onion Presents The Finest Reporting On Literature, Media, And Other Dying Art Forms and not from The Onion Presents Americas Finest Tech News, a much more appropriate source. You know you have completely missed your topic when The Onion has a more informative and accurate take on it.