Pirate Cinema

Page-turner Pirate Cinema nailed it. It’s one of Cory Doctorow‘s latest young adult books that has recently appeared on Tor Teen. As usual, the story is about the art of remixing, copyright issues, authority and the misuse of the same. It is well laid out, concise, exciting and revolves around some happenings in the near future — right! Cory wrote it. One thing that I came to realize is that Cory is very apt in explaining very difficult networking/computing concepts such as raw sockets and MAC addresses in an extremely easy way to grasp for youngsters to understand. Here an excerpt of the same:

“Stop, stop! Okay. Raw sockets — that just means that you can run programs that do their own network stuff without talking to the OS. Very useful if you want to try to, say, inject spoof traffic into a wireless network. And it’s great for disguising your operating system: every OS has its own little idiosyncrasies in the way it does networks, so it’s possible for someone you’re talking to to tell if you’re running Linux or Windows Scribble or a phone or whatever. So if there’s something that won’t talk to you unless you’re on a locked-down phone, you can use raw sockets to pretend to be a crippled-up iPhone instead of a gloriously free frankenbox like this one.

“MAC addresses — those are the hardwired serial numbers on every card. They identify the manufacturer, model number, and so on. Get sent along with your requests. So if they seize your computer, they can pull the MAC address and look at all the logged traffic to a pirate site and put two and two together. You don’t want that.

“But with the right drivers, this card can generate a new, random MAC address every couple of minutes, meaning that the logs are going to see a series of new connections from exotic strangers who’ve never been there before. This is what you want. That’s all you need to know for now. Just follow the recipes to get the drivers configured, and look up more detail as it becomes necessary. It’s not like it’s hard to learn new facts about networking — just use a search engine. In the meantime, just do it.”

I am half way through this excellent read, loving the educational purpose it tries to accomplish, and can’t wait to finish basically.

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