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The Right Stuff
From "America’s nerviest journalist" (Newsweek)--a breath-taking epic, a magnificent adventure story, and an investigation into the true heroism and courage of the first Americans to conquer space. "Tom Wolfe at his very best" (The New York Times Book Review)
The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge
Celebrating the centennial of the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, here is the classic account of one of the greatest engineering feats of all time.
Our Final Invention
AHuffington Post Definitive Tech Book of 2013 In as little as a decade, artificial intelligence could match and then surpass human intelligence. Corporations and government agencies around the world are pouring billions into achieving AI’s Holy Grail - human-level intelligence. Once AI has attained it, scientists argue, it will have survival drives much like our own. We may be forced to compete with a rival more cunning, more powerful, and more alien than we can imagine. Through profiles of tech visionaries, industry watchdogs, and groundbreaking AI systems, James Barrat's Our Final Invention explores the perils of the heedless pursuit of advanced AI. Until now, human intelligence has had no rival. Can we coexist with beings whose intelligence dwarfs our own? And will they allow us to?
Space Atlas: Mapping the Universe and Beyond (Second Edition)
Space Atlas combines updated maps, lavish photographs, and elegant illustrations to chart the solar system, the universe, and beyond. For space enthusiasts, science lovers, and star gazers, here is the newly revised edition of National Geographic's enduring guide to space, with a new introduction by American hero Buzz Aldrin.In this guided tour of our planetary neighborhood, the Milky Way and other galaxies, and beyond, detailed maps and fascinating imagery from recent space missions partner with clear, authoritative scientific information. Starting with the sun and moving outward into space, acclaimed science writer and physicist James Trefil illuminates each planet, the most important moons, significant asteroids, and other objects in our solar system. Looking beyond, he explains what we know about the Milky Way and other galaxies--and how we know it, with clear explanations of the basics of astrophysics, including dark matter and gravitational waves. For this new edition, and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his moonwalk, astronaut and American hero Buzz Aldrin offers a new special section on Earth's moon and its essential role in space exploration past and future.
The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future
From one of our leading technology thinkers and writers, a guide through the twelve technological imperatives that will shape the next thirty years and transform our lives.Much of what will happen in the next thirty years is inevitable, driven by technological trends that are already in motion. In this fascinating, provocative new book, Kevin Kelly provides an optimistic road map for the future, showing how the coming changes in our lives - from virtual reality in the home to an on-demand economy to artificial intelligence embedded in everything we manufacture - can be understood as the result of a few long-term, accelerating forces. Kelly both describes these deep trends - interacting, cognifying, flowing, screening, accessing, sharing, filtering, remixing, tracking, and questioning - and demonstrates how they overlap and are codependent on one another. These larger forces will completely revolutionize the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate with each other. By understanding and embracing them, says Kelly, it will be easier for us to remain on top of the coming wave of changes and to arrange our day-to-day relationships with technology in ways that bring forth maximum benefits. Kelly’s bright, hopeful book will be indispensable to anyone who seeks guidance on where their business, industry, or life is heading - what to invent, where to work, in what to invest, how to better reach customers, and what to begin to put into place - as this new world emerges.
The Third Plate
Today’s optimistic farm-to-table food culture has a dark secret: the local food movement has failed to change how we eat. It has also offered a false promise for the future of food. In his visionary New York Times–bestselling book, chef Dan Barber offers a radical new way of thinking about food that will heal the land and taste good, too. Looking to the detrimental cooking of our past, and the misguided dining of our present, Barber points to a future "third plate"; a new form of American eating where good farming and good food intersect. Barber’s The Third Plate charts a bright path forward for eaters and chefs alike, daring everyone to imagine a future for our national cuisine that is as sustainable as it is delicious.
Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
An insider's account of Apple's creative process during the golden years of Steve Jobs.Hundreds of millions of people use Apple products every day; several thousand work on Apple's campus in Cupertino, California; but only a handful sit at the drawing board. Creative Selection recounts the life of one of the few who worked behind the scenes, a highly-respected software engineer who worked in the final years of the Steve Jobs era - the Golden Age of Apple.Ken Kocienda offers an inside look at Apple’s creative process. For fifteen years, he was on the ground floor of the company as a specialist, directly responsible for experimenting with novel user interface concepts and writing powerful, easy-to-use software for products including the iPhone, the iPad, and the Safari web browser. His stories explain the symbiotic relationship between software and product development for those who have never dreamed of programming a computer, and reveal what it was like to work on the cutting edge of technology at one of the world's most admired companies.Kocienda shares moments of struggle and success, crisis and collaboration, illuminating each with lessons learned over his Apple career. He introduces the essential elements of innovation - inspiration, collaboration, craft, diligence, decisiveness, taste, and empathy - and uses these as a lens through which to understand productive work culture.An insider's tale of creativity and innovation at Apple, Creative Selection shows readers how a small group of people developed an evolutionary design model, and how they used this methodology to make groundbreaking and intuitive software which countless millions use every day.
The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google
Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are the four most influential companies on the planet. Just about everyone thinks they know how they got there. Just about everyone is wrong. For all that’s been written about the Four over the last two decades, no one has captured their power and staggering success as insightfully as Scott Galloway. Instead of buying the myths these companies broadcast, Galloway asks fundamental questions. How did the Four infiltrate our lives so completely that they’re almost impossible to avoid (or boycott)? Why does the stock market forgive them for sins that would destroy other firms? And as they race to become the world’s first trillion-dollar company, can anyone challenge them? In the same irreverent style that has made him one of the world’s most celebrated business professors, Galloway deconstructs the strategies of the Four that lurk beneath their shiny veneers. He shows how they manipulate the fundamental emotional needs that have driven us since our ancestors lived in caves, at a speed and scope others can’t match. And he reveals how you can apply the lessons of their ascent to your own business or career. Whether you want to compete with them, do business with them, or simply live in the world they dominate, you need to understand the Four.
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
Preeminent author and researcher Sherry Turkle has been studying digital culture for over thirty years. Long an enthusiast for its possibilities, here she investigates a troubling consequence: that we have stopped having face-to-face conversation in favour of technological connections such as texts or emails. Based on five years of research and interviews in homes, schools and the workplace, Turkle argues here that we now have a better understanding of this phenomenon, and that going forward, it's time we reclaim conversation, the most human thing that we do.
User Friendly: How the Hidden Rules of Design Are Changing the Way We Live, Work, and Play
In User Friendly, Cliff Kuang and Robert Fabricant reveal the untold story of a paradigm that quietly rules our modern lives: the assumption that machines should anticipate what we need. Spanning over a century of sweeping changes, from women’s rights to the Great Depression to World War II to the rise of the digital era, this book unpacks the ways in which the world has been - and continues to be - remade according to the principles of the once-obscure discipline of user-experience design.In this essential text, Kuang and Fabricant map the hidden rules of the designed world and shed light on how those rules have caused our world to change - an underappreciated but essential history that’s pieced together for the first time. Combining the expertise and insight of a leading journalist and a pioneering designer, User Friendly provides a definitive, thoughtful, and practical perspective on a topic that has rapidly gone from arcane to urgent to inescapable. In User Friendly, Kuang and Fabricant tell the whole story for the first time - and you’ll never interact with technology the same way again.
Diamandis, Peter H.
Since the dawn of humanity, a privileged few have lived in stark contrast to the hardscrabble majority. Conventional wisdom says this gap cannot be closed. But it is closing - fast. In Abundance, space entrepreneur turned innovation pioneer Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler document how progress in artificial intelligence, robotics, digital manufacturing synthetic biology, and other exponentially growing technologies will enable us to make greater gains in the next two decades than we have in the previous 200 years. We will soon have the ability to meet and exceed the basic needs of every person on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. Breaking down human needs by category - water, food, energy, healthcare, education, freedom - Diamandis and Kotler introduce us to innovators and industry captains making tremendous strides in each area. "Not only is Abundance a riveting page-turner...but it's a book that gives us a future worth fighting for. And even more than that, it shows us our place in that fight" (The Christian Science Monitor).
Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon
By August 1968, the American space program was in danger of failing in its two most important objectives: to land a man on the Moon by President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline, and to triumph over the Soviets in space. With its back against the wall, NASA made an almost unimaginable leap: It would scrap its usual methodical approach and risk everything on a sudden launch, sending the first men in history to the Moon—in just four months. And it would all happen at Christmas.In a year of historic violence and discord - the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago - the Apollo 8 mission would be the boldest, riskiest test of America’s greatness under pressure. In this gripping insider account, Robert Kurson puts the focus on the three astronauts and their families: the commander, Frank Borman, a conflicted man on his final mission; idealistic Jim Lovell, who’d dreamed since boyhood of riding a rocket to the Moon; and Bill Anders, a young nuclear engineer and hotshot fighter pilot making his first space flight.Drawn from hundreds of hours of one-on-one interviews with the astronauts, their loved ones, NASA personnel, and myriad experts, and filled with vivid and unforgettable detail, Rocket Men is the definitive account of one of America’s finest hours. In this real-life thriller, Kurson reveals the epic dangers involved, and the singular bravery it took, for mankind to leave Earth for the first time - and arrive at a new world.
From Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Matt Richtel, a brilliant, narrative-driven exploration of technology’s vast influence on the human mind and society, dramatically-told through the lens of a tragic "texting-while-driving" car crash that claimed the lives of two rocket scientists in 2006.In this ambitious, compelling, and beautifully written book, Matt Richtel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times, examines the impact of technology on our lives through the story of Utah college student Reggie Shaw, who killed two scientists while texting and driving. Richtel follows Reggie through the tragedy, the police investigation, his prosecution, and ultimately, his redemption.In the wake of his experience, Reggie has become a leading advocate against “distracted driving.” Richtel interweaves Reggie’s story with cutting-edge scientific findings regarding human attention and the impact of technology on our brains, proposing solid, practical, and actionable solutions to help manage this crisis individually and as a society.A propulsive read filled with fascinating, accessible detail, riveting narrative tension, and emotional depth, A Deadly Wandering explores one of the biggest questions of our time - what is all of our technology doing to us? - and provides unsettling and important answers and information we all need.
The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Civilization in the Aftermath of a Cataclysm
How would you go about rebuilding a technological society from scratch? If our technological society collapsed tomorrow, perhaps from a viral pandemic or catastrophic asteroid impact, what would be the one book you would want to press into the hands of the postapocalyptic survivors? What crucial knowledge would they need to survive in the immediate aftermath and to rebuild civilization as quickly as possible—a guide for rebooting the world? Human knowledge is collective, distributed across the population. It has built on itself for centuries, becoming vast and increasingly specialized. Most of us are ignorant about the fundamental principles of the civilization that supports us, happily utilizing the latest—or even the most basic—technology without having the slightest idea of why it works or how it came to be. If you had to go back to absolute basics, like some sort of postcataclysmic Robinson Crusoe, would you know how to re-create an internal combustion engine, put together a microscope, get metals out of rock, accurately tell time, weave fibers into clothing, or even how to produce food for yourself? Regarded as one of the brightest young scientists of his generation, Lewis Dartnell proposes that the key to preserving civilization in an apocalyptic scenario is to provide a quickstart guide, adapted to cataclysmic circumstances. The Knowledge describes many of the modern technologies we employ, but first it explains the fundamentals upon which they are built. Every piece of technology rests on an enormous support network of other technologies, all interlinked and mutually dependent. You can’t hope to build a radio, for example, without understanding how to acquire the raw materials it requires, as well as generate the electricity needed to run it. But Dartnell doesn’t just provide specific information for starting over; he also reveals the greatest invention of them all—the phenomenal knowledge-generating machine that is the scientific method itself. This would allow survivors to learn technological advances not explicitly explored in The Knowledge as well as things we have yet to discover. The Knowledge is a brilliantly original guide to the fundamentals of science and how it built our modern world as well as a thought experiment about the very idea of scientific knowledge itself.
The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War
From the author the classic The Wizards of Armageddon and Pulitzer Prize finalist comes the definitive history of American policy on nuclear war—and Presidents’ actions in nuclear crises—from Truman to Trump.Fred Kaplan, hailed by The New York Times as “a rare combination of defense intellectual and pugnacious reporter,” takes us into the White House Situation Room, the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s “Tank” in the Pentagon, and the vast chambers of Strategic Command to bring us the untold stories—based on exclusive interviews and previously classified documents—of how America’s presidents and generals have thought about, threatened, broached, and just barely avoided nuclear war from the dawn of the atomic age until today.Kaplan’s historical research and deep reporting will stand as the permanent record of politics. Discussing theories that have dominated nightmare scenarios from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Kaplan presents the unthinkable in terms of mass destruction and demonstrates how the nuclear war reality will not go away, regardless of the dire consequences.
Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond
Gene Kranz was present at the creation of America's manned space program and was a key player in it for three decades. In Failure Is Not an Option, he recounts thrilling historic events and offers new information about the famous flights. What appeared as nearly flawless missions to the Moon were, in fact, a series of hair-raising near misses. When the space technology failed, as it sometimes did, the controllers' only recourse was to rely on their skills and those of their teammates. Kranz takes us inside Mission Control and introduces us to some of the whiz kids - still in their twenties, only a few years out of college - who had to figure it all out as they went along. He reveals behind-the-scenes details to demonstrate the leadership, discipline, trust, and teamwork that made the space program a success. Finally, Kranz reflects on what has happened to the space program and offers his own bold suggestions about what we ought to be doing in space now.
Companies like Netflix, Spotify, and Salesforce are just the tip of the iceberg for the subscription model. The real transformation--and the real opportunity--is just beginning.Subscription companies are growing nine times faster than the S&P 500. Why? Because unlike product companies, subscription companies know their customers. A happy subscriber base is the ultimate economic moat. Today's consumers prefer the advantages of access over the hassles of maintenance, from transportation (Uber, Surf Air), to clothing (Stitch Fix, Eleven James), to razor blades and makeup (Dollar Shave Club, Birchbox). Companies are similarly demanding easier, long-term solutions, trading their server rooms for cloud storage solutions like Box. Simply put, the world is shifting from products to services.But how do you turn customers into subscribers? As the CEO of the world's largest subscription management platform, Tien Tzuo has helped hundreds of companies transition from relying on individual sales to building customer-centric, recurring-revenue businesses. His core message in Subscribed is simple: Ready or not, excited or terrified, you need to adapt to the Subscription Economy -- or risk being left behind.Tzuo shows how to use subscriptions to build lucrative, ongoing one-on-one relationships with your customers. This may require reinventing substantial parts of your company, from your accounting practices to your entire IT architecture, but the payoff can be enormous. Just look at the case studies: * Adobe transitions from selling enterprise software licenses to offering cloud-based solutions for a flat monthly fee, and quadruples its valuation. * Fender evolves from selling guitars one at a time to creating lifelong musicians by teaching beginners to play, and keeping them inspired for life. * Caterpillar uses subscriptions to help solve problems -- it's not about how many tractors you can rent, but how much dirt you need to move. In Subscribed, you'll learn how these companies made the shift, and how you can transform your own product into a valuable service with a practical, step-by-step framework. Find out how how you can prepare and prosper now, rather than trying to catch up later.
How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Make the Modern World
In this illustrated history, Steven Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life (refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses, to name a few) from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs, and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences. Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes - from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and Bluetooth - How We Got to Now investigates the secret history behind the everyday objects of contemporary life.In his trademark style, Johnson examines unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated fields: how the invention of air-conditioning enabled the largest migration of human beings in the history of the species - to cities such as Dubai or Phoenix, which would otherwise be virtually uninhabitable; how pendulum clocks helped trigger the industrial revolution; and how clean water made it possible to manufacture computer chips. Accompanied by a major six-part television series on PBS, How We Got to Now is the story of collaborative networks building the modern world, written in the provocative, informative, and engaging style that has earned Johnson fans around the globe.
Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age
Browne, Carol Ann
The instant New York Times bestseller.From Microsoft's president and one of the tech industry's broadest thinkers, a frank and thoughtful reckoning with how to balance enormous promise and existential risk as the digitization of everything accelerates.“A colorful and insightful insiders’ view of how technology is both empowering and threatening us. From privacy to cyberattacks, this timely book is a useful guide for how to navigate the digital future.” —Walter IsaacsonMicrosoft President Brad Smith operates by a simple core belief: When your technology changes the world, you bear a responsibility to help address the world you have helped create. This might seem uncontroversial, but it flies in the face of a tech sector long obsessed with rapid growth and sometimes on disruption as an end in itself. While sweeping digital transformation holds great promise, we have reached an inflection point. The world has turned information technology into both a powerful tool and a formidable weapon, and new approaches are needed to manage an era defined by even more powerful inventions like artificial intelligence. Companies that create technology must accept greater responsibility for the future, and governments will need to regulate technology by moving faster and catching up with the pace of innovation.In Tools and Weapons, Brad Smith and Carol Ann Browne bring us a captivating narrative from the cockpit of one of the world's largest and most powerful tech companies as it finds itself in the middle of some of the thorniest emerging issues of our time. These are challenges that come with no preexisting playbook, including privacy, cybercrime and cyberwar, social media, the moral conundrums of artificial intelligence, big tech's relationship to inequality, and the challenges for democracy, far and near. While in no way a self-glorifying "Microsoft memoir," the book pulls back the curtain remarkably wide onto some of the company's most crucial recent decision points as it strives to protect the hopes technology offers against the very real threats it also presents. There are huge ramifications for communities and countries, and Brad Smith provides a thoughtful and urgent contribution to that effort.
Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley
Martinez, Antonio Garcia
Imagine a chimpanzee rampaging through a data center powering everything from Google to Facebook. Infrastructure engineers use a software version of this “chaos monkey” to test online services’ robustness—their ability to survive random failure and correct mistakes before they actually occur. Tech entrepreneurs are society’s chaos monkeys. One of Silicon Valley’s most audacious chaos monkeys is Antonio García Martínez.After stints on Wall Street and as CEO of his own startup, García Martínez joined Facebook’s nascent advertising team. Forced out in the wake of an internal product war over the future of the company’s monetization strategy, García Martínez eventually landed at rival Twitter. In Chaos Monkeys, this gleeful contrarian unravels the chaotic evolution of social media and online marketing and reveals how it is invading our lives and shaping our future.
Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Is Changing the World
The first, foundational book on blockchain technology, from the bestselling author of Wikinomics Don Tapscott and blockchain expert Alex Tapscott, now in paperback with a new preface and chapter explaining recent developments in the world of blockchain, including cryptoassets, ICOs, smart contracts, and more.   “This book has had an enormous impact on the evolution of blockchain in the world.” —Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft CorporationIn this revelatory book, Don and Alex Tapscott bring us a brilliantly researched, highly readable, and essential book about the technology driving the future of the economy.    Blockchain is the ingeniously simple, revolution­ary protocol that allows transactions to be simultaneously anonymous and secure by maintaining a tamperproof public ledger of value. Though it’s best known as the technology that drives bitcoin and other digital cur­rencies, it also has the potential to go far beyond currency, to record virtually everything of value to humankind, from birth and death certifi­cates to insurance claims, land titles, and even votes.   As with major paradigm shifts that preceded it, blockchain technology will create winners and losers. This book shines a light on where it can lead us in the next decade and beyond.
Diamandis, Peter H.
A radical, how-to guide for using exponential technologies, moonshot thinking, and crowd-powered tools, Bold unfolds in three parts. Part One focuses on the exponential technologies that are disrupting today’s Fortune 500 companies and enabling upstart entrepreneurs to go from "I’ve got an idea" to "I run a billion-dollar company" far faster than ever before. The authors provide exceptional insight into the power of 3D printing, artificial intelligence, robotics, networks and sensors, and synthetic biology. Part Two draws on insights from billionaires such as Larry Page, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos and reveals their entrepreneurial secrets. Finally, Bold closes with a look at the best practices that allow anyone to leverage today’s hyper-connected crowd like never before. Here, the authors teach how to design and use incentive competitions, launch million-dollar crowdfunding campaigns to tap into tens of billions of dollars of capital, and finally how to build communities - armies of exponentially enabled individuals willing and able to help today’s entrepreneurs make their boldest dreams come true.
A World Without Work: Technology, Automation, and How We Should Respond
From an Oxford economist, a visionary account of how technology will transform the world of work, and what we should do about itFrom mechanical looms to the combustion engine to the first computers, new technologies have always provoked panic about workers being replaced by machines. For centuries, such fears have been misplaced, and many economists maintain that they remain so today. But as Daniel Susskind demonstrates, this time really is different. Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence mean that all kinds of jobs are increasingly at risk.Drawing on almost a decade of research in the field, Susskind argues that machines no longer need to think like us in order to outperform us, as was once widely believed. As a result, more and more tasks that used to be far beyond the capability of computers – from diagnosing illnesses to drafting legal contracts, from writing news reports to composing music – are coming within their reach. The threat of technological unemployment is now real.This is not necessarily a bad thing, Susskind emphasizes. Technological progress could bring about unprecedented prosperity, solving one of humanity’s oldest problems: how to make sure that everyone has enough to live on. The challenges will be to distribute this prosperity fairly, to constrain the burgeoning power of Big Tech, and to provide meaning in a world where work is no longer the center of our lives. Perceptive, pragmatic, and ultimately hopeful, A World Without Work shows the way.
The Fate of Food: What We'll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World
Climate models show that global crop production will decline every decade for the rest of this century due to drought, heat, and flooding. Water supplies are in jeopardy. Meanwhile, the world’s population is expected to grow another 30 percent by midcentury. So how, really, will we feed nine billion people sustainably in the coming decades?Amanda Little, a professor at Vanderbilt University and an award-winning journalist, spent three years traveling through a dozen countries and as many U.S. states in search of answers to this question. Her journey took her from an apple orchard in Wisconsin to a remote control organic farm in Shanghai, from Norwegian fish farms to famine-stricken regions of Ethiopia.The race to reinvent the global food system is on, and the challenge is twofold: We must solve the existing problems of industrial agriculture while also preparing for the pressures ahead. Through her interviews and adventures with farmers, scientists, activists, and engineers, Little tells the fascinating story of human innovation and explores new and old approaches to food production while charting the growth of a movement that could redefine sustainable food on a grand scale. She meets small permaculture farmers and “Big Food” executives, botanists studying ancient superfoods and Kenyan farmers growing the country's first GMO corn. She travels to places that might seem irrelevant to the future of food yet surprisingly play a critical role—a California sewage plant, a U.S. Army research lab, even the inside of a monsoon cloud above Mumbai. Little asks tough questions: Can GMOs actually be good for the environment—and for us? Are we facing the end of animal meat? What will it take to eliminate harmful chemicals from farming? How can a clean, climate-resilient food supply become accessible to all?Throughout her journey, Little finds and shares a deeper understanding of the threats of climate change and encounters a sense of awe and optimism about the lessons of our past and the scope of human ingenuity.
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