It's been 10 years since David Brin's last novel. A long decade, full of change and complexity. So it's fitting that his return to science fiction, Existence, is a futurist work akin to his 1990 novel Earth.
ZDNet UK Book Reviews
Essential reading for technophiles
Few people — the security expert Rebecca Mercuri being the notable exception — thought much about the mechanics of voting before the Bush-versus-Gore presidential election in 2000. A few weeks of watching diligent poll workers holding up ballots to look for hanging chads changed all that.
Whether you're writing a blog, a book, a website or the text for a program's user interface, the more consistent you are the clearer things will be. That's easier when you have a style guide, so you don't have to decide every time whether it's 'Web site', 'web site' or 'website' and whether to say 'sign in' or 'sign on' (sign in is better, unless you're talking about single sign on and getting access to multiple enterprise services with one login).
If you've been wondering exactly what LinkedIn is for, a book on applying entrepreneurship to your career co-written by its co-founder should be the ideal explanation. It is, but thankfully it's more than just an advert or tutorial for the service.
"The future is already here. It's just not very evenly distributed," the science fiction writer William Gibson has said.
"I could not have written this book four or five years ago," Mark Henderson said in a recent visit to the Westminster Skeptics. "The problems were there, but the solutions were not.
Go back ten or 15 years, and the word 'convergence' cropped up a lot with respect to the internet, telecommunications and media. What has converged in subsequent years has actually gone beyond what was envisaged then — at least in terms of technology.
In 1998, the New Yorker writer Ken Auletta, author of Googled, asked Bill Gates which of his competitors he feared most. "I fear someone in a garage who is devising something completely new," Gates replied.
"It's not a question of money, but of cash," a friend of mine explained to his parents years ago, when we were still university students and planning an evening out together before ATMs. He was, of course, reassuring his parents that he hadn't done anything dumb that would require them to find thousands of dollars to support him for months to come; he was merely lacking the physical representation of the numbers in his bank account.
For a book so packed with fascinating and informative details, Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty starts much too slowly. The author is so keen to tell you what he's going to tell you, what difference he hopes it will make to you and why design literacy matters that the first 40 pages are essentially an extended introduction (even if reminding people to sketch out ideas is always a good thing).