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Book reviews: Google books

Book reviews: Google books

If your industry hasn't been disrupted by Google yet, observed the New Yorker writer Ken Auletta in his 2010 book Googled, it will be soon. Two recent books look at the next stage of those disruptions — one academic, one popular.

published January 30, 2012 by

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Book review: The Lean Start-Up

Book review: The Lean Start-Up

Whenever possible, learn from other people's failures — it's cheaper than learning from your own. Eric Ries didn't have this advantage when, as a Yale undergraduate, he co-founded Catalyst Recruiting.

published January 23, 2012 by

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Book review: Republic, Lost

Book review: Republic, Lost

"Love makes the odds irrelevant," writes Lawrence Lessig at the end of Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress — and a Plan to Stop It. "It is a commitment to doing whatever can be done — sometimes destructively so — to beat the odds and save the soul who taught you that love.

published January 9, 2012 by

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Book review: Ghost in the Wires

Book review: Ghost in the Wires

In 1996 I reviewed three books for New Scientist about the same 1995 events: the chase (through cyberspace and the physical United States) after and capture of Kevin Mitnick. Who's that, you say?

published January 1, 2012 by

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Book reviews: Holiday reading

Book reviews: Holiday reading

"I came for the crack," a woman once said to me reproachfully at a party. She was miffed that I and the third person in the conversation had embarked on an impassioned discussion of…cryptography.

published December 16, 2011 by

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Book review: Steve Jobs

Book review: Steve Jobs

"All progress depends on the unreasonable man," George Bernard Shaw wrote in 'Maxims for Revolutionists', part of the preface to his play Man and Superman. No-one who's read anything about Steve Jobs over the last 40 years is likely to need Walter Isaacson's 600-plus pages to convince them that Steve Jobs was a very unreasonable man.

published November 7, 2011 by

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Wikileaks books roundup

Wikileaks books roundup

In The Revolution Will Be Digitised, Heather Brooke criticises Julian Assange for allowing himself and Wikileaks to become the media story rather than the materials Wikileaks uncovered and published.

published October 3, 2011 by

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Book Review: The Filter Bubble

Book Review: The Filter Bubble

Ever since about 1995, when Nicholas Negroponte, then head of the MIT Media Lab, began talking about The Daily Me, a newspaper that would be built entirely of articles that interested you, the internet's potential to become an echo chamber has been obvious. In The Filter Bubble Eli Pariser — echoing a growing cry among those old enough to remember the early days — says this is not what the internet pioneers promised.

published September 27, 2011 by

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Book review: My Beautiful Genome

Book review: My Beautiful Genome

To my mother, there were two kinds of people: blood relatives and strangers. It's hard to imagine what she would have made of today's genetic testing, which shows, among other things, the complex and convoluted ways an African-American may be descended from a white Scot, and that all the many Cohens in the world may be related.

published September 19, 2011 by

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Book review: Location-Aware Applications

Book review: Location-Aware Applications

Location, location, location: it's not just for estate agents any more. As smartphones take a larger share of both the phone and the computing market, where we are (or where we want to be) becomes ever more important.

published September 7, 2011 by

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Book review: The Revolution Will Be Digitised

Book review: The Revolution Will Be Digitised

The investigative reporter Heather Brooke could not have known when she corrected the galleys for The Revolution Will Be Digitised: Dispatches from the Information War that the week it was released the former partnership of Julian Assange and the The Guardian would implode in a burst of headlines.

published September 5, 2011 by

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