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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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Book review: Tackling Tumblr

Book review: Tackling Tumblr

Tumblr might be the biggest social network you've never heard of. You might well have come across Tumblr in the wake of the London riots, as it was used for a popular blog showcasing images of rioters amusingly-photoshopped to show them clutching stuffed toys or wearing Justin Bieber T shirts.

published August 30, 2011 by

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Getting Started with the Internet of Things

Getting Started with the Internet of Things

Never mind 20 million Google+ users. Since 2008 there have been more 'things' connected to the internet than there are people on the earth: by 2050 there will be 50 billion connected devices — from cattle with wireless sensors that report when a cow is sick or pregnant, to implanted defibrillators that upload diagnostic information and heart rate patterns, to bridges that record every time a boat sails underneath them.

published August 26, 2011 by

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