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Book review: Kapitoil

Book review: Kapitoil

We noticed this novel on its release last year, but lagged in getting around to actually reading it. Still, this is a good moment to catch up with it if you're looking for summer reading.

published August 23, 2011 by

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Book review: Alone Together

Book review: Alone Together

At a recent house party, I briefly found myself exchanging texts with a non-attending friend. I plead that this particular friend is rarely available — nonetheless, I was the only person texting at the party, and during that time I was, although physically present, not entirely there.

published August 22, 2011 by

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Book review: Barefoot Into Cyberspace

Book review: Barefoot Into Cyberspace

Can we keep the internet open and free, a democratic medium for the rest of us? In studying this question, Becky Hogge's flash-published Barefoot Into Cyberspace joins Jonathan Zittrain's The Future of the Internet — and How to Stop It (2009) and Tim Wu's The Master Switch (and, to some extent, my own 1997 book, net.

published July 28, 2011 by

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Book review: Spacesuit

Book review: Spacesuit

Quick: are the spacesuits worn by the Apollo astronauts more like medieval suits of armour, diving suits or the girdle my mother wore in 1960? (If you need a refresher course on what girdles were really like, allow me to recommend the TV show Mad Men, whose costume designer is meticulous in all such foundation details.

published July 22, 2011 by

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Book review: Mining the Social Web

Book review: Mining the Social Web

What can someone find out about your tweets, and the people who retweet and respond to them? Rather a lot: despite being limited to 140 characters, tweets include metadata such as what kind of character encoding they use, and a great deal more.

published July 11, 2011 by

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Book review: Surveillance or Security?

Book review: Surveillance or Security?

Over the last 20 years or so, there have been intermittent moves by the EU and the UK government to implement various levels of online surveillance — first by requiring ISPs to install equipment to facilitate wiretapping, and second by storing the masses of communications data created by all of us.

published June 22, 2011 by

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Free reading matter from the NAS

Free reading matter from the NAS

The National Academies of Science has posted free PDFs and online reading versions of the more than 4,000 science books it publishes, and also provides code so you can host individual titles on your own site. Many of these are workshop reports, policy documents and the like, rather than textbooks.

published June 6, 2011 by

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Book review: Decade of Change

Book review: Decade of Change

The 34 interviews and articles that make up this book may be familiar to long-time readers of Gallup Management Journal; they will, however, be new to the rest of us. The decade in question is September 2001 to January 2011 — the range of publication dates of these pieces.

published June 6, 2011 by

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Book review: Where Good Ideas Come From

Book review: Where Good Ideas Come From

Westerners, in particular, seem to like to believe in the myth of the lone inventor: the mad scientist who after much agony comes up with the Next Big Thing. Or unlocks the secrets of the universe — it doesn't much matter which.

published April 7, 2011 by

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Book review: The CIO Edge

Book review: The CIO Edge

The position of Chief Information Officer (CIO) hasn't existed for all that long, and so there aren't a lot of manuals explaining how to do it. The CIO Edge attempts to be that manual.

published March 14, 2011 by

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Movie review: Astroturf Wars

Movie review: Astroturf Wars

The great thing about social media is that they allow a very small number of people to create a potentially very large movement: those overlapping social circles give even just one or two people a surprising amount of leverage. Which is how two guys in a pub in Merseyside managed to launch a worldwide demonstration of the ineffectiveness of homeopathic remedies.

published February 11, 2011 by

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Book review: Texture

Book review: Texture

If we're drowning in email and past the point of keeping up with everyone we've reconnected with on Facebook, why are we flocking to Twitter? If we can't settle down to work because instant messages keep popping up on top of the document, why are we adding to the load by uploading videos to YouTube and answering questions on Quora?

published January 31, 2011 by

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