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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.

August 23, 2011 by Book Reviews

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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.

August 22, 2011 by Book Reviews

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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.

July 28, 2011 by Book Reviews

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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.

July 22, 2011 by Book Reviews

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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.

July 11, 2011 by Book Reviews

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Book review: Cybertraps for the Young

Bad things that can happen to kids online have been the stuff of tabloid stories for some years now. Frederick Lane's new book, Cybertraps for the Young, is more intelligent and more subtle than that.

July 4, 2011 by Book Reviews

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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.

June 22, 2011 by Book Reviews

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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.

June 6, 2011 by Book Reviews

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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.

June 6, 2011 by Book Reviews

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