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  1. 8.1 hrs • 8/1/2016 • Unabridged

    This 50th anniversary edition of Men, Machines, and Modern Times, though ultimately concerned with a positive alternative to an Orwellian 1984, offers an entertaining series of historical accounts taken from the nineteenth century to highlight a main theme: the nature of technological change, the fission brought about in society by such change, and society’s reaction to that change. Beginning with a remarkable illustration of resistance to innovation in the US Navy following an officer’s discovery of a more accurate way to fire a gun at sea, Elting Morison goes on to narrate the strange history of the new model steamship, the Wapanoag, in the 1860s. He then continues with the difficulties confronting the introduction of the pasteurization process for milk; he traces the development of the Bessemer process; and finally he considers the computer. While the discussions are liberally sprinkled with amusing examples and anecdotes, all are related to the more profound and current problem of how to organize and manage a system of ideas, energies, and machinery so that it will conform to the human dimension.

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    Men, Machines, and Modern Times

    8.1 hrs • 8/1/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    17.9 hrs • 7/5/2016 • Unabridged

    The previously untold—and previously highly classified—story of the conflux of espionage and technology, a compelling narrative rich with astonishing revelations taking readers from World War II to the Internet age As the digital era becomes increasingly pervasive, the intertwining forces of computers and espionage are reshaping the entire world; what was once the preserve of a few intelligence agencies now affects us all. Corera’s compelling narrative takes us from the Second World War through the Cold War and the birth of the Internet to the present era of hackers and surveillance. The book is rich with historical detail and characters, as well as astonishing revelations about espionage carried out in recent times by the United Kingdom, the United States, and China. Using unique access to the NSA, GCHQ, Chinese officials, and senior executives from some of the most powerful global technology companies, Gordon Corera has gathered compelling stories from heads of state, hackers, and spies of all stripes. Cyberspies is a groundbreaking exploration of the new space in which the worlds of espionage, diplomacy, international business, science, and technology collide.

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    Cyberspies by Gordon Corera

    Cyberspies

    17.9 hrs • 7/5/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 6.4 hrs • 5/3/2016 • Unabridged

    In the tradition of Deep Down Dark and A Perfect Storm, comes the harrowing, and tragic true-life story of one of America’s deadliest wildfires and the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice. When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June of 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the twenty men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Granite Mountain Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. The Hotshots were loyal to one another and dedicated to the tough job they had. There’s Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train, and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his twenties who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play, and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. Impeccably researched, drawing upon more than a hundred hours of interviews with the firefighters’ families, colleagues, state and federal officials, and fire historians and researchers, New York Times Phoenix Bureau Chief Fernanda Santos has written a riveting, pulse-pounding narrative of an unthinkable disaster, a remarkable group of men and the raging wildfires that threaten our country’s treasured wild lands.

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    The Fire Line

    6.4 hrs • 5/3/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 9.1 hrs • 1/12/2016 • Unabridged

    A smart, lively history of the Internet free culture movement and its larger effects on society—and the life and shocking suicide of Aaron Swartz, a founding developer of Reddit and Creative Commons—from Slate correspondent Justin Peters. Aaron Swartz was a zealous young advocate for the free exchange of information and creative content online. He committed suicide in 2013 after being indicted by the government for illegally downloading millions of academic articles from a nonprofit online database. From the age of fifteen, when Swartz, a computer prodigy, worked with Lawrence Lessig to launch Creative Commons, to his years as a fighter for copyright reform and open information, to his work leading the protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), to his posthumous status as a cultural icon, Swartz’s life was inextricably connected to the free culture movement. Now Justin Peters examines Swartz’s life in the context of two hundred years of struggle over the control of information. In vivid, accessible prose, The Idealist situates Swartz in the context of other “data moralists” past and present, from lexicographer Noah Webster to ebook pioneer Michael Hart to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. In the process, the book explores the history of copyright statutes and the public domain; examines archivists’ ongoing quest to build the “library of the future”; and charts the rise of open access, copyleft, and other ideologies that have come to challenge protectionist IP policies. Peters also breaks down the government’s case against Swartz and explains how we reached the point where federally funded academic research came to be considered private property, and downloading that material in bulk came to be considered a federal crime. The Idealist is an important investigation of the fate of the digital commons in an increasingly corporatized Internet, and an essential look at the impact of the free culture movement on our daily lives and on generations to come.

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    The Idealist

    9.1 hrs • 1/12/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 23.0 hrs • 11/10/2015 • Unabridged

    On the night of July 20, 1969, our world changed forever when two Americans, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, walked on the moon. Now the greatest event of the twentieth century is magnificently retold through the eyes and ears of the people who were there. Based on in-depth interviews with twenty-three of the twenty-four moon voyagers, as well as those who struggled to get the program moving, science journalist Andrew Chaikin’s A Man on the Moon conveys every aspect of the missions with breathtaking immediacy, from the rush of liftoff, to the heart-stopping lunar touchdown, to the final hurdle of reentry. This acclaimed portrait of heroism and ingenuity captures a watershed moment in human history. The astronauts themselves have called Chaikin’s A Man on the Moon the definitive account of their missions.

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    A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin, Tom Hanks

    A Man on the Moon

    23.0 hrs • 11/10/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 3.9 hrs • 11/1/2015 • Unabridged

    The history of computing could be told as the story of hardware and software, or the story of the Internet, or the story of “smart” hand-held devices, with subplots involving IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter. In this concise and accessible account of the invention and development of digital technology, computer historian Paul Ceruzzi offers a broader and more useful perspective. He identifies four major threads that run throughout all of computing’s technological development: digitization—the coding of information, computation, and control in binary form, ones and zeros; the convergence of multiple streams of techniques, devices, and machines, yielding more than the sum of their parts; the steady advance of electronic technology, as characterized famously by Moore’s Law; and the human-machine interface. Ceruzzi guides us through computing history, telling how a Bell Labs mathematician coined the word digital in 1942 (to describe a high-speed method of calculating used in anti-aircraft devices), and recounting the development of the punch card (for use in the 1890 US Census). He describes the ENIAC, built for scientific and military applications; the UNIVAC, the first general purpose computer; and ARPANET, the Internet’s precursor. Ceruzzi’s account traces the world-changing evolution of the computer from a room-size ensemble of machinery to a “minicomputer” to a desktop computer to a pocket-sized smart phone. He describes the development of the silicon chip, which could store ever-increasing amounts of data and enabled ever-decreasing device size. He visits that hotbed of innovation, Silicon Valley, and brings the story up to the present with the Internet, the World Wide Web, and social networking.

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    Computing by Paul E. Ceruzzi
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  7. 11.9 hrs • 8/25/2015 • Unabridged

    As robots are increasingly integrated into modern society—on the battlefield and the road, in business, education, and health—Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times science writer John Markoff searches for an answer to one of the most important questions of our age: Will these robots help us … or will they replace us? At the dawn of the modern computer era, two Pentagon-financed laboratories began researching artificial intelligence. At one facility, a small group of scientists and engineers worked to recreate the human mind, while at the other, a similar group worked to augment it. For the past four decades, the dichotomy between artificial intelligence and intelligence augmentation (AI versus IA) has been at the heart of the revolution in computing science. Now, as the pace of technological change continues to accelerate, automated systems are confronting their designers with fundamental moral choices that have emerged too quickly for society to weigh their consequences. In Machines of Loving Grace, New York Times reporter John Markoff, who was the first reporter to describe the World Wide Web, explores this issue. Markoff travels across the country, from the brain trusts in Palo Alto and Silicon Valley to the expanding tech corridor between Boston—home of MIT—and New York, the latest incubator for future tech development. He evaluates the present state of the AI versus IA debate; goes deep inside the science-fiction worlds of Battlestar Galactica, Terminator, and the Jetsons, which are fast becoming a reality; and talks to the insiders—scientists, entrepreneurs, ethicists, hackers, and others—who are shaping the future. The result is an incisive and chilling look at our lives today—and what may come tomorrow.

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    Machines of Loving Grace

    11.9 hrs • 8/25/15 • Unabridged
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  8. 24.4 hrs • 5/1/2015 • Unabridged

    Our world today—from the phone in your pocket to the car that you drive, the allure of social media to the strategy of the Pentagon—has been shaped irrevocably by the technology of silicon transistors. Year after year, for half a century, these tiny switches have enabled ever-more startling capabilities. Their incredible proliferation has altered the course of human history as dramatically as any political or social revolution. At the heart of it all has been one quiet Californian: Gordon Moore. At Fairchild Semiconductor, his seminal Silicon Valley startup, Moore—a young chemist turned electronics entrepreneur—had the defining insight: silicon transistors, and microchips made of them, could make electronics profoundly cheap and immensely powerful. Microchips could double in power, then redouble again in clockwork fashion. History has borne out this insight, which we now call “Moore’s Law”, and Moore himself, having recognized it, worked endlessly to realize his vision. With Moore’s technological leadership at Fairchild and then at his second start-up, the Intel Corporation, the law has held for fifty years. The result is profound: from the days of enormous, clunky computers of limited capability to our new era, in which computers are placed everywhere from inside of our bodies to the surface of Mars. Moore led nothing short of a revolution. In Moore’s Law, Arnold Thackray, David C. Brock, and Rachel Jones give the authoritative account of Gordon Moore’s life and his role in the development both of Silicon Valley and the transformative technologies developed there. Told by a team of writers with unparalleled access to Moore, his family, and his contemporaries, this is the human story of a man and a career that have had almost superhuman effects. The history of twentieth-century technology is littered with overblown “revolutions.” Moore’s Law is essential reading for anyone seeking to learn what a real revolution looks like.

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    Moore’s Law

    24.4 hrs • 5/1/15 • Unabridged
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  9. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    5.4 hrs • 3/24/2015 • Unabridged

    From the author of A History of the World in 6 Glasses comes the fascinating story about the invention of the telegraph and how it’s impact a century ago is similar to the Internet’s today. The Victorian Internet tells the colorful story of the telegraph’s creation and remarkable impact and of the visionaries, oddballs, and eccentrics who pioneered it, from the eighteenth-century French scientist Jean-Antoine Nollet to Samuel F. B. Morse and Thomas Edison. The electric telegraph nullified distance and shrank the world quicker and further than ever before or since, and its story mirrors and predicts that of the Internet in numerous ways.

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    The Victorian Internet

    Foreword by Vinton Cerf
    5.4 hrs • 3/24/15 • Unabridged
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  10. 13.5 hrs • 3/10/2015 • Unabridged

    A thrilling drama of man versus nature—detailing the fierce, ongoing fight against the mightiest and unlikeliest enemy: rust. It has been called “the great destroyer” and “the evil.” The Pentagon refers to it as “the pervasive menace.” It destroys cars, fells bridges, sinks ships, sparks house fires, and nearly brought down the Statue of Liberty. Rust costs America more than $400 billion per year—more than all other natural disasters combined. In Rust, journalist Jonathan Waldman travels from Key West, Florida, to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to meet the colorful and often reclusive people concerned with corrosion. He sneaks into an abandoned steelworks with a brave artist and nearly gets kicked out of Can School. Across the Arctic he follows a massive high-tech robot, hunting for rust in the Alaska pipeline. On a Florida film set he meets the Defense Department’s rust ambassador, who reveals that the navy’s number one foe isn’t a foreign country but oxidation itself. At Home Depot’s mothership in Atlanta, he hunts unsuccessfully for rust products with the store’s rust products buyer—and then tracks down some snake-oil salesmen whose potions are not for sale at the Rust Store. Along the way, Waldman encounters flying pigs, Trekkies, decapitations, exploding Coke cans, rust boogers, and nerdy superheroes. The result is a fresh and often funny account of an overlooked engineering endeavor that is as compelling as it is grand, illuminating a hidden phenomenon that shapes the modern world. Rust affects everything from the design of our currency to the composition of our tap water, and it will determine the legacy we leave on this planet. This exploration of corrosion, and the incredible lengths we go to fight it, is narrative nonfiction at its very best—a fascinating and important subject delivered with energy and wit.

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    Rust

    13.5 hrs • 3/10/15 • Unabridged
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  11. 9.9 hrs • 1/21/2015 • Unabridged

    If you’ve replaced a computer lately—or a cell phone, a camera, a television—chances are, the old one still worked. And chances are even greater that the latest model won’t last as long as the one it replaced. Welcome to the world of planned obsolescence—a business model, a way of life, and a uniquely American invention that this eye-opening book explores from its beginnings to its perilous implications for the very near future. Made to Break is a history of twentieth-century technology as seen through the prism of obsolescence. America invented everything that is now disposable, Giles Slade tells us, and he explains how disposability was in fact a necessary condition for America’s rejection of tradition and our acceptance of change and impermanence. His book shows us the ideas behind obsolescence at work in such American milestones as the inventions of branding, packaging, and advertising; the contest for market dominance between GM and Ford; the struggle for a national communications network, the development of electronic technologies—and with it the avalanche of electronic consumer waste that will overwhelm America’s landfills and poison its water within the coming decade. History reserves a privileged place for those societies that built things to last—forever, if possible. What place will it hold for a society addicted to consumption—a whole culture made to break? This book gives us a detailed and harrowing picture of how, by choosing to support ever-shorter product lives we may well be shortening the future of our way of life as well.

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    Made to Break

    9.9 hrs • 1/21/15 • Unabridged
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  12. 1 reviews 0 5 4.9 4 out of 5 stars 4.9/5 (1)
    5.1 hrs • 12/9/2014 • Unabridged

    In sharply argued, fast-moving chapters, Cory Doctorow’s Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free takes on the state of copyright and creative success in the digital age. Can small artists still thrive in the Internet era? Can giant record labels avoid alienating their audiences? This is a book about the pitfalls and the opportunities that creative industries (and individuals) are confronting today. An essential read for anyone with a stake in the future of the arts, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free offers a vivid guide to the ways creativity and the Internet interact today, and to what might be coming next.

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    Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free by Cory Doctorow

    Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free

    Forewords by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer
    Read by Wil Wheaton
    5.1 hrs • 12/9/14 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4.9 4 out of 5 stars 4.9/5 (1)
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  13. 1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
    17.5 hrs • 10/7/2014 • Unabridged

    Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail? In his masterly saga, Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J. C. R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page. This is the story of how their minds worked and what made them so inventive. It’s also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative. For an era that seeks to foster innovation, creativity, and teamwork, The Innovators shows how they happen.

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    The Innovators

    17.5 hrs • 10/7/14 • Unabridged
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  14. 8.8 hrs • 10/7/2014 • Abridged

    Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail? In his masterly saga, Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J. C. R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page. This is the story of how their minds worked and what made them so inventive. It’s also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative. For an era that seeks to foster innovation, creativity, and teamwork, The Innovators shows how they happen.

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    The Innovators

    8.8 hrs • 10/7/14 • Abridged
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  15. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    13.0 hrs • 10/15/2013 • Unabridged

    The definitive story of Amazon.com, one of the most successful companies in the world, and of its driven, brilliant founder, Jeff Bezos Amazon.com started off delivering books through the mail. But its visionary founder, Jeff Bezos, wasn’t content with being a bookseller. He wanted Amazon to become the everything store, offering limitless selection and seductive convenience at disruptively low prices. To do so, he developed a corporate culture of relentless ambition and secrecy that’s never been cracked—until now. Brad Stone enjoyed unprecedented access to current and former Amazon employees and Bezos family members, giving readers the first in-depth, fly-on-the-wall account of life at Amazon. Compared to tech’s other elite innovators—Jobs, Gates, Zuckerberg—Bezos is a private man. But he stands out for his restless pursuit of new markets, leading Amazon into risky new ventures like the Kindle and cloud computing, and transforming retail in the same way Henry Ford revolutionized manufacturing. The Everything Store will be the revealing, definitive biography of the company that placed one of the first and largest bets on the Internet and forever changed the way we shop and read.

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    The Everything Store

    13.0 hrs • 10/15/13 • Unabridged
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  16. 12.5 hrs • 12/12/2011 • Unabridged

    A man-made wonder, a connective network, an economic force, a bringer of blight and sprawl and the possibility of escape—the US interstate system transformed America. The Big Roads presents the surprising history of how we got from dirt tracks to expressways in the space of a single lifetime. Earl Swift brings to light the visionaries who created these essential highways as well as the critics and citizens who questioned their headlong expansion throughout the country, including:Carl Fisher, the irrepressible car-racing entrepreneur who spurred the push for good roads in the early years of the automobile, built the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and made a fortune creating Miami Beach, only to lose it all;Thomas MacDonald, chief among a handful of driven engineers who conceived of the interstates and how they would work, years before President Eisenhower knew the plans existed;Lewis Mumford, the critic whose crusade against America’s budding love affair with the automobile—and the ever bigger roads it required—now seems prescient;Joe Wiles, an African American family man turned activist, one of thousands of ordinary citizens in dozens of cities who found their homes and communities targeted by the concrete juggernaut—and were unwilling to be uprooted in the name of progress. In mapping a fascinating route through the dreams, discoveries, and protests that shaped these mighty roads, Swift shows that the interstates embody the wanderlust, grand scale, and conflicting notions of citizenship that define America.

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    The Big Roads

    12.5 hrs • 12/12/11 • Unabridged
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