Books shelved under “Technology”

37 reviews found

  1. Book cover for Bad Blood

    Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

    by John Carreyrou

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I’ve been watching a lot of Dragons’ Den lately. It’s good TV, and it’s easy to watch bits and pieces of an episode at a time while eating breakfast or taking a break from other tasks. As entertaining and soapy as the show can be, it’s also a disturbing reflection of how capitalism pervades our society. In an episode I recently watched, the Dragons went gaga over a chiropractor peddling a spray that purportedly improved…

  2. Book cover for The Reality Bubble

    The Reality Bubble: Blind Spots, Hidden Truths, and the Dangerous Illusions That Shape Our World

    by Ziya Tong

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I love reading science fiction, and you might expect me to open this review with an encomium of how science fiction helps us imagine a way into a better future. But no. One of the reasons I love science fiction is for how it asks us to truly confront our assumptions about the way things are, and whether that’s inevitable.

    So many science fiction stories involving artificial intelligence place that intelligence into humanoid or human-like…

  3. Book cover for Blood, Sweat, and Pixels

    Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made

    by Jason Schreier

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I love behind-the-scenes looks at industries that we don’t often think about. Whether you’re buying a game in the store or downloading it from Steam, chances are you aren’t that knowledgeable about what the game development industry is actually like. Oh, you might have read some horror stories on Reddit, heard some of the gossip going back and forth on gaming blogs. Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are

  4. Book cover for Hello World

    Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms

    by Hannah Fry

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Algorithms are increasingly an important part of our lives, yet even as more of us become aware of this, how much do we actually stop to consider what that means? How much do we stop to consider who is designing these algorithms and how they actually work? And why are we willing to give up so much control to them in the first place? Hello World is a short tour through the various ways in…

  5. Book cover for No One at the Wheel

    No One at the Wheel: Driverless Cars and the Road of the Future

    by Samuel I. Schwartz

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Self-driving cars, or more broadly, autonomous vehicles (AVs) are really cool. I’m excited to see them become a reality. Nevertheless, there is a lot of hype around this topic. It seems like most of what I read about the subject comes from someone connected to the tech industry or the auto industry (or both), and that always makes me suspicious. No One at the Wheel: Driverless Cars and the Road of the Future is a…

  6. Book cover for Broad Band

    Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet

    by Claire L. Evans

    5 out of 5 stars

    Updated | Reviewed

    Every so often, you read a non-fiction book that just speaks to you, that sticks with you because it’s not just informative but because it fits your level of background knowledge and expands your understanding of a topic perfectly. Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet is such a book for me. Claire L. Evans traces the development of the modern Internet from its precursors, the earliest mechanical and electronic…

  7. Book cover for Command and Control

    Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety

    by Eric Schlosser

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This was a birthday gift, along with A Criminal Magic, from my friend Amanda, and I’m just now getting to it—which, especially when it comes to my non-fiction backlog, isn’t actually that bad of a delay! Amanda was just getting to know me at the time, so she picked two books off my to-read list. I’m not sure why I had Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety

  8. Book cover for Weapons of Math Destruction

    Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

    by Cathy O'Neil

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    The profile of the term “Big Data” has risen recently. Yet, like so many buzzwords, people often don’t fully grasp the significance of the term. “Big Data” is more than the nebulous connotation of corporations collecting our information, and perhaps packaging and selling it—although it is that. It is, in fact, about how corporations quantify everything we do, even the information we don’t realize we’re leaking out into the world, and then use that data…

  9. Book cover for Algorithms of Oppression

    Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

    by Safiya Umoja Noble

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So you read So You Want to Talk About Race and now you have more questions. Specifically, you’re wondering how privilege affects your life online. Surely the Internet is the libertarian cyber-utopia we were all promised, right? It’s totally free of bias and discrimina—sorry, I can’t even write that with a straight face.

    Of course the Internet is a flaming cesspool of racism and misogyny. We can’t have good things.

    What Safiya Umoja Noble sets…

  10. Book cover for Crash Override

    Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate

    by Zoe Quinn

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Watching GamerGate unfold from the outside and listening to Zoë Quinn describe it in her own words are two very different things. Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate is more than a memoir; it’s a comprehensive dissection of a flawed facet of the Internet. I read it not just because I wanted to hear Quinn’s account of what happened but understand, from the…

  11. Book cover for The Physics of Everyday Things

    The Physics of Everyday Things: The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day

    by James Kakalios

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I really loved James Kakalios’ The Physics of Superheroes, so I jumped at the chance to get his new book, The Physics of Everyday Things, when it became available on NetGalley. The Physics of Superheroes was such an engaging way to look at physics! I was intrigued by this new concept, the idea that Kakalios would teach us physics while stepping through a single person’s ordinary daily activities. However, the tone and conceptual…

  12. Book cover for Hidden Figures

    Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

    by Margot Lee Shetterly

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    No, but seriously, did you expect anything less of a rating from me? This book is kickass. It is literally everything I have wanted in a science history book for a while.

    Hidden Figures details the lives and achievements of the Black women who worked first as computers, then as mathematicians and engineers, for NACA (the National Advisory Committee of Aeronautics) and its successor, NASA. Margot Lee Shetterly pulls back the curtain on an aspect…

  13. Book cover for Haters

    Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online

    by Bailey Poland

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Oh man, I did not pick the right time to start reading Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online (yay Oxford comma!). I started this two days before the American Election Day, and then after those results, I just had to kind of … put it down a bit. I was planning to read it over a week or so, because like Indigenous Writes, this is an academic-but-accessible book about some heavy stuff, and reading…

  14. Book cover for Technocreep

    Technocreep: The Surrender of Privacy and the Capitalization of Intimacy

    by Thomas P. Keenan

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    The feedback cycle that exists between technology and society is an interesting one. I took a Philosophy of Science course in university, and one of our two textbooks discussed the “evolution” of technology and whether it is accurate to say that certain technological innovations are inevitable consequences of previous ones. While I agreed with the book’s author when he dismisses technological development as deterministic, it is so interesting to see how a society’s response to…

  15. Book cover for Data Love

    Data Love: The Seduction and Betrayal of Digital Technologies

    by Roberto Simanowski

    1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    There is a school of thought rising in popularity which wants coding to become a mandatory subject in schools. I have some thoughts on this, but that is neither here nor there for this review. Rather, it’s just interesting that for all the talk of teaching kids to code because it will lead to “better jobs”, there isn’t much emphasis on teaching about the way Big Data is redefining our lives. From data mining…

  16. Book cover for Coding Freedom

    Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking

    by E. Gabriella Coleman

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I’ve been “online” for almost eleven years now. I started learning to write HTML, which was my first foray into anything resembling programming, almost immediately after I became interested in using the Internet. My introduction to free/open-source software (F/OSS) was gradual, so it’s hard to pinpoint a particular project or ethos that inculcated me into that hacker culture. For the longest time I rolled my own code religiously, either oblivious to or uninterested in the…

  17. Book cover for Kitten Clone

    Kitten Clone: Inside Alcatel-Lucent

    by Douglas Coupland

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    “The year is 1871. You are French and you are about to fondle a kitten.” Douglas Coupland has a talent for opening lines that are both funny and contextual. Kitten Clone: Inside Alcatel-Lucent opens with a whimsical story about a Frenchman going to work for the engineering company that eventually contributes some “corporate DNA” to one of the largest telecommunications company on Earth. As the technical first sentence of this book (in its introduction) asserts,…

  18. Book cover for The Organized Mind

    The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight In The Age Of Information Overload

    by Daniel J. Levitin

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I first heard about this book when Daniel Levitin appeared on a Spark episode to talk about organization. I recommend you follow the link and listen to the interview; his examples are pretty much straight from the book, so it should give you a good idea of whether or not to read this. I mentioned the book to my friend Rebecca, because it seemed like she would be interested in it. Lo and behold, she…

  19. Book cover for And Then There's This

    And Then There's This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture

    by Bill Wasik

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    The first viral marketing campaign, and the most successful to come to mind, that I remember is the Old Spice video response campaign from 2010. I first heard about it on Twitter, and in no time at all I was enthralled by the hilarious, personalized videos the Old Spice team was producing in response to commenters. True, the marketing firm behind the campaign admits they purchased a promoted trend on Twitter to get the ball…

  20. Book cover for This Machine Kills Secrets

    This Machine Kills Secrets: Julian Assange, the Cypherpunks, and Their Fight to Empower Whistleblowers

    by Andy Greenberg

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I read this book on my flight back to England (the second one, since I missed the first one by that much). The plane is one of those newer models that has entertainment units in the back of every seat, and to my surprise they had different movies on offer from those available when I flew back to Canada a few weeks ago. One of those movies was The Fifth Estate, which also tells…

  21. Book cover for Ghost in the Wires

    Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker

    by Kevin D. Mitnick

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    For most people, computers are magic. Which is to say, they are technology sufficiently advanced to the point of mystification. I include myself in this camp, for despite my comfort with computers and my fluency in programming, a great deal of mystery still surrounds them. With the emergence of the Internet into the public sphere and the rise of the Web, computers and the phone system are now fundamentally intertwined, and vast swathes of our…

  22. Book cover for Physics of the Impossible

    Physics of the Impossible

    by Michio Kaku

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I was never promised a flying car.

    What I mean to say is that my generation was never the generation of flying cars. We grew up knowing better. It’s been seventy years since we started breaking open atomic nuclei to harness their incredible capacity for destruction and creation, and we are still sucking fossilized plants from the bowels of the Earth and lighting it on fire as fuel. My parents grew up watching men go…

  23. Book cover for The Universe Within

    The Universe Within

    by Neil Turok

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Certain things just make Canadian public broadcasting awesome, and the Massey Lectures are one shining example. For one week, since 1961, with a few exceptions, CBC radio has broadcast annual lectures on a topic from philosophy or culture by notable figures. These lectures now get published in book format. Douglas Coupland’s most recent novel, Player One, is an adaptation of the lectures he gave in 2010. Now Neil Turok, a noted physicist and current…

  24. Book cover for Longitude

    Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

    by Dava Sobel

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I take GPS for granted. I don’t use it that much personally, because I don’t tend to go anywhere, but I’m sure all this technology I love to use makes use of GPS. Thanks to GPS, we can forget that calculating longitude without the help of a network of satellites is difficult and requires great mathematical and engineering expertise. GPS might not be great at giving directions, but that doesn’t mean you’re lost.

    In the…

  25. Book cover for The Pearly Gates Of Cyberspace

    The Pearly Gates Of Cyberspace: A History Of Space From Dante To The Internet

    by Margaret Wertheim

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Space is a difficult word to pin down. Colloquially, it probably conjures images of stars and supernovae, Jupiter and Saturn and Mars, and the shuttle hanging against the backdrop of clouds and the horn of Africa. It is—or was—the Space Age, when we were supposed to go forth and colonize the stars. It didn’t work out that way, but our association of the word with “not of Earth” continues. Space can also refer to a…

  26. Book cover for Macrowikinomics

    Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World

    by Don Tapscott

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Full disclosure: I received this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Loves me the free books.

    In Wikinomics, Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams argue that the Internet has irrevocably altered the way corporations and businesses will interact and develop new products and services. The proprietary, closed models of research and design are obsolete and must be replaced by mass collaboration with outside talent. Companies that do not embrace this new ethic of…

  27. Book cover for Wikinomics

    Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything

    by Don Tapscott

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Full disclosure: I received this book for free, though it was on my to-read list already.

    I first heard about Don Tapscott on CBC's Spark, where Nora Young interviewed him about the Net Generation and "digital natives." They also have an interview about MacroWikinomics, the sequel to Wikinomics, which I will be reading soon.

    Tapscott intrigued me. According to Wikipedia, he was born in 1947. Yet he talks about the effects of…

  28. Book cover for Next Generation Democracy

    Next Generation Democracy: What the Open-Source Revolution Means for Power, Politics, and Change

    by Jared Duval

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Full disclosure: I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. Loves me the free books.

    I won this book before the 18-day demonstration in Tahrir Square began, but the events in Egypt (and across the Middle East) were foremost in mind as I read this book. In high school, I learned about democracy in an incredibly idealized, abstract way. It is something born one or two centuries ago, something synonymous with freedom, involving…

  29. Book cover for HTML5 for Web Designers

    HTML5 for Web Designers

    by Jeremy Keith

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I am very excited for HTML5. My experience with web design began in March 2004. I was young(er than I am now), and I decided to make a personal website on GeoCities. It was a gaudy affair that reflected my lack of design skills and made use of notorious elements like . In the years that followed, I learned about web standards and accessibility. Now my websites still reflect a lack of design skills,…

  30. Book cover for A Short History of Nearly Everything

    A Short History of Nearly Everything

    by Bill Bryson

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Third Review: March 5, 2019

    Has it really been nearly 9 years since I re-read this? No. But I guess it has. A Short History of Nearly Everything is one of those formative books that has stuck with me for a long, long time.

    I have little to add to this review. I thought I had lots to say, but re-reading my review from 2010 below … I already said it there. I was going…

  31. Book cover for The Physics of Superheroes

    The Physics of Superheroes: Spectacular Second Edition

    by James Kakalios

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I must confess that, as a kid and an adolescent, I never shared the ardour for comic books many of my peers did. I collected Archie comics and read the odd Superman comic, but that was about it. So unlike most, who come for the superheroes, I came to The Physics of Superheroes for the physics.

    As an aspiring teacher, I love to hear about new ways of teaching difficult or boring topics to students.…

  32. Book cover for Free

    Free: The Future of a Radical Price

    by Chris Anderson

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    At the beginning of Free, Chris Anderson presents a generalized dichotomy toward "Free." Some—mostly the older users—are suspicious of Free and insist they will have to pay somewhere down the line. Many younger users, on the other hand, think that Free, on the Internet at least, is a truism. Anderson says his goal is to convince us that neither camp has it completely right and that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

    This…

  33. Book cover for Wired for War

    Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century

    by P.W. Singer

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    The first time I had ever seen, let alone heard of, a Predator drone is from the episode "Chuck vs. the Predator" of the NBC television series Chuck (the drone actually appearing in that episode was a Reaper, the Predator's even deadlier successor). Before the Predator's appearance, I had no inkling of the extent to which the American military—indeed, any country's military—has integrated unmanned and robotic devices into its forces. Maybe I just don't read…

  34. Book cover for The Evolution of Technology

    The Evolution of Technology

    by George Basalla

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    History is more than just a series of events happening in sequence. So many history books focus on discussing their subject matter as a series of chronological events, however, so books that flout this convention always feel the need to warn us. This is what George Basalla does in The Evolution of Technology. At the same time as he reassures us that this is an historical account of how technology develops, he dispels any…

  35. Book cover for Remix

    Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy

    by Lawrence Lessig

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I'd recommend Remix to anyone who creates content, whether as part of their day job or simply as a hobby in their basement. Lawrence Lessig takes the complicated issues surrounding modern copyright and explains them in terms laypeople can comprehend. Moreover, he makes a compelling argument from an economic standpoint as to why less copyright could lead to more profit.

    My favourite quotation from this book is:

    Copyright law has got to give up its

  36. Book cover for The Numerati

    The Numerati

    by Stephen Baker

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I agree with those reviewers who found this book somewhat less awesome than they initially anticipated. Coming from a math background, and as surrounded by technology as I am, I think that the book would have had more of an impact with me if I knew less about these issues already. And that's why I'm giving it such a high rating: it does a good job educating, and I like that in a book.

    Stephen…

  37. Book cover for The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It

    The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It

    by Jonathan L. Zittrain

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This was a very fascinating book. Some of the technical language may be new to a reader who is not already knowledgeable on computers and networking. Beyond the vocabulary, however, the book is accessible to newcomers to the field. Zittrain writes with an open invitation to discuss, talking with the reader rather than lecturing the reader. He admits that he does not have all the answers to the rather large problems the Internet faces. On…