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Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture

December 27, 2013

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Author:
Erez Aiden, Jean-Baptiste Michel
Publisher:
Riverhead Hardcover (2013)

“One of the most exciting developments from the world of ideas in decades, presented with panache by two frighteningly brilliant, endearingly unpretentious, and endlessly creative young scientists.” — Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature

Our society has gone from writing snippets of information by hand to generating a vast flood of 1s and 0s that record almost every aspect of our lives: who we know,… read more

Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities

April 1, 2014

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Author:
Kevin Kelly
Publisher:
Cool Tools Lab (2013)

Cool Tools is a highly curated selection of the best tools available for individuals and small groups. Tools include hand tools, maps, how-to books, vehicles, software, specialized devices, gizmos, websites — and anything useful. Tools are selected and presented in the book if they are the best of kind, the cheapest, or the only thing available that will do the job. This is an oversized book which reviews over… read more

Neutrino Hunters: The Thrilling Chase for a Ghostly Particle to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe

January 7, 2014

book-neutrino-hunters

Author:
Ray Jayawardhana
Publisher:
Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2013)

A Publisher’s Weekly Best Science Book of the Season

An Amazon Best Book of the Month

A Book to Watch Out For in December, The New Yorker’s Page—Turner Blog

A Los Angeles Times Gift Guide Selection

One of the Best Physics Books of 2013, Cocktail Party Physics Blog, Scientific American

Detective thriller meets astrophysics in this adventure into neutrinos and the… read more

Humanity Enhanced: Genetic Choice and the Challenge for Liberal Democracies

January 30, 2014

HumanityEnhanced

Author:
Russell Blackford
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2013)

Emerging biotechnologies that manipulate human genetic material have drawn a chorus of objections from politicians, pundits, and scholars. In Humanity Enhanced, Russell Blackford eschews the heated rhetoric that surrounds genetic enhancement technologies to examine them in the context of liberal thought, discussing the public policy issues they raise from legal and political perspectives.

Some see the possibility of genetic choice as challenging the values of liberal democracy. Blackford… read more

America’s Space Futures: Defining Goals for Space Exploration

January 22, 2014

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Author:
Eric R. Sterner
Publisher:
BookBaby (2013)

America’s Space Futures is an important contribution to the ongoing debate about space policy, the American space program, and the human destiny in space.

It lays out alternative paradigms and frameworks for assessing America’s future in space and how different visions would require changes to America’s current approach to space development and exploration.

Since the end of the Apollo program in the 1970s, the U.S. civil space… read more

Nanomedical Device and Systems Design: Challenges, Possibilities, Visions

May 1, 2013

Nanomedical Device and Systems Design

Author:
Frank Boehm
Publisher:
CRC Press (2013)

This unique book addresses issues pertaining to nanomedical devices and systems design in terms of challenges, possibilities, and future vision. It examines what it takes to design, fabricate, and functionalize autonomous micron-scale, robotic medical devices (having nanometric-scale components) and what perceived hurdles must be overcome to foster their development and implementation. The book investigates device deployment and recovery strategies, as well as protocols for their safe and failsafe operation… read more

Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs

December 14, 2013

"Open Source Lab," a new book by Michigan Tech's Joshua Pearce, is a guide to help researchers slash the cost of doing science by making their own lab equipment.

Author:
Joshua M. Pearce
Publisher:
Elsevier (2013)

Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Scientific Research Costs details the development of the free and open-source hardware revolution. The combination of open-source 3D printing and microcontrollers running on free software enables scientists, engineers, and lab personnel in every discipline to develop powerful research tools at unprecedented low costs. After reading Open-Source Lab, you will be able to:

- Lower equipment costs by making your… read more

Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution

October 8, 2013

DogFight

Author:
Fred Vogelstein
Publisher:
Sarah Crichton Books (2013)

Behind the bitter rivalry between Apple and Google—and how it’s reshaping the way we think about technology

The rise of smartphones and tablets has altered the business of making computers. At the center of this change are Apple and Google, two companies whose philosophies, leaders, and commercial acumen have steamrolled the competition. In the age of the Android and the iPad, these corporations are locked in a feud that will play… read more

The Gap: The Science of What Separates Us from Other Animals

June 2, 2014

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Author:
Thomas Suddendorf
Publisher:
Basic Books (2013)

There exists an undeniable chasm between the capacities of humans and those of animals. Our minds have spawned civilizations and technologies that have changed the face of the Earth, whereas even our closest animal relatives sit unobtrusively in their dwindling habitats. Yet despite longstanding debates, the nature of this apparent gap has remained unclear. What exactly is the difference between our minds and theirs?

In The Gap, psychologist… read more

Pardon the Disruption: The Future You Never Saw Coming

December 18, 2013

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Author:
Clayton R. Rawlings, James Randall Smith, Rob Bencini
Publisher:
Wasteland Press (2013)

Pardon The Disruption high-lights the exponential advances in technology that have disrupted the legal system and the economy over time – but those changes will pale in comparison to what is about to occur! The book is written in two parts: the first part discusses the effect – past and projected future – on the legal system; the second part, on the economy. The two come together in a conclusive… read more

The Bequeathal: Godsent

November 27, 2013

THE bequeathal godsent

Author:
Zoran Jevtic
Publisher:
Netherworld Books (2013)

About The Bequeathal: Godsent. In a post-crash, rebooted world, Eugene Reece is one of the billions of pre-indebted citizens whose lives are augmented by the virtualized intellects of the deceased. If anything, his stats tag him average, though a notch more disillusioned and a degree less spirited than the next, permanently connected individual but his surplus dose of ironic self-derision makes him slightly discrepant.

The tedium of Eugene’s drudge… read more

Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life

September 23, 2013

venter_life_speed_light_book

Author:
J. Craig Venter
Publisher:
Viking Adult (2013)

The renowned scientist and author of A Life Decoded examines the creation of life in the new field of synthetic genomics.

In 2010, scientists led by J. Craig Venter became the first to successfully create “synthetic life”— putting humankind at the threshold of the most important and exciting phase of biological research, one that will enable us to actually write the genetic code for designing new species to help… read more

Smart Machines: IBM’s Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing

October 18, 2013

Smart machines

Author:
John E. Kelly III, Steve Hamm
Publisher:
Columbia University Press (2013)

We are crossing a new frontier in the evolution of computing and entering the era of cognitive systems. The victory of IBM’s Watson on the television quiz show Jeopardy! revealed how scientists and engineers at IBM and elsewhere are pushing the boundaries of science and technology to create machines that sense, learn, reason, and interact with people in new ways to provide insight and advice.

In Smart Machines, John E. Kelly… read more

Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence

October 30, 2013

Hardwiring Happiness

Author:
Rick Hanson
Publisher:
Harmony (2013)

Why is it easier to ruminate over hurt feelings than it is to bask in the warmth of being appreciated?

Because your brain evolved to learn quickly from bad experiences but slowly from the good ones.

You can change this.

Hardwiring Happiness lays out a simple method that uses the hidden power of everyday experiences to build new neural structures full of happiness, love, confidence, and… read more

Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect

July 9, 2013

Social Why Our brains are wired to connect

Author:
Matthew D. Lieberman
Publisher:
Crown (2013)

We are profoundly social creatures – more than we know.

In Social, renowned psychologist Matthew Lieberman explores groundbreaking research in social neuroscience revealing that our need to connect with other people is even more fundamental, more basic, than our need for food or shelter.  Because of this, our brain uses its spare time to learn about the social world – other people and our relation to them. It is… read more

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