A technology book recommendation: The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia’s Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries by Andrei Soldatov

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2cCJLql.
Soldatov and Borogan are Russia’s foremost experts on Putin’s security services and the founders of the website Agentura.ru. At a time when investigative journalism is practically extinct in Russia they have courageously kept going.
Book description from Google Books:
Half of Russia’s email traffic passes through an ordinary-looking building in an otherwise residential district of South West Moscow. On the eighth floor, in here a room occupied by the FSB, the successor organization to the KGB, is a box the size of a VHS player, marked SORM. SORM once intercepted just phone calls. Now it monitors emails, internet usage, Skype, and all social networks. It is the world’s most intrusive listening device, and it is the Russian Government’s front line for the battle of the future of the internet.Drawn from scores of interviews personally conducted with numerous prominent officials in in the ministry of communications and web-savvy activists challenging the state, Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan’s fearless investigative reporting inThe Red Web is both harrowing and alarming. They explain the long and storied history of Russian advanced surveillance systems, from research laboratories in Soviet era labor camps to the legalization of government monitoring of all telephone and internet communications in 1995.But for every hacker subcontracted by the FSB to interfere with Russia’s antagonists abroadsuch as those who in a massive Denial of Service attack overwhelmed the entire internet in neighboring Estoniathere is a radical or an opportunist who is using the web to chip away at the power of the state at home. Empowered by communication enabled by social media, a community of activists, editors, programmers and others are finding ways to challenge abusive state powers online. Alexei Navalny used his LiveJournal to expose political corruption in Russian, and gained a viral following after attacking Putin’s party of crooks and thieves.” Grigory Melkonyants, deputy director of the nation’s only independent election watchdog organization, developed a visual that tracked and mapped voter fraud across the country. And on December 10th, 2011 50,000 people crowded Bolotnaya Square to protest United Russia and its lawless practices. Twenty-four-year-old Ilya Klishin had used Facebook to spark the largest organized demonstration in Moscow since the dying days of the Soviet Union.The internet in Russia is either the most efficient totalitarian tool or the very device by which totalitarianism will be overthrown. Perhaps both. The Red Web exposes how easily a free global exchange can be splintered coerced into becoming a tool of geopolitical warfare. Without much-needed activism or regulation, the Internet will no longer be a safe and egalitarian public forumbut instead a site Balkanized and policed to suit the interests and agendas of the world’s most hostile governments.
The book is rated 3.89/5 at goodreads.com, from 179 ratings. See 26 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1NgIwch.
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A technology book recommendation: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 10 by Jeff Kinney

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1LGDMbX.
In short this is a book I could this read over and over again and not be bored and I hope you would too!
Book description from Google Books:
Life was better in the old days. Or was it? That’s the question Greg Heffley is asking as his town voluntarily unplugs and goes electronics-free. But modern life has its conveniences, and Greg isn’t cut out for an old-fashioned world. With tension building inside and outside the Heffley home, will Greg find a way to survive? Or is going “old school” just too hard for a kid like Greg?
The book is rated 4.28/5 at goodreads.com, from 17731 ratings. See 1847 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1QfpZyz.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2umayk8.

A technology book recommendation: Genes and the Bioimaginary: Science, Spectacle, Culture by Deborah Lynn Steinberg

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1PfECAZ.
Steinberg not only questions the impacts of scientific research but the social conditions and cultural context that make it persuasive. In doing so she opens up fascinating discussions about not just the politics of science, but the purpose of it as a field. It is for this reason this book is worth reading.
Book description from Google Books:
Genes and the Bioimaginary reflects on the rise and cultural apotheosis of the gene, examining the ‘genetification’ of culture and shedding light on emergence of the gene at the intersection of science and culture and as a product of science as culture. Employing a distinctive array of interdisciplinary analytic tools, it explores the rise of the gene in several respects: as a site of knowledge production crossing boundaries between the clinical-scientific and the popular; as a gateway technology and locus of transforming bioethical values and modes of bodily governance; and as site of spectacle, projective fantasy and attachment.
The book is rated 4.00/5 at goodreads.com, from 1 ratings.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2ttwP02.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A technology book recommendation: The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future by Gretchen Bakke Ph.D.

A critic review (source National Post arts) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2cMSMzM.
For those reading these words on a computer screen or by the glow of an electric lamp, The Grid throws a welcome light onto the the systems of power generation and distribution that make our society possible.
Book description from Google Books:
America’s electrical grid, an engineering triumph of the twentieth century, is turning out to be a poor fit for the present. It’s not just that the grid has grown old and is now in dire need of basic repair. Today, as we invest great hope in new energy sources–solar, wind, and other alternatives–the grid is what stands most firmly in the way of a brighter energy future. If we hope to realize this future, we need to re-imagine the grid according to twenty-first-century values. It’s a project which forces visionaries to work with bureaucrats, legislators with storm-flattened communities, moneymen with hippies, and the left with the right. And though it might not yet be obvious, this revolution is already well under way.Cultural anthropologist Gretchen Bakke unveils the many facets of America’s energy infrastructure, its most dynamic moments and its most stable ones, and its essential role in personal and national life. The grid, she argues, is an essentially American artifact, one which developed with us: a product of bold expansion, the occasional foolhardy vision, some genius technologies, and constant improvisation. Most of all, her focus is on how Americans are changing the grid right now, sometimes with gumption and big dreams and sometimes with legislation or the brandishing of guns.The Grid tells–entertainingly, perceptively–the story of what has been called “the largest machine in the world”: its fascinating history, its problematic present, and its potential role in a brighter, cleaner future.
The book is rated 3.90/5 at goodreads.com, from 723 ratings. See 134 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cMT6hW.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tjJwWR.

A technology book recommendation: Genes and the Bioimaginary: Science, Spectacle, Culture by Deborah Lynn Steinberg

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1PfECAZ.
Steinberg not only questions the impacts of scientific research but the social conditions and cultural context that make it persuasive. In doing so she opens up fascinating discussions about not just the politics of science, but the purpose of it as a field. It is for this reason this book is worth reading.
Book description from Google Books:
Genes and the Bioimaginary reflects on the rise and cultural apotheosis of the gene, examining the ‘genetification’ of culture and shedding light on emergence of the gene at the intersection of science and culture and as a product of science as culture. Employing a distinctive array of interdisciplinary analytic tools, it explores the rise of the gene in several respects: as a site of knowledge production crossing boundaries between the clinical-scientific and the popular; as a gateway technology and locus of transforming bioethical values and modes of bodily governance; and as site of spectacle, projective fantasy and attachment.
The book is rated 4.00/5 at goodreads.com, from 1 ratings.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2ttwP02.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A technology book recommendation: Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil

A critic review (source National Post arts) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2s3iMN2.
O’Neil’s book is an excellent primer on the ethical and moral risks of Big Data and an algorithmically dependent world. It compellingly describes algorithms (and those who use them) behaving badly, and advocates for society to do better.
Book description from Google Books:
Longlisted for the National Book AwardNew York Times Bestseller A former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on the mathematical models that pervade modern life — and threaten to rip apart our social fabric We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives–where we go to school, whether we get a car loan, how much we pay for health insurance–are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated. But as Cathy O’Neil reveals in this urgent and necessary book, the opposite is true. The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and uncontestable, even when they’re wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination: If a poor student can’t get a loan because a lending model deems him too risky (by virtue of his zip code), he’s then cut off from the kind of education that could pull him out of poverty, and a vicious spiral ensues. Models are propping up the lucky and punishing the downtrodden, creating a “toxic cocktail for democracy.” Welcome to the dark side of Big Data. Tracing the arc of a person’s life, O’Neil exposes the black box models that shape our future, both as individuals and as a society. These “weapons of math destruction” score teachers and students, sort r�sum�s, grant (or deny) loans, evaluate workers, target voters, set parole, and monitor our health. O’Neil calls on modelers to take more responsibility for their algorithms and on policy makers to regulate their use. But in the end, it’s up to us to become more savvy about the models that govern our lives. This important book empowers us to ask the tough questions, uncover the truth, and demand change.
The book is rated 3.90/5 at goodreads.com, from 3390 ratings. See 625 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2s3s0sN.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2s3jqKg.

A technology book recommendation: Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2truUs2.
…it is lively, provocative and sure to be another hit among the pooh-bahs. But readers ought to be prepared: Almost every blithe pronouncement Harari makes (that “the free individual is just a fictional tale concocted by an assembly of biochemical algorithms,” for instance) has been the exclusive subject of far more nuanced books…
Book description from Google Books:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.
The book is rated 4.35/5 at goodreads.com, from 11842 ratings. See 1324 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2fmPMtw.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2truUYL.

A technology book recommendation: Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2avPKc1.
There are other books on the subject but Blockchain Revolution is a highly readable introduction to a bamboozling but increasingly important field.
Book description from Google Books:
Finalist for the 2017 National Business Book Award The technology likely to have the greatest impact on the future of the world economy has arrived, and it’s not self-driving cars, solar energy, or artificial intelligence. It’s called the blockchain.   The first generation of the digital revolution brought us the Internet of information. The second genera�tion–powered by blockchain technology–is bringing us the Internet of value: a new, distributed platform that can help us reshape the world of business and transform the old order of human affairs for the better.   Blockchain is the ingeniously simple, revolution�ary protocol that allows transactions to be simul�taneously anonymous and secure by maintaining a tamperproof public ledger of value. Though it’s the technology that drives bitcoin and other digital cur�rencies, the underlying framework has the potential to go far beyond these and record virtually everything of value to humankind, from birth and death certifi�cates to insurance claims and even votes.   Why should you care? Maybe you’re a music lover who wants artists to make a living off their art. Or a consumer who wants to know where that hamburger meat really came from. Perhaps you’re an immigrant who’s sick of paying big fees to send money home to loved ones. Or an entrepreneur looking for a new platform to build a business.   And those examples are barely the tip of the ice�berg. This technology is public, encrypted, and readily available for anyone to use. It’s already seeing wide�spread adoption in a number of areas. For example, forty-two (and counting) of the world’s biggest finan�cial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Credit Suisse, have formed a consortium to investigate the blockchain for speedier and more secure transactions.   As with major paradigm shifts that preceded it, the blockchain will create winners and losers. And while opportunities abound, the risks of disruption and dislocation must not be ignored. Don Tapscott, the bestselling author of Wikinomics, and his son, blockchain expert Alex Tapscott, bring us a brilliantly researched, highly readable, and utterly foundational book about the future of the modern economy. Blockchain Revolution is the business leaders’ playbook for the next decade and beyond.
The book is rated 3.42/5 at goodreads.com, from 727 ratings. See 110 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2avPTwl.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uoWyWV.

A technology book recommendation: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2cL5saG.
Mr. Vance tells the stories of both SpaceX and Tesla with intricacy and insight, often stuffing the technological details, for those who are interested, into long footnotes. We come less close to Mr. Musk himself. Though the author interviewed him for several dozen hours, he remains a remote and somewhat chilly figure…
Book description from Google Books:
In the spirit of Steve Jobs and Moneyball, Elon Musk is both an illuminating and authorized look at the extraordinary life of one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting, unpredictable, and ambitious entrepreneurs—a real-life Tony Stark—and a fascinating exploration of the renewal of American invention and its new “makers.”Elon Musk spotlights the technology and vision of Elon Musk, the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity, who sold one of his Internet companies, PayPal, for $1.5 billion. Ashlee Vance captures the full spectacle and arc of the genius’s life and work, from his tumultuous upbringing in South Africa and flight to the United States to his dramatic technical innovations and entrepreneurial pursuits.Vance uses Musk’s story to explore one of the pressing questions of our age: can the nation of inventors and creators who led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk—one of the most unusual and striking figures in American business history—is a contemporary, visionary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science-fiction fantasy.Thorough and insightful, Elon Musk brings to life a technology industry that is rapidly and dramatically changing by examining the life of one of its most powerful and influential titans.
The book is rated 4.24/5 at goodreads.com, from 72961 ratings. See 3982 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/25qQOWd.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sQgRbF.

A technology book recommendation: We, Robots: Staying Human in the Age of Big Data by Curtis White

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/1ViP4YU.
Discursive, scholarly, and crackling with intensity, We, Robots works best as a jolt of self-awareness, a circuit breaker for the narratives that we often unconsciously allow our lives to follow…
Book description from Google Books:
In the tradition of Jaron Lanier’s You Are Not a Gadget, a rousing, sharply argued–and, yes, inspiring!–reckoning with our blind faith in technology   Can technology solve all our problems? Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, many of our most famous journalists, pundits, and economists seem to think so. According to them, “intelligent machines” and big data will free us from work, educate our children, transform our environment, and even make religion more user-friendly. This is the story they’re telling us: that we should stop worrying and love our robot future. But just because you tell a story over and over again doesn’t make it true. Curtis White, one of our most brilliant and perceptive social critics, knows all about the danger of a seductive story, and in We, Robots, he tangles with the so-called thinkers who are convinced that the future is rose-colored and robotically enhanced. With tremendous erudition and a punchy wit, White argues that we must be skeptical of anyone who tries to sell us on technological inevitability. And he gives us an alternative set of stories: taking inspiration from artists as disparate as Sufjan Stevens, Lars von Trier, and François Rabelais, White shows us that by looking to art, we can imagine a different kind of future. No robots required.
The book is rated 3.42/5 at goodreads.com, from 52 ratings. See 11 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1ViP4Z2.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tpshXq.