A powerful wake-up call to pay attention to our online lives.

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FUTURE CRIMES

EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED, EVERYONE IS VULNERABLE AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT

An alarming view of the burgeoning dark side of the Internet.

“We are now entering the great age of digital crime,” warns Goodman, a former police detective–turned–cybercrime consultant and founder of the Future Crimes Institute. In this highly readable and exhaustive debut, he details the many ways in which hackers, organized criminals, terrorists and rogue governments are exploiting the vulnerability of our increasingly connected society. “[W]e’ve wired the world,” he writes, “but failed to secure it.” Noting how easy it is to hack into computer systems, most notably smartphones, Goodman first describes the present era of digital crime, from cyberattacks on companies (Target, Sony) to the failure to protect information by data brokers and social media to the growth in identity theft (13 million Americans affected annually) to digital surveillance, cyberstalking and hate crimes. Most companies are hacked regularly and cannot detect it; when they find out (from customers or police), they often try to hide the loss of data. “What most people do not understand…is that any data collected will invariably leak,” writes the author, and the worst is yet to come. The online world’s exponential growth is creating new opportunities, with easy profits and little detection, for sophisticated cyberunits of organized crime. The rise of the Internet of Things (chips and sensors in everyday objects, from cars to homes) will allow criminals to wreak havoc on such newly emerging technologies as robotics, 3-D manufacturing, synthetic biology and artificial intelligence. There will be no way to protect against hacking of baby cams, GPS systems, imbedded medical devices, drones, assembly lines, personal care bots and other objects, some 50 billion of which will join the global grid by 2020. Goodman suggests solid actions to limit the impact of cybercrimes, ranging from increased technical literacy of the public to a massive government “Manhattan Project” for cybersecurity to develop strategies against online threats.

A powerful wake-up call to pay attention to our online lives.

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53900-5

Page Count: 436

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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Loads of good explaining, with reminders, time and again, of how much remains unknown, neatly putting the death of science...

A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING

Bryson (I'm a Stranger Here Myself, 1999, etc.), a man who knows how to track down an explanation and make it confess, asks the hard questions of science—e.g., how did things get to be the way they are?—and, when possible, provides answers.

As he once went about making English intelligible, Bryson now attempts the same with the great moments of science, both the ideas themselves and their genesis, to resounding success. Piqued by his own ignorance on these matters, he’s egged on even more so by the people who’ve figured out—or think they’ve figured out—such things as what is in the center of the Earth. So he goes exploring, in the library and in company with scientists at work today, to get a grip on a range of topics from subatomic particles to cosmology. The aim is to deliver reports on these subjects in terms anyone can understand, and for the most part, it works. The most difficult is the nonintuitive material—time as part of space, say, or proteins inventing themselves spontaneously, without direction—and the quantum leaps unusual minds have made: as J.B.S. Haldane once put it, “The universe is not only queerer than we suppose; it is queerer than we can suppose.” Mostly, though, Bryson renders clear the evolution of continental drift, atomic structure, singularity, the extinction of the dinosaur, and a mighty host of other subjects in self-contained chapters that can be taken at a bite, rather than read wholesale. He delivers the human-interest angle on the scientists, and he keeps the reader laughing and willing to forge ahead, even over their heads: the human body, for instance, harboring enough energy “to explode with the force of thirty very large hydrogen bombs, assuming you knew how to liberate it and really wished to make a point.”

Loads of good explaining, with reminders, time and again, of how much remains unknown, neatly putting the death of science into perspective.

Pub Date: May 6, 2003

ISBN: 0-7679-0817-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Broadway

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2003

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A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

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NO ONE IS TOO SMALL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

A collection of articulate, forceful speeches made from September 2018 to September 2019 by the Swedish climate activist who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Speaking in such venues as the European and British Parliaments, the French National Assembly, the Austrian World Summit, and the U.N. General Assembly, Thunberg has always been refreshingly—and necessarily—blunt in her demands for action from world leaders who refuse to address climate change. With clarity and unbridled passion, she presents her message that climate change is an emergency that must be addressed immediately, and she fills her speeches with punchy sound bites delivered in her characteristic pull-no-punches style: “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.” In speech after speech, to persuade her listeners, she cites uncomfortable, even alarming statistics about global temperature rise and carbon dioxide emissions. Although this inevitably makes the text rather repetitive, the repetition itself has an impact, driving home her point so that no one can fail to understand its importance. Thunberg varies her style for different audiences. Sometimes it is the rousing “our house is on fire” approach; other times she speaks more quietly about herself and her hopes and her dreams. When addressing the U.S. Congress, she knowingly calls to mind the words and deeds of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. The last speech in the book ends on a note that is both challenging and upbeat: “We are the change and change is coming.” The edition published in Britain earlier this year contained 11 speeches; this updated edition has 16, all worth reading.

A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-14-313356-8

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Penguin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2019

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