by Marc Goodman ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 24, 2015
A powerful wake-up call to pay attention to our online lives.
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
Page Count: 436
Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2014
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015
Share your opinion of this book
A quirky wonder of a book.
A Peabody Award–winning NPR science reporter chronicles the life of a turn-of-the-century scientist and how her quest led to significant revelations about the meaning of order, chaos, and her own existence.
Miller began doing research on David Starr Jordan (1851-1931) to understand how he had managed to carry on after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake destroyed his work. A taxonomist who is credited with discovering “a full fifth of fish known to man in his day,” Jordan had amassed an unparalleled collection of ichthyological specimens. Gathering up all the fish he could save, Jordan sewed the nameplates that had been on the destroyed jars directly onto the fish. His perseverance intrigued the author, who also discusses the struggles she underwent after her affair with a woman ended a heterosexual relationship. Born into an upstate New York farm family, Jordan attended Cornell and then became an itinerant scholar and field researcher until he landed at Indiana University, where his first ichthyological collection was destroyed by lightning. In between this catastrophe and others involving family members’ deaths, he reconstructed his collection. Later, he was appointed as the founding president of Stanford, where he evolved into a Machiavellian figure who trampled on colleagues and sang the praises of eugenics. Miller concludes that Jordan displayed the characteristics of someone who relied on “positive illusions” to rebound from disaster and that his stand on eugenics came from a belief in “a divine hierarchy from bacteria to humans that point[ed]…toward better.” Considering recent research that negates biological hierarchies, the author then suggests that Jordan’s beloved taxonomic category—fish—does not exist. Part biography, part science report, and part meditation on how the chaos that caused Miller’s existential misery could also bring self-acceptance and a loving wife, this unique book is an ingenious celebration of diversity and the mysterious order that underlies all existence.A quirky wonder of a book.
Pub Date: April 14, 2020
Page Count: 224
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online: Jan. 1, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020
Share your opinion of this book
by Bill Bryson ‧ RELEASE DATE: May 6, 2003
Loads of good explaining, with reminders, time and again, of how much remains unknown, neatly putting the death of science...
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
Page Count: 304
Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2003
Share your opinion of this book
Hey there, book lover.
We’re glad you found a book that interests you!