The Copernican Question [EPUB]
06 March 2015, 04:43
2011 | EPUB | 6.89MB
In 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus publicly defended his hypothesis that the earth is a planet and the sun a body resting near the center of a finite universe. But why did Copernicus make this bold proposal? And why did it matter? The Copernican Question reframes this pivotal moment in the history of science, centering the story on a conflict over the credibility of astrology that erupted in Italy just as Copernicus arrived in 1496. Copernicus engendered enormous resistance when he sought to protect astrology by reconstituting its astronomical foundations. Robert S. Westman shows that efforts to answer the astrological skeptics became a crucial unifying theme of the early modern scientific movement. His interpretation of this "long sixteenth century," from the 1490s to the 1610s, offers a new framework for understanding the great transformations in natural philosophy in the century that followed.
Future Crimes [EPUB]
05 March 2015, 20:43
2015 | EPUB | 2.25MB
One of the world’s leading authorities on global security, Marc Goodman takes readers deep into the digital underground to expose the alarming ways criminals, corporations, and even countries are using new and emerging technologies against you—and how this makes everyone more vulnerable than ever imagined.
Technological advances have benefited our world in immeasurable ways, but there is an ominous flip side: our technology can be turned against us. Hackers can activate baby monitors to spy on families, thieves are analyzing social media posts to plot home invasions, and stalkers are exploiting the GPS on smart phones to track their victims’ every move. We all know today’s criminals can steal identities, drain online bank accounts, and wipe out computer servers, but that’s just the beginning. To date, no computer has been created that could not be hacked—a sobering fact given our radical dependence on these machines for everything from our nation’s power grid to air traffic control to financial services.
Yet, as ubiquitous as technology seems today, just over the horizon is a tidal wave of scientific progress that will leave our heads spinning. If today’s Internet is the size of a golf ball, tomorrow’s will be the size of the sun. Welcome to the Internet of Things, a living, breathing, global information grid where every physical object will be online. But with greater connections come greater risks. Implantable medical devices such as pacemakers can be hacked to deliver a lethal jolt of electricity and a car’s brakes can be disabled at high speed from miles away. Meanwhile, 3-D printers can produce AK-47s, bioterrorists can download the recipe for Spanish flu, and cartels are using fleets of drones to ferry drugs across borders.
With explosive insights based upon a career in law enforcement and counterterrorism, Marc Goodman takes readers on a vivid journey through the darkest recesses of the Internet. Reading like science fiction, but based in science fact, Future Crimes explores how bad actors are primed to hijack the technologies of tomorrow, including robotics, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. These fields hold the power to create a world of unprecedented abundance and prosperity. But the technological bedrock upon which we are building our common future is deeply unstable and, like a house of cards, can come crashing down at any moment.
Future Crimes provides a mind-blowing glimpse into the dark side of technological innovation and the unintended consequences of our connected world. Goodman offers a way out with clear steps we must take to survive the progress unfolding before us. Provocative, thrilling, and ultimately empowering, Future Crimes will serve as an urgent call to action that shows how we can take back control over our own devices and harness technology’s tremendous power for the betterment of humanity—before it’s too late.
Humans 3.0: The Upgrading of the Species [EPUB]
23 February 2015, 16:55
2015 | EPUB + PDF | 0.9/1.77MB
Life for early humans wasn't easy. They may have been able to walk on two feet and create tools 4 million years ago, but they couldn't remember or communicate. Fortunately, people got smarter, and things got better. They remembered on-the-spot solutions and shared the valuable information of their experiences. Clubs became swords, caves became huts, and fires became ovens. Collectively these new tools became technology. As the 21st century unfolds, the pace of innovation is accelerating exponentially. Breakthroughs from robotics to genetics appear almost on a daily basis. It's all happening so quickly that it's hard to keep track—but recently there's been a shift. We used to create technology to change the world around us; now we're using it to change ourselves. With vaccinations, in-vitro fertilization, and individual genetic therapy, we're entering a new epoch, a next step, faster and more dramatic than the shift from Australopithicines to Homo Sapiens. The technology that set us apart from our earliest selves is becoming part of the evolutionary process. Advancements in computing, robotics, nanotechnology, neurology, and genetics mean that our wildest imaginings could soon become commonplace. Peter Nowak deftly presents the potential outcomes—both exciting and frightening—of key, rapidly advancing technologies and adroitly explores both the ramifications of adopting them and what doing so will reveal about the future of our species. We've come a long way in 4 million years. Welcome to Human 3.0.