Steven Levy

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pages: 275 words: 84,418

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

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Apple II, cloud computing, disintermediation, don't be evil, Dynabook, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Googley, Jony Ive, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, web application

Twenty-Four Weeks, Three Days, and Three Hours Until Launch But Forstall had: Adam Satariano, Peter Burrows, and Brad Stone, “Scott Forstall, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice at Apple,” Bloomberg Businessweek, 11/12/2011; Jessica Lessin, “An Apple Exit over Maps,” Wall Street Journal, 10/29/2012. Fadell is not shy: Leo Kelion, “Tony Fadell: From iPod father to thermostat start-up,” BBC News, 11/29/2012. Fadell was truly: Steven Levy, The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006), 54–74. Forstall couldn’t have been: Satariano et al., “Scott Forstall.” Despite the feuding: Christina Kinon, “Say What? Mike stolen during live Q&A on Fox,” New York Daily News, 6/30/2007; Steven Levy’s interview on FOX News is accessible at www.youtube.com/watch?v=uayBcHDxfww. Levy wrote about: Steven Levy, “A Hungry Crowd Smells iPhone, and Pounces,” Newsweek, 12/22/2007. Looking back, the iPhone launch: These two paragraphs come from Apple financial statements and various news reports and reviews widely available at the time.

url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Fpublic%2Fresources%2Fdocuments%2FViacom031207.pdf; Saul Hansell, “Google and Yahoo Settle Dispute over Search Patent,” New York Times, 8/10/2004; see also Google IPO documents (for Yahoo! settlement). The final push wasn’t: Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), 213–37. It had a slide-out keyboard: Walt Mossberg, “Google Answers the iPhone,” AllThingsD.Com, 10/15/2008. Compared to the iPhone’s: My reporting and Levy, In the Plex, 227. “Put yourself in Steve’s shoes”: Isaacson’s biography was the first to report that Jobs had been battling cancer since his first surgery in 2005. Jobs’s public position until he died was that his cancer had been cured. Like Android, Google Voice: These three paragraphs combine my own reporting with Steven Levy’s from In the Plex, 213–37. Almost all the media coverage: These are publicly available documents that news organizations secured through a Freedom of Information Act request—see www.apple.com/hotnews/apple-answers-fcc-questions and www.scribd.com/doc/18983640/Google-Response-to-FCC.

Frustrated consumers would flock to phones that worked better. Software developers would rush to write software for a platform in such demand. A self-reinforcing software ecosystem would be born. Page listened gamely. He looked at the prototype Rubin had brought with him. But Page had pretty much decided what he was going to do before the meeting even started: What if Google just bought Android? he asked. He later told Steven Levy, the author of In the Plex, “We had that vision [about what the future of mobile should look like], and Andy came along and we were like ‘Yeah we should do it. He’s the guy.’” Google bought Android for about $50 million plus incentives, and by July 2005 Rubin and his seven other Android cofounders were sharing their vision of the world with the rest of Google’s management team. * * * Rubin was surprised and thrilled about Google’s decision to buy his company.

Free as in Freedom by Sam Williams

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Asperger Syndrome, cognitive dissonance, Debian, East Village, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Isaac Newton, John Conway, Maui Hawaii, Murray Gell-Mann, profit motive, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, slashdot, software patent, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, urban renewal, VA Linux, Y2K

During his final stages of conflict with the administrators at the Laboratory for Computer Science over password systems, Stallman initiated a software " strike,"See Steven Levy, Hackers (Penguin USA [paperback], 1984): 419. refusing to send lab members the latest version of Emacs until they rejected the security system on the lab's computers. The move did little to improve Stallman's growing reputation as an extremist, but it got the point across: commune members were expected to speak up for basic hacker values. "A lot of people were angry with me, saying I was trying to hold them hostage or blackmail them, which in a sense I was," Stallman would later tell author Steven Levy. "I was engaging in violence against them because I thought they were engaging in violence to everyone at large." Over time, Emacs became a sales tool for the hacker ethic.

Dubbing it a "master hack" and Stallman himself a "virtual John Henry of computer code," author Steven Levy notes that many of his Symbolics-employed rivals had no choice but to pay their idealistic former comrade grudging respect. Levy quotes Bill Gosper, a hacker who eventually went to work for Symbolics in the company's Palo Alto office, expressing amazement over Stallman's output during this period: I can see something Stallman wrote, and I might decide it was bad (probably not, but somebody could convince me it was bad), and I would still say, "But wait a minute-Stallman doesn't have anybody to argue with all night over there. He's working alone! It's incredible anyone could do this alone!"See Steven Levy, Hackers (Penguin USA [paperback], 1984): 426. For Stallman, the months spent playing catch up with Symbolics evoke a mixture of pride and profound sadness.

From a hacker perspective, sitting in a car amidst all this mess is like listening to a CD rendition of nails on a chalkboard at full volume. "Imperfect systems infuriate hackers," observes Steven Levy, another warning I should have listened to before climbing into the car with Stallman. "This is one reason why hackers generally hate driving cars-the system of randomly programmed red lights and oddly laid out one-way streets causes delays which are so goddamn unnecessary [Levy's emphasis] that the impulse is to rearrange signs, open up traffic-light control boxes … redesign the entire system."See Steven Levy, Hackers (Penguin USA [paperback], 1984): 40. More frustrating, however, is the duplicity of our trusted guide. Instead of searching out a clever shortcut-as any true hacker would do on instinct-the driver ahead of us has instead chosen to play along with the city planners' game.


pages: 394 words: 108,215

What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff

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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, back-to-the-land, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, card file, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, El Camino Real, general-purpose programming language, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, Jeff Rulifson, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, union organizing, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

., July 28, 2001. 4.Gregory Yob, “Hunt the Wumpus,” in The Best of Creative Computing, vol. 1, ed. David H. Ahl, 2d ed. (Morristown, N.J.: Creative Computing Press, 1976), pp. 247–50. 5.Ibid. 6.Author interview, Lee Felsenstein, Palo Alto, Calif., August 9, 2001. 7.Fred Moore, unpublished interview with Steven Levy, n.d. 8.John Draper website http://www.webcrunchers.com/crunch/story.html. 9.Author interview with Steven Jobs, Cupertino, Calif., June 2000. 10.Fred Moore, personal journal, 1975. 11.Fred Moore, unpublished interview with Steven Levy, n.d. 12.Ibid. 13.Homebrew Computer Club newsletter 1, March 15, 1975. 14.Ibid. 15.Author interview, Lee Felsenstein, Palo Alto, Calif., August 9, 2001. 16.Tape of San Francisco computer-club planning meeting, April 1975, courtesy of Irene Moore. 17.Doerr’s remark would later be linked to the dot-com era, but he made the claim first with respect to the personal-computer industry.

In this innovative, lively narrative, veteran technology reporter and cultural critic John Markoff demonstrates how the values and obsessions of the 1960s, especially as centered in the San Francisco Bay Area, created the environment for the emergence of the personal computer as social tool and cultural catalyst.” —Kevin Starr, author of Coast of Dreams: California on the Edge, 1990–2003 “John Markoff ’s wonderful recounting of the origins of personal computerdom makes a mind-blowing case that our current silicon marvels were inspired by the psychedelic-tinged, revolution-minded spirit of the Sixties. It’s a total turn-on.” —Steven Levy, author of Hackers, Crypto, and Insanely Great “Beautifully written, What the Dormouse Said does that important job of placing in a historical context the development of modern computer technology. It tells us not only what happened, but why. These people changed our world as much as any group ever and now I understand not only how it came to be but also why it was probably inevitable.” —Robert X.

It became such a trademark expression that he later obtained a license plate that read “MUMBLE,” the hacker’s ambiguous response to statements or questions that he would rather not answer. Musicologist John Chowning, who at SAIL invented the technology that underlies modern music synthesizers, called it a “Socratean abode.” SAIL embodied what University of California computer scientist and former SAIL systems programmer Brian Harvey called the “hacker aesthetic.” Harvey’s description was a reaction to what Steven Levy in Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution had described as a “hacker ethic,” which he characterized as the unspoken manifesto of the MIT hackers: Access to computers—and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works—should be unlimited and total. Always yield to the Hands-On Imperative! All information should be free. Mistrust Authority—Promote Decentralization.

From Satori to Silicon Valley: San Francisco and the American Counterculture by Theodore Roszak

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Buckminster Fuller, germ theory of disease, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet Archive, Marshall McLuhan, megastructure, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, Silicon Valley, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog

"Buddhist Anarchism" by Gary Snyder, Copy- From The Journal for Beings, McClure, Ferlinghetti & the Protection of All Meltzer, editors, City Lights, San Francisco. DELACORTE PRESS for "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace" by Richard Brautigan, copyright 1968. Excerpted from The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, reprinted by permission of Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, New York. DOUBLEDAY & CO. for Hackers by Steven Levy, copyright 1984. PRAEGER PUBLISHERS Society, edited for quote by Bill Voyd from Shelter and by Paul Oliver, copyright 1969. SAN FRANCISCO FOCUS MAGAZINE view with Stewart Brand in the for quotes from an inter- February 1985 issue. SAN FRANCISCO ORACLE for quotes from issues #6, 1967, and #12, 1967. Reprinted with permission of Allan Cohen, Editor. ST. MARTIN'S PRESS for Buckminster Fuller, An Autobiographical Monologue!

Gary Snyder, "Buddhist Anarchism," Journal for the Protection of All Beings, City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1961. 2. Resurgence, No. 59, Nov. -Dec, 1976, London, p.12. 3. Robert Snyder, Buckminster Fuller, graphical Monologue! Scenario, New An Autobio- Martin's Press, York, 1970, p. 38. 4. Bill Voyd, "Drop City", Sources, Harper 5. St. Hugh Press, & Row, in New Theodore Roszak, Gardner, Children of Prosperity, New St. Martin's York, 1978, p. 37. New 6. Steven Levy, Hackers, Doubleday, p. 169-170. 7. Hackers, 8. San Francisco Oracle, No. 9. San Francisco Focus Magazine, Feb. 1985, 10. ed. York, 1972, p. 276. p. York, 1984, 251. 6, 1967. San Francisco Oracle, No. 56 12, 1967. p. 107. FROM SATORI TO SILICON VALLEY Theodore Roszak Theodore Roszak General Studies at is Professor of History and Chairman of California State University, Hay ward.


pages: 274 words: 75,846

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Chapter 7 - What You Want, Whether You Want It or Not Chapter 8 - Escape from the City of Ghettos Acknowledgements FURTHER READING NOTES INDEX Advance Praise for The Filter Bubble “Internet firms increasingly show us less of the wide world, locating us in the neighborhood of the familiar. The risk, as Eli Pariser shows, is that each of us may unwittingly come to inhabit a ghetto of one.” —Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody and Cognitive Surplus “ ‘Personalization’ sounds pretty benign, but Eli Pariser skillfully builds a case that its excess on the Internet will unleash an information calamity—unless we heed his warnings. Top-notch journalism and analysis.” —Steven Levy, author of In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives “The Internet software that we use is getting smarter, and more tailored to our needs, all the time. The risk, Eli Pariser reveals, is that we increasingly won’t see other perspectives. In The Filter Bubble, he shows us how the trend could reinforce partisan and narrow mindsets, and points the way to a greater online diversity of perspective.”

There’s just a clean, white page for you to fill, an opportunity to build a better place, a home, from the ground up. No wonder you’re a geek. This isn’t to say that geeks and software engineers are friendless or even socially inept. But there’s an implicit promise in becoming a coder: Apprentice yourself to symbolic systems, learn to carefully understand the rules that govern them, and you’ll gain power to manipulate them. The more powerless you feel, the more appealing this promise becomes. “Hacking,” Steven Levy writes, “gave you not only an understanding of the system but an addictive control as well, along with the illusion that total control was just a few features away.” As anthropologist Coleman points out, beyond the Jocks-and-Nerds stereotypes, there are actually many different geek cultures. There are open-software advocates, most famously embodied by Linux founder Linus Torvalds, who spend untold hours collaboratively building free software tools for the masses, and there are Silicon Valley start-up entrepreneurs.

One of the best parts of the writing process was the opportunity to call up or sit down with extraordinary people and ask them questions. I’m thankful to the following folks for responding to my inquiries and helping inform the text: C. W. Anderson, Ken Auletta, John Battelle, Bill Bishop, Matt Cohler, Gabriella Coleman, Dalton Conley, Chris Coyne, Pam Dixon, Caterina Fake, Matthew Hindman, Bill Joy, Dave Karpf, Jaron Lanier, Steven Levy, Diana Mutz, Nicholas Negroponte, Markus Prior, Robert Putnam, John Rendon, Jay Rosen, Marc Rotenberg, Douglas Rushkoff, Michael Schudson, Daniel Solove, Danny Sullivan, Philip Tetlock, Clive Thompson, and Jonathan Zittrain. Conversations with Ethan Zuckerman, Scott Heiferman, David Kirkpatrick, Clay Shirky, Nicco Mele, Dean Eckles, Jessi Hempel, and Ryan Calo were especially provocative and helpful.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

By crawling the entire Web and indexing all its pages and links, they turned the Web into what Brin, a National Science Foundation fellow at Stanford, identified as “a big equation.” The end result of this gigantic math project was an algorithm they called PageRank, which determined the relevance of the Web page based on the number and quality of its incoming links. “The more prominent the status of the page that made the link, the more valuable the link was and the higher it would rise when calculating the ultimate PageRank number of the web page itself,” explains Steven Levy in In the Plex, his definitive history of Google.62 In the spirit of Norbert Wiener’s flight path predictor device, which relied on a continuous stream of information that flowed back and forth between the gun and its operator, the logic of the Google algorithm was dependent on a self-regulating system of hyperlinks flowing around the Web. Page and Brin’s creation represented the realization of Licklider’s man-computer symbiosis.

But they quickly needed more capital to invest in both engineers and hardware, which inevitably led them to KPCB’s John Doerr. “How big do you think this could be?” Doerr asked them when they met in 1999. “Ten billion,” Larry Page immediately shot back about a “business” that, at that point, not only didn’t have any revenue, but didn’t even have a coherent model for making money. “And I don’t mean market cap. I mean revenues.” Doerr, Steven Levy noted, “just about fell off his chair” at Page’s boldness.67 But he nonetheless invested in Google, joining Michael Moritz from Sequoia Capital in a joint $25 million Series A round. But two years after the investment, in spite of Google’s establishing itself as the Web’s dominant search engine with 70 million daily search requests, the company—which by now had appointed the “grown-up” Eric Schmidt as CEO—hadn’t figured out a successful business model for monetizing the popularity of its free technology.

Advertising thus became baked into search and Google, for all its technical brilliance, became an electronic advertising sales company. Doing away with the CPM pricing, Google introduced the auction sales model to AdWords, which some of America’s leading academic economists later described as “spectacularly successful” and “the dominant transaction mechanism in a large and rapidly growing industry.”68 Rather than buying online advertising at a set price, advertisers were now able to bid in what Steven Levy calls a real-time “unique auction” that simultaneously made online advertising more effective and profitable.69 Alongside AdWords, Google also developed an increasingly successful product called AdSense, which provided the tools to buy and measure advertising on websites not affiliated with the search engine. Google’s advertising network was becoming as ubiquitous as Google search. AdWords and AdSense together represented what Levy calls a “cash cow” to fund the next decade’s worth of Web projects, which included the acquisition of YouTube and the creation of the Android mobile operating system, Gmail, Google+, Blogger, the Chrome browser, Google self-driving cars, Google Glass, Waze, and its most recent roll-up of artificial intelligence companies including DeepMind, Boston Dynamics, and Nest Labs.70 More than just cracking the code on Internet profits, Google had discovered the holy grail of the information economy.


pages: 380 words: 118,675

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

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3D printing, airport security, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, call centre, centre right, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, facts on the ground, game design, housing crisis, invention of movable type, inventory management, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, late fees, loose coupling, low skilled workers, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Rodney Brooks, search inside the book, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, Skype, statistical arbitrage, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, why are manhole covers round?

Six months after that investment, over the summer of 1998, Bezos and MacKenzie were in the Bay Area for a camping trip with friends, and Bezos told Shriram that he wanted to meet the Google guys. On a Saturday morning, Shriram picked up Bezos and his wife at a local hotel, the Inn at Saratoga, and drove them to his home. Page and Brin met them there for breakfast and demonstrated their modest search engine. Years later, Bezos told journalist Steven Levy that he was impressed by the Google guys’ “healthy stubbornness” as they explained why they would never put advertisements on their home page.6 Brin and Page left Shriram’s house after breakfast. Revealing once again his utter faith in passionate entrepreneurs’ power to harness the Internet, Bezos immediately told Shriram that he wanted to personally invest in Google. Shriram told him the financing round had closed months ago, but Bezos insisted and said he wanted the same deal terms as other early investors.

Oprah Winfrey included the Rocketbook among her Ten Favorite Things in the inaugural issue of O magazine, and Wired wrote of the device, “It’s like an object that has tumbled out of the future.”2 NuvoMedia had an aggressive road map for rapid development. Eberhard planned to exploit economies of scale and advances in technology to improve the Rocketbook’s screen quality and battery life while driving down its price. (Over the 1999 holiday season, the basic model cost $169.) “Within five years,” he told Newsweek’s Steven Levy that December, “We’ll have front-surface technology that doesn’t require you to read behind glass.”3 But NuvoMedia still needed fresh capital, and Eberhard was growing nervous about the unsustainable dot-com bubble and the deteriorating fund-raising climate. In February 2000, he sold NuvoMedia to a Burbank-based interactive TV-guide firm called Gemstar in a stock transaction worth about $187 million.

Josh Tyrangiel, Brad Wieners, Romesh Ratnesar, Ellen Pollock, and Norman Pearlstine gave me incredible support and leeway to write this book. My editor Jim Aley provided a careful first read. Diana Suryakusuma helped me assemble the photographs under a tight deadline. My friend and colleague Ashlee Vance proved an invaluable sounding board when I needed to discuss the thornier challenges of telling this story. I also want to thank fellow journalists Steven Levy, Ethan Watters, Adam Rogers, George Anders, Dan McGinn, Nick Bilton, Claire Cain Miller, Damon Darlin, John Markoff, Jim Brunner, Alan Deutschman, Tom Giles, Doug MacMillan, Adam Satariano, Motoko Rich, and Peter Burrows. Nick Sanchez provided stellar research and reporting assistance for this book, and Morgan Mason from the journalism program at the University of Nevada at Reno assisted with interviews of Amazon associates at the fulfillment center in Fernley, Nevada.


pages: 509 words: 132,327

Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History by Thomas Rid

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1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, connected car, domain-specific language, Douglas Engelbart, dumpster diving, Extropian, full employment, game design, global village, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, V2 rocket, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

ANARCHY 1.James Ellis, The Story of Non-secret Encryption (Cheltenham, UK: GCHQ/CESG, 1987), para. 4. 2.Walter Koenig, Final Report on Project C-43: Continuation of Decoding Speech Codes, NDRC contract no. OEMsr-435 (New York: Bell Telephone Laboratories, 1944). 3.James Ellis, The Possibility of Secure Non-Secret Digital Encryption, research report no. 3006 (Cheltenham, UK: GCHQ/CESG, 1970). 4.Quoted in Steven Levy, Crypto (New York: Penguin, 2000), 396. 5.Clifford Cocks, quoted in Simon Singh, The Code Book (London: Fourth Estate, 1999), 285. 6.Ellis, Possibility. 7.“You did more with it than we did,” Ellis once told fellow cryptographer Whitfield Diffie, but he refused to say more. See the last paragraph of Steven Levy’s Crypto. 8.Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman, “New Directions in Cryptography,” IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 22, no. 6 (November 1976): 644–54. 9.For an excellent and more detailed description, see Levy, Crypto, 90–124. 10.Martin Gardner, “A New Kind of Cipher That Would Take Millions of Years to Break,” Scientific American 237, no. 2 (August 1977): 120–24. 11.Singh mentions three thousand letters; Levy, seven thousand.

The article that spelled out the idea became one of his most influential papers, “Numbers Can Be a Better Form of Cash Than Paper.” But using this improved form of cash was not only about convenience and security. If crypto cash would not be adopted widely, Chaum feared, “invisible mass surveillance” would be inevitable, “perhaps irreversible.”17 Chaum’s idea was magically simple and powerful. Steven Levy, a perceptive chronicler of the grand cryptography debate of the 1990s, called him the “Houdini of crypto.”18 So powerful were Chaum’s ideas that an entire movement arose. That movement believed crypto was en route to making the state as we know it obsolete. Many of these early cryptographers had been exposed to a powerful streak of American culture: civil libertarianism with its deep-seated distrust of the federal government—or of any government.

The crypto rebels had been inspired by Martin Gardner’s famous 1977 column from Scientific American, fifteen years after it came out. “Wow, this is really mind-blowing,”27 May had thought when he read the piece. May and Hughes began to rope in others. A group of sixteen people started meeting every Saturday in an office building near Palo Alto full of small tech start-ups. The room had a conference table and corporate-gray carpeting. Stewart Brand was at one of the first meetings, as were Kevin Kelly and Steven Levy, the two Wired writers. They were all united by that unique Bay Area blend: passionate about technology, steeped in counterculture, and unswervingly libertarian. The crypto group also shared one other thing: a frustration with the slow pace of cryptographic progress. Chaum’s ideas were ten years old, yet there was still no digital cash, no anonymity by remailer, no privacy, and no security built into the emerging cyberspace.


pages: 666 words: 181,495

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy

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23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business process, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, discounted cash flows, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, El Camino Real, fault tolerance, Firefox, Gerard Salton, Google bus, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Googley, HyperCard, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, optical character recognition, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Potemkin village, prediction markets, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, search inside the book, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, trade route, traveling salesman, Vannevar Bush, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

ALSO BY STEVEN LEVY The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government— Saving Privacy in the Digital Age Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything Artificial Life: The Quest for a New Creation The Unicorn’s Secret: Murder in the Age of Aquarius Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution Simon & Schuster 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020 www.SimonandSchuster.com Copyright © 2011 by Steven Levy All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Simon & Schuster Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020 First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition April 2011 SIMON & SCHUSTER and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

The Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau can bring authors to your live event. For more information or to book an event contact the Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau at 1-866-248-3049 or visit our website at www.simonspeakers.com. Designed by Ruth Lee Mui Manufactured in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Levy, Steven. In the plex : how Google thinks, works, and shapes our lives / Steven Levy. —1st Simon & Schuster hbk. ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Google (Firm). 2. Google. 3. Internet industry—United States. I. Title. HD9696.8.U64G6657 2011 338.7'6102504—dc22 2010049964 ISBN 978-1-4165-9658-5 ISBN 978-1-4165-9671-4 (ebook) Contents Prologue Searching for Google One The World According to Google: Biography of a Search Engine Two Googlenomics: Cracking the Code on Internet Profits Three Don’t Be Evil: How Google Built Its Culture Four Google’s Cloud: Building Data Centers That Hold Everything Ever Written Five Outside the Box: The Google Phone Company and the Google TV Company Six GuGe: Google’s Moral Dilemma in China Seven Google.gov: Is What’s Good for Google Good for Government—or the Public?

I also drew on the accounts of the company provided by other journalists, notably John Battelle, The Search (Portfolio, 2005), David Vise and Mark Malseed, The Google Story (Delacorte, 2005), Randall Stross, Planet Google (Free Press, 2008), Richard Brandt, Inside Larry and Sergey’s Brain (Portfolio, 2009), and Ken Auletta, Googled (Penguin, 2009). I also consulted the hundreds of articles in magazines, newspapers, and online sources. Prologue 1 “Have you heard of Google?” I wrote about the APM trip in “Google Goes Globe-Trotting,” Newsweek, November 3, 2007. 2 “Google, the Net’s hottest search engine” Steven Levy, “Free PCs … for a Price,” Newsweek, February 22, 1999. It was an article about Bill Gross, contrasting his GoTo search engine’s prowess unfavorably to Google’s. 4 “We envision a world” The description is reprinted in a blog item by Dan Siroker, “What would you say you do here?” Siroker Brothers (blog), May 11, 2006. Part One: The World According to Google 9 “There is just too much” Transcript of The Authors Guild, Inc., et al., v.


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Protocol: how control exists after decentralization by Alexander R. Galloway

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Ada Lovelace, airport security, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, computer age, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discovery of DNA, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, John Conway, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, linear programming, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, phenotype, post-industrial society, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, semantic web, SETI@home, stem cell, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, the market place, theory of mind, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Review, working poor

Historically the word meant an amateur tinkerer, an autodidact who might try a dozen solutions to a problem before eking out a success.7 Aptitude and perseverance have always eclipsed rote knowledge in the hacking community. Hackers are the type of technophiles you like to have around in a pinch, for given enough time they generally can crack any problem (or at least find a suitable kludge). Thus, as Bruce Sterling writes, the term hacker “can signify the freewheeling intellectual exploration of the highest and deepest potential of computer systems.”8 Or as Steven Levy glowingly reminisces about the original MIT hackers of the early sixties, “they were such fascinating people. . . . Beneath their often unimposing exteriors, they were adventurers, visionaries, power, it exists as an abstraction” (p. 13). A protocological analysis shows that control is almost never in abstract form. Rather, protocol ensures that control is literally inscribed onto the very cells and motherboards of bioinformatic networks. 6.

Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position. You can create art and beauty on a computer. Computers can change your life for the better.12 Several of Levy’s points dovetail with my earlier conclusions about protocol. Like the hacker’s access to computers, protocol is unlimited and total. Like the hacker’s mistrust of authority, protocol also seeks to eliminate arbitrary 9. Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1984), p. ix. 10. This dictum is attributed to Stewart Brand, who wrote that “[o]n the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time.

Michelle Slatalla and Joshua Quittner, Masters of Deception: The Gang that Ruled Cyberspace (New York: HarperCollins, 1995), p. 57. Hacking 161 Access to computers . . . should be unlimited and total. All information should be free. Mistrust authority— promote decentralization. Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position. You can create art and beauty on a computer. Computers can change your life for the better. —Steven Levy, 1984 We explore . . . and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge . . . and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias . . . and you call us criminals . . . Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.


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Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford

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affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Turing test, urban decay

Larry and Sergey left red and blue inflatable gym balls around, less as an aesthetic statement and more because they liked to work out with them.25 Google soon moved again, to an office-park facility in Mountain View. This office space later became known as the NullPlex, the space before the Googleplex itself. But again, the space was crude—a “mishmash,” said the facilities manager, George Salah. A “mongrel style,” said Steven Levy, journalist and unofficial historian of Google. One of the first high-priority projects to be tackled in the new space was the problem of how to make searches more responsive to the latest news. Google set up a war room, and again, it was a straightforward, unassuming space. Half a dozen engineers grabbed a conference room, set up their computers the way they wanted, and got to work. Then there was the time that one Google engineer decided he didn’t like the wall of his office.

Neither did he complain when the engineer later changed his mind and decided he’d like to put the wall back again; instead, he mused that the process had “made it a more Googley environment.” Any veteran of MIT’s Building 20 would recognize the thought process. And when the suit-and-tie executive Eric Schmidt joined Google as the new boss in 2001, he reassured Salah, “Don’t change a thing. Make sure it looks like a dorm room.”26 “No matter what happened,” writes Steven Levy, “engineers would have the run of the place.”27 • • • The offices at Chiat/Day may have looked superficially different from the offices at Kyocera, but they were managed with fundamentally the same tidy-minded aesthetic: This place should look the way the boss wants it to look. Google’s offices, like Building 20 at MIT, have been managed very differently: It doesn’t matter how this place looks.

currentPage=all; “A Last, Loving Look at an MIT Landmark—Building 20,” RLE Undercurrents 9, no. 2 (Fall 1997), http://www.rle.mit.edu/media/undercurrents/Vol9_2_Spring97.pdf; Philip J. Hilts, “Last Rites for a ‘Plywood Palace’ That Was a Rock of Science,” The New York Times, March 31, 1998, http://www.nytimes.com/1998/03/31/science/last-rites-for-a-plywood-palace-that-was-a-rock-of-science.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm; Eve Downing, “Letting Go,” Spectrum (Spring 1998), http://spectrum.mit.edu/articles/letting-go/; and Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, 25th Anniversary Edition (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2010). 19. A lovely half-hour documentary, “Building 20: The Magical Incubator” was made by MIT in 1998. It’s tape T1217 in the MIT archives, online at: http://teachingexcellence.mit.edu/from-the-vault/mits-building-20-the-magical-incubator-1998; a definitive account of the merits of Building 20 is in chapter three of Stewart Brand, How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built (New York: Viking, 1994). 20.


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100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family And by Sonia Arrison

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23andMe, 8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, attribution theory, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, Clayton Christensen, dark matter, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Frank Gehry, Googley, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, post scarcity, Ray Kurzweil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Singularitarianism, smart grid, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Malthus, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, X Prize

www.genome.gov/11006943 55 The genome in 2000 was not exactly complete, and researchers are still working to sequence enough genomes to reach a standard definition of complete. See “President Clinton Announces the Completion of the First Survey of the Entire Human Genome, Hails Public and Private Efforts Leading to This Historic Achievement,” Human Genome Project Information, June 25, 2000, www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/project/clinton1.shtml; and www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/project/clinton2.shtml. 56 Ibid. 57 Steven Levy, “Geek Power: Steven Levy Revisits Tech Titans, Hackers, Idealists,” Wired, April 19, 2010, www.wired.com/magazine/2010/04/ff_hackers/all/1. 58 Jeff Bezos, “We Are What We Choose,” Princeton University address to the Class of 2010 Baccalaureate, May 30, 2010, www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBmavNoChZc. 59 Nicholas Wade, “Researchers Say They Created a Synthetic Cell,” New York Times, May 20, 2010, www.nytimes.com/2010/05/21/science/21cell.html. 60 J.

Suddenly, biology became a field that computer geeks could attempt to tackle, which not only resulted in smart biohackers forming do-it-yourself biology clubs, but also increased the pace of advances in biology. Bioinformatics are moving at the speed of Moore’s Law and sometimes faster. To the extent that wealthy technology moguls influence public opinion and hackers seem cool, the context for the longevity meme is sizzling hot. In a Wired magazine interview in April 2010, Bill Gates, America’s richest man, told reporter Steven Levy that if he were a teenager today, “he’d be hacking biology.”57 Gates elaborated, saying, “Creating artificial life with DNA synthesis, that’s sort of the equivalent of machine-language programming.” Whether or not his comments were meant as an endorsement of the field, the smart whiz kids who read Wired probably see it that way. And Gates isn’t the only technology mogul to express great interest in biology becoming a technology project.


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From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner

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1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, game design, George Gilder, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

That year, a handful of selfdescribed computer hackers had been working with Art Kleiner, Kevin Kelly, and others to help generate ideas for the Software Catalog. But hackers as a group came to Brand’s attention only when one of the Catalog’s reviewers, a Bay area freelancer named Steven Levy, finished his book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution. In the book, Levy traced the origin of “hacking” back to the 1940s and the campus of MIT. There, at least a decade before the school began to teach computer programming to its undergraduates, the term referred to a particular style of work. According to Steven Levy, a Tak i n g t h e W h o l e E a r t h D i g i t a l [ 133 ] “hack” was “a project undertaken or a product built not solely to fulfill some constructive goal, but with some wild pleasure taken in mere involvement.”58 The first computer hackers emerged at MIT in 1959.

Having been alerted to the existence of a new and potentially influential community by a member of their own Whole Earth network (Levy), Brand and Kelly reached out to that community and entrepreneurially extended and diversified their own networks. In that sense, Brand and Kelly bridged what sociologist Ronald Burt would call a “structural hole” between their own, largely countercultural, network and the networks that governed production within key parts of the computer and software industries. Steven Levy, of course, had made the first connection, along with Whole Earth staffers such as Art Kleiner, who had been talking with hackers like Lee Felsenstein about directions for the Software Catalog. Now Brand, Kelly, and others were building on these connections and opening a much broader road between the two communities. This outreach turned out to be of more than a little [ 136 ] Chapter 4 short-term use as they worked to start up the Whole Earth Software Catalog and the Review.

These tactics enabled Kelly not only to link new forms of computing and commerce to the Whole Earth community’s long-standing synthesis of cybernetic theory and countercultural politics, but also to transform both digital technologies and the New Economy into Darwinian variations on a New Communalist ideal. When CoEvolution Quarterly became the Whole Earth Review in 1984, Kelly inherited a growing network of potential writers and sources, one that increasingly spanned countercultural and technical communities. Kelly soon began to publish writers who had first appeared on the WELL or in connection with either the Hackers’ Conference or the Software Catalog, such as Steven Levy and Howard Rheingold. As Kelly began to travel in the Bay area’s digital circles, and especially as he and other Whole Earth regulars became interested in the emerging technologies of virtual reality, he picked up new writers. In 1989, for instance, he published an interview with novelist William Gibson, as well as a “Cyberpunk 101” reading list. He also published a lengthy interview with virtual-reality entrepreneur Jaron Lanier, an article by computer maven Esther Dyson, and Stewart Brand’s own description of his first immersion in virtual reality, “Sticking Your Head in Cyberspace.”


pages: 606 words: 157,120

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

Our new algorithmic overlords should not aspire to act like ethical automatons; only by being self-reflexive and morally imaginative can they live up to the heavy burden of their civic responsibilities. Alas, their current attitude is nowhere near that ideal. Wired ’s Steven Levy, in his hagiographic biography of Google, observes that “Brin and Page both believed that if Google’s algorithms determined what results were best—and long clicks indicated that the algorithms were satisfying the people who did the searching—who were they to mess with it.” Believe this they did—but why didn’t Steven Levy bother to inquire why? It’s time our technology reporters learn to control their hagiographic impulses and start challenging the just-so narratives spouted by Silicon Valley. We need to explain, not take for granted, why Brin and Page believed this or that and how they got almost everyone else to believe it.

pagewanted=all. 133 “if the geeks take over”: Jeff Jarvis, What Would Google Do?, 1st ed. (New York: HarperCollins, 2009), 48. 133 “to the extent that . . . new media”: Anthony Ha, “Sean Parker: Defeating SOPA was the ‘Nerd Spring,’” TechCrunch, March 12, 2012, http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/12/sean-parker-defeating-sopa-was-the-nerd-spring. 133 “a vegetarian trapped inside the sausage factory”: quoted in Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), 327. 133 “an incumbent protection machine”: Derek Thompson, “Google’s CEO: ‘The Laws Are Written by Lobbyists,’” The Atlantic, October 1, 2010, http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/10/googles-ceo-the-laws-are-written-by-lobbyists/63908. 133 “it is overdue to rethink”: Noveck, Wiki Government, 16. 133 “the digital environment offers”: ibid., 40. 133 “most of the work”: ibid., 40. 134 “a generative governance system can”: Parag Khanna and Ayesha Khanna, Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization, Kindle ed.

Siegler, “Marissa Mayer’s Next Big Thing: ‘Contextual Discovery’—Google Results without Search,” TechCrunch, December 8, 2010, http://techcrunch.com/2010/12/08/googles-next-big-thing. 144 “It is a mistake to look into the mirror”: James Robinson, “Twitter and Facebook Riot Restrictions Would Be a Mistake, Says Google Chief,” The Guardian, August 27, 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/aug/27/twitter-facebook-riot-restrictions-eric-schmidt. 145 “our role in the system”: Ian Paul, “Facebook CEO Challenges the Social Norm of Privacy,” PCWorld, January 11, 2010, http://www.pcworld.com/article/186584/facebook_ceo_challenges_the_social_norm_of_privacy.html. 145 What sociologist Donald MacKenzie wrote: Donald MacKenzie, An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008). 146 “Brin and Page both believed”: Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), 174. 147 “democracy on the Web works”: “Ten Things We Know to Be True,” Google, http://www.google.com/about/company/philosophy. 147 “We’re scientists”: quoted in Shawn Donnan, “Think Again,” Financial Times, July 8, 2011, http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/b8e8b560-a84a-11e0–9f50–00144feabdc0.html. 148 “It never occurred to me”: quoted in Levy, In the Plex, 171. 148 “criticize the consumer for doing things”: Julie Moos, “Transcript of Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s Q&A at NAA,” Poynter.org, April 7, 2009, http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/top-stories/95079/transcript-of-google-ceo-eric-schmidts-qa-at-naa. 149 “filters no longer filter out”: David Weinberger, Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now that the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room (New York: Basic Books, 2012), 11. 149 “instead of reducing information and hiding”: ibid., 13. 149 Weinberger identifies five “most basic properties”: ibid., 50. 150 This was the case with the Occupy Wall Street discussion: Tarleton Gillespie, “Can an Algorithm Be Wrong?


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The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet by Justin Peters

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4chan, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Brewster Kahle, buy low sell high, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil, global village, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Lean Startup, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, profit motive, RAND corporation, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

The early ARPANET consisted almost entirely of academic affiliates using institutional computers. The US government provided the network infrastructure and initially decided to restrict commercial use of the service. (The last of these restrictions wasn’t lifted until 1995.) Thus these early users, prohibited from exploiting the network for profit, used it instead to foster the free exchange of information. This munificent ideology was encoded into what the author Steven Levy described in his insightful book Hackers as the “hacker ethic.” Hackers—a term for early computer programmers—wrote computer code and believed that other hackers should share their code and computing resources with their peers. This policy was, in part, a pragmatic one: at the time, computing resources were scarce, and possessiveness impeded productivity. But the attitude was also a conscious philosophical choice, a statement that the world ought to be open, efficient, and collaborative.

There are many battles to fight, and we need to keep going.70 Later that night, Swartz returned to the Supreme Court steps, where he talked and laughed and played the board game SET with the other members of his tribe, waiting for morning to come and the world to set itself right. The next morning, the courtroom was completely full. The Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan was there; so was Hackers author Steven Levy. Jack Valenti was there, as was Sonny Bono’s widow, Representative Mary Bono. “The courtroom itself was an impressive structure,” Swartz noted on his blog. “Everything was very, very tall.”71 The court seemed skeptical of Lessig’s argument. “Many Justices repeatedly said that they felt [the CTEA] was a dumb law, that it took things out of the public domain without justification,” Swartz reported later on his blog.

., September 11, 1997. 15 Eldred, “Battle of the Books.” 16 Michael Hart to Book People mailing list, October 19, 1998, http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/bparchive?year=1998&post=1998-10-22$5. 17 Michael Hart to Book People mailing list, October 19, 1998, http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/bparchive?year=1998&post=1998-10-19$5. 18 Eric Eldred to Book People mailing list, October 19, 1998, http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/bparchive?year=1998&post=1998-10-19$4. 19 Kaplan, “Online Publisher Challenges.” 20 Steven Levy, “Lawrence Lessig’s Supreme Showdown,” Wired, October 2002, http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/10.10/lessig.html. 21 David Streitfeld, “The Cultural Anarchist vs. the Hollywood Police State,” Los Angeles Times, September 22, 2002, http://articles.latimes.com/2002/sep/22/magazine/tm-copyright38. 22 Naftali Bendavid, “Lawyer in Microsoft Case Cut Teeth at U. of C.” Chicago Tribune, January 26, 1998, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1998-01-26/news/9801260179_1_lawrence-lessig-judge-richard-posner-judge-thomas-penfield-jackson. 23 Lawrence Lessig, “How I Lost the Big One,” Legal Affairs, March/April 2004, http://www.legalaffairs.org/issues/March-April-2004/story_lessig_marapr04.msp. 24 Richard Poynder, “The Basement Interviews: Free Culture,” The Basement Interviews, April 7, 2006, http://ia802307.us.archive.org/23/items/The_Basement_Interviews/Lawrence_Lessig_Interview.pdf. 25 Foster, “Bookworm’s Battle.” 26 Eldred, “Battle of the Books.” 27 Lisa Rein, “Seth’s Eldred Experience,” On Lisa Rein’s Radar, November 15, 2002, http://www.onlisareinsradar.com/wp/seths-eldred-experience/. 28 Lisa Rein, “Aaron Swartz Camping Out at Eldred Oct 2002,” Archive.org, https://archive.org/details/AaronSwartzEldredOct2002. 29 Aaron Swartz, “to the courthouse,” Aaron Swartz: The Weblog, October 5, 2002, http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/000637. 30 Aaron Swartz, “Ahh, the first day of school,” Schoolyard Subversion, August 29, 2000, http://web.archive.org/web/20010516224049/http://swartzfam.com/aaron/school/2000/08/29/. 31 Aaron Swartz, “Assorted Documents,” 2002, http://www.aaronsw.com/2002/bizcard; and Swartz, “everyone looks like me,” Aaron Swartz: The Weblog, July 22, 2002, http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/000435. 32 Interview with Robert Swartz, January 2013. 33 Philipp Lenssen, “A Chat with Aaron Swartz,” Google Blogoscoped, May 7, 2007, http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2007-05-07-n78.html. 34 To be clear, The Info Network was never nearly as popular as Wikipedia. 35 Lisa B.


pages: 363 words: 94,139

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products by Leander Kahney

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Apple II, banking crisis, British Empire, Dynabook, global supply chain, interchangeable parts, Jony Ive, race to the bottom, RFID, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, the built environment, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple

Apple iMac G4 , 2011, video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ky_vxFBeJ8 9. “Apple Takes a Bold New Byte at iMac,” New Zealand Herald, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=787149, January 21, 2002. 10. Email from Ken Segall, April 2013. 11. Interview with Dennis Boyle, October 2012. 12. Steven Levy, “The New iPod” Newsweek, http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2004/07/25/the-new-ipod.html, July 25, 2004. 13. Steven Levy, The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness (Simon & Schuster, 2006) 102. 14. Jonathan Ive in conversation with Dylan Jones, editor of British GQ, following his award of honorary doctor at the University of the Arts London, © Nick Carson 2006. First published in issue 5 of TEN4, http://ncarson.wordpress.com/2006/12/12/jonathan-ive/, November 16, 2006. 15.

Lev Grossman, “How Apple Does It,” Time, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1118384,00.html, October 16, 2005. 4. Interview with a former Apple engineer, June 2013. 5. Interview with Jon Rubinstein, October 2012. 6. Interview with Doug Satzger, January 2013. 7. Christopher Stringer testimony, Apple v. Samsung trial, San Jose Federal Courthouse, July 2012. 8. Ibid. 9. Ibid. 10. Interview with Gautam Baksi, June 2013. CHAPTER 8 Design of the iPod 1. Steven Levy, The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness (Simon & Schuster, 2006), 36. 2. Ibid., 38. 3. Ibid., 133. 4. Sheryl Garratt, “Jonathan Ive: Inventor of the decade,” The Guartdian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/nov/29/ipod-jonathan-ive-designer, November 28, 2009. 5. Leander Kahney, “Straight Dope on the IPod’s Birth,” http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mac/commentary/cultofmac/2006/10/71956, October 26, 2006. 6.


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Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, debt deflation, deskilling, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

Narrative Science’s technology is used by top media outlets, including Forbes, to produce automated articles in a variety of areas, including sports, business, and politics. The company’s software generates a news story approximately every thirty seconds, and many of these are published on widely known websites that prefer not to acknowledge their use of the service. At a 2011 industry conference, Wired writer Steven Levy prodded Narrative Science co-founder Kristian Hammond into predicting the percentage of news articles that would be written algorithmically within fifteen years. His answer: over 90 percent.2 Narrative Science has its sights set on far more than just the news industry. Quill is designed to be a general-purpose analytical and narrative-writing engine, capable of producing high-quality reports for both internal and external consumption across a range of industries.

A few places in which the story of the sardine fishermen of Kerala has been told are The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley, A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor, The Mobile Wave by Michael Saylor, Race Against the Machine by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, Content Nation by John Blossom, Planet India by Mira Kamdar, and “To Do with the Price of Fish,” The Economist, May 10, 2007. And now this book joins the list. CHAPTER 4 1. David Carr, “The Robots Are Coming! Oh, They’re Here,” New York Times (Media Decoder blog), October 19, 2009, http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/19/the-robots-are-coming-oh-theyre-here. 2. Steven Levy, “Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story Than a Human Reporter?,” Wired, April 24, 2012, http://www.wired.com/2012/04/can-an-algorithm-write-a-better-news-story-than-a-human-reporter. 3. Narrative Science corporate website, http://narrativescience.com. 4. George Leef, “The Skills College Graduates Need,” Pope Center for Education Policy, December 14, 2006, http://www.popecenter.org/commentaries/article.html?

Kenneth Neil Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, “The Rise of Big Data,” Foreign Affairs, May/June 2013, http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/139104/kenneth-neil-cukier-and-viktor-mayer-schoenberger/the-rise-of-big-data. 6. Thomas H. Davenport, Paul Barth, and Randy Bean, “How ‘Big Data’ Is Different,” MIT Sloan Management Review, July 20, 2012, http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/how-big-data-is-different. 7. Charles Duhigg, “How Companies Learn Your Secrets,” New York Times, February 16, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/shopping-habits.html. 8. As quoted in Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011), p. 64. 9. Tom Simonite, “Facebook Creates Software That Matches Faces Almost as Well as You Do,” MIT Technology Review, March 17, 2014, http://www.technologyreview.com/news/525586/facebook-creates-software-that-matches-faces-almost-as-well-as-you-do/. 10. As quoted in John Markoff, “Scientists See Promise in Deep-Learning Programs,” New York Times, November 23, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/24/science/scientists-see-advances-in-deep-learning-a-part-of-artificial-intelligence.html. 11.


pages: 296 words: 86,610

The Bitcoin Guidebook: How to Obtain, Invest, and Spend the World's First Decentralized Cryptocurrency by Ian Demartino

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3D printing, AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, buy low sell high, capital controls, cloud computing, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, forensic accounting, global village, GnuPG, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, Jacob Appelbaum, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, litecoin, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, Oculus Rift, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, ransomware, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, Steven Levy, the medium is the message, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Zimmermann PGP

In her 1994 article in the Journal of Criminal Justice Education, Dorothy Denning, then a chair of computer science at Georgetown University, wrote about one of these dangers: “[Cryptography] can be used to implement untraceable cash and anonymous, untraceable transactions. While such services can offer many privacy benefits, they also could facilitate money laundering and fraud.”5 Denning wasn’t the only one to express such misgivings. In a December 1994 Wired article, Steven Levy quotes a member of the American Bankers Association, Kawika Daguio, who writes: Speaking for myself, it would be dangerous and unsound public policy to allow fully untraceable, unlimited value digital currency to be produced…. It opens up opportunities for abuse that aren’t available to criminals now. In the physical world, money is bulky. In the physical world, it is possible to follow people, so a kidnapper can potentially be caught if the currency is marked, if the money was being observed on location, or if the serial numbers were recorded.

Competitive employee poaching is a serious concern for a lot of businesses and having employee salaries publicly available might not be an ideal situation. There is also the concern of becoming a target. If people can publicly see that you have just come into a large amount of money, this presents its own set of problems. Beyond that, privacy is just a human-rights issue. In an article about Digicash, the pre-Bitcoin attempt at a digital currency I talked about in an earlier chapter, Wired’s Steven Levy quotes the cryptographer and then-Digicash employee Niels Ferguson: Oh, the number of times I’ve had to argue with people that they need privacy! They’ll say, “I don’t care if you know where I spend my money.” I usually tell them, “What if I hire a private investigator to follow you around all day? Would you get mad?” And the answer always is, “Yes, of course I would get mad.” And then my argument is, “If we have no privacy in our transaction systems, I can see every payment—every cup of coffee you drink, every Mars bar you get, every glass of Coke you drink, every door you open, every telephone call—you make.

We might expect to hear Internet advocates and computer geeks talk about how important encryption is to privacy and freedom, but the point is really driven home when it is echoed by such a conservative, mainstream, and international entity as the UN.3 What does this have to do with the topic of Bitcoin and the criminal element? As it turns out, a lot, because the encryption techniques that are essential to Bitcoin have been the focus of a public debate since at least the early 1990s, and that debate ended up placing everything related to the topic of encryption under the umbrella of criminal activity. The association between Bitcoin and criminal elements was born directly from that. Back in 1995, author Steven Levy visited the offices of the now-defunct Cygnus Solutions, an early Internet cryptography company, and spoke about what the early Cypherpunks of the day were trying to accomplish: The people in this room hope for a world where an individual’s informational footprints—everything from an opinion on abortion to the medical record of an actual abortion—can be traced only if the individual involved chooses to reveal them; a world where coherent messages shoot around the globe by network and microwave, but intruders and feds trying to pluck them out of the vapor find only gibberish; a world where the tools of prying are transformed into the instruments of privacy.


pages: 372 words: 89,876

The Connected Company by Dave Gray, Thomas Vander Wal

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A Pattern Language, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, complexity theory, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Googley, index card, interchangeable parts, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, loose coupling, market design, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, profit maximization, Richard Florida, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Vanguard fund, web application, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

Platforms are the company’s long-term memory, where knowledge and experience is stored and hard-coded into habits, routines, and autonomic functions. Notes for Chapter Sixteen HOTEL CHECK-INS “Designing Service Systems by Bridging the ‘Front stage’ and ‘Back stage,’ by Robert J. Glushko and Lindsay Tabas, Information Systems and E-Business Management, 7, no. 4 (September 2009): 407–427. CUSTOMER SERVICE AT AMAZON VS ZAPPOS Steven Levy, “Jeff Bezos Owns the Web in More Ways Than You Think,” Wired, November 13, 2011. AMAZON AUCTIONS, ZSHOPS, AND MARKETPLACE Consumer Reports Talks with Amazon.com, recorded live on May 11, 2011, http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/14630179. Chapter 17. Power and control in networks An organization’s data is found in its computer systems, but a company’s intelligence is found in its biological and social systems

Those interactions aren’t planned or organized. But such areas create conditions that are conducive to connection. Those very casual, simple conversations, when repeated over a long period of time, give people a greater awareness of the information patterns in the company as a whole. Google’s Director of Facilities, George Salah, intentionally increased density to increase the energy in the company. Steven Levy tells the story in his book In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (Simon & Schuster): Salah was surprised that when Silicon Graphics occupied the building, all the cubicles had relatively high walls. And the desks were all oriented inward, with almost no one facing out. So as you walk through the building, you couldn’t find a soul,” he says. “They were all there, you just didn’t know it.

The Ghost in the Machine By Arthur Koestler, Macmillan, 1968. The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity By Richard Florida, Harper, 2010. How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built By Stewart Brand, Viking Adult, 1994. Human Sigma: Managing the Employee-Customer Encounter By John Fleming and Jim Asplund, Gallup Press, 2007. In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives By Steven Levy, Simon and Schuster, 2011. Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy By Carl Shapiro and Hal R. Varian, Harvard Business Review Press, 1998. The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail By Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business Review Press, 1997. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations By Adam Smith, 1776. Jack: Straight from the Gut By Jack Welch and John A.


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Peers, Pirates, and Persuasion: Rhetoric in the Peer-To-Peer Debates by John Logie

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1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, book scanning, cuban missile crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hacker Ethic, Isaac Newton, Marshall McLuhan, mutually assured destruction, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, Richard Stallman, search inside the book, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog

While it is already difficult to recall in full the culture and language of the first wave of hackers, there are a number of texts that function effectively as “time capsules,” offering snapshots of early hackers and their activities. Among the most important of these is a 1984 book by Steven Levy with the telling title, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution. Levy’s choice of “heroes” is underscored by the paperback edition’s front cover blurb, which reads, “What Tom Wolfe did for the original astronauts, Steven Levy has done for hackers.” Implicit in this comparison is the suggestion that hackers, like astronauts, are explor- Pa r l orPr e s s wwwww. p a r l or p r e s s . c om Hackers, Crackers, and the Criminalization of Peer-to-Peer Technologies 25 ers. Levy himself makes this connection in his preface, referring to hackers as “digital explorers” and writing: Though some in the field used the term “hacker” as a form of derision, implying that hackers were either nerdy social outcasts or “unprofessional” programmers who wrote dirty, “nonstandard” computer code, I found them quite different.


pages: 171 words: 54,334

Barefoot Into Cyberspace: Adventures in Search of Techno-Utopia by Becky Hogge, Damien Morris, Christopher Scally

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Naomi Klein, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

So for the same reason I was paying attention to Ken Kesey, I was paying attention to Doug Engelbart.” In December 1968, Engelbart demonstrated a number of his experimental ideas to a conference of computer scientists in the San Francisco Convention Center. The event was later dubbed “The Mother of all Demos”, thanks to the fact that it was the world’s first sighting of a number of computing technologies, including the mouse, email and hypertext. According to Steven Levy, author of Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, “Engelbarts support staff was as elaborate as one would find at a modern Grateful Dead concert” and that support staff included Stewart Brand, who volunteered a lot of time to set up the networked video links and cameras that made Engelbart’s demonstration go off with such a bang. Today, you can watch the 100-minute demonstration online, on the Stanford University website.

Brand had a sense that profound things were going on, “and I’ve sort of been drumming my fingers ever since because so many of the things that were foreseen at that point took a long time to arrive. So when I did the piece for Rolling Stone (the magazine’s publisher) Jann Wenner said at the time, ‘Well, you’ve just set in motion a whole new body of journalism that’s going to track down all this stuff.’ And in fact, it was ten years later that Steven Levy did the book Hackers, which sort of told the rest of the story.” Spurred on by Levy’s Hackers, in 1984, the same year of the inaugural Chaos Communication Congress in Germany, Brand convened the US’s first Hacker Con, in Marin County, California. “Organising the Hackers Conference was like some of the early hacking at MIT, so collaborative and rapid you couldnt keep track of who did what…” he wrote at the time, “But once they were on the scene, they were the worlds easiest group to work with.


pages: 598 words: 183,531

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution - 25th Anniversary Edition by Steven Levy

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air freight, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, El Camino Real, game design, Hacker Ethic, hacker house, Haight Ashbury, John Conway, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, non-fiction novel, Paul Graham, popular electronics, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, software patent, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Hackers Steven Levy Editor Mike Hendrickson Copyright © 2010 Steven Levy O’Reilly books may be purchased for educational, business, or sales promotional use. Online editions are also available for most titles (http://my.safaribooksonline.com). For more information, contact our corporate/institutional sales department: (800) 998-9938 or corporate@oreilly.com. The O’Reilly logo is a registered trademark of O’Reilly Media, Inc. Hackers and related trade dress are trademarks of O’Reilly Media, Inc. Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book, and O’Reilly Media, Inc. was aware of a trademark claim, the designations have been printed in caps or initial caps.

Stallman has also been an instrumental force in the League for Software Freedom, a group reflecting his belief that proprietary software is a pox upon the digital landscape. In 1991, his efforts came to the attention of those in charge of parceling out the coveted McArthur Fellowship “genius grants.” The last time I saw him, Stallman was organizing a demonstration against the Lotus Development Corporation. His protest regarded their software patents. He believed, and still does, that information should be free. —Steven Levy August 1993 Appendix C. Afterword: 2010 “It’s funny,” says Bill Gates. “When I was young, I didn’t know any old people. When we did the microprocessor revolution, there was nobody old, nobody. They didn’t make us meet with journalists who were old people. I didn’t deal with people in their 30s. Now there’s people in their 50s and 60s. And now I’m old and I have to put up with it. It’s weird how old this industry has become.

“If you want to change the world in some big way, that’s where you should start—biological molecules. Those are all pretty deep problems that need the same type of crazy fanaticism of youthful genius and naiveté that drove the PC industry, and can have the same impact on the human condition.” In other words, Gates expects hackers to be the heroes of the next revolution, too. Sounds good to me. —Steven Levy May 2010 Appendix D. Notes The main source of information for Hackers was over a hundred personal interviews conducted in 1982 and 1983. Besides these, I refer to a number of written sources. Part One Chapter 1 Some of the TMRC jargon was codified by Peter Samson in the unpublished "An Abridged Dictionary of the TMRC Language," circa 1959. This was apparently the core of a hacker dictionary, kept online at MIT for years, which eventually was expanded to The Hacker Dictionary by Gus Steele et al.


pages: 264 words: 79,589

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground by Kevin Poulsen

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Apple II, Brian Krebs, Burning Man, corporate governance, dumpster diving, Exxon Valdez, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, index card, McMansion, Mercator projection, offshore financial centre, packet switching, pirate software, Ponzi scheme, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, traffic fines, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zipcar

Details of his recruitment and his relationship with the agents come from interviews with Max and Max’s Internet writings immediately following his guilty plea. See http://www.securityfocus.com/comments/articles/203/5729/threaded (May 24, 2001). Max says he did not consider himself an informant and only provided technical information. Chapter 4: The White Hat 1 The first people to identify themselves as hackers: The seminal work on the early hackers is Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1984). Also see Steve Wozniak and Gina Smith, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2006). 2 Tim was at work one day: This anecdote was recalled by Tim Spencer. Max later recalled Spencer’s advice in a letter to his sentencing judge in Pittsburgh. 3 If there was one thing Max: Details of Max’s relationship with Kimi come primarily from interviews with Kimi. 4 Max went up to the city to visit Matt Harrigan: Harrigan’s business and his work with Max were described primarily by Harrigan, with some details confirmed by Max.

District Court for the Eastern District of New York. 4 “We were lucky in this case, because Salgado’s purchaser was cooperating with the FBI”: Written testimony of Robert S. Litt, deputy attorney general, before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade and Consumer Protection, House Commerce Committee, September 4, 1997 (http://www.justice.gov/criminal/cybercrime/daag9_97.htm). 5 But the feds lost the crypto wars: For a detailed history, see Steven Levy, Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government—Saving Privacy in the Digital Age (New York: Penguin Books, 2002). Chapter 31: The Trial 1 “So, you take my girls out to party now?”: Interview with Giannone. 2 Once a jury is seated, a defendant’s chances for acquittal are about one in ten: Fiscal year 2006. Calculated from “Federal Justice Statistics, 2006—Statistical Tables,” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, May 1, 2009 (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?


pages: 224 words: 13,238

Electronic and Algorithmic Trading Technology: The Complete Guide by Kendall Kim

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algorithmic trading, automated trading system, backtesting, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, diversification, en.wikipedia.org, family office, financial innovation, fixed income, index arbitrage, index fund, interest rate swap, linked data, market fragmentation, natural language processing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, short selling, statistical arbitrage, Steven Levy, transaction costs, yield curve

Macgregor’s software is a central hub for trading used by 100 blue-chip 146 Electronic and Algorithmic Trading Technology institutional clients including Babson Capital, Delaware Investments, and T. Rowe Price with about $5.5 trillion in assets. Rumors circulated that Reuters, SunGard, and Thomson Financial were among the bidders for Macgregor, according to industry sources.6 Broker neutrality will remain an important element in acquiring other order management systems. Steven Levy, president and CEO of Macgregor, says, ‘‘It is important to note that your broker neutrality and anonymity requirements will continue to be held paramount. You will continue to be able to trade with any broker and liquidity venue you chose.’’ This may possibly be the beginning trend of broker-dealers acquiring order management systems. The purchase of an order management system involves several departments.

Herring, 44 Risk Effect, 11 Rule 390, 39, 43, 44, 45, 46, 49 P S Paper Portfolio, 54 Pegging, 101 Peter Bergan, 63 Piper Jaffray, 61, 62 Plexus Group, 36, 63, 94, 106, 143 Portfolio Insurance, 8, 11 Portware, 3, 35, 108, 165, 169 Post-trade, 21, 24, 53, 54, 68, 86, 103, 105, 134 Pre-trade, 21, 24, 53, 54, 63, 64, 67, 86, 91, 103, 107, 108, 109, 134 Prime Broker, 34, 153, 154, 155, 156, 158, 159, 160, 162 Program Trading, 8, 10, 12, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 80, 81, 100 Proprietary trading, 62 Putnam Investments, 92 Sales trader, 26 Salomon Brothers, 3 S&P 500, 10, 11, 12 Sarbanes-Oxley, 44 Security Exchange Act of 1934, 43 Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), 2, 6, 7, 10, 47, 75, 125, 126, 128, 130, 134, 135, 136, 137 Securities Industry Automation Corp (SIAC), 83, 87, 89 Self Regulatory Organizations (SRO), 126, 131, 133, 135 Sell-side, 4, 20, 77 Settlements, 15, 17, 18, 27, 43, 89, 153, 154 Slippage, 65 Smart order routing, 22, 101 Soft dollars, 21, 51 Sonic Financial Technologies, 36, 80, 143 Specialist, 43 Speer Leads & Kellog (SLK), 143 Straight Through Processing (STP), 19, 27, 116, 162 Strategy enabler, 19, 85 STN, 36 Sungard, 75, 89, 172, 173, 175 SunGard Transaction Network (STN), 145 Sub-penny Rule, 125, 128, 132, 140 Steven Levy, 146 Q Quant House, 170 Quantitative Services Group (QSG), 36, 106, 170 R Rabbit Portfolio, 54 Radianz, 173 Ray Killian, 143 Real Time (TCA), 65 Real-time data, 19 Reconciliation, 18 REDIPlus, 72, 74, 143 T T. Rowe Price, 146 TABB Group, 21, 72, 75, 81, 84, 87, 103, 104, 131, 144, 153, 155, 158, 160, 163 Index 203 Telekurs Financial, 121 Thomas Loeb, 94 Thomson, 89, 116, 117, 118, 119 Time slicing, 101 Time Weighted Average Price (TWAP), 10, 60, 62, 101, 150 TowerGroup, 161 Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE) Reporting, 70, 120, 121 Trade Through Rule, 39, 125, 131, 132 TradeWeb, 69, 116, 117, 118, 119, 121 Transaction Cost Analysis (TCA), 22, 63, 147 Transaction Cost Research (TCR), 103 Transaction Network Services, Inc.


pages: 205 words: 18,208

The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? by David Brin

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affirmative action, airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, data acquisition, death of newspapers, Extropian, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, informal economy, Iridium satellite, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, means of production, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, open economy, packet switching, pattern recognition, pirate software, placebo effect, Plutocrats, plutocrats, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telepresence, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yogi Berra, Zimmermann PGP

When the CDA was argued before the United States Supreme Court, one aspect in dispute was whether Internet-based services such as America Online should be viewed as “common carriers,” which are not responsible for content, or whether their role is more that of “publishers,” answerable if some client uses their channels to pander or commit libel. At that level, the arguments may seem picky and recondite. But the fundamental issue can be expressed more simply. As Newsweek correspondent Steven Levy put it, Here is the nub: in cyberspace, the most democratic of mediums, should priority be given to allowing adults to exercise their constitutional right to speech? Or, as the CDA dictates, should they have to curb their expression—even certain constitutionally protected speech with redeeming social value like sex-education, highfalutin nude art, and George Carlin comedy routines—so that Net-surfing children will not be exposed to so-called patently offensive content?

In theory these advances can be compensated for. By constantly ratcheting up the number of bits in their keys, encryptors should retain the advantage at any particular point in time. Assuming both sides truly have the same level of power available. But what if one side quietly gets its mitts on a petaflop machine, or a potent quantum unit, years ahead of its competitors? Then the inherent advantage shifts dramatically. As Steven Levy of Newsweek put it, “The strength of cryptography determines whoʼs going to try to break in.... if itʼs the Mafia or a national government, theyʼll have plenty of resources.” (Recall box 3 of the “plausibility matrix” on page 272.) The important thing to realize is that you can never know if this is not already the case. At least, you cannot know except in a fiercely open society, where enough light shines that even the NSA would find it hard to hide a technological breakthrough for very long.

It shows how suppliers of information could band together and set up a system for aggregating and apportioning revenues. In fact, both companies are said to be developing high-speed Web browsers to patrol the Net looking for music infringements. Well-funded content owners may be among the first to have truly sophisticated software agents doing their work of policing their own self-interest on the Net around the clock. 108 ... one paramount source of danger ... Steven Levy, Newsweek technology columnist and author of Crypto, a book about the cryptography revolution, who has been following the “Clipper chip” controversy and its followons, observed the persistence of single-direction ire in the controversy over encryption. “As the years go by, the subject gains more attention, almost all of it directed at attacking the governmentʼs case....” 109 ... governments that are well grounded in what works ...


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Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell by Phil Lapsley

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air freight, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, card file, Chance favours the prepared mind, cuban missile crisis, dumpster diving, Hush-A-Phone, index card, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, Menlo Park, popular electronics, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, the scientific method, urban renewal, wikimedia commons

Other companies formed to supply accessory circuit boards to these new computers, such as Cromemco, Morrow’s MicroStuff, Godbout Electronics, North Star Computers. Every one needed hardware and software hackers to help them. Riches, or promises of riches, or maybe just a fun job that might pay the bills beckoned. In 1976 former phone phreaks Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were selling Apple I computers to their fellow hobbyists. “Jobs placed ads in hobbyist publications and they began selling Apples for the price of $666.66,” journalist Steven Levy wrote. “Anyone in Homebrew could take a look at the schematics for the design, Woz’s BASIC was given away free with the purchase of a piece of equipment that connected the computer to a cassette recorder.” The fully assembled and tested Apple II followed later that year. By 1977 microcomputers had begun to enter the mainstream. You could stroll down to your local Radio Shack and buy a TRS-80 microcomputer off the shelf, something absolutely unheard of just a year earlier.

An Apple II with a Charley Board, in fact, became the ultimate phone phreaking tool. Just as the phone company thought it was natural to mix computers and phone switches, John Draper thought it was natural to mix computers and phone phreaking. Draper was not the first to have this insight; students at MIT in the mid-1960s had interfaced one of the school’s PDP-6 microcomputers to the telephone line and used it as a computerized blue box. According to hacker historian Steven Levy, “At one point, [the telephone company] burst into the ninth floor at Tech Square, and demanded that the hackers show them the blue box. When the hackers pointed to the PDP-6, the frustrated officials threatened to take the whole machine, until the hackers unhooked the phone interface and handed it over.” Still, the small size and low cost of the Apple II changed the game, and the fact that Charley could listen to a call in progress meant that it could do tricky things like crack codes for WATS extenders.

Bevard, “Five Students Psych Bell System, Place Free Long Distance Calls,” Harvard Crimson, May 31, 1966 <db991>. 8 Locke dug up the Herald article: Ron Kessler, “Student Dialers Play Their Way to Global Phone Calls, Non-Pay,” Boston Herald, May 27, 1966, p. 1 <db471>. 10 “Signaling Systems for Control of Telephone Switching”: C. Breen and C. A. Dahlbom, “Signaling Systems for Control of Telephone Switching,” Bell System Technical Journal, vol. 39, no. 6, November 1960, p. 1381 <db445>. 11 used a telephone dial to select the train to be controlled: Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, 25th Anniversary Edition (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media), p. 8. Chapter 2: Birth of a Playground 14 the best known was created by Claude Chappe: J-M Dilhac, “The Telegraph of Claude Chappe—An Optical Telecommunications Network for the XVIIth Century,” IEEE Global History Network, at http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/images/1/17/Dilhac.pdf. 15 In America the inventor was Samuel Morse: The Supreme Court of the United States declared Morse to be the sole inventor of the telegraph; see Tom Standage, The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-line Pioneers (New York: Walker Publishing Company, 2007), p. 183.


pages: 281 words: 95,852

The Googlization of Everything: by Siva Vaidhyanathan

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1960s counterculture, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, computer age, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, data acquisition, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full text search, global village, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, pirate software, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, single-payer health, Skype, social web, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thorstein Veblen, urban decay, web application

The only two references to the sex act such a search generated from Charlottesville, Virginia, in February 2010 included a Wikipedia entry and the definition of the term on Urbandictionary.com. In the late 1990s, a search for “Asian” on almost any other search engine would have generated torrents of pornography featuring Asian models. Today, such a search on Google generates a first page of links devoted to Asian American history and culture and Asian foods. 5. Introduction to the Google Ad Auction, 2009, video online at www .youtube.com; Steven Levy, “Secret of Googlenomics: Data-Fueled Recipe Brews Profitability,” Wired, May 22, 2009; Search Advertising: Dr. Hal Varian, SIMS 141, course in the School of Information, University of California at Berkeley, 2007, video available at www.youtube.com; “Talking Business: Stuck in Google’s NOT ES TO PAGES 15 –18 223 Doghouse,” New York Times, September 13, 2008; “Big Brands? Google Brand Promotion: New Search Engine Rankings Place Heavy Emphasis on Branding,” SEOBook, February 25, 2009, www.seobook.com/google-branding; “Corporate Information: Our Philosophy,” Google.com, www.google.com/corporate/ tenthings.html. 6.

Amnesty International, Undermining Freedom of Expression in China; Justine Nolan, The China Dilemma: Internet Censorship and Corporate Responsibility, University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series (2008): 57; J. S. O’Rourke IV, B. Harris, and A. Ogilvy, “Google in China: Government Censorship and Corporate Reputation,” Journal of Business Strategy 28, no. 3 (2007): 12–22. NOTES TO PAGES 130–35 243 34. Matt Looney and Evan Hansen, “Google Pulls Anti-scientology links,” CNET News, March 21, 2002, http://news.cnet.com. 35. Schrage, Testimony of Google Inc.; Steven Levy, “Google and the China Syndrome,” Newsweek, February 13, 2006, 14; “Here Be Dragons,” Economist, January 28, 2006, 59–60. 36. Nolan, The China Dilemma, 57. 37. Ibid. 38. Iris Hong, “Google Boosts China Revenues but Falls Back in Share of Searches,” Telecomasia.net, June 8, 2009, www.telecomasia.net. 39. “Google Q1 China Market Share Falls to 20.9 Pct,” Caijing.com.cn, June 8, 2009, http://english.caijing.com.cn. 40.


pages: 368 words: 96,825

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Oculus Rift, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, rolodex, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator

When he recruited Sebastian Thrun to develop their autonomous car, Page declared that 100,000 miles was the incredible target for how far that car was supposed to be able to drive on its own (today the car has driven well over 500,000 miles).40 When Google wanted to do simultaneous translation between languages, they found some machine-learning researchers and, as Page explains, “We asked them, ‘Do you think you can set up an algorithm to translate between any two languages and do it better than a human translator?’ They laughed at us and said it was impossible. But they were willing to try. . . . And now, six years later we can translate between sixty-four different languages. In many languages, we’re better than an average human translator and we can do it instantly and for free.”41 Or, to offer an even more colorful example, in a Steven Levy story for Wired, Astro Teller talked about wheeling an imaginary time machine into Page’s office, plugging it in, and then demonstrating that it works. “Instead of being bowled over,” says Teller, “Page asks why it needs a plug. Wouldn’t it be better if it didn’t use power at all? It’s not because he’s not excited about time machines or ungrateful that we built it. It’s just core to who he is.

v=9pmPa_KxsAM. 40 Joann Muller, “No Hands, No Feet: My Unnerving Ride in Google’s Driverless Car,” Forbes, March 21, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmuller/2013/03/21/no-hands-no-feet-my-unnerving-ride-in-googles-driverless-car/. 41 Robert Hof, “10 Breakthrough Technologies 2013: Deep Learning,” MIT Technology Review, April 23, 2013, http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/513696/deep-learning/. 42 Steven Levy, “Google’s Larry Page on Why Moon Shots Matter,” Wired, January 17, 2013, http://www.wired.com/2013/01/ff-qa-larry-page/all/. 43 Larry Page, “Beyond Today—Larry Page—Zeitgeist 2012.” 44 Larry Page, “Google+: Calico Announcement,” Google+, September 2013, https://plus.google.com/+LarryPage/posts/Lh8SKC6sED1. 45 Harry McCracken and Lev Grossman, “Google vs. Death,” Time, September 30, 2013, http://time.com/574/google-vs-death/. 46 Jason Calacanis, “#googlewinseverything (part 1),” Launch, October 30, 2013, http://blog.launch.co/blog/googlewinseverything-part-1.html.


pages: 345 words: 105,722

The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling

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Apple II, back-to-the-land, game design, ghettoisation, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, index card, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, pirate software, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Silicon Valley, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review

The term can signify the free-wheeling intellectual exploration of the highest and deepest potential of computer systems. Hacking can describe the determination to make access to computers and information as free and open as possible. Hacking can involve the heartfelt conviction that beauty can be found in computers, that the fine aesthetic in a perfect program can liberate the mind and spirit. This is "hacking" as it was defined in Steven Levy's much-praised history of the pioneer computer milieu, Hackers, published in 1984. Hackers of all kinds are absolutely soaked through with heroic anti-bureaucratic sentiment. Hackers long for recognition as a praiseworthy cultural archetype, the postmodern electronic equivalent of the cowboy and mountain man. Whether they deserve such a reputation is something for history to decide. But many hackers—including those outlaw hackers who are computer intruders, and whose activities are defined as criminal—actually attempt to LIVE UP TO this techno-cowboy reputation.

This was the first large-scale, official meeting of what was to become the electronic civil libertarian community. Sixty people attended, myself included—in this instance, not so much as a journalist as a cyberpunk author. Many of the luminaries of the field took part: Kapor and Godwin as a matter of course. Richard Civille and Marc Rotenberg of CPSR. Jerry Berman of the ACLU. John Quarterman, author of The Matrix. Steven Levy, author of Hackers. George Perry and Sandy Weiss of Prodigy Services, there to network about the civil-liberties troubles their young commercial network was experiencing. Dr. Dorothy Denning. Cliff Figallo, manager of the Well. Steve Jackson was there, having finally found his ideal target audience, and so was Craig Neidorf, "Knight Lightning" himself, with his attorney, Sheldon Zenner. Katie Hafner, science journalist, and co-author of Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier.


pages: 304 words: 93,494

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton

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4chan, Burning Man, friendly fire, index card, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, pets.com, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technology bubble, traveling salesman, WikiLeaks

“This is the most dangerous road in the world,” one marine yelled to Jack. “There are IEDs everywhere.” (IEDs were “improvised explosive devices” planted by insurgents to kill Americans.) “Interesting,” Jack said nervously, pulling his head back inside and taking a deep breath. He looked at the others in his helicopter and smiled slightly. Scott was snapping pictures with a digital camera, Cohen was on his BlackBerry, and Steven Levy, a reporter, was writing in his notepad. Beyond Cohen’s ability to talk his way into almost any situation, he also had another very impressive skill: an knack for bringing the press along on his excursions. Levy, a columnist for Wired, had been invited to come along as this particular delegation’s embedded reporter. “The idea is to use the brains of this small collective to give ideas to Iraqi government officials, companies and users that will help it rebuild,” Levy wrote on Wired’s Web site when he arrived in Baghdad.

Marin, Ryan Block, Tom Bodkin, Danah Boyd, Matt Buchanan, David Carr, Brian Chen, Mathias Crawford, Tony and Mary Conrad, Tom Conrad, Paddy Cosgrave, Dennis Crowley, Damon Darlin, Anil Dash, Mike Driscoll, Aaron Durand, Josh Felser, Tim Ferris, Brady Forrest, David Gallhager, Michael Galpert, John Geddes, Shelly Gerrish, Ashley Khaleesi Granata, Mark Hansen, Quentin Hardy, Leland Hayward, Erica Hintergardt, Mat Honan, Arianna Huffington, Kate Imbach, Larry Ingrassia, Walter Isaccson, Mike Issac, Joel Johnson, Andrei Kallaur, Paul Kedrosky, Kevin Kelly, Jeff Koyen, Brian Lam, Jeremy LaTrasse, Steven Levy, Allen Loeb, Kati London, Om Malik, John Markoff, Hubert McCabe, Christopher Michel, Claire Cain Miller, Trudy Muller, Tim O’Reilly, Carolyn Penner, Nicole Perlroth, Megan Quinn, Narendra Rocherolle, Jennifer Rodriguez, Evelyn Rusli, Naveen Selvadurai, Ryan and Devon Sarver, Elliot Schrage, Mari Sheibley, MG Siegler, Courtney Skott, Robin Sloan, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Suzanne Spector, Brad Stone, David Streitfeld, Gabriel Stricker, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Kara Swisher, Clive Thompson, Deep Throat, Baratunde Thurston, Mark Trammell, Sara Morishige Williams, Nick Wingfield, Jenna Wortham, Aaron Zamost, Edith Zimmerman.


pages: 502 words: 107,657

Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die by Eric Siegel

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Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, backtesting, Black Swan, book scanning, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, call centre, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data is the new oil, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Google Glasses, happiness index / gross national happiness, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, personalized medicine, placebo effect, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, Steven Levy, text mining, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize, Yogi Berra

However, in 2011, Google’s “search quality gurus,” describing an update (called Panda) to Google search ranking methodology to Wired magazine (cf. the citation below), said they designed a method to “look for signals that recreate. . . that same experience [of user satisfaction]”. They “came up with a classifier” by working to “find a plane [in hyperspace] which says that most things on this side of the place are red, and most of the things on that side of the plane are the opposite of red.” This is descriptive and definitional of machine learning. Steven Levy, “TED 2011: The ‘Panda’ That Hates Farms: A Q&A with Google’s Top Search Engineers,” Steven Levy interview with Amit Singhal and Matt Cutts of Google, March 3, 2011. www.wired.com/business/2011/03/the-panda-that-hates-farms/all/. Aaron Wheeler, “How Google’s Panda Update Changed SEO Best Practices Forever—Whiteboard Friday,” Daily SEO blog, June 23, 2011. www.seomoz.org/blog/how-googles-panda-update-changed-seo-best-practices-forever-whiteboard-friday.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

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1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, phenotype, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

Woodruff, “Applications of the Shannon-Hartley Theorem to Data Streams and Sparse Recovery,” 2012, retrieved from IBM Watson researcher site May 8, 2015, http://researcher.watson.ibm.com/researcher/files/us-dpwoodru/pw12.pdf. 29.  For the OptIPuter project, for example, each major component could be on a different continent, but they all work together as if it were a single self-contained machine. See http://www.optiputer.net/. 30.  See, for example, Steven Levy, “Going with the Flow: Google's Secret Switch to the Next Wave of Networking,” Wired, April 17, 2012, http://www.wired.com/2012/04/going-with-the-flow-google/ and James C. Corbett, Jeffrey Dean, Michael Epstein, Andrew Fikes, Christopher Frost, JJ Furman, Sanjay Ghemawat, Andrey Gubarev, Christopher Heiser, Peter Hochschild, Wilson Hsieh, Sebastian Kanthak, Eugene Kogan, Hongyi Li, Alexander Lloyd, Sergey Melnik, David Mwaura, David Nagle, Sean Quinlan, Rajesh Rao, Lindsay Rolig, Yasushi Saito, Michal Szymaniak, Christopher Taylor, Ruth Wang, and Dale Woodford, “Spanner: Google's Globally-Distributed Database,” technical paper, October 2012, http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/research.google.com/en/us/archive/spanner-osdi2012.pdf. 31. 

Sebastian Thrun, “Google's Driverless Car,” TED, March 2011, http://www.ted.com/talks/sebastian_thrun_google_s_driverless_car. The relative “autonomy” of the car from the driver is a gradient. The design problem is not one of full autonomy of the car replacing full autonomy of the driver, but of varying degrees of cyborgization, drawing on those with which car culture is already comfortable. 56.  Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011). 57.  For those who honestly don't know, the Google driverless car project is a research initiative to develop cars that can autonomously navigate all roads without human steerage (or much of it), using a combination of laser-guided mapping, video cameras, radar, motion sensors, on-board computing, and other tools.

Such a system doesn't need independent taxi drivers, because the system knows where the quickest routes are and what streets are blocked, and can set an ideal route from the outset. The system knows all the conditions and can institute a more sophisticated set of rules that determines how the taxis proceed, and even figure whether some taxis should stay in their garages while fire trucks pass.” Steven Levy, “Going with the Flow: Google's Secret Switch to the Next Wave of Networking,” Wired.com, April 15, 2012, http://www.wired.com/2012/04/going-with-the-flow-google/all/. 59.  John Thackara, “Lightness,” in In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005), 18–19: “Power tools are another example. The average consumer power tool is used for ten minutes in its entire life—but it takes hundreds of times its own weight to manufacture such an object.


pages: 457 words: 126,996

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Story of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman

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1960s counterculture, 4chan, Amazon Web Services, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Debian, East Village, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, hive mind, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, Occupy movement, pirate software, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks, zero day

Thus, it is no wonder that their actions spilled over from strictly technical engagements to include mockery, spectacle, and transgression. They quickly distinguished their politics and ethics from the university hackers of MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and Stanford; these hackers, who in the 1960s stayed up all night to access their beloved computers otherwise tied up for official use during the day, were chronicled majestically by journalist Steven Levy.14 Though these early hackers also had an affinity for pranking, they abided by a a more robust ethos of transparency and access than underground hackers. Many underground hackers were puckish in their pranking and hacking pursuits. They were mischief-makers and merry wanderers of the network. There was, however, a cohort of underground hackers who more closely resembled the Loki archetype in their network jaunts and haunts.

Many of these insights are delectably explored in Lewis Hyde’s majestic account Trickster Makes this World: Mischief, Myth, and Art (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998). 11. Ibid. p. 9 12. Alex Galloway and Eugene Thacker. The Exploit: A Theory of Networks (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2007). 13. Phil Lapsley, Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell (New York: Grove Press, 2013), 226. 14. Steven, Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution—25th Anniversary Edition (Sebastapol: CA O’Reilly Media, 2010). 15. Adam L. Penenberg, “A Private Little Cyberwar,” forbes.com, Feb. 21, 2000. 16. “Biography of u4ea,” soldierx.com, last accessed May 21, 2014, available at https://www.soldierx.com/hdb/u4ea. 17. Marco Deseriis, “ ‘Lots of Money Because I Am Many’: The Luther Blissett Project and the Multiple-Use Name Strategy,” in Cultural Activism: Practices, Dilemmas and Possibilities (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011), 65–93. 18.


pages: 598 words: 134,339

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier

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23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, failed state, fault tolerance, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hindsight bias, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, stealth mode startup, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day

in 2011, it banned e-mail addresses: eBay (1 Oct 2011), “E-mail addresses and some links no longer permitted in listings,” http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/links2011.html. in 2012, it banned them from user-to-user: eBay (2 Oct 2012), “Sellers: E-mail addresses and some URLs no longer allowed in member-to-member messages,” http://announcements.ebay.com/2012/10/sellers-e-mail-addresses-and-some-urls-no-longer-allowed-in-member-to-member-messages. Websites that profit from advertising: Steven Levy (22 Apr 2014), “Inside the science that delivers your scary-smart Facebook and Twitter feeds,” Wired, http://www.wired.com/2014/04/perfect-facebook-feed. sites that allow you to opt out: Nate Anderson (24 Jul 2008), “.06% opt out: NebuAd hides link in 5,000-word privacy policy,” Ars Technica, http://arstechnica.com/uncategorized/2008/07/06-opt-out-nebuad-hides-link-in-5000-word-privacy-policy.

Branstad (Mar 1996), “A taxonomy for key escrow encryption systems,” Communications of the ACM 39, http://faculty.nps.edu/dedennin/publications/Taxonomy-CACM.pdf. over 800 encryption products: Lance J. Hoffman et al. (10 Jun 1999), “Growing development of foreign encryption products in the face of U.S. export regulations,” Report GWU-CPI-1999-02, Cyberspace Policy Institute, George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science, http://cryptome.org/cpi-survey.htm. the crypto wars: This is a good account of those times. Steven Levy (May 1993), “Crypto rebels,” Wired, http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/1.02/crypto.rebels_pr.html. NSA surveillance is costing: These three aspects were discussed in this document. Danielle Kehl et al. (29 Jul 2014), “Surveillance costs: The NSA’s impact on the economy, Internet freedom and cyberspace,” Open Technology Institute, New America Foundation, http://www.newamerica.net/publications/policy/surveillance_costs_the_nsas_impact_on_the_economy_internet_freedom_cybersecurity.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Nilsson, The Quest for Artificial Intelligence, 2010, 77, web version, http://ai.stanford.edu/~nilsson/QAI/qai.pdf. 11.Margaret Boden, Mind as Machine (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2006), 381. 12.AI@50, Dartmouth College Artificial Intelligence Conference, July 13–15, 2006. 13.Boden, Mind as Machine, 381. 14.John McCarthy, book review of B. P. Bloomfield, The Question of Artificial Intelligence: Philosophical and Sociological Perspectives, in Annals of the History of Computing 10, no. 3 (1998). 15.Ibid. 16.Nilsson, The Quest for Artificial Intelligence, 77. 17.AI@50, Dartmouth College Artificial Intelligence Conference, July 13–15, 2006. 18.Interview with John McCarthy, Stanford University, July 19, 2001. 19.Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1984). 20.Interview with John McCarthy, Stanford University, July 19, 2001. 21.Raj Reddy, “Celebration of John McCarthy’s Accomplishments,” Stanford University, March 25, 2012, YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_QGryGFb2o. 22.Arthur L. Norberg, “An Interview with Bruce G. Buchanan,” June 11–12, 1991, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, http://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/107165/1/oh230bb.pdf. 23.Hans Moravec, Mind Children: The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988), 20. 24.John McCarthy, “A Proposal for the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence,” August 31, 1955, http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/history/dartmouth/dartmouth.html. 25.William J.

Interface Agents: Excerpts from Debates at IUI 97 and CHI 97,” Association for Computing Machinery Interactions, November-December 1997, http://ritter.ist.psu.edu/misc/dirk-files/Papers/HRI-papers/User%20interface%20design%20issues/Direct%20manipulation%20vs.%20interface%20agents.pdf. 27.Ibid. 6|COLLABORATION 1.Rodney Brooks, Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us (New York: Pantheon, 2002), 28. 2.Ibid., 29. 3.Ibid., 31. 4.Rodney Brooks, “Elephants Don’t Play Chess,” Robotics and Autonomous Systems 6 (1990): 3–15, people.csail.mit.edu/brooks/papers/elephants.ps.Z. 5.Ibid. 6.Brooks, Flesh and Machines, 31. 7.Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1984), 132. 8.R. H. MacMillan, Automation: Friend or Foe, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1956), 1. 9.Levy, Hackers, 130. 10.Lee Felsenstein, “The Golemic Approach,” LeeFelsenstein.com, http://www.leefelsenstein.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Golemic_Approach_MS.pdf. 11.Ibid., 4. 12.Evgeny Morozov, “Making It,” New Yorker, January 13, 2014, http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2014/01/13/140113crat_atlarge_morozov?


pages: 396 words: 117,149

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World by Pedro Domingos

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3D printing, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Arthur Eddington, Benoit Mandelbrot, bioinformatics, Black Swan, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, constrained optimization, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, future of work, global village, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, information retrieval, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, NP-complete, P = NP, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, planetary scale, pre–internet, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight

Walter Isaacson recounts the lively history of computer science in The Innovators (Simon & Schuster, 2014). “Spreadsheet data manipulation using examples,”* by Sumit Gulwani, William Harris, and Rishabh Singh (Communications of the ACM, 2012), is an example of how computers can program themselves by observing users. Competing on Analytics, by Tom Davenport and Jeanne Harris (HBS Press, 2007), is an introduction to the use of predictive analytics in business. In the Plex, by Steven Levy (Simon & Schuster, 2011), describes at a high level how Google’s technology works. Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian explain the network effect in Information Rules (HBS Press, 1999). Chris Anderson does the same for the long-tail phenomenon in The Long Tail (Hyperion, 2006). The transformation of science by data-intensive computing is surveyed in The Fourth Paradigm, edited by Tony Hey, Stewart Tansley, and Kristin Tolle (Microsoft Research, 2009).

Seymour Papert gives his take on the debate in “One AI or Many?” (Daedalus, 1988). The Birth of the Mind, by Gary Marcus (Basic Books, 2004), explains how evolution could give rise to the human brain’s complex abilities. Chapter Five “Evolutionary robotics,” by Josh Bongard (Communications of the ACM, 2013), surveys the work of Hod Lipson and others on evolving robots. Artificial Life, by Steven Levy (Vintage, 1993), gives a tour of the digital zoo, from computer-created animals in virtual worlds to genetic algorithms. Chapter 5 of Complexity, by Mitch Waldrop (Touchstone, 1992), tells the story of John Holland and the first few decades of research on genetic algorithms. Genetic Algorithms in Search, Optimization, and Machine Learning,* by David Goldberg (Addison-Wesley, 1989), is the standard introduction to genetic algorithms.

Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (Writing Science) by Thierry Bardini

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Apple II, augmented reality, Bill Duvall, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, invention of hypertext, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, unbiased observer, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

There were two main ways to interface with NLS, through teletypes, for the purpose of com- munications over the ARPANET, and through display terminals or consoles in the "special device channel." The teletype terminal, a distant offspring of research in type printing for te- legraphy, had been the standard interface for time-sharing systems since the early 1960's. It was basically a typewriter transformed for telegraphy input and printing, accurately described by Steven Levy as "a typewriter converted 128 SRI and the oN-Line System for tank warfare, its bottom anchored In a military gray housing" (Levy 1984a, 28). As John McCarthy recollected: My first attempts to do something about time sharing was in the fall of 1957, when I came to the MIT Computation Center on a Sloan Foundation fellowship from Dartmouth College. It was immediately clear to me that the time-sharing IBM 704 would require some kind of interrupt system.

In the graphical user interface, signs do exhibit a "similarity" with the thing in the world that they represent: they are iconic previsualiza- tions of objects that they participate in creating in the world: papers, docu- ments, texts, pictures, and so on. 17 It is obvious from the start, therefore, that the graphical interface is iconic in essence, since with it, we move from an in- dexical manipulation to iconic visualization. As Steven Levy realized, and as Alan Kay very often commented, this tran- sition happened with the creation of an illusion. The virtual desktop was not a mere metaphor, since the user did not identify the false residual of the meta- phor. Instead, it was an effect produced by the craft of the designer in making the user believe that there is a correspondence between the icons that he or she moves and transforms on the screen and the referential paper objects that they represent.


pages: 547 words: 160,071

Underground by Suelette Dreyfus

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airport security, invisible hand, Julian Assange, Loma Prieta earthquake, packet switching, pirate software, profit motive, publish or perish, RFC: Request For Comment, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, urban decay, WikiLeaks, zero day

They had to be stolen from dumpsters out the back of office buildings when a company upgraded its system. It was basically impossible to learn about computer security unless you broke into secret security mailing list repositories to read what the system administrators – the keepers of all power in the early internet – were doing behind the scenes to secure their machines. Underground, along with Bruce Sterling’s The Hacker Crackdown and Steven Levy’s Hackers, shine a light onto this now lost world. The project called on a network of good people around the world who decided to let us in. These were not just hackers but others, people who were just willing to share resources because they wanted a good story, told well, for history’s sake. The critics have been kind to Underground; I hope it’s because it has delivered that. When we released an early e-book version in 2001, I was astonished to see more than 400,000 downloads of the book in the first two years alone.

All Anthrax could think of as he left the theatre was how much he wanted to learn how to hack. He had already developed a fascination for computers, having received the simplest of machines, a Sinclair ZX81 with 1 k of memory, as a birthday present from his parents. Rummaging through outdoor markets, he found a few second-hand books on hacking. He read Out of the Inner Circle by Bill Landreth, and Hackers by Steven Levy. By the time he was fourteen, Anthrax had joined a Melbourne-based group of boys called The Force. The members swapped Commodore 64 and Amiga games. They also wrote their own demos – short computer programs – and delighted in cracking the copy protections on the games and then trading them with other crackers around the world. It was like an international penpal group. Anthrax liked the challenge provided by cracking the protections, but few teenagers in his town shared an interest in his unusual hobby.


pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost

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Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

The inside story of Xerox PARC is told in Michael Hiltzik’s Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age (1999) and in Douglas Smith and Robert Alexander’s earlier Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal Computer (1988). Thierry Bardini’s Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (2000) does justice to a once-unsung hero of the personal-computer revolution. Books focusing on the Macintosh development include John Sculley’s insider account Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple (1987) and Steven Levy’s external view Insanely Great (1994). A selection of business histories of Microsoft (all of which discuss the Windows operating system) was listed in the notes to Chapter 10. We found the most thoughtful account of Microsoft’s forays into CD-ROM publishing and consumer networks to be Randall Stross’s The Microsoft Way (1996). The history of consumer networks has largely been sidelined by the rise of the Internet.

The early days are chronicled in Robert Reid’s Architects of the Web: 1,000 Days That Built the Future of Business (1997), while the crash is recounted in John Cassidy’s Dot.con (2003). As individual enterprises rise to prominence, business histories of them soon appear. We found useful Robert Spector’s Amazon.com: Get Big Fast (2000) and Karen Angel’s Inside Yahoo! (2001). The most significant work on Google to date is Steven Levy’s Into the Plex: How Google Works and Shapes Our Lives (2011). While highly celebratory, Andrew Lih’s The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World’s Greatest Encyclopedia (2009) is nevertheless useful. Social networking discussion draws in part from David Kirkpatrick’s study of Facebook, The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World (2010).

From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog: A History of the Software Industry by Martin Campbell-Kelly

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Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business process, card file, computer age, computer vision, continuous integration, deskilling, Grace Hopper, inventory management, John von Neumann, linear programming, Menlo Park, Network effects, popular electronics, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, software patent, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

See Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (University of Chicago Press, 1962); Thomas Parke Hughes, Networks of Power: Electrification in Western Society, 1880–1930 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983); Nathan Rosenberg, Inside the Black Box: Technology and Economics (Cambridge University Press, 1982). 26. Douglas K. Smith and R. C. Alexander, Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal Computer (Morrow, 1988); Michael A. Hiltzik, Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age (HarperBusiness, 1999). 27. Steven Levy, Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything (Penguin, 1994). 28. See, e.g., “A Fierce Battle Brews Over the Simplest Software Yet,” Business Week, November 21, 1983: 61–63. 29. Phil Lemmons, “A Guided Tour of VisiOn,” Byte, June 1983: 256ff. 30. Irene Fuerst, “Broken Windows,” Datamation, March 1, 1985: 46, 51–52. 31. John Markoff, “Five Window Managers for the IBM PC,” Byte Guide to the IBM PC, fall 1984: 65–66, 71–76, 78, 82, 84, 87. 32.

Ralph Watkins, A Competitive Assessment of the US Video Game Industry (US International Trade Commission, 1984); Yankee Group, Software Strategies; Creative Strategies International, Computer Home Software (1983); Creative Strategies International, Cartridge-Based Software: Further Developments (1984). 2. Enthusiasts have not done such a good job of recording the corporate and intellectual history of videogames, although there are some important exceptions. The best and most systematic historical account of the industry is Leonard Herman’s Phoenix: The Fall and Rise of Videogames (second edition: Rolenta, 1997). 3. Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (Penguin, 1994). 4. Interview with Nolan Bushnell in Slater, Portraits in Silicon, pp. 296–307. 5. Scott Cohen, Zap! The Rise and Fall of Atari (McGraw-Hill, 1984), p. 30. 6. Watkins, Competitive Assessment of the US Video Game Industry, p. 7. 7. Cohen, Zap!, p. 77. 8. Watkins, Competitive Assessment, p. 42. 9. Cohen, Zap!, p. 94. 10. Yankee Group, Software Strategies, p. 179. 11.


pages: 675 words: 141,667

Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise) by Andrew L. Russell

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barriers to entry, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, computer age, Edward Snowden, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, open economy, packet switching, pre–internet, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, web of trust

This “hacker critique” of IBM emphasized the importance of access to computers and a rejection of authority in favor of decentralization. In many ways, hackers were responding to the prevailing closed world discourse that was obsessed with geopolitical containment and driven by the military centralization of command and control. The hacker ideology of the 1960s had its roots in communities of programmers at MIT and in the San Francisco Bay area. According to Steven Levy’s account, East Coast hackers emphasized their technical fascination with computers (the Hands-On Imperative) and disdain for any gatekeepers that interfered; West Coast hackers tended to situate their tinkering within a broader countercultural critique of technology and authority in modern society. In all cases, hacker culture dovetailed nicely with the growing recognition of the importance of user groups for sales and continued innovation in the computer industry.29 A third response – a “regulatory critique” – to IBM’s dominance was articulated by the same officials in the FCC and Justice Department who had set limits on AT&T’s telephone monopoly in the 1950s and 1960s.

Bresnahan and Franco Malerba, “Industrial Dynamics and the Evolution of Firms’ and Nations’ Competitive Capabilities in the World Computer Industry,” in David C. Mowery and Richard R. Nelson, Sources of Industrial Leadership: Studies of Seven Industries (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 79–132; Chandler, Inventing the Electronic Century, 94–106; Ceruzzi, A History of Modern Computing, 128–143, 161–173; Gerald W. Brock, The Second Information Revolution (Boston: Harvard University Press, 2003), 106–111. 29 Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Doubleday, 1984); Edwards, Closed World; Atsushi Akera, “Voluntarism and the Fruits of Collaboration: The IBM User Group, Share,” Technology and Culture 42 (2001): 710–736; Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006); John Markoff, What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry (New York: Penguin, 2006); Ted Friedman, Electric Dreams: Computers in American Culture (New York: New York University Press, 2005); Steven W.


pages: 464 words: 155,696

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli

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Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, computer age, corporate governance, El Camino Real, Isaac Newton, Jony Ive, market design, McMansion, Menlo Park, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog

When one councilwoman tried to joke with him that perhaps the city should get free Wi-Fi in return for approving the move, Steve said, “Well, you know, I’m kind of old-fashioned. I believe that we pay taxes, and that the city then gives us services.” Over the last few months, a steady flow of visitors came by the house in Palo Alto. Bill Clinton came to visit, as did President Obama, for dinner with a select group of Silicon Valley leaders. John Markoff, of the New York Times, and Steven Levy, who had written several books about Silicon Valley, including ones about the development of the Macintosh and the iPod, dropped by together to pay their respects. Bill Gates wound up spending four hours with Steve one afternoon. “Steve and I will always get more credit than we deserve, because otherwise the story’s too complicated,” Gates says. “I mean, yes, Steve did brilliant work, and if you had to say—you know, leave me out of it—one person who had the most impact on the personal computer industry, particularly from where we sit now, you’d pick Steve Jobs.

We also relied on passages from the following books: Gates, by Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews; Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple, A Journey of Adventure, Ideas, and the Future, by John Sculley; The Bite in the Apple: A Memoir of My Life with Steve Jobs, by Chrisann Brennan; Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World’s Most Colorful Company, by Owen W. Linzmayer; Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age, by Michael A. Hiltzik; and Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything, by Steven Levy; as well as Moritz’s The Little Kingdom, and Wozniak and Smith’s iWoz. Other journalistic sources included “The Fall of Steve” by Bro Uttal, published in Fortune on August 5, 1985; and the PBS television documentary The Entrepreneurs, broadcast in 1986. The Golden Gate Weather website, http://ggweather.com/sjc/daily_records.html#September, provided the precise weather data for the day of Jobs’s visit to the Garden of Allah.


pages: 202 words: 59,883

Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy by Robert Scoble, Shel Israel

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Albert Einstein, Apple II, augmented reality, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, connected car, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, factory automation, Filter Bubble, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Internet of things, job automation, Kickstarter, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, PageRank, pattern recognition, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sensor fusion, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, Zipcar

If you search for flights to Maui, for example, you might receive an ad for a nice deal on a place to stay. However, if after you returned you were looking up the name of the wonderful little shop you discovered up-island, you might see the same offer. In the former situation the ad is relevant; in the latter it’s worthless. Sometimes such ads are beneath worthless; they are downright tasteless. When tech author and journalist Steven Levy tweeted that a plane had crashed at San Francisco International Airport in June 2013, he reported that an Expedia ad suddenly appeared “urging me to fly somewhere on vacation.” Such gaffes are far from uncommon and often leave a long-lasting negative impression on the very people they are trying to attract. Sometimes ads jump in at the right time—but they just don’t know when to quit. When Israel blogged that he wanted advice on buying a new refrigerator, friends mentioned KitchenAid as a good choice, and he almost immediately saw an ad for a closeout model at a great price.


pages: 210 words: 56,667

The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity From Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs by Alexa Clay, Kyra Maya Phillips

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3D printing, Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, double helix, fear of failure, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Occupy movement, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

Once he grasped the crucial aspects of the protocol (which took him six months), Roberts developed a system that could control the base station and handle both mobile calls and SMS messages. He had built a mobile network from his own bedroom. Today Sam Roberts is working with his brother Oliver on 4G mobile telecommunication network deployments throughout Europe, and continuing to embrace the hacker imperative: the driving need to understand how systems work and then put them back together in enhanced forms. THE HACKER MOVEMENT In his book Hackers, Steven Levy chronicles the birth and development of the hacker movement. He starts with the first iteration of hackers: the group who coalesced during the early 1960s, when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) acquired its first programmable computer. This cohort’s obsessive programming of the machines, and the relationship they built with the systems, gave rise to the Hacker Ethic, an informal, organically developed and agreed-upon manifesto that, in several iterations, still drives the hacker movement forward: • Access to computers—and anything that might teach you something about the way the world works—should be unlimited and total


pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v489/n7415/full/nature11421.html 60 Stephen Hawking, Stuart Russell, Max Tegmark, Frank Wilczek, “Stephen Hawking: ‘Transcendence looks at the implications of artificial intelligence – but are we taking AI seriously enough?”, The Independent, 2 May 2014. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/stephen-hawking-transcendence-looks-at-the-implications-of-artificial-intelligence-but-are-we-taking-9313474.html 61 Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever & the OpenAI team, “Introducing OpenAI”, 11 December 2015 https://openai.com/blog/introducing-openai/ 62 Steven Levy, “How Elon Musk and Y Combinator Plan to Stop Computers From Taking Over”, 11 December 2015 https://medium.com/backchannel/how-elon-musk-and-y-combinator-plan-to-stop-computers-from-taking-over-17e0e27dd02a#.qjj55npcj 63 Sara Konrath, Edward O’Brien, and Courtney Hsing. “Changes in dispositional empathy in American college students over time: A meta-analysis.” Personality and Social Psychology Review (2010). 64 Quoted in: Simon Kuper, “Log out, switch off, join in”, FT Magazine, 2 October 2015. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/fc76fce2-67b3-11e5-97d0-1456a776a4f5.html 65 Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, Penguin, 2015. 66 Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: How the Internet is changing the way we think, read and remember, Atlantic Books, 2010. 67 Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere, Simon and Schuster, 2014. 68 Quoted in: Elizabeth Segran, “The Ethical Quandaries You Should Think About the Next Time You Look at Your Phone”, Fast Company, 5 October 2015.


pages: 230 words: 61,702

The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data by Michael P. Lynch

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Mechanical Turk, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, crowdsourcing, Edward Snowden, Firefox, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, Internet of things, John von Neumann, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, new economy, patient HM, prediction markets, RFID, sharing economy, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, WikiLeaks

While neuromedia is currently still in the realm of science fiction, it may not be as far off as you think.1 The migration of technology into our bodies—the cyborging of the human—is no longer just fantasy.2 And it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the possibilities are not lost on companies such as Google: “When you think about something and don’t really know much about it, you will automatically get information,” Google CEO Larry Page is quoted as saying in Steven Levy’s recent book In the Plex. “Eventually you’ll have an implant, where if you think about a fact, it will just tell you the answer.”3 This possibility raises some disquieting questions about society, identity and the mind. But as Larry Page’s remark suggests, the deeper question is about information and knowledge itself. How is information technology affecting what we know and how we know it? And what happens to society if we not only know more about the world but the world knows more about us?


pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson

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3D printing, Airbnb, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, business process, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, South of Market, San Francisco, spinning jenny, Startup school, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Y Combinator

As then, the sudden liberation of industrial technology inspires exuberant imagination and some sweeping predictions (including here). The leaders of the Maker Movement echo the fervor of Steve Jobs, who saw in the personal computer not just the opportunity to start a company but also a force that would change the world. But don’t forget: he was right. Indeed, Jobs himself was inspired by his Maker upbringing. Writing in Wired,12 Steven Levy explained the connection, which led to the original Apple II in 1977: His dad, Paul—a machinist who had never completed high school—had set aside a section of his workbench for Steve, and taught him how to build things, disassemble them, and put them together. From neighbors who worked in the electronics firm in the Valley, he learned about that field—and also understood that things like television sets were not magical things that just showed up in one’s house, but designed objects that human beings had painstakingly created.


pages: 275 words: 77,017

The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers--And the Coming Cashless Society by David Wolman

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Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, cashless society, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, Diane Coyle, fiat currency, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, German hyperinflation, greed is good, Isaac Newton, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, mental accounting, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, place-making, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, Steven Levy, the payments system, transaction costs

v=VemU6EZtnwc. 22 Digital Money Blog, May 10, 2010; and Dave Birch, personal correspondence, November 2010. 23 William Greider, Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country (New York: Touchstone, 1987), p. 53. 24 Michael Salmony, Digital Money Forum address, London, March 10, 2010. 25 http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/rptcongress/annual09/sec5/c1t11.htm; and “As Plastic Reigns, the Treasury Slows Its Printing Presses,” New York Times, July 6, 2011. 26 John McCormick, “Loomis Fargo & Co.: Making Money Move, Efficiently,” http://www.baselinemag.com/c/a/Projects-Processes/Loomis-Fargo-Co-Making-Money-Move-Efficiently/, November 8, 2005; also Steven Levy, “E-Money (That’s What I Want),” Wired, December 1994. 27 Ronald Mann, Charging Ahead: The Growth and Regulation of Payment Card Markets (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 39, quoting Swartz. 28 Daniel D. Garcia Swartz, Robert W. Hahn, and Anne Layne-Farrar, “The Economics of a Cashless Society: An Analysis of the Costs and Benefits of Payment Instruments,” Washington, D.C.: AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, 2004), p. 25, citing Humphrey et al. 29 Currency News, July 2009, pp. 6–7. 30 Digital Money Blog, May 11, 2009, “Viking Expedition,” citing “China sees change scarcity,” chna.org.cn, November 20, 2007. 31 David Birch, The Digital Money Reader (Guildford, UK: Mastodon Press, 2010), pp. 54–55, citing “Police Escort for Elderly ATM Users,” Daily Telegraph, May 6, 2009, and “DIY Students Tackle Japanese ATM Fraud,” Finextra.com, November 8, 2008. 32 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704482704576072231420350872.html?


pages: 289 words: 22,394

Virus of the Mind by Richard Brodie

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cognitive dissonance, Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach, joint-stock company, New Journalism, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, publish or perish, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy

Until we start letting software loose to evolve on its own, it’s just another type of meme.* When we use the word evolution, as in “the evolution of species by natural selection,” we’re making a distinction between the winners of that battle, which continue to exist, and the losers, *Experiments in modeling evolution through computers are part of the fascinating new field known as artificial life. Read Steven Levy’s excellent book Artificial Life (Vintage Books, 1993) to learn more about it. 48 Evolution which don’t. Natural selection means that the forces of nature are doing the selecting, as opposed to the artificial selection of breeding pedigreed dogs, for example, in which people do the selecting. The things that are not good at sticking around eventually disappear through entropy, the tendency of things to randomize and level out over time, like sand castles on a beach or a decaying log.


pages: 271 words: 77,448

Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will by Geoff Colvin

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Ada Lovelace, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Black Swan, call centre, capital asset pricing model, computer age, corporate governance, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, Freestyle chess, future of work, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, job automation, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Narrative Science, new economy, rising living standards, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City uses Watson . . . http://www.mskcc.org/blog/msk-trains-ibm-watson-help-doctors-make-better-treatment-choices. Corporate Insight, a research firm . . . http://public.corporateinsight.com/blog/will-ibms-watson-make-your-financial-advisor-obsolete. A company called Narrative Science . . . Much of the description of the company comes from Steven Levy, “Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story Than a Human Reporter?” Wired, 24 April 2012. Updated at www.narrativescience.com. In mid-2014, the Associated Press assigned . . . “The A.P. Plans to Automate Quarterly Earnings Articles,” New York Times, 1 July 2014, p. B5. Schools from the elementary level . . . “Essay-Grading Software Offers Professors a Break,” New York Times, 4 April 2013, p.


pages: 304 words: 82,395

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier

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23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Black Swan, book scanning, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, obamacare, optical character recognition, PageRank, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Post-materialism, post-materialism, random walk, recommendation engine, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

. [>] On quotation “In God we trust—all others bring data”—This is often attributed to W. Edwards Deming. On Ted Kennedy and No-Fly List—Sara Kehaulani Goo, “Sen. Kennedy Flagged by No-Fly List,” Washington Post, August 20, 2004, p. A01 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17073-2004Aug19.html). [>] Google’s hiring practices—See Douglas Edwards, I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011), p. 9. See also Steven Levy, In the Plex (Simon and Schuster, 2011), pp. 140–141. Ironically, Google’s co-founders wanted to hire Steve Jobs as CEO (despite his lack of a college degree); Levy, p. 80. Testing 41 gradations of blue—Laura M. Holson, “Putting a Bolder Face on Google,” New York Times, March 1, 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/01/business/01marissa.html). Google’s chief designer’s resignation—Quotation is excerpted (without ellipses for readability) from Doug Bowman, “Goodbye, Google,” blog post, March 20, 2009 (http://stopdesign.com/archive/2009/03/20/goodbye-google.html). [>] Jobs quotation—Steve Lohr, “Can Apple Find More Hits Without Its Tastemaker?”


pages: 239 words: 70,206

Data-Ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else by Steve Lohr

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23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bioinformatics, business intelligence, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, David Brooks, East Village, Edward Snowden, Emanuel Derman, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Glasses, impulse control, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of writing, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, obamacare, pattern recognition, payday loans, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, pre–internet, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

C3. http://faculty-web.at.northwestern.edu/economics/gordon/WSJ_121222.pdf. 8: The Yin and Yang of Behavior and Data Yoky Matsuoka was known as a robot wizard: Matsuoka’s descriptions and quotes come mainly from an interview on Nov. 18, 2011. Nest was cofounded by Tony Fadell: I did an article on Nest when it introduced its first thermostat in October 2011. But the definitive account of Nest’s founding was by Steven Levy, published online by Wired, titled “Brave New Thermostat: How the iPod’s Creator Is Making Home Heating Sexy,” Oct. 25, 2011. I’ve talked to Fadell several times in recent years, but his descriptions and quotes here, unless otherwise noted, come from two interviews, on May 8, 2012, and Nov. 13, 2013. “I had to live a double life”: The program aired on July 16, 2008, and a transcript is available on the PBS Web site. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/yoky-matsuoka.html.


pages: 268 words: 75,850

The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems-And Create More by Luke Dormehl

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, computer age, death of newspapers, deferred acceptance, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Earth, Google Glasses, High speed trading, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, price discrimination, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Slavoj Žižek, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, upwardly mobile, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator

A parallel to CourseSmart is the kind of deep data analytics Google uses to track its own workforce. Like many high-tech businesses, Google models itself as a libertarian utopia: the type of company where employees used to be allowed one extra day per week to pursue their own lines of inquiry, and are as likely to spend their time ascending Google’s indoor rock-climbing wall or having free food served up to them by a former Grateful Dead chef as they are to be coding. However, as Steven Levy points out in In the Plex, his 2011 study of Google, the search leviathan’s apparent loopiness is “the crazy-like-a-fox variety and not the kind calling for straightjackets.”26 Despite Google’s widely publicized quirks, its irreverent touches are data-driven to a fault. “At times Google’s largesse can sound excessive,” notes an article in Slate. “Yet it would be a mistake to conclude that Google doles out such perks just to be nice.


pages: 263 words: 75,610

Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger

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en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, full text search, George Akerlof, information retrieval, information trail, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, moveable type in China, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition, RFID, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Market for Lemons, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Vannevar Bush

Telang, Rahul, Tridas Mukhopadhyay, and Ronald Wilcox, “An Empirical Analysis of Internet Search Engine Choice.” Darden School of Business Working Paper No. 03–05. 2003. Telegeography. Global Bandwidth Research Service. Washington, DC: Pri-Metrica 2008. Executive Summary available free of charge at http://www.telegeography.com/products/gb/index.php. Thompson, Clive. “A Head for Detail,” in The Best of Technology Writing, Steven Levy, ed. 94–114. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press. 2007. Timmer, John. “Google Bows to EU Pressure, Cuts Data Retention Period Again.” Ars Technica (Sept. 9, 2008). http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080909-google-bows-to-eu-pressure-cuts-data-retention-period-agaom.html. Turow, Joseph, Jennifer King, Chris Hoofnagle, Amy Bleakley, and Michael Hennessy. “Americans Reject Tailored Advertising and Three Activities That Enable It.”

The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal by M. Mitchell Waldrop

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Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Wiener process

But it just so happened that among the students in their class were several members of the Tech Model Railroad Club, a band of techno-geek undergradu- ates who spent their free time creating ever more elaborate train layouts con- trolled by ever more intricate electrical switching networks, the more ingenious the better. Borrowing an ancient MIT slang word for a practical joke, the railroad club's members had taken to calling any particularly clever bit of controller de- sign a hack. And as the writer Steven Levy described in 1984, the hackers in McCarthy and Rochester's course soon got so caught up in the fiendishly intri- cate joys of programming that they started hanging around the Computation Center till all hours, the better to gain access to the 704. There they were discov- ered one day by former railroad-club member Jack Dennis, now the staffer in charge of the TX-O, who asked them if they would like to come upstairs and see that machine.

At a minimum, the notion of passwords in an academic en- vironment seemed vaguely insulting; as Corbato heard it expressed a few years later when the same issue came up at Bell Labs, "We just don't even lock our desk at night. Anyone can walk into anybody else's office, and a gentleman doesn't read anybody else's mail."24 But to the hackers-that fiendishly clever band of obsessives who had learned to program one-on-one at the TX-O and the PDP-1, and who had now found a haven on the ninth floor of Tech Square, in Marvin Minsky's AI Lab-passwords were anathema. As Steven Levy noted in his 1984 book, Hackers, "to the hackers, passwords were even more odious than locked doors. What could be worse than someone telling you that you weren't authorized to use his computer?" The whole thing was so . . . corporate, like hav- ing to wear a nametag and sign in with a guard in the lobby. "To the hackers," wrote Levy, "CTSS represented bureaucracy and IBM-ism." Corbato understood their grievance but stood his ground.

Taylor, "The Computer as a CommunICatIon Device," Sczence & Technology 76 (1968): 21-31. Reprinted in In Memoriam:}. C. R. Llcklzder, 1915-1990, ed. Robert W. Taylor, Digital Systems Research Center Reports, vol. 61 (Palo Alto, Calif., 1990). 32. LICklIder, "Interactive Information Processing." 33. J. C. R. LicklIder, "The System System," In Human Factors In Technology, ed. E. Bennett, J. Degan, and J. Spiegel (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963), 627-28. 34. Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press/Double- day, 1984), 28-29. 35. Ibid., 47. 36. Olsen, NMAH oral history. 37. Ibid. 38. QIoted In Clark, "The LINC Was Early and Small," 368. 39. "The Project MAC Interviews," 42. 40. "The CTSS Interviews," 44, 46. 41. Ibid., 42. 42. McCarthy, "Tlme-Shanng Computer Systems," 236. 43. Martin Greenberger, "The Computers of Tomorrow," AtlantIc Monthly, May 1964. 44.


pages: 786 words: 195,810

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman

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Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental subject, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, Isaac Newton, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mother of all demos, neurotypical, New Journalism, pattern recognition, placebo effect, scientific mainstream, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

“like coming ashore after a life of bobbing up and down”: “I Am a Survivor,” Mark Morris Goodman. Asperger’s Association of New England, http://www.aane.org/asperger_resources/articles/adults/i_am_a_survivor.html 172 spacecraft: National Space Science Data Center. http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftSearch.do?launchDate=1967&discipline=All the first undergraduate course in computer programming: Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, Steven Levy. O’Reilly Media, 2010, p. 11. he coined the term artificial intelligence: “A Proposal for the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence,” J. McCarthy, M. L. Minsky, N. Rochester, and C. E. Shannon. Aug. 31, 1955. If his colleagues wanted him to read a paper: Scientific Temperaments, Philip Hilts. Simon & Schuster, 1982, p. 203. “His greeting consisted of an expectant stare”: Ibid.

Zerbe. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/22766/22766-h/22766-h.htm He advocated installing a terminal in every home: “The Home Information Utility,” John McCarthy. Man and Computer: Proceedings of the International Conference, Bordeaux, France, 1970. Basel. S. Karger, 1972, pp. 48–57. habitually unwashed, Coke-guzzling, Chinese-takeout-eating obsessives: See the descriptions of TMRC hackers in Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, Steven Levy. O’Reilly Media, 2010. As hard-core fans of science fiction, ham radio, and Japanese monster movies: “Spacewars and Beyond: How the Tech Model Railroad Club Changed the World,” Henry Jenkins. http://henryjenkins.org/2007/10/spacewars_and_beyond_how_the_t.html#sthash.vNI7iDoK.dpuf equal parts of “science, fiction, and science fiction”: Scientific Temperaments, p. 266. “Do the arithmetic or be doomed to talk nonsense”: “John McCarthy, 84, Dies; Computer Design Pioneer,” John Markoff.


pages: 641 words: 182,927

In Pursuit of Privilege: A History of New York City's Upper Class and the Making of a Metropolis by Clifton Hood

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affirmative action, British Empire, David Brooks, death of newspapers, deindustrialization, family office, Golden Gate Park, Google Earth, jitney, new economy, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ray Oldenburg, ride hailing / ride sharing, Scientific racism, Steven Levy, The Great Good Place, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, urban planning, We are the 99%, white flight

Social Register Association, Social Register, 1986 (New York: Social Register Association, 1985), 501; Social Register Association, Social Register, 1988 (New York: Social Register Association, 1987), 939, 998; Social Register Association, Social Register, 1990 (New York: Social Register Association, 1989), 910; Social Register Association, Social Register, 2013 (New York: Social Register Association, 2012), 887. 120. Quoted in Steven Levy, “Getting In,” New York Magazine 13 (June 30, 1980): 23. 121. Ibid., 23–24. 122. New York Times, April 7 and June 23, 1985. 123. New York Tribune, May 3, 1903, January 3, 1904; New York Times, May 4, 1902; “Town & Country Life,” Town and Country, 52 (June 14, 1902): 29–35; and “Town & Country Life,” Town and Country, 52 (June 21, 1902): 22–25. 124. New York Tribune, May 3, 1903; New York Times, May 4, 1902; and “Town and Country Life,” Town & Country 52 (June 14, 1902): 29–34. 125.

The importance of social diversity to the antielitist elite is also evident from the New York Times wedding page. Once a bastion of white Protestants and a trifling number of Jews and Catholics, it did not run its first photograph of an African American bride until 1954. In the 1970s and 1980s, the presence of representative Asian Americans and African Americans became routinized, and in 2002 the Times began carrying announcements for same-sex couples. New York Times, May 29, 1983, August 18, 2002; and Steven Levy, “Getting In,” New York Magazine 13 (June 30, 1980): 23–24. 136. New York Times, September 14, 1997; W. P. Carey, 2011 Annual Report (New York: n.p., 2012), 2–5, 9–17; “Profiles: Executive Profile of Thomas E. Zacharias,” Bloomberg Businessweek, accessed June 26, 2011, http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=8923450&ticker=WPC:US; Yale School of Management Alumni Profiles, “Profile of Thomas E.


pages: 297 words: 89,820

The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness by Steven Levy

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Apple II, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, en.wikipedia.org, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, technology bubble, Thomas L Friedman

Each chapter of this book was written to stand on its own, a deeply researched, wittily observed take on a different aspect of the iPod. The sequence of the chapters in the book has been shuffled in different copies, with only the opening and concluding sections excepted. "Shuffle" is a hallmark of the digital age—and The Perfect Thing, via sharp, insightful reporting, is the perfect guide to the deceptively diminutive gadget embodying our era. STEVEN LEVY is a senior editor and the chief technology correspondent for Newsweek magazine. He is the author of five previous books, including Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, which was voted the best sci-tech nonfiction book of the last twenty years by readers of PC magazine, and Insanely Great, the definitive account of the Macintosh computer. A native of Philadelphia, Levy lives in New York City with his wife, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Teresa Carpenter, and their son.


pages: 322 words: 99,066

The End of Secrecy: The Rise and Fall of WikiLeaks by The "Guardian", David Leigh, Luke Harding

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4chan, banking crisis, centre right, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Climategate, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, Downton Abbey, eurozone crisis, friendly fire, global village, Hacker Ethic, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, Mohammed Bouazizi, offshore financial centre, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Levy, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

David House, a Boston University graduate who set up the hackerspace there, says that hacking is not the shady skull-and-crossbones activity of breaking into computers that it is often assumed to be. Rather, it is a way of looking at the world. “It’s about understanding the environment in which we operate, taking it apart, and then expanding upon it and recreating it. Central to it is the idea that information should be free, combined with a deep distrust of authority.” House points to a book, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, by Steven Levy, which chronicles the rise of the “hacker ethic” at MIT. “Hackers believe that essential lessons can be learned about … the world from taking things apart, seeing how they work, and using this knowledge to create new and even more interesting things,” Levy writes. “They resent any person, physical barrier, or law that tries to keep them from doing this. All information should be free. If you don’t have access to the information you need to improve things, how can you fix them?”


pages: 240 words: 109,474

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner

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Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, book scanning, Columbine, corporate governance, game design, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, software patent, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, X Prize

Then one day he realized he wasn’t. 19 The book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution was a revelation. Carmack had heard about hackers: In 1982 a Disney movie called Tron told the story of a video game designer, played by Jeff Bridges, who hacked himself into a video game world; in a 1983 movie called WarGames, Matthew Broderick played a young gamer who hacked into a government computer system, and nearly triggered Armageddon. But this book’s story was different–it was real. Written by Steven Levy in 1984, it explored the uncharted history and culture of the “Whiz Kids Who Changed Our World.” The book traced the rise ol renegade computer enthusiasts over twenty-five rollicking years, from the mainframe experimentalists at MIT in the fifties and sixties to the Homebrew epoch of Silicon Valley in the seventies and up through the computer game start-ups of the eighties. These were not people who fit neatly into the stereotypes of outlaws or geeks.


pages: 398 words: 107,788

Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman

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Benjamin Mako Hill, crowdsourcing, Debian, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, ghettoisation, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, Jean Tirole, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, means of production, Paul Graham, pirate software, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, software patent, software studies, Steve Ballmer, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, web application, web of trust

Hackers, however, evince considerable diversity and are notoriously sectarian, constantly debating the meaning of the words hack, hacker, and hacking. Yet almost all academic and journalistic work on hackers commonly whitewashes these differences, and defines all hackers as sharing a singular “hacker ethic.” Offering the first definition in Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, journalist Steven Levy (1984, 39) discovered among a couple of generations of MIT hackers a unique as well as “daring symbiosis between man and machine,” where hackers placed the desire to tinker, learn, and create technical beauty above all other goals. The hacker ethic is shorthand for a list of tenets, and it includes a mix of aesthetic and pragmatic imperatives: a commitment to information freedom, a mistrust of authority, a heightened dedication to meritocracy, and the firm belief that computers can be the basis for beauty and a better world (ibid., 39–46).


pages: 390 words: 96,624

Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom by Rebecca MacKinnon

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, digital Maoism, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Firefox, future of journalism, illegal immigration, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, national security letter, online collectivism, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks

Today, things are more subtle”: Jailan Zayan, “Egypt, Tunisia Finding that Road to Freedom Is Rocky,” Agence France Presse, May 26, 2011. 6 President Barack Obama waxed enthusiastic about the political power of social networking: Full transcript at www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/04/20/remarks-president-facebook-town-hall (accessed June 21, 2011). 7 A classic example was Google’s clash with the Chinese government: A full account of those events can be found in Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011). Also see John Pomfret, “In China, Google Users Worry They May Lose an Engine of Progress,” Washington Post, March 20, 2010, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/19/AR2010031900986.html (accessed June 21, 2011). 9 geopolitical vision for a digitally networked world: Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, “The Digital Disruption: Connectivity and the Diffusion of Power,” Foreign Affairs 89, no. 6 (November/December 2010), 75–85. 10 In his book The Filter Bubble, Eli Pariser: Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You (New York: Penguin Press, 2011). 10 Siva Vaidhyanathan warns: Siva Vaidhyanathan, The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should Worry) (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011). 10 As Harvard’s Joseph Nye points out in The Future of Power: Joseph S.


pages: 465 words: 109,653

Free Ride by Robert Levine

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Anne Wojcicki, book scanning, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Firefox, future of journalism, Googley, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, linear programming, offshore financial centre, pets.com, publish or perish, race to the bottom, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

More important, Napster would have had to change the expectations of an audience it had conditioned to expect free music, and it would have had to do so while competing with illegal services that were still free—and free to offer copyrighted movies and unreleased music when it couldn’t. That hasn’t kept technology pundits from insisting the music business missed its big chance. In The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness, the former Newsweek technology correspondent Steven Levy blames the labels for not making their content free online the way newspapers did, although that didn’t work out very well for them (or for Newsweek, for that matter).20 Levy writes that when he interviewed Barry, he saw a look in his eyes that said, “Why didn’t they work with us?”21 But Barry is hardly as naive as Levy makes him sound, and even he doesn’t think the labels were as clueless as some people say.


pages: 422 words: 104,457

Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance by Julia Angwin

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AltaVista, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Graeber, Debian, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Firefox, GnuPG, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, Julian Assange, market bubble, market design, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, prediction markets, price discrimination, randomized controlled trial, RFID, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, security theater, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, Steven Levy, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Zimmermann PGP

And in 1999, the United States dropped: Jeri Clausing, “White House Eases Export Controls on Encryption,” New York Times, September 17, 1999, http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/99/09/biztech/articles/17encrypt.html. It developed the “Clipper chip” to encrypt: John Markoff, “Technology; Wrestling over the Key to the Codes,” New York Times, May 9, 1993, http://www.nytimes.com/1993/05/09/business/technology-wrestling-over-the-key-to-the-codes.html. copies of the encryption keys: Steven Levy, “Battle of the Clipper Chip,” New York Times, June 12, 1994, http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/12/magazine/battle-of-the-clipper-chip.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm. In 1994, Matt Blaze at AT&T Bell Labs: Matt Blaze, in discussion with author, May 8, 2013. “It is insufficient to protect ourselves”: Bruce Schneier, Applied Cryptology: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C (New York: Wiley, 1996).


pages: 313 words: 84,312

We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater

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1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

Available from http:// msu.edu/%7enellison/facebook_ica_2006.pdf 12 Danah Boyd, ‘None of This Is Real: Identity and Participation in Friendster’, University of California, Berkeley. Available from http://www.danah.org/ papers/NoneOfThisIsReal.pdf 13 http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WikiHistory 14 The Economist New Media Survey, ‘The Wiki Principle’, The Economist, April 2006. Available from http://www.economist.com/surveys/displaystory. cfm?story_id=6794228 15 See Steven Levy and Brad Stone, ‘The New Wisdom of the Web’, Newsweek, April 2006. Available from http:// www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12015774/site/newsweek 16 Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture (Chicago, IL/London: University of Chicago Press, 2006) 17 Patrice Flichy, The Internet Imaginaire (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007) 18 Charles Leadbeater, ‘The DIY State’, Prospect 130, January 2007 19 Fred Turner, op. cit. 20 John Markoff, What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry (Penguin, 2006) 21 Patrice Flichy, The Internet Imaginaire (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007) 22 Jonathan Lethem, ‘The Ecstasy of Influence’, Harper’s Magazine, February 2007 23 Garrett Hardin, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science 162 (1968), pp. 1243–48 24 Elenor Ostrom, Governing the Commons (Cambridge University Press, 1990) 25 Lawrence Lessig, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (New York, NY: Basic Books, 1999) and Free Culture (New York, NY: Penguin Press, 2004) 26 Melvyn Bragg, The Routes of English (BBC Factual and Learning, 2000); Melvyn Bragg, The Adventure of English (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 2003) 27 Jonathan Lethem, ‘The Ecstasy of Influence’, Harper’s Magazine, February 2007 28 Cory Doctorow et al., ‘On “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism” By Jaron Lanier’, Edge (2006). http://www.edge.org/discourse/digital_ maoism.html 29 Paul A.


pages: 314 words: 83,631

Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum

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air freight, cable laying ship, call centre, global village, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, if you build it, they will come, inflight wifi, invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, Network effects, New Urbanism, packet switching, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, urban planning, WikiLeaks

In 2011, Facebook reported: Facebook engineer Justin Mitchell provided the number on the website Quora, January 25, 2011 (http://www.quora.com/How-many-photos-are-uploaded-to-Facebook-each-day). Google confirms at least one billion searches per day: Matt McGee, “By The Numbers: Twitter Vs. Facebook Vs. Google Buzz,” Search Engine Land, February 23, 2010 (http://searchengineland.com/by-the-numbers-twitter-vs-facebook-vs-google-buzz-36709). Its total cost was $1.8 million: For an account of Google’s arrival in The Dalles, see Steven Levy, In the Plex (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), pp. 192–95. “It was visionary—this little town…”: Ibid., p. 192. I’d even read a little note about it: The site has since been changed, but it was accessible as of June 2011 at http://www.google.com/corporate/datacenter/index.html; a copy is preserved here: http://kalanaonline.blogspot.com/2011/02/where-is-your-data-google-and-microsoft.html.


pages: 397 words: 109,631

Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking by Richard E. Nisbett

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, big-box store, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive dissonance, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological constant, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, endowment effect, experimental subject, feminist movement, fundamental attribution error, glass ceiling, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, quantitative easing, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, William of Occam, Zipcar

Kim, Beom Jun KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) Kissinger, Henry Kitayama, Shinobu Korea Kremer, Michael Krugman, Paul Kuhn, Thomas Kunda, Ziva kurtotic curves Lakatos, Imre Larrick, Richard Latané, Bibb Latin law of large numbers; observations and; sample values and learning; animal studies of; classroom size and; of language; machine; standardized tests as measures of; statistics, everyday benefits of; unconscious; about Venn diagrams; see also reinforcement learning theory Lehman, Darrin Lempert, Richard Lepper, Mark leptokurtic curve Levi, Primo Levitt, Steven Levy, Dan Lewicki, Pawel Life of Samuel Johnson, The (Boswell) LifeSkills Training Lincoln, Abraham Lingua Franca Literary Digest Liu, Amy Liu, Shu-hsien Logan, Robert logic; conditional; of cost-benefit theory; of decision theory; deontic; formal (see also syllogisms); propositional; violations of; see also reasoning London: weather in London School of Economics loss aversion Lowell, Amy Lysenko, Trofim macroeconomics Maier, N.R.F.


pages: 352 words: 96,532

Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet by Katie Hafner, Matthew Lyon

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air freight, Bill Duvall, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, fault tolerance, Hush-A-Phone, information retrieval, Kevin Kelly, Menlo Park, natural language processing, packet switching, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy

Marsha Longshore of IEEE sent technical articles our way, and Earl Swartzlander lent us his copies of the IEEE computer history annals. Steve Wolff helped us understand the often labyrinthine events that took place in the 1980s, particularly concerning NSF’s role in the development of the Internet. The manuscript was read in whole or in part in various stages of completion by Vint Cerf, Lyman Chapin, Steve Crocker, Peter Denning, Frank Heart, Bob Kahn, John Kelley, Larry Landweber, Steven Levy, Hank Long, Paul McJones, Alex McKenzie, Peter Preuss, Larry Roberts, Einar Stefferud, Bob Taylor, John Vittal, Dave Walden, and Susan Zacharias. Everett Hafner, perfectionist and workhorse, kept us honest. The manuscript benefited tremendously from the keen mind and careful pen of Richard Lyon. Responsibility for errors, of course, rests with us. Jon Coifman, our ace research assistant, helped immensely with the final stages of the manuscript preparation, and Andrea Perry was a careful proofreader.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

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Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Somewhere along the way, the money changers had taken over the temple. The internet had transformed many things, but it had not transformed us. The New New Age The yearning for a higher consciousness didn’t burst with the bubble. Web 1.0 may have turned out to be spiritual vaporware, but now we have the hyper-hyped upgrade: Web 2.0. In a new profile of the influential technology publisher Tim O’Reilly, Wired writer Steven Levy suggests that “the idea of collective consciousness is becoming manifest in the internet.” He quotes O’Reilly: “The internet today is so much an echo of what we were talking about at Esalen in the ’70s—except we didn’t know it would be technology-mediated.” Levy then asks, rhetorically, “Could it be that the internet—or what O’Reilly calls Web 2.0—is really the successor to the human potential movement?”


pages: 374 words: 89,725

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

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3D printing, Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, clean water, fear of failure, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, Toyota Production System, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar

In my description of Central Park East schools, I quoted and drew heavily from Seymour Fliegel’s excellent article “Debbie Meier and the Dawn of Central Park East,” City Journal, Winter 1994. 22 “an astonishingly rich educational program” . . . Ibid. 23 But such schools still represent just . . . From my interviews with Nikhil Goyal, April 2013; for more, see Goyal’s book, One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School (Bravura Books, 2012). 24 alumni have become known as the Montessori Mafia . . . Peter Sims, “The Montessori Mafia,” Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2011. 25 Marissa Mayer—now the head of Yahoo! . . . Steven Levy, “Larry Page Wants to Return Google to Its Startup Roots,” Wired, April 2011. 26 Dan Meyer, a high school math teacher . . . Meyer gave his talk, “Math Class Needs a Makeover,” at TEDxNYED, March 2010. 27 Why do movie tickets cost the same for hits or duds? . . . Robert H. Frank, “How Can They Charge That? (and Other Questions),” New York Times, May 11, 2013. 28 Dennie Palmer Wolf, a professor . . .


pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review

Nelson, “Complex Information Processing: A File Structure for the Complex, the Changing and the Indeterminate,” in ACM ’65: Proceedings of the 1965 20th National Conference (New York: ACM, 1965), 84–100. “transclusion”: Theodor H. Nelson, Literary Machines (South Bend, IN: Mindful Press, 1980). “intertwingularity”: Theodor H. Nelson, Computer Lib: You Can and Must Understand Computers Now (South Bend, IN: Nelson, 1974). total number of web pages: “How Search Works,” Inside Search, Google, 2013, accessed April 26, 2015. 90 billion searches a month: Steven Levy, “How Google Search Dealt with Mobile,” Medium, Backchannel, January 15, 2015. 50 million blogs in the early 2000s: David Sifry, “State of the Blogosphere, August 2006,” Sifry’s Alerts, August 7, 2006. 65,000 per day are posted: “YouTube Serves Up 100 Million Videos a Day Online,” Reuters, July 16, 2006. 300 video hours every minute, in 2015: “Statistics,” YouTube, April 2015, https://goo.gl/RVb7oz.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

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3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Zipcar

A map on your personalized home page would show you where rides that originated near you were going that day, letting serendipity guide your travel. You could pay for your share of the driving expenses online, without having to awkwardly hand over exact change for your share of the trip expenses (we would charge each party 10 percent of the transaction for doing so). And both passengers and drivers could say whether they would ride with the other person again, creating a trusted network. I was proud of the product we launched with, and Steven Levy, the author of popular books about Apple and Google, broke the story about GoLoco in Newsweek: “If Chase has her way, GoLoco will be the behavioral equivalent of the Prius, zapping enviro-guilt while cooling off Gaia.”1 We persuaded close friends and employees to create complete personal profiles to fuel our start. But all too quickly we learned that we had vastly overbuilt the website. Just about no one voluntarily created a profile.


pages: 525 words: 142,027

CIOs at Work by Ed Yourdon

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8-hour work day, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, distributed generation, Flash crash, Googley, Grace Hopper, Infrastructure as a Service, Innovator's Dilemma, inventory management, Julian Assange, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Nicholas Carr, rolodex, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software as a service, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Zipcar

The creation of the ARPANET, the creation of DARPA, without which we wouldn’t have had the ARPANET, without which we wouldn’t have had the NSFnet, without which we wouldn’t have had the Internet, without which we wouldn’t have had Google, right? Yourdon: Yeah, that’s true. That is a good point. No one has mentioned that, and that obviously is a social or human creation, that led to all this other stuff. Fried: And there’s this other unique—I’m a big fan of Steven Levy’s book, Hackers [Doubleday, 1984]. Yourdon: Mm-hmm. Fried: There was this unique point in time where our culture was created that we now see evidenced in Linux and open-source software—and in a dramatically lower cost to compute that comes from that. And as a result now people talk about open-source hardware as well, but this notion that people should be able—if you believe what Levy has in the book, it came out of this belief that computers should be open, that anyone should be able to use them and experiment with them and learn to program.


pages: 302 words: 82,233

Beautiful security by Andy Oram, John Viega

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Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, corporate governance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, defense in depth, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, Firefox, loose coupling, market design, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Nick Leeson, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, packet switching, performance metric, pirate software, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, security theater, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, statistical model, Steven Levy, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, web application, web of trust, x509 certificate, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

In 1990, the cultural attitude about cryptography could be described as, Why do you need that? What do you have to hide? Twenty years later, the cultural attitude is closer to, Why don’t you have it? Don’t you understand that you have to protect your data? The definitive history of The Crypto Wars and the cultural shift in cryptography has not yet been written. Nonetheless, a good place to start is Steven Levy’s Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government Saving Privacy in the Digital Age (Penguin). From PGP 3 to OpenPGP After the status of PGP 2 became calmer, Phil, along with Derek Atkins and Colin Plumb, started work on a new version of PGP software, PGP 3. PGP 3 contained a number of improvements to the RFC 1991 protocol, including: • Support for multiple public-key pairs in a PGP key. In particular, its design called for separate signing and encryption keys, as a way to enforce key use. • Support for DSA public-key signatures, as well as ElGamal for public-key encryption. • Support for CAST5 and Triple DES for symmetric encryption. • Replacing the MD5 hash function with SHA-1, after Hans Dobbertin found pseudocollisions in its compression function (see “References” on page 129).


pages: 402 words: 110,972

Nerds on Wall Street: Math, Machines and Wired Markets by David J. Leinweber

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AI winter, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, butterfly effect, buttonwood tree, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, citizen journalism, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Danny Hillis, demand response, disintermediation, distributed generation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, financial innovation, Gordon Gekko, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, information retrieval, Internet Archive, John Nash: game theory, Khan Academy, load shedding, Long Term Capital Management, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, market fragmentation, market microstructure, Mars Rover, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, paper trading, passive investing, pez dispenser, phenotype, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, smart grid, smart meter, social web, South Sea Bubble, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, Turing machine, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Vernor Vinge, yield curve, Yogi Berra

Absent that fancy gadget, try the web site NerdsonWallStreet.com. It has links in to all of these references, plus color and animated versions of the black & white screen grabs found in the book. The site will be updated often with new and topical items. Notes 1. A term of respect popularized by Michael Lewis in his 1989 book, Liar’s Poker (W.W. Norton). 2. Emanuel Derman, “Finance by the Numbers,” Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2007. 3. Much of Steven Levy’s 1984 book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (Doubleday) takes place in the PDP-1 lab at MIT. Hacking had no criminal connotation at the time. The book is still in print. 4. Start with Herman Kahn’s On Thermonuclear War (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1960) for a weighty tome, or “How RAND Invented the Postwar World,” by Virginia Campbell, in Invention & Technology magazine (Summer 2004) for a much more compact read. 5.


pages: 429 words: 114,726

The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise by Nathan L. Ensmenger

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barriers to entry, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, deskilling, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Grace Hopper, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, loose coupling, new economy, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, performance metric, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, sorting algorithm, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the market place, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, Y2K

Steve Silberman, “The Geek Syndrome,” Wired 9, no. 12 (2001): 175–183; Majia Holmer Nadesan, Constructing Autism: Unravelling the “Truth” and Understanding the Social (London: Routledge, 2005), 199. 6. David Anderegg, Nerds: Who They Are and Why We Need More of Them (New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 2007); Benjamin Nugent, American Nerd: The Story of My People (New York: Scribner, 2008). 7. Joseph Weizenbaum, Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgment to Calculation (New York: Penguin, 1976); Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (Garden City, NY: Anchor Press, 1984); Katie Hafner, CYBERPUNK: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier, Revised (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995). 8. Philip Scranton, “None-too-Porous Boundaries: Labor History and the History of Technology,” Technology and Culture 29, no. 744–778 (1988); Stephen Barley, “Technicians in the Workplace: Ethnographic Evidence for Bringing Work into Organization Studies,” Administrative Science Quarterly 41, no. 3 (1996): 404–441; Nelly Oudshoorn and Trevor Pinch, eds., How Users Matter: The Co-construction of Users and Technologies (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003). 9.


pages: 470 words: 144,455

Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World by Bruce Schneier

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Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, business process, butterfly effect, cashless society, Columbine, defense in depth, double entry bookkeeping, fault tolerance, game design, IFF: identification friend or foe, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, mutually assured destruction, pez dispenser, pirate software, profit motive, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, slashdot, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steven Levy, the payments system, Y2K, Yogi Berra

–Jim Wallner, National Security Agency “The news media offer examples of our chronic computer security woes on a near-daily basis, but until now there hasn’t been a clear, comprehensive guide that puts the wide range of digital threats in context. The ultimate knowledgeable insider, Schneier not only provides definitions, explanations, stories, and strategies, but a measure of hope that we can get through it all.” –Steven Levy, author of Hackers and Crypto “In his newest book, Secrets and Lies:Digital Security in a Networked World, Schneier emphasizes the limitations of technology and offers managed security monitoring as the solution of the future.” –Forbes Magazine Secrets and Lies DIGITAL SECURITY IN A NETWORKED WORLD Bruce Schneier Wiley Publishing, Inc. Publisher: Robert Ipsen Editor: Carol Long Managing Editor: Micheline Frederick Associate New Media Editor: Brian Snapp Text Design and Composition: North Market Street Graphics Designations used by companies to distinguish their products are often claimed as trademarks.


pages: 542 words: 132,010

The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain by Daniel Gardner

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Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, Doomsday Clock, feminist movement, haute couture, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, medical residency, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, placebo effect, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Tunguska event, uranium enrichment, Y2K, young professional

justice Kahan, Dan Kahneman, Daniel Kamiya, Gary Kassirer, Jerome Kates, Robert Keeley, Lawrence Kennedy, John F. Kent, Robert Kern, Montague Kerry, John Kessler, David Kim Jong King . J. Knetsch, Jack Kolbig, Uwe Kone, Daboula Koop . Everett Kramer, Barry Krewski, Daniel Kunstler, James Howard Lanning, Ken Leiserowitz, Anthony Leovy, Jill Lessner, Richard Levin, Irwin Levitt, Steven Levy, Douglas Lewinsky, Monica Lewis, Jeffrey Lichtenfeld, Leonard Lichtenstein, Sarah Lichter, Robert Livingstone, Ken Loewenstein, George Lomborg, Bjorn Lunsford, Jessica Luntz, Frank Lynch, Timothy Macallair, Daniel Macdonald, Ken Mack, Andrew MacLeod, Ian mad cow disease. See bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) malaria Manningham-Buller, Eliza Margolis, Howard marketing fear Marshall, Monty Mather, Jane Mauskopf, Roslynn McArthur, David McCain, John McCann, Madeleine McCarthy, Cormac McHugh, Carol McNeil, Barbara McNeil, John McVeigh, Timothy Mencken, H. .


pages: 320 words: 87,853

The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information by Frank Pasquale

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bonus culture, Brian Krebs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, Flash crash, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, hiring and firing, housing crisis, informal economy, information retrieval, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, kremlinology, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, moral hazard, new economy, Nicholas Carr, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, search engine result page, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steven Levy, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, two-sided market, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, WikiLeaks

., 1–2. 66. Laurianne McLaughlin, “The Straight Story on Search Engines,” ComputerWorld, June 25, 2002, http://www.computerworld.com.au /article /27204 /straight _story_search _engines/. (“Despite our misgivings, the situation is not completely hopeless. There’s always Google. Not only does Google deliver exceptionally relevant matches, but it’s also the best of the bunch at identifying ads.”) 67. Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010); John Battelle, The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture (New York: Portfolio, 2005); Randall Stross, Planet Google (New York: Free Press, 2008). 68. Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives. 69. John Koetsier, “Search Expert Danny Sullivan Asks FTC to Review Google’s New Paid Ad Policies,” Venture Beat, June 10, 2012, http://venturebeat .com /2012/06/10/ftc-review-google-paid-inclusion-policies/. 70.


pages: 559 words: 157,112

Dealers of Lightning by Michael A. Hiltzik

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Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, computer age, Dynabook, El Camino Real, index card, Jeff Rulifson, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, oil shock, popular electronics, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

It was easy to set: Sosinski, Charles, and Herb Yeary: “Flaming Dorados and Other Stories” in The Analytical Engine 2.1, February 1995 (Computer History Association of California). Cost of Dorado and comparison to VAX: Thacker in Goldberg, p. 285. Cost of VAX: Bell, Gordon, in Goldberg, p. 45. It was difficult to think: Thacker in Goldberg, p. 285. They were such an efficient heater: Sosinski. Xerox executives made: Perry & Wallich, p. 73. Chapter 23: Steve Jobs Gets His Show and Tell You can have your Lufthansa heist: Steven Levy, Insanely Great, p. 78. Joe Wilson had predicted: Jacobson & Hillkirk,, p. 58. The answer was to create: George White, 10/6/97. When the company raised $7 million: Michael Moritz, The Little Kingdom, p. 271. Raskin recollection of Jobs and Wozniak: Raskin, “Mac and Me,” in The Analytical Engine 2.4, November 1995 (Computer History Association of California). Chapter 24: Supernova you gotta be here in Connecticut: Pake, 5/19/97.office systems will never amount: Hall, private communication.my junior on the board: Smith & Alexander, p. 216.


pages: 468 words: 124,573

How to Build a Billion Dollar App: Discover the Secrets of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs of Our Time by George Berkowski

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Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business intelligence, call centre, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, Paul Graham, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Y Combinator

.’, article and video interview on FirstRound.com, firstround.com/article/how-dave-goldberg-of-surveymonkey-built-a-billion-dollar-business-and-still-gets-home-by-5-30. 4 Ibid. 5 Mike Rose, ‘Supercell’s Secret Sauce’, article on Gamasutra.com, 7 December 2012, www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/183064/supercells_secret_sauce.php. 6 Ibid. 7 Alyson Shontell and Andrea Huspeni, ‘15 Incredible Employee Perks That Will Make You Wish You Worked at a Startup’, article on BusinessInsider.com, 31 May 2012, www.BusinessInsider.com/killer-startup-perks-2012-5. 8 Heather Leonard, ‘Facebook Generates Over $1 Million in Revenue Per Employee’, article on BusinessInsider.com, 19 March 2013, www.BusinessInsider.com/facebook-has-high-revenue-per-employee-2013-3. 9 Megan Rose Dickey, ‘“Clash of Clans” Maker Had a Monster Year in 2013: Revenue Increased Nearly Ninefold’, article on BusinessInsider.com, 12 February 2014, www.BusinessInsider.com/gaming-startup-supercell-2013-revenue-2014-2. 10 Steven Levy, ‘Google’s Larry Page on Why Moon Shots Matter’, article on Wired.com, 17 January 2013, www.wired.com/business/2013/01/ff-qa-larry-page/all/. 11 Peter Murray, ‘Google’s Self-Driving Car Passes 300,000 Miles’, article on Forbes.com, 15 August 2012, www.forbes.com/sites/singularity/2012/08/15/googles-self-driving-car-passes-300000-miles/. 12 For more information about Project Loon, visit www.google.com/loon/. 13 ‘Google X’, entry on Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_X.


pages: 494 words: 142,285

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig

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AltaVista, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, business process, Cass Sunstein, computer age, dark matter, disintermediation, Erik Brynjolfsson, George Gilder, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, invention of hypertext, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, linked data, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, smart grid, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, transaction costs

Eisenberg, “Bargaining over the Transfer of Proprietary Research Tools,” 224. See also Robert P. Merges, “Institutions for Intellectual Property Transactions: The Case of Patent Pools,” in Expanding the Boundaries of Intellectual Property, Rochelle Cooper Dreyfuss and Diane Leenheer Zimmerman, eds. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 127-28. 96 Bessen and Maskin, “Sequential Innovation, Patents, and Imitation.” 97 Steven Levy, “The Great Amazon Patent Debate,” Newsweek (March 13, 2000): 74 (“I asked Bezos if Amazon would have developed 1-Click even if there were no patent system to protect it and anyone could legally rip it off. 'Yes,' he responded without hesitation. 'Very definitely.' “). This point suggests a related reason to be skeptical about these patents. Patents can induce overinvestment in patent protection; the low additional cost to get the protection may induce too much patent duplication.


pages: 309 words: 114,984

The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age by Robert Wachter

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, crowdsourcing, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Glasses, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, pets.com, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Yogi Berra

—John Halamka, MD Chief Information Officer, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Professor of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School “Wachter not only has unmatched insider knowledge of healthcare but deeply understands technology as well. This breadth allows him to prescribe commonsense solutions to the problems emerging from the inevitable marriage between the fields, which he reveals as a more troubled union than many suspect. The Digital Doctor not only enlightens and awakens, but is a delight to read—rare for such an important book.” —Steven Levy author of Hackers and In the Plex “A fascinating and insightful look at the digital transformation of healthcare, thoroughly researched and brought to life by dozens of stories and interviews with practicing clinicians. Wachter plots a realistic road map for navigating the obstacles ahead, without the hype that frequently accompanies digital health solutions. It’s an essential read for anyone involved in our healthcare system, from everyday providers in exam rooms to politicians and policy makers who shape the system.”

How I Became a Quant: Insights From 25 of Wall Street's Elite by Richard R. Lindsey, Barry Schachter

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Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andrew Wiles, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, asset allocation, asset-backed security, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, diversification, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, implied volatility, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, John von Neumann, linear programming, Loma Prieta earthquake, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market friction, market microstructure, martingale, merger arbitrage, Nick Leeson, P = NP, pattern recognition, pensions crisis, performance metric, prediction markets, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, sorting algorithm, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, stochastic process, systematic trading, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, transfer pricing, value at risk, volatility smile, Wiener process, yield curve, young professional

For many years before Black-Scholes, economists had discussed theoretical constructs for redistributing risks among market participants. 339 JWPR007-Lindsey May 18, 2007 340 11:41 note s Two economists, Arrow and Debreu, each received the Prize in Economic Science in Memory of Alfred Nobel for this work. 8. Presentation Speech by Professor Bertil Näslund of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, December 10, 1997. From Les Prix Nobel, the Nobel Prizes 1997, Tore Frängsmyr, ed., Nobel Foundation, Stockholm, 1998. 9. Perry Mehring, Fischer Black and the Revolutionary Idea of Finance (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2005). Chapter 1 1. Much of Steven Levy’s 1984 book, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, takes place in the PDP-1 lab at MIT. Hacking had no criminal connotation at the time. The book is still in print. 2. It is now complete, and is utterly awesome. See the video at http://www.deltawerken.com/The-Oosterschelde-storm-surgebarrier/324.html. This is one of the premier flood control projects in the world and particularly instructive when compared with the misplaced concrete slabs in New Orleans. 3.

The Fugitive Game: Online With Kevin Mitnick by Jonathan Littman

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Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, centre right, computer age, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Kevin Kelly, Menlo Park, profit motive, Silicon Valley, Steven Levy, telemarketer

It's the first clue that Mitnick might be involved, since Markoff's front-page article last summer broadcast Mitnick's obsession with cellular phones. But there's a more important question. What are programs "useful in unscrambling cellular telephone codes" doing on Shimomura's computer? I flip the page to "The Greatest Hits of Hacking," photos of six of the most famous hackers of all time, Mitnick, Poulsen, Morris, and others. But that's just part of Newsweek's hacker coverage for the week. On the facing page is an article by Steven Levy, the author of Hackers. It's the photo that catches my eye, an inspired, superimposed cybermontage, a giant close-up of Shimomura's intense face glowing with magenta and fluorescent green light. Above his flowing black locks floats a miniature ghost of the warrior in Buddha pose, hands poised on the keyboard, and at his side, what looks like the sword of a samurai. Levy shares the opinion of his friends, Markoff and Shimomura.


pages: 527 words: 147,690

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

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23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

“A Literary Legend Fights for a Local Library.” New York Times. June 19, 2009. nytimes.com/2009/06/20/us/20ventura.html. 341 “I think in tweets”: David Roberts. “Goodbye for Now.” Grist. Aug. 19, 2013. grist.org/article/goodbye-for-now. 342 “an escalating cycle”: Lasch. Culture of Narcissism, 90. 343 “the performing self”: ibid. 345 “Awareness commenting on awareness”: ibid. 346 “like television”: Steven Levy. “Inside the Science That Delivers Your Scary-Smart Facebook and Twitter Feeds.” Wired. April 22, 2014. wired.com/2014/04/perfect-facebook-feed. 346 “method actors”: de Zengotita. Mediated, 11. 347 “conflictual ways”: “Fetishism of Digital Commodities and Hidden Exploitation: The Cases of Amazon and Apple.” Wu Ming Foundation. Oct. 10, 2011. www.wumingfoundation.com/english/wumingblog/?p=1895. 348 “a form of labor dispute”: Author interview with Liel Leibovitz.


pages: 821 words: 227,742

I Want My MTV by Craig Marks

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Bernie Sanders, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, haute couture, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, upwardly mobile

MTV was finally being noticed by the mainstream press, and the mainstream press was unimpressed. Both articles took disapproving tones. Time sniffed that “the majority of clips now in circulation are labored ephemera with heavily imitative associations,” unfavorably compared Duran Duran (“an affable, uninspired British band currently aglow with success”) to Beethoven, and concluded, “the pervading silliness is worrisome.” Steven Levy, writing in Rolling Stone, unfavorably compared “superficial, easy-to-swallow” acts such as Adam Ant to Bob Dylan. To bolster his accusation that “heavy-metal pounding” videos were dangerously violent, he quoted Dr. Thomas Radecki, chairman of the right-wing National Coalition on TV Violence, who a year later testified to Congress on behalf of the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) and served on their board of directors.


pages: 662 words: 180,546

Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown by Philip Mirowski

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Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, constrained optimization, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, full employment, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, incomplete markets, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, loose coupling, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market design, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, precariat, prediction markets, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, random walk, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, school choice, sealed-bid auction, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Myth of the Rational Market, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, working poor

,” on Hyman Minsky influence of on “informational efficacy” and “allocative efficiency,” on Keynesian Theory in New York Review of Books orthodox economics profession on reason for becoming an economist “The Return of Depression Economics,” Kydland–Prescott notion L La Bute, Neil Laibson, David Laissez-faire Lal, Deepak LAMP (Liberal Archief, Ghent) Lanchester, John Landsbanki Lange, Oskar Lasn, Kalle Late Neoliberalism Lehman Brothers Leoni, Bruno Les Mots et les Choses Levin, Richard Levine, David Levitt, Steven Levy, David Lewis, Michael, The Big Short Liberatarianism Liberty Institute Liberty International Liberty League LIBOR scandal Lilly Endowment LinkedIn L’Institut Universitaire des Hautes Etudes Internationales at Geneva Litan, Robert Competitive Equity The Derivatives Dealer’s Club “In Defense of Much, But Not All, Financial Innovation,” writings of Lloyd’s Bank Lo, Andrew on economic crisis Harris & Harris Group Professor of Finance A Non-Random Walk Down Wall Street “Reading About the Financial Crisis,” Lohmann, Larry “Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit” (Romer) Lowenstein, Roger LSE (London School of Economics) Lucas, Robert E.


pages: 636 words: 202,284

Piracy : The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates by Adrian Johns

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banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Corn Laws, demand response, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Marshall McLuhan, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, pirate software, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, software patent, South Sea Bubble, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, traveling salesman, Whole Earth Catalog

By 1963 a TMRC acolyte named Stewart Nelson (who had experimented with phones and radio in Poughkeepsie before arriving at MIT) had made the obvious next step, using a PDP1 computer to sing MF tones into the AT&T network. Soon the students had made their way into systems across the nation. Department of Defense contractors were a particular target. The subsequent trajectory of hacking from Cambridge to Palo Alto and beyond has been well known since Steven Levy’s classic Hackers. Originally a term for a practical joke of the childish but technically neat kind long popular at places like MIT and Caltech, it now came to mean the virtuoso feats of computer cognoscenti – those who neglected every other aspect of life in order to tweak digital systems to create elegant solutions (“hacks”) to tricky problems. At a time when computers were still largely the preserve of specialist technicians, these young virtuosi held a basic commitment to direct “handson” experience in order to produce their hacks.


pages: 889 words: 433,897

The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey by Emmanuel Goldstein

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affirmative action, Apple II, call centre, don't be evil, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, information retrieval, late fees, license plate recognition, optical character recognition, packet switching, pirate software, place-making, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RFID, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, Y2K

When Hackers Ride Horses: A Review of Cyberpunk (Summer, 1991) Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier By Katie Hafner and John Markoff $22.95, Simon and Schuster, 354 pages Review by The Devil’s Advocate The exploits of Kevin Mitnick, Pengo, and Robert Morris have become legendary both in and out of the hacker mainstream. Until now, however, hackers have had to worship their idols from afar. Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier unites hackers in this true-life testimony by presenting an in-depth, up-front view of these “techno-menaces” without the overreactive doomsday prophecies that usually accompany such a work. Cyberpunk is a fitting sequel to Steven Levy’s classic Hackers. Whereas Levy’s treatise addressed the origins of hacking in its infancy, Cyberpunk is the New Testament depicting hacking as it is in the here and now. More than just a synthesis of current trends, however, Cyberpunk depicts the hacking lifestyle and cyberpunk culture that has evolved alongside our boundless fascination with computers and information. Cyberpunk portrays hackers as they really are: real people with lives not unlike our own.


pages: 1,351 words: 385,579

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker

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1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, experimental subject, facts on the ground, failed state, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fudge factor, full employment, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Republic of Letters, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, security theater, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

Lawrence, Saint Lea, Rod leaders: complexity of speeches intelligence of motives of narcissism of openness to experience in overconfidence in selection of women see also autocracy; democracy; despotism; monarchy League of Nations Leary, Timothy LeBlanc, Steven Lebow, Richard Ned Lee, Harper Lehrer, Tom Lemkin, Raphael Lennon, John Leonardo da Vinci Leopold, king of Belgium Levi, Michael Levi, Primo Levi, Werner, The Coming End of War Leviathan: aggression curbed by and commerce emergence of and human nature international introduction of concept legitimate use of force by monarchies and Pacifist’s Dilemma in violence triangle see also anarchy; government; states Levin, Jack Levitt, Steven Levy, Jack Lewis, Bernard liberal democracy liberalism: classical and conservatism and gentle commerce and intelligence and morality and nationalism and Rights Revolutions use of term Liberal Peace Liberia, civil war in libertarianism Liebenberg, Louis life history theory lightning strikes limbic system Lincoln, Abraham Lindow Man literacy Lithgow, William Li Zhisui Lloyd George, David Locke, John Some Thoughts Concerning Education Two Treatises on Government Lodge, David Loewenstein, George London Blitz Long, William Long Peace chemical weapons democratic peace disarmament great power wars and Humanitarian Revolution introduction of concept Kantian Peace Liberal Peace nuclear peace numbers related to violence in 20th century Lorenz, Konrad loss aversion Lott, Trent Luard, Evan Luria, Alexander Luther, Martin macabre voyeurism Macaulay, Thomas McCauley, Clark McClure, Samuel McCormack, Mary Ellen McCullough, Michael MacDonald, Heather Mack, Andrew McKinley, William McLuhan, Marshall McNamara, Robert S.