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Ryan

Ryan Somerville, MA, United States Member Since 2005

Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.

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14
  • "A catalog of positive innovations o..."

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    According to some viewpoints, life on Earth is getting worse, with more and more people competing for fewer and fewer resources. However, Peter Diamandis and Stephen Kotler are here to make the case for optimism, arguing that innovations in technology, communication, information access, energy production, medicine, agriculture, methods of learning, and entrepreneurship are likely to have vast, transformative effects on human society in the near future. Key to understanding this is the authors’ belief that technological progress tends to follow an exponential curve, rather than a linear one, with inventions that seem to be of limited use at first quickly evolving to become crucial, productivity-enhancing features of everyday life. We’ve already seen this happen with airplanes, cars, computers, and the Internet, and there’s little reason to believe it won’t happen with solar and nuclear energy, better batteries, smart agriculture, gene therapy, self-driving cars, and artificial intelligence. If you’re familiar with techno-optimists like Ray Kurzweil, then you know the cloth that Abundance is cut from.

    The authors also focus some attention on the so-called “bottom billion”. As they point out, even small improvements that reach the very poor have a marked effect on their quality of life. Simple access to clean water, basic medicine, cell phone communication, a little electricity, and other small conveniences liberates people from their harshest struggles, enabling them to reach for better lives, including more education. This also reduces the rampant population growth and environmental strain associated with poverty, as people find that they no longer need to be subsistence farmers or have as many children as possible to ensure a comfortable future for themselves.

    As a guy who works in technology, I think the book’s optimism in that department is well justified. Never underestimate what can happen when millions of very smart individuals, who can share knowledge easily, attack interconnected problems. The middle chapters contain a short who's-who catalog of inventors, thinkers, and entrepreneurs whose work is pushing the envelope in different areas. In fact, I took the artificial intelligence course taught by one of the researchers mentioned in the AI section, and offered for free online by Stanford University. How’s that for abundance? As Diamandis points out, even the President of the United States didn’t have so much expertise at his fingertips twenty-five years ago. Now a kid in India with a cheap laptop does.

    On the social front, there seems to be a little more wishful thinking. The authors are hopeful that improved resource efficiency and slowing population growth will bring humanity’s rapacious levels of consumption and environmental impact down to sustainable levels, and I’m sure they’re right to some degree, but will they be right *enough*? Also, while I admire what certain billionaire philanthropists are doing with their money to solve real problems, the authors seem to discount the other side of concentrated wealth and power, the one that hasn’t always cared about humanity’s best interests. And I still have my concerns about the fate of people who no longer have skills that are useful in a technology-based economy -- what will they get paid to do?

    But, even if Abundance doesn’t fully address all those questions, it’s still a hopeful, positive book, directing attention towards all the ways that human beings are applying their ingenuity for real good.

    More

    Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Steven Kotler, Peter H. Diamandis
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (606)
    Performance
    (516)
    Story
    (509)

    We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. This bold, contrarian view, backed up by exhaustive research, introduces our near-term future, where exponentially growing technologies and three other powerful forces are conspiring to better the lives of billions of people. This book is an antidote to pessimism by tech-entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler.

    Ryan says: "A catalog of positive innovations on the horizon"
  • "Starry-eyed but inspiring"

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    Being a developer of games and simulation/training software, myself, I think that this book delves into an important question: why do we play games? After all, when one thinks about it, most games are simply work, a series of repetitive tasks. What makes them *fun*? And why doesn’t work we do in real life engage us in the same way? Why do people enjoy doing chores in The Sims and Farmville, but hate doing their actual dishes and laundry? Why are X-Box first person shooter matches so popular with soldiers in Afghanistan, who presumably get enough of the real deal?

    If you can mentally compensate for the author’s extremely starry-eyed view of gaming and gamers, she does raise some interesting points. There’s no question that games tap into our neurochemical wiring, stimulating our brains' reward systems with bite-sized challenges and constant feedback. We enjoy the competition and freedom of experimentation that games offer. Playing them also has more meaningful benefits, such as building self-confidence, providing healthy escape from stress, allowing us to explore and experiment, fostering community and connection, even creating a feeling of connection to something bigger.

    This leads to the book's central questions: how can we apply what works in games to make aspects of the real world more engaging? How can we use game-like systems to solve problems that really matter? Would we have more fun with reality if it was more benignly competitive, more open to experimentation, more full of positive feedback for doing the right thing? If you weren't familiar with buzzy terms like "augmented reality" or "massively single-player", you will be.

    While McGonigal probably won’t sell you on the notion that games can solve humanity’s problems, her anecdotes about successful projects make a convincing case for their future potential. Yes, many of the cutesy social apps she described, such as the one that rewards users with virtual prizes for jogging, seem a little inconsequential, but the point is the *possibility* they imply. If we're using smart phones to manage our lives anyway, why not make the experience fun? I was fascinated by the use of crowd-sourcing to unravel a British political scandal (with astonishingly effective results) and McGonigal's assessment of wikipedia in gaming terms. The World Without Oil game and some similar experiments show a potential role for gamelike collaborative systems in addressing widespread political disconnect.

    The author also provides a sense of the sheer energy, enthusiasm, and range of interests of gamers themselves. Let’s face it, if hundreds of millions of people across the Earth are using computers and playing games every day, this represents a huge mindshare that might be tapped. Sure, not all of their skills translate to real-world problems, but many do. As I’ve seen in my own line of work, part of the reason that game-based military simulations are so effective is because they leverage an already-existing base of skills found among most young people who join the US military (and I don’t mean shooting stuff, but navigating virtual environments).

    McGonigal’s unbridled excitement may not speak to every reader, but I think that most who have had a more-than-casual experience with gaming will understand where it's coming from. Even if you decide not to read the book, I recommend googling some of the author’s talks and projects.

    More

    Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Jane McGonigal
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
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    In today’s society, games are fulfilling real human needs in ways that reality is not. Hundreds of millions of people globally - 174 million in the United States alone - regularly inhabit game worlds because they provide the rewards, stimulating challenges and epic victories that are so often lacking in the real world. Jane McGonigal argues that we need to figure out how to make the real world—our homes, our businesses and our communities—engage us in the way that games do.

    Dan says: "Slow start But full of Fascinating Ideas"
  • "Still a consciousness-expanding int..."

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    Chaos, the concept, is often explained in terms of a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world, which sets off a long chain of consequences leading to rain falling in another part of the world. It's an overworn cliche by now, but one that still gets to the heart of a quality of nature that scientists and mathematicians prior to the 20th century didn't really grasp. It was hardly their fault. Living in the age of slide rules and tables (or before), they can't really be blamed for focusing on phenomena that were predictable, linear, and led to stable outcomes, and ignoring those that seemed too noisy, erratic, and error-prone to be represented with an equation.

    Yet, as the age of computers dawned, it became clear that the "noise" in many natural systems wasn't error at all, but held its own elusive underlying order. The feedback loops in these systems would magnify initial discrepancies over time, but they would also perform a sort of self-correction, giving rise to repeated patterns and patterns-within-patterns -- similar, like the shape of clouds, but never exactly the same. It's now apparent that this complex dance between coherence and instability, between the macroscopic and the microscopic, drives many of nature's most interesting phenomena, from the branching of blood vessels into smaller ones, to how particles of smoke curl around each other, to the way a snowflake's shape reflects its journey through the atmosphere. Human consciousness itself seems to be an example of a chaotic, endlessly self-referential system.

    Chaos, the book, though written in 1987, still does an excellent job of connecting the discoveries that opened the door to Chaos Theory. Gleick introduces us to figures like Edward Lorenz, whose work in weather prediction revealed that tiny differences in input in even simple mathematical models could lead to vast differences in output over time; Robert May, who discovered chaotic patterns in population dynamics; and Benoit Mandelbrot, now considered the father of fractals. Along the way, he touches on fundamental concepts like strange attractors, fractal dimension, bifurcation, complex boundaries, and the Mandlebrot set (whose astonishing visual representation you've seen if you’ve set foot in a poster shop in the last 25 years).

    This is one of those books I'd recommend to people who already have some familiarity with the topic. While its purpose is introductory and there's little math, per se, I think the underlying profundities will be more obvious to readers who have taken a college-level math course or two or three. That disclaimer aside, I found Gleick's writing articulate, and seldom had much trouble visualizing what he was talking about, even listening to the audiobook. It's worth having the print edition on hand for the pictures and diagrams, but if you don't, the internet should suffice.

    Despite being 25 years old, Chaos remains an invigorating read, offering a sense of discoveries and inventions yet to be made, and demonstrating that separate fields like physics, chemistry, biology, information theory, computing, cognitive science, climatology, and economics aren't as separate as we might think. As bonus, a 2000s-era afterward in the audiobook provides a brief update of progress in some areas since the book's original publication, and some thoughts on its cultural impact.

    More

    Chaos: Making a New Science

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By James Gleick
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
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    Overall
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    James Gleick explains the theories behind the fascinating new science called chaos. Alongside relativity and quantum mechanics, it is being hailed as the 20th century's third revolution.

    Ryan says: "Best AudioBook on Math/Physics yet"
  1. Abundance: The Future Is ...
  2. Reality Is Broken: Why Ga...
  3. Chaos: Making a New Science
  4. .

A Peek at Douglas's Bookshelf

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Auburn, WA, United States 273 REVIEWS / 385 ratings Member Since 2008 207 Followers / Following 32
 
Douglas's greatest hits:
  • The App Generation: How Today's Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World

    "A Great Companion Read..."

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    to Nicolas Carr's The Shallows, which I recommend be read first: to get the full warning of what can go wrong when we become slaves to technology and the rapid-fire "information age..." The originator of the Multiple Intelligence Education system, Howard Gardner, and Katie Davis come together to give a very serious look at the "App Generation," those born into a 24/7 "wired" society... I had to be a bit amused at the reviewer who vociferously complains that this book "won't get to the point" and gave up after an hour and a half because the authors wanted to give background for their thesis. (Yes, there is a thorough and necessary historical background of technology's influence on the last few hundred years of human evolution.) Perhaps this person is suffering from some of the negative effects of information at the speed of light: inability to concentrate for long periods of time, impatience, attention deficits...as well as deficits in the areas of identity, creativity and interpersonal relationships. (Again, read Carr first to get the thorough analysis of this foreboding side of the issue in bold letters.) Gardner and Davis are realistic about these side-effects of cellphones, tablets and computers which allow youth to be constantly online and more involved with their Facebook friends than the ones standing right next to them (also busy with their online lives.) But Gardner and Davis also offer hope, showing that, used correctly and wisely--and on a more limited basis, technology COULD help the computer generation to emerge MORE creative, with MORE enhanced self-awareness and with MORE connectedness to others. The key, they say, is being very aware of how one is using the technology: that is, that the human is still in charge and using the machines to enhance reality rather than to replace it. Becoming slave to the machines and their flashing lights and info-bits is what leads to everything Carr warns of in The Shallows... It's a big "COULD," I have to say, and I think I see more Shallows than Depths when it comes to technology use among the young (I teach college English and have for 25 years, and so have seen both sides of the technological divide), but at least Gardner and Davis give us a guideline, a way of becoming aware and helping others become aware of how to control technology rather than letting it come to control us.

  • The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler

    "Another reviewer wrote..."

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    "how did I not know about this?" I felt the exact same way. This is the remarkable story of a life sustaining process of which I would guess almost no one in the general population is immediately aware. Elegantly and poetically told, this book proves to be enthralling as well as educating. It is a real "page turner," that is, you will want to listen from beginning to end. What every science based tale should be!

  • The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive

    "Human Psychology 4.0"

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    This is a MUST read for anyone interested in AI or, for that matter, pure human psychology. Christian (who, by the way, does a fine job of narrating!) presents, with StevenPinkeresque style and wit, the reasons why the computer, as it becomes stronger and stronger in the ways of logic and computation, ironically becomes farther removed from us rather than more like us. He helps to shake away the still clinging prejudices left over from the Age Of Reason and makes us aware that being a "creature-computer interface" is not such a bad thing, that the emotional, "irrational" part of us is a good bit of what makes us---well, us! All of this in a rich tapestry of science, case histories and personal anecdotes which makes for a very enlightening and enjoyable read. This is the best writing on the human mind I have read since Pinker's How The Mind Works, which would serve as a great companion to this book.

    Sidenote: 10/8/2012 I took on several on of noted on-line bots, like Cleverbot and A.L.I.C.E., and was not at all impressed. They might be able to fake surface small talk or even argue (as long as it is in insult and not in reasonable debate)--but sustaining conversation on a topic, wondering, showing genuine insight or awe--I would never mistake them for a human at the other end.


Diane

Diane United States 06-13-11 Member Since 2008
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0
  • "Should be a prerequisite for using ..."

    2 of 4 helpful votes

    The author hopes that he will make the reader more self-conscious of his internet behavior. Mission accomplished. I will never think of "on-line" in the same way. This book provides a comprehensive overview of the pitfalls of the internet and should be required reading for anyone who uses or knows someone who uses the internet. I gave it four stars, however, because the narration is painfully slow.

    More

    Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Elias Aboujaoude
    • Narrated By Teddy Canez
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    A penetrating examination of the insidious effects of the Internet on our personalities - online and off. Whether sharing photos or following financial markets, many of us spend a shocking amount of time online. While the Internet can enhance well-being, Elias Aboujaoude has spent years treating patients whose lives have been profoundly disturbed by it.

    Roy says: "Very Informative"

What's Trending in Technology:

  • 4.8 (22 ratings)
    Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Explosion Aboard the Deepwater Horizon (






UNABRIDGED) by Tom Shroder, John Konrad Narrated by Sean Pratt

    Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Explosion Aboard the Deepwater Horizon

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Tom Shroder, John Konrad
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
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    (22)
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    (14)
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    In the spring of 2010 the world watched for weeks as more than 200 million gallons of crude oil billowed from a hole three miles deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Warnings of various and imminent environmental consequences dominated the news. Deepwater drilling - largely ignored or misunderstood to that point - exploded in the American consciousness in the worst way possible. Fire on the Horizon, written by veteran oil rig captain John Konrad and longtime Washington Post journalist Tom Shroder, recounts in vivid detail the life of the rig itself, from its construction to its improbable journey in the year 2000 to its end.

    Shep says: "An incredibly well-told story"
  • 4.4 (606 ratings)
    Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think (






UNABRIDGED) by Steven Kotler, Peter H. Diamandis Narrated by Arthur Morey

    Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Steven Kotler, Peter H. Diamandis
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (606)
    Performance
    (516)
    Story
    (509)

    We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. This bold, contrarian view, backed up by exhaustive research, introduces our near-term future, where exponentially growing technologies and three other powerful forces are conspiring to better the lives of billions of people. This book is an antidote to pessimism by tech-entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler.

    Ryan says: "A catalog of positive innovations on the horizon"
  • 4.4 (594 ratings)
    The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler (






UNABRIDGED) by Thomas Hager Narrated by Adam Verner

    The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Thomas Hager
    • Narrated By Adam Verner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (594)
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    (481)
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    At the dawn of the 20th century, humanity was facing global disaster. Mass starvation, long predicted for the fast-growing population, was about to become a reality. A call went out to the worlds scientists to find a solution. This is the story of the two enormously gifted, fatally flawed men who found it: the brilliant, self-important Fritz Haber and the reclusive, alcoholic Carl Bosch. Together they discovered a way to make bread out of air, built city-sized factories, controlled world markets, and saved millions of lives.

    sarah says: "Riveting"
  • 4.3 (452 ratings)
    Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivals That Ignited the Space Age (






UNABRIDGED) by Matthew Brzezinski Narrated by Charles Stransky

    Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivals That Ignited the Space Age

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Matthew Brzezinski
    • Narrated By Charles Stransky
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    Overall
    (452)
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    (279)
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    On October 4, 1957, a time of Cold War paranoia, the Soviet Union secretly launched the Earth's first artificial moon. No bigger than a basketball, the tiny satellite was powered by a car battery. Yet, for all its simplicity, Sputnik stunned the world.

    Thomas says: "awesome"
  •  
  • 4.3 (329 ratings)
    Makers: The New Industrial Revolution (






UNABRIDGED) by Chris Anderson Narrated by Rene Ruiz

    Makers: The New Industrial Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Chris Anderson
    • Narrated By Rene Ruiz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (329)
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    (286)
    Story
    (292)

    Chris Anderson takes you to the front lines of a new industrial revolution as today’s entrepreneurs, using open source design and 3-D printing, bring manufacturing to the desktop. In an age of custom-fabricated, do-it-yourself product design and creation, the collective potential of a million garage tinkerers and enthusiasts is about to be unleashed, driving a resurgence of American manufacturing. A generation of "Makers" using the Web’s innovation model will help drive the next big wave in the global economy, as the new technologies of digital design and rapid prototyping gives everyone the power to invent.

    John says: "A Glimpse Into the Future"
  • 4.3 (326 ratings)
    Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America (






UNABRIDGED) by Jeff Ryan Narrated by Ray Porter

    Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Jeff Ryan
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (326)
    Performance
    (297)
    Story
    (296)

    Nintendo has continually set the standard for video game innovation in America, starting in 1981 with a plucky hero who jumped over barrels to save a girl from an ape.

    Steve says: "Great read! Very informative."
  • 4.3 (227 ratings)
    How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed (






UNABRIDGED) by Ray Kurzweil Narrated by Christopher Lane

    How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Ray Kurzweil
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (227)
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    (203)
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    (200)

    Ray Kurzweil, the bold futurist and author of the New York Times best seller The Singularity Is Near, is arguably today’s most influential technological visionary. A pioneering inventor and theorist, he has explored for decades how artificial intelligence can enrich and expand human capabilities. Now, in his much-anticipated How to Create a Mind, he takes this exploration to the next step: reverse-engineering the brain to understand precisely how it works, then applying that knowledge to create vastly intelligent machines.

    Ryan says: "Articulate but familiar brain-inspired AI pitch"
  • Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Nick Bostrom
    • Narrated By Napoleon Ryan
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    Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life. The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful - possibly beyond our control.

  • The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (






UNABRIDGED) by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee Narrated by TBA

    The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee
    • Narrated By TBA
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (207)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (164)

    In recent years, Google’s autonomous cars have logged thousands of miles on American highways and IBM’s Watson trounced the best human Jeopardy! players. Digital technologies — with hardware, software, and networks at their core — will in the near future diagnose diseases more accurately than doctors can, apply enormous data sets to transform retailing, and accomplish many tasks once considered uniquely human.

    Chris Lunt says: "Good for the periphery"
  • Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation (






UNABRIDGED) by Blake J. Harris Narrated by Fred Berman

    Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Blake J. Harris
    • Narrated By Fred Berman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (163)
    Story
    (161)

    A mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video-game industry. In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video-game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But all that would change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a former Mattel executive who knew nothing about video games and everything about fighting uphill battles.

    Robert says: "If you love video games..."
  • The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - but Some Don't (






UNABRIDGED) by Nate Silver Narrated by Mike Chamberlain

    The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - but Some Don't

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Nate Silver
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1192)
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    (999)
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    Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger - all by the time he was 30. The New York Times now publishes FiveThirtyEight.com, where Silver is one of the nation’s most influential political forecasters. Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data.

    Grant says: "Hot"
  •  
  • Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think (






UNABRIDGED) by Viktor Mayer-Schöberger, Kenneth Cukier Narrated by Jonathan Hogan

    Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Viktor Mayer-Schöberger, Kenneth Cukier
    • Narrated By Jonathan Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (378)
    Performance
    (329)
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    Oxford professor and author Viktor Mayer-Schönberger joins Economist data editor and commentator Kenneth Cukier to deliver insight into the hottest trend in technology. "Big data" makes it possible to instantly analyze and draw conclusions from vast stores of information, enabling revolutionary breakthroughs in business, health, politics, and education. But big data also raises troubling social and privacy concerns sure to be a major talking point in the years ahead.

    Michael says: "Pretty light stuff on Big Data"
  • Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think (






UNABRIDGED) by Steven Kotler, Peter H. Diamandis Narrated by Arthur Morey

    Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Steven Kotler, Peter H. Diamandis
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (606)
    Performance
    (516)
    Story
    (509)

    We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. This bold, contrarian view, backed up by exhaustive research, introduces our near-term future, where exponentially growing technologies and three other powerful forces are conspiring to better the lives of billions of people. This book is an antidote to pessimism by tech-entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler.

    Ryan says: "A catalog of positive innovations on the horizon"
  • The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    Overall
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    Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail?

  • Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World (






UNABRIDGED) by Christopher Steiner Narrated by Walter Dixon

    Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Christopher Steiner
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (776)
    Performance
    (672)
    Story
    (670)

    It used to be that to diagnose an illness, interpret legal documents, analyze foreign policy, or write a newspaper article you needed a human being with specific skills - and maybe an advanced degree or two. These days, high-level tasks are increasingly being handled by algorithms that can do precise work not only with speed but also with nuance. These "bots" started with human programming and logic, but now their reach extends beyond what their creators ever expected.

    PHIL says: "Wide-ranging, non-technical"
  •  
  • Proof: The Science of Booze (






UNABRIDGED) by Adam Rogers Narrated by Sean Runnette

    Proof: The Science of Booze

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Adam Rogers
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (20)

    A spirited narrative on the fascinating art and science of alcohol, sure to inspire cocktail party chats on making booze, tasting it, and its effects on our bodies and brains. Drinking gets a lot more interesting when you know what's actually inside your glass of microbrewed ale, single-malt whisky, or Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. All of them begin with fermentation, where a fungus called yeast binges on sugar molecules and poops out ethanol. Humans have been drinking the results for 10,000 years. Distillation is a 2,000-year-old technology - invented by a woman - that we're still perfecting today.

    Atila says: "Great listening to all about booze"
  • The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups (






UNABRIDGED) by Randall Stross Narrated by Rene Ruiz

    The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Randall Stross
    • Narrated By Rene Ruiz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (131)
    Story
    (134)

    Twice a year in the heart of Silicon Valley, a small investment firm called Y Combinator selects an elite group of young entrepreneurs from around the world for three months of intense work and instruction. Their brand-new two- or three-person start-ups are given a seemingly impossible challenge: to turn a raw idea into a viable business, fast.

    Tyler says: "Great background on what it takes on startups"
  • In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (






UNABRIDGED) by Steven Levy Narrated by L. J. Ganser

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

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Steven Levy
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2914)
    Performance
    (2095)
    Story
    (2101)

    Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that has transformed the Internet and become an indispensable part of our lives. How has Google done it? Veteran technology reporter Steven Levy was granted unprecedented access to the company, and in this revelatory book he takes listeners inside Google headquarters - the Googleplex - to explain how Google works.

    Lynn says: "A Rip Snorting Story"
  • Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking (






UNABRIDGED) by Christopher Hadnagy, Paul Wilson (foreword) Narrated by A. T. Chandler

    Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Christopher Hadnagy, Paul Wilson (foreword)
    • Narrated By A. T. Chandler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (146)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (134)

    From elicitation, pretexting, influence and manipulation all aspects of social engineering are picked apart, discussed and explained by using real world examples, personal experience and the Science & Technology behind them to unraveled the mystery in social engineering. Kevin Mitnick - one of the most famous social engineers in the world - popularized the term social engineering. He explained that it is much easier to trick someone into revealing a password than to exert the effort of hacking.

    Doug says: "Social Engineering Savvy"
  • Your Mac Life, August 28, 2014  by Shawn King Narrated by Shawn King

    Your Mac Life, August 28, 2014

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 25 mins)
    • By Shawn King
    • Narrated By Shawn King
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Your Mac Life, hosted by Shawn King, is one of the most popular Mac broadcasts in the world. Download and listen to this weekly, Web-based "radio show" about and for Apple and Mac users. Stay on top of the what's new in the world of Macs, listen to interviews with Mac-related newsmakers, and pick up technical tips to help you make the most of your Mac.

  • Your Mac Life, August 21, 2014  by Shawn King Narrated by Shawn King

    Your Mac Life, August 21, 2014

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 50 mins)
    • By Shawn King
    • Narrated By Shawn King
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Your Mac Life, hosted by Shawn King, is one of the most popular Mac broadcasts in the world. Download and listen to this weekly, Web-based "radio show" about and for Apple and Mac users. Stay on top of the what's new in the world of Macs, listen to interviews with Mac-related newsmakers, and pick up technical tips to help you make the most of your Mac.

  • A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive (






UNABRIDGED) by Ted Coine, Mark Babbitt Narrated by Tim Andres Pabon

    A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Ted Coine, Mark Babbitt
    • Narrated By Tim Andres Pabon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Just like the meteor that likely precipitated the end of the dinosaurs, social media is having a monumental impact on the world's economy; a change so dramatic that it has created a new business era. Welcome... to the Social Age. What does the Social Age mean for your business? Containing stories, analysis of real-world scenarios, and indispensable guidance, A World Gone Social gives you the tools and information you need to survive - and thrive - in a business climate in which customers hold all the cards...

  • Your Mac Life, August 14, 2014  by Shawn King Narrated by Shawn King

    Your Mac Life, August 14, 2014

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 56 mins)
    • By Shawn King
    • Narrated By Shawn King
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Your Mac Life, hosted by Shawn King, is one of the most popular Mac broadcasts in the world. Download and listen to this weekly, Web-based "radio show" about and for Apple and Mac users. Stay on top of the what's new in the world of Macs, listen to interviews with Mac-related newsmakers, and pick up technical tips to help you make the most of your Mac.

  •  
  • The Big Disconnect: Why the Internet Hasn't Transformed Politics (Yet) (






UNABRIDGED) by Micah L. Sifry Narrated by Stephen McLaughlin

    The Big Disconnect: Why the Internet Hasn't Transformed Politics (Yet)

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Micah L. Sifry
    • Narrated By Stephen McLaughlin
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Now that communication can be as quick as thought, why hasn’t our ability to organize politically - to establish gains and beyond that, to maintain them - kept pace? The web has given us both capacity and speed: but progressive change seems to be something perpetually in the air, rarely manifesting, even more rarely staying with us.

  • Your Mac Life, August 07, 2014  by Shawn King Narrated by Shawn King

    Your Mac Life, August 07, 2014

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 31 mins)
    • By Shawn King
    • Narrated By Shawn King
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Your Mac Life, hosted by Shawn King, is one of the most popular Mac broadcasts in the world. Download and listen to this weekly, Web-based "radio show" about and for Apple and Mac users. Stay on top of the what's new in the world of Macs, listen to interviews with Mac-related newsmakers, and pick up technical tips to help you make the most of your Mac.

  • Europa ruft Amerika: Drei Brüder, der Ozean und ein Kabel (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Esser Narrated by Anne Weber

    Europa ruft Amerika: Drei Brüder, der Ozean und ein Kabel

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 48 mins)
    • By Michael Esser
    • Narrated By Anne Weber
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Ohne sichere Kenntnis des Meeresbodens, der Materialbeschaffenheit und ohne Aussicht auf sicheren Erfolg werden mehr als 3.000 Kilometer Telegraphenkabel von Europa nach Amerika gelegt. Strom wird durch Batterien erzeugt, weil der Generator noch nicht serienreif ist. Die Tiefenlotung erfolgt mittels Senkblei, weil das Echolot noch nicht erfunden ist. Navigiert wird nach alten nautischen Verfahren, weil in Erdumlaufbahnen noch keine Satelliten kreisen. Halbwegs verlässliche Wettervorhersagen sind ebenfalls unbekannt.

  • Das Beste oder Nichts: Gottlieb Daimler und die Erfindung des Automobils (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Esser Narrated by Anne Weber

    Das Beste oder Nichts: Gottlieb Daimler und die Erfindung des Automobils

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Michael Esser
    • Narrated By Anne Weber
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In einem Gartenhaus im kleinen Ort Cannstatt nahe Stuttgart gehen seit Monaten merkwürdige Dinge vor - so merkwürdig und fremd, dass der Gärtner des Hauses sich mit einem bösen Verdacht an die Polizei wendet. Die Fenster des Gartenhauses sind sorgfältig verhängt. Niemand soll hineinsehen können. Nur seltsame, befremdlichen Geräusche dringen heraus - Geräusche, die zuvor nicht in der Welt waren und deren weit reichende Bedeutung zu diesem Zeitpunkt niemand abzuschätzen vermag - bis auf die beiden Männer im Gartenhaus.