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Nature and Science April 2014
"Though it might be nice to imagine there once was a time when man lived in harmony with nature, it's not clear that he ever really did."
~ from Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
New and Recently Released!
Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts - by Stanislas Dehaene
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 01/30/2014
Share Consciousness and the Brain%3a Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts ISBN-13: 9780670025435
ISBN-10: 0670025437
How do the intricate neural networks in our brains produce the phenomenon we recognize as consciousness? Although we don't know the answer, cognitive psychologist Stanislas Dehaene believes that we're closer than ever to finding out. Long confined to the realm of philosophy, the study of consciousness is rapidly transforming into a field of scientific inquiry that can yield quantifiable experimental data. Describing innovative technologies and cutting-edge research, Dehaene provides an exciting glimpse into the future of cognitive science.
The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle Over General Relativity - by Pedro G. Ferreira
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/04/2014
Share The Perfect Theory%3a A Century of Geniuses and the Battle Over General Relativity ISBN-13: 9780547554891
ISBN-10: 0547554893
Albert Einstein did not win the Nobel Prize for his General Theory of Relativity, despite the fact that it still stands as one of the twin pillars of modern physics (next to quantum mechanics). In The Perfect Theory, astrophysicist Pedro G. Ferreira presents an accessible, engaging "biography" of General Relativity, from its origins to its present-day applications -- which extend well beyond what its creator envisioned. Highlighting the theory's challengers as well as its proponents (not to mention Einstein's own doubts), Ferreira also celebrates its central role in determining the laws that govern the universe.
Extreme Medicine: How Exploration Transformed Medicine in the Twentieth Century - by Kevin Fong
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/06/2014
Share Extreme Medicine%3a How Exploration Transformed Medicine in the Twentieth Century ISBN-13: 9781594204708
ISBN-10: 1594204705
If anyone is qualified to talk about the challenges of sending humans to other planets, it's Kevin Fong, a physician with degrees in astrophysics and engineering who's also the co-director of the Centre for Aviation Space and Extreme Environment (CASE) Medicine. In this compelling and suspenseful book, Fong examines how feats of human endurance and survival have increased our understanding of human biology and describes advances in the field of medicine made possible by these discoveries. Kirkus Reviews calls Extreme Medicine "a medical thriller of the first order."
The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind - by Michio Kaku
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/25/2014
Share The Future of the Mind%3a The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind ISBN-13: 9780385530828
ISBN-10: 038553082X
The author of the popular Physics of the Impossible and Physics of the Future, theoretical physicist and well-known futurist Michio Kaku's work can sometimes read like science fiction. In The Future of the Mind, Kaku turns his attention to the possibilities of neuroscience, combining analyses of current research and tantalizing speculations -- including telepathy, telekinesis, artificial memories, mind control, and more -- for an accessible, highly entertaining look at how science might one day make possible the seemingly impossible.
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History - by Elizabeth Kolbert
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/11/2014
Share The Sixth Extinction%3a An Unnatural History ISBN-13: 9780805092998
ISBN-10: 0805092994
In its 4.54-billion-year history, Earth has experienced five mass extinctions -- and humans seem likely to cause a sixth, according to New Yorker staff writer Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe. Traveling the world to talk to scientists, Kolbert describes the extinction events that ended previous geological epochs, all caused by natural phenomena ranging from impact events to glaciation. Her conclusion? Our species will destroy itself and everything else, thanks to a convergence of anthropogenic causes: global climate change (resulting from high concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere), ocean acidification, and a loss of biodiversity in direct proportion to an exponential increase in the human population. Enjoy?
Focus on: Cybersecurity
Worm: The First Digital World War - by Mark Bowden
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/27/2011
Share Worm%3a The First Digital World War ISBN-13: 9780802119834
ISBN-10: 0802119832
In 2008, an ad hoc, all-volunteer team of cybersecurity experts united to battle a new digital threat: a few hundred lines of code known as "Conficker." While not especially innovative, the Conficker worm was a highly insidious piece of malware. By exploiting a vulnerability in the Windows operating system, Conficker could infiltrate individual machines, hide undetected inside files in the root directory, and connect the now-compromised computers to a botnet used to generate spam or launch DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks with the potential to disable vast swathes of the Web. Don't miss this compelling behind-the-scences account of the "Conficker Cabal" and their valiant attempts to protect the Internet.
Glass Houses: Privacy, Secrecy, and Cyber Insecurity in a Transparent World - by Joel Brenner
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 08/27/2013
Share Glass Houses%3a Privacy, Secrecy, and Cyber Insecurity in a Transparent World ISBN-13: 9780143122111
ISBN-10: 0143122118
In this revised, updated, and re-titled edition of America the Vulnerable, author Joel Brenner, former legal counsel for the National Security Agency, brings us up to speed on the latest threats to digital security. Drawing on his own experiences in the field of counterintelligence while providing case studies that illustrate the vulnerabilities in our current information infrastructure, Brenner outlines a comprehensive counterespionage plan that would require coordination and cooperation between all branches of government as well as private industry. Still feeling unprepared for the worst? Check out Richard Clarke's Cyber War or Peter Singer and Allan Friedman's Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know.
This Machine Kills Secrets: How WikiLeakers, Cypherpunks and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World's Information - by Andy Greenberg
Publisher: Dutton
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/13/2012
Share This Machine Kills Secrets%3a How WikiLeakers, Cypherpunks and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World ISBN-13: 9780525953203
ISBN-10: 0525953205
In This Machine Kills Secrets, Forbes staff writer Andy Greenberg explores the world of cypherpunks, hacktivists, and other politically motivated computer hackers and disseminators of sensitive information. Describing conflicts between government agencies that seek to restrict the use of secure encryption technologies and citizens who believe these tools should be accessible to all, Greenberg profiles controversial figures including the Pentagon Papers' Daniel Ellsberg, U.S. Army Pvt. Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, and Wikileaks cofounder Julian Assange. Readers following current events will appreciate this book's thought-provoking examination of the complex issues surrounding cybersecurity and privacy.
Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker - by Kevin Mitnick and William L. Simon
Publisher: Little, Brown
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 08/15/2011
Share Ghost in the Wires%3a My Adventures as the World ISBN-13: 9780316037709
ISBN-10: 0316037702
Using social engineering techniques, con man Kevin Mitnick could convince important people to give him personal information, which he would then use to access supposedly secure databases and exploit their resources. Gleefully hacking his way through cyberspace, Mitnick evaded the authorities for years before being apprehended by the FBI and serving five years in prison. In Ghost in the Wires, Mitnick describes his motivations and well as his methods, making this book "a lucid, brightly written tale for both techies and lay readers" (Kirkus Reviews).
We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of Lulzsec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency - by Parmy Olson
Publisher: Little, Brown
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 06/05/2012
Share We Are Anonymous%3a Inside the Hacker World of Lulzsec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency ISBN-13: 9780316213547
ISBN-10: 0316213543
Journalist Parmy Olson presents the brief but colorful history of loosely organized "hacktivist" collective Anonymous by tracking down and interviewing some of its most prominent members -- including Topiary, Tflow, and Sabu. Anonymous, which originated in 2003 on popular online imageboard 4chan, gained international prominence in 2008 for hacking the Church of Scientology's website and soon progressed to DDoS attacks that disrupted online service at PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, and Sony. Eventually, a splinter group, Lulzsec, formed and briefly became the world's most wanted gang of cyber-criminals by targeting the CIA, among other government agencies. Publishers Weekly calls We Are Anonymous a "spellbinding account of mischief and mayhem."
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