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It is difficult to imagine modern life without the zipper, yet in the years following its patenting, it represented no real advantage over predecessors like hook-and-eye fasteners and buttons. It was mechanically awkward, liable to rust and fail, and so expensive that it doubled the retail price of garments. "Zipper" charts the strange twists, paradoxes, and interesting characters in the history of this signature gadget of the twentieth century.
Before Steve Jobs put a personal computer in your hands, before Larry Page and Sergey Brin put any answer at your fingertips, and before Mark Zuckerberg connected you to your long-lost friends, female visionaries were at the vanguard of the technology you love (and love to hate). Evans presents the first social history of women and the Internet, shining a light on these bright minds whom history forgot and showing us how women have always pushed technology forward.
In this smart and funny book, cartoonist Zach Weinersmith and researcher Dr. Kelly Weinersmith give us a snapshot of what's coming next, from robot swarms to nuclear fusion powered-toasters. Weaving together their own research, interviews with scientists, and Zach's comics, the Weinersmiths investigate why these technologies are needed, how they would work, and what is standing in their way.
"Islamic Technology" explores the major technological achievements of Islamic civilizations, in particular the public works of civil engineering, such as machines and mechanical devices which served to control water and provide power.
Science and military historian Bown turns his attention to Alfred Nobel and the discovery of dynamite to show the history of human progress as a series of accidents and good intentions gone wrong. After creating dynamite, Nobel, horror-struck by the reaction to his concoction, founded the prizes that bear his name as an attempt at compensation. Yet to this day, developments that win the prizes for physics, chemistry, and biology sometimes come from, or show up in, weapons laboratories. Adapted from review in "Booklist."
"Laser" is the fascinating, true story of Gordon Gould's successful 30-year struggle to assert himself as the right inventor of the laser, and a myth-shattering, behind-the-scenes account of the American patent process.
Algorithms are running our society, and often we don't even realize how. Our increasing reliance on technology and the Internet has opened a window for researchers to gaze into our lives. Using the data they are constantly collecting about where we travel, what we buy, and what interests us, they can begin to predict our daily habits, and increasingly we are relinquishing our decision-making to algorithms. Are we giving up too easily? Sumpter investigates whether algorithms and their programmers are crossing dangerous lines.