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The Virtual Bookcase : Shelf Science

Explaining scientific subjects, research, developments in science.

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Paul Strathern (Curie and Radioactivity, Hawking and Black Holes) argues that the advances of molecular biology in the last half of the 20th century are comparable to the gains of nuclear physics in the first: both sciences have given us vast power over our world, and both have challenged our morality with dangerous choices. Strathern also quickly points out that, not coincidentally, both fields arose from the work of ambitious, sometimes foolish, all-too-human researchers. This 128-page installment in Strathern's The Big Idea series details the work of two brazen wags who were central to the birth of molecular biology: Francis Crick and James Watson... Rest of this review on the detail page
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Reviews (1) and details of The Big Idea : Crick, Watson, and DNA (Strathern, Paul, Big Idea.)

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Technology is not just a byword to refer to the sum of designs and applications that enable us to do things like open cans--or make cans in the first place. It is, writes engineer John Lienhard in this imaginative survey, an instrument by which we become more human, a means of interacting with and learning from the world. Technology mirrors humans, and humans mirror technology, and the question that remains is "whether we are to be lifted up or dragged down in the process." Although he is quick to acknowledge the harmful applications of technology over the years, especially in producing ever more novel and efficient ways of killing each other, Lienha... Rest of this review on the detail page
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Reviews (1) and details of The Engines of Our Ingenuity : An Engineer Looks at Technology and Culture

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At 5:10 pm on Wednesday July 15, 1998, The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) successfully cracked RSA Laboratories' DES Challenge II that began 56 hours earlier. The machine that cracked the DES Challenge was built by EFF and is the first unclassified hardware for easily decrypting messages encoded with the government's 56-bit DES (Data Encryption Standard) encryption algorithm (definition below). Technical publisher O'Reilly and Associates has joined with EFF to publish Cracking DES: Secrets of Encryption Research, Wiretap Politics, & Chip Design. Authored by EFF, the book reveals full technical details on how researchers and data-recovery engine... Rest of this review on the detail page
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Reviews (1) and details of Cracking DES: Secrets of Encryption Research, Wiretap Politics & Chip Design
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