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From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: What You Really Need to Know About the Internet
From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: What You Really Need to Know About the Internet
by John Naughton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, 8 Jan. 2013
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I had read John Naughton's A Brief History of the Future: Origins of the Internet and found it incredibly informative and accesible. This book is even better! When thinking about the Internet, the focus often ends up on the technology more than the social repercussions. The author cuts to the nub of the technology, makes it accessible and then discusses its effect on us.

For the first time in human history, we have the opportunity to broadcast, communicate, collaborate and participate with no barriers, restrictions or censorship. This brings with it both good and bad, but I believe that it is a window of opportunity that will only be realised in a positive and productive way, if we understand both the medium and the social potential it embodies, that is why I consider this book so important.
Some of the traditional power structures and organisations that thrive on secrecy, distraction and apathy to control our World, are trying to control the internet, and it is only by the majority of people understanding what the Internet is and what it could be, that we can all have a voice in its future.

This isn't just a good read, I think it is an important read too, and I highly recommend it.


100 Greatest Cover Versions: The Ultimate Playlist
100 Greatest Cover Versions: The Ultimate Playlist
by Robert Webb
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific read, but maybe not such a great title...., 8 Jan. 2013
The title suggests that this is simply a book of the author's favorite 100 cover versions, and I think that it is rather misleading as the book is far more interesting than that.

As he makes clear in his introduction:
"There is an intended irony and deliberate provocation in the book's title - yes, I know, the whole thing is meaninglessly subjective anyway."
He then goes on to explian that his criteria focused on either the original or cover version being a great song or big hit, but most importantly, that "the backstory is worth retelling". This, for me, was the real joy in this lovely book.

If you enjoy knowing more about the journey and reincarnation of some of pop's greatest songs, then you'll love this little gem. Each entry is self-contained, and is no more than two pages long, so it's great to pick up and read when you've only got a few moments to spare. The detail is very impressive, and it's written with real style.

Despite a life-long love of music, I didn't know most of these stories, so it was fun to randomly dive in and explore. I hope he writes some more of these fascinating stories - although I'd prefer him to use a title more along the lines of his original column in the Independent - "The Story Of The Song". A worthwhile and fun read for anyone who likes a good story, but even better if you love music too.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 28, 2013 9:47 AM BST


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