Customer Reviews


19 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They have seen the future - and it scares the hell out of me.
Shortly after reading the book, I saw two separate articles in the New York Times The first announced a joint venture with NASA in quantum computing to be used in amongst other things, facial recognition. The second was the roll-out of Google glasses, with a disclaimer about proper protection of privacy. Credible denial? No. The cruel fact is that the cyber war between...
Published 11 months ago by David Wilder

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Know your enemy.
Julian Assange

"This book is a balefully seminal work in which neither author has the language to see, much less to express, the titanic centralizing evil they are constructing. "What Lockheed Martin was to the 20th century," they tell us, "technology and cybersecurity companies will be to the 21st." Without even understanding how, they have updated and...
Published 8 months ago by Flir


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Know your enemy., 12 Aug 2013
Julian Assange

"This book is a balefully seminal work in which neither author has the language to see, much less to express, the titanic centralizing evil they are constructing. "What Lockheed Martin was to the 20th century," they tell us, "technology and cybersecurity companies will be to the 21st." Without even understanding how, they have updated and seamlessly implemented George Orwell's prophecy. If you want a vision of the future, imagine Washington-backed Google Glasses strapped onto vacant human faces -- forever. Zealots of the cult of consumer technology will find little to inspire them here, not that they ever seem to need it. But this is essential reading for anyone caught up in the struggle for the future, in view of one simple imperative: Know your enemy."

Scary book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Exercise in misleading, 24 Jun 2013
By 
Fwm Van Steenbergen (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
with the prism scandal in full bloom this book is an awful exercise in deceit. no mention of all email being shifted, screened and categorized - only the suggestion that there was this risk ten years ago that security industry would try to get accesss to it. we know better now.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thorough, well informed - but also rather dry, 30 Jun 2013
By 
Mark Pack (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book comes with impressive credentials. The authors have excellent technology and foreign policy experience. The pair of quotes on the cover are from people with their own brilliance too - Richard Branson and Walter Isaacson. The subject - how digital technology is changing nearly every aspect of our life - is one that fascinates me. So why did I feel getting to the end of it was all rather a slog?

Because it's written in a very flat style. The prose is plain - in a workmanlike rather than Ernest Hemingway sense. The colourful examples are rare and the personal stories to engage the reader few and far between. It's almost as if they had read a Malcolm Gladwell book and gone for a writing style as far different from him as possible.

The other reason that I found it a bit of a slog is that there is nothing much very new in their forecasting. If you've already consumed many words on this topic, it is mostly all very familiar territory. Overall, the book is rather like a large collection of expert, slightly dry, op-ed pieces on the digital world strung together. Each individually is well worth a read, but collectively you would hope for a bit more spark and liveliness.

Conversely, if you haven't, then the book certainly does a good job at thoroughly covering all the angles and mentioning all the main trends. It is also interesting to read what two people so deeply immersed in Google have to say about privacy (it's a crucial part of the future, they argue).

In summary then, the book is a comprehensive summary of existing predictions and trends rather than something that will wow you with original insight or fascinate you with the way the tale is told.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly superficial, 23 May 2013
This review is from: The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business (Kindle Edition)
It says a lot about the digital age that the two authors who have been privileged to be exposed to so much in the world come up with so little. Some general musings about how technology will influence daily lives followed by some rather simplistic interpretations of how this will affect social and economic change. One of their points rings true: in the digital age people will be promoted (in both senses of the word) beyond any substance that would merit it. Disappointing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They have seen the future - and it scares the hell out of me., 24 May 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Shortly after reading the book, I saw two separate articles in the New York Times The first announced a joint venture with NASA in quantum computing to be used in amongst other things, facial recognition. The second was the roll-out of Google glasses, with a disclaimer about proper protection of privacy. Credible denial? No. The cruel fact is that the cyber war between China and the West is well underway. Schmidt and Cohen have with stark clarity introduced us to our present - and to our immediate future that lays out a stark vision of a world where personal rights become meaningless, privacy is a memory by old people and there is no boundary between private and public life. Any person concerned with the politics of urban life, intellectual freedom and the difference between knowledge and wisdom should read this book and ponder the implications for public policy concerning the rights of the individual, intellectual freedom and proper structure of education.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars How to be unpopular – criticise the loved, 11 April 2014
By 
Angus Jenkinson "angusjenkinson" (Cambridgeshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business (Kindle Edition)
I realise that this book is written by two supermen of our digital era, no doubt with the help of considerable professional support. It's dazzling with information and makes a ringing endorsement of the hype of our digital age. To criticise it will be to generate no doubt a host of unfavourable comment and accusations of being mired in the past. But honestly, although the research on the technologies themselves is excellent - full marks here - this is so framed in adulation it becomes just another overhyped unrealistic catalogue of how technology will save the world.

Technology is brilliant – I love my iPad, the kettle that makes my coffee that's been brought to me by a fair trade value stream all the way from Brazil, the fact that I can post this review into the Internet and it can be read by millions if they wish, that I can talk by Skype to my friends and work colleagues in Australia, America or Denmark, and all at the same time. I love pacemakers and cybernetically controlled automobiles that auto drive. I've made a career in technology since my 20s and worked with many of the world's leading technology firms as a consultant.

But for those reasons I know how easy it is to turn technology into the wonder working Merlin, the magician that will solve all problems, when it cannot and won't.

Let me tell you what the generation of technology pioneers in the 70s and early 80s of last century genuinely believed (I worked for IBM at the time). We believe that in 30 years time, by the beginning of the 21st-century, most people would not need to work more than three days a week and our standard of living would be much greater. Why was this? It was because the computer and robotics were going to remove the necessity to work. Moreover the work that we do would be far more interesting because all of the mundane stuff would be done by computers. People really believed this: is that your experience today?

The Internet is changing the world, but it is for both good and ill. It will create no more community than the telephone or the neighbourhood grapevine. Community is created by socially minded human beings using the means at their disposal. The technologies that we create are created by us, reflecting our natures and by and are used by us reflecting our natures. Whether you watch porn or study chemistry, read the classics online or dump your latest "I am now having coffee in Starbucks" posting to Facebook, depends on you not the Internet. That's why some Twitter feeds are interesting and others not. The Internet will make it easier to have different collections of community and it will provide new games and modes of interaction. But playing bridge with someone in Australia will create no more community than playing bridge in the bridge club down the road or at home. The Internet will make it easier to find scattered people who share your interest perhaps, and this will work as well for the paedophile as a student of alchemy, but you will probably make more intense connections if you meet face-to-face in a physical society.

Technology may help us to solve environmental and energy problems – I certainly hope so. But technology will only really be effective in this sphere when human beings find a right relationship with nature. It is the wrong relationship with nature, not technology, that led to the abuse and destruction of the environment. We didn't care enough when we saw the dying. If we now care enough to want to create technologies to put it right, let us hope that it is because we value nature for itself and not simply to create the next round of control.

So, please read the book for the list of all the things that are likely to be happening – and many of the technologies are either already here or will come, if not when forecast, then before too much longer. But it's down to us what we do with them as to whether they make the world a better place or not. Hyping technology does neither it nor us a service.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I expected, 1 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Written by two people who seem to consider only the impact of computers on the world, this is interesting but it needs a does of reality. How will the world provide the resources to build mobile phones for everyone, to service them, provide electricity everywhere - and deal with issues like food, water, and climate change. Somewhat blinkered to say the least
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, but..., 8 Mar 2014
By 
Saw the book by incidence. Flipping through the cover one could easy have thought the authors had received a Nobel price for the book judging the number of endorsements from Henry Kissinger, Walter Isaacson, Richard Branson, Bill Clinton and a long list of other dignitaries. To some degree I did what one shouldn't which is judge a book by its cover.

Eric and Jared has done a good job in explaining the inter-net's ability to in Thomas Friedman's words - "flatten the world". Not only has digital technology served as a tools, but weapons as well.

Not that there is a lot of eye-popping information however the authors have done a great job in tying together the events that the world has seen over the last decade. A good example is the social effect communications lines were used during the Arab Spring. Here it is not just how Facebook and Twitter was used, but the causes, effects and consequences were as well.

Still have a few pages to go and though a slightly abbreviated version might have been good I will recommended the book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thinking about The New Digital Age, 29 May 2013
By 
Barry "Barry J O'Gorman" (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business (Kindle Edition)
Just read `The New Digital Age' by Eric Schmidt (Executive Chairman Google) and Jared Cohen (Director, Google Ideas). Received a copy, gratis, when attended Google Atmosphere in London last week. I think some of the comments included on the cover praising the book may be over hyped - though interesting that Schmidt and Cohen attract high praise from such luminaries as Tony Blair, Richard Branson, Bill Clinton and Henry Kissinger, amongst others.

And I should include that I currently use google apps on a daily basis - and would be lost on a regular basis without google maps. And I am using google document to prepare this blog posting.

The title of the book very closely aligns with discussion I find myself having with many people - how is society (and business) being impacted by technologies including mobile, social networking, big data? Recently I reviewed Keen's excellent book, `Digital Vertigo'.

Schmidt and Cohen are, not surprisingly, positive about the contribution of technology and I do not disagree with them. They see the emergence of a `virtual civilisation' in coexistence with `physical civilisation' - with both civilisations influencing and impacting each other. As part of this they place great emphasis on virtual IDs and virtual institutions e.g. virtual government.

Per the authors your virtual ID or IDs have now assumed great importance - in that they have the ability to influence significantly your physical life. Hence the emergence of third parties looking to work with individuals to help them manage their on-line reputation. Schmidt has generated plenty of controversy previously by suggesting the possible requirement for individuals to be able to start again with a new identity. I have always been grateful that there were no mobile phones (with powerful cameras) when I was growing up and engaged in various juvenile pursuits. Interestingly in this book the authors point out one possible issue in post war/ conflict reconstruction being the difficulty of achieving `collective memory loss' because of digital records.

Much of Keen's book `Digital Vertigo' focused on loss of privacy - as people provide information to social networks, as people are photographed, as people's location is recorded, as companies and governments accumulate this data. Google is in the business of accumulating this data and using it (google+, search engine, locations, etc). In the chapters ` Identity, Citizen and Reporting' and `Future of Sates' Schmidt and Cohen acknowledge concerns or challenges re loss of privacy e.g. importance of parents speaking with children at an early stage about privacy and security, high levels of surveillance (`big brother') and activities of police states. But they also emphasise the `costs of anonymity' - the costs of opting out and potentially not being relevant. In identifying a range of coping strategies' they include, under `legal options' the possibility of introducing the idea of `sealing juvenile records' - although the impracticalities of such a step are acknowledged.

I thought the chapter `Future of reconstruction' was interesting - and Schmidt was doubtless informed and influenced by his own visit to Iraq. But the discussion re Iraq, Haiti and Egypt all pointed to opportunities to get back up and running more quickly is you can re-establish communications - in particular by taking advantage of mobile communications. And our own Irish king of telecommunications, Denis O'Brien, has been very much to the fore in Haiti. The ideas around use of rfids to track weapons and manage handing/ handing over of weapons post conflict was interesting.

Schmidt and Cohen draw attention to some negatives associated with the Digital Word in the context of terrorism and war. Of course the virtual worlds offer both potential for more strife and, in parallel, the opportunity to head off some conflict. The use of drones is very much a hot topic in the world press at the moment - with President Obama under pressure to justify their use - given a number of innocent bystander casualties. In dealing with terrorism and crime there are now several challenges in terms of cyber-crime, use of mobile communications by prisoners - but we are reminded that terrorists only have to make one mistake to give away their location - and this happens quite often.

So what do Schmidt and Cohen see driving more digital? Dropping broadband costs (Somalia is quoted as a great example), better encryption (to address people's security concerns), open source development and the availability of telecommunications equipment at the right price (note the importance of the four major vendors: Ericssons, Alcatel/ Lucent, Huawei, Cisco).

Overall the book was a good read and included a few interesting ideas. It included the odd acknowledgement of the existence of a company called Microsoft. I think it completely underplayed the influence and power of companies such as Google. It highlighted a range of risks/ threats for society but concluded firmly that most of this is good for us and society (and the individual!) will be the winner.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 29 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good book!
I would say the main topics in this book are tech's impact on:
3. world countries.
Cyber warfare/ terrorism
Nature disasters
Dictatorship

The authors using examples from events the last couples of years, and describe how the digital revolution will impact similar events in the future, where the technology is expected to help in many situations. Many of the examples are on how the technology can help the 5 billion people who never been online before.

Don't expect to book to about technology but rather about the human, political and ethical questions the digital age will cause.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xa0bd16c0)

This product

Only search this product's reviews