From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: What You Really Need to Know About the Internet Paperback – 5 Jan 2012
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'A fantastic read and a marvel of economy. This is the kind of primer you want to slide under your boss's door' Cory Doctorow, Observer. (Cory Doctorow, Observer)
'From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg comes at a point when much of the traffic associated with desktop computers is migrating to mobile devices and cloud computing is a new thing. It helps those of us stuck in the old paradigm (or no paradigm at all) to catch up on what it all means' Glasgow Herald. (Glasgow Herald)
'As Naughton points out, most internet users are far more ignorant than they realise. His book is as useful to them as to neophytes' Mail on Sunday. (Mail on Sunday)
'An accessible guide to the internet, which covers the nine need-to-know ideas about its cultural significance. Naughton draws on more than two decades of study to explain how the internet works and the challenges and opportunities it will offer to future generations' The Times. (The Times)
About the Author
John Naughton is Professor of the Public Understanding of Technology at the Open University and a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He is also the Observer's 'Networker' columnist and a prominent blogger at memex.naughtons.org. His last book was A Brief History of the Future: The Origins of the Internet.
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Top Customer Reviews
we really understand about how it works and what it's doing to us? This book by John Naughton is a great place to start. It gives you the history, enough of the technology and most importantly, a very good way past the myths and into the real significance of the Internet.
Naughton is in a good place to do this. He is part geek, part academic, part journalist, part enthusiast. The result is a book with comfortable authority. He doesn't let his knowledge get in the way of your understanding.
I am supposed to be a new media expert, but really I'm just a journalist interested in its effects. For me, the Internet is not just central to our lives, but environmental. However, I don't really know much about how it works. So From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg was very useful. What is the difference between the Internet and the Web? How can a digital system have a virus? How can I get information from a cloud? All these and more of the technical questions are answered. But Naughton goes further than simply providing a kind of Haynes Manual for the Internet.
From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg explores the concepts that make the Internet such an interesting and probably unique media force for social, political and economic change. He reminds us that the Internet is constantly evolving both as a structure as well as its content. He tells us to remember that disruption is the norm not the exception for the Internet. He asks us to think of the Internet as an ecology - a kind of living system, not a machine.
But it gets even more interesting and a little more contentious when he looks at the future.Read more ›
Napster itself was only made possible by both the internet itself and the creation of the mp3 encoding format, two subjects that Naughton explains eloquently and in detail. If you’re a bit of a computer geek like I am then you’ll probably enjoy it, but it might be a bit too much if you’re not interested in the inner workings of the computers and networks that power our civilization.
Of particular interest is Naughton’s comparison of the internet to the Gutenberg press, another invention which revolutionised the way that we communicate. In fact, he begins the book by covering off the invention and adoption of the Gutenberg press and the way in which it changed the world for the better – the internet, he argues, will have a similar effect over time.
It’s also interesting to read Naughton’s views on the copyright culture that we live in, a set of views that I happen to share – I won’t go in to them in too much detail because I suggest that you go out and buy a copy of the book for yourself. Naughton also has some interesting ideas when it comes to predictions of the future – he looks at the dystopian futures proposed by Orwell and Huxley, and explains why they could both be right when it comes to their depressing view of what our society might become.
All in all, this book is a pleasure to read and a must-have for anyone who’s a regular user of the internet. So check it out!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
On this the 25th anniversary of the WWW, this book is a well written view of history and also puts the WWW in its context today. I recommend highly.Published on 18 Mar. 2014 by Alcuin
This reads like a selection of copied and pasted Wikipedia pages linked together by the most unspectacular observations this side of the parody Twitter account "@PippaTips". Read morePublished on 29 Dec. 2013 by J Sandhu
Thought provoking but reassuring. The IP issue in chapter 8 is worthy of some consideration but the lawyers will hate itPublished on 10 Sept. 2013 by John Oldfield
Need to look no further in my case. My parent are nearing 65 yo and as opposed to me, a lot of the inner part of how computer and the internet works (on a theoretical level) are... Read morePublished on 4 July 2013 by Thomas Roche
I loved this book so much that I bought four more copies for my family and friends.
They have all thanked me and said they are reading it with fascination. Read more
Very informative, easy to read and diverse, going into lots of topics related to the internet, with backgrounds. Even as a techy person myself, I have learnt so much. A+++Published on 25 Feb. 2013 by Pierre
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! Read morePublished on 8 Jan. 2013 by Deane Mark Narayn