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The Pattern On The Stone

Author: W. Daniel Hillis
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465066879
Size: 72.11 MB
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Most people are baffled by how computers work and assume that they will never understand them. What they don't realize—and what Daniel Hillis's short book brilliantly demonstrates—is that computers' seemingly complex operations can be broken down into a few simple parts that perform the same simple procedures over and over again. Computer wizard Hillis offers an easy-to-follow explanation of how data is processed that makes the operations of a computer seem as straightforward as those of a bicycle.Avoiding technobabble or discussions of advanced hardware, the lucid explanations and colorful anecdotes in The Pattern on the Stone go straight to the heart of what computers really do. Hillis proceeds from an outline of basic logic to clear descriptions of programming languages, algorithms, and memory. He then takes readers in simple steps up to the most exciting developments in computing today—quantum computing, parallel computing, neural networks, and self-organizing systems.Written clearly and succinctly by one of the world's leading computer scientists, The Pattern on the Stone is an indispensable guide to understanding the workings of that most ubiquitous and important of machines: the computer.

Nine Algorithms That Changed The Future

Author: John MacCormick
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691147140
Size: 33.93 MB
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Every day, we use our computers to perform remarkable feats. A simple web search picks out a handful of relevant needles from the world's biggest haystack: the billions of pages on the World Wide Web. Uploading a photo to Facebook transmits millions of pieces of information over numerous error-prone network links, yet somehow a perfect copy of the photo arrives intact. Without even knowing it, we use public-key cryptography to transmit secret information like credit card numbers; and we use digital signatures to verify the identity of the websites we visit. How do our computers perform these tasks with such ease? This is the first book to answer that question in language anyone can understand, revealing the extraordinary ideas that power our PCs, laptops, and smartphones. Using vivid examples, John MacCormick explains the fundamental "tricks" behind nine types of computer algorithms, including artificial intelligence (where we learn about the "nearest neighbor trick" and "twenty questions trick"), Google's famous PageRank algorithm (which uses the "random surfer trick"), data compression, error correction, and much more. These revolutionary algorithms have changed our world: this book unlocks their secrets, and lays bare the incredible ideas that our computers use every day.

Out Of Their Minds

Author: Clifford D. Simak
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1504013263
Size: 59.37 MB
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A writer finds himself trapped in an isolated village where anything imagined becomes reality in this wildly inventive contemporary fantasy Hoping to write his book in quiet and seclusion, Horton Smith has returned home to Pilot Knob. Here, in the tiny village where he passed so many carefree childhood years, he is untroubled by the pressures of the big city and can freely answer the call of his muse. Of course, back in the city Horton didn’t have to run from dinosaurs. There were no cartoon hillbillies offering him moonshine, Don Quixote was content to confine himself to the pages of a book, and the Devil himself was not on Horton’s tail. Something very, very unusual is going on in Pilot Knob, and Horton Smith is determined to get to the bottom of it—if his own imagination doesn’t kill him first! In Out of Their Minds, science fiction Grand Master Clifford D. Simak changes gears, treating his readers to a delightfully satiric flight of fancy and fantasy. An award-winning author renowned for his remarkable visions of the future, Simak brings creatures and characters from humankind’s collective imagination to breathtaking life in this fast-moving and unforgettable tale.

How Brains Think

Author: William H Calvin
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465066895
Size: 47.87 MB
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If you’re good at finding the one right answer to life’s multiple-choice questions, you’re ”smart.” But ”intelligence” is what you need when contemplating the leftovers in the refrigerator, trying to figure out what might go with them; or if you’re trying to speak a sentence that you’ve never spoken before. As Jean Piaget said, intelligence is what you use when you don’t know what to do, when all the standard answers are inadequate. This book tries to fathom how our inner life evolves from one topic to another, as we create and reject alternatives. Ever since Darwin, we’ve known that elegant things can emerge (indeed, self-organize) from ”simpler” beginnings. And, says theoretical neurophysiologist William H. Calvin, the bootstrapping of new ideas works much like the immune response or the evolution of a new animal species—except that the brain can turn the Darwinian crank a lot faster, on the time scale of thought and action. Drawing on anthropology, evolutionary biology, linguistics, and the neurosciences, Calvin also considers how a more intelligent brain developed using slow biological improvements over the last few million years. Long ago, evolving jack-of-all trades versatility was encouraged by abrupt climate changes. Now, evolving intelligence uses a nonbiological track: augmenting human intelligence and building intelligent machines.

Mind

Author: André Kukla
Publisher: Hackett Publishing
ISBN: 087220832X
Size: 70.21 MB
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An historical overview and evaluation of modern psychology's theoretical foundations, Mind ranges from Descartes to dynamics in its discussion of such topics as introspectionism, psychoanalysis, behaviorism, and the varieties of contemporary cognitive science. Throughout, these theories are examined and assessed as attempts to construct an overall conception of the perso--as general theories of human nature.

How To Get People To Do Stuff

Author: Susan Weinschenk
Publisher: New Riders
ISBN: 0133122352
Size: 36.55 MB
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We all want people to do stuff. Whether you want your customers to buy from you, vendors to give you a good deal, your employees to take more initiative, or your spouse to make dinner—a large amount of everyday is about getting the people around you to do stuff. Instead of using your usual tactics that sometimes work and sometimes don't, what if you could harness the power of psychology and brain science to motivate people to do the stuff you want them to do - even getting people to want to do the stuff you want them to do. In this book you’ll learn the 7 drives that motivate people: The Desire For Mastery, The Need To Belong, The Power of Stories, Carrots and Sticks, Instincts, Habits, and Tricks Of The Mind. For each of the 7 drives behavioral psychologist Dr. Susan Weinschenk describes the research behind each drive, and then offers specific strategies to use. Here’s just a few things you will learn: The more choices people have the more regret they feel about the choice they pick. If you want people to feel less regret then offer them fewer choices. If you are going to use a reward, give the reward continuously at first, and then switch to giving a reward only sometimes. If you want people to act independently, then make a reference to money, BUT if you want people to work with others or help others, then make sure you DON’T refer to money. If you want people to remember something, make sure it is at the beginning or end of your book, presentation, or meeting. Things in the middle are more easily forgotten. If you are using feedback to increase the desire for mastery keep the feedback objective, and don’t include praise.

No Small Matter

Author:
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780647035665
Size: 60.27 MB
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A small revolution is remaking the world. The only problem is, we can't see it. Images and descriptions reveal the virtually invisible realities and possibilities of nanoscience. An introduction to the science and technology of small things. An overview of recent scientific advances that have given us our ever-shrinking microtechnology - for instance, an information processor connected by wires only 1,000 atoms wide. New methods are described that are used to study nanostructures, suggest ways of understanding their often bizarre behavior, and outline their uses in technology. The various means of making nanostructures are explained and speculated about their importance for critical developments in information processing, computation, biomedicine, and other areas. No Small Matter considers both the benefits and the risks of nano/microtechnology - from the potential of quantum computers and single-molecule genomic sequencers to the concerns about self-replicating nanosystems

Tubes

Author: Andrew Blum
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 1443414395
Size: 43.90 MB
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Everybody knows that the Internet is the most powerful information network ever conceived. It is a gateway to information, a messenger of love and a fountain of riches and distraction. We are all connected now, but connected to what? In Tubes, acclaimed young journalist Andrew Blum takes readers on a fascinating journey to find out. As Blum writes, the Internet is tangible: it fills buildings, converges in some places in the world and avoids others, and it flows through tubes—along train lines and highways, and under oceans. You can map it, smell it and see it. As Tom Vanderbilt does in his bestselling Traffic, Blum goes behind the scenes of our everyday lives and combines first-rate reporting and engaging explanation into a fast-paced quest to explain the world in which we live. The room in Los Angeles where the Internet was born; the busy hub in downtown Toronto that links Canada with the world; a new undersea cable that connects West Africa and Europe; and the Great Pyramids of our time, the monumental data centres that Google and Facebook have built in the wilds of Oregon—Blum visits them all to chronicle the dramatic story of the Internet’s development and explain how it all works.

Implementation Patterns

Author: Kent Beck
Publisher: Pearson Education
ISBN: 9780132702553
Size: 58.23 MB
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Software Expert Kent Beck Presents a Catalog of Patterns Infinitely Useful for Everyday Programming Great code doesn’t just function: it clearly and consistently communicates your intentions, allowing other programmers to understand your code, rely on it, and modify it with confidence. But great code doesn’t just happen. It is the outcome of hundreds of small but critical decisions programmers make every single day. Now, legendary software innovator Kent Beck—known worldwide for creating Extreme Programming and pioneering software patterns and test-driven development—focuses on these critical decisions, unearthing powerful “implementation patterns” for writing programs that are simpler, clearer, better organized, and more cost effective. Beck collects 77 patterns for handling everyday programming tasks and writing more readable code. This new collection of patterns addresses many aspects of development, including class, state, behavior, method, collections, frameworks, and more. He uses diagrams, stories, examples, and essays to engage the reader as he illuminates the patterns. You’ll find proven solutions for handling everything from naming variables to checking exceptions.

A Pattern Language

Author: Christopher Alexander
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199726531
Size: 66.46 MB
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You can use this book to design a house for yourself with your family; you can use it to work with your neighbors to improve your town and neighborhood; you can use it to design an office, or a workshop, or a public building. And you can use it to guide you in the actual process of construction. After a ten-year silence, Christopher Alexander and his colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure are now publishing a major statement in the form of three books which will, in their words, "lay the basis for an entirely new approach to architecture, building and planning, which will we hope replace existing ideas and practices entirely." The three books are The Timeless Way of Building, The Oregon Experiment, and this book, A Pattern Language. At the core of these books is the idea that people should design for themselves their own houses, streets, and communities. This idea may be radical (it implies a radical transformation of the architectural profession) but it comes simply from the observation that most of the wonderful places of the world were not made by architects but by the people. At the core of the books, too, is the point that in designing their environments people always rely on certain "languages," which, like the languages we speak, allow them to articulate and communicate an infinite variety of designs within a forma system which gives them coherence. This book provides a language of this kind. It will enable a person to make a design for almost any kind of building, or any part of the built environment. "Patterns," the units of this language, are answers to design problems (How high should a window sill be? How many stories should a building have? How much space in a neighborhood should be devoted to grass and trees?). More than 250 of the patterns in this pattern language are given: each consists of a problem statement, a discussion of the problem with an illustration, and a solution. As the authors say in their introduction, many of the patterns are archetypal, so deeply rooted in the nature of things that it seemly likely that they will be a part of human nature, and human action, as much in five hundred years as they are today.