Using unprecedented access to Edison family papers and years of research at the Edison corporate archives, Neil Baldwin offers a revealing portrait of one of America's seminal inventors: a man whose imagination, dynamism, entrepreneurial brilliance epitomized the American dream as he became a victim of its darker side.
"Baldwin has demythologized the man and left the genius bigger than life." --Newsweek
Can disruption be useful? Christensen (business administration, Harvard Business School) and his collaborators believe so. They predict industry change using theories of innovation, locating new organizations that use simple, convenient, low-cost innovations to overpower incumbents. Noting that data only describes the past, they assert that working from theories can be useful in predicting such disruptions at an industry, national, or international level. Their examples and case studies include Western Electric, which lost its monopoly over telephone equipment in a lawsuit with a tiny upstart competitor. They also examine the intrusion of discount airlines into a deregulated market, the reasons why new entrants and not established firms created the semiconductor industry, and why for-profit higher education providers are disruptive innovators. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In this newly updated directory, the latest in cutting-edge audio equipment is provided, including how to choose the best audio equipment on a budget, how to get the best sound for the money, and how to set up a system for maximum performance. Revised and expanded to include all the latest audio technologies, this book is packed with expert advice how to make speakers sound up to 50 percent better at no cost, avoid the most common system set-up mistakes, and how to choose the one speaker in 50 worth owning. Among the new topics covered are computer-based music servers, wireless streaming of audio, high-resolution digital audio, internet downloads, HD radio, Blu-ray Disc, and the new high-resolution surround-sound formats. A short course on listening-room acoustics is presented and additional information on audio for home theater, multichannel audio, system set-up secrets, and what each component's specifications and measurements mean is also provided.
In the 1760s a group of amateur experimenters met and made friends in the English Midlands. Most came from humble families, all lived far from the center of things, but they were young and their optimism was boundless: together they would change the world. Among them were the ambitious toymaker Matthew Boulton and his partner James Watt, of steam-engine fame; the potter Josiah Wedgwood; the larger-than-life Erasmus Darwin, physician, poet, inventor, and theorist of evolution (a forerunner of his grandson Charles). Later came Joseph Priestley, discoverer of oxygen and fighting radical.
With a small band of allies they formed the Lunar Society of Birmingham (so called because it met at each full moon) and kick-started the Industrial Revolution. Blending science, art, and commerce, the Lunar Men built canals; launched balloons; named plants, gases, and minerals; changed the face of England and the china in its drawing rooms; and plotted to revolutionize its soul.
Uglow's vivid, exhilarating account uncovers the friendships, political passions, love affairs, and love of knowledge (and power) that drove these extraordinary men. It echoes to the thud of pistons and the wheeze and snort of engines and brings to life the tradesmen, artisans, and tycoons who shaped and fired the modern age.
In Things That Make Us Smart, Donald A. Norman explores the complex interaction between human thought and the technology it creates, arguing for the development of machines that fit our minds, rather than minds that must conform to the machine.Humans have always worked with objects to extend our cognitive powers, from counting on our fingers to designing massive supercomputers. But advanced technology does more than merely assist with thought and memory--the machines we create begin to shape how we think and, at times, even what we value. Norman, in exploring this complex relationship between humans and machines, gives us the first steps towards demanding a person-centered redesign of the machines that surround our lives.
In THE WORST HARD TIME, Timothy Egan put the environmental disaster of the Dust Bowl at the center of a rich history, told through characters he brought to indelible life. Now he performs the same alchemy with the Big Burn, the largest-ever forest fire in America and the tragedy that cemented Teddy Roosevelt's legacy in the land.
On the afternoon of August 20, 1910, a battering ram of wind moved through the drought-stricken national forests of Washington, Idaho, Montana, whipping the hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor into a roaring inferno that jumped from treetop to ridge as it raged, destroying towns and timber in an eyeblink. Forest rangers had assembled nearly ten thousand men -- college boys, day-workers, immigrants from mining camps -- to fight the fires. But no living person had seen anything like those flames, and neither the rangers nor anyone else knew how to subdue them.
Egan narrates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire with unstoppable dramatic force, through the eyes of the people who lived it. Equally dramatic, though, is the larger story he tells of outsized president Teddy Roosevelt and his chief forester Gifford Pinchot. Pioneering the notion of conservation, Roosevelt and Pinchot did nothing less than create the idea of public land as our national treasure, owned by every citizen. The robber barons fought him and the rangers charged with protecting the reserves, but even as TR's national forests were smoldering they were saved: The heroism shown by those same rangers turned public opinion permanently in favor of the forests, though it changed the mission of the forest service with consequences felt in the fires of today.
THE BIG BURN tells an epic story, paints a moving portrait of the people who lived it, and offers a critical cautionary tale for our time.
Why do so many world-changing insights come from people with little or no related experience? Charles Darwin was a geologist when he proposed the theory of evolution. And it was an astronomer who finally explained what happened to the dinosaurs.Frans Johansson's The Medici Effect shows how breakthrough ideas most often occur when we bring concepts from one field into a new, unfamiliar territory, and offers examples how we can turn the ideas we discover into path-breaking innovations.
On January 19, 2000, a fire raged through Seton Hall University's freshman dormitory, killing three students and injuring 58 others. Among the victims were Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos, roommates from poor neighborhoods who made their families proud by getting into college. They managed to escape, but both were burned terribly.After the Fire is the story of these young men and their courageous fight to recover from the worst damage the burn unit at Saint Barnabas hospital had ever seen. It is the story of the extraordinary doctors and nurses who work with the burned. It is the story of mothers and fathers, of faith and family and the invisible ties that bind us to each other. It is the story of the search for the arsonists -- and the elaborate cover-up that nearly obscured the truth. And it is the story of the women who came to love these men, who knew that real beauty is a thing not seen in mirrors.
Around noon on January 15, 1919, a group of firefighters was playing cards in Boston's North End when they heard a tremendous crash. It was like roaring surf, one of them said later. Like a runaway two-horse team smashing through a fence, said another. A third firefighter jumped up from his chair to look out a window-"Oh my God " he shouted to the other men, "Run "A 50-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses had just collapsed on Boston's waterfront, disgorging its contents as a 15-foot-high wave of molasses that at its outset traveled at 35 miles an hour. It demolished wooden homes, even the brick fire station. The number of dead wasn't known for days. It would be years before a landmark court battle determined who was responsible for the disaster.