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The big switch : rewiring the world, from Edison to Google / Nicholas Carr.

By: Carr, Nicholas G, 1959-.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2008Edition: 1st ed.Description: vii, 278 p. ; 25 cm.ISBN: 9780393062281 (hardcover); 0393062287 (hardcover).Other title: Rewiring the world, from Edison to Google.Subject(s): Computers and civilization | Information technology -- Social aspects | Technological innovations | InternetDDC classification: 303.48/34 Other classification: 71.43 | 05.20 | 50.01 | DAT 040f | QR 700
Contents:
Burden's wheel -- The inventor and his clerk -- Digital millwork -- Goodbye, Bill Gates -- The White City -- World Wide Computer -- From the many to the few -- The great unbundling -- Fighting the net -- A spider's web -- iGod -- Flame and filament.
Summary: A hundred years ago, companies stopped producing their own power with steam engines and plugged into the newly built electric grid. The cheap power pumped out by electric utilities not only changed how businesses operated but also brought the modern world into existence. Today a similar revolution is under way. Companies are dismantling their private computer systems and tapping into rich services delivered over the Internet. This time it's computing that's turning into a utility. The shift is already remaking the computer industry, bringing new competitors like Google to the fore and threatening traditional stalwarts like Microsoft and Dell. But the effects will reach much further. Cheap computing will ultimately change society as profoundly as cheap electricity did. Here, business journalist Carr weaves together history, economics, and technology to explain why computing is changing--and what it means for all of us.--From publisher description.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
QA76.9 .C66 C38 2008 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001933134

Includes bibliographical references (p. 235-260) and index.

Burden's wheel -- The inventor and his clerk -- Digital millwork -- Goodbye, Bill Gates -- The White City -- World Wide Computer -- From the many to the few -- The great unbundling -- Fighting the net -- A spider's web -- iGod -- Flame and filament.

A hundred years ago, companies stopped producing their own power with steam engines and plugged into the newly built electric grid. The cheap power pumped out by electric utilities not only changed how businesses operated but also brought the modern world into existence. Today a similar revolution is under way. Companies are dismantling their private computer systems and tapping into rich services delivered over the Internet. This time it's computing that's turning into a utility. The shift is already remaking the computer industry, bringing new competitors like Google to the fore and threatening traditional stalwarts like Microsoft and Dell. But the effects will reach much further. Cheap computing will ultimately change society as profoundly as cheap electricity did. Here, business journalist Carr weaves together history, economics, and technology to explain why computing is changing--and what it means for all of us.--From publisher description.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Writer Carr compares and contrasts the evolution of early computing from mainframes, to massive information technology departments, to personal computing, to the Internet/World Wide Web, to "Worldwide Computing" (WWC), to previous revolutions like Edisonian electrification. The book clearly describes the data processing revolution beginning with Hollerith punched cards and advancing through various processes, usually of benefit to corporations and bureaucracies, with spillover to individuals. The benefits to all parties are legion and well described with the histories of Google and others recounted. The result is the global dispersal of previously centralized IT and computing functions involving every participating PC, yet ironically recentralized into a growing number of megasites such as Google. After recounting the benefits of WWC, the author describes the "Dark Side." Democratization also breeds polarization and balkanization; independence, dependence, and loss of control; privacy, security, and exposure. Jobs are threatened as never before as small staffs of entrepreneurs replace journalists, analysts, and librarians. Unlike past revolutions, no new jobs are created. Loss of control--personal, corporate, and governmental--is occurring. Carr also addresses the boon and bane of artificial intelligence. Users beware! Summing Up: Recommended. All readers/libraries. R. E. Buntrock formerly, University of Maine

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Nicholas Carr is the author of The Shallows, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and The Glass Cage, among other books. Former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review, he has written for The Atlantic, the New York Times, and Wired. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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