Before the Internet became widely known as a global tool for terrorists, one perceptive U.S. citizen recognized its ominous potential. Armed with clear evidence of computer espionage, he began a highly personal quest to expose a hidden network of spies that threatened national security. But would the authorities back him up? Cliff Stoll's dramatic firsthand account is "a computer-age detective story, instantly fascinating [and] astonishingly gripping" (Smithsonian). Cliff Stoll was an astronomer turned systems manager at Lawrence Berkeley Lab when a 75-cent accounting error alerted him to the presence of an unauthorized user on his system. The hacker's code name was "Hunter"—a mysterious invader who managed to break into U.S. computer systems and steal sensitive military and security information. Stoll began a one-man hunt of his own: spying on the spy. It was a dangerous game of deception, broken codes, satellites, and missile bases—a one-man sting operation that finally gained the attention of the CIA . . . and ultimately trapped an international spy ring fueled by cash, cocaine, and the KGB.
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They told Thorn he was one of them, although he was different. To them, he was ugly: sleek-skinned, not furred, and clawless. But he was part of their power class, part of the elite: the fighters, the defenders. When the crunch came, when Thorn learned that on him might hang the future of two worlds, he had to stand alone to justify his very existence.
A gifted biologist's careful and beguiling study of why cuckoos have got away with tricking other birds into hatching and raising their young for thousands of years. The familiar call of the common cuckoo, "cuck-oo,†? has been a harbinger of spring ever since our ancestors walked out of Africa many thousands of years ago. However, for naturalist and scientist Nick Davies, the call is an invitation to solve an enduring puzzle: how does the cuckoo get away with laying its eggs in the nests of other birds and tricking them into raising young cuckoos rather than their own offspring? Early observers who noticed a little warbler feeding a monstrously large cuckoo chick concluded the cuckoo's lack of parental care was the result of faulty design by the Creator, and that the hosts chose to help the poor cuckoo. These quaint views of bad design and benevolence were banished after Charles Darwin proposed that the cuckoo tricks the hosts in an evolutionary battle, where hosts evolve better defenses against cuckoos and cuckoos, in turn, evolve better trickery to outwit the hosts. For the last three decades, Davies has employed observation and field experiments to unravel the details of this evolutionary "arms race†? between cuckoos and their hosts. Like a detective, Davies and his colleagues studied adult cuckoo behavior, cuckoo egg markings, and cuckoo chick begging calls to discover exactly how cuckoos trick their hosts. For birding and evolution aficionados, The Cuckoo is a lyrical and scientifically satisfying exploration of one of nature's most astonishing and beautiful adaptations.
The classic science fiction horror novel of possessed children that inspired the terrifying Village of the Damned films. In John Wyndam’s classically elegant, calm style, this novel explores the arrival of a collective intelligence on earth that threatens to eliminate mankind. The quiet, eerie changes that befall Midwich manifest in strange ways: On the surface, everything seems normal, but scratch a little deeper and there is a clear sense of dread. After the night of September 26, every woman of childbearing age is pregnant, all to give birth at the same time, to children who are all alike—their eyes mesmerizing, void of emotion. These children are innately possessed with unimaginable mental powers and a formidable intelligence. It is these children who develop into an unstoppable force, capable of anything and far out-reaching other humans in cunning. Whatever dwells in Midwich is sowing the seeds for a master race of ruthless and inhumane creatures who are bent on nothing less than absolute and total domination. The London Evening Standard called The Midwich Cuckoos “humane and urbane with a lightly sophisticated wit putting the ideas into shape.” Wyndham skillfully heightens the terror by making his narrative so rational and matter-of-fact. In such a nuclear and technological age, this story is rich in irony in that it is set in the picturesque, bucolic English Village and the “enemy,” or, the threat is seeming cherubim. “Exciting, unsettling and technically brilliant.” —The Spectator
This authoritative handbook, part of the Helm Identification Guides series, looks in detail at the world's cuckoos, couas and coucals - the family Cuculidae. Famed as brood-parasites of other birds, the cuckoos include a diverse range of species, from the roadrunners of North America to the spectacular malkohas of southern Asia. This book discusses the biology and identification of these birds on a species-by-species basis, bringing together the very latest research with accurate range maps, more than 600 stunning colour photographs that illuminate age and racial plumage differences, and 36 superb plates by a team of internationally renowned artists.
In this fascinating new book, Nick Davies describes the natural histories of these brood parasites and examines many of the exciting questions they raise about the evolution of cheating and the arms race between parasites and their prey. Brood parasites fill their armory with adaptations including exquisite egg mimicry, rapid laying, ejection of host eggs, murder of host young, chick mimicry and manipulative begging behavior: ploys shown by recent research to have evolved in response to host defense behavior or through competition among the parasites themselves. While many host species appear defenseless, accepting parasite eggs quite unlike their own, many are more discriminating against odd-looking eggs and some have evolved the ability to discriminate against odd-looking chicks as well. How is this arms race conducted? Will defenseless hosts develop defenses in time, or are there constraints which limit the evolution and perfection of host defenses? And why are so few species obliged only to lay eggs in host nests? Have host defenses limited the success of brood parasitism, or is it in fact much more common than we suspect, but occurring mainly when birds parasitize the nest of their own kind? All of these puzzles are examined in descriptions of the natural history of each of the groups of parasites in turn. Here is a book with wide appeal, both to amateur naturalists fascinated by this most singular and macabre of behaviors and by ornithologists and ecologists interested in the evolution of ecology and behavior. The story takes us from the classic field work earlier this century by pioneer ornithologists such as Edgar Chance, Stuart Baker, Herbert Friedmann and others, through to the recent experimental field work and molecular techniques of today's leading scientists. We visit brood parasites in Europe, Asia, Japan, Africa, Australasia, and North and South America, to look at some of the worlds most interesting birds and some of biology's most interesting questions, many of which still beg answers from ornithologists in the future. Brilliant illustrations by David Quinn illuminate the species discussed, showing many behaviors never before illustrated and conveying the thrill of watching these astonishing birds in the wild.
The cuckoos are the most variable birds in social behavior and parental care: a few cuckoos are among the most social of all birds and rear their young in a common nest; most cuckoos are caring parents that rear their own young with some females laying a few eggs in the nests of others; while many cuckoo species are brood parasites who leave their eggs in the nests of other birds to rear, with their young maturing to kill their foster nestmates. In The Cuckoos, Robert B. Payne presents a new evolutionary history of the family based on molecular genetics, and uses the family tree to explore the origins and diversity of their behaviour. He traces details of the cuckoos' biology to their original sources, includes descriptions of previously unpublished field observations, and reveals new comparisons of songs showing previously overlooked cuckoo species. Lavishly illustrated with specially commissioned colour plates and numerous maps, halftones, and line drawings, The Cuckoos provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date account of this family yet available.
Offers a critical look at the hyperbole surrounding the Internet and the future uses of computer networks, and discusses the false assumptions concerning the true benefits of computers
The author of Silicon Snake Oil offers a provocative and controversial critique of the educational applications and benefits of computers and provides a commonsense look at how technology can be best utilized and controlled in the modern world. Reprint. 35,000 first printing.