Understanding the Digital World: What You Need to Know about Computers, the Internet, Privacy, and Security

Princeton University Press
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The basics of how computer hardware, software, and systems work, and the risks they create for our privacy and security

Computers are everywhere. Some of them are highly visible, in laptops, tablets, cell phones, and smart watches. But most are invisible, like those in appliances, cars, medical equipment, transportation systems, power grids, and weapons. We never see the myriad computers that quietly collect, share, and sometimes leak vast amounts of personal data about us. Through computers, governments and companies increasingly monitor what we do. Social networks and advertisers know far more about us than we should be comfortable with, using information we freely give them. Criminals have all-too-easy access to our data. Do we truly understand the power of computers in our world?

Understanding the Digital World explains how computer hardware, software, networks, and systems work. Topics include how computers are built and how they compute; what programming is and why it is difficult; how the Internet and the web operate; and how all of these affect our security, privacy, property, and other important social, political, and economic issues. This book also touches on fundamental ideas from computer science and some of the inherent limitations of computers. It includes numerous color illustrations, notes on sources for further exploration, and a glossary to explain technical terms and buzzwords.

Understanding the Digital World is a must-read for all who want to know more about computers and communications. It explains, precisely and carefully, not only how they operate but also how they influence our daily lives, in terms anyone can understand, no matter what their experience and knowledge of technology.

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About the author

Brian W. Kernighan is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at Princeton University. He is the coauthor of ten other books, including the computing classic The C Programming Language (Prentice Hall). He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
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4.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jan 9, 2017
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781400884803
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Language
English
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Genres
Computers / Computer Science
Computers / Hardware / General
Computers / Networking / General
Computers / Programming / General
Computers / Security / General
Computers / Security / Networking
Computers / Software Development & Engineering / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Go Programming Language is the authoritative resource for any programmer who wants to learn Go. It shows how to write clear and idiomatic Go to solve real-world problems. The book does not assume prior knowledge of Go nor experience with any specific language, so you’ll find it accessible whether you’re most comfortable with JavaScript, Ruby, Python, Java, or C++. The first chapter is a tutorial on the basic concepts of Go, introduced through programs for file I/O and text processing, simple graphics, and web clients and servers. Early chapters cover the structural elements of Go programs: syntax, control flow, data types, and the organization of a program into packages, files, and functions. The examples illustrate many packages from the standard library and show how to create new ones of your own. Later chapters explain the package mechanism in more detail, and how to build, test, and maintain projects using the go tool. The chapters on methods and interfaces introduce Go’s unconventional approach to object-oriented programming, in which methods can be declared on any type and interfaces are implicitly satisfied. They explain the key principles of encapsulation, composition, and substitutability using realistic examples. Two chapters on concurrency present in-depth approaches to this increasingly important topic. The first, which covers the basic mechanisms of goroutines and channels, illustrates the style known as communicating sequential processes for which Go is renowned. The second covers more traditional aspects of concurrency with shared variables. These chapters provide a solid foundation for programmers encountering concurrency for the first time. The final two chapters explore lower-level features of Go. One covers the art of metaprogramming using reflection. The other shows how to use the unsafe package to step outside the type system for special situations, and how to use the cgo tool to create Go bindings for C libraries.

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