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Weekend Reading: War of the Whales

Dozens of beaked whales beach themselves in the Bahamas. This leads to a legal battle against the U.S. Navy. Joshua Horwitz details the story, scientists, the legal battle, and the science in  War of the Whales. It’s an uphill battle when the other side is the most powerful fighting machine on the seas. It’s an […]

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Weekend Reading: Trapped Under the Sea

If you’ve ever flown into Boston’s Logan Airport or stared out over the harbor, you likely noticed the dozen egg-shaped structures sitting out on Deer Island. Those are key components of the second largest sewage treatment facility in the United States. The construction of the outflow pipes from that facility is the key point in […]

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Weekend Reading: The Map Thief

The classic business edict is to buy low and sell high. E. Forbes Smiley took that edict to heart in his business as an antique map dealer. Unfortunately, he discovered he could get his cost close to $0 if he stole his inventory. Michael Blanding captures the story of Mr. Smiley and the world of […]

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Weekend Reading: Countdown to Zero Day

We were in a cyber war with Iran. Kim Zetter unravels the story of Stuxnet, the US computer attack on Iran’s nuclear program in Countdown to Zero Day. A few months ago, I read A Time to Attack urging a US military attack on Iran. That book highlighted how Iran had been building a nuclear program […]

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Weekend Reading: The Skies Belong To Us

It’s hard to imagine in these days of TSA security, but over a five-year period starting in 1968, hijackers seized commercial jets nearly once a week. Brendan I. Koerner captures this piece of history in The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking. Mr. Koerner uses the hijacking of […]

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Weekend Reading: Attachments

For those compliance officers who do email surveillance, you should enjoy the premise of Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. Lincoln, the protagonist is responsible for email surveillance. He falls for one employee who is a repeat offender whose emails routinely get flagged for his review. He falls in love, but has no idea what she looks […]

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Weekend Reading: Predator

Predator covers the story of the birth of the Predator drone and its effect on military and covert operations. Richard Whittle manages to weave through the military and aeronautic bureaucracy of the Predator as it is destined to become  the most successful military unmanned aircraft. I was surprised to see the level of detail about […]

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Weekend Reading: House of Debt

In House of Debt, Atif Mian, an economist at Princeton University, and Amir Sufi, a finance professor at the University of Chicago, make the case that household debt was the 2008 recession’s main culprit. This is a nuanced view that differs slightly from the view that it was the 2007 home price decline. Mian and […]

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Weekend Reading: Capital

In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty argues that if the rate of return on capital is persistently greater than the rate of economic growth this will cause wealth inequality to increase in the future. The theory is that wealth accumulated in the past grows more rapidly than output and wages. It’s a great […]

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Weekend Reading: Flash Boys

I admit to being a Michael Lewis fanboy. I consider him one of the best business writers. He has a knack for using characters as a lens to explain an issue. The issue in Flash Boys is high frequency trading. Or high speed trading. Or electronic trading. It’s a bit of a confusing mix. Uncharacteristically, […]

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