Weapons Grade: How Modern Warfare Gave Birth to Our High-Tech World

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Basic Books, Apr 9, 2006 - Technology & Engineering - 402 pages
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Understanding how business is likely to evolve in the coming years is itself a multi-million dollar business. Plenty of gurus, academics and snake-oil salesmen will tell you all about the future -- for a price. What all of these experts often overlook is that the future is already here. Chances are, the products and services we will buy and sell tomorrow are available -- to a very limited clientele -- at a top-secret research institute near you.
Throughout human history war and the threat of war have driven innovation and accelerated the uptake of new technology -- from the nomadic warriors who introduced the stirrup and the kebab to the world, to the British Navy's funding of Marconi's new-fangled radio. And since 1945 the relationship between military needs and modern business has grown ever closer, especially in the United States. David Hambling traces the history of this relationship in the modern era and shows how precision eye surgery emerged out of the military quest for a 'death ray, ' how transistors and silicon chips first helped build better bombs, and exactly why the 747 has such a distinctive shape.

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User Review  - name99 - LibraryThing

An interesting concept. The idea is to discuss military high technology through how it has been commercialized. I think the conceit worked pretty well, striking an interesting balance between the ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

David Hambling is a freelance writer and author living in South London. He writes for New Scientist magazine and the science section of the Guardian newspaper among others, specialising in topics relating to military technology. He also explores the wilder side of science in a monthly column in Fortean Times magazine.

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