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Download The Department of Mad Scientists: Inside DARPA, the Path-Breaking Government Agency You've Never Heard Of Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Department of Mad Scientists: Inside DARPA, the Path-Breaking Government Agency Youve Never Heard Of Audiobook, by Michael Belfiore Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (166 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Belfiore Narrator: Michael Belfiore Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2009 ISBN: 9780307704092
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The first-ever inside look at DARPA—the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency—the maverick and controversial group whose futuristic work has had amazing civilian and military applications, from the Internet to GPS to driverless cars
America's greatest idea factory isn't Bell Labs, Silicon Valley, or MIT's Media Lab. It's the secretive, Pentagon-led agency known as DARPA. Founded by Eisenhower in response to Sputnik and the Soviet space program, DARPA mixes military officers with sneaker-wearing scientists, seeking paradigm-shifting ideas in varied fields—from energy, robotics, and rockets to peopleless operating rooms, driverless cars, and planes that can fly halfway around the world in just hours. DARPA gave birth to the Internet, GPS, and mind-controlled robotic arms. Its geniuses define future technology for the military and the rest of us.
Michael Belfiore was given unprecedented access to write this first-ever popular account of DARPA. Visiting research sites across the country, he watched scientists in action and talked to the creative, fearlessly ambitious visionaries working for and with DARPA. Much of DARPA's work is classified, and this book is full of material that has barely been reported in the general media. In fact, DARPA estimates that only 2 percent of Americans know much of anything about the agency. This fascinating read demonstrates that DARPA isn't so much frightening as it is inspiring—it is our future. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shawn | 2/18/2014

    " The information on the programs DARPA runs (Grand Challenge, SCRAMjet technology) was far more interesting than the information on the agency itself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 2/3/2014

    " I didn't read the _whole_ book. I just couldn't believe some of the ideas ever coming to fruition. Things like robot surgeons. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Derek | 1/29/2014

    " Great overview on the history of DARPA, it's past contributions and where the agency is heading in the future. Tons of links to research, stories and additional reading at the end of the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fiona | 1/13/2014

    " I have bought this book twice both times as presents for guys with a tech bent. Overall good book reads like separate magazine length stories in the sections which describe the different projects which was appreciated by the two readers who got this as a gift. I found it a little rah rah america but I suppose that is to be expected given the subject matter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J Scott Shipman | 1/11/2014

    " The first half is quickly paced and mostly well-done. The second half seemed to run out of steam. Still, Belfiore deserves credit for shining light on an organization that provides a pretty consistent high ROI for a government agency. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Noah Richardson | 1/6/2014

    " the first book to investigate DARPA! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 9/27/2013

    " I liked hearing about all the ways that things led to unexpected results. Research is like that. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 BAKU | 9/8/2013

    " Just read through this quickly "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melanie | 9/8/2013

    " I found some chapters interesting, such as the "backseat drivers" and "an arm and a leg". These chapters had fewer acronyms to keep track of and more project information that I could appreciate the significance of. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Davis | 6/6/2013

    " a little boring but informative "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 2/8/2013

    " Alot of detail and held my interest. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dennis | 10/6/2012

    " I didn't think it would be possible to make DARPA boring, but Belfiore has done just that. Reading this book was like swimming in molasses. Don't bother. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary | 9/29/2012

    " Started out interesting with description of DARPA's network that became the Internet and their work on prosthetics and robots. Bogged down when he got caught up on robotic vehicle development and so I never finished it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Smellsofbikes | 7/28/2011

    " So-so book written in the same general gee-whiz style as Wired, surveying a bunch of neat DARPA projects. A bit too much of the "I had NO IDEA anyone was working on THIS!" feel, but it's likely that most people who would read this *don't* know anyone is working on this sort of stuff. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ian Billick | 6/25/2011

    " Really disappointing. Whoever compared DARPA to the Bell Labs doesn't know what he is talking about. It's written by a DARPA groupie excited to be on the inside. Little insight into how DARPA works and how successful it is been relative to other approaches to science. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marc | 11/7/2010

    " "Nice overview of the secretive research arm of the Department of Defense. Each chapter focuses on a specific research project. Artificial limbs, telepresence medical robots, alternative space transportation systems, robotic cars, stealth planes, super-sonic planes. What more do you need?" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shawn | 9/29/2010

    " The information on the programs DARPA runs (Grand Challenge, SCRAMjet technology) was far more interesting than the information on the agency itself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Smellsofbikes | 7/7/2010

    " So-so book written in the same general gee-whiz style as Wired, surveying a bunch of neat DARPA projects. A bit too much of the "I had NO IDEA anyone was working on THIS!" feel, but it's likely that most people who would read this *don't* know anyone is working on this sort of stuff. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melanie | 1/7/2010

    " I found some chapters interesting, such as the "backseat drivers" and "an arm and a leg". These chapters had fewer acronyms to keep track of and more project information that I could appreciate the significance of. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 1/4/2010

    " I didn't read the _whole_ book. I just couldn't believe some of the ideas ever coming to fruition. Things like robot surgeons. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 12/20/2009

    " I liked hearing about all the ways that things led to unexpected results. Research is like that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 11/28/2009

    " Alot of detail and held my interest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Derek | 11/24/2009

    " Great overview on the history of DARPA, it's past contributions and where the agency is heading in the future. Tons of links to research, stories and additional reading at the end of the book. "

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