10 Tech Books for 2023

It’s time for FOSSlife’s traditional tech book roundup. Once again we’ve compiled a brief list of tech books to help you understand the world we live in as well as the impact of technology on all of us.  

The books on this year’s list — all published in 2023 — deal with a wide range of topics, including introducing the ideas of free and open source software to children, technology ethics, quantum computing, and understanding open source for business success. 

These books break down such complex subjects in extremely approachable ways. The authors provide valuable perspectives to help us understand both how we got here and how we can navigate coming challenges. (The book descriptions below are excerpted from the publishers’ websites.)

Ada & Zangemann — A Tale of Software, Skateboards, and Raspberry Ice Cream
By Matthias Kirschner; illustrated by Sandra Brandstätter
In this clever children’s book, Ada and her friends show the world how important it is to be able to have control over the everyday technologies we use. For readers ages 6 to 106, Ada & Zangemann will arouse children's interest in tinkering with hardware and software and encourage their desire to shape their own technology. The book is available in English, German, French, and Italian. (No Starch Press)

The Apple II Age: How the Computer Became Personal
By Laine Nooney
An engrossing origin story for the personal computer — showing how the Apple II’s software helped a machine transcend from hobbyists’ plaything to essential home appliance. (University of Chicago Press)

Business Success with Open Source
By VM (Vicky) Brasseur
Learning how to use, contribute to, and release FOSS can be the strategic edge that your company needs. With the proper knowledge and approach, open source can form the cornerstone of a digital transformation effort, increase developer retention, decrease recruiting cycles, ensure reliable security, and reinforce the company brand. Read how to shift your company’s FOSS strategy from accidental to intentional. (Pragmatic Bookshelf)

Computing and Technology Ethics — Engaging through Science Fiction
By Emanuelle Burton, Judy Goldsmith, Nicholas Mattei, Cory Siler, and Sara-Jo Swiatek
This book first introduces the major ethical frameworks and then applies these frameworks to modern issues arising in technology ethics including privacy, computing, and artificial intelligence. A corresponding anthology of science fiction brings these quandaries to life and challenges readers to ask ethical questions of themselves and their work. (MIT Press)

Extremely Online
By Taylor Lorenz
In her debut book, Lorenz describes how online influence came to upend the world, demolishing traditional barriers and creating whole new sectors of the economy. She explains how this phenomenon became one of the most disruptive changes in modern capitalism. (Simon & Schuster)

How Infrastructure Works: Inside the Systems That Shape Our World
By Deb Chachra
Infrastructure represents the physical manifestation of our social contract — of our ability to work collectively for the public good — and it consists of the most complex and vast technological systems ever created by humans. This book maps out a path for transforming and rebuilding that infrastructure — such as bridges, roads, reservoirs, sewers, and cables — to be not just functional but also equitable, resilient, and sustainable. (Riverhead Books)

The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation
By Cory Doctorow
In this book, Doctorow explains how to seize the means of computation, by forcing Silicon Valley to do the thing it fears most: interoperate. Interoperability will tear down the walls between technologies, allowing users to leave platforms, remix their media, and reconfigure their devices without corporate permission. (Verso)

More than a Glitch
By Meredith Broussard
When technology reinforces inequality, it’s not just a glitch — it’s a signal that we need to redesign our systems to create a more equitable world. Broussard demonstrates how neutrality in tech is a myth and why algorithms need to be held accountable. (MIT Press)

Open Source Law, Policy and Practice
By Amanda Brock
This new edition is fully updated with a global focus on technology and market changes over the past decade. It explains the legal environment within which open source operates, focusing on intellectual property rights, governance, and business and economic impacts. (Oxford University Press)

Quantum Supremacy
By Michio Kaku
An exhilarating tour of humanity’s next great technological achievement — quantum computing — which may supercharge artificial intelligence and solve some of humanity’s biggest problems, like global warming, world hunger, and incurable disease. (Doubleday)

But, wait, there’s more

Here's another book that has been brought to our attention:

Fancy Bear Goes Phishing: The Dark History of the Information Age, in Five Extraordinary Hacks
By Scott Shapiro
In Fancy Bear Goes Phishing, Scott J. Shapiro draws on his popular Yale University class about hacking to expose the secrets of the digital age. He tells the fascinating tales of perpetrators, including Robert Morris Jr., the graduate student who accidentally crashed the internet in the 1980s, and the Bulgarian “Dark Avenger,” who invented the first mutating computer-virus engine. (Macmillan)

And, in case you missed them, be sure to check out the lists from previous years.

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