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AC/DC : The Savage Tale of the First Standards War,9780787982676

AC/DC : The Savage Tale of the First Standards War

Edition: 1st
Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 8/12/2013
Publisher(s): Jossey-Bass
Availability: This title is currently not available.


The untold story of Thomas Edison and the first battle of "operating systems"-alternating current (AC) versus direct current (DC) This is the story of how Thomas Edison bet wrong in the fierce war between supporters of alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). The savagery of this electrical battle can be hardly imagined today. AC/DC is an object lesson in bad business strategy and poor decision making. Edison's inability to see his mistake was a key factor in his loss of control over the "operating system" for his future inventions-not to mention the company he founded, Edison General, now General Electric. This book is a fascinating mix of popular science and business history and draws clear parallels to current-day standards battles in software and electronics. Tom McNichol (San Burno, CA) is a WIRED contributing editor. He makes regular contributions to the New York Times and has also written for many other popular business and technology outlets. He is also known for his radio segments on NPR.

Author Biography

TOM MCNICHOL is a contributing editor for Wired magazine. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the Washington Post, and the Guardian. His radio commentaries and satires have aired on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Marketplace. He’s the author of Barking at Prozac (Crown Publishing, 1997), and his work appears in the anthology Afterwords: Stories and Reports from 9/11 and Beyond (Washington Square Press, 2002).

Table of Contents

1. Negative and Positive.
2. First Sparks.
3. Lightning in a Bottle.
4. Enter the Wizard.
5. Let There Be Light.
6. Electrifying the Big Apple.
7. Tesla.
8. The Animal Experiments.
9. Old Sparky.
10. Pulse of the World.
11. Killing an Elephant.
12. Twilight by Battery Power.
13. DC's Revenge.
Epilogue: Standards Wars: Past, Present, and Future.
Further Readings in Electricity.
About the Author.

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