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Spread Spectrum: Hedy Lamarr and the mobile…

Spread Spectrum: Hedy Lamarr and the mobile phone

by Rob Walters

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313,087,637 (4)2
This popular book was updated in 2013 just thirteen years after the death of the glamourous film star Hedy Lamarr. She was a famous Hollywood star and the first woman to appear naked on film. George Antheil was a piano player and composer. So just how did these two come to invent the latest technology used by the mobile phone? Or did they? She was labelled 'the most beautiful girl in the world' and he 'the bad boy of music' yet way back in 1942 they took out a patent covering the vital radio technique that we now call spread spectrum. This absorbing book traces the eventful and sometimes scandalous lives of Hedy and George. It tells the fascinating story of radio and the ongoing battle to make it secure and of similar quality to wired communication. Spread spectrum emerged from that battle to become the solution of choice for anything from mobile phones to wireless computer networks.… (more)
Recently added bypbirch01, mart1n, SeanSmith



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This is easily one of the strangest biographies I have ever read. Spread Spectrum tells the story of Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil and follows the development of spread spectrum technologies by mostly focusing on the lives of these two individuals. The book does a good job defining the different technologies and focusing on the lives of the two main protagonists. However, this is a self-published book and could really use the help of an editor. There are frequent asides, long interjections about the author's personal life and bizarre ventures into fictionalizing what might have happened at key events throughout the story. The author clearly used some sort of auto-dictation software because there were many homophones (gilded vs. guilded, there vs. their, etc). Also, the author references Amazon reviews of Lamarr's movies as an interpretation of how modern movie watchers respond to Lamarr. Although, even with all these strange asides and bizarre formatting I did enjoy the book. Walters's enthusiasm is contagious and he explains technical details with great aplomb. Its an interesting story and a shame that Lamarr and Antheil's achievements are not more widely celebrated in modern society. ( )
  pbirch01 | Jan 5, 2017 |
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