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Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the… (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2011; vuoden 2012 painos)

– tekijä: Richard Rhodes (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
4182245,556 (3.05)54
Describes the lesser-known technological talents of actress Hedy Lamarr and the collaborative work with avant-garde composer George Antheil that eventually led to the development of spread-spectrum radio, cell phones, and GPS systems.
Jäsen:Etr8218
Teoksen nimi:Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World
Kirjailijat:Richard Rhodes (Tekijä)
Info:Vintage (2012), Edition: Reprint, 288 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World (tekijä: Richard Rhodes) (2011)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 22) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Actress Hedy Lamarr was more than a pretty face. In her spare time from filming, she dabbled at inventing. One of her inventions, in collaboration with composer George Antheil, was a frequency-hopping radio control for torpedoes. Although the patent expired without implementation by the U.S. Navy, it was a step in the development of the spread spectrum technology that enables wireless communications like cell phones, GPS, Bluetooth, and wireless LANs.

The first part of the book explores the backgrounds of both Lamarr and Antheil, emphasizing the aspects of their early lives that contributed to their invention. Lamarr’s first marriage to an Austrian munitions manufacturer was a stepping stone to the invention. Her subsequent marriages were not, so they are barely touched on in this book. Her films are mentioned only as markers of time in between stages of the invention and the patent application process.

I found George Antheil’s background even more fascinating that Hedy Lamarr’s. He was a talented pianist, an avant garde composer, and an author as well as an inventor, yet for all of his talent he was barely able to provide for his family. His percussive musical style and his experimental composition for numerous player pianos provided inspiration for the patent he designed with Ms. Lamarr.

The invention is the real focus of the book. The technical details may put off some readers, while others will be disappointed with the scant details provided about Lamarr’s personal life, given the subtitle’s seeming promise that the book is about her life. Many readers will be surprised by George Antheil’s prominence, since he isn’t mentioned in the title at all. Readers willing to set aside any preconceived notions about the book’s contents will be rewarded with an introduction to two intellectually curious individuals and their innovations. ( )
  cbl_tn | Mar 7, 2021 |
The book spends minimal time on Hedy's Hollywood career but focuses on her early life in Austria and her flight to America to make films in Hollywood. Wanting to be an actress by her mid teens, she made the film Esctasy when she was 15. The nude scene in it haunted her for many years.

Her first husband was a munitions maker and he hosted meetings with Italian, German and other military leaders to which Hedy had access. It is assumed she used the knowledge learned then to come up with her radio controlled torpedo idea with the assistance of composer George Antheil. From her work on spred-spectrum communications during WW II developed the technology that is today used in cell phones, GPS', Bluetooth and more. In 1997, she and George were honoured for their work with the presentation of the Pioneer Award from the Electronic Pioneer Foundation.

A large portion of this volume is spent on the career of George Antheil and his music which I found as interesting as Hedy's inventions and her early life in Austria. ( )
  lamour | May 23, 2020 |
A disappointing book. The actual information on Hedy's invention is very thin, so it's heavily padded in odd ways. The first half or more is a biography of Hedy (reasonable), then a jump back 10 years or so for a biography (with heavy name-dropping) of Antheil, her collaborator on the invention. I find his life even less interesting than Hedy's; he wrote weird music and the critics disliked him, for various reasons but the disliking is constant. The occasional comment of "at this point Hedy was 10 and probably hadn't heard of" his music does very little to tie the story together. We also get a review of politics in Austria between the wars - sordid and nasty. Then Hedy manages to get to the US, and the focus of the story shifts to her films - but only in review, very little about what she was actually doing. The constant refrain, when the book actually starts talking about her inventing, is "since she never wrote anything about this (whatever aspect the author is talking about), we are not sure exactly what happened..." Very dull. She (they) invented the torpedo control, it wasn't used but somehow the Navy held the patent, that's all that's known. Scraps of her and Antheil's lives are scattered through this section, but the focus is on numbers - sometimes rather random numbers. The basis for her invention, frequency-hopping, became technologically and economically important (reports on how big the market for it was). Someone finally figured out it was her invention, publicized her connection, got her some awards for it but by that time she didn't want public contact. End of story. It neither evoked the era nor went in to how and why she created what she did (aside from page after page of "things Hedy overheard as a girl that might have been related and therefore gave her what she needed to create her invention" - with an aside about how someone "didn't think she knew A from Z" and tried to assume she'd just borrowed the info. Pot, meet kettle...). Disappointing and annoying - I know very little more than before I read this, and I feel it was a waste of my time. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Mar 27, 2020 |
This is another book about the life of Hedy Lamar, but unlike Marie Benedict's The Only Woman in the Room, this book is written as a standard biography, and for me, wasn't nearly as interesting as the novel. This is probably because this book goes into great technical detail on Ms. Lamar's inventions, much of which went over my head. If I were to recommend one book, it would be Ms. Benedict's. ( )
  etxgardener | Mar 20, 2020 |
Who knew Hedy LaMarre was an inventor? With her collaborator George Antheil, a composer by vocation, she invented a system for radio- controlled torpedoes that would be resistant to jamming. They were awarded a patent, but it was not put to use, and lapsed after the seventeen years. Subsequently, their system provided the basis for many technologies we take for granted today - cell phones and wi-fi to name just a few. This book is the story of the two "amateur" inventors. While I enjoyed the story, I didn't think it was particularly well-written.

What better example do we need to show that that BOTH arts and sciences lead to the most creative endeavors? ( )
  steller0707 | Aug 25, 2019 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 22) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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A grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation supported the research for this book.
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Describes the lesser-known technological talents of actress Hedy Lamarr and the collaborative work with avant-garde composer George Antheil that eventually led to the development of spread-spectrum radio, cell phones, and GPS systems.

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