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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash Between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System
Publisher: Basic Books
Authors: Siva Vaidhyanathan
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very important and very timely---yet very readable!


Siva Vaidhyanathan has written another book that (again!) establishes him as one of the sharpest young media thinkers emerging on the cultural scene. An American Studies scholar by training, Vaidhyanathan has an interdiscipliniary background that is everywhere apparent in his approach to complex, sprawling issues such as copyright (as in his excellent first book, Copyrights and Copywrongs) and now in the perplexities of digitality, the subject of his new title, The Anarchist in the Library.
Issues of privacy, intellectual property, creative freedom... this book pokes the major sore spots throbbing underneath our blithely digital epoch, though it does so in unexpected ways.This not the same old "paint by numbers" approach to cultural studies in which a problem is identified, denounced, and remedied (in the abstract) by a few cursory nods toward the self-evident.
Rather, this book takes unexpected turns that never lose the reader's interest or passion. Perhaps this is because Vaidhyanathan is blessed (or cursed by those academics suspicious of such fluency) with an inviting prose style that adds considerable charm to even his most polemical passages---this fluency may be why he is finding such success as a public intellectual, appearing in the pages of Salon, NY Times, etc., as well as on television and the net (he is a well-known blogger at www.sivacracy, one of the few I read outside of Eric Alterman's).
Bottom line: I'm teaching an Honors course on Media Studies next year and I expect to use this book with my students---it seems ideally pitched for both serious students and general readers alike.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning Active Server Pages 3.0 (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: David Buser, John Kauffman, Juan T. Llibre, Brian Francis, Dave Sussman, Chris Ullman, Jon Duckett
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Worth The Money


I did not buy this book from Amazon, but I found it so useful that I though I'd write a review. Not only does this book cover the basics of ASP technology, but also guides you through VBScript, XML and other related essential scripting technologies. It is designed for people who know nothing about ASP, and want to start from sratch. It's an excellent book for a complete beginner, but it's receomended that you know the functionality of HTML before hand. However, even though this book informs you of alternatives and other various way of running ASP scripts, it's designed for users who have Windows 2000.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP Exam
Publisher: Auerbach Publications
Authors: Susan Hansche, John Berti, Chris Hare
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Post-Exam Review


In preparing for the exam I read CISSP All-in-One, CISSP Prep Guide Gold Edition, and CISSP for Dummies, but none of them were as helpful as the official guide in actually passing the exam (which I did). Although all of the domains are well-covered in this book, the chapters on information security management, physical security, telecommunications security, and business continuity planning were exceptionally good. As far as errors go, the official guide probably had the least out of all the books I read. The practice questions in this book are very good indicators of the kinds of questions you will see on the actual exam.

Although I wouldn't recommend that anyone use this book as their sole study source, I do consider it a "must read." In my opinion, the Shon Harris "CISSP All-in-One" compliments this book very well with its different writing style and additional practice questions.

Kudos to the authors on a job well-done! I look forward to getting Susan Hansche's official ISSEP guide when it finally comes out next year.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Enterprise Service Bus
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: David Chappell
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Useful book but too Java Centric


Perhaps a better title for the book would have been ESB for the J2EE technology stack. Although the author positions the book as a technology agnostic exploration of the technolgy, his lack of understanding of the Microsoft technology stack makes it impossible for him to pull this off. His obsession with JMS shows through in every chapter and the if he made a convincing argument about why JMS compatability is so useful in an ESB in a Microsoft based platform - I failed to spot it. Also his cavalier dismissal of Biztalk ( the latest version of which incidentally does have all the features of ESB he identifies ) is also quite surprising. As an architect who is working in a non java centric ,microsoft based environment, the book comes across as primarily written for people working on the Java stack. He does pay lip service to how the ESB in his view will work with any technology but the arguments fail to impress and appear incomplete. Given the fact that the essence of SOA and ESB in my view is interoperability, his espousal of JMS,a java specific mechanism, as a key standard ESBs must implement is strange to say the least.

Having said all that, I did think the book is extremely well written and the concepts outlines nicely complement Hohpe's book on intergation patterns in my view. He should perhaps have looked a bit more at that book to see how to truly write a technology independent book.