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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: On Intelligence
Publisher: Times Books
Authors: Jeff Hawkins, Sandra Blakeslee
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Pretty good, interesting, but wildly optimistic

Every philosophy, every programming paradigm seems to have some central point of focus, and Jeff's focus is on prediction. He has a prediction scheme based upon a heirarchy.

I say he is wildly optimistic only because he is radically short on details, unfortunately falling into the siren set by real AI.
He states that the primary barrier right now is inadequate hardware (I refer to pg. 213, top).

Not that real AI is impossible, but thinking that real intelligence will fall into place with only a good initial scheme of prediction/heirarchy and fast enough/big enough hardware is wild optimism. Consider: how does he plan on building in such basic things as: representing the difference between part and whole? The difference between a quality and a quantity? How about a basic distinction like continuous vs. discrete? He seems to assume that these issues will take place merely with a cleverly devised prediction scheme and lots of training, but how he will handle these metaphysical issues he does not say...

The book is still well worth reading, is easy to read and I don't mean to "trash" this fine book; I just think that the reader should approach it with caution and remember there are vast amounts of issues that are left to the future.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: How the Internet Works, Seventh Edition
Publisher: Que
Authors: Preston Gralla
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Practical staring point for inspiring Webmasters

All the facts you'll need about the Web, email, service providers, Web browsers and FTP. Topics range from connecting to the Internet, using Mail, Instant Messages (Chats), News Groups, File Transfer (FTP), and shopping from the Net. Written in a brief but informative style, at under $20.00 you'll find a wealth of information to help you. Keep this book on your desk and refer to it often for "practical" solutions to internet problems.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Digital Design: Principles and Practices and Xilinx 4.2i Student Package (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: John F. Wakerly
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
It could have been worse, but not much

As a computer science student I had no background in this material what so ever and I must say I passed the class and still know nothing of it. The book accelerates way to fast and the problems at the end of each chapter are nothing like the ones presented in the chapter. Just about every problem takes about an hour to do and many I only figured out how to do by checking solutions after the fact.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mastering Regular Expressions, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jeffrey E. F. Friedl
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
PHP programmer says: EXCELLENT value! Everything's here.

If you are an intermediate-or-better PHP programmer who wants to get a handle on regular expressions, you'll find this book so incredibly handy. I'm only a few chapters into the book and already I get the gist of regexs and how to use them with PHP... plus the Perl examples are very, very clear (the author stays focused on regex, Perl is just used to put it in a program's context, so he explains clearly what is going on with each line and you can see how it would translate easily to PHP)... the first chapter of this book did more to explain regexs than spending weeks searching the web for a *clear* tutorial.
I suspect I'll skip most of the second half of the book-- after all, it's called "mastering regular expressions," and I don't really want to master them, I just want to be really good and then keep going with other stuff. (The author spends chapters looking at nearly EVERY regex tool out there, etc... which is not useful to me since I know I'm going to be using regexs 99% of the time in PHP.) If there is anything I could change about this book, it would be to put the first five-or-so chapters into a separate slim volume and *PLEASE* include a quick reference card for all the metachars! (that's my next purchase...)
But listen, if you want to LEARN regexs, this book does the job, the writing is crystal-clear, the mini-quizzes every few pages are excellent, the typographic conventions (used to really make the expressions clear) are clever and smart, and this book has EVERYTHING you will EVER need on regular expressions, in your entire life. <g> Well worth the $; you won't ever need another regex book again.