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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Forensic Discovery
Publisher: Addison Wesley Professional
Authors: Dan Farmer, Wietse Venema
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Amazine Book

You hear on the news once in a while about what the authorities have found on a computer system owned by the bad guys. At present fifty percent of the cases the FBI now opens involve a computer.

I have to say thought that I didn't realize how much data could be recovered from a system. Deleted files can remain on a hard drive for months, even years. Data from RAM I thought would simply disappear when the power was removed, not so.

This is a book where everyone in the computer organization should read the first chapter. The subsequent chapters get too deep, too fast for the casual reader, even for the casual Unix administrator. And understanding them will make a good start on a niche within the computer business, a profession in its own right.

The one thing that the book teaches is that too make your system truly secure, you must disconnect it from the network, power it down, and vaporize the hard drive and memory, and while your're at it perhaps the rest of the machine as well. And don't forget the backup disks, memory sticks or whatever.

Amazing Book.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Decision Modeling with Microsoft(R) Excel (6th Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Larry R. Weatherford
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Fasten your seatbelts...

I'll make two separate sets of comments - one for professors and one for students.
Students first... This will be a difficult course no matter which textbook you use. Having said that, I would say that the text is about average in terms of readability in comparison to other texts on the subject. There are plenty of realistic cases to illustrate basic decision/ management science concepts, as well as a very useful CD, with which I recommend that you become well-acquainted as the course moves forward. Not much has changed since the last edition, so you may be able to get by with a previous edition if the textbook (authored by Eppen). Be advised, however, that some of the chapter materials have been re-arranged, including the exercises at the end of each chapter.
For professors... You are probably already aware that this course can be challenging for the professor as well as the student, esp. with respect to how math-intensive you wish the course to be. I think Moore & Weatherford is an excellent text, but it is written as an advanced graduate text. I have been able to "tone it down" for undergraduates by accompanying it with a nice, soft, theory-oriented text on decision/ management science (featuring the teachings of Herbert Simon and some of the early decision science theorists). The text is accompanied with ample instructor resources including a very useful CD with solutions, decision science software. I would engage the students w/ the CD as early as possible. I have also found that the best exams for this course are take-home exams - give the students some moderately challenging decision models to formulate and solve, and focus your evaluation primarily on how well they are able to interpret the results and propose recommendations for decision makers, and secondarily on whether they were able to get the software to spit out the right answers.

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
Excellent Tutorial and Refresher

Beginning ASPs effectively presents the whys and hows of Active Server Page development. Whereas most "beginner" books either discuss only the most basic aspects of a topic or present information that will overwhelm the reader, this book is right on target. Most readers will happily discover an effective mix of discussion and examples, a combination also lacking in many books on this topic. I would highly recommend this book! When your done be sure to pick up Beginning ASP Databases as a natural extension. Enjoy.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution
Publisher: Basic Books
Authors: Howard Rheingold
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Distributing the Future

Reading this book reminds me of the line attributed to William Gibson: "The future is here. It's just not widely distributed yet."
Rheingold sees elements that will be important in the future, and he tries to forecast what will happen when they become widely distributed. The result is an important book.
Probably the central part of the future will be an explosion in wireless communication. This will lower the cost of Internet access in countries that never developed a solid wired infrastructure. It will enable people to remain constantly aware of one another's presence and location, using instant-messaging-type services. It will make possible what Rheingold calls "sentient things," which are physical objects that sense and response to people, because both the objects and the people are on the universal wireless network.
Rheingold looks past the technology to the social implications of the wireless age. For example, in a world where we have the potential to be bombarded with messages, he believes that the only way to achieve order rather than chaos is through reputation systems. Something like my Amazon reviewer's rating will matter more and more in the smartmobs world.
There is much here to chew on. Rheingold deserves praise for helping to distribute the future.