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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Reporting Services in Action (In Action series)
Publisher: Manning Publications
Authors: Teo Lachev
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Logical with a practitioner's perspective


The author does an excellent job of presenting the information from a practitioner's standpoint instead of a purely academic standpoint. He provides many insightful examples and tips on when to use particular features and why. From a developer's point of view, this is what I want in a book, I can read the documentation if I want a simple list of features.

I highly recommend this book.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Authors: Gerd Gigerenzer, Peter M. Todd, ABC Research Group
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Statistical, Mathematical, Academic


As someone interested in the practice and theory of decision making, I came upon this book via a number of "listmania" lists that reccomend it. The first few chapters got me excited about the subject matter. The authors promised to present a new model for decision making, one that was simple, and one that works.
The ensuing pages compare several theoretical models, such as Multiple Linear Regression and Dawes Rule to their own Take the First and Take the Best models.
Most of the tests were simulated on a computer. You would feed each decision making model into the computer, and then feed in various data for it to make decisions on. One popular test is "Which is the most populated German City." The computer had data on various German Cities with populations over 100,000. It also had several indicators, such as whether it has a soccer team, or a rail system, or is a state capital. The system would present two cities, with the indicators, and the decision making model would figure out which was the most populous one.
Right now I'm in a chapter called "Bayesian Benchmarks for Fast and Frugal Heuristics." It's about halfway through the book, and I'm not sure I'll finish. While the second half sounds interesting, this book is highly academic and the authors are concerned with presenting proofs for everything they say, in detail. Sort of like a victorian novel that starts of by telling you what it's going to tell you, and then tells you several times. I may skim it because I do find the subject matter intereting.
I certainly don't regret buying this book, having mathematical models for decision making is certainly handy (as someone interested in AI), but I wouldn't call it light reading, nor would I reccomend it to a manager interested in the decision making process.
I found much more interesting "Sources of Power" by Gary Klein. Indeed, I consider Sources of Power to be one of the most informative and most entertaining books I've ever read, and wish more like it existed.
In summation, I found this book to be highly academic and theoretical. If you are a human being interested in the decision making process as it is carried out by humans, I reccomend the more hands-on Sources of Power by Gary Klein. If you are interested in simple, statistical models for decision making (the kind you can teach a computer), then pick up this book.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference (2nd Edition)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Danny Goodman
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Its Too Big


Once upon a time I got annoyed with huge computer books. Acres of text signifying nothing but a cop-out manual listing. This was Goodman's book on HyperCard.
Now he's done the same to O'Reilly, a series I cherish for their completeness of coverage, brevity and quality of index.
This is a monster of a book, but this doesn't tell me about DHTML, it enumerates the subject, a task performed far better in Webmaster in a Nutshell, or Web Design in a Nutshell, or the individual texts on HTML or JavaScript from O'Reilly.
I have to carry texts with me, this one won't travel.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Search Engine Visibility
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Shari Thurow
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
I'm keeping this book with my old mags!


Only half of the book talks about how to work with search engines. The rest of the book is filled with quick and dirty type of discussions about web usability -- you can get a better usability book than this.

If you are a technical person, forget about buying this book; you can find better information off the Web (or better still, you already know what she has to say!) If you are a non-technical person, I'd recommend you to do some research on the Web and spend your hard earned money somewhere else.

The book is now pilled up with my old magazines in my bathroom for occasional quick reading.