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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Stuart J. Russell, Peter Norvig
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
The best book in the field - unfortunately

Russell and Norvig's AI: A Modern Approach is THE best AI text out there. At 932 pages it is encyclopedic, it has nearly everything. So what is missing? How could it be improved? Probably the worst thing about the book is the binding. I am not sure that you can read it from cover to cover without some pages coming loose. Perhaps its the length. Perhaps it needs to be split into two volumes. I am not a fan of pseudocode and all the algorithms are in pseudocode. I think the right compromise between detailed practical code and tutorial compactness is something like the code in Jackson's text Expert Systems. I realize this might make a long book even longer but I still think some examples in Lisp, Prolog, etc. would be an improvement. There are a few things missing. Some detail on case-based reasoning is needed and some newer topics like hybrid systems and rough sets. Also, more on parallel computing for AI. Occasionally I was annoyed by the references. On page 27 the authors attribute a story to Heckerman's 1991 thesis. The thesis contains no such story. The reference should have been to a private communication. By now you might think I hate the book. No. I am suggesting improvements. I repeat. It is THE BEST SINGLE AI TEXT IN PRINT. But you will not be able to teach the whole book in a single AI course. Not even a two semester course.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java Servlet Programming, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jason Hunter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The best Servlet book you will find

This is the type of servlet reference I have been trying to get a hold of for a long time and it is easy to by books that don't really have the type of content you are looking for. I write servlets on a daily basis as part of my job and most of the time,I need just enough reference to get me going in the right direction. This is an excellent resource to have and most of all, it pretty good reading and will get you started on e-commerce type servlet application development. Yep - this is another excellent OReilly book. Good job Jason Hunt.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Authors: Katie Hafner
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
?Wizardry? is an apt term

"Wizardry" is an apt term to describe the work of the many who laid the foundation for what we now know as the Internet. Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon weave together the talents, personalities, idiosyncrasies, obstacles, and triumphs into a compelling and -- given the complexity of the Internet's development -- intelligible history. Hafner and Lyon tell of the work of engineers and researchers of Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN), a Cambridge-based computer company backed by the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), which ultimately connected computers across the country.
Readers of this book are spared excessive technical jargon and are instead are kept amused by the many lighthearted moments in the midst of perfectionism and high pressure to produce. This book gave me the context for understanding the hard work behind and rationale for distributed networks, packet-switching, and TCP/IP. I was intrigued by the "accidental" start of E-mail, which is one networking function I cannot do without. I was also inspired by the teamwork, passion and work ethic displayed by those involved, particularly because their intense focus often flew in the face of many detractors and disinterested parties who failed to appreciate the possibilities and usefulness of a distributed network.
The authors also describe the open culture that resulted from the collaborative work, which we see today. In contrast, the reluctance of BBN to release the source codes of the Interface Message Processors (IMP) was a harbinger of the intellectual property issues that would emerge in decades to follow.
So many players were involved in the creation of the Internet, that I found myself needing to back track to keep each person and his (all were men) contribution straight. Not a problem, though. The information in this book was fascinating. I found myself wanting to take my time to absorb as many of the details as possible.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Modeling Derivatives in C++ (Wiley Finance)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Authors: Justin London
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best Derivatives Book

This book is required reading if you work as a quant, financial engineer, trader, or developer. It is the only book written that contains the details for how to correctly implement all the complex models.

This book helped me both in school and in getting a financial engineering job on Wall Street after I graduated. The real-world examples with actual market data shows exactly how these models work in practice.

The CD ROM contains tons of reusable C++ code and routines that can help anyone with their work.