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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Cyber-Terrorism
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Dan Verton, Dan Verton
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Black Ice falls into a black hole

Verton's book is full of hyperbole, repetition, unsupported statements, and contradictions. It is poorly written, poorly organized, and poorly edited. His "research" consists mostly of quoting his own magazine articles (29 times) and the magazine he writes for (16 times). By comparison, he quotes from only three books. Example of hyperbole: In commmenting on a admittedly fictional scenario called Dark Winter, the author claims that, "entire communities and cities could be rendered as helpless as those affected by the Black Death of the 14th century, a bubonic plague that killed one third of Europe's population." Yet, he fails to support that claim with any evidence or even a reference to the report on the exercise.
He repeats the same story about an al Qaeda interview with an Italian journalist in his introduction and again at p. 98. He writes nearly the same sentence about radical terrorists living in the U.S. once in the main text on p. 5 and again in a footnote on the same page. He tells a story about the Ptech company at p. 111 and again at p. 223-25, and uses nearly the identical paragraph in each. Where is the editing to catch these duplications?
Worse yet, his uses the Ptech story to draw two contradictory conclusions. In the first telling, he says that Ptech is an example of al Qaeda using American companies as fronts for terrorist financing. He claims that "evidence was uncovered" to show this connection. Yet, two pages later, he asserts that the FBI has been "unsuccessful in finding any evidence linking Ptech to terrorism financing." Then in the second telling of the Ptech story, he uses it as an example of how the War on Terrorism has turned into a "virtual witch-hunt," using a "scorched-earth strategy" [more hyperbole] that has "left many innocent casualties in its wake." The reader is left confused whether Ptech serves as an example of al Qaeda using American companies as fronts for terrorist financing, or an example of the War on Terrorism spoiling the reputation of innocent American enterprises.
Even his definition of cyber-terrorism is contradicted by his own material. He defines cyber-terrorism as either the use of cyber-tools to destroy critical infrastructure, or traditional terrorism that has a destructive effect on electronic and Internet infrastructure. See Introduction at xx. But in his appendix, he quotes the FBI definition of cyber-terrorism, which is narrower--the use of cyber-tools to shut down or destroy critical national infrastructures.
From his overly broad definition of cyber-terrorism, the author strays into three fictional scenarios of terrorism that seem to be the centerpiece of his book. They are supposed to scare us into thinking that cyber-terrorism can really happen. But if they are fictional, how can they alarm us? And, even as fiction, none of them even fits the FBI's definition of cyber-terrorism. The first, Black Ice, starts with a ice storm, not a cyber-attack. The second, Blue Cascades, was described vaguely as "a cyber system failure ... caused by a prolonged power outage." The third, Dark Winter, was a smallpox outbreak.
Many years ago, a famous fast food restaurant ran an ad that said, "where's the beef?" After reading this book, I have to ask, "where's the cyber-attack?"

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: MCSA/MCSE Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-290): Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Dan Holme, Orin Thomas
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5

I've yet to find this book to be any help. It makes it sound simple and easy but there are a lot of easy examples and a lot of filler. I've done the real test twice, making worse the second time even after buying Measure-Up practice tests and re reading the books I have. Microsoft makes the test even harder the second time and have the nerve to claim that they don't. The manager at the testing center admitted that they do but he doesn't know why.
I'm beginning to understand why a lot of people don't really like Microsoft.
I'm disappointed in much of the so called training material that is being offered for this test and am beginning to think that it's all a big plot to relieve poor slobs of their money, me included.
Read and use this book at your own risk.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CIW: Foundations Study Guide
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Patrick T. Lane, William Sodeman, Emmett Dulaney
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best for the exam

This book was the most helpful of all the exam guides I tried. Even though I had taken the CIW Foundations course and had a textbook from that class, I was still having trouble grasping the wide variety of information this exam covers. This study guide most closely resembled the information and structure of my Foundations textbook but with some better explanations and more test questions to quiz myself.After getting though this book, and taking a few sample exams online, I passed with a 100%.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Design Patterns
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
poor writing ability,

Somebody told me that you have to already know the subject matter to read this book..TRUE! Padded with "run-on" monologue about things known to the author. See page 166, "With parent references, it's essential..." ...The author is in a world of his own. Why was the book popular? (1) all there was for a while(2) there is honor among thieves AND elitists