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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Information Security Policies and Procedures: A Practitioner's Reference, Second Edition
Publisher: Auerbach Publications
Authors: Thomas R. Peltier
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
look elsewhere

I must agree with the previous reviewer, this book is lacking.I bought a copy new and had the same problem where theholes punched in the paper does not match the binder spacing.What terrible quality. I had to force myself to even readthrough the book after that.
And I found it lacking. The first part has some good infoabout how to write a policy. Good but not great.
The second part was a sample policy/standard/procedure rolledinto one. I found it too thin and missing too much to bereally useful.
I haven't looked at the text the previous reviewer recommends,but I have to say, given another book with similar content,definitely stay away from this one.
My personal recommendation is Information Security PoliciesMade Easy, by Charles Cresson Wood. It's pricey but oh soworth it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C++ Primer (4th Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Stanley B. Lippman, Josée Lajoie, Barbara E. Moo
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Meant for the Intermediate to Advanced C++ Programmer

This book is NOT for the beginner!!! In that respect, its title is misleading to intimate that it should be a "first time" type book. IT IS NOT!!
This book is for the intermediate to advanced C++ application developer. To really get the maximum benefit from reading it, will first require that you have a good basic knowledge of the language under your belt. With that, you are then poised to reap the best this book has to offer, and it DOES offer a LOT. It delves deeper into the syntactical construct and nuances of the language (which is why it's not for beginners), technically explaining (and demonstrating) a wider aspect of the language's purpose and implementation. This means (for example), even though you might have known what the use of the "const" keyword is for, Lippman makes sure the reader understands that it's not just to prevent an object or a function it qualifies, from getting modified, but that ANY ATTEMPT to have even a pointer to a non-constant object, address a constant object, will result in a compile-time error. This is just an example of where he takes you behind the scene. In other words, he realizes you already know what's happening up front, and now he's revealing additional refinements of the language regarding that specific part of it.
Sure, there are some errors in the book, both typographical and technical, but Lippman is not spoon-feeding anybody, and it's precisely because you're not a beginner why you'll most likely discover the errors if not just by reading, then certainly by experimenting with the many examples he has given. If you are a serious developer, then you'll certainly want to put what he's saying to the test, which is how your knowledge will grow and expand. By all means, this does not excuse him from such errors, but taken in context, they are NOT a reflection of any limitation on his part to the language, but more due to other constraining details that goes into writing a book of this magnitude.
Repeatedly, one can observe the author was trying to cover as much ground about the language (in depth) without leaving any stone unturned, which sometimes makes what he's saying, totally incoherent. It is only when you stop to digest, or slow down your intake of what you're reading, that upon analysis you are forced to parse his statements in order to assimilate the meaning. Take this as an example. In Section 7.9 where he's explaining "Pointers to Functions" (clearly this is NOT something for beginners), he breaks down the entire concept into several subsections (just to give you an example of how much ground there is to cover on this topic) beginning with "The 'type' of a Pointer to Function," then on to "Initialization and Assignment," followed by "Arrays of Pointers to Functions", until he reaches "Parameters and Return Types" where (by this time) the reader will have either grasped the gist of the subject matter, or will have to reread the foregoing sections, because now Lippman is taking the reader to a higher level. He's telling the reader that "Because a function parameter can be a 'pointer to function', we can pass a 'pointer to function' as an argument." BUT, he cautions, "A function parameter never has a function type. Instead, a parameter of function type is automatically converted to the type, 'pointer to function'."
Clearly, these are NOT concepts meant to be served to the beginner.
Personally, I have read this book so thoroughly, I can say there is hardly anything in the Language Standards that Lippman did not try to cover (perhaps some more than others), and nowhere is this more obvious than in the sheer size of the book; over 1200 pages. Where else can you find a source pertaining to the rules, syntax, constructs and explanation of the language, other than the actual Standard itself, and to read that (even for an advanced practitioner like myself) would be a torture of unimaginable proportion.
If you are at the point in your understanding of the language where you are ready to advance to the next higher level, you will need to read (and reference) this book in order to pack down more solidly your knowledge of C++. After you've done that, then you're ready for those other books that will sharpen your skills and expertise (even more), like "Effective C++" and "More Effective C++" by Scott Meyers.
Without that SOLID grasp from reading and understanding Lippman, other books like those from Meyers' will be less "Effective."

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Head First Java, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Who said learning could not be fun.

I had the pleasure of reading Head First Java as Kathy & Bert turned out the chapters. Though the book has not hit the stores yet, I'd like to share my experience reading the work copy of the book.
I'm a 47 year old programmer that has basically seen it all in my 25+ years in IT. Though I've been busy with Java for more than 2 years, I until recently still saw myself as an absolute beginner. Why you might ask? Well for starters all my Java was simply "hobby" work, I did not use it at work. Secondly, and the most important reason, is that I simply did not understand and grasp some of the key concepts of OO that one needs to know to be able to fully use the capabilities Java has to offer.
As fate would have it, the work copy Kathy & Bert's book became available to me as I started to work in a new department where I have to program in Java. I was drowning. I had to keep on asking the youngsters on the team for assistance. You can't believe what that does for your self-confidence. But as I read more and more of Head First Java I found myself sitting in tech meetings not only understanding what was being said but I was actually coming up with some fresh ideas that helped us re-design our systems to become fully OO.
Why is that so. Simply because of the unique way Kathy and Bert teach and share their knowledge. The best way for me to describe this book is by using the teacher at school that we all have encountered in our school careers. You know the one that enthusiastically drew the most elaborate drawing on the black board to explain his point, the one that simply generates interest in his subject purely because of his sheer love of the subject he teaches. Now imagine that teacher in book form. The Head First way, your favourite teacher in a book.
I can carry on for quite awhile about the unique style of the Head First way, but I suggest you download the sample chapters at O'Reilly or go download the "demo" at Kathy & Bert's own site...
What has this book done for me. For one it finally made me grasp Polymorphism, and the use of interfaces. Though I've used it before, like a parrot without understanding, I never saw it's real strength. Now I use it all the time. I can't believe I programmed Java without them. Head First Java turned me into a Java OO programmer instead of a Java procedural programmer. Yep one can write pretty neat procedural programs in Java.
If you are a Java programmer that has problems understanding the finer points of the language and OO in general I suggest you go out and buy the book.
I want to end with a word of caution. This book, because of it's uniqueness, might not appeal to everybody. I suggest you browse (or download the demo) the book before buying. You will know immediately know if the book is for you.
If you want learning to be fun buy this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Authors: Al Ries, Laura Ries
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Taking branding seriously

I've been branding for most of my life. It's an intrinsic and essential feature of my profession. I thought I knew pretty much all there was to know - that is, until I saw this book. It claims to cover everything, and I must admit even I would be hard pressed to come up with 22 laws. Personally, I find some of the concepts apparently introduced in this book a bit far-fetched; I can't imagine how an idea like "branding people's minds" could be put into practice, nor, indeed, why you would want to. And as for "branding over the internet", well, to me that's just pure science fiction. Branding is a fairly personal thing, though, and everyone has their own tricks and techniques. I applaud the author for treating it as a serious enough subject to warrant an entire book.