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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
wearable cooperation and texting swarms

Rheingold believes that "what we understand about the future of smart mobs, and how we talk about that future, holds the power to influence that future." That's why he wrote Smart Mobs and that's why you should read it. Rheingold's gone round the world, on the street as well as and in cyberspace, and has discovered that the future - one aspect of it, at any rate - is happening perhaps a little more rapidly overseas than it is in his native turf. If you haven't been there, then Rheingold has experience and intuitions that you don't have - I know I don't.
Even as he reports from the field, Rheingold also offers the insights of sociologists, economists, legal experts, and others, thus allowing us to glimpse general patterns of social organization and interaction at work. He detects an emerging interest in cooperation, as though the intelligentsia are slowly beginning to awaken from their core conception of humans as individualistic utility maximizers. From eye contact to tit-for-tat, from swarms to open spectrum, from ritual to wearable computers, Rheingold weaves a dazzling fabric of ideas, observations, warnings, and opportunities. You owe it to your children and grandchildren to read this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Publisher: Anchor
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Historical and Mathematical intrigue

Simon Singh can describe tails of drama, history, and common mathematical sense into a great book. While most people take cryptography for granted, Singh provides historical and simple examples to illustrate it's importance to mathematics and history. He details it's use in wars, especially World War 2, and commerce. He even delves into the political ramifications of strong versus weak encryption when discussing PGP.
Singh also provides easy to understand ways on how encryption works and even more intriguing, how to break it. He shows how all various encryption algorithms are done, and then how code breakers can decipher them, both in practical and historical consequences.
In the end, he even provides a challenge for would be decipherers out there. Granted, it's already been solved, it's still education and exciting that he offered a considerable amount of money for this challenge....
All in all, it's a fascinating book that will capture anyone's imagination, even if they hate history or math.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Mastering Windows Server 2003
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Christa Anderson, Michele Beveridge, C. A. Callahan, Lisa Justice
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
If you only want to buy ONE win server book, buy this one.

Definately, outstanding book. I'm a Microsoft MVP on Windows and I think this book helped me a lot.
When you read some other Windows Server books, you may find boring. That's normal because technical books are not stories. But, learn windows server by reading this book will not feel boring. It's not only a great book on technical view, but also a very interesting book.
If you want to buy ONLY ONE windows server 2003 book, buy this one!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Firefox Hacks (Hacks)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Nigel McFarlane
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The Missing Manual

I'll start this review with my conclusion: get this book. General users and network admins alike will find great benefit in this title. It is the missing manual that serves not only to introduce you to the product, but teach you the ins and outs of actually taking control of the browser and all of it's actions for not only yourself, but if your in a deployment position - for distribution to, and remote management of, others. Separated in to two parts, the entire text completes the FireFox picture for both developers and end users.

When it comes to how inclusive this title is, I'm not talking about the half-hearted attempts other like-books make for applications, where the reader is shocked to realize that 80% of it is graphical hand holding of the native menus and dialog boxes, rewording the tool-tips and associated help file when needed - this book really delivers. The first 100 pages are dedicated to making sure the reader understands the browser's makeup, understands, identifies, and can edit the configuration settings for native behaviors (quite often, when applicable, showing the one to one relationship with the graphical dialog or interface and the configuration setting), and setup / manage FireFox within a network environment. The remainder of the book deals popular browser extensions for both users and developers, CCS and DOM development, XML development, and the interaction with third-party tools and utilities one comes to expect from the "Hacks" series.

Don't think that just because FireFox is free and comes as trimmed down as possible, that there is nothing to it other than the obvious. A development goal was to make the browser's actions as transparent and accessible as possible, and the information available to the public. This title proves they succeeded, and you will find that this is the only book you will need to read to get the absolute most out of the browser.