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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: How to Wow : Photoshop for Photography (Wow!)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Jack Davis, Ben Willmore
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

Of all the zillion Photoshop books I have bought, this one has been the best for explaining the basics of Photoshop as well as showing interesing techniques and tutorials. A must have!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Publisher: Anchor
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
I wonder who is reading this review?

As he did in Fermat's Enigma, Singh succeeds in communicating recondite mathematical concepts to the non-mathematician in The Code Book. But the plot thickens in Singh's second; what if being the first to find, "The Proof," meant having the upper hand in matters of terrorism, or the key to victory in World War? Singh shows that cipher-math has played an important role in historical events, and will continue to play a role in the security of individuals, corporations, and countries.
While I won't be losing sleep trying to win the book's $15,000 Cipher Challenge, (I've got a Pentium II) I will now think hard about how cipher technology is used and regulated. Should the government be allowed to prohibit absolute cipher-security to protect citizens from harm, or does the right to privacy outweigh the risk of computer-aided crime and terror? I'm not the one with the recipe for Coke under his pillow, but if I were, thoughts of cipher legislation would keep me from resting easily.
I really enjoyed The Code Book, but it should have been thicker with the stories for which Singh suggested there wasn't enough room. I hoped for more stories about the race between cryptographers and cryptanalysts, desperate to gain any intelligence advantage, holding the future of the free world in their hands; as a diversion from the objectives of the book, Singh chose only to relate the cracking of Linear-B. (Not quite "The Day of the Jakcal.") Otherwise, however, The Code Book is, "Uif Tiju!"

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Users First In Web Site Design

Jakob Nielsen has employed his useability skills to produce this excellent, insightful and well-written book. Putting aside current technologies and gadgetry, this book deals very practically with what makes web sites compelling and useful for people. His style is very readable and there are so many good, worthwhile ideas, that applying just a handful will make a difference to how you build and think about web pages/sites. But beyond the individual suggestions, this book challenges you to re-align your view to that of customer/user experience and goals, in much the same way as Alan Cooper's "The Inmates Are Running The Asylum" does for traditional application development. An enjoyable book that makes you frustrated by the current crop of shortsighted, poorly designed sites.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: eBay for Dummies, Fourth Edition
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Marsha Collier
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Truly a beginner's book

I've been selling on Ebay for a while and I picked up this book hoping to find some help with making my selling work better. That is really not the focus of this book so I can't fault it for not finding what I wanted. However, if you're a newbie to Ebay and want to find out what's going on without actually logging on and clicking all of the buttons, then this is a good starting place. Like all "Dummies" books it covers the basics but doesn't go very deeply into anything. And truthfully, you can learn 98% of what's in this book just by logging onto Ebay and clicking around. Ebay really is pretty easy to use. Oh yes, like most Dummies books they load it down with lame jokes. I just wish they'd leave that ... out. In summary, not an outstanding book but good at what it's designed to do.