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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Revised Core Rulebook (Star Wars Roleplaying Game)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Authors: Bill Slavicsek, Andy Collins, J.D. Wiker, Steve Sansweet
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Not Just Great On Its Own, But A Vast Improvement

I actually own both the original core rulebook and the revised core rulebook, and wow is there a heck of a difference. First of all get this book even if you are not going to be running a game of Star Wars yourself. This book has resource upon resource for the player to draw on, which will help save the Game Master time and energy and allow the GM to focus more on the game.
Improvements? Changes in the system! It's no longer a simple derivative of 3rd Edition D&D, it is growing in it's own direction. Also, there are prestige classes which were not there before.
There is so much in here of worth just for players, and for Game Masters, this update is a must. It has many things that will allow you to help the players understand the game, and gives ideas for campaigns, etc.
The current GM for our game is using this book, and he thinks it is great too.
Are there things left unexplained? Sure, it's just a general start into the roleplaying universe of Star Wars. There's other books for more specific things like time periods or ships/weapons or Jedi/Sith related questions.
And that is why it is a 5 star book for me. Because it covers the bases it needs to cover.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Google Hacking for Penetration Testers
Publisher: Syngress
Authors: Johnny Long, Alrik van Eijkelenborg
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Best search engine feature summary on the marcet

The book "Google Hacking for penetration testers" is no doubt a real eye opener and as far as I know the first book on the marcet thoroughly covering this important issue. I am confident that this will soon be refered to as a "Standard" literature for IT security.

It is also a nice additional feature that each chapter has its summary at the end.

The actual "contents" of the book is (currently) well worth the money, however there are a few things which I didnt like about the book:

- Book layout should be easier readable / accessable
- The physical pages look like photocopies or copy of a novell that I picked up in a sale.
- optional overview chart tables (take out) would have been a very helpful addition.
- The book reads like an interview or keynote speech, but should actually be more engineering like.
- Whats the point in printing pages of scripts ? Shouldnt that be downloadable or on a cd ? Or at least in the Appendix ?


For now probably the "best search engine feature summary on the marcet". The layout of the book should be newly structured to be in an easier accessable format. I guess what I dislike most about the book is the casual writing style and the missing engineer style. The book is hardly usable as a reference but more as a one time read.

If the contents wouldnt be worth it, I would rate it with less. Unfortunately the layout absolutely disvalues the contents value. Usually casual writing style is used to fill the pages, with content thats not thoroughly researched.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Improving Data Warehouse and Business Information Quality: Methods for Reducing Costs and Increasing Profits
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Larry P. English
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Keeps On Helping

Every time I put the book back on the shelf, I wind up taking it down a day later to refer to it. Every chapter is jammed full of value. For those of us who are responsible for information quality initiatives, chapter 7, Measuring Nonquality Information Costs, is a must read. If you want to know how defective your data is, then read chapter 6, Information Quality Assessment, to learn how to measure and quantify your information problems. Concerned about the cultural issues in your organization? Chapter 13, Implementing an Information Quality Improvement Environment, will get you started in the right direction. If you are a "knowledge worker," supervisor, CIO, or on the business or IT side, this book is for you.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Pearls (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Jon Bentley
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A classic that will always be readable

This book is timeless because it discusses recurring problem situations with elegance, clarity, and insight. The book is about thinking and problem-solving more than it is about the particular circumstances it discusses.
For instance, the very first chapter ("Cracking the Oyster") would seem to be about the problem of sorting on disk: surely an archaic concern in these days of 1+GB RAM and 100 GB online media on PCs. But that would entirely miss the point, which Bentley clearly summarizes for us in the "principles" section of this chapter: * "Defining the problem was 90 percent of this battle..." * Select an appropriate data structure * Consider multiple-pass algorithms * A simple design: "a designer knows he has arrived at perfection not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away." -- St. Exupery
This advice might look like a string of old, worn-out chestnuts as set forth above. But within the context of the specific problem, we can see how the design challenges and solutions follow each other, through several iterations, culminating in a pretty solution, nicely illustrating the principles, and suggesting their relevance to other problems, too.
A thoughtful programmer, no matter whether her domain is machine language or OODBMSes, will come away from any chapter in this book full of new ideas and inspiration.
Problems (good ones) after each section encourage the kind of rumination that is necessary to derive the most from this book. Every few years I take it (and its companion, "More Programming Perals") off the shelf and dip into it again, and always come away enlightened.