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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide, Second Edition (All-in-One)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Shon Harris, Shon Harris
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
It helped me pass!


I need to get preped for the exam quickly, so I first read the CISSP Exam Cram to get the feel for the ten categories, and then used CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide to fill in the areas that I was weak in. I found All-in-One easy to read, and covered the relevant points needed for the exam. Not all questions are covered, so know-how gained through experience was a must, but All-in-One definitely helped, and I passed the exam on the first try.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Virtual Teams : People Working Across Boundaries with Technology
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Jessica Lipnack, Jeffrey Stamps
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
"Teamwork" Re-defined for New Realities


The authors are convinced that, eventually, "virtual teams will become the natural way to work, nothing special. Virtual teams and networks -- effective, value-based, swiftly reconfiguring, cost-sensitive, and decentralized -- will profoundly reshape our shared world. As members of many virtual groups, we will contribute to these ephemeral webs of relationships that together weave our future." That day is already here for many people and I agree that virtual working relationships will soon be the rule rather than the exception. The authors correctly note that technology extends capabilities "but organizing to do things together is only human. The most profound change of the new millennium is in the way we're organized." Moreover, as more people connect online, "we increase our capacity for both independence and interdependence. Competition and cooperation both thrive in our new culture." However, there are perils to avoid because whatever goes wrong with in-the-same place teams can also go wrong with virtual teams -- only worse and, worse yet, faster and at a much greater cost.
The authors organize their excellent material within 14 chapters whose individual titles indicate each chapter's perspective on virtual teams: Why, Networks, Teams, Trust, Place, Time, Purpose, people, Links, Launch, Navigate, Theory, Think, and Future. I agree that a virtual team "is a group of people who work interdependently with a shared purpose across space, time, and organization boundaries." Nonetheless, I still have some quibbles about the authors' sequence of subject matter (not with the content itself) and am still convinced that cooperation between and among members of virtual teams is even more difficult than it is between and among those within physical boundaries. Moreover, my own rather extensive experience with all manner of corporate clients suggests that the most formidable barriers are between two ears. If you have some serious human barriers in your own organization, I urge you to check out O'Dell and Grayson's immensely thoughtful and practical book, If Only We Knew What We Know.
But please keep in mind that even if O'Dell, Grayson, Lipnack, and Stamps were retained to create virtual teams for your organization, unless and until everyone else involved buys into the enterprise, the results would be abysmal. Hence the importance of several points which Lipnack and Stamps make in the final chapter, notably the absolutely essential need for trust. "A presumption of trust enables a successful strategy of collaboration [enables everyone involved] to be better innovators, competitors, and survivors....If purpose is the glue, trust is the grease." I agree.
Of course, no single volume such as this can provide all the right answers but Lipnack and Stamps raise most (if not all) of the most important questions. Their answers seem sensible and practical. Of course, decision-makers must decide what the nature, extent, and duration of a virtual relationship should be in their organization at any given time. The authors do provide an excellent source of information and insight which can help virtually (pun intended) any organization increase cooperation and collaboration across boundaries through the effective use of various technologies. Especially, in this age of accelerating globalization, most organizations need all the help they can get.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Business Intelligence Roadmap: The Complete Project Lifecycle for Decision-Support Applications
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Larissa T. Moss, Shaku Atre
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Coverage of a Difficult Topic


Most IT books are dry at best, and really boring at worst. Once again, Larissa Moss has provided a readable, helpful text dealing with a very complex topic. She and Shaku Atre present clear guidelines for seasoned project managers to follow in implementing decision support applications. I thought it was too late to teach an old dog new tricks, but I gathered several ideas that I plan to use on my next big project.
Every IT project manager should read this book. While it is intended for BI projects, the more traditional development projects could benefit from the wisdom shared.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Adobe Photoshop CS Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter)
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Scott Kelby
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Superb ....


This is my fifth Photoshop book, and I wish it had been my first. What were the problems in the earlier book? First of all, some had minimal use of color. Seems funny but I'm sure the publishers saved a ton of money by not using color, or using only a few insert pages for color content. For Photoshop this is silly. This book, like all the New Riders books apparently, uses full color.
Second, a number of books use dreadful images as examples. Now the authors of these books are certainly photoshop experts, but apparently only use 'left-over' images from a previous family vacation in their books. Photoshop experts, but not expert photographers. Scott uses excellent images, most of which were contributed by friends who are excellent, professional photographers! Just browse...
Third, the earlier books were often hard to read; small fonts, a ton of material, lousy layout. Sure they were comprehensive in coverage, but I think too much for a photgrapher. (I now have a good working knowledge of what features were added to every version of PS that ever was, and all about every digital camera the author ever owned. Didn't really need all that.)
Scott's book is really fun to read. He uses humor well, has great images (downloadable from his site) as examples, and covers material needed to turn good photographs into great photographs. You won't find any information on shutter speeds, f-stops, selecting cameras, printers, etc, just Photoshop. Kinda respectful of the reader...
If you're a photographer and you're going digital, you'll have some very specific needs; get Harald Johnson's book on printers and printing, and this book on Photoshop CS.