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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Official Final Fantasy VII Strategy Guide
Publisher: Bradygames
Authors: David Cassady
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best Guide for the Best Game...

Mr. Cassady provides the gamer with a complete front-to-back walkthru, all while preserving the delicate storyline and never unwrapping any unwanted spoilers in the process.

As you'll also notice, everything is neatly organized on the pages; nothing is crammed. Pictures, enemy stats, and the walkthru text are all snug on the pages.

The guide is also very versatile. For instance, if you want a better look at some of the monsters you face, turn to the Bestiary, an in depth study of the monsters, their weaknesses, and their strengths (and it even tells you where you'll see them).

When you come across a puzzle in the game, and you cant figure it out, the guide will give you several hints before they reveal the 'final answer', in an attempt to keep the gamer guessing and playing without feeling cheated of the exploration process.

I gave this strategy guide a 5.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Malware: Fighting Malicious Code
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Ed Skoudis, Lenny Zeltser
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very Good Book on Understanding and Fighting Malware

"Malware: Fighting Malicious Code" is the most comprehensive book to date on malicious code. The book devotes a full chapter to each type of malware: viruses, worms, malicious mobile code, backdoors, Trojan horses, user-mode rootkits, kernel rootkits, etc. Each chapter presents the characteristics and methods of attack, evolutionary trends, and how to defend against each type of these attack. In addition, in each chapter you will find various scenarios in which malicious code has been planted in systems and concludes with how to safely and effectively analyze potential and real malware. The chapters are covered in great details and include many charts and diagrams that help illustrate the concepts presented, and they come with a summary and a list of references for further research on the topic.
The book focuses both on attacks and defenses, reveals how attackers install malicious code and evade detection, and shows how to defeat their schemes, secure systems and protect networks from being affected by malware. The book discusses both Windows level attacks and UNIX type attacks and uses examples of recent kernel rootkits (keep in mind that the book was published in November 2003) that are analyzed for both platforms.
The book also introduces new ideas and theories such as the discussions on new attacks to BIOS and Microcode, where the authors explain how these attacks are conducted , the results that might be sought after, and how to protect from it. In chapter 11 for instance, the authors present on reverse engineering and studying Malware. They present many examples of a lab setup to dissect Malware and discuss some common tools and approaches to use, and provide a checklist for preparation and verification of your own lab. They basically provide instructions for building your own malware code analysis lab to allow you to get familiar with attack and defensive tools. I thought this was a nice feature especially for people who would like to know more on this subject but they are not necessarily security experts. This will allow them to get some hands-on experience in the comfort of their own lab.
The book provides great information for beginners to gain a better understanding, and provides in-depth information for the more advanced users. It is well written and fun to read. The writing style is simple but elegant allowing readers from different backgrounds to follow the explanations and discussion. In addition, the authors have put a lot of efforts into making complex topics and concepts very understandable, especially with the use of analogies to help explain the difficult sections and scenarios.
"Malware: Fighting Malicious Code" is a must read and an excellent resource. It covers everything you need to know about malware, understanding it and defeating it with practical actions that you can take to secure your systems and networks.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint
Publisher: Graphics Pr
Authors: Edward R. Tufte
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An Audience Advocate

Finally, an advocate for the audience. In this 28-page essay Edward R. Tufte concludes the convenience of PowerPoint comes at a cost to content and the audience.
Presentations succeed or fail based on their quality relevance and integrity of their content. At a minimum, the presentation format should not harm the content. Yet Tufte, a retired professor of design at Yale University, notes audiences absorb information at higher rates than those presented in the typical PowerPoint Presentation.
For serious presentations, he says, it is useful to replace PowerPoint sides with paper handouts showing words, numbers, data, graphics and images. Presentations should reflect good teaching. Communicate core ideas with explanation, content and credible authority.
There is no question that PowerPoint is an aide to those presenters who are inept or extremely disorganized. These people should learn that if they cannot summarize their point in a single sentence. If not, they should do themselves and their audiences a favor by declining the invitation to speak.
For the rest, reliance on this software crutch gives the speaker a false sense of doing well and for audiences to pretend they are listening.
As Tufte concludes, this little dance punctuates the question, "Why are we having this meeting?"

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Nanoelectronics and Information Technology : Advanced Electronic Materials and Novel Devices
Publisher: Wiley-VCH
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Electronics goes nano

The title "Nanoelectronics and Information Technology" was extremely attractive and, hence, I decided to buy this multi-authored book as soon as it became available on the market. This monumental 1000-pages book comprises 40 chapters which have been organized in 8 sections:
(I) Fundamentals, (II) Technology and analysis, (III) Logic devices, (IV) Random access memories, (V) Mass storage devices, (VI) Data transmission and interfaces, (VII) Sensor arrays and imaging systems, and (VIII) Displays.
Fully covering each of the above fields would require far more space than that available in a book of this same size. Hence, the editor has done the clever choice of writing chapters 20-30 pages long, each of them sufficiently self contained. For example, the (sub)field of Molecular Electronics (my favorite topic) is treated in ch.20, pp. 503-525. This chapter ends with 66 references, enough for further study. The closely related subject on Organic Light Emitting Devices (ch. 38) can be consulted by checking either the general index at the end of the book or the table of contents. Placing some keywords at the end of the former chapter, however, would have greatly facilitated my jump to the latter. Chapters seems being too independent from each other. This, I think, is the weakest point of this monumental opera. The book contains plenty of good graphs and figures, many of them colored, placed nearby the text. Taking into account both the huge amount of information contained in this book and the difficulties in amalgamating the many different topics in this rapidly developing field, I finally decided to rate this book with five stars.