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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Digital Lighting & Rendering
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jeremy Birn
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
All the basics of lighting &most of the tips known to date

An interesting book.Covers every aspect of 3D lighting, how to position lights, adjust colors and power, shadows, compositing and materials...It's actually the opposite of Foley&Van Dam "Introduction to Computer graphics" : not much theory, a lot of handy stuff. Perfect (really) for beginners or wannabe 3D artists, it may be a bit disappointing for professionals, because they already know all the information contained. A bit disappointing, but still a nice reference book to have, and it may prove helpful when you've been working overnight on this shot due yesterday, and so tired that you just can't get the good atmosphere. Otherwise, colors are a bit pale to my taste, but nice illustrations all through the book. Delivered in 2 plain days from the US to Paris, France. Good job, Amazon, DHL, and Jeremy !

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Cyber-Terrorism
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Dan Verton, Dan Verton
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Fun to read and enlightening

Cyberterrorism, does it exist? A weapons-grade hype or a nightmare from the near future, which we are all soon to face? This fascinating book seeks to answer the above question by collecting and evaluating many stories during author's "6 year research" trying to piece the puzzle together.
Undoubtfully, the book is written by a journalist, thus it sometimes feels sensationalistic, "newspaperish" and fluffy. Some things (such as the "doomsday" scenario from chapter 1 and "al-Qaeda certified hackers") are "lighter" than others, but all are well-written and fun to read. At times, it feels that the author seeks to replace proving things by quoting many potentially unreliable sources talking about the thing. Thus "such and such ex-government guy said cyberterrorism is real" subtly mutates into "cyberterrorism is real!" Similarly, if a PC was discovered in some hideout or it becomes known that terrorists surfed the web, suddenly the specter of cyber-terror rises high, although the facts themselves can be interpreted in a less ominous manner.
Another subject covered extensively in the book is whether al-Qaeda is really going in the direction of cyberterror. I find the case built by the author somewhat convincing, but not completely compelling. However, if truck bombs against data storage facilities and IT infrastructure as well as EMP weapons are added to the fray (as suggested in the book), suddenly cyberattacks are not about hacking anymore and the damage potential rises dramatically.
As for the conclusion, one of the main points I realized after reading the book is that everything is modern society is so a) interdependent and b) dependent upon computers that a push applied in a certain place from within the "cyber-world" does stand a chance of wrecking something in a "real world". Thus, while cyberterrorism might remain a myth, possibilities of doing damage to physical infrastructure by purely virtual actions will grow and multiply - a scary thought indeed.
Anton Chuvakin, Ph.D., GCIA, GCIH is a Senior Security Analyst with a major information security company. His areas of infosec expertise include intrusion detection, UNIX security, forensics, honeypots, etc. In his spare time, he maintains his security portal info-secure.org

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java Development with Ant
Publisher: Manning Publications
Authors: Steve Loughran
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Next to my desk -- and it's going to STAY there!

People keep borrowing this book. I have to hunt them down all the time because it never comes back! I am an engineer in a large Enterprise Software company that uses Ant for many different and difficult tasks. Erik and Steve have written a book that covers the main gist of Ant, but then they goes deep and really explain well how to do some of the more esoteric and difficult tasks that are not apparent to even many seasoned Ant users.
I especially enjoy the sections dealing with Best Practices and handling large projects. I bought a chain to keep this book on my desk, and if you purchase this book (and you should) I would advise that you do the same!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mac OS X Server 10.3 Panther : Visual QuickPro Guide (Visual Quickpro Guide)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Schoun Regan, Kevin White
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Rotten shame!

Content: Excellent! Information in this book seems well researched and accurate.

Unfortunately this title utterly fails on context- it arrived about many months after it would have been much use.

Honestly, if we'd gotten half of this book 6 months ago, it would have been worth twice what we paid.

To clarify- this is a great book, but I'll never consider preordering another title from this author or publisher. One, the other or both really botched this release.