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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Publisher: Anchor
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Cryptology Demystified!

Here comes another absorbing tale from Simon Singh after his equally gripping "Fermat's Last Theorem". Singh must be applauded for successfully rejuvenating this arcane subject and making it accessible to the curious as well as the specialist. Cryptology is as old as human civilization and the need to put a message in a code or a cipher led to its birth. Since then it had become an inalienable part of statecraft, diplomacy, war and government strategy and now in commercial transactions.
Cryptology is a science of encrypting a plain text message/data by a use of a cryptographic algorithm or cipher and making the message secure(cryptography/code-making) and in reverse decrypting the cipher text by various analytical/mathematical tools and breaking the secure data(cryptoanalysis/code-breaking). This book traces the incredible history of cryptology from the time of Caesar (the Caesar Shift cipher) to the present day attempts to secure data using quantum physics(quantum cryptology). This type of encryption is supposed to be so strong that it is impossible to break it with present day tools, but initial strides made in the development of quantum computer(based on the property of subatomic particles to attain all possible quantum states all at once as stated by the Copenhagen Interpretation and therefore computing results of different variables all at one go and thus it's potency, unlike in the present day computers where computation is done sequentially, taking one variable at a time). In between, Singh has plenty to discuss about the development of the Vigenere Cipher(16th century), ADFGVX cipher(used in WW-1), DES and finally to RSA encryption method. In RSA if an extremely large value of 'n' (product of two massive primes) are taken then the combined effort all the computers on this planet will be unable to break the RSA cipher even if they kept on working MANY TIMES the age of the universe! This is because factoring 'n' into its two large primes is extremely difficult. RSA is presently being commercially used for secure internet communications, on smart cards, secure telephones and many commercial software products. RSA differs from other encryption system because it uses public key cryptography, where key exchange could be done on non-secure lines unlike in other cases where secret key exchange is used and which has to be done in highly secure lines.
After completing the book, I found some missing topics like a discussion on the Elliptic Curve Cryptosystems, the adoption of the Rijndael algorithm as the AES(Advanced Encryption System). However, these omissions in no way weakens subject. Singh has also peppered his storytelling with interesting anecdotes for good measure. Though present day cryptology is heavily dependent on mathematical tools, this book barely contains any mathematics(Only RSA details some math). However, no math does not mean the book is in any way incomplete.
All in all, a truly engrossing and fascinating tale about the science of secret writing which doesn't remain so secret in front of Simon Singh's masterly storytelling. Riveting!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Professional JavaScript for Web Developers
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Nicholas C. Zakas
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
First Glaring Mistake on Page 12

"Comments are the same as in Java, C and Perl" touts the author on page 12, in bold print no less. Wrong: comments in Perl begin with "#"

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Stealing the Network: How to Own the Box
Publisher: Syngress
Authors: Ryan Russell, Ido Dubrawsky, FX, Joe Grand, Tim Mullen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Wireless Communications & Networks
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: William Stallings
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very comprehensive.

First of all, this is a high quality book. Hardcover and fine paper makes it a pleasure to handle. The chapters are well organized into four parts, from Technical Background to Wireless Lans. Beware however, that this is a quite theoretical book. If you are looking for a fast approach to WLAN technologies, perhaps you should try simpler books like O'REILLY's 'Wireless Community Networks'.Nevertheless, it is an ideal textbook for academic purposes. I am using it as a reference for undergraduate courses. Chapters related to Signal Encoding and Spread Spectrum are really well written, and 802.11 and Bluetooth fundamentals are fully explained.Even if several parts of the book are taken (with little or none modifications) from other Stallings' books, the book is still worth to have since this fact makes it a completely self-contained reference.