a ton of great problems and that's about it. Sadly, there is some cross over with the main gmat book and if you take the gmat prep tests, you'll see aa ton of great problems and that's about it. Sadly, there is some cross over with the main gmat book and if you take the gmat prep tests, you'll see a ton of these problems there as well. Still, these are actual questions so there is a lot of value in them. ...more
A fascinating book on what it means to be human - and how we interact in this world. Partially Eurocentric and yet against holding that viewpoint. HeA fascinating book on what it means to be human - and how we interact in this world. Partially Eurocentric and yet against holding that viewpoint. He branches out and shows how that view is dangerous and wrong for the coming century. A wonderful and quick read...more
A great recap of the stuxnet virus, how it was discovered, it's place in history and what may happen next. Heavily footnoted and written with a decentA great recap of the stuxnet virus, how it was discovered, it's place in history and what may happen next. Heavily footnoted and written with a decent amount of technical understanding. It does get a little slow at times but, overall, a great read about one of the most interesting attacks done to date. ...more
Enjoyable, fun read with a lot of information on how memory works (and how to train it). I particularly like the end where the question of "why" cameEnjoyable, fun read with a lot of information on how memory works (and how to train it). I particularly like the end where the question of "why" came up and how Mr Foer answered it. ...more
I have a soft spot for economics books, especially somewhat poppy ones. Mr Hartford strikes a perfect balance between poppy and teaching core principaI have a soft spot for economics books, especially somewhat poppy ones. Mr Hartford strikes a perfect balance between poppy and teaching core principals. In fact I had a very hard time putting this book down.
What sets this book apart from other economics books is the examples. Mr Hartford's choices range from Starbucks (why coffee beans will always be cheap but coffee won't be) to the true cost of tariffs to health care reform. In fact his was the only argument for health saving accounts (combined with insurance) that actually makes sense to me. Note these are far, far from the GOPs proposal which may be why they make sense to me.
The final two chapters, on globalization and China, are also extremely well written and help present the net societal benefits of globalization and also helps to explain the true costs of tariffs. These chapters are both to the point and, more importantly, don't sugar coat the problems that are inherent to the system and the dangers of doing things half way.
This was a quick, fun and enlightening read. What more can you ask for!
Should be 3.5 stars as it's a good book but could still use more editing as it tends to ramble. Thankfully, the rambling is less than the first bas-laShould be 3.5 stars as it's a good book but could still use more editing as it tends to ramble. Thankfully, the rambling is less than the first bas-lag novel. ...more
Mr Reese has taken on a loaded topic and in less 200 pages he succinctly gets his major points across on that most nebulous term; Cloud Computing.
StaMr Reese has taken on a loaded topic and in less 200 pages he succinctly gets his major points across on that most nebulous term; Cloud Computing.
Starting in the first chapter, Mr Reese begins with his definition of cloud: 1) it must be accessible from a web browser or web service api (non proprietary) 2) 0 capital expenditure to start 3) you pay for only what you use
These simple statements provide the baseline for the rest of the book.
From here he dives right into the meat of the matter. The majority of the book details the things you, and your organization, will need to keep in mind as you move, or contemplate the cloud. Some of this is very obvious; cost of ownership, security, disaster recovery, hardware costs, backup, scaling, etc but Mr Reese pulls out the threads that make the cloud different: both in good ways and bad.
For example, a new wrinkle for cloud is what happens when your cloud provider goes out of business or has a poorly worded injunction exposing all their data (including yours) to the federal government? This is not something you worry about when you own the servers. Mr Reese elegantly explains how you can make this something you don't need to worry about even in the cloud; as long as you use some type of encryption.
Another example of where the cloud provides a potentially huge win would be in disaster recovery. Here a cloud provider provides redundancy of location and with virtual machines you should be easily able to get your system up and running again fairly quickly as long as you've taken the proper precautions (snapshots and a sane backup strategy).
Throughout the entire book, he really drills in security in the cloud. In several of the chapters, not including the security chapter, he keeps coming back to how the little things you do in your design can have a huge impact on your overall security. This is a major worry point and a barrier of entry point for many and Mr Reese spends just the right amount of time explaining how you can truly mitigate the security risks.
Another thread that runs throughout the book is scaling your application. This, to me, is one of the bread and butter wins of cloud computing. Mr Reese talks to some designs that work, and some that don't, when it comes to scaling. While all scaling talk is high level, I believe he succeeds in getting you the reader, to know what questions to ask in your next architecture meeting.
The book is a great overview and it focuses you to ask the right questions when you are dealing with cloud computing. Especially on the Amazon system. Mr Reese takes great pains to point out that yes, he is biased in talking about Amazon since that what he knows. Two appendices do talk about GoGrid and RackSpace but those read more like slick marketing glossies. And that's one of the two failings of the book. The other minor quibble is that a few times Mr Reese tries to go into detail about how something is done on the Amazon cloud (especially EC2 and S3). This is a mistake given how high level this book is. The appendix on the EC2 instructions also seem a little out of place. However these are minor quibbles.
If you are looking for a great introduction to the cloud, what it is and how to think about it, then this is the book for you. If you are looking for something to help you program, interact and learn the API for say Amazon, this is not the book for you. ...more
A very well written, though at times too haughty, look into what is truly green and what isn't. I do agree with many of Mr Owen's ideas however I findA very well written, though at times too haughty, look into what is truly green and what isn't. I do agree with many of Mr Owen's ideas however I find his lack of faith in small, incremental changes painful. The pain comes from his explanations on why things like high MPG would not be green and the fact that, once he was done, I believed him.
Very good and very powerful. I only deducted a star for the repetition of the NYC being the greenest place in the US (ok, we get it!)...more
finishing 2666 leaves you both glad its over and wanting more. Bolano's final work is a true capstone; worthy of the praise heaped on it and yet stillfinishing 2666 leaves you both glad its over and wanting more. Bolano's final work is a true capstone; worthy of the praise heaped on it and yet still imperfect, flawed in some ways that almost make the book better. But I get ahead of myself.
The book is divided into 5 sections; each one orbits around parts of the story. Santa Teresa, and to a lesser degree, the enigmatic author Archimboldi for the center of the mass.
The first book, "The Part About the Critics", is, by far, the "happiest" part and, to me, the most enjoyable. Bolano is laying the groundwork for his apocalyptic story. Here we see 4 critics slowly loose themselves; first in the work of another and then in general. We also hear whispers of the the deaths of women.
The second book, "The Part about Amalfitano" deals will a character introduced in the first part; a professor in Santa Teresa. Here, the hell is different, its the mind that goes.
The third book, "The Part About Fate" holds up the funhouse mirror to the world; what we find important (or don't). It's as much a critique on society as it is our introduction to the anti-christ character (or as close as one can come in literature without coming out and naming a person as such). Klaus Haas is this person. Maybe a killer, maybe not. Detached and cool he takes control, he is control and he may or may not be beyond human. Its also in this book that I began to feel that the 2666 was incomplete. The third book felt like parts were missing.
The fourth book, "The Part About the Crimes" is the where the book both comes into itself and begins to drag on. Here we learn all about the murder of women in Santa Teresa. Almost every entry reads like a police blotter. Interspersed are stories that meander and eventually get lost or simply die out. This book is both numbing in the way death becomes present in everything, and almost too much; too rich in detail. Throughout it all we keep coming back to Klaus; he is the murders even if he is not the murderer. You feel that he, and no one else, controls all. Still, this book was too long and to a degree, too much. It feels like another pass with an editor would have done wonders.
The fifth book, "The Part About Archimboldi" ties together some of the threads (only a few) and leaves even more left open. Here we go back to WW2; revisiting hell in both Germany and Russia. Again we have the almost workmanlike, reportage style of writing. In some ways this distance feels good; we aren't getting our hands too dirty. Then, in this chapter, you remember this is true (in the grand scheme if not in the actual fact).
2666 is a powerful book. Its truly deserving of all the hype and was better than I expected. However it's not without flaws. A good edit would help a lot. Still, even with that, this is a book not to be missed. Its dark, its a vision of the earth that leaves no room for hope, and it's compelling. ...more
I'm just beginning to really learn more about Avedon; one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century. This book, written by Laura Wilson, a felI'm just beginning to really learn more about Avedon; one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century. This book, written by Laura Wilson, a fellow photographer who travelled with Avedon around the west for one of his seminal works, offers a small peek into the mind of Avedon.
I must warn you that the insights deal with how Avedon approaches people - there is no technique, no discussion of lighting, nothing technical at all. For me, this is exactly what I wanted from the book. However, if you expecting any of these, you'll want to look elsewhere.
What this book does offer is a wonderful overview of the thoughts behind "In the American West". You begin to feel how Avedon approaches his subjects and how he connects to them. It also gives a feel for the final product - in the case of "In the American West" it was 123 prints out of 17,000.