Great quick read summarizing the history of HTML, its philosophy, and the major additions to the spec that web designers would care about: semantics,...moreGreat quick read summarizing the history of HTML, its philosophy, and the major additions to the spec that web designers would care about: semantics, web forms and rich media.
Being a software developer by trade, I was hoping for a bit more, but this book does a great job of getting one started on the HTML5 path. It takes about an hour to read, so you really can't lose.(less)
**spoiler alert** Most of the book read as a rehash of the principles of Here Comes Everybody. However, the final chapter (Looking for the Mouse) made...more**spoiler alert** Most of the book read as a rehash of the principles of Here Comes Everybody. However, the final chapter (Looking for the Mouse) made the whole read worthwhile. Some great advice on starting a web project designed to harness cognitive surplus in those final pages.(less)
A terrific complement to the Caves of Steel. Asimov brings us all into a sparsely populated (by humans) Outer World of Solaria, teaching us history an...moreA terrific complement to the Caves of Steel. Asimov brings us all into a sparsely populated (by humans) Outer World of Solaria, teaching us history and sociology by wrapping it into a murder mystery. I love Asimov's robot books for the same reason I love the Foundation books-they focus on relationships through conundrum. That they take place on other worlds and involve robots simply adds to the story. I Looking forward to reading Robots of Dawn!(less)
There are some concepts in this book that I'm on board with, namely that tagging and loosely defined ontologies associated with items make those items...moreThere are some concepts in this book that I'm on board with, namely that tagging and loosely defined ontologies associated with items make those items easier to find digitally. I also think that searching for meaning, vs. information, is a great pursuit. I came away from reading this book discouraged at the thought of the Internet circa 2010 providing that sort of meaning.
Not only are semantic connections between documents on the Internet weakly established, but they are hardly used, with nothing to force them into use.
Also, as an internet consumer I am fed up with the idea that my time is worthless, and thus I should slog through a dozen tellings of the same news article and hundreds of barely factual comments before deciding that I am educated on the topic and can move onto the next. I want expert curation for news and for several other topics for which I simply want to be kept up to speed, vs. exploring deep knowledge.
Finally, there is no attention paid to how content creators are using the current offerings on the Internet. There is no great Web 2.0 way of eradicating my news reading experience from spam in its many forms. To say that I can spot spam implicitly and know that it isn't real is to say that spammers will always be dumb.
If Weinberger accurately describes the "third order of order" (and how would we really know?), I hope the evolution of information cataloguing and sharing on the Internet doesn't stop there.(less)
2 stars is a pretty brutal review from me for a book I actually read all the way through. But in this case I think it is the right rating. This book h...more2 stars is a pretty brutal review from me for a book I actually read all the way through. But in this case I think it is the right rating. This book had basically zero flow, with the guide notes becoming irritating in their frequency. Which is unfortunate, because there are flashes of brilliance for me (the interviews with Cthulhu and Gaia, and Zaphod's banter with Heimdall stick out as being excellent).
It definitely made me wax nostalgic for Douglas Adams, and made me not want to read another non-Adams attempt at the HHGTTG.
What Douglas Adams did for me was to present me with a scene I could believe (Arthur Dent wakes up in his house with a headache), and brings me along piece by piece into a galaxy more absurd by the moment. The HHGTTG books did that for me, and I'll be forever grateful for it.(less)
I'm not a formula guy when it comes to my own personal happiness. I value my own happiness very highly, and view happiness as a state that can be achi...moreI'm not a formula guy when it comes to my own personal happiness. I value my own happiness very highly, and view happiness as a state that can be achieved through force of will if life circumstances do not comply. The Happiness Project fit in very well with my idea of happiness--Mrs. Rubin approaches happiness quite analytically and concretely, and because of it, she is able to capably measure changes in her happiness level throughout the year long effort.
Breaking up tasks to focus on a particular area per month not only helped her to really hone in on different areas of her life, but also made the book follow logical flow as well. If you were only interested in happiness as it pertains to love, you turn to February, whereas for spirituality, go to August.
The best praise I could give to this book would be that it caused me to start my own Happiness project. On that scale, I give it high (not highest) praise--it did cause me to assess my own happiness and write down things I would like to achieve this year. This is not meant to lift someone out of clinical depression into a life of happiness; rather, it is for people who are mostly happy, but want to be really happy. And in that regard, it sure beats the "7 Habits" bullshit.(less)
Hard to find the words to express how good the Foundation series is, and I've only finished Book 2! Asimov writes with such poetry, that the descripti...moreHard to find the words to express how good the Foundation series is, and I've only finished Book 2! Asimov writes with such poetry, that the descriptive words give depth while the text itself is somewhat terse. He is science fiction's Shakespeare, in that he understands that beneath the space opera, conquerors, magic, science and religion, personal relationships are ultimately what bring us together. As you read, you find the military maneuvers riveting, but to me, Foundation is best described as a galactic game of chess. And we're all pawns.
Question for all those who have read this: When did you realize the secret about the Mule?(less)
This is an incredibly useful book for all those who are looking to divine intelligence with data collected through their web apps. Segaran mixes equal...moreThis is an incredibly useful book for all those who are looking to divine intelligence with data collected through their web apps. Segaran mixes equal parts math, theory and practice in a way that keeps the reader's attention while introducing a number of somewhat complex machine learning topics. Python was a wise choice for the example programs as well.
This book does not need to be read in order. In fact, my humble recommendation is to read the introduction in Chapter 1, then skip to Chapter 12, Algorithm Summary. IMO Chapter 12 is the gem of the book--it does an excellent job summarizing the supervised and unsupervised learning techniques discussed in Chapters 2-11, as well as showing the strengths and weaknesses for each approach. After finishing Chapter 12, I would read Chapter 2, since the distance calculation methods are used throughout the book, and after that, any other chapters that peak your interest.
But whatever you do, READ THIS BOOK! If you are a software developer working on the web, and you have mastered the basics of web programming, this is a must-read.(less)
If you are thinking about being a programmer, pick any interview from this book and read it. If, after reading it, you aren't excited about programmin...moreIf you are thinking about being a programmer, pick any interview from this book and read it. If, after reading it, you aren't excited about programming, then just stop. This is the best book I've ever read that gets inside the mind of a great programmer. True greats, the pioneers of computer science and industry achievement.
I learned things about programming, such as the usefulness of monads and closures, that had been previously under appreciated. I found the interviewees to be extremely candid, with profound answers to such questions as "do you think programming is a young person's game" (with a variety of answers) and "do you think of yourself as a craftsman, engineer, scientist or artist?"
A few attitudes shared by most if not all interviewed: -C++ is not a good choice of language -There is no silver bullet for debugging or reading code written by others -Using puzzles in technical interviews is not the best way to determine who to hire -Don Knuth's "The Art of Computer Science" is tough to get through (even for Don himself!) -Get something easy working first before you optimize it
"I think it's not an accident that we often use the imagery of magic to describe programming. We speak of computing wizards and we think of things happening by magic or automagically. And I think that's because being able to get a machine to do what you want is the closest thing we've got in technology to adolescent wish-fulfillment."
Reading this book helped to recreate the magic of programming for me. I would recommend it to any programmer, old or new. You don't have to read it all straight through either... feel free to pick and choose, without fear of losing context. (less)
I would give this 6 stars if I could. This book was slow for about 30 pages, and then I was riveted. Such a rich tapestry of characters, worlds, and e...moreI would give this 6 stars if I could. This book was slow for about 30 pages, and then I was riveted. Such a rich tapestry of characters, worlds, and eras, and yet the focus is on human interaction. Politics is a common thread, maybe even more interesting than the "science of religion". Having read this, I believe I understand what the Science Fiction genre is really trying to do--show us different worlds and peoples in a way that teaches us more about ourselves. I loved this book and will be reading the next installment as soon as I can get my hands on it.(less)
Rating this book a 3 out of 5 might be a bit unfair. Reading this cookbook has convinced me that even the most Apple-y of features (cover flow) is an...moreRating this book a 3 out of 5 might be a bit unfair. Reading this cookbook has convinced me that even the most Apple-y of features (cover flow) is an arduous thing to program for the iPhone. The book is chock full of good information, and will serve as a good reference book when I have issues with particular aspects of iPhone programming... but I could never tell throughout the book how much I actually understood about the SDK.
Even in the later chapters, the amount of new material/APIs/method calls/ways of interacting was astounding. Again, this could be due to the SDK, vs. the author's treatment of it. The prospect of writing an app is actually scarier now than when I started--just the introduction, with instructions on provisioning a phone for testing, was enough to make me second guess this.
And this is after reading Programming in Objective-C, a nearly 500 page book! At this point, I am eager to try my new knowledge out, if for no other reason than I don't want the information to seep back out of my head. One last thing... no where in the book does it say that the version I read was good through v2.2 of the SDK. I finished the book today and now need to find a primer on new stuff from v2.2 to v3.1. Good grief.(less)
This is a really nice overview of Objective-C programming, and I also appreciated the format. Having learned C, C++, C# and also Java in my time, I fi...moreThis is a really nice overview of Objective-C programming, and I also appreciated the format. Having learned C, C++, C# and also Java in my time, I find far too many texts begin with procedural programming, and then tackle object-oriented programming (especially books on languages like C++, which draw from C).
I bought this book because I am a beginner to Objective-C, and want to learn iPhone programming. The book could have done a bit more to explain the graphics frameworks available--there were a few thin chapters on the iPhone at the end of the text. I'm OK with it not being an iPhone guide, but a bit of graphics programming would be helpful.
If there was a book that actually taught some foundational best practices in working with graphics frameworks, these books would produce more functional programmers. Don't leave it to the API guide... we need more than just a list of API calls.
I did enjoy this book, and with the above caveats would recommend it to anyone starting out in Objective-C.(less)
Walter Cronkite reports many of the salient details from his life, from childhood, his marriage, to his career in newspapers and television. Chock ful...moreWalter Cronkite reports many of the salient details from his life, from childhood, his marriage, to his career in newspapers and television. Chock full of memories recounted in sharp focus, Cronkite tells of his apprenticeship in news; experiencing several wars; meeting various heads of state and several U.S. Presidents; and numerous life experiences that would each qualify as "once in a lifetime".
I thoroughly enjoyed almost the entire book, the entire portion that read as a story teller would recount a legend of grand proportion. Late in the book the anchor tells of his disappointments, first with CBS and its handling of his retirement, followed by mishandling of CBS by its board; then television in general. To the extent that the book talks about this amazing, humorous, newsworthy man, it is terrific. His laments I could do without.(less)
This book is incredibly dense and slow paced. I got to page 78 and couldn't bear to read any more... so maybe I missed the magic. Either the book is n...moreThis book is incredibly dense and slow paced. I got to page 78 and couldn't bear to read any more... so maybe I missed the magic. Either the book is not geared towards me (professional engineer, been working on web sites for 12 years, very interested in most all matters web), or I'm just not smart enough. Either way, I'm done with it.(less)
This is the best book I've ever read on the intersection of anthropology and the internet. Shirky has tremendous powers of observation, and his text i...moreThis is the best book I've ever read on the intersection of anthropology and the internet. Shirky has tremendous powers of observation, and his text is unencumbered by societal norms and restrictions. As is written on the front book cover, "Revolution doesn't happen when society adopts new technology, it happens when society adopts new behaviors."
The book tackles several coordination, cooperation and publish then filter scenarios via in depth analysis of real world events. And as with the profound statement on revolution from the book cover, the examples lead with the interpersonal aspects; the tools (Wikipedia, Flickr, Linux, Livejournal, Facebook) are shown, sometimes to show how they supported the interpersonal aspects, sometimes to show how they enabled them to happen in the first place.
I thoroughly enjoyed this enlightening, if sometimes a bit dense text. The updated epilogue talks about how unincorporated groups in today's society are still somewhat powerless when compared to businesses, and suggests that the coming months and years will see experimentation on bridging that gap.
If you work on the internet, or are interested in the digital age and its tools, or even anthropology regardless of its intersection with technology, this book is worth a read.(less)