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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in Java (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Pretty Good but needs better examples...

As a C++ programmer I realy liked this book. It has a lot of emphasis on OOP and is consistent and thorough with regard to Java's OO features, describing their benefit and implementation.
It also briefly touches on subjects such as program analysis and design, UML and extreme programming which gives the programmer an appreciation of these topics and of the whole development life cycle.
In addition, chapters that discuss the API's for I/O, GUI's, Threading and Distributed Computing are really helpful in emphasising what's important and available to the Java programmer.
I also like the pace of this book which is mainly due to how it is broken down.
My only gripe is that a lot of the code examples are pretty much useless from a practical point of view. Although they may demonstrate a particular feature, the fact that they are so improbably contrived and do not demonstrate any practical benefit to a problem in the real world reduces their impact. Case in point: Chapter 8 on Inner Classes, some of the examples here are pretty dumb in what they do. Also, is anyone else sick of Fruit and Shape themes when OO is described? Okay they are useful themes for demonstrating concept but, hey, give us some Meat too please.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Kevin D. Mitnick, William L. Simon, Steve Wozniak
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Art of deception.... by boring your reader

Since my first book on hackers (Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage by Clifford Stoll) and reading about Mitnick in the early 90s, I was expecting a fantastic book outlining how he managed to do so much while on the run.
Unortunately, the writing style is quite repetitive and boring. Don't get me wrong - the substance is there, and there is plenty to be learned from Mitnick's 'fictional stories' that illustrate the concept of social engineering. However, as I said, the style leaves a lot to be desired, and after reading the firsy half of the book, I struggled motivating myself to grab the book and finish reading it.
I recommend it only if you do not understand how social engineering works and don't mind putting up with a professional social engineering with amateur writing skills.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Chuck Musciano, Bill Kennedy
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5

First and foremost, this edition of "HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide" is a well-written book. The use of simple language throughout the chapters make them very comprehensible. I really appreciate the way it handled the cascading style sheets, tables, forms, and so on.However, I cannot understand the reason why the authors of this book included all the tags and attributes, and then decided to exclude all the attribute values. For this reason, I would not recommend it for anyone who is still learning the basics of HTML.Intermediate (and advanced) learners should pay closer attention to it. It simplified both the Syntax and the Semantics. Also, the extensive coverage it gave Internet Explorer 6, Netscape Navigator 6.0, JavaScript, and a host of others, are satisfactory.Overall, this textbook will prove a useful resource for any HTML non-beginner.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning XML (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: David Hunter, Andrew Watt, Jeff Rafter, Kurt Cagle, Jon Duckett, Bill Patterson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Beginning XML Hooray!

This is one of the best reference manuals I have ever read (and I've read lot's of them!!!!). I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn, or may already know XML. Lot's of relevant information in an easy to follow format. Good Job, David hunter and friends!