Monday, October 24, 2011

More great bestsellers are waiting for you... @ your library!

Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown by David Wiedemer & Robert Wiedemer

From the Publisher -
While the "experts" want us to believe that all is well (or will be soon), nothing could be further from the truth. The worldwide financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 was just a sneak preview of what is to come. For those who act quickly and correctly, there is still time to protect yourself, your family, and your business in the next global money meltdown. Updated and fully revised, this Second Edition of the Wall Street Journal business bestseller Aftershock can help you:
  •  Protect and grow your assets before, during, and after the next global financial crisis
  •   Spot and cash in on the best new investment opportunities
  •   Know which jobs, careers, and business sectors will fare the best
  •   Profit rather than lose when asset bubbles collapse around the world

The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World by David Deutsch

Kirkus Reviews-

A philosophical exploration of progress, surprisingly lucid and thought-provoking.
Deutsch (Physics/Oxford Univ.; The Fabric of Reality, 1998) asserts that until a few centuries ago, all cultures assumed everything worth knowing was known. Discoveries occurred (fire, tools, iron, gunpowder) but so rarely that no one thought the world could improve—until the scientific revolution in 17th-century Europe. Since then, new knowledge and discoveries have occurred at a steadily increasing rate with the sky being the limit (the "infinity" in the title). What changed? Deutsch maintains that this was part of a wider movement—the Enlightenment—which revolutionized other fields including moral and political philosophy. Its essence was rejecting authority in regard to knowledge, replacing it—not with another authority, but with a tradition of criticism.

 This simply means that scientists seek good explanations. A good explanation is hard to vary but does its job. Thus, Newton's laws worked beautifully for centuries; Einstein's relativity worked better but didn't alter it greatly. A bad explanation changes easily. Every prescientific culture had an explanation for human origins, the cause of disease or how the sun shines. All were different and wrong. Both skeptical and optimistic, Deutsch devotes ingenious chapters to refuting ideas (empiricism, induction, holism) and philosophies (positivism, most modernism, post-modernism) that limit what we can learn. Today's fashionable no-nos include explaining human consciousness or building an intelligent computer, but putting these off-limits is to believe in magic.
Scientists will eventually understand every phenomenon that obeys the laws of the universe, writes the author in this provocative, imaginative investigation of human genius.


Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin Mitnick with William L. Simon

Kirkus Reviews-
A legendary hacker recalls his escapades and life on the run from the FBI.  Mitnick (The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers, 2005, etc.),  who now works as a computer-security consultant, spent nearly five years in a federal prison for computer crimes. With the lifting of a court ban that prohibited him from writing about his exploits, he offers a whirlwind account of his thrill-seeking adventures stealing source code and other sensitive data from phone and computer companies while leading the FBI and other federal authorities on a cross-country chase that ended with his arrest in 1995. Now in his late 40s, Mitnick grew up in California and developed an early fascination for pranks, deception and technology. At age 17, he was arrested for stealing phone-company manuals. At 23, he writes, his hacking gave him control over phone systems in much of the United States.One judge, in denying bail, said Mitnick posed a threat to the community when "armed with a keyboard." In fact, his strongest suit was his ability to manipulate people; he learned the inside lingo of bureaucrats, won their trust and gained access to information. "People are just too trusting," writes the reformed con man. The author delights in recounting his celebrated hacks of Sun Microsystems and other corporations; his outwitting of FBI pursuers; his elaborate methods of creating new identities; and his obsessive search for still edgier challenges. "Hacking was my entertainment," he writes.He never gained financially from his "trophies" (source codes, passwords, credit-card and social-security numbers, etc.), but gathered them "purely for the thrill." His breezy, in-your-face, anti-establishment narrative will please many readers, but some may find the author's self-important attitude grating.

A lucid, brightly written tale for both techies and lay readers.


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