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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Web Applications (Hacking Exposed)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Joel Scambray, Mike Shema
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The book to buy if you have a web server on the Internet

"Hacking Exposed: Web Applications" (HE:WA) is an example of the direction the "Hacking Exposed" series should continue to take. The authors follow the methodology proven to compromise the mightiest servers. HE:WA is practioner-focused, giving readers the opportunity to follow along as the authors dissect victim web platforms. I highly recommend this book for its technical strengths and its ability to convey important information in an entertaining manner. HE:WA is particularly strong where the authors choose to explain web technologies. Successfully compromising web platforms requires an understanding of more than Apache or IIS. Accordingly, HE:WA gives background on SQL, web services, and web-based management. My favorite aspect of the book is its ability to explain technical details of web-based systems with an eye towards security. It's refreshing to be introduced to web services, for example, as well as learn how to attack and defend them -- all in a single book! HE:WA describes numerous vulnerabilities, chosen to demonstrate classes of attacks. The authors provide useful methodologies for assessing web applications, each with accompanying code and text snippets. Their explanations of cross-site scripting were exceptionally clear, thanks to this approach. I found HE:WA to be a fast but informative and engaging read. The appendices, featuring "best practices" for securing web platforms, an assessment "crib sheet", and instructions for proper deployment of URLScan, bring this excellent book to a close. Scambray and Shema won't leave you hanging -- they share their knowledge to help keep your systems as secure as possible. This is the book to buy if you're responsible for web server security.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Network+ Study Guide, 4th Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: David Groth, Toby Skandier
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
OK - but lots of mistakes

Take a well known author for A+ and Net+. Add in a highly respected CCNA Author. Add to that a highly successful book for Network+ certification. Finally throw in a lab simulator and package it under through a publisher well known for producing high quality technical reference manuals.

Now you have the perfect study tool for the Net+ Certification. David Groth and Sybex have teamed up to give you an updated text for Network+ and thrown in a lab simulator to make the chance of passing the exam first time better than ever before.

I found that the OSI breakdown is not only perfect for Network+, but also the A+ class I am teaching benefits from it as well. Groth also has a great 200 pages for TCP/IP, again the explanation is written for all levels making a perfect learning and teaching tool.

Once again the text is technically up to date and accurate. The team has certainly done everything here including hands-on labs, practice questions, tips and tricks.

There are 2 cd included, one with practice exams and the other with the simulator. What should be included in either a separate lab manual to use with the simulator or the lab manual as part of the book.

Overall you have both a first rate book and simulator. If you are looking for a good set of tools for the networking, then you may just want to start here

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide (4th Edition)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Tom Negrino, Dori Smith
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
excellent, useful, best value

In spite of the assurance in the book's introduction "We don't assume that you know anything about programming or scripting" you need to have a programming background to get value out of this book. I know HTML and a little JavaScript, and I was lost by chapter 2. Chapter 2 has a ridiculously steep learning curve, along with important points left unexplained (for example brackets are used in one script, with no explanation for the significance of brackets, when they should be used, etc.)
I've always been a big fan of Peachpit Press's books - this is the first time I was severely disappointed by one. I felt like a complete moron by the time I got to the end of chapter 2. In spite of years of teaching college courses in business and graphics applications, I was beginning to think - "am I just too stupid to learn programming?"
And I agree with another reviewer here about the irritating style. It adds insult to injury.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Content Critical: Gaining Competitive Advantage through High-Quality Web Content
Publisher: Financial Times Prentice Hall
Authors: Gerry McGovern, Rob Norton
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The Online Content Bible

I can't think of anyone more clearly focused on the issue of good site content than Gerry McGovern, and I found myself nodding in agreement on every page. For me, it was an important book to read, because, as a copywriter myself, I find the line between 'content' and 'copy' is very hard to discern sometimes. I think it's important for online copywriters to understand the work of content creators, and vice versa.
Best of all, you get the sense with Content Critical that McGovern has a deep, deep knowledge of the subject. And he writes in a way that makes his knowledge accessible to others. Absolutely THE book on creating and managing content online.