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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Stuart J. Russell, Peter Norvig
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A good introduction to a cutting-edge field


Here is a fine primer for one of the most promising subdivisions of computer science. In it you will find all the conceptual foundations for the field, including most of what has been attained to date. This is a great book for learning the theory of AI, but if you actually want to program an artificial intelligence, it might actually discourage you.
There is no actual code in this textbook, and for a very good reason. This is that, other than for simple games, high level code for AI programs gets HUGE. This is definitely NOT something you want to start out with if you aren't familiar with the fundamentals of computer science. If you don't have the ability to interpret pseudocode, you might not learn a whole lot.
The material is very interesting, in my opinion, but not very practical. The authors describe all sorts of AI guidelines and components but don't really tell you how to actually DO any of it. It's probably just as well, as programming a good AI is extremely difficult (trust me on this one, I tried it). However, if you want to get into the field, this is as good a place as any to start. It's definitely going to be a hot area of computer science in the next few years, and this text does a good job of conveying the core concepts.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Common Statistical Methods for Clinical Research: With SAS Examples
Publisher: SAS Publishing
Authors: Glenn A. Walker
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
One of a kind


This book is very instructive for those interested in the pharmaceutical field or might already be in, especially for those not having a statistics degree. The different tests are explained and tell you for what situations they can be applied to. Good examples with SAS code and sample data are provided. For most problems, manual calculations are shown before doing them in SAS. This book was not that easy to digest though. Multiple reading will make the material more clear.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Digital Photography: 107 Lessons on Taking, Making, Editing, Storing, Printing, and Sharing Better Digital Images
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Authors: Rick Sammon
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
He knows what he is talking about.


This is one of the best books i have read about photography. It is well written easy to understand. Must have book both. For starter like me i can see remarkable difference in the quality of picture i take after reading this book. Go for it.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Business Process Execution Language for Web Services : BPEL and BPEL4WS
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Authors: Matjaz B. Juric, Benny Mathew, Poornachandra Sarang
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A good start in expressing business logic


Why this language? That is, why another language? Just a few years ago, XML reached a fairly stable state. Then WSDL came along, to describe Web Services. But it turned out that WSDL is really best suited for describing a single Web Service, or a simple interaction between 2 such services. As the authors relate, business logic is far more complex. Especially for the main envisioned scenario of interactions between services scattered across a panoply of companies.

You might want an orchestration of services, built around a central co-ordinating service. Or in other cases, you might have a flow of business messages, without a central service. This is termed choreography. These are 2 extremes. You might have some combination of the two. And more complex cases can be imagined.

The book points out that WSDL basically ran out of steam. It lacks the expressive power to easily handle the above cases; if it can even do so. Hence, BPEL arose to describe such logic in a programmatic fashion. The authors then go on to flesh out BPEL as it currently exists. While some of the examples, written in XML, are fairly verbose, if you keep in mind the basic ideas, they should be understandable.

You might also note that the book only touches on the possible complexity and nuances of business logic. It's fair to predict that in a few years, BPEL will be heavily expanded.