The Wireshark Field Guide by Robert J. Shimonski (Elsevier)

I usually don’t start with this, but lately I had some time constraints that made me wondering if is right to use so much time reading books. The Wireshark Field Guide Analyzing and Troubleshooting Network Traffic by Robert J. Shimonski is only 149 pages long (if we cut the introduction, indexes, etc. it boils down to 128 pages). This is a really short book and I have really appreciated this fact. Wireshark is a very useful and powerful tool, but many people do not need to know everything about it. If you need to know everything about wireshark, the best option is to download the source and read it, but this is not the case for 99.99% of the people interested in Wireshark.
After this “quantitative” introduction, let’s talk about quality. The book contains really high quality contents. It’s rare to see so many concepts, so well explained in such short text. Continue reading

RESTful Web APIs by Leonard Richardson, Mike Amundsen, Sam Ruby (O’Reilly Media)

The API are now becoming more used every day. Today every major website provides it’s own set of API and often the company websites and services are chosen (or not chosen) based on the availability of API and their design.

In this huge world that is getting bigger every day, RESTful API plays a huge role, in fact a lot of companies are moving their API to RESTful API since it’s easier to use, therefore more attractive for potential clients.

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Zero to Maker: Learn (Just Enough) to Make (Just About) Anything by David Lang (Maker Media)

When I opened this book I was impressed on the image/text ratio. Being a Maker Media product, I thought it was somehow similar to the Make magazine. I was very wrong: in the whole book there are less then 10 images/photos.

This is a good thing, if you like to read because allows the author to put way more contents than if he had to put more images and it keeps the file size small (~23Mb).

What I really appreciated about this book over all the other book on how to became a Maker is the author’s attempt to keep the needed budget low. A lot of times I’ve seen books where the author write things to do as if the reader has tens of thousands euros to spend on this.

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Principles of Big Data: Preparing, Sharing, and Analyzing Complex Information by Jules J Berman (Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann)

As you probably know, I usually do not comment the books layout, being more focused on the contents of a book instead of it’s layout.

This time I will start this review speaking about the layout of this book since it’s REALLY peculiar. The Introduction is written in a two-columns layout, very similar to the Science magazine layout. The book itself is written in a single column layout, still with a “Science like” look. What shocked me a little bit about this is the sense of old scientific document that this book has. Continue reading

Practical Anonymity, by Peter Loshin (Elsevier/Syngress)

The anonymity on the web is probably one of the most debated topics on the web. Is possible to be completely anonymous? The short answer is no. This book tries to help the read to improve its anonymity, staying is the “real world”, as the “Practical” world in the title suggests. In this book you will not find anything that is too complex for an average user.

Whether this is good or bad, depends on you expectations. I’ve took this book the first time with really high expectations and I was really disappointed. When I took it for the second time, with different expectations, I did found the book pretty good.

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CompTIA Security+ Training Kit (Exam SY0-301) by David Seidl, Mike Chapple, James Michael Stewart (Microsoft Press)

After few months after the review of CompTIA Security+ Rapid Review, I’m now here to speak about it’s bigger brother: the Training kit.

With its 569 pages, this book is more than twice the length of the Rapid Review one. Even if someone can think that they did a better summary in the Rapid Review one, I have to say that this is not the case for these two books. Continue reading

Hadoop: The Definitive Guide by Tom White (O’Reilly)

Hadoop is today a industry-standard software for the Big Data and this book it’s the industry-standard book for Hadoop. This book is able to bring you from no knowledge about Hadoop and the Big Data to a full knowledge of Hadoop and it’s usage.

The book is split in 16 chapters and 3 appendix for a total of 628 pages of contents. This make ~33 pages for chapter so it’s easy to read and to find what you need. This is very important since – even if it’s possible – it’s rare that this kind of book is read cover-to-cover.

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Hacking Web Apps by Mike Shema (Elsevier/Syngress)

Have you ever thought that the website you are developing or using is secure? Well, this book will make you change your opinion. This book will change your idea of security and therefor you’ll start to see anything as “probably having some security glitch”.

Mike Shema speaks about a lot of different kind of attacks in his book in a real deep way, at the point that sometimes I wondered if he was planning to instruct people how to hack websites or only how to secure own websites. Continue reading

Logging and Log Management by Anton Chuvakin, Kevin Schmidt, Chris Phillips (Elsevier/Syngress)

Logs are one of the most powerful tools in the sysadmin hands, and probably of all kind of IT roles.

This book does deep into the logs and their management.

One of the aspects that I really liked about this book is the division of the text in chapters.

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HTML5 Canvas for Developers by David Geary (O’Reilly Media)

As the name suggests, this set of videos is for developers. HTML 4 and Javascript are often used without much explaination about the JS code it self but only about the HTML5 Canvas part.

I felt to point this out immediately since I’ve not found it on the O’Reilly page, but I believe that is really important to specify. Another thing that I’d like to point out is that (as it is easy to imagine, but not obvious) these videos only speak about 2D graphics in HTML (therefore there will no WebGL topics). Continue reading