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Jurgen Van Gael (Cambridge, UK)
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Beautiful Architecture: Leading Thinkers Reveal the Hidden Beauty in Software Design
Beautiful Architecture: Leading Thinkers Reveal the Hidden Beauty in Software Design
by Diomidis Spinellis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre articles, Very little architecture ..., 28 May 2011
I didn't like this book at all. Most chapters gave me no insight at all into beautiful architectures.

Example 1: there is a whole chapter dedicated to the architecture of Emacs. The chapter starts by saying Emacs went against all principles of designing a good architecture but just somehow came about. (Not my words). What does a chapter like this do in a book about beautiful architectures then?

Second example: there is a whole chapter dedicated to argueing that certain functional constructs can be better expressed using OO proramming. This purely academic argument, by the biggest proponent of OO (Bertrand Meyer), is in my opinion not at all giving insight into beautiful architectures.

The rest of the chapters are interesting but not particularly that deep as to when it comes to architecture. I wS expecting to learn about scaling architectures, loose versus tight coupling, reliability, etc. Unfortunately none of that.

To summarize: a mediocre collection of articles, very little to do with architecting software ...


Audio-Technica  ATH-ANC7B Headphones,Wired
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7B Headphones,Wired

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Hardware, 5 Jan. 2011
I was considering either the Bose or the AudioTechnica. I tried both through two friends's hardware but am very happy I stuck with the AT. Price/quality it is vastly superior to the Bose headphones.


300 Unmissable Events and Festivals Around the World
300 Unmissable Events and Festivals Around the World
by Whatsonwhen.com
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars How much money do you have for travelling?, 2 April 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This books makes you want to travel ... a lot! The book has various sections depending on what kind of festival you are into: from family festivals to food and drink to sports and adventure festivals (and many more).

One disadvantage of the book: it's not something you read cover to cover. It's not a particularly interesting read. But when you're planning your next out and about make sure you check the festivals around the world guide!


Viral Loop
Viral Loop
by Adam Penenberg
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, 28 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Viral Loop (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Viral Loop describes the history and mechanisms behind (almost exclusively) internet companies that have grown extremely fast. The book tells the story behind eBay, LinkedIn, HotOrNot, PayPal and many more. Through the notion of "viral index", Adam L. Penenberg gives us insight into the mechanism behind exponential growth.

I love this book and have recommended it to many of my friends and colleagues. The brief history behind some of the world's more succesful but also less succesful companies is inspiring. The book is not meant as a HowTo guide to grow one's own internet business, nonetheless, many valueable lessons can be drawn.

The book is written for everyone, no particular geek-level required to enjoy the stories and anecdotes. In other words, highly recommended to everyone ...


Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
by Steven D. Levitt
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Not the next Freakonomics, 31 Oct. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Freakonomics was a bomb! A very refreshing take on the science of micro-economics based on many of Levitt's academic research (+ a little bit of things done by other people). In other words, in Freakonimcs one got a very in depth analysis of phenomena like cheating, the organization of crack gangs etc.

Superfreakonomics is a good book, don't get me wrong, but it feels a bit like a cash cow. There are arguably more topics covered, but there is only a very shallow coverage of them. It feels like this book needed a bit more time. Also, there are a few plainly wrong claims in the book: I was particularly shocked about the sloppy analysis of the statement that black solar panels might cause more warming?!? It makes me think whether I should believe the discussions on topics which I am less knowledgeable about? Again, maybe a bit more time and a bit more reviewing would have made this a 5 star book.

Nonetheless, the book is a very enjoyable read; I had a hard time putting it aside. If you like Freakonomics, you will like Superfreakonomics as well ... but maybe a bit less.


Strategy for Sustainability: A Business Manifesto
Strategy for Sustainability: A Business Manifesto
by Adam Werbach
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but not the best in its genre., 22 Oct. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Strategy for Sustainability is a guide for anyone who is interested in doing business in a 2.0 way. The book touches on a number of key aspects which one can address to turn ones business in a sustainable enterprise: transparency, engaging individuals, inspiring leadership, ...

Adam Werbach knows what he is talking about: as someone who has found a number of creative solutions in his career as a tought leader on sustainability, he spices up the book with a number of interesting anecdotes and examples. A very enjoyable read.

The content of the book is not new though and I would argue that anyone who is seriously interested in sustainability should read other material that goes into more depth. E.g. the chapter on engaging individuals is an important one, but doesn't cover nearly as much, nor goes as far as say Wikinomics.

To summarize, it's an interesting read but certainly not my all time favorite book on sustainabilty. The author is an important leader in the world of sustainability and for that reason alone it is worth reading his opinions.


Terra: Tales of the Earth
Terra: Tales of the Earth
by Richard Hamblyn
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Breadth rather than depth ..., 17 Sept. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Terra by Richard Hamblyn tells the story of four different natural disasters from the past 300 odd years. Based around four themes: earth-air-fire-water, the book recounts the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, the European weather panics of 1783, the Krakatau volcanic eroption of 1883 and the Hilo tsunami of 1946.

What makes this book so enjoyable is that the author takes his time to describe a broad set of perspectives on the disasters. Two aspects I particularly enjoyed were the science behind the events and the human catastrophe. Many others are discussed at length as well: how the disasters influenced local decision makers, how the media covered the events, ... Hence the title of my review: the book has quite some breadth but fairly limited depth.

I agree with the other reviewers that the four themes is a bit far fetched. All four of them are in one way or another caused by earth, 3 out of four disasters involve the destructive power of water, etc. Nonetheless, a most enjoyable read!


Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World
Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World
by Don Tapscott
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.62

4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful but a little long winded ..., 5 May 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book is the succesor to "Growing Up Digital" which unfortunately I haven't read. In this book Don Tapscott reflects on the Net Generation and how it relates to the previous generation of Baby Boomers. First of all it is interesting to note that Don took a rather scientific approach. He bases his conclusion on a multi-million dollar survey. The result is a book with insightful chapters, some great statistics and an interpretation of the numbers which you ofcourse don't have to agree with all the time.

The book's weaknesses are twofold: on one hand the book is a bit repetitive and lond winded: in other words, I skipped some sections once in a while. Another more serious weakness is that I feel like a generation is more than just the influence of technology on a group of people however central technology is to that generation. There is little discussion about other aspects of the Net Generation if it doesn't relate to technology.

To conculde: I enjoyed Dan's Wikinomics much better and as that book set my expectations I was a bit dissapointed ...


Trends WobBally
Trends WobBally

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Are you ready to look for balls ..., 4 May 2009
This review is from: Trends WobBally (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The game is actually quite a bit of fun. You have a tower of balls, you poke a ball out once in a while and you've got to make sure you're not the person making the whole construction topple to the ground.

The reason I am only mildly positive about this product is that it consists of so many parts, it is easy to: a) lose balls, b) when the construction falls down, balls fly all over the place (and you are bound to lose more balls).

Summary: it's a new game based on an old concept (Jenga) and the latter feel much better designed.


We're British, Innit: An Irreverent A to Z of All Things British
We're British, Innit: An Irreverent A to Z of All Things British
by Iain Aitch
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit dull, 4 May 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Although this little book can be funny in places, I found it mostly dull. The book goes through A-Z in British culture: starting from Alcopops to Zoophilia. Did some people wanted to make a quick buck?

Summary: not very profound, not very funy ...


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