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reviewed Post-it. August 19, 2010
Post-it
This thing lets you attach a small (20) stack of Post-It notes to the back of your laptop. So it's useful for the intersection of two populations: People who need access to Post-It notes at all times, …
reviewed The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity.... August 05, 2010
The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves
If you don't already believe that we now live in the most prosperous era in human history, The Rational Optimist should convince you. Every generation before us lived shorter, harder lives, with more …
Lowepro Pro Runner 350 AW DSLR Backpack (Black)
Let me start out by admitting that I'm not a photographer. But I had a positive experience with another Lowepro backpack, for laptops, so I decided to give this one a try.    It's …
Quality Park Reveal-N-Seal Envelope, #10, 4.25 x
They're envelopes. They're nice-looking. You don't have to lick them. They keep your documents secure. And they cost half as much as the stamp you put on them. What more can I say?    I …
Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter
From the subtitle, I'd feared that this would be a lengthy academic treatise, written by someone who's more interested in the idea of video games than the games themselves. Instead, this series of essays …
Belkin 15.6-Inch Core laptop Backpack (Pitch
This is a very well-crafted backpack: It's small and light, yet with enough padding to keep my 15" MacBook Pro safe without a sleeve, and enough extra space to throw in my iPad, power cords, a mouse, …
reviewed Peter & Max: A Fables Novel. May 15, 2010
Peter & Max: A Fables Novel
If you're a fan of the excellent Fables comic books, you'll like Peter & Max. And if you're not a fan yet, Peter & Max might be a good entry point. It's a short, fast-moving novel with lovely illustrations …
End-to-End Game Development: Creating Independent
End-to-End Game Development seems to be aimed at people who want to manage a serious game project (where "serious game" essentially means "used for training"), but who don't have a strong technical background. …
reviewed Neil Young's Greendale. April 30, 2010
Neil Young's Greendale
Greendale is a story about political activism. The hero is a liberal young girl, and like all of the liberals in the book, she's energetic, caring, nature-loving, and wholesome. Meanwhile, the conservatives …
reviewed The Bedside Baccalaureate: A Handy Da.... April 25, 2010
The Bedside Baccalaureate: A Handy Daily Cerebral
This is a hodgepodge of essays on various topics, chopped up into single-page installments and interspersed for the benefit of readers with short attention spans.    The subtitle flatters …
Scotch® Easy-Grip Tape Dispenser DP-1000, 1.88
To me, this device didn't offer any advantage over the more compact, "classic" packaging tape dispenser (included with, for instance, 3M 341 Scotch Clear Packaging Tape). In fact, I found it more difficult …
Secrets of the Rock Star Programmers: Riding the
There are, roughly speaking, three worlds of programmers: the enterprise world, the startup world, and the academic world. As its ridiculous subtitle suggests, these interviews are with stars of the enterprise …
reviewed Rework. April 10, 2010
Rework
I'd expected a book of substance, and instead I got a book of aphorisms.    As the founder of a startup, I was hoping to get some insights into how 37signals has achieved so much success. …
Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social
As a programmer, I expect a certain level of specificity from books about things like SEO and social media. Website Optimization, for instance, is a wonderfully detailed, technical yet highly readable …
reviewed Caselogic ZLRS-117 Check Point Friend.... March 30, 2010
Caselogic ZLRS-117 Check Point Friendly 17-Inch Laptop Roller (Black)
This is an attractive bag, and pretty light for a roller. I found myself carrying it most of the time. It comes with a 17" laptop sleeve (which you can pull out for x-rays); it's worked reasonably well …
reviewed 97 Things Every Programmer Should Kno.... February 21, 2010
97 Things Every Programmer Should Know: Collective
If you're just entering the programming world, this collection of 2-page essays might be a useful resource. But if you've been reading programmer blogs for a while, or you've worked on a couple of projects, …
Effective UI: The Art of Building Great User
This is a collection of words and phrases used by web designers and what they mean. There are few concrete examples of the concepts in action.    If you haven't heard the terms "BDUF" …
Real World modo: The Authorized Guide: In the
I was hoping for a quick introduction to 3D modeling, but I found myself lost almost as soon as this fast-moving book began. If you're already on speaking terms with modo or Maya, then you'll probably …
reviewed The Predictioneer's Game: Using the L.... February 18, 2010
The Predictioneer's Game: Using the Logic of
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita's methods are absolutely fascinating. As a student of game theory, I looked forward to this book with great relish. But there's very little in this book that one couldn't see in …
The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume One:
I'm a big fan of microeconomics. I'm a big fan of comics. So, I had great expectations for this "graphic textbook" from stand-up economist Yoram Bauman.    Unfortunately, this volume …
reviewed New Chapter Supercritical Holy Basil. January 26, 2010
New Chapter Supercritical Holy Basil
First off, I'm sure this supplement is harmless. Basil: Nothing wrong with that. Of course, fresh basil in your food would be best, but these supplements are far more convenient.    However, …
reviewed The Annotated Turing: A Guided Tour T.... December 31, 2009
The Annotated Turing: A Guided Tour Through Alan
Don't let the title fool you: This isn't simply Alan Turing's groundbreaking paper "On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem" with a handful of footnotes thrown in. While …
Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter
I looked forward to this book, but there just aren't enough laughs to sustain the absurd premise for its 384 pages. There was nothing here that I found particularly hilarious or memorable. In all fairness, …
reviewed The Unnamed. December 12, 2009
The Unnamed
Ferris' first novel, Then We Came to the End, was a comic masterpiece, one of the smartest, funniest and most enjoyable books of 2007. His follow-up is a serious work about a family dealing with a mysterious …
reviewed 36 Pcs Sewing Kit in a box, Threaded .... December 01, 2009
36 Pcs Sewing Kit in a box, Threaded Spools,
At this price, I wasn't expecting much. Unfortunately, I got even less. The tiny scissors aren't sharp enough to cut the thread. The hinge on the thin plastic box is broken so that it doesn't stay closed. …
reviewed Masterminds of Programming: Conversat.... December 01, 2009
Masterminds of Programming: Conversations with the
This is, as its subtitle says, a set of interviews with creators of programming languages. The interviews assume familiarity with the languages being discussed, which means that few people will find the …
reviewed Apple Magic Mouse. November 21, 2009
Apple Magic Mouse
First off, let me echo the praise everyone has for this mouse: It's beautiful. It looks great on any desk. And there is a definite "ooh" factor when you show people that you're scrolling just by moving …
reviewed Absolute Death. October 31, 2009
Absolute Death
If you already have all 4 volumes of The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1 on your shelf, you'll be pleased to know that this finely-crafted collection, though thinner than any of the Sandman volumes, will look …
reviewed Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infe.... October 23, 2009
Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection
This is a fun, smart, short read, with a spare, illustrated style that perfectly fits the dark, apocalyptic tone. It's also your basic zombie movie.    There are plenty of familiar …
reviewed Gyration Air Mouse Elite In-Air Curso.... October 22, 2009
Gyration Air Mouse Elite In-Air Cursor Control
This is a sleek, cool-looking gadget, smooth and polished, with a tiny recharging cradle that makes the mouse look like it's floating in the air. It's definitely a functional, portable mouse, though a …
Things We Think About Games
At 160 pages, this is a slim volume. But it is even slimmer in content.    Most of the pages consist of an aphorism and a paragraph or two. "Try playing that new board game in public," …
reviewed Learn Adobe Photoshop CS4 by Video: C.... October 15, 2009
Learn Adobe Photoshop CS4 by Video: Core Training
This is a thorough, reasonably priced Photoshop training DVD aimed at beginners. I recommend it, though more advanced users might prefer Photoshop CS4 Digital Classroom, a book with accompanying DVD.
reviewed Panasonic NI-W750TS 360-Degree Quick .... October 13, 2009
Panasonic NI-W750TS 360-Degree Quick
This is the most attractive iron I've ever seen. It looks like a polished artifact from the future. It also has some high-tech claims on the packaging, claiming to offer "faster" ironing (though it never …
reviewed Astonishing X-Men Omnibus. October 08, 2009
Astonishing X-Men Omnibus
I came to this as a big Joss Whedon fan, not so much an X-Men fan. I expected a lot of wit, surprise and narrative richness, like in Buffy, Season 8. Instead, I got... X-Men. Seeing these superheroes …
reviewed Heroes of the Environment: True Stori.... October 08, 2009
Heroes of the Environment: True Stories of People
This is a charming collection of stories, with big text and cute graphics, about several environmental activists. The content is best described as "harmless"--kids 12 and under may find the stories inspiring, …
Fables: The Deluxe Edition Book One
Prince Charming is a womanizer. Goldilocks is a communist. The Big Bad Wolf is a hard-boiled detective. And they're all living in present-day New York.    The premise may be ridiculous, …
reviewed Imagination First: Unlocking the Powe.... August 26, 2009
Imagination First: Unlocking the Power of
Here's a litmus test for whether you'll enjoy this book or not:    "Whether it is a physical cabinet of wonders or a treasure trove in the mind, the place where the bits are hoarded …
reviewed Kensington Wireless Presenter with La.... August 26, 2009
Kensington Wireless Presenter with Laser Pointer
I own a Kensington 33374, the predecessor to this product and one of the most popular wireless presenters on Amazon. As I wrote in my 4-star review of that device back in March of this year: "One way …
Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare
Books like this are not intended to persuade people who might disagree with its premises. They're intended to excite a base of supporters, and to arm them with talking points (given in boldface) so that …
Game Usability: Advancing the Player Experience
This book's subject matter is much, much narrower than its title suggests. If you're interested in design patterns for game usability, or you're a game programmer or artist, there isn't much for you here. …
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