Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Collapse of intellectual edifice

Books of Account
The End of Wall Street
Roger Lowenstein
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Flawed tools for measuring risk

Counter to the view of its apostles, the market system of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century did not evolve in the natural course; it evolved with its own peculiar prejudices and rites, writes Roger Lowenstein in The End of Wall Street. The institution of government was nearly absent, and in its place had arisen a system of market-driven models, steeped in the mathematics of the new finance, he adds.

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Validation, a set of rules for data collection

Books 2 Byte
Professional ASP.NET 4 in C# and VB
Bill Evjen, Scott Hanselman, and Devin Rader
(http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Getting the right information

Web applications, generally provide or gather information. In the case of the latter, it is important that you gather valid data, else there isn't much point in collecting it, write Bill Evjen, Scott Hanselman, and Devin Rader in Professional ASP.NET 4 in C# and VB.

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Text messaging and e-mail

Books 2 Byte
Himglish & Femalese
Jean Hannah Edelstein
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

All about he-mail, she-mail

Communication is the opening chapter in Himglish & Femalese by Jean Hannah Edelstein. Men and women who are supposedly speaking the same language can express the same thoughts in completely different ways, she finds. Which explains the title of the book, as the two distinct dialects of men and women.

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Managing risks

BookValue
The Rise and Fall of Bear Stearns
Alan C. Greenberg
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

When trust evaporates and doubt enters

The world of finance is no stranger to metaphors. For instance, ‘toxic waste' can describe ‘the lowest rated and potentially least liquid class of securitised sub-prime mortgage debt,' and ‘sausage factories' can be ‘the cynic's definition of investment banks that packaged and sold bundles of pooled mortgage-backed securities,' as Alan C. Greenberg mentions in The Rise and Fall of Bear Stearns.

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Time management

Book Mark
The Time Paradox
Philip Zimbardo
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Unravelling the mysteries of time

Gambling is an industry that has chance at the core of its business model. But it takes care not to leave a lot of things to chance, especially when it is about exploiting the fact that those focused on the present tend to make different choices from those focused on the future. For instance, from the moment you enter a Las Vegas casino, you enter a timeless world of present hedonism in which the future does not exist, as Philip Zimbardo describes in The Time Paradox: Using the new psychology of time to your advantage.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Financial battles

Books of Account
Confidence Game
Christine S. Richard
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Deep dive into a financial black hole

If you are looking for a modern-day equivalent of David vs Goliath, try Confidence Gameby Christine S. Richard. The story of ‘how a hedge fund manager called Wall Street's bluff' that the book narrates is about the battle between MBIA (Municipal Bond Insurance Association) and Bill Ackman.

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Inventory optimisation

Books 2 Byte
Retooling HR
John W. Boudreau
(Harvard)

Tech-assisted ‘inventory' approach to HR

There are powerful business tools that help you analyse the sequential flow of raw materials to storage facilities, then into manufacturing or fabrication, then into finished goods inventory, then to distribution, then to retail inventory, and finally to consumers. Each holding point is an inventory that can be analysed individually, optimising things such as shortages, surpluses, and holding and acquisition costs; and this is inventory optimisation, writes John W. Boudreau in Retooling HR: Using proven business tools to make better decisions about talent (Harvard).

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Investing tips

BookValue
The Making of a Market Guru
Aaron Anderson
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Guidance on successful investing methods

Human nature doesn't fundamentally change, and thus neither does investing, says Aaron Anderson in The Making of a Market Guru. There will be differences to be sure, but the differences will undoubtedly be outweighed by the similarities, he adds. The book is a celebration of the monthly contribution of Ken Fisher in ‘Forbes', over the last about quarter century.


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Millennial generation

Book Mark
The M-Factor
Lynne C. Lancaster and David Stillman
(http://www.harpercollins.com/)

Understanding the new generation

P arenting, entitlement, meaning, great exectations, the need for speed, social networking, and collaboration are the seven trends that make up the ‘millennial generation,' say Lynne C. Lancaster and David Stillman in The M-Factor. The leading edge of this generation, born between 1982 and 2000, began showing up in part-time jobs in the late nineties, and will continue being a force to reckon with over the next decade and beyond, the authors note. They find that the ‘millennials' — sometimes called Generation Y, GenNext, the Google Generation, the Echo Boom, or even the Tech Generation — compose the fastest-growing segment of workers today.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Self-reliance, the first step in the ‘life' part

Manage Mentor
Getting Past OK
Richard Brodie
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Life, liberty, happiness

When everything is okay, you may like to give yourself all the rest and relaxation you always wanted, but Richard Brodie comes up with a disturbing thought: A life of enormous delight, passion, and satisfaction is waiting on the other side of OK, he says in Getting Past OK.

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Business is still community-based

Books of Account
Challenges in Implementing Corporate Governance
John Zinkin
(http://www.wiley.com/)

Pay should reinforce right tone at the top

There are serious defects in Anglo-Saxon capitalism, rues John Zinkin in Challenges in Implementing Corporate Governance: Whose business is it anyway? Top among the defects he mentions are: the importance and amorality of financial services with its excessive securitisation leverage; the apparent lack of moral purpose in so many Western enterprises; and the belief that the purpose of business is to maximise shareholder value without paying adequate attention to other stakeholders.

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Unified communications

Books 2 Byte
Cisco Unified Presence Fundamentals
Brian Morgan, Shane Lisenbea and Michael C. Popovich III
(http://www.ciscopress.com/)

From workplace to workspace

If you have been seeing UC around and wondering what it is, Cisco Unified Presence Fundamentals by Brian Morgan, Shane Lisenbea and Michael C. Popovich III should help. UC (unified communications) is the integration of non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, short message service or SMS, and fax) with real-time communication services such as instant messaging (IM or chat), presence information, IP telephony, video conferencing, call control, and speech control, the book explains.

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Hackers and crackers

Books 2 Byte
CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker Study Guide
Kimberly Graves
(http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Arm yourself against black hats

Which of the following is often one of the most overlooked areas of security: operational, technical, Internet, or physical? What is the name for a person who follows an employee through a locked door without own badge or key: tailgater, follower, visitor, or guest? Which application will help identify whether a Web site is vulnerable to SQL injection attacks: BlackWidow, Metasploit, Scrawlr, or SQL Block? What is the easiest method to get a password: brute-force cracking, guessing, dictionary attack, or hybrid attack? For answers to these and more questions, check CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker Study Guide by Kimberly Graves.

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Crucial 'dividends'

BookValue
The Unwritten Laws of Finance & Investment
Robert Cole
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Nuggets of investment wisdom

Investors, especially personal investors, often ignore large parts of the big economic picture, rues Robert Cole in The Unwritten Laws of Finance & Investment. He notes that many investors prefer to focus attention on specific issues that seem likely to affect individual shares, or on narrow comparisons such as the difference between the interest rates payable on deposits at rival banks.

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Income and expenditure

Book Mark
How India Earns, Spends and Saves
Rajesh Shukla
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Changing dynamics of the Indian marketplace

Given that rural India today contributes 56 per cent to total national income, 57 per cent to total expenditure and 33 per cent to surplus income, marketers are more than justified in reaching out to rural households, writes Rajesh Shukla in How India Earns, Spends and Saves: Unmasking the Real India.

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Monday, July 05, 2010

The animator

Books 2 Byte
Action! Acting lessons for CG animators
John and Kristin Kundert-Gibbs
(http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Creating a living, breathing character

As an animator, you are basically doing the job of an actor, write John and Kristin Kundert-Gibbs in Action! Acting lessons for CG animators. You are creating a living, breathing character that tells a story, shares an experience, and moves an audience; and your character becomes ‘animated' with the body, voice, and emotions that you breathe into it,” the authors add.

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Blaming the new tech

Books 2 Byte
Talk to the Hand
Lynne Truss
(http://www.harpercollins.co.in/)

How tech impacts people skills

Though not a new book, Talk to the Hand by Lynne Truss should make an interesting reading especially to those suffering from ‘the utter bloody rudeness of everyday life' arising from new technology. When people look for a piece of technology to blame for modern manners, it is often television that cops the lot, but we forget what an impact the telephone had when it was first introduced, the author reminds. With the advent of the phone, people could choose to conduct real-time private conversations with people who weren't there, she adds.

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