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Ira Laefsky "Ira Laefsky" RSS Feed (Philadelphia, PA)
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Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World
Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World
by Mark Miodownik
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.26

5.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining Treatment of An Under-recognized Scientific Field With Lively Narrative, April 9, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Professor Miodownik gives an entertaining and interestingly illustrated (both with great personal stories, photographs and hand drawn sketches) picture of an important scientific field little discussed by the general public. He discusses the history chemistry and physics of a number of important materials including super-light aerogels, nanotubes and diamonds as well as little considered properties of everyday materials (such as why glass is transparent, and stainless steel utensils tasteless). This is an important and entertaining read for the general public who would like to know more about science. Miodownik discusses important applications to biomaterials and prosthetics. I would have expected the Director on the Institute of Making to give a little more attention to hacking and makerspaces including such topics as 3D priniting and the use of materials in Industrial Design.

This is an entertaining and educational read for anyone who knows little of this important area of science and technology and it has been little covered by other popular works.


Data Mining and Business Analytics with R
Data Mining and Business Analytics with R
by Johannes Ledolter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $103.12
51 used & new from $92.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Good 2nd Text In R Use with Some Large Data Sets, Data Mining and Basic Machine Learning, April 9, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This text designed for quantitatively-oriented MBA students is a good second tutorial in R for just about anyone. It gets to the use of R as a data mining tool for large data sets (something that is often neglected in basic tutorials). Its orientation is toward basic data mining and machine learning techniques. Enough verbal explanation of each of the techniques is given so that less mathematical students can see the usefulness of each of these methods, and the illustrations are of high enough quality for an expensive textbook.


Startup Leadership: How Savvy Entrepreneurs Turn Their Ideas Into Successful Enterprises
Startup Leadership: How Savvy Entrepreneurs Turn Their Ideas Into Successful Enterprises
by Derek Lidow
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.17
57 used & new from $11.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Personalized Approach to The Life-cycle and Leadership Skills Experienced in Entrepreneurial Companies, April 9, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
An extremely successful entrepreneur and academic who teaches Venture Development, Creativity and Design gives a personalized story-driven picture of the life-cycle stages of emerging companies and successful and unsuccessful approaches to leading them. More interesting than many of my formal courses in a Wharton MBA.


Sensor Technologies: Healthcare, Wellness and Environmental Applications
Sensor Technologies: Healthcare, Wellness and Environmental Applications
by Michael J. McGrath
Edition: Paperback
Price: $33.23
34 used & new from $28.36

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Healthcare Wellness and The Environment Addressed By Sensors and The Internet of Things, April 8, 2014
Issues of cost, population trends, public policy and interest in wellness all combine to make technologies which can improve the delivery of health and wellness vital national and international issues. The authors are senior researchers in Intel Laboratories and their writings on sensor networks and technologies for gathering data from patients, fitness and Quantified Self enthusiasts and processing this data for the benefit of society are gathered both from Intel and university research. Among the factors that make this research vital, include: an aging population, a large segment of chronically ill individuals who must be monitored in their homes, the economic unsustainability of current health care delivery model's, interest in the healthy population in self tracking and Quantified Self "lifelogging", and concerns about the fragility of the environment (especially as it affects human health).

The authors address all aspects of sensing, networking and analyzing health, fitness and environmental data, including sensor physcis, microcontroller and network architecture, regulatory concerns, and even anthropological study of the ecology of use for this data.

Although I am the co-author of an article in Make Magazine on Biosensors and Microcontrollers, and have recently received a grant from a major US telecommunications vendor for Open Source Health Data Aggregation, I still learned a great deal from this collection of articles. Yet the topics are one's of interest to all Americans and are explained in a way that can be understood by any intelligent individual.

I highly commend this book and collection of research studies on Sensing for Health, Wellness and the Environment.

--Ira Laefsky MS Engineering/MBA IT & Human Computer Interaction Researcher
formerly on the Senior Consulting Staff of Arthur D. Little, Inc. and Digital Equipment Corporation


Information Overload: An International Challenge for Professional Engineers and Technical Communicators
Information Overload: An International Challenge for Professional Engineers and Technical Communicators
by Anne Caborn
Edition: Paperback
Price: $46.94
42 used & new from $29.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Vital Topic. Scholarly Articles on Aspects of This Issue. Lack of Central Organization, April 3, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This edited collection of articles addresses a vital topic in contemporary society, the overabundance of information, and the cognitive difficulty in processing content. With excellent essays on the history of information, the Semantic Web, Graphical Communication and Visualization, as well as "WordNet" I can't rate this collection with less than 3 stars. But, the lack of a unifying and comprehensive editorial picture makes absorbing these diverse (yet important) essays more difficult to absorb; perhaps this is an example of the very issue of cognitive overload that the book is attempting to address.


Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time
Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time
by Alisa Bowman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.17
54 used & new from $12.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Communication Coaching in The Form of a Book, April 3, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Bill McGowan brings the results of many thousands of hours of well remunerated (and just as valuable) speech, communication and presentation coaching into the form of a book. It is as engaging a read as his well practiced, and sparkling conversation must be in person.
While all of the advice is highly relevant and engagingly told, I would have found the important lessons he teaches easier to absorb if the book proceeded in a more hierarchical manner, with the 7 principles presented at the start and illustrative essays and stories proceeding from each communication principle in order. Nonetheless the book is one that I will cherish for its eternally important lessons in communication.


Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away
Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away
by Rebecca Goldstein
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.26
69 used & new from $12.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Commentary on the Relevance of Philosophy & Historical Background Material, April 3, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Rebecca N. Goldstein, a Princeton Philosophy PhD and MacArthur Fellow, writes interestingly, and in an imaginative fictional form of the relevance of philosophy for contemporary society, and gives extensive historical background on Plato. It is an absorbing book of scholarship written for the layman. I would have preferred more, lengthier dialogues, with the sort of pithy Socratic questions the Plato's dialogues are known for. But as an essay on the current relevance of philosophical questions and historical essay it is a highly competent effort. I particularly enjoyed the dialogue "Plato in the Magnet", on the philosophical importance of current neuroscience, but I am not sure what important philosophical questions her eponymous Plato introduces to the discussion.


The Art of Data Analysis: How to Answer Almost any Question Using Basic Statistics
The Art of Data Analysis: How to Answer Almost any Question Using Basic Statistics
by Kristin H. Jarman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $52.32
55 used & new from $38.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Answers the Question: "What is Statistics Good For; and How Do I Use It?", March 25, 2014
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Through engaging and fanciful stories, Kristin Jarman, PhD, answers a student's or professionals' questions about what statistics is good for and how each of the basic techniques can be exploited to correctly reason about a given type of problem. Almost any applied mathematical technique must answer the questions of how a technique can be applied correctly and to aid in decision making and this is an issue that is often neglected in elementary texts. This book is also a genuinely entertaining read. Had, I not received it as Vine reviewer's copy I might have been slightly discouraged by the price of a 190 page paperback, but it is well worth the price if it informs the reader on the use of statistics to make informed decisions in a variety of important areas.


It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
by danah boyd
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.68
57 used & new from $14.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Sociological Review of the Social Life of Teens on The Internet, March 25, 2014
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danah boyd is both a native technologist and experienced sociological observer of the upcoming generation of technology users.
This engaging set of interviews and commentary should be read by anyone who wishes to understand how today's teens use and interact with the Internet and particularly Social Media. It could be interestingly read together with Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother" and Erving Goffman's "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life" to gain further perspective on how blossoming individuals interact with the objects and people in their lives and how Information Technologies reflect in this process.


Kuhn Rikon Slim Safety Lid Lifter, White
Kuhn Rikon Slim Safety Lid Lifter, White
Price: $13.45
11 used & new from $13.57

2.0 out of 5 stars Hard to use especially on deep cans like Salmon and Tuna Fish, March 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I purchased this clean, no-touch the contents of the can, can opener because I wished to avoid coming in contact with contents and excessive dirt. It works reasonably well on cans without a deeply recessed edge such as beans and tomatoes. However, after destroying cans of salmon with the opener even after carefully examining the instructions I requested and recieved a refund from Amazon.


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