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Redragon M901 PERDITION 16400 DPI High-Precision Programmable Laser Gaming Mouse (Black)
Redragon M901 PERDITION 16400 DPI High-Precision Programmable Laser Gaming Mouse (Black)
Offered by ChallengerUSA
Price: $34.99
4 used & new from $32.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Poor build quality, December 14, 2015
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Scroll wheel sticky and noisy. Buttons sometimes not responsive enough and difficult to reach. Cable too stiff.

Mouse response is decent but build quality puts it way behind the Naga.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 15, 2015 10:38 AM PST

Syro (Vinyl)
Syro (Vinyl)
Offered by iooo
Price: $24.99
60 used & new from $16.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive, February 3, 2015
This review is from: Syro (Vinyl) (Vinyl)
As snobbish as it might seem to say this, please do yourself a favour and check the Japanese edition of this album :) There's an extra song in there, called marchromt30a, which is easily the best Aphex Twin track I've ever heard. Sounds very early autechre-ish with the same organic rhythm flow as the rest of syro. It's all that is good about electronic music in a single song.

Just for that song it would deserve 5 stars but the rest of the record is no slouch. A laser focus effort into writing good melodies backed by the grooviest and most enjoyable basslines he's produced. Richard D James shows us how a real funk robot band would sound like, staying very far from daft punk's nostalgia and giving up none of the intricacy and detail that has always defined him.

How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed
How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $13.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but too much filler content, March 14, 2013
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The first part of the book explains a modern theory on how the brain works, based on repetition of a basic structure in the brain that works as a pattern recognizer, and how this pattern recognition is a recursive function that creates intelligence and ultimately what we are. It seems to be similar to the one put forward in the book "On intelligence" by Jeff Hawkins, which Kurzweil references. I honestly don't know how well accepted this theory is within neuroscience circles but I found this part really interesting and the explanation very well written.

Of course the main thing is that if this theory is true, the brain does look like a structure very amenable to eventual simulation in a different substrate, which is what Ray Kurzweil's work is ultimately about. It is after all a recursive structure composed of relatively simple units... exactly like computer programs! Or, more accurately, like some AI constructs like hidden markov models, which Kurzweil pretty much dedicates the rest of the book to. This is the part I have a problem with. The book is called "how to create a mind", but after explaining (superficially) how the mind (supposedly) works, it just describes some vaguely similar structures that could might some day perhaps help in creating one. All while reminding us that the author has worked extensively with these structures and how successful he's been in the business world and how much it owes to him.

This last part is very unconnected with the beginning of the book and really offers no insight, no roadmap, no credible evidence that anything it talks about can or will be used to progress in brain emulation. There are currently several projects working in this, like the Blue Brain project, which Kurzweil mentions but unfortunately doesn't go in any depth into them. It feels more like filler content recycled from Kurzweil's past work and feels tired and lazy, compared with the lucid brain description of the first part, which is novel in Ray's body of work.

In summary, a mediocre book and one that leaves you hopeful that new advances are made in this fascinating subject and can be described in further work.

Harrington on Online Cash Games; 6-Max No-Limit Hold 'em
Harrington on Online Cash Games; 6-Max No-Limit Hold 'em
Price: $29.34

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Focused and well written, March 14, 2013
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I'm not a poker expert and I was looking at introductory level texts to advance in the game and learn how to think about hands and strategy. This book is exactly what I was looking for.

It assumes only that you know the rules of the game and starts teaching basic analytical skills (odds, bet sizing, pre flop ranges, etc.). It then progressess to a more detailed break down of the game and talks about board textures, range equity calculations, types of players, etc. This is all basic and probably present in all good introductory poker books but I found Harrington to be very able at making concepts clear and at teaching not just the numbers but what they mean and how to get at them, in essence how to think and reason about poker, which is what the success in the game's about.

The later parts of the book tackle the online aspect: a good rundown of how to use HUDs and an in depth exploration of the type of game and players in different stakes levels (micro, small, medium, high), which I found very useful. I also loved the section with practical problems and hand situations to analyze based on play and HUD statistics.

I fully recommend this book for anyone who wants to improve online poker playing.

Programming in Scala: A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide, 2nd Edition
Programming in Scala: A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide, 2nd Edition
by Bill Venners
Edition: Paperback
51 used & new from $18.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, May 17, 2012
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Comprehensive, very well written and with useful examples. It's actually one of the few computer science books in the last few years that I have read front to back, missed nothing.

I would add nothing and subtract nothing from this book but it would be cool if Odersky wrote another one with more advanced concepts and usages of the language (like monads and advanced types, akka and the rest of the typesafe stack, deployment best practices, etc.)

Looking forward to new features and evolution in Scala, and reading about them in further editions of this great book.

Permutation City
Permutation City
by Greg Egan
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
31 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Great hard scifi, May 1, 2012
This is probably one of Egan's most accomplished novels. As with the majority of what he writes, it's quite on the hard side of hard scifi and this book would probably be best enjoyed if you have a maths or computer science background. That said, it's more accessible than a lot of his other work (I have a hard time when he messes with geometry like in Schild's Ladder) and it's very near time science fiction (at least in the beginning of the book), so it has a nice feeling of natural continuity with current direction in science and research.

As usual Egan's imagination is astounding, both in being able to structure awe-inspiring narrations based on scientific speculation and in keeping that speculation so coherent and so grounded in actual science that you don't need any "suspension of disbelief" and you can let yourself be completely immersed in the world he creates.

A common criticism people make of Egan's books are his characters: they tend to be underdeveloped. I think people who like his books would usually answer "who cares this is scifi" but actually in this book his characters are quite well fleshed out (uhm flesh is not the best word) compared to much of his other work.

In summary this is a great book and a great introduction to Greg Egan and I can't recommend it enough. If you just want a smaller bite to know what's in store, then probably best to check some of his short stories like Axiomatic, Oceanic or some stuff he's put online.

White Noise
White Noise
by Don DeLillo
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.62
169 used & new from $3.35

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointed, May 1, 2012
This review is from: White Noise (Paperback)
Note: this review contain some spoilers

The biggest problem I think I have with this book is this: it's not funny. It's the kind of book that takes everyday life and twists it so the conventional and the weird are mixed and inseparable. That works when it's either insightful or funny, and this book is neither. It didn't even make me smile a single time. Think a Woody Allen movie, with all the neurotic fast paced dialog, but without a trace of humor.

The characters are another problem; at the point in which you have been reading enough about them that you should care about them the author destroyed them for me. I felt disgust at Jack for going after the pills when he learns about the incredible abuse his wife endured to get them. Babette looks so incredibly misinformed and superficial that I just don't care what she thinks about. The children and obnoxious and underdeveloped as characters. Murray I can't avoid feeling that is just a guy that says wrong, incoherent stuff that the author wants to pass as witty.

As I said, I think it would have worked if it had been really "hilarious" as other reviews put it. It wasn't for me and what's left is just boring and pretentious.

Domain-Specific Languages (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Fowler))
Domain-Specific Languages (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Fowler))
by Martin Fowler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $48.89
51 used & new from $23.35

47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but not comprehensive, July 9, 2011
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As usual, Fowler delivers a very well structured book, easy to both read and use as reference material. He is a very able and pragmatic writer and that shows in this book.

However, I can't consider this book a good text because of the things it omits. This is a book about designing DSLs and this task is one of the things functional languages excel at, but Fowler establishes in the introduction that he is going to happily ignore all things related to functional programming and never looks back. Anyone interested in designing DSLs owes it to himself to research Haskell, Scala and F# as they are vastly superior to Java in this respect.

Fowler has been one of the best at writing about OO design and approaches this book in the same way, sadly he hasn't upgraded his knowledge to include other paradigms that in this case address the problem at hand better.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 30, 2013 9:27 PM PDT

Haskell Cheatsheet
Haskell Cheatsheet
Price: $0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad formatting in Kindle, July 5, 2011
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The contents of the book might be fine but formatting is terrible. Code and normal text are in the same fonts, often with no separation between them. There's also no table of contents.

This should be a reference book and reference books need to be easy to use and this book clearly is not.

A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, Zen, and the Tea Ceremony
A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, Zen, and the Tea Ceremony
by Héctor García
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.11
157 used & new from $6.25

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for Japan lovers, May 31, 2011
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I truly enjoyed this book and I think it's going to delight anyone with an interest in Japan. It reads as a true personal experience of the country, not another tourist guide or brochure, it includes gorgeous photographs (taken by the author) and even though the word "geek" is on the title, Mr. Garcia strikes a difficult balance in the subjects he portraits, ranging from ancient traditions to the latest trends without forgetting the craziest Akihabara antics.

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