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Ilya Grigorik "igrigorik" RSS Feed (San Francisco, CA, USA)

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The Fujifilm X-T1: 111 X-Pert Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Camera
The Fujifilm X-T1: 111 X-Pert Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Camera
by Rico Pfirstinger
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.14
43 used & new from $13.77

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The missing (and much needed) X-T1 manual!, April 3, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book should come bundled with the camera. The X-T1 is packed with features, many of which I was yet to discover even after a year of active use, and this book did the trick: written in plain and readable English (that's a compliment) that explains the what, why and the how; provides the necessary context for how to use the various features together; has many really great tips for JPEG and die-hard RAW shooters alike; and much more.

If you picked up an X-T1, chances are, you're serious about getting the most out of your camera... and to get there fast, you should pick up this book.


The Little Book That Builds Wealth: The Knockout Formula for Finding Great Investments (Little Books. Big Profits)
The Little Book That Builds Wealth: The Knockout Formula for Finding Great Investments (Little Books. Big Profits)
Price: $11.49

5.0 out of 5 stars What is the moat of your company, or your "personal brand" even?, April 3, 2015
Economic moat: a sustainable competitive advantage, with double emphasis on "sustainable" - e.g. a cost advantage, hard-to-dislodge market position, unique intangible assets, high switching costs. The book explores each of these, offering hands-on examples of why and how such factors translate into long-term market advantages (and good investments).

There is no formula here, but the overall way of thinking is sound and should certainly provide a good set of questions to evaluate for your next investment, be it financial, career, or any other... What is the moat of your company, or your "personal brand" even?


Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion (Vintage International)
Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion (Vintage International)
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars What religions teach us about ourselves..., March 23, 2015
"Religion is too important and valuable to all people to be simply dismissed, even by atheists,"... instead, we should examine where they have succeeded, minus the dogma and the supernatural, and leverage that to our benefit.

For example, what can we learn from religions about education? As Alain De Botton argues, we have a naive perspective on learning: you are expected to hear an important idea once and remember it for the rest of your life; whereas religions recognize that we forget and make us repeat and relearn. Same goes for community: we value the individual, but we also overlook the impact and power of a community on our well-being. Even the act of prayer, as some of the recent research seems to indicate, may have significant benefits. Not because of the prayer itself, but because it shifts our self-centered focused and provides the necessary distance - it's the mechanics of the act itself, not the deity. These are just a few examples of many.

A thought provoking and rewarding read.


The News: A User's Manual (Vintage International)
The News: A User's Manual (Vintage International)
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for writers and readers alike (i.e. everyone)..., March 22, 2015
We all have an insatiable appetite for "news": we want to be "in the know", we're gripped by the latest drama or breakthrough, and we want to know before others (social capital). And yet, most of what we consume carries no new or useful information that broadens or deepens our thinking. Who's at fault: is it the writers, or is it us, the consumers? How do we fix this?

The book examines both sides, the consumption, and the creation, and points out where we fall short: as consumers we are easily distracted by empty but attention-grabbing content; the writers are optimizing for attracting pageviews, instead of conveying information and context of why a certain event is important.

"A user's manual" is an apt and accurate description. If you've ever questioned the value of the information we're exposed to, or if you're in business of generating said content, then this is a must read.


How to Think More About Sex (The School of Life)
How to Think More About Sex (The School of Life)
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars How to think about it.. "more" is an outcome., March 22, 2015
It's not that we need help thinking about it, rather it is a call to consider the broader context that goes beyond just the immediate physical aspects of it: it's impact on our relationships (or lack of thereof), our personal insecurities (and our obsession over them), the mischaracterized portrayal of sex in the media, and so on. In other words, this is a book to help you think about sex in a broader context of a satisfying relationship, both with yourself, and your partner.


The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work
The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

4.0 out of 5 stars Challenging our assumptions about nature of "work", March 22, 2015
Work is supposed to make us happy, give us meaning, and improve the well-being of those around us -- at least, that's what we're taught. But, are these realistic, and warranted expectations? As the author points out, these ideas and assumptions are relatively new, and the reality is often much harsher.

The book provides a collection of unconnected vignettes on different occupations, with glimpses of hope (e.g. finding meaning in unexpected places), and its many failures (e.g. loss of perspective or sense of impact). Unlike his other books, this one defers the thinking part to the reader: it challenges our assumptions about work, but it leaves it to us to decipher the rest (i.e. requires a lot more work!). An interesting read, but not as immediately rewarding as Alain's other books.


The Art of Travel (Vintage International)
The Art of Travel (Vintage International)
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $11.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Why we long to travel, and how to do so effectively..., March 22, 2015
Travel is an escape. It breaks the daily routine and dangles a promise of happiness, where we can let go, re-examine, and gain the much-needed perspective. Sounds familiar? Truth is, all too often we travel in body, but not in our minds, and it's the latter, not the number of miles flown, that determines what we take away from our travels.

"The Art of Travel" is not a guidebook or a how-to, for travel. Rather, its an exploration of what makes us long for it, why we savor the expectation of it, why we often feel disappointed while on the journey itself, and how to make the best of it all. In fact, what if you didn't even have to leave your city, or even the house for that matter, to enjoy the benefits?


The Architecture of Happiness (Vintage International)
The Architecture of Happiness (Vintage International)
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $11.27

5.0 out of 5 stars Impact and importance of architecture on our everyday lives..., March 22, 2015
It's all around us and it shapes us into who we are - sometimes in subtle ways and at times without any pretense at modesty - and yet we rarely stop and really examine the role of architecture in our lives and communities. Good architecture requires good engineering, aesthetics, elegance, and deep understand of human psychology - which, sadly, is a rare combination. This book will make your next walk a rewarding journey.


Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise)
Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise)
Price: $16.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating historical perspective on the making (and the drama) of open standards, February 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you haven't already, go read the free "OSI: The Internet That Wasn't" article in IEEE Spectrum (just search for the name), as it'll give you a great preview of what you'll find in this book.

The book provides a fascinating historical look (1900+) at how, and why, the various standards organizations came to be, what drove them, and where they've succeeded and failed. Andrew Russell has clearly done his homework: the book is very well researched and provides plenty of historical vignettes and stories - a great read. And there are lots of stories to tell since standardization is very much a political process that is dominated by colorful personalities.

Curious to understand how the internet as we know it today came to be? What did David Clark really mean when he (now famously) said "We reject: kings, presidents, and voting. We believe in: rough consensus and running code." Who were the players, what were the disputes about, and why and how did we arrive at the current architecture? Well, then you've found your book. Great read.


Hipster Business Models: How to make a living in the modern world
Hipster Business Models: How to make a living in the modern world
Price: $6.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and educational entrepreneurship stories, February 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A collection of fun and educational entrepreneurship stories, ranging all the way from roaming around the country in a mini bus and doing odd jobs, to tinkering on a toy design that will go on to sell in the millions (and then some). The takeaway? Success and personal fulfillment can be found at scales, and you don't need to build a multi-million sales machine to be "successful".

One nitpick: I think the choice of "hipster" in the title is a misnomer. The book is entrepreneurship 101, but told through a collection of somewhat unconventional stories, which is exactly what makes it stand out. Great read.


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