Thursday, June 25, 2009

Paul Krugman - The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008

Paul Krugman - The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 (2nd Edition)
W. W. Norton & Company | 2nd Edition | 2009 | ISBN: 0393071014 | 201 pages | siPDF | 2.7 MB

In 1999, in The Return of Depression Economics, Paul Krugman surveyed the economic crises that had swept across Asia and Latin America, and pointed out that those crises were a warning for all of us: like diseases that have become resistant to antibiotics, the economic maladies that caused the Great Depression were making a comeback. In the years that followed, as Wall Street boomed and financial wheeler-dealers made vast profits, the international crises of the 1990s faded from memory. But now depression economics has come to America: when the great housing bubble of the mid-2000s burst, the U.S. financial system proved as vulnerable as those of developing countries caught up in earlier crises and a replay of the 1930s seems all too possible.

In this new, greatly updated edition of The Return of Depression Economics, Krugman shows how the failure of regulation to keep pace with an increasingly out-of-control financial system set the United States, and the world as a whole, up for the greatest financial crisis since the 1930s. He also lays out the steps that must be taken to contain the crisis, and turn around a world economy sliding into a deep recession. Brilliantly crafted in Krugman's trademark style—lucid, lively, and supremely informed—this new edition of The Return of Depression Economics will become an instant cornerstone of the debate over how to respond to the crisis.


About This Book

1. "The Central Problem Has Been Solved"
Capitalism Triumphant
The Taming of the Business Cycle
Technology as Savior
The Fruits of Globalization
Skeptics and Critics

2. Warning Ignored: Latin America's Crises
Mexico: Up from the 1980s
Argentina's Break with the Past
Mexico's Bad Year
The Tequila Crisis
The Great Rescue
Learning the Wrong Lessons

3. Japan's Trap
Japan as Number One
Bubble, Toil and Trouble
A Stealthy Depression
Japan's Trap
Japan Adrift
Japan's Recovery

4. Asia's Crash
The Boom
July 2, 1997
Why Asia? Why 1997?
Epilogue: Argentina, 2002
The Deeper Question

5. Policy Perversity
How the International Monetary System Didn't Evolve
The Speculative Threat
The Confidence Game
Did the IMF Make the Situation Worse?

6. Masters Of The Universe
The Nature of the Beast
The Legend of George Soros
The Madness of Prime Minister Mahathir
The Attack on Hong Kong
The Potemkin Economy
The Panic of 1998

7. Greenspan's Bubbles
The Age of Greenspan
America's Designated Driver
Greenspan's Bubbles
When Bubbles Burst

8. Banking In The Shadows
The History of Banking, Simplified
The Shadow Banking System
Malign Neglect

9. The Sum Of All Fears
The Housing Bust and Its Fallout
The Non-Bank Banking Crisis
The Fed Loses Traction
The Mother of All Currency Crises
A Global Slump

10. The Return Of Depression Economics
What Is Depression Economics?
What to Do: Dealing with the Emergency
Financial Reform
The Power of Ideas

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Michael F. Cohen, John R. Wallace - Radiosity and Realistic Image Synthesis

Michael F. Cohen, John R. Wallace - Radiosity and Realistic Image Synthesis (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics):
Morgan Kaufmann | ISBN: 0121782700 | 1993-08-04 | PDF (OCR) | 381 pages | 5.84 Mb

The first comprehensive book written about Radiosity. Features applications from the fields of computer graphics, architecture, industrial design, and related computer aided design technologies. Contains a chapter authored by Pat Hanrahan on the basic concepts of image synthesis and a foreword by Donald Greenberg.

Radiosity is a computer graphics technique which makes use a global illumination model to accurately represent the inter-reflection of light between surfaces. The technique produces view-independent results, so that most of the work is complete before viewing parameters are selected. This allows efficient interactive walk-throughs of simulated environments. However, radiosity is the most computationally expensive image generation technique. Most other image generation techniques make use of local illumination models and give faster image generation times.

The method is based on engineering techniques which were originally used to calculate radiant interchange between surfaces, for applications such as boiler and radiator design. The literature available has expanded rapidly in the past ten years and until now there has been no single comprehensive source describing the available techniques. This book is a comprehensive source and is written by respected names in the field of computer graphics.

The book starts with the derivation of a global illumination model (i.e. maths) and then moves on to finite element methods and domain subdivision (i.e. more maths). The final three chapters briefly deal with image production, extensions to the basic radiosity technique and applications for radiosity, such as architectural and lighting design. The bibliography consists of 274 entries.

In order to make the most of this book you will need a solid background in computer graphics and graduate level maths. The radiosity technique is only a part of the image generation process and to make practical use of the information contained in the book you will need an existing graphics system. This will allow you to attach the radiosity elements described in the book to your existing system, once you've managed to implement them! This is _not_ a type-and-go book, like some of the ray tracing texts available. There is no disc containing a complete ready to run system and the code fragments which are given are in pseudo code. You should be prepared to invest a large amount of time and effort if you intend to produce a working system from the information contained in the book.

There are 16 pages of full colour images and over 100 illustrations to explain the development and show the results of the radiosity method. Results of applications of this new technology from a variety of fields are also included.

If you are a Computer Graphics Student or Professional then this book is something you should look at if you're serious about radiosity; there is nothing else like it available.

About the authors
Michael Cohen has worked in the area of realistic image synthesis since 1983 and was instrumental in the development of the radiosity method. He is currently an assistant professor of computer science at Princeton University. John Wallace is a software engineer at 3D/EYE, Inc., where he is the project leader for the development of Hewlett-Packard's ATRCore radiosity and ray tracing library. A chapter on the basic concepts of image synthesis is contributed by Patrick Hanrahan. He has worked on the topic of image synthesis at Pixar, where he was instrumental in the development of the Renderman software. He has also led research on the hierarchical methods at Princeton University, where he is an associate professor of computer science. All three authors have written numerous articles on radiosity that have appeared in the SIGGAPH proceedings and elsewhere.
They have also taught the SIGGRAPH course on radiosity for 5 years.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Roderick W. Smith - Advanced Linux Networking

Roderick W. Smith - Advanced Linux Networking
Addison Wesley | ISBN: 0201774232 | 2002 | CHM | 784 pages | 3.23 MB

With an increasing number of networks and mission-critical applications running on Linux, system and network administrators must be able to do more than set up a server and rely on its default configuration. Advanced Linux Networking is designed to help you achieve a higher level of competence. It focuses on powerful techniques and features of Linux networking and provides you with the know-how you need to improve server efficiency, enhance security, and adapt to new requirements.

This book begins with a brief introduction to low-level configuration, including a guide to getting your network up and running. Part II outlines those servers and procedures most likely to be used by the computers on your local network: DHCP servers, Kerberos, Samba, time servers, and network backups, among others. Part III covers Internet servers: DNS, SMTP (sendmail, Postfix, and Exim), Apache, and FTP servers. Part IV examines network security, exploring such topics as using a chroot jail, iptables configuration, and VPNs. Wherever pertinent, the author addresses the differences between Caldera OpenLinux, Debian GNU/Linux, Mandrake, Red Hat, Slackware, SuSE, and TurboLinux.

Specific topics covered include:

· Configuring small but potentially important servers quickly and easily

· Optimizing Linux network operation

· Using advanced system features effectively

· Using systems and software in alternative ways to reach your goals

· Avoiding possible damage to your system and violations of ISP policies

· Securing your system

Advanced Linux Networking is the single-volume tutorial and reference for Linux networking that will help you achieve expert status.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Валерия Новодворская - Мой Карфаген обязан быть разрушен. Из философии истории России

Валерия Новодворская - Мой Карфаген обязан быть разрушен. Из философии истории России
М.: Олимп, 1999 | ISBN 5-7390-0691-0 | 288 с. | DJVU | 1,17 MB

"Она вызовет больше споров, чем знаменитый "Ледокол" Виктора Суворова" - так отозвался о новой книге Валерии Новодворской "Мой Карфаген обязан быть разрушен" депутат Госдумы Константин Боровой, выступивший 1 июня в редакции журнала "Новое время" на презентации издания.

Напомним, в "Ледоколе" автор выдвинул версию о том, что в июле 1941 года Сталин планировал напасть на Германию. Книга Новодворской подобных сенсаций не содержит, она отражает точку зрения автора на известные события российской истории. Выпущенный издательством "Олимп" сборник представляет собой цикл лекций, прочитанных ранее Новодворской в Российском государственном гуманитарном университете.

Сама Новодворская называет себя "катакомбным исследователем". Если же говорить об основной идее книги, то она выражена следующими словами: "В нашей истории дуют жестокие ветры и горят костры, в ней мы, наследники славянской и скандинавской традиций, сражаемся с носителями традиций византийской и ордынской".

Расшифровке этой мысли посвящены авторские размышления. Знаменитое "пришествие варягов" принесло славянам дух свободы, а главное - готовность свободу защищать. Весь менталитет скандинавов, викингов, был направлен именно на это. Их мифология трагична: Зло побеждает, защитники Добра - асы и ваны - погибают. Однако предчувствие мрачного конца не лишало скандинавов мужества и готовности противостоять Злу. Они никогда не сдавались в плен, скандинавов нет на рабских рынках раннего средневековья. Вместе с тем предки датчан, шведов и норвежцев уже тогда закладывали основы демократии. Все вопросы решались на так называемых "тингах", прообразах современных парламентов. Вот и русские князья, потомки скандинавских пришельцев, почитали за правило советоваться со своими приближёнными, не принимать единоличных решений.

Так было на Руси до тех пор, пока не пришла традиция византийская, которая подразумевает полное подчинение подданных власти, жестокое подавление личности.

Что касается начал ордынских, то Новодворская характеризует их следующим образом: "Это традиции совершенно бесполезного, бесплатного, платонического угнетения, платонического захвата. Захвата ради захвата... Уничтожим всё во имя уничтожения. Захватим всех во имя несвободы". Комментируя утверждение историка Льва Гумилёва, который в отличие от своего отца, знаменитого поэта, "западником" не был и считал монголо-русский союз весьма плодотворным, Новодворская замечает, что Лев Николаевич и попал в ГУЛАГ именно потому, что состоялось монголо-татарское нашествие. Ведь большевизм с его идеологией - логическое продолжение психологии ордынской.

Носители же благородной скандинавской традиции не выклянчивали у ханов "ярлыки", то есть разрешение на право властвовать, а боролись за свободу. Примеры чему - Евпатий Коловрат, князь Михаил Тверской, его сын Александр.

Новодворская сурово осуждает тех, в ком нет духа Сопротивления. Не должны были белые армии в 1920 году эвакуироваться из Крыма, а должны были стоять до конца. Тирания побеждает там, где ей не сопротивляются. "Концлагерь состоит из заключённых, которые соглашаются жить по тем законам, что устанавливают для них палачи. Концлагерь - это консенсус между жертвами и палачами, это их взаимное согласие на сотрудничество. Ни один лагерь ГУЛАГа, ни один немецкий концлагерь времён Второй мировой войны не мог бы существовать, если бы жертвы отказывались идти в газовые камеры или на лесоповал... если бы жертвы, которых было больше, чем палачей, просто отбирали бы у них оружие, убивали бы их, ломали бы колючую проволоку и уходили куда-нибудь подальше".

* * *

Из вступления:

"Проблема России - в том, что ее граждане не хотят быть свободными. Они не ценят свободу, не думают о ней - и вообще она в России не котируется. Все это можно было бы свалить на "тысячелетнее рабство", как постоянно и делается - одни указывают на коммунизм, Гулаг и колхозы, другие - на царя и крепостное право, третьи - на монголо-татар - словом, кому что больше нравится. "Не сами, по родителям". Только вот беда: отмазка не канает. Традиция рабства тут ни при чем. Отсутствием интереса - а точнее, любви к свободе - ныне активное поколение обладает само по себе. В самом деле, нынешних россиян никто особенно не притеснял! Взрослели они кто в вегетарианское хрущевско-брежневское время, кто в перестройку, ничего страшнее потешных андроповских рейдов по кинотеатрам не застали, все наблюдали кризис беспомощности позднесоветской и постсоветской власти до состояния почти полной анархии. И на месте "привычного угнетения" обнаруживается - отсутствие у самого обычного, рядового гражданина России иной мотивации, кроме материальной, и страх перед всем и каждым. Все решает действие гражданина, одного гражданина. Монголы и русичи в земле. Крепостники и крепостные в земле. Большевики и белые в земле. Лихие энкеведешники и вохровцы тоже в земле. Все это было, этого больше нет. Здесь и сейчас живем только мы с вами. Действовать должен ныне живущий, но каждый из тех, кто мог действовать, и все они вместе - бездействуют. А это значит, что во всем виноват ты, читающий мои строки. Не общество в целом, а ты. Не столетия крепостного рабства, а ты. Не коммунистический режим - а ты лично. Это в твоей груди - сердце спрута. Сердце жадины. Сердце приспособленца. Сердце труса. Это ты во всем виноват. В России нет демократии потому, что ты ценишь свою жалкую шкуру выше чести. Странно, что ты до сих пор не понял, что спасти шкуру ценой чести нельзя. Выбирающий между жизнью и честью честь получает и жизнь и честь; выбирающий жизнь вместо чести лишается сперва чести, а потом и жизни. Это непреложный закон мира. Это научный факт. Впрочем, зачем я говорю это тебе? Еще столетия назад Бен Франклин сказал: "Меняющие свободу на безопасность не заслуживают ни безопасности, ни свободы". Конечно, в России свято верят каждому, кто называет себя ученым, но поможет ли это? Если Франклину не верят, поверят ли Вельзелю? Страх иррационален. Сердце труса отключает разум. Чтобы стать свободным, надо этого захотеть. Не денег, не власти, не благ мира, которые она якобы принесет с собой - а самой свободы. Не торговаться со своей свободой - "а что я получу взамен" - а просто влюбиться в нее, и она ответит взаимностью."

Об авторе от автора:

Автор этих лекций - катакомбный историк. Это значит - не патентованный, без лицензии и диплома истфака.

До 1991 года ни один честный диссидент не мог учиться или защищаться на историческом, ибо история была мертвой зоной КПСС, КГБ и прочих милых организаций. А до 1991 г. автор успел перечитать всех русских и половину импортных историков из сундуков Иностранки, этого оазиса чистой науки, куда пускали всех и давали все, даже Шпенглера, видно, рассчитывая, что владеющих до такой степени иностранными языками в России или не найдется, или они сбегут за кордон, или просто погоду не сделают. Так что на истфак стало идти незачем. Можно было смело идти и читать лекции юным историкам в РГГУ и других местах. Автор и пошел.

К тому же автор, родившийся в 1950 г., успел впутаться в историю в прямом и переносном смысле, создав в Инязе еще в 1969 г. подпольную студенческую организацию с далеко идущими задачами: свержение власти КПСС вооруженным путем, народное восстание, построение капитализма, ликвидация Варшавского договора, роспуск СССР... Примерно это же и значилось в листовках, которые автор открыто бросал с балкона Дворца Съездов 5 декабря 1969 г., в день Конституции, на опере "Октябрь". Потом, естественно, было Лефортово, статья 70 об антисоветской пропаганде, казанская спецтюрьма... А потом, после 1972 г., было полно столь же детективных историй: контрабандное поступление на иностранный факультет пединститута, его контрабандное окончание, участие в диссидентском движении, тиражирование Самиздата, листовки, листовки, листовки, аресты, аресты, аресты... Горбачевская перестройка 1986 г. застала автора в Лефортово, но благодарности за освобождение бедный Михаил Сергеевич не получил. Далее был создан ДС - Демократический Союз, и все повторилось: митинги, листовки, демонстрации, разгоны, избиения, аресты. ГКЧП автора посадить не смогло: автор уже сидел в Лефортово с мая 1991 г. за предложение опять-таки свергнуть власть КПСС вооруженным путем - после Вильнюса. С тех пор выпущенный окончательно подчистую отовсюду автор ведет оседлый образ жизни, пишет статьи в крутой либеральный еженедельник "Новое время" и даже допущен там в члены редколлегии, но порох держит сухим на случай возвращения коммунистов к власти. Автора больше не сажают, но два года, с 1995 по 1996-ой, судили за нежелательную, непатриотическую, неприемлемую для коммунистов и национал-"патриотов" трактовку русской истории, то есть почти как генетиков и кибернетиков - за лженауку, причем буржуазную. То есть за данный курс лекций. Так что автор - не только участник истории, но и ее соучастник, а книга сия - чуть ли не триллер. По крайней мере, саспенс и боевик. Не хуже Дэвида Линча с его "Твин Пикс".

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Richard Davis - Typing Politics: The Role of Blogs in American Politics

Richard Davis - Typing Politics: The Role of Blogs in American Politics
Oxford University Press | English | 2009-05-26 | ISBN: 0195373766 | 256 pages | PDF | 1,4 MB

The power of political blogs in American politics is now evident to anyone who follows it. In Typing Politics, Richard Davis provides a comprehensive yet concise assessment of the growing role played by political blogs and their relationship with the mainstream media. Through a detailed content analysis of the most popular political blogs--Daily Kos, Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, and Wonkette--he shows the degree to which blogs influence the traditional news media. Specifically, he compares the content of these blogs to four leading newspapers noted for their political coverage: The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Times. He explains how political journalists at these papers use blogs to inform their reportage and analyzes general attitudes about the role of blogs in journalism. Drawing on a national survey of political blog readers, Davis concludes with a novel assessment of the blog audience. Compact, accessible, and well-researched, Typing Politics will be an invaluable contribution to the literature on a phenomenon that has reshaped the landscape of political communication.

"Political blog reading has become a daily activity for a small minority of political activists. One former State Department spokesperson said, “They’re the fi rst thing I read when I get up in the morning and the last thing I read at night.”13 A reporter for the New Republic said he reads ten to fi fteen blogs daily. One likely reason for the increased public awareness of blogs is news
media coverage of the blogging phenomenon. Coverage mushroomed in only fi ve years: there were three newspaper stories about blogs in 1999, 209 in 2001, 1,442 in 2003, and 3,212 in 2004.
A medium that acquires a significant audience and discusses politics constantly is bound to be considered of some political importance. The claims of blogging’s role, present and future, are hardly modest, and the most vocal advocates are bloggers themselves. Liberal bloggers believe they already have altered electoral outcomes. They claim they defeated Senator Joe Lieberman
(D-Connecticut) in the 2006 senatorial primary, although Lieberman, as an Independent, defeated blogger favorite Ned Lamont in the general election that year. Another claimed victory was the Democratic takeover of the U.S...Senate and House of Representatives in 2006. Liberal bloggers take credit for making possible the U.S. Senate wins of senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jon Tester (D-Montana), Jim Webb (D-Virginia), and other Democratic candidates
that year.16 Conservative bloggers point to their own victories as well. They argue that they were instrumental in causing the withdrawal of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers. They also point to the early retirement of CBS News anchor Dan Rather after an embarrassing 60 Minutes II scandal as a blog triumph.
But these events are small potatoes compared to what many foresee as the broader role of the blogosphere. Specifi cally, news stories about blogs have emphasized the medium as a new tool for personal empowerment. One journalist opined that blogs have “given the average Jane the ability to write, edit, design, and publish her own editorial product—to be read and responded to by millions of people, potentially—for around $0 to $200 a year.”17 They emphasize
how “Joe Average Blogger” can revolutionize politics through blogging..." -- from Introduction

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. What Every Superuser Should Know

How Linux Works
Publisher: No Starch Press | ISBN: 1593270356 | edition 2004 | CHM | 368 pages | 1 mb

“ How Linux Works describes the inside of the Linux system for systems administrators, whether you maintain an extensive network in the office or one Linux box at home. Some books try to give you copy-and-paste instructions for how to deal with every single system issue that may arise, but How Linux Works actually shows you how the Linux system functions so that you can come up with your own solutions. After a guided tour of filesystems, the boot sequence, system management basics, and networking, author Brian Ward delves into open-ended topics such as development tools, custom kernels, and buying hardware, all from an administrator's point of view. With a mixture of background theory and real-world examples, this book shows both "how" to administer Linux, and "why" each particular technique works, so that you will know how to make Linux work for you.


Chapter 1 - The Basics

Chapter 2 - Devices, Disks, Filesystems, and the Kernel

Chapter 3 - How Linux Boots

Chapter 4 - Essential System Files, Servers, and Utilities

Chapter 5 - Configuring Your Network

Chapter 6 - Network Services

Chapter 7 - Introduction to Shell Scripts

Chapter 8 - Development Tools

Chapter 9 - Compiling Software From Source Code

Chapter 10 - Maintaining the Kernel

Chapter 11 - Configuring and Manipulating Peripheral Devices

Chapter 12 - Printing

Chapter 13 - Backups

Chapter 14 - Sharing Files with Samba

Chapter 15 - Network File Transfer

Chapter 16 - User Environments

Chapter 17 - Buying Hardware for Linux

Chapter 18 - Further Directions

Appendix A - Command Classification



List of Figures

List of Tables

List of Sidebars

Now playing: Chris Rea - Auberge [foobar2000 v0.9.6.8]
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Richard Wolffe - Renegade: The Making of a President

Richard Wolffe - Renegade: The Making of a President
Random House Audio | English | 2009-06-02 | ISBN: 0739385267 | MP3 | 173 MB

Before the White House and Air Force One, before the TV ads and the enormous rallies, there was the real Barack Obama: a man wrestling with the momentous decision to run for the presidency, feeling torn about leaving behind a young family, and figuring out how to win the biggest prize in politics.

This book is the previously untold and epic story of how a political newcomer with no money and an alien name grew into the world’s most powerful leader. But it is also a uniquely intimate portrait of the person behind the iconic posters and the Secret Service code name Renegade.

Drawing on a dozen unplugged interviews with the candidate and president, as well as twenty-one months covering his campaign as it traveled from coast to coast, Richard Wolffe answers the simple yet enduring question about Barack Obama: Who is he?

Based on Wolffe’s unprecedented access to Obama, Renegade reveals the making of a president, both on the campaign trail and before he ran for high office. It explains how the politician who emerged in an extraordinary election learned the personal and political skills to succeed during his youth and early career. With cool self-discipline, calculated risk taking, and simple storytelling, Obama developed the strategies he would need to survive the onslaught of the Clintons and John McCain, and build a multimillion-dollar machine to win a historic contest.

In Renegade, Richard Wolffe shares with us his front-row seat at Obama’s announcement to run for president on a frigid day in Springfield, and his victory speech on a warm night in Chicago. We fly on the candidate’s plane and ride in his bus on an odyssey across a country in crisis; stand next to him at a bar on the night he secures the nomination; and are backstage as he delivers his convention speech to a stadium crowd and a transfixed national audience. From a teacher’s office in Iowa to the Oval Office in Washington, we see and hear Barack Obama with an immediacy and honesty never witnessed before.

Renegade provides not only an account of Obama’s triumphs, but also examines his many personal and political trials. We see Obama wrestling with race and politics, as well as his former pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright. We see him struggling with life as a presidential candidate, a campaign that falters for most of its first year, and his reaction to a surprise defeat in the New Hampshire primary. And we see him relying on his personal experience, as well as meticulous polling, to pass the presidential test in foreign and economic affairs.

Renegade is an essential guide to understanding President Barack Obama and his trusted inner circle of aides and friends. It is also a riveting and enlightening first draft of history and political psychology.

Now playing: Toto Cutugno - [Italo - Greatest Hits #00] L'Italiano [foobar2000 v0.9.6.8]
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stabilizing an Unstable Economy

Hyman Minsky - Stabilizing an Unstable Economy
McGraw-Hill | English | 2008-04-14 | ISBN: 0071592997 | 350 pages | PDF | 5,8 MB

“Mr. Minsky long argued markets were crisis prone. His 'moment' has arrived.” -The Wall Street Journal

In his seminal work, Minsky presents his groundbreaking financial theory of investment, one that is startlingly relevant today. He explains why the American economy has experienced periods of debilitating inflation, rising unemployment, and marked slowdowns-and why the economy is now undergoing a credit crisis that he foresaw. Stabilizing an Unstable Economy covers:

• The natural inclination of complex, capitalist economies toward instability

• Booms and busts as unavoidable results of high-risk lending practices

• “Speculative finance” and its effect on investment and asset prices

• Government's role in bolstering consumption during times of high unemployment

• The need to increase Federal Reserve oversight of banks

Henry Kaufman, president, Henry Kaufman & Company, Inc., places Minsky's prescient ideas in the context of today's financial markets and institutions in a fascinating new preface. Two of Minsky's colleagues, Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, Ph.D. and president, The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, and L. Randall Wray, Ph.D. and a senior scholar at the Institute, also weigh in on Minsky's present relevance in today's economic scene in a new introduction.

A surge of interest in and respect for Hyman Minsky's ideas pervades Wall Street, as top economic thinkers and financial writers have started using the phrase “Minsky moment” to describe America's turbulent economy. There has never been a more appropriate time to read this classic of economic theory.

Now playing: Zdravko Colic - Pusti, Pusti Modu [foobar2000 v0.9.6.8]
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What Is Mathematical Logic

C. J. Ash, J. N. Crossley, C. J. Brickhill, J. C. Stillwell, N. H. Williams - What Is Mathematical Logic
Publisher: Dover Publications | ISBN: 0486264041 | edition August 1, 1990 | PDF | 91 pages | 4,51 Mb

This concise, lively treatment is accessible to nonmathematicians. Topics
include model theory, Godel's theorems, computability and recursive
functions, set theory, and more. Diagrams appear throughout the text.

"The lectures on which this book is based were conceived by Chris Brickhill
and John Crossley. Our aim was to introduce the very important ideas in
modern mathematical logic without the detailed mathematical work which is
required of those with a professional interest in logic. The lectures were given
at Monash University and the University of Melbourne in the autumn
and winter of 1971. Their popularity induced us to produce this book which
we hope will give some idea of the exciting aspects of mathematical logic
to those who have no mathematical training."
J. N. Crossley



1. Historical Survey

2. The Completeness of Predicate Calculus

3. Model Theory

4. Turing Machines and Recursive Functions

5. Godel's Incompleteness Theorems

6. Set Theory

Some Suggestions for Further Reading


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dave Shea, Molly E. Holzschlag - The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web

Dave Shea, Molly E. Holzschlag - The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web
Publisher: Peachpit Press | ISBN: 0321303474 | edition February 27, 2005 | CHM | 304 pages | 26,3 Mb

Proving once and for all that standards-compliant design does not equal dull design, this inspiring tome uses examples from the landmark CSS Zen Garden site as the foundation for discussions on how to create beautiful, progressive CSS-based Web sites. By using the Zen Garden sites as examples of how CSS design techniques and approaches can be applied to specific Web challenges, authors Dave Shea and Molly Holzschlag provide an eye-opening look at the range of design methods made possible by CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). By the time you've finished perusing the volume, you'll have a new understanding of the graphically rich, fully accessible sites that CSS design facilitates. In sections on design, layout, imagery, typography, effects, and themes, Dave and Molly take you through every phase of the design process--from striking a sensible balance between text and graphics to creating eye-popping special effects (no scripting required).

Dave Shea is the creator and cultivator of the highly influential CSS Zen Garden Web site ( As well as being a member of the Web Standards Project, Dave is the owner and director of Bright Creative, and he writes about all things Web for his daily weblog, With over 6 years of experience working on the Web, Dave is a leader of the new generation of Web designers that believe in responsible Web design.

An author, instructor, and Web designer, Molly E. Holzschlag has written over 27 books related to Web design and development. She's been coined "one of the greatest digerati" and deemed one of the Top 25 Most Influential Women on the Web. There is little doubt that in the world of Web design and development, Molly is one of the most fun and vibrant Web characters around. As a steering committee member for the Web Standards Project (WaSP), Molly works along with a group of other dedicated Web developers and designers to promote W3C recommendations. For more about Molly, check out


Chapter 1. View Source
An overview of how the CSS Zen Garden came to be and how CSS has evolved over time; discussions of proper markup structure and design.

Chapter 2. Design
Basic design elements and how to apply them on the Web. Color theory, proportions and positioning, relationships between type and photography, and using Adobe Photoshop and CSS harmoniously.

Chapter 3. Layout
The nuts and bolts of building complicated CSS layouts. Columns, floats, and positioning schemes.

Chapter 4, Imagery
Using images to enhance your layouts, and how to generate them. Image replacement, graphic file formats, and how to find imagery source material.

Chapter 5. Typography
All things type; font limitations on the Web and how to work around them. Including font sizing, font-face selection, and image-based type.

Chapter 6. Special Effects
Where to go once you've mastered the basics. Advanced CSS effects to filter style for different browsers, create new and flexible layout techniques, and work around technical limitations with clever code.

Chapter 7. Reconstruction
A peek over the shoulders of six designers to find out how they do it. Selected designs are rebuilt within this chapter, detailing steps along the way. Watch as the principles from the other five chapters of the book come together for the full effect.

Lian Hearn - Tales of the Otori (1-3 book)

Lian Hearn - Tales of the Otori (1-3 Books)

Across the Nightingale Floor (Book 1)
Publisher: Riverhead Trade | ISBN: 1573223328 | edition 2003 | Genre: Epic Fantasy | LIT | 336 pages | 285 Kb

Grass for His Pillow (Book 2)
Publisher: Riverhead Trade | ISBN: 1594480036 | edition 2004 | Genre: Epic Fantasy | PDF | 156 pages | 421 Kb

Brilliance of the Moon (Book 3)
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover | ISBN: 1573222704 | edition 2004 | Genre: Epic Fantasy | epub | 162 pages | 462 KB

It's over seven years since the publication of the first book Across the Nightingale Floor (2002) named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, one of Book magazine's best novels of the year. Since then the Tales of the Otori have been sold into 36 countries and have been world wide best sellers.

The Tales of the Otori trilogy tells the epic story of Otori Takeo and Shirakawa Kaede, the young lovers whose fate is played out in a mythical, feudal, Japanese land, a world both beautiful and cruel, in the midst of an enormous power struggle against a background of warring clans, secret alliances, high honour and lightning swordplay. This journey of fascinating adventure, treachery and passion - whose appeal crosses genres, genders and generations establishes Tales of the Otori as one of the most brilliant and enduring works of modern fiction.

Book 1
Book 2
Book 3

Ben Casnocha - My Start-Up Life:What a (Very) Young CEO Learned on His Journey Through Silicon Valley

Ben Casnocha - My Start-Up Life:What a (Very) Young CEO Learned on His Journey Through Silicon Valley
Jossey Bass | edition 8 Jun 2007 | ISBN: 0787996130 | 208 pages | PDF | 5,31 Mb

Ben Casnocha discovered he was entrepreneur at age 12 and hasn′t slowed down since. In this remarkably instructive book, Ben dissects the entrepreneurship "gene," explaining that everyone has inherited it if they have an idea to make the world a better place. In Casnocha′s case, he found a better way for city governments to communicate with constituents on the Web. Six years later, Comcate has dozens of municipal clients, a growing staff, and a record of excellence. This book is the story of his start–up, but also a conversation with his mentors, clients and fellow entrepreneurs about how to make a business idea work and how to have the time of your life trying. From Pat Lencioni to Marc Benioff of, Ben has won over the best and brightest of the business world now it′s your turn!

LORD, I loved being 19. If I had the chance to do it all again, I’d start up my life at that age. For most relatively “normal” guys like me, life at 19 is a joyously ephemeral state of being in between. Your adolescence is not quite behind you; your adulthood is not quite at hand. You can appropriate the privileges of a grownup without facing the responsibilities. And if you’re lucky, you can still put it all on your parents’ tab.

Or you can be Ben Casnocha, the 19–year–old author of “My Start–Up Life: What a (Very) Young C.E.O. Learned on His Journey Through Silicon Valley.” Publishing a book in his teens actually ranks as one of his more modest accomplishments. At 12, he started his first company. At 14, he founded a software company called Comcate Inc. At 17, Inc. magazine named him “entrepreneur of the year.”

Along the way, Ben (I refuse to address him as Mr. Casnocha until he turns 21) was also captain of his high school basketball team and edited the school newspaper. He will be enrolling in Claremont McKenna College this fall.

In the meantime, he’s been taking what he describes as a “year off” to travel the world and to lecture at universities while continuing to serve as chairman of Comcate. So much for being a normal, carefree 19–year–old.

“I don’t want to be normal,” Ben declares in “My Start–Up Life.” “I want to be something else.”

Ben’s book proves that he is indeed something else, and then some. Like its author, “My Start–Up Life” is precocious, informative and entertaining, if not quite fully realized as a grown–up work. But it’s still very much worth reading to gain insight into the mind, manners and ambitions of an American entrepreneur from whom we will almost undoubtedly be hearing again throughout the first half of this century.

Ben organizes his story in chronological order. He recounts the otherwise “routine day” in 2000 when the teachers of his sixth–grade technology class in a San Francisco–area middle school proposed the idea of creating a Web site dedicated to resolving citizen complaints about local government. Unlike his classmates, who abandoned the project as soon as school let out, he spent the summer learning how to write the HTML code necessary to make a short–lived but functioning entity.

In 2002, Ben transformed that not–for–profit classroom venture into Comcate, a classic Silicon Valley start–up that provides software to enable city managers to track and resolve citizen complaints. He describes days when playing hooky from school started with catching a flight to Los Angeles and ended with basketball practice back in San Francisco. In between, there were sales calls to potential clients, lunches with venture capitalists, and scores of e–mail messages to and from a software programmer in India.

But “My Start–Up Life” is more of an entrepreneurial how–to manual than the autobiography of a whiz kid. The narrative chapters are interspersed with sidebars headlined “Brain Trust” and “Brainstorm” that provide insights from adult business people and share the author’s epiphanies on everything from “redefining the entrepreneurial lifestyle” with proper sleep, nutrition and exercise, to ways to “maximize luck.”

“Expose yourself to as much randomness as possible,” Ben advises. “Attend conferences no one else is attending. Read books no one else is reading. Talk to people no one else is talking to. Who would have thought that giving a speech at a funeral at age 12 would introduce me to a man who would introduce me to my first business contact who would introduce me to several other important people in my life. That’s luck. That’s randomness.”

An appendix offers a “One–a–Day, One–Month Plan to Becoming a Better Entrepreneur.” If some of the daily agenda items are mundane (“Stop watching TV,” “Form an advisory board”), others are both insightful and inspirational.

“Act on incomplete information,” he urges in the context of entrepreneurial risk–taking. He says Gen. Colin Powell “expected his commanders in the field to make decisions when they had 40 percent of the potentially available information. In life–or–death situations. And you think you need more information?”

Unfortunately, “My Start–Up Life” fails to give a coherent account of Comcate’s financing and the current status of the company, which is privately held. In a recent telephone interview, Ben said he withheld those kinds of details for proprietary reasons because his company is a developing enterprise.

With a little prodding, he told me that he raised “about $250,000” to start Comcate, and that the company is now “self–sustaining” with 6 employees, 75 local government clients and anticipated 2007 revenue of $1 million. I just wish he’d put some of this general information in the book.

Apart from its repeated references to the dot–com mania of Silicon Valley, the book lacks political and socioeconomic context. In describing the early days of Comcate, for example, Ben notes that the fall of 2001 was a “busy few months,” without any mention of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. When I asked him about that, he said that “it didn’t really impact the business.”

I also would have liked to read more about Ben’s parents. He duly expresses his gratitude, especially to his father who lent space in his law office for Comcate. But we never get a clear picture of what life was like in the Casnocha household. Talk about risk–taking — nothing takes more wisdom and courage than their kind of entrepreneurial parenting.

In any event, Ben seems to be gaining an ever more acute sense of history and his own mortality as “My Start–Up Life” hits the stores. He told me that he’s already working on a second book, about “America as the world’s greatest start–up.”

He added that he intends to make the most of the time left until his next birthday, in March 2008. “I’ve got another eight months until I’m just another boring 20–year–old,” he said. (New York Times, June 17, 2007)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Noel Rappin - Professional Ruby on Rails

Noel Rappin - Professional Ruby on Rails
Wrox | 2008-02-25 | ISBN: 047022388X | 483 pages | PDF | 4,39 Mb

This book bridges the gap between what you'll learn from a typical beginner book about Ruby on Rails and what you'll need to know to create a solid, professional, spectacular, complex web application. Professional Ruby on Rails is a guide to taking a beginner web site and making it great. The book covers topics of interest to a web professional who is trying to develop and deploy a complex application. These topics include:
- Using REST to structure your application cleanly
- How to test and deploy your application for maximum automation with minimal headache
- Protecting your site and your user's data
- Using Rails to create the kinds of interactions that web users are coming to expect

The current Rails books are either beginner books, cookbook-style books, or specifically aimed at Ajax development. This book will fill the void for a book that discusses in-depth the information that a developer would need in order to move from a basic site to a fully featured web application.


Chapter 1: Building Resources

Chapter 2: Rails Source Control with Subversion

Chapter 3: Adding Users

Chapter 4: Build Tools and Automation

Chapter 5: Navigation and Social Networking

Chapter 6: The Care and Feeding of Databases

Chapter 7: Testing Tools

Chapter 8: Rails - Driven JavaScript

Chapter 9: Talking to the Web

Chapter 10: Internationalizing Your Application

Chapter 11: The Graphic Arts

Chapter 12: Deploying Your Application

Chapter 13: Performance

Chapter 14: Going Meta

Chapter 15: Extending Rails with Plugins

Chapter 16: Replacing Ruby Tools

Appendix A: Things You Should Download

Appendix B: Web Frameworks Inspired by Rails



The First Global Financial Crisis of the 21st Century 2 vol.

CEPR - The First Global Financial Crisis of the 21st Century
Publisher: CEPR | ISBN: 978-0-9557009-3-4 | edition June 2008 | PDF | 204 pages | 1,12 mb

CEPR - The First Global Financial Crisis of the 21st Century. Vol.2 June – December, 2008
Publisher: CEPR | ISBN: 978-0-9557009-9-6 | edition January 2009 | PDF | 390 pages | 2,16 mb

The Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), a registered charity founded in 1983 by Richard Portes, FBA, CBE, is a network of over 700 researchers based mainly in universities throughout Europe, who collaborate through the centre in research and its dissemination. CEPR's office is located in London but CEPR is a Think-Net drawing on academic research across Europe.

The Centre's mission is to promote research excellence and policy relevance in European economics. CEPR network of over 700 Research Fellows and Affiliates are based in over 237 different institutions in 28 countries (90% in the European Union. Because it draws on such a large network of researchers, CEPR is able to produce a wide range of research that reflects a broad spectrum of individual viewpoints and perspectives.

Vol.1 Contents


Section 1 Why Did the Crisis Happen?

The relationship between the recent boom and the current delinquencies in subprime mortgages
Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, Deniz Igan and Luc Laeven

Why bank risk models failed
Avinash Persaud

Blame the models
Jon Danielsson

The subprime crisis: observations on the emerging debate
Charles Wyplosz

The subprime series, part 1: Financial crises are not going away
Stephen G. Cecchetti

The subprime series, part 2: Deposit insurance and the lender of last resort
Stephen G. Cecchetti

The subprime series, part 3: Why central banks should be financial supervisors
Stephen G. Cecchetti

The subprime series, part 4: Does well-designed monetary policy encourage risk- taking?
Stephen G. Cecchetti

The subprime crisis: Greenspan’s Legacy
Tito Boeri and Luigi Guiso

The impact of short-term interest rates on risk-taking: hard evidence
Vasso Ioannidou, Steven Ongena and Jose Luis Peydró

Why did bank supervision fail?
Guido Tabellini

The subprime crisis and credit risk transfer: something amiss
Luigi Spaventa

The crisis of 2007: some lessons from history
Michael D. Bordo

Reflections on the international dimensions and policy lessons of the US subprime crisis
Carmen Reinhart

Section 2 How Is the Crisis Unfolding?

Federal Reserve policy actions in August 2007: frequently asked questions (updated)
Stephen G. Cecchetti

An extensive but benign crisis?
Tommaso Monacelli

Not (yet) a ‘Minsky moment’
Charles W. Calomiris

A B & B future for subprime borrowers?
Willem Buiter

Double counting 101: the useful distinction between inside and outside assets
Willem Buiter

Bagehot, central banking and the financial crisis
Xavier Vives

The financial crisis: why it may last
Angel Ubide

Fallout from the credit crunch
Dennis J. Snower

Four mega-dangers international financial markets face
Dennis J. Snower

Federal Reserve policy responses to the crisis of 2007–8: a summary
Stephen G. Cecchetti

While the ECB ponders, the Fed moves – and cleverly at that
Charles Wyplosz

Section 3 What Can Be Done?

The subprime crisis: Who pays and what needs fixing
Marco Onado

Filling the information gap
Alberto Giovannini and Luigi Spaventa

Lessons from the North Atlantic financial crisis
Willem Buiter

Lessons from Northern Rock: banking and shadow banking
Willem Buiter

Lessons from Northern Rock: how to handle failure
Willem Buiter

Ratings agency reform
Richard Portes

How to avoid further credit and liquidity confidence crises
Guillermo de la Dehesa

The inappropriateness of financial regulation
Avinash Persaud

There is more to central banking than inflation targeting
Paul De Grauwe

Can monetary policy really be used to stabilize asset prices?
Katrin Assenmacher-Wesche and Stefan Gerlach

A missed opportunity for the Fed
Willem Buiter and Anne Sibert

The central bank as the market-maker of last resort: from lender of last resort to market-maker of last resort
Willem Buiter and Anne Sibert

Avoiding disorderly deleveraging
Luigi Spaventa


Vol.2 Contents


Section 1: The spread of the crisis to the rest of the world

The first casualty of the crisis: Iceland
Jon Danielsson

Iceland: The future is in the EU
Philip Lane

Iceland faces the music
Gylfi Zoega

The collapse of Iceland’s banks: the predictable end of a non-viable business model
Willem Buiter and Anne Sibert:

The fallout from the global credit crisis: Contagion - emerging markets under stress
Helmut Reisen

From capital flow bonanza to financial crash
Carmen Reinhart and Vincent Reinhart

Rapid and large liquidity funding for emerging markets
Guilermo Calvo and Ruby Loo-Kung

Stock market wealth effects in emerging market countries
Heiko Hesse

The political economy of debt relief
Andreas Freytag and Gernot Pehnelt

India’s credit crunch conundrum
Arvind Subramanian

Preserving financial sector confidence, not monetary easing, is key
Arvind Subramanian

The folly of the central banks of Europe
Jonh Muellbauer

Crisis management tools for the euro-area
Daniel Gros and Stefano Micossi

A proposal on financial regulation in Europe for the next European Council
Carmine Di Noia

The European response to the crisis: Not quite there yet
Marco Pagano

Finance, market, globalisation: a plot against mankind?
Salvatore Rossi

Can Europe take care of its own financial crisis?
Daniel Gros

The financial crisis may hasten European integration but slow global banking
Avinash Persaud

A call for a European Financial Stability Fund
Daniel Gros and Stefano Micossi

Governance of banks
Luc Laeven and Ross Levine

Finance, redistribution, globalisation
Giuseppe Bertola and Anna Lo Prete

What Next for the Dollar? The Role of Foreigners
Kristin Forbes

Is the US too big to fail?
Carmen Reinhart and Vincent Reinhart

Can the IMF save the world?
Barry Eichengreen

Section 2: What is wrong with the traditional economic/financial viewpoint and models?

The financial meltdown is an academic crisis too
Richard Dale

European securitisation and the possible revival of financial innovation
John Kiff, Paul Mills, and Carolyne Spackman

The price of transparency
Marco Pagano

The Panglossian World of Finance
Daniel Cohen

What can be learned from the banking crisis
Hans-Werner Sinn

Do reputational concerns lead to reliable ratings?
Beatriz Mariano

The Financial Economists Roundtable’s statement on reforming the role of SROs in the securitisation process
Charles Goodhart

Liquidity risk and the current crisis
Lasse Heje Pedersen

How risk sensitivity led to the greatest financial crisis of modern times
Avinash Persaud

Transmission of liquidity shocks: Evidence from the 2007 subprime crisis
Nathaniel Frank, Brenda González-Hermosillo, and Heiko Hesse

The lender of last resort of the 21st century
Xavier Freixas and Bruno Parigi

Reason with the messenger; don’t shoot him: value accounting, risk management and financial system resilience
Avinash Persaud

Escaping from a Combined Liquidity Trap and Credit Crunch
Frank Heinemann

Complexity kills
Jon Danielsson

Will the credit crunch lead to recession?
Nicholas Bloom

The credit crunch may cause another great depression
Nicholas Bloom

The procyclical effects of Basel II
Rafael Repullo and Javier Suarez

Central banks’ function to maintain financial stability: An uncompleted task
Charles Goodhart

Let banks be banks, let investors be investors
Alberto Giovannini

Stormy Weather in the Credit Default Swap Market
Virginie Coutert and Mathieu Gex

Why does the spread between LIBOR and expected future policy rates persist, and should central banks do something about it?
Francesco Giavazzi

Section 3: The proper governmental response

Anatomy of the financial crisis
Barry Eichengreen

The subprime turmoil: What’s old, what’s new, and what’s next
Charles Calomiris

An international perspective on the US bailout
Romain Rancière

Not the end of capitalism
Erik Berglöf and Howard Rosenthal

The effectiveness of fiscal policy depends on the financing and monetary policy mix
Giancarlo Corsetti and Gernot Müller

Fiscal policy and the credit crunch: What will work?
Daniel Gros

Episode V: Expectations strike back
Micael Castanheira

Germany needs high wage settlements and a serious fiscal stimulus
Andrea Boltho and Wendy Carlin

Plan B
Luigi Zingales

Why Paulson is (maybe) right
Charles Wyplosz

A (mild) defence of TARP
Luigi Spaventa

The right alternative to Paulson's plan
Avinash Persaud

The Paulson Plan: A useful first step but nowhere near enough
Willem Buiter

From recapitalisation to restructuring and reforms
Viral Acharya

Why Paulson is wrong
Luigi Zingales

A matched preferred stock plan for government assistance
Charles Calomiris

An emerging consensus against the Paulson Plan: Government should force bank capital up, not just socialise the bad loans
Jeffrey Frankel

Banks’ losses and capital: The new version of the paradox of Achilles and the tortoise
Marco Onado

TARP2: A totally alternative relief programme
Ricardo Cesari

Involving European citizens in the benefits of the rescue plan: The political paradoxes of bank socialism
Tito Boeri

What is a reverse auction?
Marco Pagano

‘No recourse’ and ‘put options’: Estimating the ‘fair value’ of US mortgage assets
Daniel Gros

Bringing money markets back to life
Javier Suarez

The other part of the bailout: Pricing and evaluating the US and UK loan guarantees
Viral Acharya and Raghu Sundaram

The beginning of the end game…
Daniel Gros and Stefano Micossi

Financial crisis resolution: It’s all about burden-sharing
Charles Wyplosz

Is the euro area facing a credit crunch or a credit squeeze?
Guillermo de la Dehesa

Global financial crisis: How long? How deep?
Stijn Claessens, M Ayhan Kose and Marco Terrones

The cost of resolving financial crises
Luc Laeven

Financial crisis management: Lessons from Japan’s failure
Keiichiro Kobayashi

And now the Great Depression
Barry Eichengreen

Financial markets and a lender of last resort
Eric Hughson and Marc Weidenmier

Too many bankers?
Esther Duflo



Thursday, June 4, 2009

J. K. Rowling - Quidditch Through the Ages

J. K. Rowling - Quidditch Through the Ages
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing | ISBN: 0747554714 | edition 2001 | PDF | 42 pages | 3,2 mb

Quidditch Through the Ages is both a fictional book described in the Harry Potter series of novels by the British author J. K. Rowling, and a real book by that author, although her name is only stated in the book as the copyright holder of the "Harry Potter"-name. The real book purports to be a reproduction of a copy of the fictional book held in the Hogwarts library, written by Kennilworthy Whisp.

Within the fictional world of Harry Potter, Quidditch Through the Ages is written by Kennilworthy Whisp, a renowned Quidditch expert.

The book traces the history of Quidditch, as well as the earliest broom-based games. According to Madam Pince, the copy in the Hogwarts library is "pawed about, dribbled on, and generally maltreated" nearly every day, which Albus Dumbledore says is high praise for any book. Harry Potter enjoyed this book. When Severus Snape caught Harry outside the school with this book in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, he invented the rule that no library books were allowed outside the school, and took it.

Although the book predates Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, which takes place in 1991, the book contains numerous anachronisms such as comments on the outcome of many matches played, and in particular, an interesting game in 1994.

In the Harry Potter universe, Kennilworthy Whisp is a Quidditch expert and fanatic who has written many books about the sport, including Wigtown Wanderers, He Flew Like a Madman, Beating the Bludgers - A Study of Defensive Strategies in Quidditch, and Quidditch Through the Ages. He lives in Nottinghamshire, where he divides his time with "wherever the Wigtown Wanderers are playing this week." His hobbies include backgammon, vegetarian cookery, and collecting vintage broomsticks as well.

In 2001 Rowling penned two companion books to the Harry Potter series, Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, for British charity and off-shoot of Live Aid, Comic Relief[2] with all of her royalties going to the charity. As of July 2008, the books combined are estimated to have earned over $30 million for Comic Relief.[3] The two books have since been made available in hardcover.

J. K. Rowling - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

J. K. Rowling - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Publisher: Topeka Bindery | ISBN: 0613325419 | edition 2001 | PDF | 152 pages | 3,2 mb

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a 2001 book written by English author J. K. Rowling to benefit the charity Comic Relief. Over 80% of the cover price of each book sold goes directly to poor children in various places around the world. According to Comic Relief, sales from this book and its companion Quidditch Through the Ages have raised £15.7 million. In a 2001 interview with publisher Scholastic, Rowling stated that she chose the subject of magical creatures because it was a fun topic for which she had already developed a lot of information. Rowling's name does not appear on the cover of the book, the work being credited under the pseudonym "Newt Scamander".

Fantastic Beasts purports to be a reproduction copy of a textbook owned by Harry Potter and written by magizoologist Newt Scamander, a fictional character in the Harry Potter series of novels. In the series, Magizoology is the study of magical creatures.

Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts, provides the Foreword and explains to the reader the purpose of the special edition of this book (the Comic Relief charity). At the end, he tells us Muggles that "...the amusing creatures described hereafter are fictional and cannot hurt you." To his Wizarding community, he says, "Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus", which is the Hogwarts motto. The phrase is Latin for "Never Tickle A Sleeping Dragon".

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them contains the history of Magizoology and describes 75 magical species found around the world. Scamander collected most of the information found in the book through observations made over years of travel and across five continents. The fictional author notes that the first edition was commissioned in 1918 by Mr Augustus Worme of Obscurus Books. However, it was not published until 1927. It is now in its fifty-second edition.

The book is a required textbook for first-year Hogwarts students, having been an approved textbook since its first publication. It is not clear why students need it in their first year, as students do not take Care of Magical Creatures until their third year. However, it may be used as an encyclopaedia of Dark creatures studied in Defence Against the Dark Arts classes. In his foreword to the book, Albus Dumbledore notes that it serves as an excellent reference for Wizarding households in addition to its use at Hogwarts.

A highlight of the book is the numerous doodles and comments in it by Harry and Ron (and one by Hermione). Based on some of their comments, they were written around the time of the fourth book. These doodles add some extra information for fans of the series, for example the "Acromantula" entry has a comment confirming Hogwarts is located in Scotland.

Integrated in the design, the cover of the book appears to have been clawed by some sort of animal.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Kevin D. Mitnick - The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers

Kevin D. Mitnick - The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers
Publisher: Wiley 2005 | ISBN: 0764569597 | PDF | 291 pages | 3,06 mb

It would be difficult to find an author with more credibility than Mitnick to write about the art of hacking. In 1995, he was arrested for illegal computer snooping, convicted and held without bail for two years before being released in 2002. He clearly inspires unusual fear in the authorities and unusual dedication in the legions of computer security dabblers, legal and otherwise. Renowned for his use of "social engineering," the art of tricking people into revealing secure information such as passwords, Mitnick (The Art of Deception) introduces readers to a fascinating array of pseudonymous hackers. One group of friends bilks Las Vegas casinos out of more than a million dollars by mastering the patterns inherent in slot machines; another fellow, less fortunate, gets mixed up with a presumed al-Qaeda–style terrorist; and a prison convict leverages his computer skills to communicate with the outside world, unbeknownst to his keepers. Mitnick's handling of these engrossing tales is exemplary, for which credit presumably goes to his coauthor, writing pro Simon. Given the complexity (some would say obscurity) of the material, the authors avoid the pitfall of drowning readers in minutiae. Uniformly readable, the stories—some are quite exciting—will impart familiar lessons to security pros while introducing lay readers to an enthralling field of inquiry. Agent, David Fugate. (Mar.) (Publishers Weekly, February 14, 2005)

Infamous criminal hacker turned computer security consultant Mitnick offers an expert sequel to his best-selling The Art of Deception, this time supplying real-life rather than fictionalized stories of contemporary hackers sneaking into corporate servers worldwide. Each chapter begins with a computer crime story that reads like a suspense novel; it is a little unnerving to learn how one's bank account is vulnerable to digital thieves or how hackers with an interest in gambling can rake in thousands of dollars in just minutes at a compromised slot machine. The hack revealed, Mitnick then walks readers step by step through a prevention method. Much like Deception, this book illustrates that hacking techniques can penetrate corporate and government systems protected by state-of-the-art security.
Mitnick's engaging writing style combines intrigue, entertainment, and education. As with Deception, information technology professionals can learn how to detect and prevent security breaches, while informed readers can sit back and enjoy the stories of cybercrime. Recommended for most public and academic libraries.--Joe Accardi, William Rainey Harper Coll. Lib., Palatine, IL (Library Journal, January 15, 2005)

Cory Doctorow - Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future

Cory Doctorow - Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future
Publisher: Tachyon Publications 2008 | ISBN: 1892391813 | PDF | 224 pages | 4,01 mb

Doctorow here proves he’s smart, funny, and good at accessibly boiling down issues he’s passionate about. On topics ranging from fanfic (readers’ additions to their favorite authors’ creations, usually online) to the terrible business model Microsoft presents by treating customers like potential thieves from the beginning, Doctorow moves to the forefront of conversations likely to determine how creators and audiences are able to use new technologies. He compares Internet content-management problems to similar technological snafus—such as the transition from live performance to radio, and from manuscript to printed books—and how the established order of the day reacted, demonstrating his grasp of the ways in which history repeats itself and how we can use the lessons of history to cope with further changes in the exchange of information. Doctorow excels in writing short forms, the essay no less than the short story, making this collection a pleasure to read, not to mention thought-provoking. --Regina Schroeder


1. Microsoft Research DRM Talk

2. The DRM Sausage Factory

3. Happy Meal Toys versus Copyright: How America Chose Hollywood and Wal-Mart, and Why It’s Doomed Us, and How We Might Survive Anyway

4. Why Is Hollywood Making a Sequel to the Napster Wars?

5. You DO Like Reading Off a Computer Screen

6. How Do You Protect Artists?

7. It’s the Information Economy, Stupid

8. Downloads Give Amazon Jungle Fever

9. What’s the Most Important Right Creators Have?

10. Giving it Away

11. Science Fiction is the Only Literature People Care Enough About to Steal on the Internet

12. How Copyright Broke

13. In Praise of Fanfic

14. Metacrap: Putting the Torch to Seven Straw-Men of the Meta-Utopia

15. Amish for QWERTY

16. Ebooks: Neither E, Nor Books

17. Free(konomic) Ebooks

18. The Progressive Apocalypse and Other Futurismic Delights

19. When the Singularity is More Than a Literary Device: An Interview with Futurist-Inventor Ray Kurzweil

20. Wikipedia: A Genuine HG2G — Minus the Editors

21. Warhol Is Turning in His Grave

22. The Future of Ignoring Things

23. Facebook’s Faceplant

24. The Future of Internet Immune Systems

25. All Complex Ecosystems Have Parasites


27. World of Democracycraft

28. Snitchtown

29. About the author