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Wade T. Brooks

Portland, OR, USA | Member Since 2010

47
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 49 reviews
  • 91 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
6

  • Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who Are Bringing Down the Internet

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Joseph Menn
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (185)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (92)

    In this disquieting cyber thriller, Joseph Menn takes readers into the murky hacker underground, traveling the globe from San Francisco to Costa Rica and London to Russia. His guides are California surfer and computer whiz Barrett Lyon and a fearless British high-tech agent. Through these heroes, Menn shows the evolution of cyber-crime from small-time thieving to sophisticated, organized gangs, who began by attacking corporate websites but increasingly steal financial data from consumers.

    Wade T. Brooks says: "A Great Book"
    "A Great Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you think the Internet is secure in any way, shape or form you should probably read this book (non-fiction). This is not about the old school hacking talents of Cap'n Crunch (John Draper), Phiber Optik (Mark Abene), or Condor (Kevin Mitnick) but a syndicated group of virus writers who have gone professional. It is a world wide epidemic of extortion and identity theft, primarily based in Russia and neighboring city states. The US Government has ranked it the largest and most important criminal activity surpassing the drug trade. A few folks have been put in prison but most remain at large and active.

    It starts with the history of DDOS extortion attacks (distributed denial-of-service) against gambling and fortune 500 companies i.e. pay us x dollars or we will bring down your website at a critical time - right before the super bowl, a new product launch etc., and migrates to massive online identity and credit card theft. The FTC estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year.

    The links between organized crime and governments, specifically the FSB (the successor of the KGB) and their protection of the hacker networks is outlined in detail.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Anything

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Daniel Coyle
    • Narrated By John Farrell
    Overall
    (710)
    Performance
    (348)
    Story
    (348)

    New research has revealed that myelin, once considered an inert form of insulation for brain cells, may be the holy grail of acquiring skill. Journalist Daniel Coyle spent years investigating talent hotbeds, interviewing world-class practitioners (top soccer players, violinists, fighter, pilots, artists, and bank robbers) and neuroscientists. In clear, accessible language, he presents a solid strategy for skill acquisition.

    Stephen says: "Anecdotes presented as data"
    "Interesting Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting, it focuses on how our brains work for learning new information, specifically the effect of myelin in neuro pathways.

    I would have liked a little more meat but there are some pearls around accelerated learning, deep study and teaching.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Robert Frank
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (133)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    The rich have always been different from you and me, but this revealing and funny journey through Richistan entertainingly shows that they are more different than ever. Richistanis have 400-foot-yachts, 30,000-square-foot homes, house staffs of more than 100, and their own "arborists". They're also different from Old Money, and have torn down blue-blood institutions to build their own shining empire.

    Kenneth says: "Enjoyable Read"
    "Interesting Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting. I would like to see an addendum/update/v2.0 with the aftermath of the 2008/9 market meltdown and the effect that had on the different groups in this study.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Norm Brodsky, Bo Burlingham
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    Overall
    (576)
    Performance
    (181)
    Story
    (186)

    People starting out in business tend to seek step-by-step formulas or specific rules, but in reality there are no magic bullets. Rather, says veteran entrepreneur Norm Brodsky, there's a mentality that helps street-smart people solve problems and pursue opportunities as they arise. He calls it "the knack" and it has made all the difference to the eight successful start-ups of his career.

    morton says: "Practical Advice with Real Life Examples"
    "A Good Primer?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was thinking of using this book to help people with entrepreneurship but it's a little too basic. If you don't know anything about starting or running a business this might be a good primer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 101 Theory Drive: A Neuroscientist's Quest for Memory

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Terry McDermott
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (52)

    It's not fiction: Gary Lynch is the real thing, the epitome of the rebel scientist - malnourished, contentious, inspiring, explosive, remarkably ambitious, consistently brilliant. He is one of the foremost figures of contemporary neuroscience, and his decades-long quest to understand the inner workings of the brain's memory machine has begun to pay off.

    Joe says: "Fascinating tale of a scientific maverick's lab"
    "Great Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mechanisms of synaptic plasticity: LTP, glutamate receptors and cell adhesion molecules, oh my....

    Fascinating book about neurobiologist Gary Lynch at UC Irvine, the way the brain records memory, and quite a bit about how academic science and publishing works. As a bonus: brain drugs and possible cures for diseases including ADHD and alzheimer's. WAIT THAT'S NOT ALL, if you order right now.... mapping of the brain and an overview of the startup biotech craze of the '90s.

    For as much technical neurobiology as is in this book (and not being a neurobiologist) the story was very engrossing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter than the Few

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By James Surowiecki
    • Narrated By Erik Singer
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (23)

    In this endlessly fascinating book, New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea that has profound implications: large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant. Groups are better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future.

    Hamad says: "great discourse on group dynamics...."
    "Non-intuitive insightful stuff, certainly worth it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Non-intuitive insightful stuff - certainly worth reading. A good case is made for why diverse groups in knowledge, expertise and experience, etc. perform better than homogeneous group, even a group of experts, in making predictions and finding solutions. The types of problems that can be addressed by groups (cognition, coordination, and cooperation) and the best framework for accurate results.

    Practical examples from historical problems including the space shuttle accident, 9/11 intelligence gathering, finding a lost US Navy sub filled with nuclear warheads, stock market bubbles and crashes, etc.

    Some useful information on why and how prediction markets works.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Noam Chomsky
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (288)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (61)

    The United States has repeatedly asserted its right to intervene militarily against "failed states" around the globe. In this much-anticipated sequel to his international best seller Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky turns the tables, charging the United States with being a "failed state", and therefore a danger to its own people and the world.

    Todd says: "Incredible and Unforgettable"
    "Same Old Chomsky"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've read any of Chomsky's stuff he makes good points, follows them up with lots of evidence and then beats that dead horse for another 10 chapters. This is more of the same. The last book of his I read was Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Full Spectrum Dominance. I picked this up thinking it might be something new and interesting, but was disappointed, it is an updated version of what he always says. It's not bad and I don't disagree with him, it's just not very enlightening to hear the same old shtick.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Mary Roach
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1633)
    Performance
    (888)
    Story
    (880)

    Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? Have sex? Smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour?

    Roy says: "Everything You Always Wanted to Know - and More"
    "Recreational Reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There were a few interesting tidbits in this book. It is ostensibly a serious book about space travel and going to mars but it felt more like a book written for teenagers. To that point, the author is fascinated with '€˜poop'€™, '€˜pee'€™ and sex in space. Clearly these are topics that are important, especially if you are planning a long term trip in outer space, but I was looking for something with a little more substance. I'€™ll categorize it as recreational reading where you gain a few answers to trivial pursuit questions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc. - How the Working Poor Became Big Business

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Gary Rivlin
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (25)

    For most people, the Great Crash of 2008 has meant troubling times. Not so for those in the flourishing poverty industry, for whom the economic woes spell an opportunity to expand and grow. These mercenary entrepreneurs have taken advantage of an era of deregulation to devise high-priced products to sell to the credit-hungry working poor, including the instant tax refund and the payday loan. In the process, they've created an industry larger than the casino business.

    Wade T. Brooks says: "A Good Read"
    "A Good Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is about all the business that were built around payday loans, pawn shop loans, credit cards, bounced check fees, subprime mortgages and instant tax refunds. The author interviews numerous business owners and borrowers to get insights into how prevalent, lucrative and damaging these businesses are.

    Although written to be a book of what-not-to-do it may well become a guide for those who want to make big money quickly. From the interviews it was readily apparent the market demand and margins were through the roof and a number of the now millionaires were average Joes who hung out a shingle, plowed their earning into opening more stores and made a fortune.

    A good part of the book revolves around a few key figures that have been fighting the industry and the small inroads they have made against behemoth money makers that have been purchased by large multi-national banks or had successful IPOs.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    Overall
    (950)
    Performance
    (433)
    Story
    (428)

    This audiobook is about luck, or more precisely, how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. It is already a landmark work, and its title has entered our vocabulary. In its second edition, Fooled by Randomness is now a cornerstone for anyone interested in random outcomes.

    Amazon Customer says: "An Excellent and Worthwhile Book"
    "Pass on this one and read The Black Swan"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Taleb's master work and must read is The Black Swan (not the movie) and it's amazing. This is a sparse shadow of that book.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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