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Lyle

Houston, TX, United States | Member Since 2010

ratings
80
REVIEWS
13
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
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HELPFUL VOTES
38

  • Schneier on Security

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Bruce Schneier, Ken Maxon
    • Narrated By Ken Maxon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (52)

    Presenting invaluable advice from the world's most famous computer security expert, this intensely readable collection features some of the most insightful and informative coverage of the strengths and weaknesses of computer security and the price people pay - figuratively and literally - when security fails. Discussing the issues surrounding things such as airplanes, passports, voting machines, ID cards, cameras, passwords, Internet banking, sporting events, computers, and castles, this book is a must-read for anyone who values security at any level - business, technical, or personal.

    Lyle says: "Please don't"
    "Please don't"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Schneier on Security?

    Bought this based on his reputation as an expert; had never before read any of his books or articles. After listening to this I do not consider him worthy of his reputation. This is a so-called "security expert" who admittedly operates an open wifi network at his home, and who disparages 2-factor authentication as a waste of time because (paraphrasing) if you use it criminals will just find another way to break into your system. It seems Mr. Schneier is not so much a security expert as an advocate for new, unenforceable laws that will somehow give you control over any and all information pertaining to you (seriously). He is a big fan of using the law to force liability on various entities rather than actual security, as that word is understood by the rest of us. Mixed in with his advocacy for ridiculous, unenforceable and therefore ineffective new legislation are a couple observations like, security has economic implications. Duh. Definitely do not waste your money or time with this book.


    What could Bruce Schneier and Ken Maxon have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Have it written by someone with some expertise in security. The narration was ok I guess, but the reader pronounces (and mispronounces) some of the words very robotically.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Ken Maxon’s performances?

    Probably not


    What character would you cut from Schneier on Security?

    Schneier.


    Any additional comments?

    Terrible.

    12 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Rick Atkinson
    • Narrated By Jeff Riggenbach
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (29)

    Throughout the Gulf War of 1991, unprecedented restrictions on the media’s access to the battlefield kept the true story of that brief, brutal conflict from being told. Now, after two years of intensive research, Rick Atkinson has written what will surely come to be recognized as the definitive chronicle of the war.

    Lyle says: "A very decent account of the gulf war"
    "A very decent account of the gulf war"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes. Gives a pretty detailed account of the sequence of events. I am actually a gulf war vet according to Congress' definition (no direct combat for me though), but I learned a lot of things I hadn't known about it from this book.


    Could you see Crusade being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    One sub-plot has sort of already been done with "Jarhead", but there are a lot of other things that could probably be turned into a movie. And it would probably be a pretty decent film if they did the whole thing.


    Any additional comments?

    One annoying thing is the author's unconcealed political grandstanding at various points. The book would have been a lot better if he could have restrained himself on that point.

    1 of 1 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
    (1672)
    Performance
    (923)
    Story
    (917)

    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"
    "Light on science"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Packing for Mars?

    I expected to learn a lot, but this book is not really geared for engineering and science types. More discussion about vomit and astronaut toilet activities than I expected or wanted.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Mary Roach again?

    Probably not


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Packing for Mars?

    A lot of the vomit and 'ejecta' talk.


    Any additional comments?

    Should really be called "Gross Astronaut Trivia for Non-Scientists".

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • No, They Can't: Why Government Fails - But Individuals Succeed

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Stossel
    • Narrated By John Stossel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (353)
    Performance
    (319)
    Story
    (316)

    The government is not a neutral arbiter of truth. It never has been. It never will be. Doubt everything. John Stossel does. A self-described skeptic, he has dismantled society's sacred cows with unerring common sense. Now he debunks the most sacred of them all: our intuition and belief that government can solve our problems. In No, They Can't, the New York Times best-selling author and Fox News commentator insists that we discard that idea of the "perfect" government - left or right - and retrain our brain to look only at the facts, to rethink our lives as independent individuals - and fast.

    Daniel Cogan says: "Great Book, Must Listen"
    "Reinforcement for the liberty-minded"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I actually enjoyed this book, since I am very much in agreement with Mr. Stossel on most things. I recommend it for those with a small-government mentality if they want to listen to something they already agree with, but I don't have any illusions that it will be particularly persuasive to anyone else.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Jared Diamond
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    Overall
    (236)
    Performance
    (199)
    Story
    (198)

    We human beings share 98 percent of our genes with chimpanzees. Yet humans are the dominant species on the planet - having founded civilizations and religions, developed intricate and diverse forms of communication, learned science, built cities, and created breathtaking works of art - while chimps remain animals concerned primarily with the basic necessities of survival. What is it about that two percent difference in DNA that has created such a divergence between evolutionary cousins?

    Mark says: "Up to the usual high standard"
    "Caution: Huge Political Agenda"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Third Chimpanzee?

    It's not a science work, it's a political one. Humans are evil and destroying the planet, we must act quickly to reverse the damage we're causing to our planet, yadda yadda yadda. If you like Al Gore's horse dung book


    Has The Third Chimpanzee turned you off from other books in this genre?

    After buying this book based solely on the editor's review, I have learned a lesson. Specifically, I wish I'd read the prologue too, which I will do in the future. In addition, I will hesitate to buy any more books without reader reviews.I thought this would be an interesting book about evolution and our genetic similarity to chimps. Don't be fooled, that's not really the subject.


    Have you listened to any of Rob Shapiro’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The reader was good, no complaints about the presentation, just the content.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disgust, disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    Shouldn't be in the science category at all. If there were a Junk Science category however, it would fit right in.

    13 of 67 people found this review helpful
  • Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One: Second Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Thomas Sowell
    • Narrated By Bill Wallace
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (71)

    Applied Economics is an accessible guide to how our economic decisions develop. It explains the application of economics to major world problems, including housing, medical care, discrimination, and the economic development of nations. The book is based on an international view of economics, includes examples from around the world, and shows how certain incentives and constraints produce similar outcomes among disparate peoples and cultures.

    Eunice says: "Look at the long term...it's important!"
    "Read it twice"
    Overall

    I read Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics before this one, and it is a good follow up. It does repeat a lot of the same themes covered in BE but with more focus on the long-run effects of policies that may appear to pay off in the short run. He also does diverge somewhat towards the end in his discussion about immigration, but it's still good analysis even if he sort of goes off on a tangent. Sowell is a master teacher, able to explain economics without charts and graphs and be understood.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Chatter: Dispatches from the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Patrick Radden Keefe
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (39)

    In Chatter, Patrick Radden Keefe investigates the international eavesdropping alliance known as Echelon, sorting facts from conspiracy theories to determine just how much privacy Americans unknowingly sacrifice in the name of greater security.

    Eric says: "Really neat look at intelligence gathering/secrecy"
    "Good"
    Overall

    Robertson Dean was the perfect choice as narrator for this book. The author does a good job of informing about echelon, but due to the secretive nature of it there's just not all that much red meat in the book. Still, I found it interesting and worth reading. A book on this topic could easily have turned out to be a kooky conspiracy theory trash-can liner, but it's not.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Tamim Ansary
    • Narrated By Tamim Ansary
    Overall
    (387)
    Performance
    (248)
    Story
    (241)

    Until about 1800, the West and the Islamic realm were like two adjacent, parallel universes, each assuming itself to be the center of the world while ignoring the other. As Europeans colonized the globe, the two world histories intersected and the Western narrative drove the other one under. The West hardly noticed, but the Islamic world found the encounter profoundly disrupting.

    Blake says: "Explains the clash between Islam and the West"
    "Excellent"
    Overall

    The content and narration of this book are both excellent. Author does a superb job of telling a story and educating the listener about history from a different point of view. I was a little apprehensive at first that it might be just a smear of the west in general and the U.S. in particular, but that was not the case at all. A very worthwhile listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2556)
    Performance
    (1283)
    Story
    (1287)

    Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.”

    Tina says: "Another wonderful Bryson"
    "Held my interest"
    Overall

    The author did a decent job of holding my interest with the content of the book. Be aware that the book is basically a collection of trivia, related (sometimes tenuously) to various rooms in the home. So if you like historical trivia you'll probably like this. For content, I would have probably gone to 4 stars but the author's narration didn't work that well for me. He read a little bit fast at times and does not always enunciate very clearly, so I suspect some people might have to rewind this one a lot. Also, his accent and voice are of the sort people are apt to either love or hate. So listen to the preview first.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Garry Wills
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    In Bomb Power, Garry Wills reveals how the atomic bomb transformed our nation down to its deepest constitutional roots - by dramatically increasing the power of the modern presidency and redefining the government as a national security state---in ways still felt today. A masterful reckoning from one of America's preeminent historians, Bomb Power draws a direct line from the Manhattan Project to the usurpations of George W. Bush.

    stpal001 says: "Origins of the national security state"
    "Don't waste a credit on this one"
    Overall

    If you like lame conspiracy theories, read this. If you're looking for the most basic facts to support the author's vague implications, or anything resembling arguments backed up by evidence, sorry. I didn't get very far into this one before I had to turn it off. The narrator does a good job of making everything sound ominous, though, so kudos to him for his dramatic intonation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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