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Stuart Woodward

Yokosuka, Japan
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 19
  • helpful votes
  • 46
  • ratings
  • The Art of Invisibility

  • The World's Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data
  • By: Kevin Mitnick
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,361
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,127
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,124

Like it or not, your every move is being watched and analyzed. Consumers' identities are being stolen, and a person's every step is being tracked and stored. What once might have been dismissed as paranoia is now a hard truth, and privacy is a luxury few can afford or understand. In this explosive yet practical book, Kevin Mitnick illustrates what is happening without your knowledge - and he teaches you "the art of invisibility".

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Limited value for the average person

  • By James C on 10-14-17

Good in parts, solid information.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-04-17

Would you consider the audio edition of The Art of Invisibility to be better than the print version?

I don't know.

Would you be willing to try another book from Kevin Mitnick? Why or why not?

Yes. I have been following Kevin Mitnick's career since he first came to notoriety.

What three words best describe Ray Porter’s performance?

I don't really like his intonation and performance.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

It was interesting to hear how far you would have to go to be able to set up a totally anonymous Internet connection. Kudos to anyone who has actually carried this out.

Any additional comments?

I'm really interested in Kevin Mitnick's story but there was little new here for people who are interested in his back story. The information is solid but very much a book which has a limited lifetime due to the advances in IT security tools. After a few years parts will become redundant.If you keep up with computer security then you should already know all of the information presented.There were only a few instances when I came across something new. A beginner would gain a lot but the information overload might overwhelm them. A good book to give a security unaware decision maker to persuade them to take security seriously and hire someone who understands all this stuff.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Scale

  • The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life, in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies
  • By: Geoffrey West
  • Narrated by: Bruce Mann
  • Length: 19 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 514
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 449
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 445

Visionary physicist Geoffrey West is a pioneer in the field of complexity science, the science of emergent systems and networks. The term complexity can be misleading, however, because what makes West's discoveries so beautiful is that he has found an underlying simplicity that unites the seemingly complex and diverse phenomena of living systems, including our bodies, our cities, and our businesses.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating and clear enough for a lib arts major

  • By kwdayboise (Kim Day) on 05-29-17
  • Scale
  • The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life, in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies
  • By: Geoffrey West
  • Narrated by: Bruce Mann

Interesting take on biology and science in general

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-23-17

Would you listen to Scale again? Why?

Yes. I have listened to most of it more than once and have participated in group discussions with a group of friends. It is a long book but covers a lot of interesting science in an approachable manner.

What did you like best about this story?

I thought it was interesting how the main topic of scale was demonstrated over various disparate scientific and economic fields.

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

I don't remember. No complaints about the reader though some friends commented on a few words that he pronounced in an unusual way.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. This will take a concerted effort over several days to complete.

Any additional comments?

If you are not sure about the topic but like science in general then do give it a try. There are lots of diversions into other fields and history of the people mentioned so it is a good general science read. The author is witty and quite pragmatic and thoughtful about approaching old age so older readers might find some of his comments poignant and meaningful.

I found that I needed to follow the text of the book too so I used the Kindle version in conjunction.

  • The Interstellar Age

  • The Story of the NASA Men and Women Who Flew the Forty-Year Voyager Mission
  • By: Jim Bell
  • Narrated by: Jim Bell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 210
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 196
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 195

The story of the men and women who drove the Voyager spacecraft mission, told by a scientist who was there from the beginning. The Voyager spacecraft are our farthest-flung emissaries--11.3 billion miles away from the crew who built and still operate them decades after their launch.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exciting, Inspiring, and interesting.

  • By JoR on 03-19-15

Plodding account of the Voyager Mission

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-05-15

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I don't think I could recommend this to my friends as it is just too slow and detailed. Jim has obviously had an interesting career but the the details of the behind the scenes work at the Voyager program was not so interesting in the end. I did learn a few interesting facts but I the story was not as compelling as I hoped it would be.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Thank god it is over.

What three words best describe Jim Bell’s performance?

Soporific. Monotonous. Honest.

Did The Interstellar Age inspire you to do anything?

I was not inspired.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Spy Among Friends

  • Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal
  • By: Ben Macintyre
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 11 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,155
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,038
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,035

Kim Philby was the greatest spy in history, a brilliant and charming man who rose to head Britain's counterintelligence against the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War - while he was secretly working for the enemy. And nobody thought he knew Philby like Nicholas Elliott, Philby's best friend and fellow officer in MI6.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Greatest Spy -- Ever Discovered

  • By Michael Eaton on 07-30-14

Interesting history of a time of different world.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-13-15

What did you love best about A Spy Among Friends?

The cold war tensions are now dissolved. With the collapse of the Soviet Union it is unlikely that there are any spies motivated by socialist ideological ideals anymore. The book give an interesting peak into the motivations of communists within the Establishment from before the war to the 1960s.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kim Philby's father. He seems like a wild character, I'd like to read about him too.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The Great Betrayal or how the Establishment behave behind closed doors.

Any additional comments?

I didn't really appreciate the accents. It's a factual story and I don't need to here Russians speaking in comedy Russian accents. I wasn't sure if the narrator was imitating William Hague or whether that was his natural accent as he seemed to go out of character at times.

  • Ghost in the Wires

  • My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker
  • By: Kevin Mitnick, William L. Simon
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 13 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,580
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,816
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,833

Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world’s biggest companies—and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great listen for tech fans

  • By Mikeyxote on 06-01-12

A must listen for those interested in IT security

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-22-11

Kevin Mitnick's story told in full for the first time. An almost unbelievable story of high tech deception.

However, I wish they had had Kevin Mitnick read the book himself.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Steve Jobs

  • The Exclusive Biography
  • By: Walter Isaacson
  • Narrated by: Dylan Baker, Walter Isaacson (introduction)
  • Length: 25 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,246
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,956
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,970

In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Walter Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs' professional and personal life. Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs' family members and key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, this is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • More man, less tech, might have made a better book

  • By john on 11-24-11

Great story, fine reader.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-04-11

Firstly, I don't really understand the complaints about the reader. I thought he was fine.

This is a great book, very timely and obviously one of Steve Jobs last works with him commissioning it so that his story would be told, warts and all. I couldn't put it down.

It so sad to think that we hoped Steve Jobs would show up for the announcement of the iPhone 4S when he was in fact so close to death. The book details the back story behind the releases of the iPhone and iPad and you get the impression that Jobs put all of his strength into them once he knew that his time was limited. The impending tragedy of his early death in some way contributed to some of his greatest achievements.

Only being a recent Mac convert, much of the early history was new to me. I probably disliked Steve Jobs and Bill Gates equally throughout the 90s but my impressions of them changed throughout the book. I really have a much greater respect for Bill Gates as a result of the character that is revealed in the book. I feel I have understood what Steve Jobs was about and what he was trying to achieve. Steve Wozniak comes across as the wonderful Tom Bombadill character that we know and love.

It' s hard to summarize what I feel about Steve Jobs. So much to admire, but such a flawed character. Very thought provoking story.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Terminal Spy

  • A True Story of Espionage, Betrayal and Murder
  • By: Alan S. Cowell
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 14 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 22

On November 1, 2006, Alexander Litvinenko sipped tea in London's Millennium Hotel. Hours later, the Russian former intelligence officer, who was sharply critical of Russian president Vladimir Putin, fell ill, and within days was rushed to the hospital. Fatally poisoned by a rare radioactive isotope slipped into his drink, Litvinenko issued a dramatic deathbed statement accusing Vladimir Putin himself of engineering his murder.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Slow but gets there in the end.

  • By Stuart Woodward on 10-23-11

Slow but gets there in the end.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-23-11

The initial part of the book is detailed and slow going but the story picks up when it gets to the hunt for the Polonium around London and into Europe. While it covers Russian politics and intrigue in great depth we are never really sure, even at the end, who, if anyone, authorized the poisoning but with such a full exposition of the background and facts the listener is well equipped to come to their own conclusion and realize why we may never know the full details of the story.

The chapters regarding Polonium should be required reading for anyone involved in public safety.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Too Far From Home

  • A Story of Life and Death in Space
  • By: Chris Jones
  • Narrated by: Erik Davies
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 116
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57

In November 2002, U.S. astronauts Donald Pettit and Kenneth Bowersox, and Russian flight engineer Nikolai Budarin, left on what was to be a routine 14-week mission to maintain the International Space Station. But then, on February 1, 2003, the Columbia space shuttle exploded beneath them. With the launch program suspended indefinitely, these astronauts had suddenly lost their ride home.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very good story

  • By Dan on 06-12-07

Details America's partnership with Russia in Space

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-14-10

I learnt a lot about the recent partnership between America and Russia and how the International Space Station came about. The most memorable part of the story for me was the detailed description of life on the Mir Space Station which was much scarier than I had imagined.

The book also shows the difference between the mentality of the Cosmonauts and Astronauts and between NASA and the Russian space agency. I have greater respect for both sides now.

Even though the prose was a bit long winded at times I'm definitely going to listen again.

  • The Age of Entanglement

  • When Quantum Physics was Reborn
  • By: Louisa Gilder
  • Narrated by: Walter Dixon
  • Length: 14 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 274
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 162
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 164

A brilliantly original and richly illuminating exploration of entanglement, the seemingly telepathic communication between two separated particles - one of the fundamental concepts of quantum physics.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A nice mix of theory and history.

  • By Mark Davey on 06-03-10

A Trek Through The History of Quantum Physics

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-23-10

Listening to how the ideas developed really gives you an insight into the personalities of the familiar characters in the world of Quantum Physicists and an appreciation that some of today's accepted dogma was highly controversial at the time it was proposed and split the community into believers and non-believers.

I really enjoyed the narration but I'm going to have to re-listen at least one more time as the gentle tones of the reader lulled me into sleep several times on my train commute and bedtime read.

Recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Why England Lose

  • And Other Curious Phenomena Explained
  • By: Simon Kuper, Stefan Szymanski
  • Narrated by: Colin Mace
  • Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    0 out of 5 stars 0
  • Story
    0 out of 5 stars 0

Why do England lose? Why does Scotland suck? Why doesn’t America play the sport internationally… and why do the Germans play with such an efficient but robotic style?

Using insights and analogies from economics, statistics, psychology and business to cast a new and entertaining light on how the game works, "Why England Lose" reveals the often surprisingly counterintuitive truths about soccer.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Book except for the tables

  • By Stuart Woodward on 07-08-10

Great Book except for the tables

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-08-10

If the commentators of the UK World Cup games had read this, their analysis would be much more grounded as most of the popular soccer fallacies are thoroughly statistically debunked.

However many large tables are read out verbatim. The conclusions are fascinating but reading out rows of figures just doesn't work in an audiobook.

This is a must listen for fans of UK soccer. It is both educational and amusing. I spurted out my coffee on one occasion.

I'll never look at soccer in the same way again.