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Wade T. Brooks

Portland, OR, USA
  • 49
  • reviews
  • 90
  • helpful votes
  • 100
  • ratings
  • Fatal System Error

  • The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who Are Bringing Down the Internet
  • By: Joseph Menn
  • Narrated by: Christian Rummel
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 326
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 218
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 221

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Book

  • By Wade T. Brooks on 06-25-12

A Great Book

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

Reviewed: 06-25-12

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Talent Code

  • Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Anything
  • By: Daniel Coyle
  • Narrated by: John Farrell
  • Length: 6 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,923
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,254
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,232

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The five things that stuck out to me in the "The Talent Code"

  • By Jason on 09-15-16

Interesting Book

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

Reviewed: 06-25-12

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.

  • Richistan

  • A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich
  • By: Robert Frank
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 166
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 55
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 55

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.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable Read

  • By Kenneth on 07-15-07

Interesting Book

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

Reviewed: 06-25-12

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.

  • The Knack

  • How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up
  • By: Norm Brodsky, Bo Burlingham
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 607
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 208
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 214

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Practical Advice with Real Life Examples

  • By morton on 10-24-08

A Good Primer?

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

Reviewed: 06-25-12

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.

  • 101 Theory Drive

  • A Neuroscientist's Quest for Memory
  • By: Terry McDermott
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 163
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 61

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating tale of a scientific maverick's lab

  • By Joe on 04-18-10

Great Read

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

Reviewed: 06-25-12

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Wisdom of Crowds

  • Why the Many Are Smarter than the Few
  • By: James Surowiecki
  • Narrated by: Erik Singer
  • Length: 5 hrs and 44 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 194
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 44

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.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • great discourse on group dynamics....

  • By Hamad on 08-12-04

Non-intuitive insightful stuff, certainly worth it

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

Reviewed: 06-25-12

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.

  • Failed States

  • The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy
  • By: Noam Chomsky
  • Narrated by: Alan Sklar
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 369
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 131
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Incredible and Unforgettable

  • By Todd on 11-28-08

Same Old Chomsky

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

Reviewed: 06-25-12

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 5 people found this review helpful

  • Packing for Mars

  • The Curious Science of Life in the Void
  • By: Mary Roach
  • Narrated by: Sandra Burr
  • Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,702
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,764
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,760

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?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know - and More

  • By Roy on 09-22-10

Recreational Reading

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

Reviewed: 06-25-12

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Broke, USA

  • From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc. - How the Working Poor Became Big Business
  • By: Gary Rivlin
  • Narrated by: Scott Sowers
  • Length: 12 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 70
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 45

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.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Good Read

  • By Wade T. Brooks on 06-25-12

A Good Read

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

Reviewed: 06-25-12

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Fooled by Randomness

  • The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
  • By: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,987
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,159
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,147

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Excellent and Worthwhile Book

  • By Amazon Customer on 02-15-13

Pass on this one and read The Black Swan

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

Reviewed: 06-25-12

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.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful