Author: Biz India

Book Review: Web Application Security: A Beginner’s Guide

Authors: Bryan Sullivan and Vincent Liu Publisher: McGraw-Hill  – 331  pages Book Review by:  Venkat Balasubramaniam The dilemma faced by firms that want to avoid intrusion and theft of their secrets (data containing customers’ names, quantities and dollar amounts of their purchases, to give one simple but critical example) by hackers is illustrated by the authors in the story below of  The Wizard, the Giant and the Magic Fruit Trees in the Epilogue of this very useful book. Here is how the story goes: The hero of this story is the wizard, who owns an enchanted orchard planted with fruit trees. The wizard lives in a tower within the orchard. In the tower is a collection of the wizard’s magic scrolls, crystal balls, wands and other valuable materials. The wizard lets people living in a village nearby to pick his fruit and buy his magic potion. But the last time the wizard checked his orchard, he was shocked and dismayed to find that most of his trees had been wrecked. To protect his fruit trees from intruders, the wizard had a moat built around his orchard.   The moat contained hot lava. The problem though was that the moat also kept away the good villagers who came to pick his fruit and buy the magic potion from him. So the wizard got his friend the giant to help him. The...

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Book Review: Take Back Time – Bringing Time Management to Medicine

Author: Judy Capko Publisher:  Greenbranch Publishing -150   pages Book Review by: Nano Khilnani Bad time management hurts doctors financially as they fail to serve an adequate number of patients, or fail to serve each of them adequately, resulting in loss of patients and thereby, revenue. The goodwill that doctors build up with patients is invaluable for long-term, ongoing income, as well as new revenue gained through referrals by satisfied patients. Gaining new patients to replace those lost costs money, time, and effort. I fired my ex-doctor because I could no longer bear her repeated offenses of making me wait and wait and wait in her constantly crowded waiting room and her being late half an hour or more beyond the set appointment time. My time, even as most of my appointments were after 6 pm, was as valuable as hers’ if not more. She failed to respect it, and as a consequence, lost my respect for her. I got rid of her as my doctor because she would also want to see me unnecessarily, only to make money. When I asked her the results of my blood tests, rather than briefly discuss them with me over the phone, she would insist on seeing me in person. It made no sense for me to waste further time and pay her as well for wasting it. Many of her patients called...

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Book Review: Security Metrics: A Beginner’s Guide

Author: Caroline Wong Publisher: McGraw-Hill – 397 pages Book Review by: Venkat Subramaniam This book is not only easy to read and to understand, but it is thoughtfully organized in a highly systematic way. More than an ordinary book on measuring information security levels in an organization and taking the necessary steps to enhance it, this is a detailed reference work on the many aspects, imperatives and nuances of security. It has a short two-page table of contents followed by a nine-page, detailed outline and description of what you will find within its pages, enabling you to quickly get to the chapter and page of the topic you’re looking to find out more about. Or, you may first want to read it chapter by chapter to gain as much information as you want. Then, you can more closely read the chapter and-or the topics on which you seek to get detailed information and develop close understanding and insight on. This almost 400-page guide covers numerous areas of security in its nine parts and 17 chapters, from the why of measuring security and the risks you take if your company is not protected from threats and intrusion, all the way to what precautions you need to take in the relatively new world of cloud computing. Part I entitled “Why Security Metrics?” helps you understand the imperatives of information security and...

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Book Review: Southeast Asia in the New International Era

Authors: Robert Dayley and Clark D. Neher Publisher:  Westview Press (A Member of the Perseus Book Group) – 330 pages Book Review by:  Sonu Chandiram Southeast Asia, a region with about 590 million people (2011 UN population estimate) is defined by the authors of this book as consisting of these eleven countries: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. I asked myself why Hong Kong and Taiwan were not included in this group and I could not find the answer. I have visited and lived in seven of these thirteen countries and one major characteristic is ironically predominant – their diversity. The authors make this point very clear at the outset of this book. These nations of Southeast Asia are about as diverse as they can be in terms of arts, beliefs, customs, dress, economics, food, gross domestic product, human capital, income, languages, mores, natural resources, organized institutions, politics, religions, social behavior, traditions, and just about any other type of comparison. The authors point out that these nations have different cultures, histories, political systems and resource bases, both human and natural. Most people from the West however, are not able to discern these differences. (It’s funny that almost all Asians are termed “Orientals” in Western print news media. So, should all people from Europe and the Americas be termed “Occidentals”?)  That is understandable, just...

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Book Review: Once Upon a Car: The Fall and resurrection of America’s Big Three Automakers – GM., Ford and Chrysler

Author: Bill Vlasic Publisher: William Morrow (An Imprint of HarperCollins  – 394 pages Book Review by:  Sonu Chandiram Bill Vlasic is an award-winning reporter alright but what first struck me as I started to read this book is his ability to hold the reader’s attention. So, add narrative-writing skills to his reporting prowess. I wholeheartedly agree with USA Today’s description of his previous book Taken for a Ride as “a fascinating page-turning read.” In my opinion, that description applies to Once Upon a Car as well. This book relates the historic true story of how two of America’s largest automakers – General Motors and Chrysler – nearly went out of business but were rescued with billions of dollars of taxpayer “bailout” money, and how the third largest U.S. car company Ford was saved from asking for a bailout with thoughtful and clever management by a newly-hired executive, Alan Mulally. This engaging chronicle of events covers the period from 2005 to the recent past and it is rich in descriptions of the scenes, the people and their remarks in corporate offices, factory floors, labor union halls and places in Washington D.C., including the U.S. Capitol and the Oval Office in the White House. It includes key decisions that helped the companies stay in business and saved millions of jobs. Among them were Rick Wagoner’s forced resignation as a condition for...

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