Books for the beach – 10 titles for techies
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Summer is with us, or at least it should be once the rains stops, and it’s getting to that time of year when we all take the customary two week break away from the stress and the strains of work and the modern world. Trouble is, once we’re away from it, we start to miss it.
Well fear not! We at Register Books are well aware of this phenomenon, and always send our own people off on their annual break with a few titles that will ensure they don’t get too homesick whilst they are sat on that golden beach sipping sangria, thousands of miles away from the grey drudge of home. So have a look through the titles below, and maybe pick yourself up a couple of quirky reads, most with a great 40 per cent discount*, that will guarantee you are never too far away from the world you love.
- SEX.COM: One Domain, Two Men, Twelve Years and the Brutal Battle for the Jewel in the Internet's Crown
What's in a name? For the owner of Sex.com, a cool 100 million a year. With five million page views every day, Sex.com was the most valuable piece of virtual real-estate on the planet and the dubious jewel in the crown of the newborn internet. But the fact that it didn't physically exist didn't mean that it couldn't be stolen. With an ingenious scam - the full details of which have never been revealed until now - lifelong con man Stephen Cohen was able to snatch sex.com and walk into a life of untold wealth and luxury. But Cohen had under-estimated the determination of Gary Kremen, the man he had stolen it from, to get his property back. It would take more than a decade and millions of dollars, but Kremen would see Cohen finally pay for his crimes.
Written by Kieren McCarthy, a regular contributor to The Register, Sex.Com details the extraordinary battle between the two extraordinary men: a Stanford scholar with uncanny foresight; and an uneducated con man with a genius IQ and an unnatural gift for persuasion. The fight pushed each man to the edge, rewrote the law, and shaped the history and development of the internet as we know it.
- Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days
Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days is a collection of interviews with founders of famous technology companies about what happened in the very earliest days. These people are celebrities now.
Where did they get the ideas that made them rich? How did they convince investors to back them? What went wrong, and how did they recover?
Nearly all technical people have thought of one day starting or working for a startup. For them, this book is the closest you can come to being a fly on the wall at a successful startup.
- How to Label a Goat: The Silly Rules & Regulations That are Strangling Britain
Have you ever thrown your arms up in despair while trying to complete an official form and asked yourself "Just what is the point of this?" If so, you're not alone. Red tape in Britain has reached epidemic proportions In just 12 months the Government produced a shocking 3621 pieces of legislation, running to a total of 98,600 pages. That’s 70 times as long as War and Peace! If it wasn't so serious, it would be quite funny.
- 500 of the Most Witty, Acerbic and Erudite Things Ever Said About Politics
Politics continues to fascinate. The political parties may, on the surface, appear very similar in outlook, approach and policies, but underneath they are as tribal as they ever were.
The 500 hand picked quotes in this book take you through the whole political process, from defining what politics is through to standing for election, making speeches, holding power, being involved in scandal and finally, bowing out.
The overwhelming theme is that politics can be fun and humorous. Some of the humour is intentional but much is not. 500 of the Most Witty, Acerbic and Erudite Things Ever Said About Politics is a must have for anyone involved in, writing about, or simply interested in politics in the UK today.
- The Myths of Innovation
In The Myths of Innovation, bestselling author Scott Berkun takes a careful look at innovation history, including the software and Internet Age, to reveal how ideas truly become successful innovations-truths that people can apply to today's challenges.
How do you know whether a hot technology will succeed or fail? Or where the next big idea will come from? The best answers come not from the popular myths we tell about innovation, but instead from time-tested truths that explain how we've made it this far. This book is a must read for those in the tech industry.
- Greetings in Jesus Name! The Scambaiter Letters
Letters asking us for money for orphans, for victims of hurricanes, letters telling us we've won the Spanish lottery, letters telling us we have been contacted because we are known to be of good integrity and could be trusted to bank 30 million in our saving's account, for a generous fee of 10 per cent of the sum. To most of us the letters are an irritant. To Michael Berry they are a call to arms.
An age-old problem, it affects us all. Spam is now a fact of life, but Michael Berry is one of those people who has decided to take “life” by the scruff of the neck and have a little fun with it. These hilarious stories recount some of his experiences of reeling in these criminals as they fall for his bait; hook, line and sinker. An hilarious book for any techy.
- The Bumper Book of Government Waste: The Scandal of the Squandered Billions From Lord Irvine's Wallpaper to EU Saunas
One of our favourites, and a must have title for anybody involved in managing any sort of budget themselves.
The waste included here will, quite literally, make your eyes water. You’ll wonder how these people ever got to a position of importance, and more importantly, how they ever held onto them.
You are about to enter a twilight zone of crazy spending, political correctness, utter incompetence, and fantastic jollies all funded by the British tax payer – and by tax payer, we mean you.
- Colossus: Bletchley Park's Greatest Secret
Using recently declassified information, this is the greatest untold story of Bletchley Park: a gripping account of the invention of the world's first true computer, Colossus, and the crucial part it played in winning the war.
This is an enthralling book that details the “life and times” of a machine that helped win the war. A fascinating read that delves fully into the realm of WWII code breaking.
- Voices of the Code Breakers: Personal accounts of the secret heroes of World War II
This book takes a comprehensive look at the undercover war, revealing just how much of WWII was won away from the battlefields. From the British cryptologists to the European resistance fighters, this book uncovers the stories of extraordinary people and their chance finds, lucky accidents, dogged determination and moments of sheer brilliance.
It includes an intriguing glimpse at the early history of the computer - its spectacular uses and subsequent development and features vivid first-hand accounts from the staff of Bletchley Park, the French and Dutch resistance fighters, the American secret agents and the British SOE saboteurs. Illustrated with secret maps, resistance maps and rare archive photographs, this is a wonderful book.
- Why Software Sucks ... and What You Can Do About It
“I’ve just finished reading the best computer book [Why Software Sucks] since I last re-read one of mine and I wanted to pass along the good word. ... Put this one on your must-have list if you have software, love software, hate programmers, or even ARE a programmer, because Mr. Platt (who teaches programming) has set out to puncture the bloated egos of all those who think that just because they can write a program, they can make it easy to use...”Just one of the many comments about this book and what it sets out to achieve.
It’s no secret that today’s software sucks. There’s no other good way to say it. It’s unsafe, allowing criminal programs to creep through the internet wires into our very bedrooms. It’s unreliable, crashing when we need it most, wiping out hours or days of work with no way to get it back. And it’s hard to use, requiring large amounts of head-banging to figure out the simplest operations. You know that from personal experience, whether you use computers for work or personal tasks. In this book, David Platt explains why these things happen and, more importantly, why it doesn’t have to be that way.
* Offer correct at time of going to press. Offer covers selected titles only. ®