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Issue No. 04 - April (2006 vol. 39)
ISSN: 0018-9162
pp: 84

    Wireless Communications, Andrea Goldsmith. Wireless technology enables multimedia communications between people and devices from any location. It also underpins applications such as sensor networks, smart homes, telemedicine, and automated highways. This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the underlying theory, design techniques, and analytical tools of wireless communications, focusing primarily on the core principles of wireless system design.

    The author begins with an overview of wireless systems and standards, then describes the characteristics of the wireless channel, including their fundamental capacity limits. Various modulation, coding, and signal processing schemes are explored in detail, including state-of-the-art adaptive modulation, multicarrier, spread spectrum, and multiple antenna techniques.

    Design insights and tradeoffs are emphasized throughout the book, which contains many worked examples, more than 200 figures, and almost 300 homework exercises.

    Cambridge University Press;; 0-521-83716-2; 648 pp.

    Inescapable Data, Chris Stakutis and John Webster. As communications, computing, and data storage converge, data is becoming utterly ubiquitous—and that changes everything. In this book, two leading data management visionaries reveal how data transforms business practices, technologies, investments, and the world in general.

    The authors draw on interviews with nearly 50 leading experts: technologists, sociologists, entrepreneurs, consultants, researchers, media leaders, and futurists alike. They explain how today's primordial soup of wired and wireless gadgetry is quickly coalescing into something more powerful, driving applications once thought to be pure science fiction. They also offer insight into the implications of ubiquitous data capture, implications that touch everything from the bedroom to the battlefield.

    IBM Press/Prentice Hall PTR;; 0-13-185215-9; 304 pp.

    Software Testing Techniques: Finding the Defects that Matter, Scott Loveland, Geoffrey Miller, Richard Prewitt Jr., and Michael Shannon. Reliability and continuous availability have become crucial for computer software in the information economy. Well-publicized failures in both industry and government have underscored the need for thoroughly testing mission-critical software before releasing it into the marketplace.

    This book reveals practical testing techniques for achieving robust reliability with any large-scale software project. The authors highlight areas such as devising attacks to validate data integrity, wreaking havoc to ensure recoverability, exploiting virtualized environments to improve test efficiency, the tug of war between finding defects and meeting schedules, and approaches for emulating customer environments to find the most critical defects.

    Charles River Media;; 1-58450-346-7; 362 pp.

    Digital Nation: Toward an Inclusive Information Society, Anthony G. Wilhelm. As our social institutions migrate into cyberspace, the digitally disenfranchised face increasing hardships. What happens when—in search of quick and cheap fixes—a government office shuts down and is replaced by a public Web site? What happens when a company accepts only online job applications? Inevitably, those most in need of the services and opportunities offered are further marginalized.

    In the author's vision of an inclusive digital nation, everyone can take advantage of the new technology. With everyone part of the information society, we can revolutionize the way we educate our citizens, deliver healthcare, and engage in productive work. To do nothing, on the other hand—to turn a blind eye to the promise of an inclusive technology—would cost us socially and economically.

    MIT Press;; 0-262-23238-3; 184 pp.

    Everyday Innovators: Researching the Role of Users in Shaping ICTs, L. Haddon, E. Mante, B. Sapio, K. H. Kommonen, L. Forunati, and A. Kant, eds. This book explores the active role of people, collectively and individually, in shaping the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). It examines issues around acquiring and using that knowledge and examines how we should conceptualize the role of users and understand the forms and limitations of their participation.

    This book also explores the extent to which we should think of users as being innovative and creative. In addition, it looks at where the nature of the ICT or the particularities of its design impose constraints on the active role that users can play in their interaction with devices and services. How the users' horizons and orientations influence or limit what they want and expect of their ICTs and how they use them is an additional topic.

    Springer;; 1-4020-3510-1; 238 pp.

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