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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences



Complex Worlds: Digital Culture, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication edited by Adrienne P. Lamberti and Anne R. Richards, with Series Editor Charles H. Sides (Technical Communication Series: Baywood Publishing Company)

Complex Worlds edited by Adrienne P. Lamberti, Assistant Professor of English and Professional Writing Program Coordinator at the University of Northern Iowa, and Anne R. Richards, Assistant Professor of English at Kennesaw State University, is a collection of thought-provoking scholarly essays by teachers and industry practitioners in professional communication and technology-oriented fields. The collection aims to help familiarize advanced students, teachers, and researchers in professional communication, computers and writing, literacy, and sister disciplines with key issues in digital theory and practice. An emphasis on the situations of and audiences for digital communication identifies Complex Worlds as a rhetorical approach.

The collections' twelve essays constitute a diverse and thematically coherent set of inquiries. Included are explorations of topics such as cyber activism, digital dispositio, citizen and open-source journalism, broadband affordances, XML, digital resumes, avant garde performance art, best pedagogical practices, and intercultural communication between East and West, North and South. The complexity highlighted in the collection's title is brought into relief by authors who address how the digital is daily unmaking our assumptions about the boundaries between work and school, the global and the local, the private and the public.

Conceptualized, written, and edited for a wide range of readers interested in digital culture, this anthology offers a broad focus on the contexts of professional communication and its effective teaching and practice. In their appraisals of the technological issues currently transforming not just professional communication but related fields such as journalism, rhetoric, and English-language teaching, the chapters in Complex Worlds presents a methodological pluralism. Grappling with the discursive and material shifts occasioned by new technology in educational contexts and beyond, the volume studies professional communication in light of the key concepts of digital access, literacy, and advocacy. Several chapters approach the economic structures influencing access to digital technology as an a priori and intractable reality; others treat such an assumption as unnecessarily dire. All discussions, however, provide nuanced constructions of digital divergence in light of its expression in industrial and/or educational practices.

The first part of Complex Worlds, "Transforming Advocacy," examines the intersections between digital technology and agency in computer-mediated participatory cultures. Eileen E. Schell's "Cyberactivism, Viral Flash Activism, and Critical Literacy Pedagogy in the Age of The Meatrix" describes the growth of cyberactivism by means of viral Flash films. Adrienne P. Lamberti's "Retracing the Footprints from Print to Digital: An Assessment of Textual Structure" explores why the prospect of textual restructuring as brought on by digital forms has elicited such strong scholarly responses. "The Fourth Estate in an Era of Digitally Mediated Democracy," by Leonard Witt, examines the effects that epochal changes in news delivery are having on the production of credible news and the role that online citizen journalists are playing in overthrowing the traditional journalistic paradigm..

The second part of the anthology, "Shaping the Professions," examines ways in which digital technology is influencing the work lives of communication practitioners. In "Gertrude Stein in QuickTime: Documenting Performance in the Digital Age," Jason Farman chronicles the creation of an interactive CD-ROM by a New York performance troupe. John B. Killoran's "Digitizable Cultural Capital: Anticipations of Profit in the Web Market" applies Pierre Bourdieu's criticism of academic expectations regarding portfolios specifically the new genre of the digitized resume and finds that these expectations can negatively affect the prospects of students who lack the cultural capital necessary to master that genre. In "A Case Study of the Impact of Digital Documentation on Professional Change: The WPA Electronic Mailing List, Knowledge Network, and Community Outreach," Huiling Ding explores how the Writing Program Administrators' electronic mailing list assists them in articulating their work as not merely service but influential acts of professional outreach.

The third part of Complex Worlds, "Building Communities," concerns the remarkable potential of digital technology to deepen our understanding of others and to create communities that expand our 'social lives. In "A South-North Online Collaboration between Professional Writing Students in Tunisia and the United States," Faiza Derbel and Anne R. Richards recount a digitally mediated collaborative project between U.S. and Tunisian classrooms with divergent technological capabilities. In "Meeting Online Friends Offline: A Comparison of South Korean and U.S. College Students' Differences in Self-Construal and Computer-Mediated Communication Preferences," Heeman Kim and William Faux conduct a cross-cultural exploration of computer-mediated communication utilities, uncovering surprising differences and similarities between U.S. and South Korean users of new media and calling into question the lingering Western stereotype of Asians as passive communicators.

The final part of Complex Worlds, "Informing Pedagogy," offers recommendations relevant to digitally informed communication classrooms. In "Teaching Effective Technology Use in Technical and Professional Communication Programs Based in Colleges of the Humanities," Laura McGrath offers pedagogical rationales and strategies for helping students cultivate digital literacy skills, with the goal of enabling meaningful use of technology in a wide range of workplace situations. Rudy McDaniel and Sherry Steward's "Technical Communication Pedagogy and the Broadband Divide: Academic and Industrial Perspectives" explores how the increased availability of broadband Internet service presents academics working in the field of technical communication and practitioners outside of academe the opportunity to leverage the petrol of the new global economy. Aimee Kendall Roundtree's "Sizing Up Single-Sourcing: Rhetorical Interventions for XML Documentation" explains why professional communicators coding in this extensible language must not forget their lessons in rhetoric. Invoking such lessons in the workplace is crucial, Kendall Roundtree argues, if professional communicators are to create documents that truly serve their target audiences.

Complex Worlds offers readers a blend of theoretical and practical content that is sure to capture the attention of professional communicators working in both academic and professional settings. Its eleven chapters, written in clear and engaging scholarly prose, cover an impressively diverse range of subject matter, including agricultural communication, Web 2.0 journalism, Web resumes, and XML authoring for technical communicators. The contributions are remarkably well focused around the major themes addressed in the introduction, covering each of these themes in depth. Readers can expect to walk away with a deep understanding of the complexity of issues such as digital divergence and a broad grasp of various disciplinary, theoretical, and political perspectives on such issues. Amy Koerber, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Technical Communication and Rhetoric, Texas Tech University, Editor, Technical Communication Quarterly
This provocative collection asks us to complicate those machine-is-us mantras of Web 2.0 convergence (and their mirror image in essentializing assumptions about the digital divide) that so far have set the tone for thinking about new media s impact on the classroom or other communities of engaged practice. As a teacher of professional communication, I am excited by the probing questions Complex Worlds raises about digital access, technological literacy and authorship, and online activism, advocacy, and agency. I am also heartened by its many practical applications for producing and/or thinking critically about citizen journalism, online resumes, electronic mailing lists, and collaborative writing projects that can be designed to cross not just classroom but also national and socioeconomic boundaries. I look forward to incorporating this collections insights, examples, and pedagogical challenges into my classes. Ryan Jerving, Visiting Assistant Professor of English, Marquette University
Complex Worlds offers readers a strong sense of the range of issues that occupy the attention of digital technology scholars in English studies. The essays in this collection address such timely concerns as agency, governance, globalization, and cyberactivism. The breadth of the collection is considerable, and readers will be rewarded with a new, distinct perspective in each chapter. Whether interested in digital communication in the professions, distributed collaborations, classrooms, or society more broadly construed, readers will find something in this collection to stimulate their thinking. Mark Zachry, University of Washington

In an era when globalizing markets and digital technologies are transforming culture around the world, readers will find the collection both engaging and timely. Complex Worlds offers them an opportunity to build on their rhetorical awareness by expanding their understanding of the means, aims, and strategies of effective communication today and in the future. The text is especially well suited for advanced courses in professional and applied writing, contemporary rhetorics, and digital culture.

Select guide to the hardware and software that makes us run

Inside Microsoft Windows 2000 Are you planning to upgrade your Windows OS? Then we suggest that you read this nifty guide to the more stable features of Windows 2000. For debugging problems and for troubleshooting the basic architecture is given with a CD-ROM that includes some useful tool for live kernel debugging.

Microsoft Windows 2000 Server (Microsoft)
The MCSE Training Kit-Microsoft Windows 2000 Server is designed to help one become a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. The training kit teaches how to install and configure Microsoft Windows 2000 Server. After a brief introduction to the features in all editions of Windows 2000, one learns how to install Windows 2000 Server through manual and automated installation routines. After installation, detailed introductions to the various file systems and disk management functions available in Windows 2000 Server is provided. Administering the operating system and Active Directory services is explored because these are integral to understanding of Windows 2000. In addition, the basics about network protocols, routing and remote access, and other application server functions such as Terminal Services is outlined. Finally, key points to monitoring and optimizing Windows 2000 Server are provided with plenty of useful exercises and tasks so that the central tasks and systems stay functioning.

Each chapter of the book is divided into lessons. Many lessons include hands-on procedures that allow practice or demonstrate a particular concept or skill. Each chapter ends with a short summary of all chapter lessons and a set of review questions to test knowledge of the chapter material.

Each chapter opens with a "Before You Begin" section, which prepares you for completing the chapter. The chapters are then broken down into lessons. Many of the lessons contain exercises that give you an opportunity to use the skills presented or explore the part of the application described. All exercises offer step-by-step procedures that are identified with a symbol like the one to the left of this paragraph. The "Review" section at the end of each chapter allows you to test what you have learned in the chapter's lessons. Appendix A, "Questions and Answers" contains all of the book's questions and corresponding answers.
This book was developed for information technology (IT) professionals who need to design, plan, implement, and support Windows 2000 Server or who plan to take the related Microsoft Certified Professional exam.

This course assumes that readers meet the following prerequisites:

• Knowledge of the fundamentals of current networking technology
• Ability to navigate the Windows operating system interface (preferably, the Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, or Windows 2000 interface)
• At least six months of experience supporting a net-work, or successful completion of the Networking Essentials, Hands-On Self-Paced Training for Supporting Local and Wide Area Networks course is recommended.
• Experience with basic internal and external operating system commands like CD, Dir, Fdisk, and Format.
• A practical knowledge of accessing and changing PC computer BIOS settings.
• Previous training or knowledge of Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional.
• Previous training or knowledge of Windows NT Server is not required but will facilitate the learning process.

Suggested reference materials that provide background for this work include:

• MCP Magazine Online.
Microsoft Web site and Microsoft TechNet Technical Plus available monthly on CD-ROM and the Microsoft Web site.
Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit. Microsoft Press, 1999.
MCSE Training Kit Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional. Microsoft Press, 2000.
MCSE Training Kit Networking Essentials Plus, 3rd ed. Microsoft Press, 1999.
Operating System Concepts, 5th ed. by A. Silberschatz and P Galvin (Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1998). This book provides a clear description of the concepts that underlie operating systems. In this book, the authors do not concentrate on any particular operating system or hardware. Instead, they discuss fundamental concepts that are applicable to a variety of systems. The book presents a large number of examples that pertain specifically to UNIX and to other popular operating systems.
Windows 2000 Magazine (formerly Windows NT Magazine). It is published by Duke Communications.

About the CD-ROM: The Supplemental Course Materials CD-ROM contains a variety of informational aids that may be used throughout this book. This includes supplemental articles and files used for hands-on exercises. These files can be used directly from the CD-ROM or copied onto your hard drive. For more information regarding the contents and use of the Supplemental Course Materials CD-ROM, see the README.txt on the CD.

Designing Secure Web-Based Applications for Microsoft Windows 2000 (DV-MPS Designing) (Microsoft) Bullet-proof security is one of the strengths of Microsoft Windows 2000, but until now, no one has presented a complete picture of Windows 2000 Web server, component-level, and database security features and considerations. Designing Secure Web-Based Applications for Microsoft Windows 2000 (DV-MPS Designing) offers an integrated, authoritative, pragmatic, end-to-end view of Windows 2000 security topics. The book starts by providing a solid foundation in Windows 2000 security theory and concepts, explaining the key software design considerations for various categories and levels of security, and showing how isolated security "islands" interact. It explains core security issues such as risk analysis, threats, authentication, authorization, and privacy, and then discusses ways to apply the appropriate security to an application to mitigate risk. It covers a range of security technologies such as NTLM authentication, Kerberos authentication, SSL/TLS, CryptoAPI, ACLs, Active Directory(tm), Certificates, Web security capabilities, and COM+ security. Finally, the author uses Web services, certificates, components, and database access to build a Web-based application (included on a companion CD) to show how Windows 2000 security features work in concert to protect applications and data.

As the Web is fast becoming a ubiquitous feature in our lives and as telerobots (programmed acquisition of knowledge from afar) becomes a feature security and integrality of databases becomes paramount. This work provides detailed instructions on how to protect Web-based information systems. It's a complete engineering document with considerable information on identifying security threats, giving them relative weight, and deciding how to deal with them in the designs of your systems. The authors has both done their homework and worked in the industry, and it's a pleasure to read their distilled knowledge.

Early sections are rather academic bringing the reader up to speed on basics. Later sections deal with specific security strategies and the security features of particular products. The authors avoid vagueness. They say how one should design programs (storing hashes, instead of passwords, in a database to allow for intrusion into the database, for example) and what specifically is needed to encode this advice. This is a great volume for anyone designing Windows software that will share information over a network and need to use authentication, nonrepudiation, encryption, and other security techniques to guard the integrity of information systems and databases.

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