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Man Dingo (London, England)

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Eyewitness Travel Family Guide Venice & Northeast Italy (DK Eyewitness Travel Family Guides)
Eyewitness Travel Family Guide Venice & Northeast Italy (DK Eyewitness Travel Family Guides)

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buy the book, 9 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a subset of the Eyewitness Travel Family Guide Italy book.

The printed book is attractively laid out and in Eyewitness fashion makes good use of the double page spread with full colour, annotated diagrams and maps.

This Kindle book retains the text but loses those Eyewitness trademark map diagrams, and it loses the logical organization. (It does have the photographs, but they are small and look very bad.)

There's nothing here that's NOT in the Eyewitness Travel Family Italy, and I would advise you to buy that one, or to buy a different printed guide, but be aware that the visual style that sells Eyewitness books just doesn't translate into Kindle at all.

Basically Kindle works well for text-heavy books, but Eyewitness is a visual guide book and on Kindle it's just pointless.

Don't waste your money.

Wakil Rakyat
Wakil Rakyat
Price: £6.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Missing tracks, 9 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Wakil Rakyat (MP3 Download)
This is missing two tracks:

Surat Buat Wakil Rakyat (the title track) and
Teman Kawanku Punya Teman

Good album, but missing tracks....

Braun Oral-B Triumph 5000 Five-Mode Power Toothbrush with Wireless Smart Guide
Braun Oral-B Triumph 5000 Five-Mode Power Toothbrush with Wireless Smart Guide
Offered by Toothbrush Shop
Price: £74.49

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Product on sale is not Triumph 5000, but Triumph 5000A, 17 Jan. 2012
While this is still a good toothbrush, potential buyers should note that the product has had numerous changes and is incompatible with the Triumph 5000 previously sold.

In particular:

* the charger does not work with the previous 'Triumph 5000'
* the Smart Guide has been changed and probably does not work with the previous toothbrushes (yet to verify this as I cannot charge my old brush due to the problem mentioned above!)
* they have cut manufacturing costs by removing the LCD battery indicator in the base. Now you just get a cheap-looking set of LEDs. Note that Oral-B's own website doesn't even reflect this change.

The idea that you could have multiple Triumph 5000s and one set of charger and smartguide was a nice one, but unfortunately Braun perpetuate anti-consumer measures like changing their charger design continuously (and between models too).

The product on sale is in fact the 'Oral-B Triumph 5000A' - other retailers are correctly warning their customers of the change by marketing the product as 5000A rather than 5000.

Collins Complete British Mushrooms and Toadstools: The essential photograph guide to Britain's fungi (Collins Complete Guides)
Collins Complete British Mushrooms and Toadstools: The essential photograph guide to Britain's fungi (Collins Complete Guides)
by Paul Sterry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.59

80 of 81 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but probably not sufficient, 6 Oct. 2009
Prior to the recent publication of this book, there were two 'complete' [no book can be, but they make a stab in that direction] guides to the fungi of Britain. These are "The Encyclopedia of Fungi of Britain and Europe" by Michael Jordan, and "Mushrooms" by Roger Phillips. Both books are excellent large-format paperbacks that are ideal for identification purposes except in one respect - they are fairly large and heavy.

The purpose of this book in the face of two such excellent guides then is to provide something more of a 'field guide' that can be carried around when fungus hunting. This book is much larger than the 'Gem' guides' but much smaller than the two books above. It generally covers the same number of species as the books above, but in a smaller size.

So what's missing? Well, the textual descriptions, while abbreviated, are more than sufficient for identification purposes, the main omission being descriptions of what pores look like under a microscope - not something most readers will investigate. Apart from this, however, a more noticeable omission is whether species are edible, inedible, poisonous or deadly. This has long been a fixture of fungus enyclopedias, but you won't find it here, except for a few key species. If you want this information, buy the Jordan or Phillips books.

So the text is fine, what about the pictures - a book like this will usually be used by flicking through and looking at the photos. The photos in the book are of good quality, but they are all taken of upright fungi, and generally do not show the features of the stipe (stem) and gills/pores. Unfortunately without these gill/stipe shots it won't be possible to positively identify many species, and you will have to check another book, or search for images on the internet. The larger books, mentioned above, both have the space to provide more photography, which will make positive identification much more likely.

So in conclusion, the Jordan and Phillips books are the best fungus guides on the market, but if you are looking for a smaller 'field guide', this one is definitely the best available. Just don't be too disappointed if it turns out to be tricky to actually identify the fungi exclusively using this book.

Yamaha Electric Guitar & Pro Pack - Pacifica 012 (Dark Blue Metallic)
Yamaha Electric Guitar & Pro Pack - Pacifica 012 (Dark Blue Metallic)

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Still not as advertised, 12 Mar. 2009
This guitar is not solid alder, it uses the inferior agathis wood.

The colour, Dark Blue Metallic, is only available on the 012 model (which is agathis). The 112 series is much better and does use alder.

Note that Amazon are selling several different versions of this 'Pro Pack'. They are all the same - the only difference is colour.

The basic guitar is £100, the amp £45, the rest of the stuff probably runs to £35, so the value is not bad, but be aware that the advertised guitar is not what you get.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 28, 2011 11:43 AM BST

Pure Evoke Flow Portable DAB / FM / Internet Radio
Pure Evoke Flow Portable DAB / FM / Internet Radio
Offered by HomeandGarden
Price: £79.99

328 of 337 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good sound, bad usability, 22 Jan. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this radio to compare with the Tranciva IR804, another product with the same functionality but at half the price.

At the beginning of the review I might as well state I am keeping this one. Why? It's all in the sound. The Tranciva is tinny, whereas this one sounds like a reasonable mini-system.

Other than that, the Evoke leaves a whole lot to be desired in its usability.

Let's look at the things one by one:

Packaging, appearance: looks nice, glossy black, six line LCD display looks classy. The Tranciva (two line display, inferior finish) looks cheap, the Evoke expensive. As it should be I guess. Evoke box is nice, radio in a canvas bag, but no manual! Maybe this is cheap, perhaps it's so they can upgrade the product. Manual only available in PDF format online.

DAB. It works. But if you live in a poor reception area you might struggle. With the Evoke on the floor and (long) aerial fully extended it's dropping out continually. The Tranciva seems to be more sensitive and with aerial out has no problems. The DAB thus does not get used, because the aerial gets in the way under the kitchen counter.

FM. Bog standard. Nothing to report. Who's going to use it?

Onwards: the point of this device is to connect to a wireless router. No point in buying it otherwise - stick to a cheaper DAB. This process was easy enough, and supports modern WPA2 as well as older encryption. No ethernet port, which could be a problem for some.

Media streaming: a great function. I've used Windows Media Player for years now, and it supports Windows Media Sharing. To connect, you select the 'Media Player' menu option, and it will scan for servers. If you don't have Media Player, you can install Pure's media server.

How does it work? Well, it's horrible!

Task: to find 'Abba', and play their music. You'd think (if you've used Itunes or Windows Media Player), that you'd go to 'Artist', scroll down to A (not far to go), and select Abba.

Do you? Well no. The list is not in alphabetical order! I have 1335 artists in my library, and the order on the evoke is completely random. Unusable. The Tranciva (and Media Player) order it nicely. It might be if you use Pure's own server then things are in the right order, I haven't tried. Either way this shows a terrible lack of testing. The other problem with the Pure is that it loads the lists into tiny buffers. So you can't flick through 1335 artists, nope, flick through 20, wait, flick through, wait, arrrrrrgh. The Tranciva, despite the much smaller screen doesn't have this problem.

The other option is the search. So we type in 'abba'. No results found..... 'suede'. Nope, nothing again.

Ok, so let's settle for scrolling through the artist list. I haven't got all week, so I'll forget about Abba. Hmm, look, Coldplay, select that. I'm expecting to hear my 13 Coldplay mp3s. Er, no. Instead I get.... 'Don't Speak', by No Doubt. Why? Because one of my Coldplay mp3s is assigned to 'unknown album', and so is the No Doubt song. In fact, whatever I choose, I get Don't Speak (or at least the two hundred or so artists - the artists with 'unknown album' go first for some reason). This is just broken.

So no search, no selecting by artists. On the plus side, the album list works, but it's not in alphabetical order.

It's worth a mention at this point of the usability, which is pretty horrid. The Tranciva has a 'MODE' button and a 'BACK' button, both of which are real buttons. The Evoke just has one iphone-style button (hard to press, and impractical in a greasy kitchen) to do these two jobs. So if you're listening to an album and want to switch to reggae, how do you do it? Press back until you get to the list of options? Nope, back takes you back to the mode selection screen. If you then choose media player thinking that you'll be able to choose 'Albums', 'Genres', etc., you were wrong - it just takes you back to the 'now playing' screen.

How do you do it? First you turn the tuning knob, THEN you press back. Horrible usability. The same thing applies to internet radio, the back button is completely useless until after you turn the tuning knob (which is annoying when you didn't want to change the track/channel, but go back to the previous screen).

Anyway, suffice to say the media player, which should be great, is not being used.

Final function, internet radio. This works, although the UI is very clunky. You can go to the special evoke website (which is also very clunky) to add radio streams, which will then show up on your radio (but beware that it claims URLs with a port number in are invalid and won't accept them). There's a search function for radio stations.

Internet radio is brilliant - thousands of stations, and there just might be one out there that plays exactly what you want. So how does the Evoke get on with browsing through stations? Slowly. It takes 25 seconds to 'tune' and then 'buffer' each station. So forget flicking through the dial. The Tranciva? THREE seconds. Eight times faster. And this is no fluke. The devices are both on, sitting next to each other, both connected to the same fast, expensive router with a fast 8mbit connection behind it, and this is repeatable time after time connecting to the exact same stream.

What's going on? The Tranciva is a cheap and nasty product with inferior hardware and a tiny screen. Binatone haven't sent the Tranciva to 'What Hi Fi' (or anywhere else) for review - they just knocked it out on the cheap, while the Evoke Flow is a supposed flagship product.

Yet with the unfortunate exception of the sound quality, I'd take the cheapo Tranciva every time.

As it is, I'm sticking with the Evoke Flow, I've found an internet radio station I like, and as long as the Pure Evoke just sits there playing that one station, there's no issues. In the mean time, I'm hoping that Pure work out how to load a station in 3 seconds rather than 25, that they fix the Media Player, and that they fix it so that 'back' goes back rather than 'home'. And for future versions, lose the silly touch-sensitive buttons.
Comment Comments (16) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 17, 2013 1:17 AM GMT

Kenwood Wizard HB655 2-Speed 3-In-1 Hand Blender with Whisk, Chopping Bowl, 400 Watt
Kenwood Wizard HB655 2-Speed 3-In-1 Hand Blender with Whisk, Chopping Bowl, 400 Watt

45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Product misdescribed, 29 Jan. 2008
The product DESCRIBED is actually the Kenwood HB665.

However the product listed is the HB655.

The HB655 is an inferior product with only 250W, not 400W.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 29, 2009 11:00 AM GMT

Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo
Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo
Price: £74.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb product, 8 Dec. 2007
We have had this two months, and our daughter (five months), happily plays in it for hours. She likes it a lot, and there's plenty going on for her to play with while she jumps.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 9, 2008 2:35 PM GMT

Fisher-Price Smart Stages 3-in-1 Rocker Swing
Fisher-Price Smart Stages 3-in-1 Rocker Swing

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK Product, but not good enough for the money, 3 Oct. 2007
This is a top-of-the-line baby swing, one of the most expensive available.

As such, I expected a consistently high level of quality, which isn't really here.

The toys are two identical blue soft animals (no variety, only two provided, and not particularly visually stimulating), fixed with velcro. This is falls below the expected standard, which would be some variety, possibly a mobile, not plain non-moving toys.

The music that comes out is very cheap, and not melodious, the sound is what you would expect from a toy from the 80s, they could certainly provide something more soothing (other swings even have built in speakers and input for plugging in mp3/cd players). We do not use it: the rhythmic sound of the motor is more soothing than cheap tinny music.

The 3-in-1 element of the swing, which is used to justify its high price, is extremely limited.

You are buying a baby swing. The seat is the same as any other baby swing, except it has an extra metal bar to allow it to be used as a rocker, and also as a toddler seat. It is NOT three in one, in that the rocker element does not vibrate as it would if you bought a separate device, it's completely manual, no music, nothing.

That said, this *does* do the job as a baby swing, something that's always a superb product to have, as it is so calming to babies. But it is a very basic one - just two speeds (which seems fast enough, but baby is still young, I can see that you might like a faster speed), and one kind of motion, no mobile and no music.

If you want a baby swing though, I'd recommend a cheaper one, or else one of the all-singing all dancing ones, and then buy the motorised rocker separately - the Infant-to-toddler rocker looks good. Having two different products is definitely more handy.

The Welfare State We're in
The Welfare State We're in
by James Bartholomew
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relentless condemnation of the obvious decline in our society, 20 May 2007
This book considers each aspect of modern big government - state schooling, the NHS, state pensions, council housing as well as the welfare state itself - benefit handouts that motivate undesirable behaviour such as single motherhood.

Each is considered in turn and thoroughly condemned. No-one, given the choice, would opt for state healthcare, state schooling, a state pension, or to live in a crime-ridden council estate. Bartholomew indicts each in turn, explaining how, in the last 50-100 years, Britain has declined from a country that through its education system produced almost every major medical advance, one which led the world in Nobel Prizes, and which built nearly every hospital now open in the country through charitable endeavour, to a country now renowned only for its poor standards of behaviour with schools that are closer to prison camps than educational institutions, where hospitals are no longer being built, but are being closed down.

The change from a respectful working class with mutual self-respect and support to one where the state can be relied upon to pick up the bill is the only explanation for such fundamental changes in British society in the course of only a few generations.

The paperback edition of this book adds a few pages written since the original hardback, although as the came out in 2004, the changes are relatively minor.

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