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Simon (Leeds, UK)

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Daffodil WMS108B Wired Optical Mouse - 3 Button PC Mouse with Scrollwheel and Retractable USB Cable - For Laptop / Netbook / Desktop Computers - Supported by: Microsoft Windows (8 / 7 / XP / Vista) and Apple MAC (OS X +) - No Batteries Needed
Daffodil WMS108B Wired Optical Mouse - 3 Button PC Mouse with Scrollwheel and Retractable USB Cable - For Laptop / Netbook / Desktop Computers - Supported by: Microsoft Windows (8 / 7 / XP / Vista) and Apple MAC (OS X +) - No Batteries Needed
Offered by Daffodil UK
Price: £5.05

2.0 out of 5 stars This is a nice size mouse - being larger than the super mini ..., 18 Nov. 2014
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This is a nice size mouse - being larger than the super mini mice it doesn't hurt your hand as much.

But, the automatic spring cord is poor quality. Mine broke within two weeks, with the result that most of the time the cable wouldn't "lock out" and stay extended, but it kept trying to retract. To get it to lock, and stay extended, now takes 4-5 tries, and sometimes I have to try to wedge the cable in.

If it was a bit more reliable, it would be great for the price, but the old adage is true. I'm now looking for a replacement.


Griffin Window Mount Car Cradle for MP3 Players, iPods, iPhones and Smartphones
Griffin Window Mount Car Cradle for MP3 Players, iPods, iPhones and Smartphones
Price: £5.50

3.0 out of 5 stars Good but fragile, 18 Nov. 2014
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We've now had three of these Griffin mounts. They are very good except for one (fairly annoying) problem.

The good: we've used the flat clear plastic pad which attaches the mount to the windscreen every time. It has a small profile so it's not too intrusive. It is very strong, we've had no problems at all with it falling off. It's not too difficult to achieve this - but you do have to clean the windscreen first. The mount has a nice swivel attachment too, so there is lots of flexibility.

The bad: once the clear plastic attachment comes off the windscreen, it is *very* easily creased, folded, scratched, or dirtied and as soon as this happens, it's impossible to get it back on. We've been caught out a number of times when the car has gone in for MOT. The garage has to remove anything that's attached to the windscreen, and, they've not been too careful in doing so. The result has invariably been a fold in the plastic which then means it won't attach back to the screen. The one time we removed it without creasing it, it acquired a little bit of dirt that also meant it was very hard to reattach (it does say it's washable - but it's surprisingly hard to do without creasing it).

The mount is also shipped with a dashboard fixture. It looks reasonably strong - unfortunately, you will need a flat area. Our dashboard has no flat area, and so we couldn't get a good fix. It would drop off after 30 minutes use.

So, if you use it, you'll easily get a year's use, but be sure to (very carefully) remove the plastic fixture from the windscreen yourself before sending the car to the garage, else you'll probably end up with a useless mount.


The Institutes of the Christian Religion - Enhanced Version
The Institutes of the Christian Religion - Enhanced Version
Price: £2.87

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't be fooled! No TOC, bad formtting..., 25 Oct. 2014
Note: This review concerns the Kindle edition of Calvin's Institutes published by the Christian Classic Ethereal Library.

I tried four different Kindle versions of Calvin's Institutes using Amazon's 'Try a Sample' feature.

The sample for this one had a proper Kindle Table of Contents, as well as the in-text linked TOC.

It was also formatted nicely - with different size texts for different size headings, and so on.

BUT: that is only in the sample. The actual version has none of those things, and is as poorly formatted as the £0.77 priced version. CCEL have done themselves a disservice.


iPad Air Fast Charger 2.1 amp High Quality Light Weight USB Mains Charger Includes USB 2.0 cable for the iPad Air and your other devices with the lightning connector, CE certified
iPad Air Fast Charger 2.1 amp High Quality Light Weight USB Mains Charger Includes USB 2.0 cable for the iPad Air and your other devices with the lightning connector, CE certified
Offered by iQualTech
Price: £19.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars We had to send it back it was so bad., 31 Aug. 2014
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I guess they have different batches of very differing qualities, because the charger we were sent charges incredibly slowly. It literally takes hours just to move the device up 10%, and if you use the device while it's charging, it will go down. We had to send it back it was so bad.


Human Life, Action and Ethics: Essays by G.E.M. Anscombe (St Andrews Studies in Philosophy and Public Affairs)
Human Life, Action and Ethics: Essays by G.E.M. Anscombe (St Andrews Studies in Philosophy and Public Affairs)
Price: £14.08

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Excellent choice of essays; terrible quality of Kindle book., 28 May 2014
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The choice of essays in this collection is very good. It's comprehensive, and many of the pieces were previously published in journals or proceedings that are not widely accessible, so it's great to have these more easily accessible.

Moreover, the pieces themselves are of great quality.

The book, qua collection of essays, is excellent (and would get a five star rating).

The book, qua kindle book, however, is terrible (and this is what the 1-star rating reflects).

Not only are there no "real page numbers," but there isn't even a proper table of contents.

The Kindle book's tables of contents consists of links to the Preface, Index and the three major divisions that occur in the book. That is, the Table of Contents does not contain a link (and does not even list) the individual chapters within the major three divisions, which is obviously the whole point of a table of contents.

Some of the producers of Kindle books who cut the corners by not including a proper Table of Contents - e.g. those who produced the Kindle Book for Michael Thompson's Life and Action or the Hornsby edited collection Essays on Anscombe's Intention (both of which you can compare with, e.g. Peter Watson's Ideas: A history, which has been produced correctly) - aim to placate readers with a surrogate, namely, a page you can navigate to which contains an in-text link to the various chapters. This is poor practice, frustrating for (and insulting to) the reader, but it at least gives you a (second rate) way to navigate to each individual sections.

The producers of this Kindle book have not even done that. So you have no way at all to navigate directly to each chapter of the book other than by searching for the title (which usually produces many hits, and anyway, is slow), or by page flipping.

(It is a great shame to indirectly tarnish Anscombe's work with this 1-star rating, but as Amazon provide no way to comment separately on the quality of production of Kindle books, there is little else that can be done. I offer it as a warning to other Kindle owners, and in the hope that the producers of the book will take note and update the book, at which point I will replace it with a review which contains that 5-star rating that Anscombe's work merits.).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 5, 2014 10:33 AM BST


The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-eye View of the World
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-eye View of the World
by Michael Pollan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but frustrating in places, 21 Jan. 2012
The stories in this book are well told, and if you're new to the topic it's unlikely you'll be bored. Pollan brings the characters to life, especially Johnny Appleseed.

The book is a study of the co-evolution of humans and plants, covering, in depth, the apple, the potato, the tulip, and cannabis. Its central thesis is that plants have used humans just as much as humans have used plants. This is where the frustration comes in, for it is simply not the case that plants have beliefs, desires or intentions. Pollan does mention this, usually with phrases beginning something like "technically speaking.....", but he insists on using the language of plants doing things throughout the book. In a book of popular science one does not expect philosophical rigour and precision. The problem is, once we've rid ourselves of all the metaphorical language in use, how much of the thesis will remain? I suspect not much.

As history the book is worthwhile, just treat the conclusions with a pinch of salt.


Physics for Future Presidents - The Textbook (Spring 2009) Edition: Reprint
Physics for Future Presidents - The Textbook (Spring 2009) Edition: Reprint
by Richard Muller
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 21 Jan. 2012
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Muller is a fantastic teacher, and this book is great for using alongside his lectures (available free from UC Berkeley). It is a very thorough, descriptive introduction to physics, and covers, among other things, electricity, light, nuclear physics, quantum physics. Much is related to practical applications throughout, which is just what the book was designed for. The task is accomplished well. I studied physics in high school over 10 years ago, not using that knowledge since. I came to Muller's lectures and this book as a refresher, and found them very approachable and illuminating.


Philosophy for AS: 2008 AQA Syllabus
Philosophy for AS: 2008 AQA Syllabus
by Michael Lacewing
Edition: Paperback
Price: £24.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid, clear writing, 21 Jan. 2012
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I use this book for tutoring A-level students and I have to say it is very good. There tends to be more content on each topic than is provided by the "official" AQA textbook, and that content is very clearly presented and my students have reported the presentation helpful.

The format is a little unusual: the entirety of each topic is presented in brief over 4-5 pages at the start of each section/chapter, and this is then developed in the remainder of the chapter. I think this works very well for philosophy, because it presents the students with the questions / issues early on. For those who are pragmatic or practical types, having quick access to the philosophical puzzles aids learning by showing what the solutions are for before the solutions are actually presented. It works well.

My one, somewhat minor concern, is that not all of the content included in the official AQA textbook is included in this textbook. This book always covers the issues, just sometimes in a different way. It would mean, for example, that a student using only this book might not have been exposed to all the examples or illustrations that were provided in the official book. (The reverse implication is also true: this book provides much content not in the official book, but that is less of a problem).


Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious
Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious
by Timothy Wilson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.09

4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, 21 Jan. 2012
This is a really good introduction to dual-process psychology and contains chapters on how the adaptive unconscious (often called System 1 in other works) affects our control of our behaviour, our knowledge of ourselves, our knowledge of our motives and introspection. Wilson's writing is clear, and his recounting of the empirical evidence is useful.

The beginning of the book starts with a brief analysis of how Freud's notion of the unconscious compares with that of the adaptive unconscious. This comparison touches too on Descartes' view of the mind. All of this is useful, but it is brief. A more developed comparison would've been interesting to see. Nevertheless, the book is readable without it, and contains detailed descriptions of many of the features and attributes belonging to the adaptive unconscious.


A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years
A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years
by Diarmaid MacCulloch
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Very, very good, 24 Oct. 2011
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This is cracking book. It covers the entire range of Christian history, as well as its roots in Judaism. The writing is always clear and often humorous. MacCulloch is, furthermore, always fair, especially to the opponents of Christianity or whichever reigning powers he's presently discussing (the Catholic Church, Protestant Orthodoxy). If anything, he verges on being unfair to whichever majority position he is presently discussing. However, I count this only as a slight reservation, and possibly a useful corrective to past histories. Both sides of the discussion are always presented, even if more depth could be had at times, and there is nothing approaching dogmatism in any of his writing. His discussions of the minority Christianities are especially illuminating. Without question, this is one of the best works of Christian history I've read.


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