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C. Brown (Brizol)
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Samsung YP-U6AB U6 4GB MP3 with FM Radio and USB Slide -  Black
Samsung YP-U6AB U6 4GB MP3 with FM Radio and USB Slide - Black

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-rounded winner, 2 May 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having owned several similar Sony products in the past which were in the same price-bracket as the Samsung I've found this MP3 to be as good if not better than comparable players. The price-tag doesn't mean that you skimp of quality or features; and unlike other more expensive makes on the market, if you were to lose or break this Samsung player it wouldn't break the bank in purchasing a replacement.

The build quality is (like much of Samsung's hardware) of a high standard and the aluminium body gives it a quality feel and finish. The headphones are fairly standard but produce a sound better than other more well-known players. I'd suggest perhaps replacing the headphones with a better pair to fully appreciate the sound quality.

The colour display, whilst small in size (4-line), gives you enough clear information to navigate the menus without much problem. You can include album art if desired. The inclusion of a FM radio is a nice touch, as well as the voice-recorder and ability to transfer files like a USB stick which gives the unit more reasons to be used than other more limited products.
The slide-out USB connector negates to need for cables, meaning charging and downloading/uploading can be done simply with the minimum of fuss.

Overall this player is great value for money, and is not only a sleek looking player but a versatile one too, which you can't beat for the price.


The Hangman's Daughter (A Hangman's Daughter Tale)
The Hangman's Daughter (A Hangman's Daughter Tale)
by Oliver Pötzsch
Edition: Paperback

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take the plunge, 27 April 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Historical fiction is a first for me and the hangman's daughter was a very good introduction. It was both entertaining and fascinating. Overall it was a really enjoyable read, very accessible and easy to follow. It includes enough description to allow you to imagine and visualize but does not over complicate.

Like other reviews I read the un-proofed translation, and agree that some words were a little inappropriate, however this wasn't really detrimental to the story line and will obviously improve in the proofed version. Following on from this point I felt the title was a bit misleading (or irrelevant) there are many more fitting titles which I can think of but again this is a small thing and is just my opinion.

The list of characters at the beginning of the book is a great idea especially as the book has been translated and the names are therefore obviously foreign. It really helps keep a grip on the storyline and characters.


I Spit On Your Grave [DVD]
I Spit On Your Grave [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sarah Butler
Offered by Helen's Goodies
Price: £6.43

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average re-make, 17 Mar. 2011
This review is from: I Spit On Your Grave [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The original was a shocker at the time of release and can still be uncomfortable viewing. This re-make comes at a time when horror `porn' is more often than not expected in a modern horror and perhaps even more so when looking at the subject matter.

It's perhaps no surprise that there are few shocks in this film, and whilst the plot is relatively faithful to the original there is little added to bring it up-to-date. The classic city girl out of her depth in some back-wood location is rather grating; alarm bells should have rung whilst picking up the keys to her woodland retreat and even a run-in with the locals should have given her an idea to perhaps turn on her heels. The lack of emotion for the lead character does continue for a good part of the film, although her ultimate retribution is at least satisfying and just under the circumstances.

This isn't a bad film, it just doesn't add anything, and whilst re-makes should at least try at to be as good-as the original they often fall short - this being no exception.


Outpost
Outpost
by Adam Baker
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate isolation, 2 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Outpost (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The premise for an apocalyptical tale set in the Arctic straight away invokes images of futile desolation and the harshest environment on the planet even before you throw-in an end-of-the world-scenario. For the crew on board the stricken oil rig based well within the Arctic Circle, life takes a turn for the (much) worse as communication with the outside world is lost, and the TV channels go off one by one.

They soon realise that they are on their own, and must survive an Arctic winter before trying to make it back to civilisation the following Spring/Summer. The crew consists of a hotchpotch of undesirables, lost and lonely people who soon end up at each other's throats as the reality of their situation dawns on them.

The arrival of an abandoned cruise liner is well proposed, as well as one or two other opportunities to bring light on their futile situation. An awful lot happens in a short space of time. So much so, that the surprises soon lose their edge as the story runs to its rather predictable conclusion.

Few of the characters develop sufficiently to harbour much interest, and the mystery virus takes a back seat as they struggle to survive each other rather than the infected. As apocalyptical novels go, the fact that the reason for the end of the world is not explained, or take centre-stage is nothing new. The human condition, set against a backdrop of desolation is often more thrilling than the actual events that lead to the situation in the first place.


BitDefender Total Security 2011, 1 User, 1 Year Subscription (PC)
BitDefender Total Security 2011, 1 User, 1 Year Subscription (PC)
Offered by Desire IT
Price: £9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wasted afternoon, and not in a good way, 15 Jan. 2011
Easier for me to list the problems I had whilst wasting an afternoon trying to install, what turns out to be, flawed security software.
1. After being prompted that the version I had wasn't the latest version, prompted to download the latest version online - this version failed to download properly
2. Tried part-installing to see if this would rectify the problem - this didn't help
3. The first of many re-boots followed
4. Tried installing again (not the newest version online mind as I still couldn't download it), system then ran a full scan which took over 1 hour to perform - this was carried out in safe mode
5. A further 2 re-boots resulted in the firewall being inactive - and warnings were prompted
6. Bizarrely, my default web page was then changed to IE
7. Conflict with Windows Defender followed (i.e. `turn it back on') even though I was told to turn it off as it would conflict with the software
8. Further re-boot
9. PC running slow
10. After several wasted hours, un-installed whatever Bit Defender had managed its way onto my laptop and re-installed McAfee in 20 minutes.


Philips O'Neill SHO9554/10 Specked In-Ear Headphones
Philips O'Neill SHO9554/10 Specked In-Ear Headphones

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good headphones for non-runners, 20 Dec. 2010
In the past I haven't really been that bothered about `sound-isolation technology' but having now used these earphones I realise that it is actually a really good thing. The SHO9554/10 model is fantastic at blocking out external noise and keeping my music in (at a much lower volume than before!). However, a side effect of this is that it is like wearing ear plug so you can hear your own breathing, which isn't great when doing exercise. Another reason these ear phones are not particularly suitable for exercise especially running is the sound-isolation and heavy duty cord means that you can hear a scratching sort of noise as movement causes the cord to bangs against your clothes. The cord does tangle less, but I wouldn't say tangle free, as I still have to untangle them before every use.

In terms of aesthetics , the colours are quite nice but not sure about the font used for Left and Right. It is hard to read and a bit over the top. The writing and colours remind me of a swatch watch from the 80's! (Maybe this is a conscious retro look!). Overall then I agree with other reviews, very good sound quality, clear and loud - but the scratching is pretty annoying.


Hinari SC395SS Lifestyle 3.5 L Slow Cooker
Hinari SC395SS Lifestyle 3.5 L Slow Cooker

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple and effective cooking, 28 Nov. 2010
It's around this time of year that our thoughts turn to hot winter foods, many of which are ideally cooked slowly over a long period of time. Enter the Hinari Lifestyle Slow Cooker.

This is the first slow cooker I've owned, and wasn't quite sure what to expect. I needn't have worried as the cooker is simplicity itself. There are two cooking heat settings: low and high, as well as a warming function which will re-heat food. I tried a beef and beer stew out of the included suggested recipe booklet. After around 8-9 hours slow cooking (on the low heat setting) it was ready (and delicious). Fantastic, a simple recipe cooked to perfection with no mess.

The internal ceramic bowl is easily removed and cleaned. My only criticism would be a lack of a timer. A similar function to a bread-maker in which it will start cooking at an allotted time would have been a welcome addition. However, this function is available on other models, so if this function is important to you, you can splash out on a more deluxe model.


Broken Silence (Di Jack Brady)
Broken Silence (Di Jack Brady)
by Danielle Ramsay
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Broody, 16 Nov. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
You'd think that the location may have been taken straight from Silent Hill the way the author lays into the town of Whitley Bay. Whilst the majority of seaside towns in the UK have seen better days perhaps a little bit too much creative license has been used in creating an image of a no-go area with its inhabitants eager to escape.

Painting this picture of abject misery, violence, excessive drinking, drug-taking and casual sex does however set a suitable gloomy and effective backdrop to what transpires to be an effective and gripping murder-mystery. The main protagonist - Jack Brady is everything that the location is and more. The story is believable, and powers along at breakneck speed (as the story is set over 2-3 days).

Whilst never deviating much from its path, there is enough to keep the reader interested and even feel (a bit of) empathy for Jack as he desperately tries to juggle the case with his emotional attachments, failed marriage, excessive drinking...you get the picture.

I couldn't help thinking of Jimmy Nail as Spender whilst ready this book. There are certain similarities - long-haired Geordie with emotional problems and unorthodox methods. This is no bad thing - in fact this could be Spender in 2010 but in Whitley Bay instead of Newcastle.

The first couple of chapters from the author's next novel - 'Broken Bodies' are included. There's enough in the first book to warrant interest.


The Fall
The Fall
by Guillermo del Toro
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superior sequal, 10 Nov. 2010
This review is from: The Fall (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Whilst the first book did little more than set the story, this sequel ramps up the pace and doesn't let go until the end.

As the vampire infection snowballs into apocalyptic proportions, the main character's lives are intertwined to set up a thrilling finale which sets the third and final instalment.

There are a number of flashbacks to one of the main characters background which give a telling insight into the actions brought about throughout the series. This is a welcome addition and enhances what would seem to be a battle as old as time itself.

There are a number of bloody and epic set-pieces (perhaps reasonable to expect from such a renowned film maker) that deliver in spades. Here's hoping that the final book lives up to the expectations that have been raised, as all in all this is a better read than the first novel.


Sony MHS-CM5V Bloggie High Definition Handycam Camcorder - Violet
Sony MHS-CM5V Bloggie High Definition Handycam Camcorder - Violet

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great little compact, 30 Oct. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Filming in low light levels does highlight the unit's limitations, but for the price, the Sony Bloggie is hard to beat. Using an 8GB memory card will give you around 1:15hrs recording time at the highest resolution setting (1920 x 1080). Having used it on days out with friends and family it captures action in good detail, the colours being vibrant and as good as some other units on the market for a slightly higher price-tag. The sound recording is limited, but still of a reasonable quality, along with the limited zoom function.

This isn't a unit that is technologically advanced, but a well-priced, good quality camera that will slip into your pocket with enough functions to keep the amateur happy.


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