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Dr. Paul Ell (NI, UK)
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AmazonBasics Everyday Double Fitted Sheet, Lilac
AmazonBasics Everyday Double Fitted Sheet, Lilac
Price: £16.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, 22 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Good value everyday fitted sheet. Not excellent thread count but at this price what can you expect and better thread count at 200 than many other 'standard' bedlinen from other manufacturers. If fits deep mattresses and does not come unattached. Nothing to fault for the price. The colour is very subdued - more a tinted off white so should be suitable for many colour choices.

However, although I have a very, very, thick mattress the sheet does seem to be a bit too large - normally they're too small in that the elasticated sheet edge is pulled up over the mattress base and the sheet easily works loose. In this case the sheet can move around - although this is admittedly better than the sheet being too small! For a standard mattress the sheet will be very loose indeed.

One star dropped for the variant fitting. I think the double sheet would be better described as being suitable for 'deep' mattresses. But overall very good value for money, save my obsession for high thread counts! A solid four stars.


Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 Multi Device: 3 Device, 1 Year [Frustration-Free Packaging] (PC/Mac/Android)
Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 Multi Device: 3 Device, 1 Year [Frustration-Free Packaging] (PC/Mac/Android)
Price: £21.59

2.0 out of 5 stars Support issues, 5 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Refuses to load on my Android systems - i want it to use on three different tablets but it looks as though it cope with this. I have contacted their support system but to reply yet.

Not good.


UE MEGABOOM Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - Charcoal Black
UE MEGABOOM Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - Charcoal Black
Price: £249.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good bluetooth speaker with some standout features - like being waterproof, 9 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Note that this is a review of the UE MEGABOOM Speaker! In a crowded market of bluetooth cordless speakers (noted by thefact that Amazon are selling three different speakers from one web page!) it's difficult for manufacturers to shine in the market. Well this speaker has one stand out feature - it's weather resistant. So I see myself using it in the garden in summer without the need to remember to bring it in. Now I don't think it will withstand dropping in the bath but should be OK left out in the rain. That said a protection of IPX7 in theory it can be submerged in water of at least a metre deep! Impressive stuff but It's not a piece of kit you'll want to leave out all year however.

Actually getting to the speaker was a little problematic. It comes in a black packing (and storage?) case tubular in shape just like the speaker. This has an outer card sleeve with product details on. I had difficulty in getting the sleeve off and then more difficulty prising the packing open. Also the USB cable is stored, and a bit hidden away, in a draw at the base of the case. The micro USB charging system comes with a cleverly designed compact UK plug and a mainland Europe plug - both in a great high reflective yellow colour.

In use pairing with a bluetooth device was simple - a couple of minutes. It also has NFC built in so placing a near field connection phone close by should do the pairing for you. The speaker comes with an Android and iOS app and the Android one is pretty good. It installed a firmware update for the speaker which took about 10 minutes. The app allows you to add another speaker to the system and to set some detailed graphic equalise settings as well as using a suggested number of presets. The app also allows an alarm to be set. You don't need to use the app to use the speaker however - a big advantage. So you can direct any audio output from your phone or tablet to the speaker.

In terms of sound quality I think it's good. There's a lot of bass and the sound is sent in all directions due to the speaker's circular design, good for outdoor use. On design, I like it's understated nature - two white lights and associated hidden buttons on the top to control pairing and power, two large volume controls on the side (the large blue '+' and '-' symbols, and an Aux in and USB charging port under water sealed rubber on the base. There's also a metal loop which could allow the speaker to be hung from a suitable hook. Pushing the volume controls simultaneously will tell you, in an American accent, the battery charge level. Battery life is predicted to be around 20 hours.

As is so common these days there's virtually no printed instructions. I wonder if someone who had no idea what bluetooth is would ever manage get get the speaker to work. Instructions are downloadable though!

So I think this speaker does have some stand-out features, and now having decided that the shipping packaging is indeed a carry case with built-in handle, I'd strongly recommend it. Did I also mention that it will also act as a speaker phone with your mobile. Press the bluetooth button to answer the call! Despite all this I can't quite bring myself to give any bluetooth speaker five stars. Can anything be perfect when so many speakers exist? But a solid 4.8 - if that was allowed!


Philips Lumea Prestige SC2008/11 IPL Hair Regrowth Prevention System for face and body
Philips Lumea Prestige SC2008/11 IPL Hair Regrowth Prevention System for face and body
Price: £399.99

16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pain free hair growth control, 9 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There's no doubt that this Philips hair re-growth prevention system is expensive but it seems to deliver exactly what it promises and, for once with hair 'control' systems actually is pain free! So I suspect certainly this IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) system is the way to go. There are other models however - more on this later.

First it's worth noting that the Lumea comes with several warnings and, bearing in mind the technology it's probably sensible to heed there! Most critically it's not suitable for hair which is very blond, white, red or grey. Also for very dark skin which does not tend to tan (this does not apply to skin that burns easily) equally the system is unlikely to work. And if you're sun sensitive - and there are antibiotics about which warn about sun exposure it's not sensible to use the system while taking the medication.

So how does it work? Well it's all about controlling the melanin in the root of the hair is passes into a dormant state, the fair falls out, and with with reuse simply does not grow back. Over time reuse becomes less critical. I guess in terms of limitations is the length of time it takes to use the system. I think Philips' estimates of time take - 8 minutes per leg for example - are optimistic particularly as it's difficult to avoid covering the same areas twice, or three times.

There are many advantages however beyond the overall effectiveness of the system. It's cordless to is easier to use, there's no blades that need replacing - in fact nothing needs to be replaced due to use and it comes with special 'safe' attachments for face and, er, other delicate areas.

I guess one key question is why buy this top-of-the-range model. Well to be honest I think you could get away with the Philips SC2004/11 model, currently the second most basic model in the Philips range. It's around £150 cheaper, lacks attachments, and probably shouldn't be used on your face. But if you want the best go for the SC2008/11. I'm dropping one star for the price, the differential of which between other models doesn't seem quite justified, but this is a very good hair prevention system. Throughly recommended, and 4 stars!


Canon Powershot SX530 HS ( 16.8 MP,50 x Optical Zoom,3 -inch LCD )
Canon Powershot SX530 HS ( 16.8 MP,50 x Optical Zoom,3 -inch LCD )
Offered by Executivez
Price: £257.98

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Promising but details to follow, 8 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the first bridge camera I've owned with a near DSLR lens, but one that can't be changed. It's fixed to the camera. That said with an amazing 50 times optical zoom lens who needs to change lenses? Initial questions are the quality of the single lens itself and the relatively small pixel count at 17 mega pixels. There's also an issue with the quality of the rear LCD display.

I'm playing with the camera now so simply raise these as possible issues. Update by the end of May. Some photos so far lack sharpness and camera use without a tripod with the 50x zoom near the maximum is an issue. But the camera is very inexpensive so a balanced full review soon.


Einhell TE-OS 18 Li solo Power  X-Change 18 V  Lithium Cordless Multi Sander with filter box
Einhell TE-OS 18 Li solo Power X-Change 18 V Lithium Cordless Multi Sander with filter box
Price: £24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Quality cordless power sander, 28 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I guess a key factor when purchasing this sander is whether you have, or are likely to purchase, other power tools in the Einhell X-Change range. If you do the good news is that when you purchase a battery it will work in all your other X-Change tools. If not, before this sander will work you'll need to buy a battery as well at a cost of around £50. Overall I think it's not a bad deal.

A good deal as I'm impressed with the quality of this sander. Build quality is very good indeed. I like design tweaks which mean that the sander can be connected to my vacuum cleaner making dust collection much more effective than the built in dust collector. Apart from this, in use the Einhell is at least as effective as other power sanders I've used. This is significant as all the others have be mains powered. There are benefits of not having a power cable getting in the way when using the sander.

So overall I'm impressed. 5 stars


Philips BG105/10 Bodygroom with Skin Protector Series 1000
Philips BG105/10 Bodygroom with Skin Protector Series 1000
Price: £20.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Inexpensive and competent, 27 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A compact body groomer designed for men. This is the bottom of the Philips range of body groomers I guess marked by the fact it's battery powered - by a single AA battery - rather than powered by a rechargeable battery, and it has a limited cutting range between 0.5mm and 3mm. All that said it's a pretty impressive, and inexpensive, product. The fact that it's using a AA battery seems to have no impact on the power, it's waterproof so can be used in the shower, and feels safe in use - it's unlikely to cut you where you'd rather not be cut! From the range of hair trimmers about these days, most of which are more expensive, this seems to be a real winner.

Significant drawbacks, well I guess a couple for me, that it won't cut hair to zero rather than 0.5mm. Plus the usage instructions seem to be non-existent. Well worth a try though. Recommended and 4 stars.


Toni & Guy Men Styling Putty - 75 ml
Toni & Guy Men Styling Putty - 75 ml
Price: £4.67

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, 22 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This product is not quite what I was expecting reflecting a description of 'Styling Putty'. The product is really a viscous liquid that would spill from the container if turned upside down. Although more liquid than putty on rubbing it between your hands before application it does thicken so application is fairly straightforward. TONI&GUY describe this as medium hold but I think it's a little lighter than that. Irritatingly although the hold is limited it can lead a sticky residue which is not great.It's also surprisingly difficult to get off your hands!

So overall I'm not greatly impressed with the product, particularly bearing in mind its relatively high price point. Give it a try but I doubt I'd buy it again. A conservative three stars.


byteStor Pro 32GB USB 3.0 High Speed Flash Drive - Black
byteStor Pro 32GB USB 3.0 High Speed Flash Drive - Black
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Inexpensive flash drive, 17 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A low cost 32Gb USB 3.0 drive that performs as expected. It comes in minimalist packaging which means that, for once, it's easy to extract the drive from the shipping pack. It's increasingly difficult to get excited about flash memory as prices have plummeted. This drive is made of inexpensive plastic so will not be particularly robust. I'd be tempted to go for with the 64Gb or 128Gb versions which offer for Gb for your £. Otherwise this is a serviceable drive at the more basic end of the market. Good value for money


Presenting Data: How to communicate your message effectively
Presenting Data: How to communicate your message effectively
by Ed Swires-Hennessy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A generic, and slightly dated, introduction to numeric information presentation, 28 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Potentially this might seem to be a challenging book examining how to present data. In fact it's pretty accessible with sections on 'Understanding number' discussing the use of rounding, decimal points, comma separators etc; 'Tables' giving pointers on ways to structure tabular information, and what to include and exclude; 'Charts' looking at some basic visualisations of numeric data through bar and pie charts; returning a little to the first chapter, a chapter on 'Numbers in text'; and finally a section on 'Data presentation on the Internet'.

In some ways this is a surprisingly slim book to address such a major topic as presenting data, at a little over 130 pages long, but I guess this is because the book does not dig too deeply into the issues. Overall I was expecting a rather more technical publication reflecting also the interests of the publisher, Wiley. The challenges of presenting complex data are many, especially in the era of Big Data. There's no mention of Big Data in the book and the really interesting ways of visualising complex data are really overlooked. The 'Charts' section really feels dated with such a focus on bar charts, histograms and pie charts. It could have been written 50 years ago or more, nothing on how graphics software allows so many additional charting options. The section of the use of the Internet only in the last few pages deals with interactive visualisations and does not address issues such as user-driven data queries.

All that said, there is some useful generic advice on how to present numbers in text and how to organise tabular data. And, as I've said, as a basic accessible introduction the book is OK. But it really is an introduction when the title suggests rather more. And it feels dated as I've noted.

Overall not a comprehensive work with much more left out than included. I was expecting a more penetrating volume rather than this rather slim book. Disappointing. 3 stars.


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