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Dr. Paul Ell (NI, UK)
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First World War For Dummies (For Dummies (History, Biography & Politics)
First World War For Dummies (For Dummies (History, Biography & Politics)
by Seán Lang
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to WW1, 2 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book offers a reasonable introduction to WW1. It has a wide-ranging brief from a chapter on Europe at the turn of the nineteenth century, to the home front, to the post war settlement. It aims to cope with true bigginers to the subject summarising the countries involved and even defining terms such as theatres of war, fronts,battles etc. Significantly it does not just concentrate on the western front but places the war in a global context with sections on Africa, the Far East and Oceana.

Criticisms, well some of the chapter headings are perhaps misleading in the topics they cover. There's probably too much emphasis on the context of the war and the post-war situation as opposed to looking at the war itself. The chapters are a bit too broken down into small subsections for my taste and I think a more chronolical approach might have been better, especially in dealing with the military aspects of the War. I don't like the way readers are guided to a section of the book to clarify a matter referred to in another chapter when often there's only a line or two about the issue there. Finally some of the marginalia such as 'Remember' seem pretty random to me.

Overall though not a bad book to improve your knowledge of WW1.


Ritzenhoff 0.3 Litre Martina Schlenke My Darling Mug, Multi-Color
Ritzenhoff 0.3 Litre Martina Schlenke My Darling Mug, Multi-Color
Price: £18.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another design from Ritzenhoff, 27 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very attractive design on this Ritzenhoff My Darling collection mug.


Black Sim+Micro SD Memory Card Slot+USB Cover Replacement For Sony Xperia Z1 L39H
Black Sim+Micro SD Memory Card Slot+USB Cover Replacement For Sony Xperia Z1 L39H
Offered by DealZone
Price: £6.30

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Necessary for Z1 Xperia, 27 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A design weakness of the Sony Z1 is the need to lift the waterproof cover to the USB charging port to charge the phone - unless you have a more or less essential magnetic charger. Despite having a charging stand I don't take it on business with me using port charging then. At some point the cover became damaged and this company provided a perfect replacement - and replacements for the two other covers for the SIM card and memory card. Due to use the charger cover is likely to fail first but it's worth having replacements for all.

Costly for three bits of plastic and metal but they match the phone exactly and Sony would no doubt charge far more for what they would regard as an out of warranty repair and the phone would have to be sent to France! So five stars.


Kenwood BM450 Bread Maker with Ingredients Dispenser
Kenwood BM450 Bread Maker with Ingredients Dispenser
Price: £89.50

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a winner, 15 July 2014
Much has been written by others about this bread machine. I just wanted to add that it has stood the test of time. I purchased it about a month ago and it consistently produces good results. The bread is a good size and the ingredient dispenser gives additional functionality. Well worth the money.


Oral-B Pro 5000 Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Oral-B Pro 5000 Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Price: £74.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but the 6000 with App sounds more exciting!, 15 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was using an earlier iteration of this toothbrush - a 5000 series brush - until the rechargeable battery gradually stored a smaller and smaller charge. That I replaced with a Phillips Sonic model - again like this brush a near the top of the range version. In my review then I said I preferred the Oral-B - the brush heads were smaller, the brush easier to handle. Well I guess it's what you're used to as having tested the new PRO 5000 I prefer the Philips Sonic! I find the brush head too small with this brush, and it's too easy to apply too much pressure when brushing. Although at least too much pressure is clearly highlighted by a large red light.

That said, this is still a five star electric toothbrush. It comes with a host of features noted by others which I won't repeat. I'd just pick out the range of brush heads included in the pack so you can experiment a bit; the seperate LCD brush monitor which I think is real plus over the Phillips models; the travel carry case; and finally the clear warning when using too much pressure when cleaning your teeth.

However, in this ever more connected world I'd have gone for the Braun Oral-B PRO 6000 CrossAction 6-Mode Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush with Wireless Smart Guide and Bluetooth Connectivity which looks sleeker, comes with even more brush heads and with a phone App to record you tooth-cleaning history and change toothbrush settings. That's the future of electric toothbrushes but I'll live with the 5000 for now! 5 stars and remember these brushes will likely be discounted in the near future.


Super Legend Bluetooth LED Light Bulb - Dimmable Multicolored Color Changing LED Lights - Smart LED Light Bulbs for Home, Office, Parties, Dinners - 7 Watt (40 Watt Replacement) - E26 Base - Energy Efficient Personal Wireless Lighting - Smartphone Controlled - Works with Apple iPhone, iPad and Android Phone
Super Legend Bluetooth LED Light Bulb - Dimmable Multicolored Color Changing LED Lights - Smart LED Light Bulbs for Home, Office, Parties, Dinners - 7 Watt (40 Watt Replacement) - E26 Base - Energy Efficient Personal Wireless Lighting - Smartphone Controlled - Works with Apple iPhone, iPad and Android Phone
Price: £24.35

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Significant problems initially getting it to work, but good performance afterwards, 15 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
In essence this is a much cheaper version of the Philips hue Personal Wireless Lighting Starter Kit (3 x A19 E27 LED Light Bulbs, 1 Bridge). The bulb is operated using either an iOS or Android App which is suitable for either a tablet or smartphone. This is linked to the bulb using a Bluetooth connection. The app has good functionality - you can set the bulb to a very wide variety of colours, adjust those colours, and set the bulb to turn on and off at set times. As mentioned it's also a fraction of the Hue cost.

So why only three stars? Well I experienced very significant problems in getting the bulb to work with the Apps - and I used both iOS and Android versions. Whilst the app would detect the bulb it would not form a Bluetooth link with it. And consequently the apps would not control the bulb.. The manufacturer advises turn the bulb off for five minutes and go through the set up procedure again. This I did to no effect. Eventually, and I'm not quite sure how, I got an Android phone with the app to work. I have not played around with other devices since then! Had this not been a Vine review I'd probably have given up and sent the item back as faulty.

In operation, assuming the app is set up and working, as I've noted it has good functionality. Note though that as this is a Bluetooth system you need to be in range to use it - perhaps up to four metres. Nor can the bulb can be controlled away from your house as with the Hue system as it's not WiFi based. As more minor issue is that it uses a European screw fitting so you'll need a compatible lights fitting or adapter.

Update September 2014: Well I've now been using the bulb for a couple of months as a porch light which is set to come on at 8pm and go off at 11. This has worked very well even when, on a couple of occasions the light switch has been turned off and I've had to reset the programming using the App. I'm currently using white light settings but might use a festive green at Christmas! To reflect the good performance to date I'm adding an extra star to my review. The set up issues seem a distance memory now so 4 stars.


Edwin Jagger DE89 Chrome Plated Double Edge Safety Razor
Edwin Jagger DE89 Chrome Plated Double Edge Safety Razor
Price: £23.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Edwin Jagger razor, 13 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've owned a couple of Edwin Jagger razors in the past both have which have used proprietary triple plus blades. The admittedly much cheaper safety blades this razor takes makes me a little more nervous in use and I've had one or two cuts. That's all down to practice though. What I like less about the razor is its rather stubby form - the handle is very short. It also lacks grip and overall the razor is a bit lighter than I'd like.

Jagger make excellent razors. I'd be tempted to go for one with a mock ivory handle (they are far better than the sound!) with a built in stand. Then the razor can neatly be put on display as well. This one with no stand simply has to sit in a pool of water in a bathroom cabinet after use.

So good, yes, but Jagger do much much better.


Bose ® SoundLink ® Mini Bluetooth Speaker - SIlver
Bose ® SoundLink ® Mini Bluetooth Speaker - SIlver
Price: £169.95

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compact unit, big sound, 16 Jun 2014
For an ultra portable and compact speaker the sound quality is excellent. Add to that bluetooth that works both with Android and Apple systems and a good battery life and this is an outstanding piece of kit. Highly recommended, 5 stars.


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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Set up problems, 7 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
An alternative to a 2.1 Sound Bar with separate sub-woofer from Sony in the form of a 'Sound Base' - a rectangular black box which your TV sits on. Built in to the Sound Base is a sub-woofer and dual speakers in a single unit.

Sony argue that the Sound Base offers a neater solution to improving TV sound compared to a Sound Bar with no need for a sub-woofer. This is certainly the case if you have space under your TV and don't mind the additional height placing it on the Sound Base results in. However, I was surprised at the overall size (and particularly the length) of the Sound Base at 72cm long, 31cm deep and, having less impact, just over 7cm high. It looks OK with a 42" TV but might look a little strange with a smaller set. I guess if you're buying a compact 2.1 system you need to chose where a sub-woofer is best-placed for you - in a unit under the TV or as a separate box.

Despite having one of the latests Sony TVs which should work with the Sound Base allowing both to be turned on and off using a single remote control and the Sound Base to work seamlessly with the TV BRAVIA Sync resolutely refused to work which means the separate Sound Base remote control has to be used which is a little inconvenient. Unfortunately, so far phone calls and e-mails to Sony Support have failed to resolve the issue.

Another option is to use your phone or tablet to control the Sound Base and, if you wish, output music on the phone to the Sound Base. I have a Sony Xperia Z1 phone and a Z2 Tablet. Both paired with the Sound Bar easily - helped by the NFC option built into the Sound Base which means you don't have to fiddle with the connection settings of your phone/tablet if that also has a Near Field Communication chip built-in - Sony like NFC technology at the moment. The phone-based remote is rather better than the block-like remote that comes with the Sound Base. Using the supplied remote to select sound options - such as night-playing which reduces base, or settings fro playing a film - can be slightly tedious using the Sony remote. Less so with the phone.

In terms of sound quality, well I think it's pretty good. If anything there's too much bass perhaps indicating that the sub-woofer in the Base is working very well indeed. Music sounds especially good and there are pre-set options for this as well as sport, movies, the nighttime setting mentioned above, clear audio to make voices easier to pick out and more. The settings are also adjustable. So the sound goes about as far as the constraints of the number of speakers allow.

Overall the Sound Base is an interesting and relatively new concept. The Bose ® Solo TV Sound System comes closest to offering the same functionality as Sony's offering. I'd certainly looks at this as well. I think the overall message is that you need a sub-wooffer somewhere in your sound system to get decent TV sound - it's really a question of where suits you best.

I would have given the system four stars (one dropped because to get surround sound you really need a 5.1 system, good as the sound is). However, the unit has more impact under the TV than I anticipated, and the lack of BRAVIA Sync is an annoyance, and a matter Sony should be able to resolve.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 4, 2014 12:56 AM BST


Bright LED BLUE - Light Ribbon Strip with Complete ready to use Kit - Quick and Easy installation - Includes 3A Transformer (adapter) , 1 Jumper (2 pin 15cm), and Dimmer. 16.4 Ft (5 Meter) Spool, 300 LEDs, SMD 3528, Flexible, Self-Adhesive Tape
Bright LED BLUE - Light Ribbon Strip with Complete ready to use Kit - Quick and Easy installation - Includes 3A Transformer (adapter) , 1 Jumper (2 pin 15cm), and Dimmer. 16.4 Ft (5 Meter) Spool, 300 LEDs, SMD 3528, Flexible, Self-Adhesive Tape
Offered by glow lighting

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inexpensive and effective, 25 May 2014
This kit includes a 5 metre flexible plastic strip with 600 blue LED lights embedded into it, a dimmer combined with on/off switch and a transformer with UK plug.

The LED strip is designed, in general, to be fitted under furniture, under kitchen wall units, perhaps in a dark alcove etc. Personally I've tried them under a 4 metre length of kitchen units to provide an interesting additional light feature. As the strip has self-adhesive tape on the reverse it's exceptionally easy to fix. Really no DIY skills are required. To make fitting still easier the strip can be cut to length without the lights all going out! Roughly every three LEDs along the strip there's a scissor symbol indicating where the strip can be cut. You end up with a light strip to suit exactly the length you need.

Once fitted the strip is connected to the dimmer switch and then to the rather large 3A transformer which is then plugged to the mains via another cable.

Overall, the lights on full are very bright, fully dimmable, and the impact marked.

Interms of downsides, the transformer really needs to be kept out of view, but no transformer is particularly attractive. Other than that I think you'll struggle to find lighting which is likely to have such an impact and flexibility at this sort of price. So strongly recommended.

The product was supplied for review purposes by the manufacturer.


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