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Reviews Written by
Martyn Davies "booksareweapons"
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AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable - 1.8 m (6 ft) - White
AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable - 1.8 m (6 ft) - White
Price: £6.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Feels rugged., 16 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's quite a bit longer than the standard sort of cables, and the wire is stiffer and slightly larger diameter than usual. It feels quite rugged, which is good because (in my experience) a lot of the Lightning cables seem to fall apart or stop working quite quickly. My iphone 5s charges at around 800mA using this cable.


Getting a Big Data Job For Dummies
Getting a Big Data Job For Dummies
by Jason Williamson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.58

3.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps for undergrad job-seekers?, 19 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Part bluffers' guide to Big Data, part generic advice on job hunting, this is a somewhat meandering read, and I suspect each reader will have a different pattern of which chapters they find interesting and relevant, and which they skip over.

I mostly enjoyed the on-topic Big Data parts, i.e. Chapter 3, Big Data Concepts; Chapter 4 Case Studies; and Chapters 7 and 10 (relating to Big Data tools). As a more experienced computing professional, I also found Chapter 6 (Making Your Own Way) the most relevant of the career advice items in the book.

In general, I'm skeptical of the implied promise in the title "Getting a Big Data Job ...", but it has some useful advice, and if I were an undergraduate with an interest in Big Data jobs, I think this book could be a useful starting point to my research.


Bosch ART 26-18 LI Cordless Lithium Ion Grass Trimmer Featuring Syneon Chip (1 x 18 V Battery, 1.5 Ah)
Bosch ART 26-18 LI Cordless Lithium Ion Grass Trimmer Featuring Syneon Chip (1 x 18 V Battery, 1.5 Ah)
Offered by GM Suppliers
Price: £108.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice strimmer apart from the plastic blades, 14 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Light and easy to use, and has the advantage of the standard battery system (one battery for all Bosch tools). The Li-Ion battery gives usage from one charge.

The one disadvantage is these stupid little plastic strimmer blades that last hardly any time (about 20 minutes on the allotment) and cost £6 for the 5 pack. This is just bad design.


Schwalbe Land Cruiser 26x1.9-2 Tyre w/ Puncture Protection Black 900g (50-559)
Schwalbe Land Cruiser 26x1.9-2 Tyre w/ Puncture Protection Black 900g (50-559)
Offered by Bike Champions
Price: £10.93

5.0 out of 5 stars Great compromise and not too pricey, 14 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a nice tyre, and not too pricey. The central part of the tyre is a continuous strip, so on the road you get a nice smooth connection even though the tread is quite nobbly. If you don't go off road much, it's a great compromise.


Kensington ValuMouse Three-Button Wireless Mouse, Optical, Plug and Play, 1000 dpi - Black
Kensington ValuMouse Three-Button Wireless Mouse, Optical, Plug and Play, 1000 dpi - Black
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the money, 14 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is at the bargain end of the optical mouse range. It works with my Windows PC without any effort; just plug in the dongle and go. I also tried it on the MacBook; it works, although the sense of the scroll wheel seemed to be upside-down relative to the trackpad.

Negative points against this mouse:

- Although it's wireless 2GHz, it uses some propietary system, so you need to occupy one of your USB ports with the dongle supplied (i.e. it can't use Bluetooth if you have that on your computer).
- It uses AAA standard cells, so it's not rechargeable.

On the positive side, the battery life seems good: after 20-odd days my batteries are down from 1.6V to about 1.37, so I think the battery life is probably a couple of months (I use this machine daily, but perhaps only for a couple of hours). The mouse goes to sleep when not used, so I haven't needed to switch it off using the button underneath. The wheel is a bit stiffer than I was used to, but it's comfortable in the hand and works perfectly well.

Edit: Batteries finally gave way on day 44.

I think it's great for the money.


Speedlink Black Widow Flightstick
Speedlink Black Widow Flightstick
Offered by Rapid Warehouse
Price: £37.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Black widow, 6 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It is very good in terms of the button placement and the axes are very smooth. The one huge problem I came across was that it's difficult to set up for the first time but otherwise I love it!


I-Rocks Mechanical Feel Keyboard with High-Scissor Structure Backlit Cherry Compatible Keycaps and Turbo-Typing for Gaming and Multimedia Keys
I-Rocks Mechanical Feel Keyboard with High-Scissor Structure Backlit Cherry Compatible Keycaps and Turbo-Typing for Gaming and Multimedia Keys
Price: £45.91

5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasing keyboard if bulky, 5 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is quite a bulky keyboard by the standards of some, but it feels strong and the keys are well balanced and work well. The red backlight under the keys is pleasing, but can be switched off if it becomes intrusive.

Certain zones of the keyboard allow for a large number of keys to be depressed at one time (which is valued by gamers, e.g. when up/down/left/right are mapped to Q,Z,A,S etc). The keyboard is USB but also has a PS2 adapter. While this might seem archaic (and some PCs don't have these connectors any more), apparently the PS2 port can be more responsive than a USB port, again which gamers like. The two fastest turbo modes on the keyboard can only be selected in this PS2 mode. Volume Up/Down and Mute on/off can be done via buttons at the top right of the keyboard.

I've found it quite a good keyboard for general use, having quite a nice click and travel of the keys.


How Music Got Free: The Inventor, The Mogul and the Thief
How Music Got Free: The Inventor, The Mogul and the Thief
by Stephen Witt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Internet vs the Music Industry, 5 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book tells a number of biographical stories connected with the birth of digital music and how the internet and the ubiquitous MP3 file moved the music business away from the CD.

We hear how Karlheinz Brandenburg and his research team at Fraunhofer developed the MP3 coder, and how this format became technologically triumphant even though interests in industry and the MPEG standardization committee tried their best to kill it.

It tells the story of Doug Morris, CEO of Time Warner and later Universal Music, who was at the helm during the rise of rap acts and during the rise of the little-understood internet: The former producing a great new musical marketplace; the latter threatening to siphon of the revenues through leaks and bootlegging. At the other end of the music business, we also hear about Dell Glover and Tony Dockery, workers at the Polygram/Vivendi CD pressing plant, and their role in leaking new music to the internet top leakers' sites, sometime even before the CDs reached the shops.

Another strand is the story of Alan Ellis, founder of Oink, which ended up being one of the biggest and best curated internet destinations for music that no-one was paying for.

The book goes on to tell of the legal backlash from the FBI and RIAA, and the trials of Glover, Dockery and Ellis. As well as the high-profile cases, the RIAA improbably tried to make the MP3 player illegal in the USA, as well as vindictively suing almost randomly picked people who in some cases had only a handful of downloaded files, and in one case was already dead.

Along the way we touch on other industry players, including Steve Jobs of Apple, an the rise of iTunes and the iPod; Napster; Pirate Bay, Kazaa and Spotify.

It's quite interesting to see the narrative laid out in this way, and I enjoyed reading it, although some of the events now seem like a hundred years ago. I don't know if Stephen Witt has a follow-on book planned, but I would be quite interested to know what is happening in the post-MP3 period that we are rapidly moving into. Today's young music listeners seem more likely to stream music from YouTube or from Spotify than to download at all; how did these companies build a consensus with the music owners to make this possible? I suspect that this story is not yet complete, and the revolution of the music industry is still underway.


Canon Legria HF R606 High Definition 3 inch LCD Camcorder (3.28 MP, 32x Optical Zoom, 57x Advanced Zoom, Wi-Fi and NFC) - Black
Canon Legria HF R606 High Definition 3 inch LCD Camcorder (3.28 MP, 32x Optical Zoom, 57x Advanced Zoom, Wi-Fi and NFC) - Black
Offered by Executivez
Price: £142.00

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice package for the money, 2 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Legria HF R606 is a low-end camera in the Canon range, so it feels built down to a price with some missing features (like the WiFi of its bigger siblings) and it's quite plasticky with a clunky switch to cover the lens. However, it does have a great list of features, and also has the benefit of being very compact and easy to keep with you.

For a while the Legria cameras have had a feature that is constantly recording the last three seconds, which means that if you lift the camera and press record to grab something quickly, you've actually captured some extra seconds at the start. It has a useful zoom range, reliable autofocus, and also a very good macro mode for filming within a few centimetres. Face detection and tracking is also available on this model.
You can record directly in MPEG (to make for easy viewing by the most devices) or in AVCHD, which is used by a lot of video-editing packages. You can use Transfer Utility LE (get it online and activate using the voucher included with the HF R606) to download AVCHD files to the computer.

The majority of controls are via the touch screen, including the ability to quickly catch a still picture of the scene. You can change the camera settings, review pictures and videos (and see a timeline for AVCHD videos). On the camera itself there is an on/off button; a button to move between play and record modes; a zoom control (on top) and the record button at the back, positioned under the thumb. The camera has HDMI and mini-USB sockets to connect to TV/PC respectively. There is also a power input (with a strange proprietary connect to the supplied power supply); this is how you charge the Li-Ion battery. I would have preferred an off-camera charger, but this costs extra . Hey ho.

I think this is a nice package for the money; useful features and very nice HD movie output. WiFi features would have earned an extra star.


Star Wars Battlefront II (PC)
Star Wars Battlefront II (PC)
Offered by marxwax
Price: £30.44

5.0 out of 5 stars It's a very original game and extremely fun to play, 2 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's a very original game and extremely fun to play. As it is an old game they had to scale it down a bit which means the space battles are rather small although it does get you excited for the movie in December 2015 and for star wars battlefront 3 around the 17th of November 2015.
Something they could do though is to do a Star Wars battlefront 2 REMASTERED using the frostbite engine (the engine S.T battlefront 3 is using) and do full scale space battles and upgrade the A.I for NPC's (non player characters.)

To conclude; you can't really criticize the game as it was made in 2004 so it would be a bit unfair, so if I were you I would wait till November...


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