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Andromeda Descendent (Tarn Vedra)
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Answering Tough Interview Questions For Dummies
Answering Tough Interview Questions For Dummies
by Rob Yeung
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Technically informative, but lacking for breadth of the human element, 16 Mar 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's a huge temptation when reviewing a book about answering interview questions to start off by sharing stories of your own interview experiences. I actually started doing that in this review and then realised that if you're reading this then you might get a bit annoyed if I don't quickly get to the point. So after deleting a couple of paragraphs, here I am getting to the point.

Although it sounds harsh, if this book were a job candidate I'd be impressed by it's technical competency but the bottom line is I wouldn't hire it. I don't want to give the impression that this book isn't well written or useful, as it is both, and as someone who really does want to improve his interview skills I learned a great deal from it. The sad truth for me is that I didn't connect with it on a personal level. I could go on with the "book as a person" metaphors, but that would be unkind. Again, I'll save your time by getting to the point.

This book is full of example answers that people could give to a wide range of interview questions. The great thing about this book is that the author explains what interviewers are looking for when they ask you those questions. If I was reading this book as an interviewer then I'd really relate to this book, but the author – himself an experienced interviewer – seems to have forgotten there are two sides to every interview, because not one of the numerous sample interview answers in this book can be related to a real life human being. From what I can tell, he's written them all himself – they may be based on real people that he's met, but they all sound lamentably like the same person in different costumes. It's like reading a book authored by Mr Benn.

Although interviewers may want to hear you say that you positively thrive on pressure, I'd bet anything they wouldn't want to hear you actually say "I positively thrive on pressure" (page 48). It's not real language for most people, and it sounds rehearsed and staged. That's an extreme example, and most of his theoretical answers are very good in that you can see how they answer the question. But the idea is that you're supposed to come up with your own answers. If all you have to compare your answers with is the one person's made up answers, how are you going to know whether or not you're on the right track? I really wish the author (or in fairness maybe the publisher) had put in that extra effort to get some real people giving their answers and then the book could have advised the reader on the good and bad points.

Cast your mind back to my first paragraph. If you've been wondering what my most memorable interview experiences are – the ones that I actually wrote about and then deleted – then there's a good chance you'll feel to some extent the same about this book as I did. But if it never crossed your mind to wonder what I wrote then maybe you can see past what I personally consider to be a flaw.

I realise I must sound very negative so I'm going to balance that out a bit. Yes, I found it hard to engage with the book in the way that I wanted to, but there was a great deal of useful information between its covers. As an eye opener to the kinds of questions you never even thought you might be asked, it's illuminating. In helping you understand what interviewers wish to hear you say when they ask you the most common (and the not so common) questions, it's invaluable. For interview preparation, I consider it a good tool in the armoury. But it's not the only one, and I think that when I need to prepare for my next interview it won't be the only book that I turn to. And perhaps that's the way it should be in any case.


Dead Island (Xbox 360)
Dead Island (Xbox 360)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £12.28

4.0 out of 5 stars Life's too short and undead life's even shorter, 13 Mar 2014
It seems a bit odd reviewing a game that was recently given away for free on Xbox Live's "Games for Gold", but I enjoyed some things about the game and felt like I wanted to review it anyway. I missed Dead Island the first time around. I was vaguely aware it existed, but hadn't paid it much thought. But a zombie game set on a beach resort was unusual enough to catch my attention when it was offered for free and so I downloaded it and gave it a go.

You choose one of four characters, although other players can drop in on co-op, and you play throughout the game as that one character – which makes the cutscenes in single player a bit odd, as one character suddenly becomes four, and NPCs thank "you all" at various points for your help. The story is… well… not really up to much – you are stranded on an island and you need to help various characters so that they in turn can help you to get off it – what more do you need to know? But killing zombies with improvised weapons is as fun as it sounds (well, in a game it's fun… in real life, no so much I'd imagine). Weapon maintenance is crucial – the more you use a weapon, the less effective it gets, and there's a real element of strategy going on in your decisions to keep on slashing or find a workbench, or whether to spend cash on upgrading a weapon or wait until you loot a container that gives you a better one.

The zombies come in several types – slow but determined; fast and furious; large and slow but difficult to kill and usually blocking your way; fast and difficult to kill; large, fast and difficult to kill; hideous exploding suiciders and fat toxic vomiters. Yes, I said vomiters. There are also humans who will try to kill you if you set foot on their turf. The game has about a hundred side quests, and completing them helps to build up your XP and unlock new abilities from a skills tree. However, each time you level up, so – inexplicably – does every zombie on the island. That can be frustrating, especially when one or two hits can kill you, but what it does do is keep the tension level constantly high. It's just a pity that there are so many minor gameplay irritations that stop this game from being the best it can be. Sometimes when you die it can feel completely random. Fighting one or two zombies on their own should not present a problem, but get ambushed by a horde and the clunkiness of the attack and defend mechanics can lead to moments of frustration as you do all you can to fight them off but to no avail. Guns are strangely useless – it takes several shots to down a zombie but only one swipe of a machete to make its head fly.

For one situation, however, what can seem unfair actually IS your fault – gone round a corner only to be instantly killed by a suicider? Your fault. Why? You didn't pick up on the audio cue. The sound in this game is one of its good points. The achievements are mostly easy to rack up, although do every side quest in the game and you still won't be anywhere near the maximum XP level, so if you're considering chasing that achievement, don't, because life's too short and undead life's even shorter.


Gro 2-in-1 Night Light Bayonet Fitting
Gro 2-in-1 Night Light Bayonet Fitting
Price: £17.33

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent idea, well implemented, 13 Mar 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This seemed like an unusual product to come out of the same company as the grobag, but it's a good idea and a great alternative to the dreaded dimmer switch. Dimmer switches are energy unfriendly, make the light bulb hum and can create interference, but the grolight has none of these problems.

LEDs spaced around the unit give a very dim light or – by adjusting the built in dial switch – a slightly brighter dim light. It sits between the light fitting and the bulb, holds a lampshade, and the best feature of all is that you operate it from the light switch. From the off position, one click turns on the night light, then a quick off and on again of the light switch transfers power to the light bulb.

A few warnings from the instructions you might wish to know are: Do not use with a bulb that exceeds 70W (40W where used with a closed top shade); The lamp shade should be kept away from the light bulb and the grolight by at least 30mm; The weight of the lamp shade should be no more than 1KG


Tacwise A11 (Type 140) Hammer Tacker
Tacwise A11 (Type 140) Hammer Tacker
Price: £21.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good for professionals; amateurs use with care, 19 Feb 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Tacwise hammer tacker is a difficult tool to review because how useful and suited it is for what it does varies considerably with the tasks that you ask it to do. In common with a standard hammer, it's a blunt instrument, or at least it is unless you use it so much that you get the knack of positioning the staples exactly where you want them, and that for me proved very tricky in testing. My efforts were by no means neat. It's also a big tool and you need room to swing it, so open surfaces are fine but when I tried tacking down loose stair carpet I found it extremely difficult to pin the verticals.

But I guess that if you want a staple gun, you'll buy a staple gun, and if you're considering a hammer tacker you already know the limitations. The good points of this tacker are that it takes three types of staples - 6mm, 8mm and 10mm (a box of 8mm was included with the review pack) - it releases the staples without any duds or misfires, the handle has a good grip to it, and it is very well balanced.

If you're looking to use it for jobs around the home, I'd think twice before choosing this - not because it isn't good quality, because I think it is very well made - but because it's not going to be the answer to every task you'd consider it for, and it takes a while to get the knack of it, by which time you've probably finished what you wanted to do anyway.

I can see, however, that professionals - and to be fair to the manufacturers, that is probably their target market - would find this useful, as perhaps would those in professions where posters need to be put up on pinboards in a hurry and, well, my imagination runs out at that point. Maybe owners of lost dogs who want to pin "have you seen me" notices on tree trunks? Basically what I'm saying is it's more a professional's tool than an amateur's, but it's well made and if you're looking for one of these, I can't fault it on ease of loading, feel or mechanism.


The Gospel of Loki
The Gospel of Loki
by Joanne M Harris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely entertaining, 17 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Gospel of Loki (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Even for those of us who have never read up on their Norse mythology, the stories and themes of the gods of Asgard crop up so many times reflected in other stories that most of us will be familiar with at least one, probably more than one, of their tales. A good way of drawing together these stories for a modern audience is to focus them on just one character, and the character of Loki is – without any disrespect to Joanne M Harris' creativity – the obvious choice for this. I knew even as I was reading the book's description that I was going to enjoy this book.

Okay, I can't tell you how accurate this imagining of the story is to the "official version" that Loki tells us his story is just as true as, though I suspect there are many variations on the myths anyway. What matters is this is probably the most entertaining book you're going to read this year. Loki is an antihero with questionable morality who does some terrible things, and yet for most of the time (but not all of the time by any means), you feel some degree of sympathy for him. He's not human after all, but a creature of chaos, and that chaotic nature, over the course of the book, gets him both into trouble and into various characters' favours in equal measure, but he is constantly burdened by the realisation that he'll never be one of "them", whoever it is he hangs out with.

Loki the trickster not only plays a part in all the best stories about Asgard, he is instrumental in its rise to power and ultimately its destruction. As a reader, you know that destruction is coming, and you're eager to learn what role Loki plays in it. Of course the other side of this is that, seeing as the book is told in first person, the other discovery you are reading towards is, quite naturally, what happens to Loki afterwards. The decision to write Loki's narration in such a way that it contains a number of modern references and speech patterns was undoubtedly the right one, as it makes it easier for the reader to identify with him, however the flip-side of that is that it builds up an expectation that there is something more to Loki's story after the fall of Asgard than there actually turns out to be; that the Trickster might well be keeping his last and best trick to play on the reader, and I was waiting for that punch to come. I had felt that the book was building towards something extremely clever – something that could set it apart as a modern classic – and then it turned out not to be there. That left me with conflicting feelings, as I'd enjoyed the journey immensely, but the expectation that some creative licence was going to be used to blow me away with a massive revelation left me feeling disappointed when it failed to happen.

And yet I can't bring myself to mark this book any lower than five stars despite this. Doing so would be the equivalent of saying to someone, "maybe think twice before buying this," but I can't help but recommend it to everyone.


Furby Frames - Purple and Orange Glasses
Furby Frames - Purple and Orange Glasses
Offered by ACA Sports Limited
Price: £0.03

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars They're okay, but why can't you just buy the one you want?, 29 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Furby Frames (Toy)
If you want to give your Furby a bit more of a visual personality these plastic glasses fit just right, and there are various sets, each with two designs. Furby doesn't act any differently when wearing the glasses, so they're purely cosmetic. They're an expensive accessory for what they actually are, and it's a nuisance you have to buy two at once instead of picking the one, or even two, you might want individually.


Memorex M00285 CD-R 52x 50 Pack Cakebox
Memorex M00285 CD-R 52x 50 Pack Cakebox

5.0 out of 5 stars Always reliable, 29 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These CDs always write first time and have a reliability I haven't found with other makes. They have a simple, clear design with plenty of space to write on with a CD marker pen. The cakebox with internal spindle is very well made and tapers towards the top so that, if you have more than one, you can stack them.


Kiss Me
Kiss Me
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Kiss Me, 29 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Kiss Me (MP3 Download)
I guess for some people this is one of their "guilty pleasure" songs, but I don't feel guilty at all. It reminds me of spring and summer, even on gloomy winter days. It's a simple, unpretentious feelgood song, and we need more of those.


Blue Crystal Puzzle Gift Box
Blue Crystal Puzzle Gift Box
Offered by JNS JAPAN STORE
Price: £8.66

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crystal Puzzle Gift Box, 29 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Blue Crystal Puzzle Gift Box (Toy)
This is a medium difficulty crystal puzzle which, when finished, is about 6cm on each side and you can lift the lid off to put things (admittedly very small things) in the space inside. The blue "ribbon" pieces along the sides may look fragile, but are stronger than they look and everything fits together perfectly.


Weetabix Chocolate Biscuits 24 (Pack of 5)
Weetabix Chocolate Biscuits 24 (Pack of 5)
Price: £13.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Really nice chocolaty cereal, 29 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Although Weetabix original is great, I'm of the opinion that any cereal can be improved by adding chocolate. In this cereal you get not only a chocolate flavour, but chocolate chips as well. I like to eat Weetabix very soon after putting the milk on, so that it doesn't disintegrate and I can still chew it before it goes all soggy, but inevitably there will be always be some chocolate chips left to tease out of the bottom of the bowl with the spoon afterwards. It is packaged in waxed paper, so I have no concerns about contamination when it comes through the post (should the postie accidentally drop the parcel in a puddle of… well, let's not got there).

I really like it and have no negative comments to give. If you haven't tried it yet, you should do so.


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