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guydickinson (Manchester, UK)

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PitRok Crystal for Men
PitRok Crystal for Men
Price: £4.31

5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a convert, 15 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Never thought I'd find myself reviewing deodorant! This stuff is fantastic...doesn't stop you sweating, but this literally keeps me smelling sweet (or rather just no smell at all!) for long sweaty days clambering around on holiday.

I've switched 100% to Pitrock - great for travelling (and hand luggage, as it's 100ml and non aerosol).


Anker® Astro Mini 3000mAh Ultra-Compact Portable Lipstick-Sized External Battery Backup Charger Power Bank Charger for iPhone 5 (Apple adapters not included) 4S 4 3GS, iPod, Samsung Galaxy Note, Galexy S4, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S2, Galaxy Nexus, HTC One X, One S, Sensation G14, ThunderBolt, Nokia N9 Lumia 920 900, Blackberry Z10, Sony Xperia Z; Google Glass, GoPro and More - Black
Anker® Astro Mini 3000mAh Ultra-Compact Portable Lipstick-Sized External Battery Backup Charger Power Bank Charger for iPhone 5 (Apple adapters not included) 4S 4 3GS, iPod, Samsung Galaxy Note, Galexy S4, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S2, Galaxy Nexus, HTC One X, One S, Sensation G14, ThunderBolt, Nokia N9 Lumia 920 900, Blackberry Z10, Sony Xperia Z; Google Glass, GoPro and More - Black
Offered by AnkerDirect
Price: £39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic pocketable power, 15 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Picked up a couple of these for when my wife and I are travelling and using iphones as cameras etc.

Small, and decent form factor makes them perfectly pocketable, charges fairly quickly and is extremely well built. Can't fault it. Manages to complete recharge an iPhone ones and a bit (the manual says it loses 30% of capacity as it charges a device through heat etc).

Noticed a few 'odd' versions - poss. fakes (and would explain the variance in reviews) so be sire to buy from the Anker store direct.


Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success
Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success
Price: £4.68

3.0 out of 5 stars Some great insights, but could have been er, simpler..., 14 April 2013
This is another business book that could have been very effectively edited to half its word count...

I appreciate publishing business model requirement for 300+ pages, but what a corker this book would have been if it had been allowed to follow its own prognosis!


Poetic Borderline Bumper case for Google Nexus 4 Smart Phone E960 LG Black/Gray(3 Year Warranty from Poetic)
Poetic Borderline Bumper case for Google Nexus 4 Smart Phone E960 LG Black/Gray(3 Year Warranty from Poetic)
Offered by Smart Shop Online
Price: £14.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Manufacturing issue with mine....will reserve judgment until I've used replacement, 4 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Hmmm, mine fell apart after 3 wks (see original review below). Since read that after 6th Jan 2013, they resolved manufacturing issue, so I've asked for a replacement. I'll reserve my previous 1 star 'avoid' rating, and will leave this as neutral.

========== Original review =============
I bought one of these bumpers, as did two of my friends, in the absence of the official Google bumpers. Took a while to ship (from the US...no mention of that on the 'poetic-uk' fulfilment).

Anyway, they're 'ok' - plastic feels ok underhand, not HQ like an iphone4 bumper, but good enough.

But, my pal warned me his , and his friends had basically disintegrated - the soft plastic ending had just come away from the main plastic shell. Sure enough, after 3 weeks of very light 'pocket' use, mine (from a different order) is showing same failure.

I'd avoid these if possible.


Jawbone JamBox Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - Black Diamond
Jawbone JamBox Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - Black Diamond
Offered by Valutech Ltd
Price: £94.97

106 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb portable speaker that you thought you didn't need. But you do :), 12 May 2011
Often not compelled to write a review, but this fantastic speaker is really so good, I wanted to share my experience with it.

I was looking for a single 'box' speaker that was unobtrusive, and I could move from kitchen table to bathroom, patio etc.

Competition
-----------------
I spent some time looking (and trying) Tivoli Pal, Tivoli Model One, lower end iPod docks and even a PicoIR internet radio.

But all I wanted was a *speaker* - I have radio etc via my iPhone - the sound was lovely (esp. Tivoli), but I felt like I was paying for a feature I don't need.

And then I remembered this Jambox device; I'd written it off as gimmicky when it was released. Shows what i know, huh? :)

Audio quality
-----------------
This has the same audio performance as a Tivoli, I reckon- a nice, warm sound, which definitely benefits from decent quality AAC/source files - you notice the difference with iPlayer's 'HD' and 320k iTunes material.

The audio is noticeably 'box bound' (depending on the track), but as it's the size of *two Wii remotes* - it's an amazing audio performance for it's size.

If this was simply a mains-powered, smallish speaker, with audio-in, as I thought I wanted, I'd be really happy.

Usage
-----------------
But of course, this also has a 10hr battery and bluetooth connectivity (and a headphone-in if you need it), so I can carry it from room to room, with my iPhone (or Mac) left behind (30 feet range - I've not reached that limit yet).

I didn't think I needed this sort of portability, but it's absolutely brilliant - you really do find yourself using it whilst cooking, showering, etc.

I didn't think I'd need a speaker to carry around my flat, away from the phone/mac, but it's really useful.

And it looks pretty cool! It's like a nifty piece of lego...not some horrid nerdy hifi object with flashing blue LEDs. It feels extremely rugged as well; thick rubber on both sides and a meaty metal grille.

**UPDATE**: I've been using this for a week now, and the battery is outstanding - I've charged it once, and used it for: afternoon's loud listening, a movie, an evening's background music, an afternoon's listening, morning's radio. Still reporting 'about 3/4 full', and the iPhone's battery indicator (v. cool) looks about 2/3rds.

It's been a week, and no run-down on the battery whilst idle, either. Absolutely fantastic.

Bluetooth
-----------------
It's also a doddle to pair by holding the power switch for a few seconds - I haven't tried more than two devices (iPhone and Mac), but it shows up as a source in every audio-enabled iPhone app I've tried so far.

One thing I was concerned about was the syncing of audio for video playback (I was previously unfamiliar Bluetooth audio), but it's perfect.

Because it's battery+wireless, this has transformed how I watch movies on my laptop (I place the speaker near my head, and the laptop at the bottom of the bed :)

Accessories
-----------------
Some thoughtful extras in the box are two lengths of micro USB cable (the shorter one is great for travelling), and a lovely thin headphone-heaphone cable (I suspect audio nerds will detect improved quality sound with this - I couldn't hear much difference over Bluetooth).

But best of all is a really nicely designed 'slipcase', with toughened sides, so you can carry it in a bag.

Note for Mac users
-----------------
Word of warning to Mac users - it shows up twice in Sound preferences - the default source is 'headset' and that is really rubbish and tinny. Be sure to select 'Bluetooth Headphones'.

**UPDATE**: I've had some problems connecting my Mac over Bluetooth (iPhone is flawless). I think the Mac has a Bluetooth bug which requires you to wait for 15+ seconds to connect successfully. If you try and access System Preferences > Audio in the first 15+ secs, before the device driver has become active, the Sound prefs hang, or you get a 'can't connect' error.

As the iPhone is flawless, and instant, I'm going to put this down to buggy/sub par BT audio drivers on 10.6.7...I'll just have to learn to be a little patient when using my Macbook :-)

Conclusion
-----------------
It's not full-on hifi, but you've probably already got a dock/stereo/whatever for that.

This is basically a near-perfect kitchen table speaker for connecting an iPhone/laptop.

Then it becomes one of the best travel accessories I've come across - the battery and size (and weight) means it'll slip easily into an overnight bag (it comes with a nice slipcase...never suffer hotel room audio again!

If you like well designed, thoughful objects, like good sound, but are willing to compromise a bit for wonderful portability and lots of opportunities to actually use the thing, I don't think you'll regret buying this.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 25, 2012 10:23 PM BST


Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Baghdad's Green Zone
Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Baghdad's Green Zone
by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reads as well as thriller - superb insight into the realities of the US in Iraq, 8 April 2010
Another reviewer used the term 'lucid' to the describe this book - a perfect way to describe this densely researched, but extremely well structured and excitingly written book.

The book has personal vignettes before each documentary chapter - a technique that personalises the reading experience and makes for a compelling reading experience.

Clearly, the analysis and lessons drawn are insights into the deeply flawed execution of a post-invasion strategy, with woeful tales of political cronyism, ideology trumping pragmatism, incompetence, idealism and an appalling lack of planning, with the tragic consequences we all saw.

At the risk of sounding trite, I also took saw ots of parallels and insights into the general malaise of corporate incompetence, and I think it's a fascinating read from a business perspective as well.


The Borrible Trilogy: "The Borribles", "The Borribles Go for Broke", "Across the Dark Metropolis"
The Borrible Trilogy: "The Borribles", "The Borribles Go for Broke", "Across the Dark Metropolis"
by Michael De Larrabeiti
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute classic - get your kids to read these, 3 Jan 2010
If you've got kids of c. 9-14, you owe it to them to get the Borribles.

In a world of Harry Potter, Playstations and Instant Messaging, the Borribles trilogy really shine as a great example of the sheer joy and intellectual fulfilment of reading- these are superb stories for free thinking kids (and, frankly adults), who like a ripping yarn, fantastic characters, heaps of children empowerment and really, really bad Baddies (Dewdrop, anyone?).

I'm amazed these haven't been optioned as a film, as the themes and storylines knock spots off a lot of dirge we've seen recently.

I read the trilogy when I was 9 or 10 years old - the perfect age, I think, as of all the books I read when I was a kid, I remember the Borribles trilogy the clearest, and still feel the thrill of the storytelling seeing the names of the characters.


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