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A. Crabtree (London, GB)

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TP-Link TD-W8961ND 300Mbps Wireless N ADSL2+ Modem Router for Phone Line Connections (EU Plug)
TP-Link TD-W8961ND 300Mbps Wireless N ADSL2+ Modem Router for Phone Line Connections (EU Plug)
Price: £30.72

1.0 out of 5 stars Bad Security Vunerability, 22 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Without an admin password an outsider can read the rom, scan the admin password, and then update your DNS settings to a DNS that then causes phishing attacks.
Firmware upgrade gets round this, as can blocking incoming web traffic.
Other than that, performs reasonably well.

Nikon COOLPIX S800C Android Compact Digital Camera - Black (16MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3.5 inch LCD
Nikon COOLPIX S800C Android Compact Digital Camera - Black (16MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3.5 inch LCD
Offered by eurosale-net
Price: £139.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Inadequate battery life, buggy, Android fairly useless, 9 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just get the non-android normal Nikon equivalent. The camera part is superb, but the Android aspect is absolutely awful:

The camera runs the battery down very quickly and misreports it.
The message when battery is very low is incomprehensible .
Sometimes the camera goes for a burton and you can't take pics. I assume Android loads it a bit and it does other things.
Wifi a total waste of time.
If you're a gadget freak, love Android and like fiddling with it, solving problems and so on, get the camera - it'll be fun, but otherwise, Android is for mobiles and tablets, not this turkey.

Further experience: the software is buggy. My set of pictures for the last weeks have a block of photos date stamped in 2015 before reverting to the correct date.

The processor's overload can cause the camera to turn back on after you put it back in your pocket, with the lens trying to open and failing because obstructed - that can't be good.

Avoid this camera - it is very hard work and inadequate in important ways.

Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 3000 (Retail Packaging)
Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 3000 (Retail Packaging)
Offered by eoutlet-uk
Price: £12.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars made my rsi worse, 7 Nov 2012
People love or hate particulr keyboards, so some might not agree with me.

I get rsi in my fingers and had discovered the Comfort Curve 2000. That had less of a curve on it and the keys were not raised up at at all. The keys had a very light action (the keyboard was badly made and so I got through 3.)

The 2000 has now been replaced by this one.

I found it awful. The keys seem smaller. The action is less light. I kept missing keys, but above all my RSI got MUCH worse.

So be wary.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 15, 2013 3:29 PM BST

Mini DV - World's Smallest High Resolution DV/Voice Camcorder
Mini DV - World's Smallest High Resolution DV/Voice Camcorder
Offered by discountedtoyou
Price: £8.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars don't waste your time, 28 Dec 2011
don't waste your time on this silly little thing - it's unreliable.
It might work, it might not.
Maybe resetting it will lead to stability for a while, maybe not.
Why waste your time?

Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went
Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went
by John Kenneth Galbraith
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating book with a fascinating afterword, 8 Jun 2010
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This is a fine book written in Galbraith's delightful style.

The aspects of this history I find most interesting (for not having read much of elsewhere) concern Unions, Corporations and that wartime policy that was attempted to control them after the war, especially during stagflation - wages and price controls. Galbraith himself was involved in price control during the war and gives ample figures on its efficacy then. Exquisite prose describes price controls and how they work, how they succeeded during the war and failed in the late 40s in America, and why (the impossible complexity, although G thought that overmighty corporations with excessive market power and simple enough products could be price-controlled.)

What's particularly interesting is that the drawbacks and impossibilities of price and wage control are so intelligently described, but that Galbraith still thought the principal was correct and would be still, as he wrote in his afterword (how daring of him to write an afterword!)

Was Galbraith a victim of his own "conventional wisdom" in a small way? Perish the thought, but back then everyone thought that if there were no restriction on the wages of miners, steel and car workers and so on, there would be chaos. On the other hand Galbraith often argues that Economics is different from other sciences in that the character and obsessions of societies affects what can be correct policy. Thus his price control might have had some justification in a peace time economy, even in the medium or long term, in a society steeped in stagflation and with very powerful unions (though post 1979 experience is completely against it.)

Read this excellent book though!

A History of Economics: The Past as the Present (Penguin Economics)
A History of Economics: The Past as the Present (Penguin Economics)
by John Kenneth Galbraith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good short history of economics, 27 Feb 2010
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This is a good, readable short history of economics, written in Galbraith's delightful style.

There is much erudite interpretation of economists, possibly excessively influencing your understanding of them. For example, of Ricardo:

"From the demanding exercise in understanding that [Ricardo] imposes, the reader can emerge with some freedom as to what he chooses to believe."

Malthus turns out to be a real economist, rather than a shreeking prophet, and his position alongside Ricardo is described. Negative opinion of Ricardo abounds, rather scornful of his explanations of profit. Galbraith is sly and amusing (as ever) about putting down Ricardo on account of his style:

"As others have noted, Ricardo managed in his later writing to soften positions that were originally very hard, and this has greatly helped many who have sought to find in him what they wished to believe."

However there is no mention of the theory of comparative advantage, which is odd.

There is more detail in the Penguin History of Economics, yet I prefer Galbraith, especially his discussion of the problems with Keynesianism and also the cant against monopoly; Galbraith is very clear about what modern corporations amount to, with their size, advertising and market and political power. In fact the later chapters in general are very gripping - about the post-war period, encompassing welfare, Keynesianism and its problems, the monopolistic corporation and the West's senile industries. That the book dates from the mid 1980s is actually a special perspective that I found particularly interesting.

The last chapter looking into the future from the mid 1980s is about Japan and suggests all sorts of Japanese institutions and approaches will be taken up - the opposite happened probably.

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
by Niall Ferguson
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating, 27 Feb 2010
This is a very enjoyable, intelligent book; excellent value for its insight. It is a popular history, covering a great deal and as such, a very fine one.

Sometimes I wonder whether we really need shares and credit (and all the futures, options and so on.) That we do is shown with the history of the Dutch East India Company - a fascinating account of the first joint stock company that shows just how useful shares and credit (and their tradability) are in a joint human enterprise; leading into the next step, wherein investors get carried away, all described in the history of John Law and the Mississippi Bubble.

When reading about the current crisis and possible regulatory and policy changes, there is often talk about "counter-cyclical" regulation and banks accruing capital during good times. How does one know "good times", when a boom is only recognised afterwards? The bubbles chapter of Money introduces Displacement/Euphoria/Mania/Distress/Revulsion and neatly compares stock market bubbles through history, showing how they are forgetten by the time of the next one.

This is a popular history traversing the major developments in money and finance. It would be wrong to criticise it for lack of detail. In fact some of its short explanations are better than whole books. In particular the few pages on the early Hedge Fund LTCM's collapse are a much better and clearer explanation than in the tedious "When Genius Failed". The warning for this part - powerful mathematics is invalid with over-simple assumptions - is open-ended. Lots of Hedge Funds are doing more and quicker electronic trading (let them do so, as long as they can't crash the banks that fund them.)

As other reviewers point out, you can see the author's political position. It is a well-reasoned one - don't fly off the handle at the Chilean economic history; read it carefully: it is substantially about about an economic policy and its successes, detail given. If you think Ferguson is too straightforwardly monetarist there, then the Argentinian history contradicts that: inflation as a political phenomenon, not monetary.

The final chapter discusses competition and innovation in finance. Stating Schumpeter's original description of Creative Destruction, the pace of bankruptcy and renewal is made clear. Although expressed in the attractive language of natural selection, the book concludes with Schumpeter's warning not to over-regulate and save the infirm company. I felt the author was too optimistic in his implication that this process will keep working well - think of the big banks held up by the British and US taxpayer; what will become of them? They seem to me to be almost like the British lame duck state enterprises of the 70s, but where those industries representatives (Trades Unionists) were almost like pantomime villains, our new vested interests seem less recognisable. J K Galbraith (History of Economics) has more to say about the sly, monopolistic enterprise, masquerading as free enterprise.

Bog-Standard Britain: How Mediocrity Ruined This Great Nation
Bog-Standard Britain: How Mediocrity Ruined This Great Nation
by Quentin Letts
Edition: Hardcover

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as "50 People Who Buggered Up Britian", 17 Jan 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Rather disappointing - Letts off form.

Similar to 50 People Who Buggered Up Britain, but without such individual targets, and less accurate. Has the author grown careless or success gone to his head? There is still plenty of clever invective, but too much that seems ordinary or nasty. There are too many metaphors and too many fail (for example good manners being like the bones of a trout, preventing it from turning into squelch, plus other rather forced comparisons.)

Much of the invective could only preach to the converted. A reference to Nevil Shute's novel about an invasion of England discusses the Englishmen's continuing to address each other by their surnames. The codes of politeness the British used (and discarded) are subtle, their purpose was subtle; you cannot just cite them and say we have declined. It's right to complain about being addressed as "mate" though. I sacked an estate agent partly for that, though like Letts, I have to grin and bear it everywhere else I turn.

This book is amusing, but it should either be thought-provoking by making you realise how and why the various awfulnesses described have happened, or else actually explain them (amusingly above all.) Thus I think Letts has deployed his furious skills too easily and carelessly.

"50 People" is far better. It is funnier, and by attaching each of its rages to Britons that embody their cause, it is more revealing and more accurate. That said, there is still a fair bit of really decent stuff in here - a paean to Hyacinth Bucket amongst plenty of others, so please don't let me put you off if you fancy these articulate rants.

Nevertheless if you haven't read "50 People" then I urge you to read that; then you'll need to thirst a bit to need to read "Bog Standard" too.

The Woman Racket
The Woman Racket
by Steve Moxon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.12

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, informative; worrisome later chapters, 10 Jan 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Woman Racket (Paperback)
Read this book, because it is good, informative as far as you trust it, economical and thought provoking, but:

This book makes much of its basis in science, and is heavily referenced. No doubt it is well-founded but as it wears on it becomes more polemical and a little bitter. I found myself wondering whether the author were a Father4Justice. Not that it would invalidate the book; in fact it appears he is involved in "Mankind' - a charity concerned with domestic violence against men; its website has references to research held by the Home Office (lots of British Crime Survey.)

The early material about women as the limiting factor in reproduction with the Y chromosome (i.e. men) as genetic filter is fascinating, and something I'd not heard about.

Of course this book is not a primary work of science, but a referenced digest. However I think especially in the later chapters there is a tendency to career past factual/scientific evidence into rant and polemic (as Damaskcat points out too.) Do not be put off - read this book; but look too at "The Myth of Male Power", by Warren Farrell. Although indigestibly American in presentation, and also now quite old, it probably has more fact and reference.

What are these books for? I think they are trying to say that feminism is generally unopposed (even consented to - because that's what men do) and has much that is damaging alongside the essential and positive, and that therefore opposition, fact and clarity are necessary, so that feminism should mature. Is it the case that feminism has matured? Are there feminists who are "out of control"? Is some such feminism official policy and/or general societal attitude (for example, premeditated homicide as involuntary and not culpable?)

I find these books rather distasteful if gripping reading, but perhaps their authors would predict my reaction: men don't want a fuss or favours, or perhaps even to consider them, and would rather a world that could just get on.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 23, 2012 11:28 AM BST

Driving the Power of AIX
Driving the Power of AIX
by Ken Milberg
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor, 24 Dec 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Short, little detail, so poor value. Appears to be a simple rehash of documentation with little explanation.

I am not a sysadmin so I might be missing something. I very quickly lost patience with the book too; it might have merits if used for longer, though I doubt it.

Stick to the man pages, on-line docs and white papers.

Not worth getting even on expenses - you probably won't use it at all.

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