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OMG! It's got a plug! (Winchester)

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ByteStor Pro 16GB 40Mbps Class 10 High Speed Micro SDHC UHS-1 Card with SDHC Card Adapter
ByteStor Pro 16GB 40Mbps Class 10 High Speed Micro SDHC UHS-1 Card with SDHC Card Adapter
Price: £8.55

4.0 out of 5 stars Comparable to SanDisk and Kingston, 23 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
With an actual capacity of 14.9GB and with an adapter included, this is the first MicroSD card that I've owned that's not been manufactured by SanDisk or Kingston. Much like the other cards I've used, I got nowhere near the advertised transfer rates (a little over 6MB/second) but I suppose that might have more to do with my laptop than anything else. Comparable to more established brands, it's worth checking the price of the 32GB card before buying - at the time of writing it's only a couple of quid more.

Binatone M250 Big Button GSM
Binatone M250 Big Button GSM
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Very easy to use but inferior build quality, 23 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The features on this mobile are more or less standard mobile phone features circa the late nineties. I bought a TTfone Mercury 2 a few months ago and it had the option to add a MicroSD card and display photos on the screen etc. but it just complicates things. This phone keeps things basic and simple. SIM free (although it doesn't accept '3'), I popped an existing Vodafone SIM in it and the numbers appeared in the address book when I switched it on. It's a perfect size, not too big or too small. The backlit keypad has very big buttons that are easy to press. The screen is perfect with easy to read text.

It's quite straight-forward to set-up - setting the time, adding numbers to the address book, setting the alarm clock, etc - with easy to follow menus. Finding numbers in the address book is literally a couple of clicks. The battery life is very good and it automatically locks and goes into standby mode when not being used and when it does, a single battery charge lasts for days on end..

It's has some useful features - text messaging, alarm clock, calculator, SOS emergency key and an FM radio. Without earphones (where the lead acts as an ariel) I couldn't pick up anything on the radio despite living in a built up area but it works fine with them (none supplied). The hands-free works OK for both the caller and the receiver.

On the downside, it's made of cheap plastic that's liable to chip easily (the plastic chrome trim is just waiting to be chipped to expose the white plastic underneath!) or even break if dropped onto a hard floor. It comes with a jack lead charging cable and if a spare one or new one is ever required it would be so much easier to buy a mini USB lead.

Overall, this is a straightforward and easy to use seniors' mobile. Functionality wise it's an easier phone to use than the TTfone but the cheap build prevents it from receiving a perfect score.

Oral B Vitality Plus Floss Action Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush
Oral B Vitality Plus Floss Action Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush
Price: £39.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent no-frills Oral-B, 23 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a no-frills Oral-B electric toothbrush that has none of the advanced settings that more expensive handles have. Basically, switch it on and it will alert you when two minutes is up. You get no change quadrant alerts and it doesn't have a multi-speed motor for gum massaging and all that over-rated nonsense that more expensive models have.

I've been using Oral-B toothbrushes for years and the oscillating action is really smooth and comfortable. The Floss Action heads that comes with this brush leaves my mouth and teeth feeling more refreshed and clean than any other Oral-B brush heads. However, you can use any other Oral-B brush heads with it. I've been getting four days from the battery when using it twice daily for approximately 2 minutes each time.

Shop around. These models are quite often on sale for half-price either on Amazon or in supermarkets.

Komputerbay 4GB 2X 2GB DDR2 800MHz PC2-6300 PC2-6400 DDR2 800 (200 PIN) SODIMM Laptop Memory
Komputerbay 4GB 2X 2GB DDR2 800MHz PC2-6300 PC2-6400 DDR2 800 (200 PIN) SODIMM Laptop Memory
Offered by KOMPBAY
Price: £29.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap and effective RAM, 14 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought 2 x 2GB to boost my Acer Aspire 5920 laptop from it's existing 2GB of memory. It can only utilise 2.99GB but it's made a big difference, with programs and documents opening and closing in the blink of an eye and everything working noticeably faster. Cheaper than Crucial, although there is a useful system scanner on the Crucial website that you can download and it tells you what memory is compatible with your equipment if you're unsure. See comment below for the link.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 14, 2015 4:39 PM BST

Don't Look Back: An Introduction to Lloyd Cole and Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
Don't Look Back: An Introduction to Lloyd Cole and Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
Price: £2.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth Looking Back, 13 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
An album of two halves, the first 10 tracks are taken from the three studio albums released by Lloyd Cole & The Commotions and the second half features 10 tracks from Cole's first four solo albums. All of the songs featuring the Commotions are near faultless and they continue to be one of the most enduring bands of the eighties.

To this day, 'Mainstream' remains one of my most listened to albums (I have a lot of memories tied up in it!) and it's a pity that 'My Bag' - where Cole almost breaks into a rap ("Spin, spin whiskey and gin...") - didn't make the cut. But this compilation is 78 minutes long and it costs less than a pint so I have no complaints whatsoever.

I lost touch with Cole and his music after the release of his eponymous debut solo album in 1990. At the time I was listening to other types of music and, like a lot of music from that period, the production on his debut sounded too clinical and sterile. The Commotions' sound was always more sophisticated than they were perhaps given credit for and (again keeping with the times) their production could sometimes be too clean but with his debut, Cole seemed to be embracing an even more mature sound and reaching out to an equally more mature audience. I still contest that 'No More Blue Skies' sounded more Dire Straits than Lloyd Cole at the time!

Nonetheless, I'm now 25 years older and, I like to think, more mature and I must admit that I now regret missing out on most of these solo recordings the first time around. Listening to them now it's clear that there are some cleverly crafted songs here - the playful 'Undressed', 'Margo's Waltz' with it's orchestration and female backing vocals, the heavy rocking 'She's a Girl and I'm a Man', the Top 30 single 'Like Lovers Do', etc - that have stood the test of time and more or less carry on from where the Commotions left off.

An ideal budget primer for the forthcoming Commotions' box set, this is also the perfect introduction to the formative years of Cole's still ongoing solo career for anyone, like me, who never gave it the attention it clearly deserved. The Commotions' box set is on order and, better late than never, I'll be investigating Cole's back catalogue on the strength of the second half of this album.

A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble, Exploding in Your Mind: The Wizards of Oz
A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble, Exploding in Your Mind: The Wizards of Oz
Price: £11.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Antipodean Psychedelic Odyssey, 5 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Amorphous Androgynous duo Brian Dougans and Garry Cobain (a.k.a. The Future Sound of London) return with the fourth instalment of their 'A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble (Exploding in Your Mind)' series. Much like the previous three volumes, this is more a collection of crate digging treasures than a lesson in mixology. There are some overdubs and mixing but most songs appear to be played out in full and then skilfully woven together to form two discs of uninterrupted music that flow really well.

Focussing exclusively on Australian and New Zealand artists, the music ranges from the mid 60s up to the modern day but the majority of tracks are from the Sixties and Seventies. Lots of different genres are represented from Prog, Jazz, Krautrock (Aussierock?!), Raga, Folk, etc with everything having a distinctly psychedelic vibe. I expect that a lot of the songs will be unknown to all but the most obsessive followers of the Antipodean music scene of the past 50 years.

Many highlights, including the wordless vocals on the sparse and trippy 'This Early Broadminded's Emptiness' by Hiroshi & Claudia. The repetitive percussion and synths on Cybotron's 'Raga In Asia Minor' from 1978 sounds like it should have been recorded in Düsseldorf and Rob Thomsett's 'Flight of Yaraan' features some excellent lead guitar and synthetic horns. Ash Grunwald sounds like modern day Australia's answer to Iggy Pop on the heavy rocking 'Walking' and 'Waves of Aquarius' by Kanguru is, as its title suggests, 10 minutes of meditational Raga vibes. There are a couple of underwhelming songs, particularly Mandu's cover of 'Gimme Shelter', but on the whole the selections are dead on the money.

Superior to the first two volumes in the series and almost as good as Volume 3, I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who enjoys listening to anything that's a bit out of the ordinary. Housed in a double gatefold digipak inside a cardboard slip cover, the combined playing time of both discs is 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Remington Indestructible Beard Trimmer
Remington Indestructible Beard Trimmer
Price: £47.99

2.0 out of 5 stars An underwhelming but "virtually indestructible" trimmer, 17 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First off, the packing for this trimmer is bordering on the ridiculous. It comes in a big case made of hard plastic and I thought I'd been sent a power drill by mistake! Inside the trimmer and accessories are tightly packed in place with cardboard. Remove the cardboard packaging and you're left with an over-sized and useless storage box because everything just rattles around inside. You could easily fit three trimmers and their accessories inside...

It's big, it's heavy and it probably is "virtually indestructible" unless you were to throw it at full force against a brick wall. Ergonomically I do find the handle too big compared to other shavers I've used and it feels a bit clumsy. On the upside it has a large battery that does last long but even from the very start with a full charge it just seems underpowered compared to other trimmers I've used. It has three heads - one for using with the adjustable comb, a stubble blade and a smaller detail blade for more refined trimming. I only use it without the adjustable comb and it leaves you with about 2 days worth of stubble. I have quite an aggressive stubble and because of the slow motor speed it's NOT a smooth experience.

Ultimately, I've got compare this with the Philips BT5260/33 Beard Trimmer that beats it hands down. It's more compact and ergonomically sound, has a more powerful (and long lasting) battery and it only has one head that rotates for refined trimming. If you're in the market for a trimmer, opt for the Philips - it's so much better.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 24, 2015 11:31 PM GMT

FRiEQ 12W NFC Wireless Portable Bluetooth Speaker, 8 hour Playtime with Built-in Speakerphone for iPhone 6, 5S, 5, iPad Air, Mini, Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, HTC, Tablets, PC
FRiEQ 12W NFC Wireless Portable Bluetooth Speaker, 8 hour Playtime with Built-in Speakerphone for iPhone 6, 5S, 5, iPad Air, Mini, Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, HTC, Tablets, PC
Offered by T.M. Enterprise
Price: £49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing sound for the price and a battery that lasts forever, 9 Mar. 2015
Weighing 350g, the same length as my out-stretched hand and powered by 2 channel speakers this is, given the price, an extraordinary portable Bluetooth speaker and it has features that you don't expect at this price. The sound created is huge for such a small speaker and the overall sound is well-balanced, clear & spacious and the bass is just perfect. With the volume on your device and the speaker at full volume, it fills a room. Granted you don't get the depth of sound that you get from a £150+ Bose speaker but the sound is not too far removed from the likes of the Jabre Soulmate that retail for much more.

It seamlessly paired with my iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and laptop (running Windows 7) and has connected first time, every time thereafter. If your device isn't Bluetooth compatible, you can connect it using the included 3.5mm audio cable. It's charged using a USB cable, also included.

The range of the Bluetooth is superb - I can carry this around the house and the connection never drops out and this is where the extra features come in useful. It has six control buttons on the top where you can adjust the volume Up and Down, skip backwards and forwards between tracks (even when streaming music via Amazon Music Player and Google Play Music), pause the music and, should you need it, there's a button so that you can use it as a speaker phone too.

The advertised battery life of 8 hours is an understatement to say the least. With the volume set at medium on both iPad and speaker, I've had an incredible 20+ hours of playback.

In summary, this speaker is a bargain at the RRP and a steal at £29.99. When taking the three main considerations when buying a Bluetooth speaker into account - cost, sound and Bluetooth range - it succeeds on every level. I was given this speaker by the manufacturer in return for a review but I honestly cannot find fault with it.

Chef's Larder Crushed Chillies 350g
Chef's Larder Crushed Chillies 350g
Offered by Sweet Addicts
Price: £7.12

5.0 out of 5 stars Hot crushed chillies that save money and time, 30 Jan. 2015
I bought a couple of these from a cash & carry (at £3.49 each) recently and I'm very impressed with them. They're strong in flavour with a slight hint of sweetness and have a 3 year Best Before date. I use red chillies in a lot of dishes I cook (particularly during winter) and was spending on average about £1 a week on fresh ones. Stored in a dark cupboard, I reckon one of these should last me somewhere in the region of 9-12 months and, as well as saving money, it cuts out the hassle of having to finely chop fresh chillies.

Ciao Bella! Italian Girl Singers of The 60s
Ciao Bella! Italian Girl Singers of The 60s
Price: £10.42

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Italian Ye-Ye, 28 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Clocking in at 67:40 minutes, this compilation features 24 Sixties tracks sung by Italian female singers. The songs are a mix of groovy R&B hipshakers, beat, garage, girly pop and powerfully sung ballads with, of course, plenty of kitsch vibes. With all of the songs sung in Italian, it's a satisfying collection.

Highlights include Ornella Vanoni's timeless and beautiful Bossa Nova infused 'L'appuntamento' that's been one of my favourite songs longer than I care remember. It's easily the best song here (even if it does sound slightly at odds with most of the others songs). Caterina Caselli power vocals on 'Sono Qui Con Voi' - a cover of Them's 'Baby Please Don't Go' - are a thing of wonder and Gigliola Cinquetti's heartbreaking 'Non Ho L'Eta (Per Amarti)' features some beautiful orchestration. 'Questa Sinfonia' by Carmen Villani features some cool yé-yé backing vocals and a cello briefly plays the riff of The Rolling Stones' 'Satisfaction'!

Featuring a 20 page colour booklet with well researched notes on all of the artists & songs and archive photos, this is another welcome release from Ace.

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