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Chris Hoare "Chris" (UK)
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Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation
Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation
by Adam Resnick
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh and wince in the same sentence; Will Not Attend deserves your eyeballs, 10 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Its February so this isn't saying much but this is the funniest book I have read in 2015; and would have won in 2014 if I had gotten to it. Will not attend is Adam Resnick's autobiography; and its writing and extraordinary life tales come close with Clive Jame's May Week was in June territory.. Each chapter is an another extraordinary tale from his perhaps introverted life from a very young age to recent times; each is sharply written from a man used to writing one liners for late night american television. Some of the stories I found myself so happy; and others I was wincing at what was going on and that makes it a great book for me.


SanDisk SDSDXS-128G-X46 Extreme Plus 128 GB 80 MB/s UHS-I Class 10 SDHC Memory Card
SanDisk SDSDXS-128G-X46 Extreme Plus 128 GB 80 MB/s UHS-I Class 10 SDHC Memory Card
Price: £111.74

5.0 out of 5 stars Extreme Plus may be more than you need; today, 10 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm a huge user of Sandisk cards;with labeled and archived SD and Cf vacation cards going back a decade now. I am a sandisk fan because they always work in huge swings of weather and have generally delivered on the performance they quote. Those times I have ended up with a third party card I have sometimes found they fall short of their claims. Sandisk also make their cards weather and waterproof; never dropped one in the ocean but often move through big swings in humidity and tropical rain so even if my bag gets soaked the card should still be fine - and should I ever get problems sandisk include their card recovery software that will try and find lost images on cards.

With a eye on the enormous image sizes of the latest cameras in 2015; I decided I wanted a 128gb card. My choices then fell to which one of the extreme's to choose; plus or pro with an eye on my wallet I went for the slightly faster than my camera's card socket Extreme Plus.

Diligently testing it I put my camera on a tripod and grabbed last years extreme 64gb card; and did a buffer write and read test with my 6d and Lexar USB3. In the camera the theoretical faster write speed didn't result in any extra photos over the extreme card (both averaged out with a respectable 120 shots in a minute.) Reading back those 120 (raw) shots the extreme plus was over 3 times faster than the extreme - the 2gb of images took 35seconds on the Extreme Plus and 113 seconds on the standard Extreme. Writing files back to the card over the Lexar reader was a similar result with the extreme plus coming in twice as fast at writing.

The benefits of this card are going to boil down to what you want to use it for; if you are shooting videos all day or running a high speed camera full tilt on burst mode it is built for you. On my 6d after formatting the card says it holds 4614 20 megapixel raw and if I'm reading it right over 12 hours of full hd video. For my lower res camera its definitely a bit of overkill; I'm unlikely to need over 4 and a half thousand shots in a day; though editing the images will be starter quicker thanks to the blistering read speed when i get it onto my notebook. My rating for my camera its 4*; I could have taken the slightly cheaper extreme card and been fine; somewhere there is a 5dr with my name on it though and at that point it will be 5*


AquaAudio™ Cubo - Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker with Strong Suction Cup for Showers, Bathroom, Pool, Boat, Car, Beach, Outdoor etc. / Optimized Buttons for Easy Control / Amazingly Powerful & Crystal Clear Sound / Compatible with All Devices with Bluetooth Capability + Siri Compatible - 10 hours Playtime Rechargeable Battery / with Built-in Mic for use as a Powerful Hands-free Speakerphone [100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - WE GUARANTEE YOU WILL LOVE IT!] (Silver)
AquaAudio™ Cubo - Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker with Strong Suction Cup for Showers, Bathroom, Pool, Boat, Car, Beach, Outdoor etc. / Optimized Buttons for Easy Control / Amazingly Powerful & Crystal Clear Sound / Compatible with All Devices with Bluetooth Capability + Siri Compatible - 10 hours Playtime Rechargeable Battery / with Built-in Mic for use as a Powerful Hands-free Speakerphone [100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - WE GUARANTEE YOU WILL LOVE IT!] (Silver)
Offered by Gideon Direct

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars improve your alone time, 10 Feb. 2015
The AquaAudio Cubo is a bluetooth speaker with a sucker to attach to the tiles in your bathroom. In very well presented box is the speaker; a small manual and a micro usb cable to recharge it (it doesn't include an mains adaptor for the cable so you will need to use the one that came with your phone or computer.) As a shower radio charging it required removing a protective rubber gasket from the speak and then leaving it to charge for a couple of hours; this was a little tricky with my short nails. It was easy to connect to my iPhone; simply a question of telling the phone to pair with it from the bluetooth menu; there are no codes to enter it just connects and works.

Once setup powering it on in the shower my Phone autopairs and I can stream anything from my phone into my shower and bath - whilst keeping my iPhone safely away from the bathroom. In the morning the today program streams from the iPlayer app and my rage with John Humphries doesn't need to miss a beat. The speaker is clear; and can go loud enough to overcome the noise of the shower. Playing music though it its clear that it isn't the highest fidelity speaker; but for an echoey bathroom it is enough. For a long bath its nice to have some calming music to keep the world at bay and streaming some Philip Glass through it only helped with my relaxation. Whilst filling the bath the suction cup gave way in the steam and the speaker had a good dunking for a few minutes as I wasn't around at the time it survived to tell the tale; so I think the water protection is likely more than good enough.

Using the AquaAudio is helped by the nice big buttons; and these interact with my iPhone allowing me to pause and change tracks when I wanted to; as well as change the speakers volume. The battery has lasted over a week of daily showers and a relaxing bath; they claim up to 10 hours of use but i haven't made it that far yet. I did have a surprise whilst taking a shower before going out for a meal one night; when my phone rang and i discovered that the AquaAudio is also a handsfree kit - out of decorum i didn't answer the phone.

If you want to improve your alone time and sing along to your favourite songs; keep up with the news or just relax in the shower or bath then the AquaAudio Cubo is just the ticket.


Lavievert Double Canopy Umbrella Automatic Open & Close Umbrella Folding Auto Umbrella Durable and Strong, with Black Color Unisex Umbrella
Lavievert Double Canopy Umbrella Automatic Open & Close Umbrella Folding Auto Umbrella Durable and Strong, with Black Color Unisex Umbrella
Offered by lavievert
Price: £39.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For those times the British weather lets you down, 10 Feb. 2015
Everyday I walk to work and living in England an umbrella is a permanent resident in my laptop bag. Generally these have been small compact umbrellas that don't take up much space and offer enough protection to get into or home from work. These have generally been umbrellas bought at the last second and their lifespan is generally short. My last compact umbrella was inverted and destroyed my by moderate winds at the start of 2015; and I was lucky to be asked by Lavievart to test their umbrella.

The Lavievert Double Canopy umbrella is slightly longer than I am use to carrying around it is just over a 30cm long (a little over a foot for the imperials); it did fit into my laptop backpack though. Its no wider than the brolly in replaced so didn't take up that much more space than its predecessor; its not going to fit into a small purse though.

The umbrella uses a button release to open the canopy with a spring to reload it after use. The button is on the handle; which is straight but has enough length and width to make it easy to hold and control even in wind; there is also a wrist strap so it shouldn't blow away from you. The overall build quality of the umbrella is good; the mechanism is clean and didn't stick on release and the handle feels nice in your hand. I enjoy button deploying umbrellas they are convenient when you go into a shop; press a button and your umbrella collapses - much simpler than messing around collapsing it by hand; and with less chance of getting wet. To reuse it you do have to collapse it down to tension the spring for pressing the button when you get outside though.

The increased length of the brolly over my more normal purchases translated into a large canopy that is plenty for one and if you are friendly likely big enough for two. Despite the larger canopy the Lavievert is manageable in the wind thanks to its double canopy design which has an integrated vent alleviating the chance of an inversion that destroyed my last umbrella.

My initial reaction on opening the box was that the umbrella was quite large; but in use the extra length is definitely a bonus for the longer canopy and higher reach of the pole. The Lavievert brolly is ideal to keep in your bag on the way to work; or in a door pocket of your car for those days the British weather lets you down.


SanDisk SDSDQL-032G-G35 Ultra Micro SDHC UHS-I Class 10 Memory Card up to 30 MB/s Read - 32 GB
SanDisk SDSDQL-032G-G35 Ultra Micro SDHC UHS-I Class 10 Memory Card up to 30 MB/s Read - 32 GB
Price: £10.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sandisk is my go to memory card; and this is not exception, 2 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have used Sandisk Memory Cards since I first jumped into digital photography and for over a decade I haven’t had one fail on me yet. I have rewarded them with their performance and reliability by sticking by them over the years. The SanDisk Ultra 32GB microSDHC is a class 10 memory card; which boils down to you being able use it in camera’s (and Action Camera’s like go pro’s) for recording 1080p HD but not 4k.

I have a Microsoft Surface Pro 3; which has an SD Slot; once inserted the Ultra was plenty fast enough to stream iTunes full HD video and in Lightroom was a great place to save photos to for editing. Whilst in my machine I ran it through a performance test and on sequential reads and writes in my laptop I was achieved a more than respectable 45.99MB/s read and 15.78 MB/s write using the Crystalmark disk test which explains my success using this as a general file store.

In my GoPro 3 Black I was happily able to record 1080p video. My GoPro 3 doesn’t really do 4k so I wasn’t able to see how it faired. I am also testing A Creative Roar speaker at the moment that takes and SD Card and allows you to record phone calls when you use it as a speaker phone; and it worked flawlessly in that role.

Overall I the SanDisk Ultra 32GB microSDHC doesn’t let their history down. The Ultra is fast enough for 1080p and general file store duties. Micro SD card’s originally found their home in phones; but slowly seem to be used in more and more cameras and other gadgets that are filling up my home.

Looking at the size; 32GB for a Micro SD when if you are limited to 1080p video is pretty much the sweet spot in the range (and if you are looking at the 64gb check your device can do sdxc otherwise it likely won’t work.) In a go pro hero 3 32gb equates to over 4 1/2 hours of video; which is far in excess of the battery life. In the new Hero 4 though the higher quality recording halves this record time. If you are making the jump to 4k; you really need a faster larger card though.


TP-LINK TD-8817 ADSL2+ Ethernet/USB Modem Router
TP-LINK TD-8817 ADSL2+ Ethernet/USB Modem Router
Price: £11.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy start; reliably runs once setup., 30 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The TP Link ADSL modem was setup and running on my BT ADSL connection about 10 minutes after opening the box. At its simplest level the setup is a question of replacing your existing modem or router; and following a wizard to setup the ADSL for your provider. (On BT it was a question of putting a user name in.) Happily the performance I ended up with was no worse and likely marginally quicker than I was getting with the router supplied by BT.

Once I had the modem setup I was able to build a home network from components that i recognised as providing a better grade service than I was able to get from the BT router. Putting in a proper stand alone firewall that allowed far more flexibility in rules and also to run multiple sub nets which cater to all the devices clogging up my home network and wifi space.

Its been running for about a month now; and i haven't had to restart anything once which is a big step up from the network when it was briefly controlled by the BT home hub. So I am very happy with the TP Link modem; it was easy to setup and gave me the flexibility I was looking for on my home network. Its likely not something to get unless you are looking to build a more sophisticated network as it doesn't have wifi or other home friendly features built in.


QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor (for iOS and Android)
QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor (for iOS and Android)
Price: £99.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting new entrant to Smartphone health monitoring, 30 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was told by my doctor I was pre hypertensive a few years ago now; and blood pressure being considered the silent killer I made an effort to understand my blood pressure and monitor it regularly. To try and get on top of things I bought a Withings Blood pressure monitor that synched to my phone and let me keep track of my health -and if i choose I share it with my doctor. The QardioArm picks up that mantle in a much more portable package - its more square than round.

The included blood pressure cuff works with a great range of arm sizes from 22-37cm. The wider end is often a problem and 37cm is one of the largest standard cuff’s i have tried. In the box it was all setup; so it was a question of downloading the app onto my iPhone and synching it up. The Qardio tap to connect solution feels a bit alien here; and after testing on a couple of phones I found the tap to sync connect hit and miss on the first use with my iPhones so I tried it with a second. If you do change phones I found I had to de-register it from the first phone before using it with the second as it just wouldn’t connect to a second one without doing this; which makes sharing it in the house a bit more problematic. Overall the first connection process feels a bit hit and miss ; and I find the Withing’s bluetooth connection to simpler to setup.

Once connected taking a reading is very simple; and the screen displays a great representation of a traditional blood pressure machine. Once the reading is complete you get WHO color gradings which is an easy reference to see how you are doing. The app keeps a history of your readings and you can drill into them and see the reading on a chart representing your blood pressure against different grades of hypertension; this is useful when you start taking readings but soon enough you will know that the numbers are OK or you need to find a way to reduce your BP. The measured BP broadly agreed with results taking using a Beurer BP machine on a different arm at the same time. One thing that Withings can do that Qardio can’t is they have a website that you can access your data from; depending on how you feel about sharing your data that is a good or a bad thing; but its a really easy way of getting data out on paper to take to a gp. The Qardio app does have the ability to email your doctor with your BP history; this sends a really well formatted email (along with a spreadsheet file they can open) - and doesn’t tell the doctor that you did take your BP whilst staying with your mother in law.

One thing the Qardio software also takes a location; so you can take your blood pressure at home, work and maybe the inlaws and see the impact on your blood pressure (though the WHO also says you shouldn’t take your blood pressure too often as taking a reading changes your blood pressure.) For me I take my blood pressure every other day; and I like having the history on my phone / tablet so that when i see the doctor and they get a reading way off the scale for whatever reason i can stop them giving me beta blockers.

I am excited that Qardio are coming into the market and challenging companies like Withings with well designed products and a well thought through app. Qardio have tried a bit to hard with tap to connect which made my first experience with it a bit alien; once I had used it one with my phone it worked without issue the next time. The App itself is very good; and the history features are easy to use. The overall package is smaller than the withings one (and being square rather than round is easier to pack.) Qardio have a long list of products in the coming soon pile that will challenge the rich Withings collection. For taking your BP with your smartphone the QardioArm is as accurate as other at home machines I have tested recently; the initial experience with getting it connected is something that passed and over the month but if i could do half stars I would have made it 4.5 stars because of that; as i can’t it has worked without issue every time after the first one.


Salem Rogers: Model of the Year 1998
Salem Rogers: Model of the Year 1998
Dvd

2.0 out of 5 stars i'll pass, 25 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There is a moment in Zoolander where a male model asks a reporter what do you hate about models and the reply was "I think they're vain, stupid, and incredibly self-centered." Salem Rodgers the character lived up to that diatribe. Agatha her erstwhile assistant was equally unpleasant though. The pilot is two people doing mean things to each other and getting rewarded for it. Salem Rodgers starts with Salem saying she will never change; and I don't think I could watch the show without some character development.


Cocked
Cocked
Dvd

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Promising, 25 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Cocked (Amazon Instant Video)
Of this seasons Pilots "Cocked" felt the most laid out to become a series. A solid drama; but lacking a little in the writing and one characters bladder has its own story arch that doesn't make sense... The large cast have colourful characters with a dissent inducing mix of straight and not so straight characters as well as a degree of white collar v blue collar. The arching plot of keeping the factory open and the mix of characters should keep the story going and attract interest from viewers.


Beurer BM75 Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor with HFC and Health Manager
Beurer BM75 Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor with HFC and Health Manager
Price: £74.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Stand Alone Blood Pressure, 20 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was told by my doctor I was pre hypertensive a few years ago; to try and get on top of things I bought a Withings Blood pressure monitor that synched to my phone and let me keep track of my health -and share it with my doctor. The BM75 was very well packaged and came with a nice storage pouch to store it

The Beurer BM75 Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor offers phone connectivity via an app but only to an Android phone; that unfortunately I don’t have to test with. Bearer also offer a PC app that connects with USB and allows you to track your blood pressure over time.

Not having a PC or Android I was limited in the full range of what I could test; the good news is the BM75 works very well as a stand alone blood pressure monitor. The main unit has a clear screen and can store 60 readings on its internal memory. The arm cuff works with a good range of arms diameters (24-35cm) and comfortably fits around my arm. Taking a reading is as easy as powering up the unit from the large power button. After the reading is taken the screen is very clear with a blue tinted backlight if you like to take your blood pressure in the dark. There is a clear indicator representing the WHO classifications for the readings from green safe; amber through pre hypertensive to red for hypertension.

Beurer have a great reputation for the quality of their products; so It is a shame that the BM75 doesn’t provide support for any of my devices (advertised support in the case of my iPhone) as I have found having a history of readings when you go to the doctor is often very beneficial. The unit is very easy to use; and thanks to the clear screen if you don’t need the ability to store all the information it should be on your shortlist.


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