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Gsp "gsp100677" (London, UK)
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Office Politics: How to Thrive in a World of Lying, Backstabbing and Dirty Tricks
Office Politics: How to Thrive in a World of Lying, Backstabbing and Dirty Tricks
Price: 5.98

2.0 out of 5 stars Very bad writing style. Hard to trust the advice., 12 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've only gotten to page 25 so far and already there are enough negatives to motivate me to write this review.

I found myself questioning the credibility of his understanding of the 'science' he cites, as he uses the terms psychotic and psychopath interchangeably on one occasion - 2 very different things. This gave it the same tone and credibility (or lack thereof) of the half-researched 'journalism' occasionally read in newspapers that aren't really scientifically literate - but the book is delivered with conviction and authority (a negative in this case due to the lack of credibility).

I also found that the tone is very negative and a bit overly dramatic with all the talk of 'dark triads' - in fact it seems very much like the author has been on the receiving end of negative office politics in the past - but far from having dealt with it effectively, he has been left with a chip on his shoulder about it leading me to question the value of his advice.

For example, in one sentence while casually discussing the tendency of a psychopath to project negative feelings onto others (he describes a fairly mild example of one making belittling jokes when insecure themselves) he states "Whilst all of us project from time to time, psychopaths do it more often and are more likely to be compelled to commit the emotional rape of forcing their unwanted emotions onto others, rather than keeping their feelings to themselves." Emotional rape. Overly melodramatic to say the least. The book continues with a similar tone leading me to conclude the author is too solipsistic to write well on this topic.

Update: Since writing the above, I've now read three quarters of the way through the book, and stand by everything I've written above. I recommend taking a look at '21 Dirty Tricks at Work: How to Beat the Game of Office Politics' instead - I'm halfway through that, and it's much better written, with more insight and credibility so far.


Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences (Smashing Magazine Book Series)
Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences (Smashing Magazine Book Series)
by Jesmond Allen
Edition: Paperback
Price: 18.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous book, 14 Jun 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Smashing Magazine has always been a great design resource, and this book lives up to that reputation in the field of user experience design.

It's beautifully laid out, bound (the softback), and presented - and also goes into great detail and depth on every topic on UX design for a newcomer, right through to more advanced level for those with experience in the field.

Covers the need for UX design right through all stages of projects, mainly focused on software project as expected.


AVES Aqua Portable Bluetooth Speaker w/ Noise-reduction Mic Handsfree Phone Kit in Black
AVES Aqua Portable Bluetooth Speaker w/ Noise-reduction Mic Handsfree Phone Kit in Black
Offered by Audio Electrical
Price: 12.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok, handy little box, 14 Jun 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's a very small and portable little speaker, and super easy to connect up to laptop or phone via bluetooth. However, the volume level and bass leaves quite a bit to be desired - the sound is kinda soft, and doesn't go any louder than my laptop (which in fact I think it actually a bit louder) - which is unexpected considering the fact that the laptop has much smaller speakers (or seem to anyway).

And therein lies the main problem, and reason it gets only 2 stars - if it can't even go as loud as my laptop, and barely louder than my phone - it's kinda pointless. Why bother having it?


Parrot Zik by Philippe Starck Wireless Headphones - Black/Silver
Parrot Zik by Philippe Starck Wireless Headphones - Black/Silver
Offered by Great Products
Price: 299.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Almost there - for the price not good enough. I returned them., 10 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
No doubt about it - these are an excellent pair of headphones. Beautiful design too - easily the most beautiful pair of headphones I've ever seen. The matt soft touch earcups for controlling them is the best (and only) of it's kind. But for this price, there were just a few design flaws/issues that made them not quite good enough to be worth keeping for me:

1. Combination of the weight, and degree of tension that clamps them to your head - together didn't work. They kept slipping down. I don't have a small head, and the headband was on the smallest setting, but still had issues with them slipping a bit below where I wanted them to cover my ears. Annoying.

2. Crackling/interruptions (very minor but noticeable now and then) when using with a laptop. That's a modern laptop with the latest bluetooth drivers. Absolutely fine with iPhone, so this is not a general bluetooth limitation. I suspect a firmware issue.

3. Sound quality - good but not amazing. Requires fiddling with EQ and 'concert hall' spatial settings to get something good (and even then still not as good as I expected - have experienced better from under 100 in ear headphones from Sennheiser). This brings me on to point 4...

4. The settings are only adjustable via iOS (not sure about Android - maybe that too) app. Therefore, if you want to use them with a laptop - you have to bluetooth pair them with your iPhone/iPad first, set them up, disconnect them, and re-pair them with your laptop before you can use them. Now you may be thinking that's not so bad having to do that once or twice a day, but going back to point 3 above (and expanding on it) - the EQ & spatial 'concert hall' effect setting needs (in my experience/opinion) constant changing to get the best (or even good) sound depending on what you're listening to...so if you want to switch between music and a movie for example - to get the best/half decent sound, you'll likely want to go through the whole disconnect from laptop, pair with phone, adjust, disconnect, repair with laptop process, every time you switch media like that. That even applies to switching types of music in some cases (for example classical to hip-hop).

5. Noise cancelling was not as good as I expected. With just noise cancelling on, and no music (I wanted to use them partly for just silence when reading to relax at the end of a long day), someone nearby in the same room talking at normal to quiet volume was clearly audible. TV in background cut right through.

I should be clear that I nearly kept them (& didn't return) despite these points - they have a lot going for them. But at this price point - I've rightly judged them to the highest standards.

I should also point out - I have no idea if there is a better headphone that suits my needs - these may turn out to be, despite their flaws, the best wireless, noise cancelling, light(ish) in comparison, over ear headphone available...but I couldn't justify the cost with this many flaws and for now would rather keep looking.


Poetic CoverMate case for iPad Mini Tree
Poetic CoverMate case for iPad Mini Tree
Offered by Smart Shop Online
Price: 19.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. Job done., 10 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I compared using either this, or an Apple smart cover in conjunction with the Poetic ThinShell back case. Unfortunately Apple don't do smart cases for the iPad mini yet, and I want the back to be protected as well as the screen.

This was the better option of the two, and I'm very happy with it. I feels more secure and stable, easier to stand the ipad up, etc. than the Apple smart cover, mainly because it wraps all the way round, and is a bit more firm and rigid.

Also the smart cover and ThinShell back case together leave a small gap unprotected at the hinge end - although not a huge deal...but this is better.

The cover part of this works exactly like the Apple smart cover, in terms of folding, standing, and magnets that put the iPad mini into sleep mode when you close the cover.

Also may be worth noting - I'd have preferred a plain black cover when I saw it online, but when i got it I found it's actually quite nice, and not as fancy and overly ornate as I expected. Handy to feel it's slightly easier to recognise your ipad if there are other with black cases around, and that it won't blend in, or be as easily lost.

Finally - for the price this is astounding. The Apple smart cover is 35 and this was under a tenner. The only slight extra the Apple cover has is that it's got a furry lining on the inside - I guess to help wipe dust off the screen by default when closing it. But on the other hand, that means that's the part that's going to be on the table when you stand it up & if you use it out and about there's every chance it'll end up occasionally picking up spillages (coffee, sugar, salt, condensation, etc.)


MediaDevil Magicscreen Screen Protector: Matte Clear (Anti-Glare) - Apple iPad Mini 1 / iPad Mini 2 (i.e. iPad Mini with Retina Screen) (2 x Screen Protectors)
MediaDevil Magicscreen Screen Protector: Matte Clear (Anti-Glare) - Apple iPad Mini 1 / iPad Mini 2 (i.e. iPad Mini with Retina Screen) (2 x Screen Protectors)
Offered by MediaDevil
Price: 19.97

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good customer service, but disappointing product quality., 10 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought it on the strength of the reviews this brand generally gets here, but was disappointed, as follows:

1. No tape included to lift off dust already on the screen although recommended you do so in instructions - Power Support (whose anti glare screen film I bought for iPhone) include a stiff piece of tape the same size & shape as the device to make it super easy to lift off dust before applying the film - in this case I had to find a roll of sellotape, roll some back on itself, and fumble about for a while first. Instead they included a couple of sweets which, whilst a kinda nice touch and gesture on the personal customer service side, is more of a gimmick and I'd rather have the useful item instead.

2. The film itself was thinner and less rigid than expected - this led to it being more difficult to apply than expected - tiny flecks of dust quickly led to bubble that were very difficult to remove - I ended up throwing away the first one. Again, in contrast to the Power Support one for my iPhone which was more rigid when applying, and quick and easy to apply first time.

3. I eventually applied the second film successfully using the included calendar card to smooth out final air bubbles, and noticed that the film had been very easily scratched, and had 'smudge' like scratches all over it from the included card for smoothing bubbles. Upon using for just one evening, I noticed it was acquiring damage just from my fingers - not grease smudged, but smudge like scratch type damage. Difficult to describe. In short, before using it for even a full day, this looked more damaged than other films I'd used on my phone did after months of usage. This leads to a kinda misty effect when viewing the screen - a bit like the smoke/mist thing that happens to cheap glasses if washed in a dishwasher on too high a heat.

4. Despite being thin and flimsy when applying, using the film - it feels like a surprisingly thick barrier between my fingers and the iPad mini. It reduced responsiveness significantly - the worst of any screen protector/film I've ever used on a iDevice in the last 3 years (and I've used a handful of different brands, including random no-name budget ones from eBay).

5. Finally, the anti-glare: it reduces glare very well as expected but makes the screen look quite blurry. I can't be sure if this is at least partly to do with the 'misting' effect described in point 3, but suspect it's not entirely that. Now - I know that there is obviously *some* loss of sharpness with any anti-glare film compared to the gloss/crystal clear ones, but this is worse than others I've tried...the Power Support anti-glare film I have on my iPhone does not have this problem at all (and since that phone has a retina screen and the iPad mini does not, it would be even more noticeable on the phone).

If I could, I would return this but obviously since the first film got damaged enough to throw away during attempted application, and the second got damaged during application and since (although merely through use of my finger) I don't expect to be able to do that and haven't bothered.

MediaDevil do seem to have very good customer service based on experience with other purchases from them - but I must say also based on those other purchases, I don't believe I have been unlucky with a faulty product, but that this is simply the standard of quality of this product. Others who haven't had better to compare with may be happy, but I was disappointed.


The Etymologicon
The Etymologicon
by Mark Forsyth
Edition: Audio CD

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better as a book, 5 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Etymologicon (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I do find this a fascinating subject that Mark Forsyth approaches in a fun and entertaining way in this audiobook. I do find CDs quite inconvenient to use these days, and would've much rather had a download, but this is a minor inconvenience once you start listening and enjoying it. I personally think it will work better in book format so you can dip and and out of different bits, rather than have to listen to in order. Some connections are a bit speculative, but still entertaining, although this does make it lose some credibility in places. Overall, I'd say if you're buying do so for fun, more than education.


Nathan Outlaw's British Seafood
Nathan Outlaw's British Seafood
by Nathan Outlaw
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful work, 23 Jun 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Frankly, perfect. This book is flawless; beautifully presented, well photographed images of the food, exciting and well structured recipes, and fascinating informative detail on a range of fish and seafood covering an concise discussion of the fish, the best accompaniments, sauces that suit it, and the best way to cook. This book leaves you feeling confident you could create dishes and prepare fish and seafood that may have previously been daunting (I feel confident I could prepare a cuttlefish now including removing the ink sac, cuttlebone, and separating the head and tentacles, etc.)

The other great strength of it is the aforementioned description for the best best way to cook, best garnishes, sauces/dressings, accompaniments for each fish covered (who knew cod was best cut into on the bone steaks and roasted - but it really is!!!). This allows you to experiment and invent your own recipes with confidence and great success each time.

This is book that will spend a lot of time getting worn from use in the kitchen, but is equally deserving of a home on the coffee table.


50 Best Business Ideas from the past 50 years
50 Best Business Ideas from the past 50 years
by Ian Wallis
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.36

3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but not entirely to my tase., 11 Jun 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This was overall a good concept and reasonably well executed. But the selection of businesses was not always to my taste - of course forgivable but there were just too many examples of (what were to me at least) mundane business ideas. Perhaps the selection was just too diverse to hold interest all the way through - or perhaps it was always just designed to dip into for the sections that interest yo most - but in that case, you're not really getting 50 business ideas to read about and study.

The format and layout of the book is good though, and whilst more detail can be found on the internet, this is well compiled and easier to digest.


Career Coach: Your personal workbook for a better career
Career Coach: Your personal workbook for a better career
by Corinne Mills
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.09

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable, 11 Jun 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Reasonable, but not as good as the 'You're Hired' range of books which I found to be less basic, and more in depth. The checklists are useful in some cases, but in others they become an unnecessary chore that just slows down progress through the book. The acid test - did it help me get a job? No - mainly because I'd already implemented many of the suggestions and 2011 was just such a generally tough year for everyone generally (I've taken a long time to get around to reviewing this book).


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