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Mr. G. Carroll (LDN | HKG | SZX)
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Black [DVD] [2009]
Black [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ MC Jean Gab'1
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 4.78

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice heist film, 23 Nov 2011
This review is from: Black [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Think a Francophone version of a Tarantino heist film and you wouldn't be far wrong. At first you feel that you have the film in reverse as you see an armed robbery in Paris go bad. But this is just the prelude to the planning and execution of a heist in Senegal. The film is well acted and nicely paced with a number of turns. If you can put up with the sub-titles and like intelligent action films with a great soundtrack you are in for a treat.


Toast 11 Titanium (Mac)
Toast 11 Titanium (Mac)
Price: 45.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disc wizard, 23 Nov 2011
This review is from: Toast 11 Titanium (Mac) (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you've burnt CDs or DVDs you'll have used Toast. It's been the industry standard software on Macs for well over a decade. Whilst Apple maybe moving away from discs, the world still uses them so having Toast 11 is really handy for ripping Blu-Ray, DVDs and CDs. Like previous versions once you get past the plethora of choices regarding formats creating a disc is as easy and drag-and-drop files.

If you have a previous version of Toast and are happy with it, 11 won't give you much more, but if you want to get the most of the latest Mac software ans still use optical discs for content sharing and storage its a must have.


FX Factory 1 Amp USB Mains Charger for iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, HTC, Kindle, Tom Tom, Navman
FX Factory 1 Amp USB Mains Charger for iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, HTC, Kindle, Tom Tom, Navman
Price: 6.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Must have travel gadget, 23 Nov 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The FX USB adaptor is an unexciting cheap-looking device. But beneath its shiny plastic exterior lurks a useful travel gadget. Take one adaptor and a brace of charging cables for iPhones, iPods, iPads and other electronic gadgets that you may have. The adaptor covers 100 - 240V so its fine to use with a plug adaptor in places like the US. Cut your luggage load down and pack this to power your gadget life.


Fanboys [DVD]
Fanboys [DVD]
Dvd ~ Seth Rogen
Price: 4.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Fanboys, 18 Nov 2011
This review is from: Fanboys [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Underneath the geekiness of Fanboys is a Kevin Smith-esque story of friendship and redemption around the launch of Star Wars episode one. The Star Wars cognescenti (nerds if you are less charitable) will love the nuances and in-jokes; the rest of us will love a great road movie comedy.


Everywhere: Comprehensive Digital Business Strategy for the Social Media Era
Everywhere: Comprehensive Digital Business Strategy for the Social Media Era
by Larry Weber
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.83

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible book on social business, 3 Nov 2011
Everywhere is the latest (and I think third book on digital marketing) by Larry Weber. It is aimed at senior executives in large organisations who may not be that digital savvy; so I am about as far from the target market as you can get. So what does it give the digital marketer? It's an easy-to-read book that you can get through on a long train ride or short haul plane journey. Weber has collated some great social business examples that you can use to pepper presentations to clients with.

It won't change the world, it isn't anything radically different, but it is extremely accessible.


In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives
In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives
by Steven Levy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.91

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great research, but needs a critical eye that the author didn't bring, 19 Sep 2011
I bought this book automatically because I had previously read and enjoyed Levy's previous works: Insanely Great, Hackers and Chaos. Given his heritage covering technology companies and personalities as both an author and a journalist, I was curious what he would make of Google.

The book is expansive and provides a lot of additional colour around Google, some of which I found of interest as I had worked at Yahoo! competing against Google and working with some of the early darlings of the web 2.0 movement - Flickr and Delicious. There were a couple of things that surprised me such as Google's use of machine learning on areas like translation explained why grammar is still so bad in this area as it needs heuristics that lexicographers could provide similar to that offered by Crystal Semantics.

Overall it was interesting to see that as with most large organisations Google is not only fallible but run through with realpolitik and a fair bit of serendipity. This contrasts with the external perception of Google as the technological Übermensch. A classic example of this is the series of missteps Google made whilst competing in China, which are documented in the book. From staffing practices, promotional tactics and legal to technology; Google blew it's chances and Baidu did a better job.

As an aside it was interesting to note that Google used queries on rival search engines to try and work out how to comply with Chinese government regulations, which is eerily like bad practices that Google accused Bing of last February in `hiybbprqag'-gate.

There is a curious myopia that runs through a lot of later Google product thinking that reminded me of the reality and perceptions that I was aware of existing inside Microsoft from the contact I have had with the organisation through the various different agencies I have worked at. A classic example of this is the Google view of a file-less future, which by implication assumes that people won't have legacy documents or use services other than the Google cloud. It is a myopia that comes part of arrogance and a patronising attitude towards the consumer that Google always knows best about every aspect of their needs.

Contrast this with Apple and iTunes. Whilst Apple would like to sell you only content from the iTunes store, it recognises that you will have content from different sources: Amazon MP3s, ripped CDs, podcasts and self-created files that iTunes needs to play nicely with.

The `no files' approach assumes ubiquitous bandwidth which is likely to be a fiction for a while. (Part of the reason why I am able to write this post is that I was stuck for half-a-day on a train journey to Wales enjoying patchy mobile phone coverage and a wi-fi free environment, which allowed me to focus on reading this book in hardback). This approach smacks of the old data lock-in that Microsoft used to have with proprietary file formats for its Office documents.

Levy does a good job pulling all of this together and chronicling Google, but he fails to cast a critical eye over it all. I suspect that this is because he is too close to the company: the access that he gained enveloped him. Which is a shame as all the experience and insight Levy could bring to the book that would add value to the reader is omitted. Whilst In The Plex is an interesting historical document, it could be so much more.


Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation
Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation
by Gordon Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.00

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but readable, 5 Sep 2011
On leaving office, Gordon Brown immediately spent a lot of time hammering out a book Beyond The Crash. Unlike Peter Mandelson this wasn't the Westminster equivalent of a sordid kiss-and-tell exposé or a Tony Blair-esque sales brochure to secure speaking engagements. Instead Brown set out to do what he does best, putting on page deep thought and analysis about the knotty problem of global finances. He did an excellent job of marshaling ideas and sources in the book. His grasp on Asian economics and China in particular is very good. There is a whole section on the Asian crisis of 1998 which is well worth reading on its own.

In this respect, the book is a solid piece of work, Brown isn't as compelling a writer as other economic thinkers that the Labour party has looked to like Will Hutton; but he does a good job at making his ideas and concepts understandable to the average reader.

Where things go wrong with the book is where Brown tries to humanise his writing. His comments of praise for colleagues and other politicians feels wooden, as if it was written into his book as a postscript. And it is because of this that we see a glimpse of Brown the politician; the polar opposite of his predecessor Tony Blair. Someone who thought at great depth and knew what to do but didn't have the surface finish.

One thing that Brown fails to address is some of the problems that have bedeviled UK government debt like public private partnerships at both central and local government levels.

If you are prepared to persevere with the book, it is a good read.


Blackbox i10 ANR Active Noise Cancelling Earphone for iPod
Blackbox i10 ANR Active Noise Cancelling Earphone for iPod

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy the silence, 15 Mar 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have been using these headphones for commuting to work and to aid concentration at work. The headphones come in a hard box which can also hold an iPod which is a nice thoughtful detail. The headset themselves aren't very bulky at all. Instead of a headphone jack it is has an iPhone connector. This is a careful choice, Steve Jobs himself said that a product is often defined by what is left out. Using the power of the iPod means that you don't have a bulky battery pack, but aren't as versatile.

I personally think that this was the right call. The middle module on the headset has a volume control and a kill switch to allow the ambient noise back in. This also seems to be where the microphone is for the electronics to measure the sound and cancel it out. More expensive headsets have a microphone on each headphone, but for 89 quid I think you get your money's worth.

The headphones themselves have an unusual shape which looks uncomfortable but works really well and they are held in with a silicone casket.

So do they work? In terms of cancelling out noise it is effective unless its directional, this is because there was only microphone in the device. In terms of the sound that comes from these headphones, its a little bright and on a couple of tracks, notably the introduction to Hellalujah by The Happy Mondays you hear high-end distortion.

What you need to remember however is that BlackBox came up a set of great value noise-cancelling headphones.


Sticks and Stones: How Digital Business Reputations Are Created Over Time and Lost in a Click
Sticks and Stones: How Digital Business Reputations Are Created Over Time and Lost in a Click
by Larry Weber
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.37

5.0 out of 5 stars Digital primer for analogue leaders, 5 Dec 2010
Sticks and Stones is a book similar in ambition to Charlene Li's Open Leadership written by Larry Weber. (Disclosure: I used to work for the London office of Larry's first agency over a decade ago now). Both books are designed to demystify the online world for senior management in order for them to get a better handle on how to lead through it. Both provide anecdotes and deliver their content in an accessible straightforward style.

Where their approach differs is in terms of focus, Li is most concerned with business process transformation, whereas Weber is focused on corporate reputation. If you are looking for a work to give a head of communications or senior corporate communications agency people to help them 'get' the online space when Sticks ad Stones should do the trick.

My only concern about this book is that whilst digital is a global issue, the book is very US orientated in terms of examples and third parties quoted as authorities. This maybe an issue for the more resistant senior management luddite.


The Handbook of Online and Social Media Research: Tools and Techniques for Market Researchers
The Handbook of Online and Social Media Research: Tools and Techniques for Market Researchers
by Ray Poynter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 26.64

4.0 out of 5 stars Good primer, 18 Nov 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book is written by a marketing research expert. However it has managed to be indepth and instructive without being excessively academic in tone. The handbook covers all aspects of online market research so the social media aspect is smaller than the title would suggest,but the advice that it does offer is top-notch. If you are a researcher the book is idea. However if you work in social media and were looking for a more indepth dive into marketing research within social media you maybe disappointed.


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