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J. S. Bywater-lees (UK)
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Cambridge Sciences StarPAD 4, 7-inch Tablet PC Quad Core CPU, 1GB RAM, 16GB Memory, Android 4.4.2 (WiFi)
Cambridge Sciences StarPAD 4, 7-inch Tablet PC Quad Core CPU, 1GB RAM, 16GB Memory, Android 4.4.2 (WiFi)
Price: £71.23

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars yes and no, 22 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was initially pleased with what you get for £129, the expandable memory, the HD output,car charger, standard micro USB and feel and quality. However I ended up returning it because the touch screen developed an irritating fault, most likely it was calibration but 'dimples' also appeared, making typing erratic. The worst thing was the sound card making output [through a reasonable sound system] tinny and poor. A little more expense would correct it. The android system is a phone one so has lots of dysfunctional features.

It is slightly academic now that the Nexus 7 is available from a number of outlets for as low as £159. Admittedly you don't get an expanded sd slot [? a mystery why not?] or HD output, but the screen is much better, the OS is brand new, dedicated to the tablet and upgradable.

Effectively at the right price [£80] it is fun but if you can afford it spend the extra and get a Nexus. As Amazon could not replace it and returned my money you can guess I bought a new Nexus 7 32g for £199.


Aquapac Large Waterproof Camera Case
Aquapac Large Waterproof Camera Case

5.0 out of 5 stars Not yet tested in the tropics but I'll update in a couple of months, 17 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good quality, fast delivery [just 2 days on free standard mail] but it is a tight squeeze for intermediate cameras like my Lumix FZ45. Once in there is enough space and needs a foam pad to lift the lens into the clear plastic. Ideally something between this size and the bigger and more expensive [£95] SLR should be available [at around £45!]but I can manage. An issue is the extending lens on power up- it is technique, the lens senses obstruction only when it is extending, once it is extended it doesn't power down even if you apply pressure. Once the lens is extended it tightens the clear window over the lens making creases invisible and allowing auto focus.

My worry is the fear it will fail, I'm off to the tropics in a couple of months so will leave the camera in the bag for most trips and will update on any performance issues. Plastics don't tend to do well in bright sun, and avoiding scratches means I will take care of the bag especially in transit so will probably keep it in a padded camera pouch.

I will report back.


CAD Audio U1 USB Dynamic Recording Microphone
CAD Audio U1 USB Dynamic Recording Microphone
Offered by Shopper's Saving
Price: £35.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality control, 17 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The delivery was just 2 days, the product looks and feels of good quality for the price. But completely unusable, the amount of interference indicates bad wiring, just touching the cable generates noise. It is not hiss or hum, that is normal in fact old mics have their own warmth that you can duplicate with software. I use the freeware Audacity for removing pop, hiss, hum, but this mic seems to have quality control issues.

The hassle of returning goods makes this a poor choice.


Panasonic Lumix FZ45 14.1MP Digital Camera - Black (3.0 inch TFT LCD Display, LEICA DC Lens with 25mm Wide-angle and 24x Optical Zoom) (discontinued by manufacturer)
Panasonic Lumix FZ45 14.1MP Digital Camera - Black (3.0 inch TFT LCD Display, LEICA DC Lens with 25mm Wide-angle and 24x Optical Zoom) (discontinued by manufacturer)

5.0 out of 5 stars A bargin to be had, 21 Sep 2012
The FZ 45 is getting outdated -it is 2 years old!- so from an original price of £350 you can find them well under £200- I bought mine for £161. I bought it to shoot video and the quality is excellent, the odd format it stores video in can be a problem but Final Cut imports it and converts to quicktime for easy editing and uploading. The single biggest drawback is the microphone and the lack of a usb port to use an external mic, the latest version of the camera corrects this. In a quiet environment you can get excellent results but requires editing to get rid of hiss- the free audacity software works a treat- noisier environments can be a problem but setting the zoom mic mode and using a little lens zoom will reduce some noise.Works surprising well in low light. On top the purchase you will need a class 10 sd card- 16gb is fine. Recording is limited to 30 mins but it simply requires to press the record button. All in all, light, cheap, effective and a professional result.


Watermelons: How Environmentalists are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Children's Future
Watermelons: How Environmentalists are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Children's Future
by James Delingpole
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.49

45 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delingpole unveils the delusion, 28 Feb 2012
James Delingpole is a witty writer, he frames his prose as a rant that blasts its way from the first page to the last. Yet the real genius in his writing is to sum up every sceptical argument concerning CAGW succinctly and also identify the force that drives the so called consensus science. Within a breathless couple of chapters the circumstances that exposed climate science: climategate is exposed and analysed, most importantly the very fact that four independent investigations `proved' that there was no wrong-doing in its self displayed to the world how eco-Nazis operated. Free-market capitalism is open and honest when compared to the cultural communism of the watermelons, and I can understand James' link having read the book.

In the 1978 film The Invasion of the Body Snatchers- copies of freethinking humans emerge from intergalactic pods which reminded me of watermelons. The Left-greenies- eco-Nazis are much the same, their science is just like real science, their freedom appears to be just like ours but its not. The ideological war is not between left or right but between those who want a small government and those protecting the behemoth of tax and spend, control and regulate government. Big government provides the cover for greenies to operate in, regulated media like the BBC allows the message to spread,

James Delingpole gives us a fascinating glimpse into the world of the climate sceptic and what motivates them. James is a great spoofing author and his parody is unsurpassed- I urge all those convinced of AGW to read this book .


Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions
Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions
by Paul Mason
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.09

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I knew I was right, 1 Feb 2012
You would have to be an idiot or live in a cave not to guess that social media and the smart phone did not having a role in the recent revolutions and activisms but the deeper narrative has proved to be more illusive, Paul's book goes a long way in filling in that story. For that reason it is worth reading but the book tries to expand on not only why it's all kicking off now but where it might go.

Recent events have gone someway in proving my self right: half a life time ago, at the dawn of the internet AOL, the only other net provider in the UK had an online discussion with an Labour opposition advisor: Alistar Campbell. The question was where this new tool, the net, would lead politics; the talk was of using it as an extension of political communication, getting voters out, delivering e-leaflets and effectively the same processes that have gone on before. My contribution was that we could not foresee its true potentual and that to treat it with the same old attitudes of 'old' politics was completely missing the point. Alistar didn't take my point. What I did not know then was the internet would team up with the mobile phone, although a book written in 1966: Impossible Possibilities (that I found in a 2nd hand bookshop at the time)did. Of course thoses trying to predict the future get it wrong, their view was of scientific news and data being delivered to handheld t.v.s from one scientist to the other.

In some respects Paul Mason is more than just a reporter of events and he is actually part of that revolution. As a BBC jounalist he has more freedoms than commercial concerns with agendas, he gets to travel but most importantly he is using the very social media to collect information that the world's revolutionaries are using to distribute it. When the public are generating the news it requires a new breed of jounalist to interpret it and Paul Mason is on of the few doing it.

It is an historic book not because it is particularly well written, it is well written and readable, not because it deals in detail with the activism it reports rather it sums up why it's kicking off everywhere and in future years a lot of people including historians will want to know why and why now. The down side of the book is the narrative, it is part one of a trilogy and I can understand why some feel it offers more questions than it answers but I like it and recommend it because it made me think.


Optoma DS211 2500 ANSI SVGA DLP Projector (discontinued by manufacturer)
Optoma DS211 2500 ANSI SVGA DLP Projector (discontinued by manufacturer)
Price: £235.02

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value, 12 Jan 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a value for money product which was discounted but it is not a LCD projector. It does have a similar lumine/light output that more expensive LCD projectors have and the lens is good enough to project onto a sheet at the bottom of the garden.

DLP uses a different method of projection to LCD so the definition is less good and the possibility of distracting rainbow effect. Rainbow/light diffraction, occurs in white or bright parts of the scene but some notice it and some don't. After some experimentation it appears to be visible if you tend to look at the movie with darting eye movements. Rubbish movies where you may get distracted from looking at the screen can cause the effect to be obvious. Changing the distance from the screen of the viewer or projector reduces/increases the rainbow effect.

Otherwise you get a full cinema effect [with a big hifi] for £200. A great toy and amazing with some xbox games!


In Southern Waters
In Southern Waters
by Ian Marchant
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars cleverer than you think, 7 Mar 2009
This review is from: In Southern Waters (Paperback)
This is English comedy in the same way brighton is a dirty weekend. It is quite clever with each episode written in a certain comic style.


Parallel Lines: Or, Journeys on the Railway of Dreams
Parallel Lines: Or, Journeys on the Railway of Dreams
by Ian Marchant
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not interested in trains? then buy this book, 7 Mar 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
funny, political, sharp, witty, and if you have zero interest in trains it really is worth having a fat middle-aged educated wit take you on a journey of a lifetime. You may want to get off a little before the last stop in case Ian gets all emotional. But still his best book although the funny fiction of 'in southern waters' by Ian Marchant is worth digging around second hand booksellers for.

Buy it for your mum or girlfriend.


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