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David Lovie (Aberdeen, United Kingdom)

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AKG K451 High-Performance Foldable Mini Headset with In-Line Remote and Mic - Black
AKG K451 High-Performance Foldable Mini Headset with In-Line Remote and Mic - Black
Offered by Superfi
Price: £53.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value, great sound, 19 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A great set of portable headphones that sit at a great point somewhere inbetween in ears and the bulkier home/studio type over ear models.

The headphones come supplied in a nice semi-hard case that does a great job of protecting them in a bag, they fold up to a not-too-inconvenient size and come with a removable cable which is a feature not often seen in this price range - notably supplied with both a mic and plain version - Though I can't comment on how much replacements cost.

In terms of usage and sound, I typically use mine when at work at my desk in an office, and whilst commuting back and forth - so a mix of low volume listening in a quiet environment and fighting traffic noise walking along busy streets. The isolation isn't the best (when compared to larger headphones or semi-fitted in-ears), but with use of the volume control it lets me find a good balance between hearing the music and good audio quality whilst not completely shutting myself off from the outside world.

In terms of the audio quality, they seem like a great balanced set of headphones - when I first tried them out I felt the bass was lacking in comparison to my older sets, but with repeated listening I have come to the conclusion that this set of headphones have a great flat frequency response, unlike the bass boosted audio many opt for - not ideal for bass heavy electronic perhaps, but great for a wide range of musical styles.

Otherwise a great quality set of headphones at a superb price, and a great option for getting good audio quality without breaking the bank.


On the Road [DVD]
On the Road [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kristen Stewart
Price: £5.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Alright, but uninspiring, 19 Jun 2014
This review is from: On the Road [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It is obviously worth mentioning from the outset that this is an adaptation from a very well regarded book, so that will always come with its proponents and detractors depending on how accurate it is to the source, so I will start by admitting I have not read the book, so where I approach it as a new film, if you are already a fan then it could be completely hit or miss.

For me it was an acceptable, but fairly uninspiring movie about three guys heading out on a road trip (who would have thought it based on the title). The acting is decent, the cinematography and music well done and nicely fitting throughout but the movie just didnt grab me and draw me in like I had hoped. Not a bad film by any stretch, but at the same time not one I will be loudly exclaiming my love of anytime soon.


Comply S-400 Active Earphone Tips (Medium) - Charcoal Black 3 pairs
Comply S-400 Active Earphone Tips (Medium) - Charcoal Black 3 pairs
Price: £9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An upgrade from stock, 25 April 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Comply S-400 tips are designed as a replacement tip for a wide range of slightly nicer earphones - the whole list is available on the Comply website - and replace the included rubber tips.

Why would you want to replace the tips on a set of £30+ headphones? Comply claim that these will give a better and more comfortable fit, therefore increasing sound quality and reducing fatigue thanks to the fact the foam tips expand to comfortably fill the ear canal, rather than a generic and standard shaped earbud which even when chosen from a range of sizes, is still going to be of harder material and more fixed shape.

Do these work? So far I would have to say yes... I have mine replacing the tips of a set of Soundmagic E10's and have so far found them a good replacement, if perhaps not quite the revelation claimed on the box. The first thing I noticed on using them was the fact that it almost felt as if I hadn't inserted them properly - following the instructions you squash the foam down slightly, place them in your ears and let the foam expand again for best fit which has a slight delay to let them secure, but even after that I felt none of the pressure of the stock tips (even the correctly sized type) and it took a while to realise that they weren't about to fall out and were securely in place, just far softer and more comfortable than the stock tips. Based on a few 4-5 hour listening stretches this comfort carries over for longer periods, and I felt none of the fatigue I would normally have expected.

As for the claims on the box, I can't say I have noticed any change in sound or isolation properties between these and stock, which means that while they weren't an improvement, they haven't had any negative impact either. Being more comfortable with no negative impact I can certainly rate as a good thing...

About the only real downsides I can see is that as foam rather than rubber they lack the ability to quickly wipe clean after they accumulate dirt and wax from your ears, which is presumably why they come in packs of three - I have no idea yet quite how long each set will last with regular use. The other note is that due to the way the foam expands they do take a moment longer to correctly seat - so for those constantly taking out and putting in headphones they could be a bit of an annoyance, but for most it won't be an issue spending an extra ten seconds putting them in before heading out.

It may seem expensive to spend an extra £10 on headphones like mine that only cost £35 to begin with, but I would have to say that if you are regularly using them it is money well spent to improve your listening comfort.


Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End
Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End
by Manel Loureiro
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.64

5.0 out of 5 stars For fans of Max Brooks and the Walking Dead..., 3 Jan 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Originally appearing as a fictional blog written and posted by Spanish author Manel Loureiro, it has now been collected together into novel form, and translated into English from Manel's native Spanish (the language of the original posts and story).

The story is reproduced here in blog format - that of lots of short diary entries originally as part of the unnamed writer's online blog, and latterly after civilisation has started falling down as written diary entries detailing his journey and the events within. This 'blog' approach allows the story to remain fast paced throughout which leaves the reader quickly skipping form event to event as the story unfolds from typical reflections of rumour and news reports coming in of unknown happenings, to troubles reaching the writers home and on as he tries to survive. Initially it starts out as a fairly typical 'zombie' story - obviously there is only so much you can do to begin such a story - but does take on a few somewhat unexpected twists and turns with a few events and a story arc (without giving too much away, that of the freighter) that could almost be out of a thriller novel were there not the ever present zombies hanging around to keep it on track. The end diverts back to a more typical basis again - I guess an attempt to try and avoid falling into all the cliche'd potholes of the 'zombie genre' which does make for some odd pacing at times, but combined with the fairly short 'blog' approach makes for an interesting read.

If you are expecting something literary and in depth, then this certainly won't be for you - the blog approach and subject matter making for a quick paced and tense read not really allowing for too much in the way of description and in depth narrative, but for those wanting something to keep them entertained after working their way through books like the ever popular World War Z by Max Brooks, then this is an entertaining way to curb the desire for more brains...


The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey From the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau
The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey From the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau
by Alex Kershaw
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.63

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read, 3 Jan 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Liberator: One World War II soldiers 500 day odyssey from the beaches of Sicily to the gates of Dachau tells the story of Felix Sparks, a US infantryman during the second world war. Following Felix from a third person perspective it follows him and his infantry division - the Thunderbirds - as they travel to Europe to take part in the US invasion of Sicily, before fighting their way up through Italy, France and into Germany itself.

I typically enjoy this type of book as while we have all been taught about the war and how life was like on the front lines, it has always seemed quite hard to grasp what it was actually like for the men right at the front. Stories like the one of Felix Sparks give us a chance to see something of one specific story - in this case ignoring the better known battles such as the Normandy D-day landings or the battle of Britain - and follow it through from start to end, and getting a better idea of how soldiers survived, the scale of losses they experienced on a personal level (the grand totals of how many millions died are always somehow less real than the story of the few hundred lost in one specific engagement), and in this case the reality of exactly how many died under Sparks command and how surprising it was that he lasted the whole journey.

In terms of the writing itself, the story is very engaging and written in the sort of way that leaves you turning page after page to see your way through to the end of the latest engagement. The pace is pretty quick throughout as is needed to fit such a story into one book which adds a somewhat realistically frantic nature to the US charge towards Germany. I would say it perhaps blurs the line between a strict historical text and that of an action story which in this case works perfectly in keeping you hooked for the next chapter, but also keeping the thought in your mind that all the characters in the book and all the trials they faced and deaths that occurred were all too real, and certainly not a work of fiction.


Panasonic DMC-SZ7EB-K Digital Camera - Black (10x Super Zoom with 25mm LEICA Lens and Full HD Movie) 3.0 inch Intelligent LCD
Panasonic DMC-SZ7EB-K Digital Camera - Black (10x Super Zoom with 25mm LEICA Lens and Full HD Movie) 3.0 inch Intelligent LCD

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nearly perfect, barring from one major fault, 17 Sep 2012
In most regards the Panasonic SZ7 is pretty much my ideal camera - a very compact size, huge 10x 25-250mm equivalent zoom lens, 14mp CMOS sensor (also available as the SZ1 with a cheaper CCD sensor) and great image quality and high ISO capability for the sensor size. While it lacks the manual controls of many higher end cameras, you have control over the usual range of compact camera options, and Panasonics excellent iAuto mode for point and shoot style photography.

Almost my ideal camera, were it not for the very poor viewing angle of the 3" LCD screen - I found that when shooting with the camera held at head height the screen was great - bright, colourful, and with great clarity and sharpness - but as soon as you move the camera away from eye height the screen quickly washes out and proves useless for gauging exposure and makes framing and shooting much more of a chore. The menu does contain a setting for shooting with the camera held in the air (for shooting over the heads of a crowd for example) which does help alleviate the problem, but only for shooting held high, and requiring you to delve into the menu to turn it on and off as needed. Shooting lower level - such as shooting at the eye height of a child, or for a unique low level perspective - was a hassle.
In comparison the screens of my Panasonic GF2 or my Canon IXUS 220 HS were perfectly viewable in full colour at near enough any angle until you are at such an angle that viewing the screen full stop becomes a problem.

Nearly my perfect camera, and for many people it will be perfectly usable and a great combination of size and features, but the issues with the screen were enough for me personally to return my sample.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 18, 2013 12:46 PM BST


News from Gardenia
News from Gardenia
by Robert Llewellyn
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, 12 Sep 2012
This review is from: News from Gardenia (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Being familiar with Robert Llewellyn from his TV work (Red Dwarf, Scrapheap Challenge) and a follower of his on various social media sites I was very intrigued by the concept of a book written by him (realising that he has written previously, I will admit I got caught up in his posts on the latest), so here I am with a copy of 'News from Gardenia'.

The book is in many ways a rewriting of the 1890's book 'News from nowhere' by William Morris - a story telling of a time traveller heading into the future and discovering how everything has changed. Looking back everything is indeed very fictional and very little came to fruition - considering people 40 years ago didn't predict the internet, it is understandable for someone to be a bit off the mark 100 years ago - but is an interesting look into the mindset and hopes of the day. 'News from gardenia' is a current LLewellyn penned equivalent - telling the same story as the earlier work, but from todays perspective, so that of a human living in 2012 being catapulted far into the future and telling of how society and technology has changed. Trying to avoid giving anything away it tells initially of society in the future UK of Gardenia, describing how life has changed after a forthcoming energy crisis and how life adapted to cope, before moving on to describe something of the rest of the planet and tell us of a possible future with radical changes in the political landscape and adaptations to society. An interesting concept and one that is followed through very well by Llewellyn.

Is it perfect? I think the style of the book initially leads to many different ideas of what is correct, with some obvious influence from Robert's own politics (being a keen proponent of renewable energy) and no doubt some pretty major plot holes in how the technology has all come about, but far from being a scientific paper news from gardenia is a novel to entertain us and hopefully make us think a little, which it succeeds in perfectly.

If you are used to some of the well known Sci-fi novels - Iain m Banks, Larry Niven and so on then this should be a great breath of fresh air, capturing a different type of story in an easy to read form. If you just want something different to the usual crime novel then this is certainly fitting as something different from the norm. Highly recommended.


Exuberance: New Virtuosity in Contemporary Architecture (Architectural Design)
Exuberance: New Virtuosity in Contemporary Architecture (Architectural Design)
by Marjan Colletti
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was expecting, 28 July 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I approached this not entirely sure what I should expect, but very much hoping for an interesting read on architecture, and the potential for some nice photography and design, perhaps not entirely understanding the target aimed at by the AD writers.

Architectural Design is a periodical text not unsurprisingly based on Architecture - each issue guest written by a notable person in the subject of that particular issue. With a title like 'Exuberance: New virtuosity in contemporary architecture'' though perhaps I should have been able to guess that far from the interesting read I was hoping for an an engineer, this very much seems to be a piece full of 'art' speak and buzzwords that skipped entirely over my head and really aimed at professional architects working in the field, not interesting bystanders in the way that a non-scientist can find interest in New Scientist or the average person can appreciate National Geographic.

Perhaps an error on my part, but for me at least Exuberance pretty much fell flat - well designed, nice photography and great quality, but just not of a subject matter the average person can find too much interest in should they not already be very interested in architecture. I will admit that I cannot comment on whether other issues may be more open for the average reader, but this one at least in my opinion wasn't.


The Stranger [DVD] [2010]
The Stranger [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Steve Austin
Price: £3.41

1.0 out of 5 stars Uninspiring, 28 July 2012
This review is from: The Stranger [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When looking at the synopsis I had a hope for an interesting movie - something ideally between a gritty drama/thriller and a pure action film with an interesting to draw you in and enough action scenes to break up the tension and give you some explosions and gunfights to keep you on your toes.

What I got sadly didn't live up to these hopes - a fairly formulaic movie that had potential, but just never quite achieved much. The story wasn't quite interesting enough to keep you watching the whole way through, the action was fairly unremarkable and none of the acting really caught my attention - a film that may have been acceptable 15 or 20 years ago, but now just faces too much competition from the more unique and well done movies that can offer us so much more.


Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World (Penguin Paperback Classics)
Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World (Penguin Paperback Classics)
by Jan Karski
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An autobiography that I am surprised isn't a movie..., 28 July 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Story of a secret state is a current day reprint of a book initially released (though not I believe in the UK) just after the second world war, detailing the experience of one Pole living under Nazi rule and working for the Polish underground.

It tells the story of Jan Karski - initially a fairly well off Pole - from his call to arms at the time of the initial Nazi invasion of Poland, through his escape from the front lines and subsequent work as part of the Polish underground working against Nazi occupation, to his eventual travel to Britain and America (where he then settled) to bring to light the horror of the then unknown Nazi concentration camps. As a story it tells of the horror under Nazi rule, the risks undertaken by the underground in continually fighting against the occupation and explains a lot of what was actually going on in an area of the war more commonly known of in the somewhat less than factually correct series 'Allo 'allo.

Despite the age of the text, I still found it very engaging and well written, and if anything just as relevant now as it was just after the war as a method of teaching everyone something of the risks taken and the life lived in what for many was everyday life in an area of the war far less known of than the 'popular' subjects such as the horrors taking place in Auschwitz (though those horrors are a big part of the story of Jan Karski) or on the front lines at Omaha Beach or the fields of Flanders.

Not exactly a Disney like story with a lovely ending, but then what part of the second world war was? Definitely a book I would certainly recommend everyone read at some point to broaden their knowledge of European history and the lesser known side of the second world war.


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