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Dog trainer (failed) (Ireland)
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Crock-Pot CSC038 Duraceramic Saute Slow Cooker with Hinged Lid, 4.5 Litre, White
Crock-Pot CSC038 Duraceramic Saute Slow Cooker with Hinged Lid, 4.5 Litre, White
Price: £69.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The cult of slow ..., 31 July 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Extremely easy to use. Just bung the stuff in and leave it. Three controls. High, Low, and keep warm. We found meat more tender when cooked longer at the Low setting.

Removable lid always handy but is the hinge really necessary? Simple handle would suffice. Also, the inner bowl isn't terribly attractive looking when taken to the table. Looks a bit cheap actually.

The one we received was 4.5L and is plenty big enough for the family. Some left over for the dog even.

Does the job, but nothing fancy about it. We've had a number of slow cookers in the past and this one is no better than any of them. No worse either.

No timer. For the price it's not enough. So docking one star.


Sony HT-RT4 600W 5.1 CH Soundbar System with Tall Rear Speakers - Black
Sony HT-RT4 600W 5.1 CH Soundbar System with Tall Rear Speakers - Black
Price: £319.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good package, 24 Jun. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Set-Up. 

Easy, took around 15 minutes to get everything unpacked and set up and another few minutes to get acquainted with the remote and controls. However if you wanted you could probably spend a few hours tuning the system to your exact needs. Thankfully however, the default sound settings (Music, Movies, Gaming) seem to do the job. 

Fine tuning the different settings can be cumbersome as you only have the small window (2 inches) on the front of the sub-woofer. However the manual itself is quite detailed and after a short read you understand how to use the system. 

Bluetooth

Setting up the bluetooth was easy as a flick of a button to the Bluetooth setting. The phone had no bother connecting. However I will say that the range compared to other bluetooth devices I've used isn't the best and it seems to drop out at about 2 meters. When within that range the music's sharp, and sounds great! I've tried out a few genres (Hip Hop, Dance, Rock, Techno) and all sound fantastic. 

Movies/Games

I've played quite a few games and watched a variety of movies and tv shows with the XBOX One S and so far everything is fantastic. The sound is immersive and sometimes even a little louder to what I'm used to. Games like Battlefield 1 and Overwatch sound amazing, and the system (Particularly the back speakers) give you an advantage you wouldn't normally have (hearing someone come up behind you).

Movies are also great, tested out Lord of the Rings, Elysium and Inception (all great soundtracks) and they gave the movies a totally different experience almost cinematic (If you have a good tv it will be). 

Downsides: 

The connections on the back of the subwoofer are not universal: Not entirely sure what connection type it is, however it would be nice in future to add more speakers to the mix, so there's a real lack of flexibility for improvement that other sound systems would offer. 

As the image above suggests, the speakers are not wireless which is disappointing, however the cables themselves are long and will easily place behind or can be easily placed somewhere far from the system to fit the user's needs. 

Overall

If you're after a mid-range sound system / cinema sound this is probably for you. Not the best, not the worst. at 330£ it's a little steep but you get some really good sound quality for your money and also a very pretty addition to your setup. 

4/5 Stars, Would recommend the HT-RT4 but maybe lower price.


We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe
We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe
by Jorge Cham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worst things first, 7 Jun. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Worst things first. The 'humour' does grate initially. But after a few pages you become immune ... well, used to it anyway. By the end I was almost enjoying the puns, and found some of them enlightening even.

Other than that the book is very informative, albeit mostly on things we know nothing about. If you are already well up on 'popular' physics I would advise you to steer clear though ... it is strictly for the beginners, and no harm in that.

The 'matter' covered is still difficult to conceive of, but having finished the book I do have a still fuzzy, but somewhat somewhat clearer notion of the current thinking in physics.

On balance, I came to jeer but stayed to cheer, if you see what I mean. I wouldn't restrict its audience to young people either. It's amusing, informative, breezy and accessible. I liked it very much.


111SKIN NAC Y2 Nocturnal Eclipse Recovery Cream 50 ml
111SKIN NAC Y2 Nocturnal Eclipse Recovery Cream 50 ml
Price: £160.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars In a bit of a spot ..., 5 May 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Very well packaged, jar seems very heavy ... so you feel as if you are getting a lot for your (quite a bit of) money. Comes with a little applicator which allows you to massage the cream into your skin, but which is essentially time consuming, impractical and of dubious real value.

The cream itself is slightly, but pleasantly, perfumed and looks and feels very rich. However, both my partner and I used it, and we found that within a day or two we were breaking out in small pimples on our faces (although not on the neck). So for us we had to conclude that it is too rich ... !

For this reason we had to stop applying it, and therefore can't comment on the long term effects of use. It's expensive so I think that before buying you would need to be sure that your skin can tolerate the oil base level of this type of cream.


It's One For The Money
It's One For The Money
by Clinton Heylin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.38

5.0 out of 5 stars Money (that's what they want) ..., 25 Feb. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: It's One For The Money (Paperback)
A wonderful, well informed, acerbic deconstruction of the whole cult of the artist/songwriter and 'authorship' in popular music. And a tour through through the shysters, flimflam men, corporate bodies, lawyers, and 'rock' and 'pop' stars who have done their best to rip others off and drain the pool of creativity by closing off access to the musical legacy belonging to us all. Fascinating, and very funny in places.


Bulbul Facette Unisex Quartz Watch with Rose Gold Dial Analogue Display and Dark Brown Leather Strap F03
Bulbul Facette Unisex Quartz Watch with Rose Gold Dial Analogue Display and Dark Brown Leather Strap F03
Offered by S&W-Group
Price: £358.80

3.0 out of 5 stars Price watch, 18 Feb. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This watch seems a little over priced to me. And there is a contradiction about its appearance, causing it to fall between two stools.

As another reviewer points out very well in their review, the watch is trying so hard to be unisex that it turns out to be neither one thing or the other. I can't wear it without looking at it and thinking that perhaps it is more suited to a woman. Yet when my partner wears it she feels that, because of its size, weight and slight thickness, it's more of a masculine timepiece. These perceptions may, of course, be related to our ages (55+), and our possibly 'dated' notions of a strict divide between what used to be called "ladies'" and "gentlemen's" watches.

Having said all that I very much like the strikingly simple face, with the winder sitting at two o'clock. The rose gold colour is a little too pink for me, but there is a beautifully soft brown leather strap. For whatever reasons, though, and rightly or wrongly, I tend to associate real class in a watch with a certain slimness, and this one is a little too thick for me.

All in all, I don't quite see where the price tag comes from. Perhaps the Danish design trio behind it merit this kind of money. I'm deducting two stars because 1) it's still too expensive, and 2) having seen and worn the watch, I doubt if I would buy it for myself, and I would hesitate to buy it as a present for someone else.


Revitive Dual Action Arthritis for Knee (Eligible for VAT relief in the UK)
Revitive Dual Action Arthritis for Knee (Eligible for VAT relief in the UK)
Price: £299.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Knee trembler ... !!!, 8 Feb. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Very easy to use. Clear instructions. Can be used entirely at your convenience ... watching TV, reading, pontificating to your partner, and so on.

Full charge lasted about 8 days. The intensity of the impulses can be regulated. Two ways to use it: either by simply resting the feet on the base plate which exercises the muscles in the lower leg; or you can apply a supplied pad above the knee, and it stimulates the thigh muscles. Both options are supposed to improve muscle tone, and thereby strengthen and stabilise the knee joint.

My knee, since using, has felt less tight and stiff, but it's early days yet and so I can't say what the long term effect might be. I am still very mobile and the machine may be of more benefit to someone less so.

It's very expensive, and on first sight doesn't look great value for money. However, it has eased my knee a little and if this becomes a definite and permanent improvement, then I think it may justify the current, seemingly quite high, selling point.


Radical Innovators: The Blessings of Adversity in Science and Art, 1500-2000
Radical Innovators: The Blessings of Adversity in Science and Art, 1500-2000
by Anton Blok
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £55.00

3.0 out of 5 stars The outsiders are always there., 8 Feb. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is presented like an academic tome. I have the hardback ... laminated cover, outrageous price. As other reviewers point out though, the content is easy enough to follow. The publisher has done a disservice to the book. It deserves, and could enjoy, a wider audience.

It is a collective biography of 90 radical innovators from Erasmus to Keynes with many stops in between. Blok's point seems to be that a significant proportion of these figures actually may have benefited from adversity and social exclusion. As outsiders they were thus better placed to question conventional beliefs and practices, take chances and exploit opportunities.

Blok argues that very often radical innovation in science and art is unpredictable and cannot be rehearsed for. This, I suppose, runs contrary to today's fashion for investing in innovation, usually via planned and focused research teams.

This is not, to me anyway, a very surprising notion. But I enjoyed the book, for the most part, even if at times it reads a bit like a doctoral thesis. Deducting two stars because of the price and presentation, and the fact that I don't think Blok's conclusions are that surprising really.


Panasonic SC-ALL9EB-K 80W Powerfull Multi Room Speaker
Panasonic SC-ALL9EB-K 80W Powerfull Multi Room Speaker
Offered by Let's GO digital
Price: £199.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Buttons and Bose, 26 Jan. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As other reviewers have observed, this speaker is big, so make sure you have room for it by checking dimensions against available space(s) before ordering. It's not something you will carry around with you.

Big speaker, big sound. I have no other Panasonic devices so I'm comparing it to my little Bose soundlink Bluetooth units. I wouldn't say that the sound from it is better than the Bose. Bigger, but not better in its detail, if you know what I mean.

The music streaming app from Panasonic is much improved as long as you are playing music already on your phone. Last time I tried one of these units, if you were playing music via it, then the app didn't allow me to access the internet simultaneously. So far I have only streamed radio, but no problems so far. And it has 6 preset buttons.

The real point seems to be to use Spotify, Deezer and the rest ... something I tend to avoid since years of cd buying and downloading and ripping have left me with most of my music on one or two devices.

I needed another Bluetooth speaker, and this will do the job well. But its potential is much greater, and if I was building a music system again I would consider a set of interconnected speakers like this one, around the house. That is where it would come into its own. Even as I write that though, I wonder if the ad men's concocted notion of 'your music in every room' appeals to me. When I listen to music I'm usually listening to it, rather than creating a soundtrack to accompany whatever else I'm doing.

So, big, weighty speaker, quality sound, easy to set up and (so far) easy to use. Deducting a star because it should be better sound wise than the little Bose units, but isn't.


Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Elite Edition Quadricopter (Sand)
Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Elite Edition Quadricopter (Sand)
Price: £259.00

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Put it back in the box and forget it, 16 Dec. 2016
I wish you could give this no stars. Don't buy it. After two flights app started flashing too 'Too much angle emergency'. Reset it? Ok. No change. Try to adjust in settings? You can't. Go online and ask for help? Forget it - either you get bombarded with stuff from nerds who want to show off their knowledge but can't help, or others who are as clueless as yourself. Try the instruction manual? No troubleshooting section. Try the Drone Academy site? It's in French.

This thing cost a lot, and is ultra cheap plastic rubbish. Beware the superhuman whizz kid nerd great reviews. If you are 'ordinary' this thing will go its own way very quickly, and you have no way to correct it.


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