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Will Slocombe (Glasgow, UK)

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Betron KS45 Noise Isolating Ultralight Earphones with Amazing Comfort and Fit for iPhone, iPad, iPod (With Remote and Microphone)
Betron KS45 Noise Isolating Ultralight Earphones with Amazing Comfort and Fit for iPhone, iPad, iPod (With Remote and Microphone)
Offered by Betron Limited ( VAT Registered)
Price: £29.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Quality earphones let down by fundamental flaws., 22 July 2017
I've had Betron earphones before and been impressed by their value for money, but these have been a big disappointment. As with other Betron products, they come well presented in a hard plastic case with a small velvety bag for storage. The sound quality is good, if a little on the quiet side. Noise isolation work well, with one major exception (see below). Unfortunately this is let down by a number of flaws that make them practically unusable.

First up, the remote doesn't work (Apple earphones with an iPod Classic). I don't really use it, so no biggie for me. Second, the wire are covered in a fabric coating rather than plastic (it probably has a name, but I don't know it). It looks great but if it rubs on anything it produces a scratchy noise that seems to be carried up the wire into your ear. This is extremely annoying if you have music on at low volume (I often wear earphones in bed, but these are useless for that).

But the biggest problem is the design of the actual in-ear part. They are lightweight and comfortable, but they barely hold on the earbuds. They often get left in my ear when I take the earphones off, and the simple act of putting them in your pocket is almost guaranteed to knock at least one bud off. I've lost three buds in the two weeks I've been using them (thankfully they come with some spares) and I'm not using them intensively, just for popping to the shop and the like.

I won't let this one disappointment put me off Betron as a brand, because I know they're normally better than this, but this product is definately one to avoid.


Dark Skies: The Complete Series [DVD]
Dark Skies: The Complete Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Eric Close
Price: £13.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid if uninspired, 11 Dec. 2015
The show: Dark Skies was a short lived 90s sci-fi series that reimagined recent history as centred around a vast alien conspiracy. It is not to be confused with the 2013 horror film of the same name. Set in the 60s (subsequent seasons were intended to advance history up to the year 2000) it weaves its story around historical events, characters and news footage. It had potential, a decent cast and plot twists you actually might not see coming. Unfortunately it was also very slow starting, the writing was horribly inconsistant (especially mid-season) and some of its 'ideas' are beyond cliche. In the end, the show vanished into the X-Files' shadow and was cancelled after its first season. It's still very watchable, and mostly enjoyable. Just as a warning though, the final episode ends on possibly the worst unresolved cliffhanger in TV history. You have been warned.

The box set: Is fine. It contains the feature length pilot, plus all 18 episodes. A nice sleeve, some unremarkable special features and cheap looking menus. The picture and sound quality is pretty good for a non-remastered 90s TV show. One major negative is that the pilot episode (without which nothing makes sense) is inexplicably located as a special feature on disc 5. Make sure to watch that first!

The bottom line: Maybe not the first choice of a TV show , but well worth a watch if you're a fan of conspiracy theory based shows or 90s sci-fi.


Wired Magazine (UK) (Kindle Tablet Edition)
Wired Magazine (UK) (Kindle Tablet Edition)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great magazine, terrible app, 7 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I got this for my Kindle HD 7" as I have a physical subscription and the digital issues are included in the price. I gave up using it months ago. Don't get me wrong, the Wired digital edition is fantastic - well laid out, lots of interactive bits and bobs to play with, and I would love to read it. Okay, so back issues before your subscription aren't included (though can be purchased at £2.99) and the adverts are annoyingly in your face, but Wired have to make their money somehow. My only real issue is the size - each issue weighs in at 300Mb, requiring lengthly downloads and remembering to delete issues before your memory fills up.

The main problem is the app itself, together with the distribution of the digital issue. Maybe it's just me, but I only ever seem to get access to the digital copy the month after it becomes available (i.e. I'll get access to January's issue only days before February's is released), by which time I've had the paper copy for weeks. The app itself is clunky and annoying to set-up (you need your subscription number, which is only included on the outer packaging of the magazine - so unless you keep magazine packaging lying around you have to wait for a paper copy to arrive before you can even finish the set-up). The app logs itself out at random, which is a small annoyance in itself except you have to be online to log back in (and even then is sometimes temperamental), since I tend to read while travelling this isn't always the case. Finally, when I came to renew my subscription suddenly all my issues from before the renewal disappeared, expecting a £2.99 to view them again, prompting several long and frustrating emails over several days to resolve.

In conclusion - the digital version of Wired is great, but numerous flaws in it's distribution (including the app) forced me to return to the paper copy.


Defiance - Season 1 [Blu-ray + UV Copy] [2013] [Region Free]
Defiance - Season 1 [Blu-ray + UV Copy] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Grant Bowler
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £7.82

68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Defiant, 31 July 2013
Defiance is an American post-apocalyptic sci-Fi series set in the Missouri town of Defiance. To make it clear from the outset, Defiance has very few similarities to Firefly, despite at least one negative reviewer's expectations. The show bears far more similarity to Farscape or Alien Nation - hardly surprising considering the heavy involvement of Rockne S. O'Bannon in all three shows. The main strength of Defiance is its exceptionally well thought out setting - Defiance is detailed, its history explored beyond any direct relevance to the story, and there is an interesting picture painted of the world beyond its walls. Even more impressive is the characterisation of Defiance's alien races, each of which possess a distinct culture, history and, thanks to linguist David J. Peterson, full languages that are spoken frequently and fluently. Combined with a generally excellent cast (including standout performances from Tony Curran and Jaime Murray as the ambitious and ruthless local crime family), Defiance creates a thoroughly engrossing and captivating world.

Story-wise the plots are generally above average, though unfortunately for every time the writers truly excel themselves (and there are some extremely good twists and subplots), there's a time that they seem to slump into tired and cringe-worthy sci-fi cliches. The ongoing intrigues and power struggles between the characters are often more entertaining than the main plot of an episode. Also, as might be expected in a relatively low budget SyFy series, Defiance's ambitions often outweigh its technical capacity (especially in the pilot episode, which features some very dodgy CGI effects).

Overall, Defiance is a very promising show with a few rough edges. I gave it 4 stars - if I could have given it 4.5 I would, but the inconsistant writing prevented a 5 star rating. Very much worth watching, and hopefully Season Two will continue the good work!

Summary-

Pros:
Excellent setting and characterisation
Strong cast
Capitvating intrigue and ongoing plots

Cons:
Inconsistant quality of individual episodes
Occasional lapses into cliches
Inadequate special effects budget

P.S. Despite the quality of Defiance as a TV show, do not be tempted to try the video game to further flesh out the Defiance world - it takes the barest bones of the TV show development and lashes it to cliched stories, generic gameplay, terrible voice acting and generally fails in all the areas where the TV show succeeds.


Upon Haunted Battlefields
Upon Haunted Battlefields
Price: £21.27

4.0 out of 5 stars Cheesy but enjoyable, 6 Feb. 2012
I struggle to remember why, but on my first listen to Thaurorod's debut album I found myself somewhat disappointed. I'll admit to having high expectations for the album, largely due to the vocal prescence of Michele Luppi (whose performance on Vision Divine's Perfect Machine is one of my all-time favorites). Having persevered, however, I now find Upon Haunted Battlefields a strong and enjoyable power metal outing.

The album opens at its weakest - kinda cheesy and indistinct for the first couple of tracks. Things really get started on track 3 - Shadows and Rain (which is my favorite song of the album). Suddenly everything seems to flow much better, as if the band had just realised how to work together. The vocals are strong, and the guitar solos fast and distinct. The songs are still cheesy, but are just the right level of catchy to be enjoyable without getting annoying (let's face it, if you bought an album with Upon Haunted Battlefields' cover art, you should be expecting a certain level of cheesiness). It is very rare that I reach the end of an album and immediately want to play it again, yet Upon Haunted Battlefields is one of those few.

Highlights of the album for me are Shadows and Rain, Guide for the Blind, and Elämän Tuli. Will probably appeal most to fans of Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius, or similar.


Concerto Grosso n. 1
Concerto Grosso n. 1
Price: £3.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Classic prog rock, 20 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This third album from Italian prog rockers New Trolls is the pinnacle of their long and accomplished career. Any fans of other late 60s, early 70s prog will be immediately at home with Concerto Grosso n.1, which is reminiscent of King Crimson or Rush. The guitar work brings Hendrix to mind (with the fourth track even dedicated to him), while the vocals are soft and moving. A word of warning to some: the lyrics are Italian, if that bothers you. The only negatives I can find here are that Track 4 is a little silly, and that the album as a whole is very short, with over half of it taken up with a lengthy improvisation piece (while this is good, it leaves me wishing for more actual songs after a while). Despite this, Concerto Grosso n.1 is well worth a listen for any fans of prog or 70s rock in general.


Star Trek The Next Generation - Season 1 (Slimline Edition) [DVD]
Star Trek The Next Generation - Season 1 (Slimline Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Patrick Stewart
Price: £17.92

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Generation, 19 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The second generation of Star Trek begins here!

The first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation quickly demonstrates the potential that the Star Trek universe had developed since the cancellation of the original show. Building on the slightly darker, less corny version of Star Trek seen in the movies of the 70s and 80s, the Next Generation immediately feels like a continuation rather than a replacement of the original.

The first season is not the best season of the show, taking a while to find its bearings and to explore the potential of its talented cast. Patrick Stewart is spectacular from the go as Captain Picard. Fan favourite characters Data, Geordie, and Worf have less of a prescence than in later seasons. Many episodes rely too heavily on the seemingly endless talents of Wesley Crusher for some 11th hour remedy, which goes against the impression of the Enterprise as the elite of Starfleet. The episodes are a little more corny, and a little less thought provoking than later seasons.

Despite this the first season of TNG is entertaining and builds nicely towards the future of the show. It is certainly a huge step forward from what few other sci-fi shows were being prodeuced in the late 80s, and helped demonstrate that sci-fi could represent serious drama and not just costumed silliness.

This boxed set is a nice collection, with the discs contained in 4 slimline cases within the cardboard sleeve. The film quality can be a little grainy, especially on the pilot, but not so much that it becomes frustrating. The extras contains some interesting behind-the-scenes featurettes for those who want a little more.


2GB, 204-pin SODIMM, DDR3 PC3-10600 memory module
2GB, 204-pin SODIMM, DDR3 PC3-10600 memory module

5.0 out of 5 stars Netbook Upgrade, 19 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this as an upgrade for my Packard Bell Dot-SE netbook. I swapped the memory and it all worked fine, no fuss. I've got no complaints - for the price it is simply unbeatable!


Angelfish
Angelfish

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable album, 19 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Angelfish (Audio CD)
I'm guessing that everyone that buys this album is doing so because it is Shirley Manson's pre-Garbage outing. Which is a bit of a shame as it's a very solid album in it's own right. I'll admit, I bought the album expecting a strong vocal performance on an otherwise weak CD, but was pleasantly surprised to find myself with a well-written, well-produced album which sounds great all round.

Musically the sound is similar to Garbage's first album - perhaps a little more pop-y and a little more bass heavy. I'm not going to pretend that any of its songs stand up to the best of Garbage, but they do compare well with their album tracks. All in all, if you're a fan of Garbage and want something similar, you are not going to be disappointed (and probably pleasantly surprised) with Angelfish. On the flip-side, if you hate Garbage you're not going to enjoy this either...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 17, 2012 12:37 PM BST


LUPO Black with Blue Inside Netbook Neoprene Pouch Case Sleeve - Fits up to 10.2 Inch Netbooks and Apple Ipad
LUPO Black with Blue Inside Netbook Neoprene Pouch Case Sleeve - Fits up to 10.2 Inch Netbooks and Apple Ipad

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does the job, 19 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this case to protect my netbook from stratches etc when it's being lugged around in my rucksack. It does this very well, and is a good size for my Packard Bell Dot-SE.

Note that it is not a carry case - it has no handles, no room for chargers or accessories, and has no padding for more significant protection. If you are looking for these things, this is not the product for you...

The one problem I have with this product is that it has a strong smell of industrial chemical which is quite overpowering. It has faded slightly over the past couple of weeks, but still smells quite bad which makes me reluctatnt to put it in a bag with clothes etc.


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