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danser
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Member since: 09.08.2009

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      23.01.2012 10:32
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      More effective than brushing with a normal brush - a good entry level model.

      As I have sensitive teeth, the Braun Oral-B Vitality Sensitive Clean Toothbrush stood out on the shelf to me (that and it was one of the cheapest and it was in the sale). Now I have sensitive teeth in the fact that if I bite into ice cream I get an electric shock style pain in my jaw, I'm not sure if the 'sensitive' aspect of this toothbrush is aimed towards people who's teeth hurt when brushing. Either way, I have combined this brush with Sensodyne Total Care toothpaste so I think I've covered all bases.

      For all of those that own or have used an electric toothbrush you'll realise how much effort it actually took to brush your teeth properly with a normal toothbrush - I say properly because you are supposed to brush for a minimum of two minutes, which can seem like ages late at night or early in the morning. One thing I like about this brush is that it pulsates after 2 minutes so you know when you've done your minimum time.

      As it is at the low end of the price spectrum there aren't many features on this brush especially when you compare it to brushes which are £30 or so more expensive. Nevertheless it does boast having '2D technology' which basically means that the brush oscillates (swings back and forth) and also rotates at 7,600 rotations per minute. Compare this to couple of hundred back, forward, up and down motions you can do when using a normal toothbrush and you can see why Braun claim that you can remove up to twice as much plaque as normal brushing.

      The toothbrush is rechargeable and comes with a separate charging unit which you place the brush on to. The charging unit has a two pin shaver style plug so unless you're lucky enough to have a shaver socket in your bathroom or you live in a hotel you'll have to buy a 3 pin plug adaptor. As most bathrooms don't have mains sockets in you'll find that you'll have you're toothbrush charging in your bedroom or on the landing once a week as the charge lasts for around 30 minutes but takes about 18 hours for a full charge to complete. It can be a little annoying if you forget to charge it and it slowly start dying half way through a brush as it's very difficult to use it in the same way you would a normal brush.

      You get one brush head when you buy it which lasts the same sort of time a normal brush lasts. Replacements vary in price depending on what type of brush you choose (all of the Oral-B toothbrush brush range will fit except the Pulsonic), I normally shop around to find out what's on special offer at that time.

      You also get a 2 year manufacturers guarantee but I've never had an electric toothbrush fail on me yet.

      Overall I'd suggest if you have never tried an electric toothbrush then something like this would be good to start on. I wouldn't recommend spending any more than £30 for your first one as some people I know have tried them but didn't like them.

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        22.01.2012 12:09
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        It boils quickly and quietly and has a blue light in case you need a cuppa in the dark.

        One of the most frustrating things I find is when your kettle dies. It normally picks an highly inconvenient time to do so like when you have just spent 2 hours down ASDA and you're hanging for a cuppa - why couldn't of it died whilst making the pre-shop brew? Anyway, after boiling a pan of water on the hob and making a tea that had a slight taste of last night's pasta sauce I headed down to Argos and came back with a Breville VKJ293 Illuminated Jug Kettle.

        So what was the initial attraction to this kettle? Was it the large 1.7 litre capacity? No. Was it the stated 'Rapid boil' technology it employed? No. Ergonomic handle, easy fill, easy pour, 360 degree base and non-slip feet? No. Was it that it lights up blue? Of course. They may have well as called it 'TRON kettle' as that was what I was thinking when I read the description. Ok, it might be a little sad to think something is cool if you stick a blue light on it but that is how a gadget nerd's mind works and for that I make no apologies.

        The kettle itself is generally a nice design and looks pretty sleek, it's black in colour which doesn't match anything in my kitchen but then nothing else matches so I guess it fits in well. It boils quickly and is pretty quiet which is a benefit because our last kettle sounded like there was a mini war going on inside it and often drowned out the sound of the TV in the kitchen.

        Another plus is that it doesn't leak when pouring, we've had cheap kettles before that you have to pour very slowly otherwise you end up with puddles all around the cups. Top tip: If your kettle has started to pour water everywhere chances are your filter is scaled up and the water is coming over the side of it.

        As a tea addict I must use the kettle at home at least 10 times a day so any small imperfections to the design soon become apparent. The only real flaw I can see on this is that the flip top doesn't always flip fully, which isn't really anything to complain about it just means the kettle to tap motion has a split second delay because you have to nudge the lid fully open with your other hand.

        Overall, as kettles go this is a good one for the price and will appeal to the geek in you if blue lights are your 'thing'.

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        • HP ProBook 6550b / Laptop / 45 Readings / 45 Ratings
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          21.01.2012 18:48
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          If someone asked me to recommend a laptop, I'd say this one if it fell into their price range.

          As I work in IT I get to handle plenty of laptops and my current position means that I'm responsible for identifying a standardised laptop for our entire company to use. This process usually takes a few days and involves lots of comparison charts, part numbers and phone calls. Last year I had the job of proposing a mid-specification laptop that was suitable for a wide range of tasks and also sturdy enough to be used in some quite hostile environments. My proposed laptop was the HP ProBook 6550b (model WD0704ET), and here is why...

          First of all I predominantly favour HP laptops as over the years I have found them to be reliable, relatively well built (especially comparing them to similar priced Dell's) and have a great business support service (I can't say the same for their home user support though).

          Looks and feel
          ************
          This is one of the better looking laptops I have owned. It is a combination of black and silver in colour with nice aqua green lights. It looks and feels sleek and has nicely rounded corners and edges which I find makes using it all that more comfortable. At just under 3kg in weight it's light enough to handle easily, especially when grabbing it from the opposite side of the couch - which might sound a silly point but my 17" Dell weighs a ton and I've often strained myself whilst being lazy. Probably a lesson there somewhere....

          Specification and Configuration
          *************************
          Right, down to the meat and guts of the machine:
          Model: HP ProBook 6560b Notebook PC
          Processor: 2nd Generation Intel Core i5-2410M Processor @ 2.30GHz
          Chipset: Mobile Intel HM65 Express
          Memory: 4GB 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM in dual channel (8GB Max)
          Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000
          Display: 15.6-inch diagonal LED-backlit HD anti-glare (1366 x 768)
          Storage: Hitachi 320GB 7200 rpm 2.5-inch hard drive
          Optical: Lightscribe DVD+/-RW SuperMulti DL Drive
          Battery: 6-cell 55 Wh Li-Ion Battery
          Wireless: Intel Centrino Advanced N 6205 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1
          Webcam: 720p HD Webcam
          Dimensions: 1.35 in x 14.72 in x 9.86 in
          Weight: 5.76 lbs.
          OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

          As you can see from the specs the laptop is relatively powerful and will happily cope with your normal day to day tasks, easily support general media usage and is fine for social networking. It comes with 4GB of RAM as standard but it's nice to know that you can upgrade to 8GB if required. With current laptops I'd always go for the i5 processor because I think for the extra money it costs you get a sense of security knowing that it will be suitable for increasingly demanding software and media for a least a few years . On a side note, because most people only have a general knowledge about computers you'll notice that TV adverts and sales staff will focus a lot on hard drive size and RAM amounts which most people understand. Once you start talking about amount of cores, speed in GHz and cache sizes most people go blank - which is understandable! Be careful you don't get palmed off with an inferior processor because the laptop has a big hard drive - remember the processor is the brain of the computer!
          The screen is clear and is anti-glare and combined with the Intel HD3000 graphics card gives a nice, crisp picture. The 720p HD camera also gives a clean image and would be perfect for anyone who uses video chat such as Skype.

          As well as the Windows 7 64bit software that comes pre-installed there is also a bundle of HP tools and services included. The one that I find the most useful is the HP Support Assistant as it gives an easy interface to maintain and troubleshoot the laptop and also runs automated updates and tune-ups.
          Battery life is good (I get about 3 hours) but obviously depends on your power options setup. Like any laptop, make sure you drain your battery completely and then charge it fully regularly to keep it at optimum health.

          Extras
          *****
          I'll make an important point here - HP are not the most reliable laptops, but as I mentioned at the start they have a really good business warranty support service. Depending on your budget and your requirement will depend on the warranty you'll go for, I have the 3 year Next Day Onsite which means if I need an engineer to repair the laptop I'll get one (with the part) at my place the next day. Their phone support is normally good and you can normally get replacement parts sent out quickly without too much hassle. Again, I can't vouch for the home user support but you'll normally find that it's not as good as the business support.

          Summary
          ********
          Overall I like this laptop a lot, for what it costs you get a fair bit of performance packed nicely into a sleek, tidy and pretty cool looking case. HP Business support is good so if something does fail then I know that I'll be able to get it fixed next day.

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          • HTC Desire HD / Smartphone / 36 Readings / 35 Ratings
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            19.01.2012 22:12
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            A Swiss Army phone - can do everything and more. More battery life would make it near perfect for me

            My friend and I have mobile phone contract renewals 6 months apart of which his is before mine. It pains me to see him shopping around for a new phone in the summer while I know I have to wait until the winter to get mine. Fortunately this time the wait paid off - he purchased the HTC Desire and then I got the HTC Desire HD and revelled in the glory of having a superior phone! (Sad yes, but sometimes it's the little things in life).

            So, the big difference between the Desire and the HD version is the screen size. Desire is 3.7inches and the HD is 4.3 which is perfect for me as my big fingers don't seem to mash all of the icons displaying on the touch screen at once. The resolution of the screen is 480x800 pixels which is the same as the Desire, but the quality of the HD still seems to look better. With increased processor speed and RAM it also means that my phone has yet to freeze or go slow whereas his always hangs when flicking between apps.

            The build of the phone is solid and has a nice metal casing which gives it a bit of weight and an edge of masculinity. Not saying that a female would look out of place having this phone, just that I think that it's been aimed more at the male market. The SIM and battery covers sit tightly into the casing so no clips or buttons are visible and keeps the phone feeling smooth and helps it slide in and out of those jeans that are probably a little too tight really for me to be wearing. Another design feature I like is the touch screen buttons on the front whereas on the Desire there are actual buttons.

            The phone comes with Android software which as a first time Android user I'm impressed with. All the apps and tools that you expect are provided and searching around on the market place when waiting for the kettle to boil or the bath to run is a norm for me. I try to keep on top of my apps though to prevent clogging the phone up with junk and using up processor speed and memory - if I don't use it, it comes off.
            Battery life could be better, but to run a phone with this size of screen and power requires a lot of juice. My top tip is you take a lot of pictures and videos or listen to music, buy a second battery off of eBay and keep it in your pocket if you go out for the day. Also get a battery saving app from the market place (I use Juice Defender).

            I really do like this phone, I use it for everything - from an encyclopaedia to a torch; wi-fi hotspot to book reader. This is certainly the best phone I've owned to date and unlike most of my previous phones, I'm not getting the itch to upgrade it yet. Yes the HTC Sensation is out, but from what I've seen there isn't too much difference between that and the Desire HD except more CPU and RAM performance, but like I said I haven't had an issue with either.

            Get it for £30 or less a month with unlimited minutes/data and you've got yourself a bargin!

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            • Technics SL-1200MK2 / Turntable / 25 Readings / 24 Ratings
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              19.01.2012 19:45
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              If you're going to buy some turntables - get these.

              Decks, One's 'n' Two's, Wheels of Steel - whatever you call them, most people will agree that Technics are the standard turntables for DJing. Originally released in 1978 it's amazing to think that the 1200 MK2 model is (and has been for many years) still so popular. Why would this be? It's all down to the near perfect design. There are six key areas that made the 1200's stand out from other turntables of the time, these are:
              - A direct drive mechanism which used magnets instead of a rubber belt. This meant that there was no wear and no belt to replace.
              - A high torque on the platter. This means that it reaches the intended play speed almost immediately.
              - Low wow and flutter (which is the amount of frequency wobble caused by speed fluctuations) - this massively helps with beat matching because it means that the platter stays within 1/100 of 1% of the desired speed!
              - It weighs a ton! Well, 12.5kg to be exact and the platter is not collected to the base so any bumps or jogs don't tend to come through the speaker or make the needle jump.
              - They just keep on going! Because they are solid and well-built they can take a lot of heavy usage (I've had mine for 10 years now). Also, all the parts are repairable or replaceable.

              Unfortunately now these decks are no longer being produced. But there are many sets available as people reluctantly dust them off and sell them because they need the cash or the space is needed. Another good thing with these is that they are an investment. If you spend £500 chances are if you look after them you'll be able to get at least £500 back if you ever come to sell them. When times have been hard I have considered selling but I am so glad I didn't!
              Yes there are other deck vendors, but with Technics you know you are going to get everything you expect. If you can get a set - do it, you'll not only have the standard turntable for the last 30 or so years but you'll be buying something which is bound to go up in worth in the future!

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              21.01.2010 14:06
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              Versitle dairy treat for all the family.

              Yogurts are a versatile treat - breakfast, lunch or pudding. The Muller Light range is deemed 'light' due to them being fat free, but this doesn't remove any of the tasty taste.

              Most supermarkets stock Muller products - the main flavours you'll see are toffee, strawberry, vanilla and cherry. My personal favourite is the Smooth Toffee' (smooth as in it doesn't have any mini chunks of toffee in like some pots do) as I find it is nice and sweet without being too sickly like some toffee yogurts can be.

              The main selling points of the Muller Smooth Toffee are:
              Fat Free
              97 Calories per pot
              Source of calcium (provides you with 28% of you RDA)
              No artificial colours or preservatives

              Overall a nice accompaniment to a meal or as a cheeky treat. Pouring over a chopped up banana is one of my favourite puddings! Vanilla comes as a close second in the taste department!

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              • More +
                21.01.2010 13:46
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                If you have an Xbox - get it!

                I have been playing Call Of Duty - MW2 since its launch date in mid-November pretty much everyday so I am pretty well experienced in its workings.

                For those unaware, the Call Of Duty (COD) francise is made by two main developers - Infinity Ward and Treyarch. Infinity Ward are responsible for COD 1,2,4 and 6 and Treyarch 3 and 5. Personally I feel that the Inifinity Ward releases are a much better than the Treyarch - especially the COD4 and 6 (Modern Warfare 1 and 2). As a little extra info - MW2 has broken the $3 billion revenue mark in just a few months!

                MW2 is an amazing (if not frustrating) game and I would think that any gamer who is into First Person Shooters (FPS), action or warfare games would enjoy this. I think that MW1 was a ground breaking game that was far superior than its predecessors - but I feel that MW2 is an improvement on MW1, but not as ground breaking.

                The game has a fair deal of longevity as there are three modes that you can play in (story mode, single mission mode and online multiplayer). I do however think that this is a game you need to be in from the start, as dedicated players (such as myself) commit a lot of time to online multiplayer - so if you are a newbie (i.e. new to the game or style of game), it can be a tough few days or even weeks until you get into the swing of things or unlock some decent kit.

                Personally I find with similar games like this (Halo, Bad Company etc) they keep my intrest until either (a) the next 'big' game comes out (which is going to be Bad Company 2 for me) or (b) the hardcore players become too good and take the fun out of the game.

                Overall it is a great game with lots of improvements from the last MW - it'll keep me going for another couple of months but after that I doubt I'll be playing it much. But I definately have got my £40's worth of fun out of it!!



                Oh, and having a Barret .50 calibur sniper rifle with thermal sites and Red Tiger cammo is very cool, what ever you think! ;P

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              • onepoll.co.uk / Internet Site / 43 Readings / 39 Ratings
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                17.09.2009 12:50
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                You'll pay me for my opinion? Wow - ok.

                Most people will come across OnePoll because they need some extra cash as it is highly rated by the 'Extra Income' community on trusted sites such as MoneySavingExpert.com (which is where I came across it).

                The system is simple; you get paid small amounts of cash or entries into a draw to win a voucher for giving your opinion on a varying degree of subjects. The surveys can be anything from a one question poll about who you think the most attractive mature film actor is, to a longer poll of around 30 questions asking about your family's feeding habits.

                Registration is quick, easy and unintrusive. The rewards for doing each survey depends on a variety of factors, the main being on how quickly OnePoll require the survey to be completed. On the home page of the site OnePoll states they will pay up to £1 for a survey, but the most I have had is 10p. Most of the time the rewards are a combination of 5p's, 10p's and entry to win £25 Amazon vouchers.

                A small catch is that you must get your account to £40 before you can withdraw the cash - which when you think of it is quite a few surveys! But, the surveys don't take too long to complete and if you visit the site a couple of times a day then the pennies soon start turning into pounds. You also get a £2.50 bonus for signing up which a good head start (25 x 10p or 50 x 5p surveys!). I haven't had any luck with the prize draws as of yet, but on the MoneySavingExpert site lots of people have reported they have.

                Overall it is an easy to use site that provides regular, easy to complete and relatively short surveys. If you have a few 5 minutes spare slots in front of the PC each day then it is worth the time to log in and check to see if there are any surveys available. If you don't have staying power for stuff like this then I would give it a miss because it will take around 6 months of regular logging in to reach the £40 withdraw amount.

                Top Tip: A lot of the surveys are only applicable if you have kids. So for the sake of the surveys I have "adopted" my sister's two kids - but that is the only area I fib a little in.... honest!

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                  19.08.2009 21:31
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                  Really tasty snack - not too expensive.

                  Wotsits have been around for years (I can't find the exact date they hit the shelves, but were sold off by Golden Wonder to Walkers back in 2002). For anyone who may be unfamiliar with them though, Wotsits are a type of corn puff, mainly sold in their cheese flavour but also available in a few others. In appearance they are straight or slightly curved in shape and about 1.5 inches long. They have a great cheesy smell and taste, they are sunset orange in colour and are 'puffed' in consistency.

                  When it comes to the ingredients of Wotsits (like all of Walkers' crisps) there has been an aim towards a healthier snack over the last few years. In 2006 Walkers announced that they would be frying their crisps in Sunseed oil (a variety of sunflower oil) that would reduce the saturated fat in their crisps by 70%. Walkers also started printing the nutrition information on the fronts of the packs in 2006 to allow consumers to see what they would be putting into their bodies by eating a pack.

                  A point to note - Wotsits are BAKED not FRIED, so there is an immediate health benefit already (Wlakers have also produced various other baked versions of their other products, but personally I don't think they are as tastey).

                  Wotsits are sold several size bags and multipack form. The multipacks available are 12 x 17.5g and 6 x 19g bags and the single bags are 25g. As I mentioned before, they also come in a Flamin' Hot flavour and also a Prawn Cocktail flavour (but the Prawn Cocktail is only available in mulitpacks).

                  ** Ingredients **
                  The actual ingredients of the Really Cheesy Wotsits are:
                  Maize, sunflower oil (33%),
                  cheese flavour [cheese powder (7%), lactose (from milk), colours (paprika extract), natural flavourings],
                  salt,
                  potassium chloride

                  The nutritional information of a 19g pack are:
                  Energy (kJ) = 397
                  Energy (kCal) 95
                  Protein = 1.0g
                  Carbohydrate = 3.5g
                  of which Sugars = 1.5g
                  Fat = 5.8g
                  of which saturates = 0.7g
                  of which mono-unsaturates = 4.2g
                  of which polyunsaturates = 0.6g
                  Fibre = 0.2g
                  Sodium* = 0.14g
                  *Equivalent as salt = 0.35g

                  ** Dietary Information **
                  They are suitable for Vegetarians and Coeliacs

                  ** Cost **
                  Obviously, location dictates the cost but as a rough guide you can purchase a 6 pack of Wotsits from Asda for £1.28. The also normally fall into the 3 for £3 offers that Asda does have so you can normally pick them up quite cheaply.

                  Yes there are cheaper cheese puffs alternatives, but as mentioned before Walkers have strived over the last few years to make their snacks healthier. With a lot of the cheaper brands it isn't unusual to find that a third of the crisp is fat!

                  ** Taste Test **
                  Taste wise I think if you are a fan of cheese then you are probably going to like Wotsits, although they could be a little too cheesy for those that do not like strong flavours.

                  I have also discovered that Wotsits make an awsome 'dipping' crisp - as not only do they go with many dip flavours but they also have adequate strength to scoop up a a large portion.

                  ** Summary **
                  On the health side of things, I think if you get the adequate exercise required and don't go on a Wotsit binge (I know I have... 6 packs in one sitting!) then they can be enjoyed as part of a healthy lifestyle. They can be a little messy to eat and do pong a bit, so if you work in an office environment or with customers, I suggest washing your hands and checking your teeth after indulging in a pack - you don't want to be known as "the guy/girl with the cheesy fingers and orange teeth".

                  Overall, Wotsits get two cheesy orange thumbs up from me!

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                  • Kenny (DVD) / DVD / 33 Readings / 30 Ratings
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                    09.08.2009 23:11
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                    A very funny feel good film without the mush.

                    Kenny is one of those films that you stumble upon by chance - I would of never of got this from a movie rental store (as I hardly ever go into the Comedy section), and I doubt I would of picked out of the many thousands you see on the internet. Someone mentioned it in passing, I was hung-over and needed something non-stressful to watch, it was on Sky so we watched it. It is now in my top list of films and I recommended it to everyone when a conversation slips into "... have you ever seen...".

                    The film is a mocu-mentry about an Aussie called Kenny who runs a porta-loo company. A strange basis for a film? Yes, but the subject of the guy's job isn't really the soul of the film - Kenny is the soul. He could have had any job that requires self dignity (as not many others will give it to you in that line of work) it just happens that he is a porta-loo plumber. We follow Kenny in his daily routine and get an insight into a world where an honest, decent guy has to deal not only with the literal crap at work, but also the crap that is given to him in his personal life.

                    I had no idea what the film was about before I watched it, so I didn't have the chance to assume that a comedy that involves porta-loos was just going to be amok with toilet humour - it isn't. Yes there are references, but they are subtle and within context. There is also some heart string pullers and some belly warmers in there too, but not too much to take away the title of a comedy.

                    A little information about the film -

                    Cast includes:

                    Shane Jacobson - Kenny Smyth
                    Travis Golland - Pumper 1
                    Chris Davis - Pat
                    Alf Scerri - Alf
                    Hayley Preusker - Hayley
                    Saxon Fuller - Pumper 2
                    Thomas Uerata - Pumper 3
                    Kevin 'The Captain' Roy Ogston - Pumper 4
                    Glenn Preusker - Glenn

                    So no famous or recognisable names that I have ever heard of before, but like I said, it's an Aussie film which isn't the biggest market in the movie business.

                    The runtime is 99 minutes

                    The Parental Guidance rating is PG-13 as it contains some crude humour and partial nudity, but nothing that I would of thought would offened anybody in particular.

                    For anyone who has been it was filmed in Calder Park, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - so there be a chance for a few "I've been there..." moments thought the film.

                    I have never seen any trailers, adverts or any other kind of advertising for Kenny and I cannot understand why as I would say it is far more on par with British humour than American comedies are.

                    In a world of unfunny, over the top, try-too-hard comedies - I feel that watching Kenny will not only put a smile on your face but also give you that sense of feeling a better person after watching it.

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                    • Acer AL1916C / LCD Monitor / 13 Readings / 10 Ratings
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                      09.08.2009 20:16
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                      We pay about £100 for one of these which is a bargin for what you get!

                      So what do I mean by "tried and tested"? Well we have been using these at work for the last 18 months and have approximately 150 in the office, so I have a fair bit of experience with this model.

                      I won't go too much into the technical specs as you can get them all from the tabbed marked Technical Details funnily enough, but a few of the major points are:

                      Max resolution = 1280x1024. You wouldn't want anything less on a 19" screen

                      Image Brightness = 300cd/m2. This is so so, but for your general day to day use it's fine - if you are really finicky about picture quality and brightness you probably would be looking to spend more on a monitor anyway.

                      Contrast = 700:1. See above as the same applies.

                      Connectivity = VGA and DVI-D. It's nice having the DVI-D option as a lot of newer graphics cards have this as an output.

                      Warranty = 3 years as standard. We have had a couple replaced with no problems, just keep your receipts/invoices!

                      Overall it is a good, solid screen that does what it says it will. It's not the prettiest screen I have ever seen but far from the ugliest. Unfortunately there is no height adjustment on the stand but you can tilt the screen back and forth a little. Out of 150 we have had about 5 play up - but these have been replaced by Acer after we proved our purchase with an invoice.

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                    • Tesco Original Cola / Soft Drink / 23 Readings / 20 Ratings
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                      09.08.2009 19:28
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                      Now part of my weekly shop.

                      Could I do the Coke/Pepsi challenge? Yeah I think I could, and I reckon I would get it right to. Pepsi tastes like it has more artificial sweetener in it.

                      OK, so that is my self references for being a judge of cola. On to Tesco's own!

                      One of the worst things about cheaper (than Coca Cola) coke is that it normally tastes... just like cheap coke. Insert Peter Kay sketch about Rola Cola and you know what I mean.

                      Things being tight at the moment I have gone for the 'Step down a level' in the branding department when shopping. Sometimes there is no difference in quality and taste, every now and then it is better, but more often it is not as good but the knowledge that you paid half the price of what the branded stuff costs adds a little flavour of its own.

                      So I downgraded from Coca Cola to Tesco's own Original Cola with a saving of about £1 and was very surprised with the result. It actually tastes like Coca Cola - in fact, dare I say it, maybe even a little more... cokier? What's 'cokier'? Well I would describe it as the taste you would have if you removed all the fizz, sugar and water from the drink and were left with just the brown stuff.

                      I now buy this as a regular replacement as a mixer and to drink straight from the fridge and recommend any true Coca Cola enthusiasts to give it a try!

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                      • lovefilm.com / Internet Site / 17 Readings / 17 Ratings
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                        09.08.2009 18:31
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                        Give the free trial a go - if anything you get to see a few free films!

                        As a movie addict I require at least four 'hits' a week to satisfy my love for films, so it only seemed natural to sign up to LoveFilm.

                        As a potential heavy user I opted for the three films or games at anyone time option with the idea of receiving a film, watching it straight away and then getting it back in the post so they would send my next one through. This cost £15 a month (but I believe is slightly more now) and meant I could watch as many films as I could or at least as many as Royal Mail could send back and forth through their services.

                        The site suggests that you always have at least 40 individual titles in your Wish List, which is quite easy to muster to start with but if you are a heavy user can become quite tricky once you have been using the site for a few months. Why is this you ask? Well, once you have seen all the films that you have been waiting for, and then you have seen all the films your partner wants to see, and then all the Classics you don't mind watching again - the real searching begins.

                        To keep my number of titles above 40 I used to have to include a lot of documentaries, such as The Blue Planet and The Life of Birds/Insects/Mammals etc. This was fine except when I would be sent through four or five documentaries in a row - not much fun viewing on a Friday or Saturday night with a bottle of red. You can prioritise your titles, but sometimes they just don't have any of the ones you REALLY want to see and so send you the medium or low priorities.

                        Some pluses of the site are that the review system works well (although I now prefer the IMDB instead) and they give you a suggested section too, so stumbling across things that suit your taste isn't always too hard a hunt.
                        I have however, given LoveFilm up, the reasons being:

                        1) Too many films were coming through scratched - Ooh the times we watched 80% of a film for it to become unplayable at the end.

                        2) Too many thieving posties - well I am assuming, but there must have been one disc lost in every 20

                        3) We often had two or three titles at home, but were not in the mood to watch those specific films then - off to BlockBuster to get a good Friday night horror!

                        I would expect that LoveFilm probably caters for most people's requirements, but they do need to address their upkeep of the discs. We have now opted for the downloading of films option (which LoveFilm do, but not a massive selection yet). This will be the future of films, we just need the internet downloading speeds to catch up first.

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                        • Martyrs (DVD) / DVD / 12 Readings / 9 Ratings
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                          09.08.2009 17:27
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                          This isn't a film for the faint hearted! But definately a Must See.

                          Every now and then a movie comes along that revives my belief in the horror genre. In a category that is plagued with clichéd stories full of plot holes that normally involve 'a group of teens on Spring Break taking a vacation', I often find it difficult to find any films that scare of disturb me (isn't that why we watch horrors?) - Martyrs is a film that delivers on the 'disturbs' side.

                          I often like to watch a film knowing only the very outlines of the plot so I do not know what to expect, especially with horror and thrillers, so I shall try not to give too much away for those that share the same preferences as me...

                          The story revolves around two girls who come from an institutionalised background, of which one girl had suffered abuse but not in the way that you would expect - the abuse could probably be actually defined as torture. This leads to one very disturbed young lady in the future years and also her adorning childhood friend to extract some revenge on those that did them untoward.

                          A story of revenge? Yes, but also much more. As the plot unfolds you will find yourself being taken into deeper and darker areas of the horror world that on face value you might not think could merge well together in one film. The director (Pascal Laugier - also the writer), has done an excellent job of keeping the stomach churning twists and turns flowing whilst not being to OTT with the gore and torture to get the messages across (but there is plenty!)

                          This film is a must for those who take there horror movies seriously and want to see something that a) will disturb them b) give them some intense viewing and c) make them think about it long after you have finished watching

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                          • Technics RP-DH1200E-S / Headphones / 17 Readings / 15 Ratings
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                            09.08.2009 16:29
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                            Good all rounders that fit into any level of DJing

                            I have been using my Technic headphones for around 18 months now and I am very impressed with the overall performance of them.

                            They are of the closed ear design, which means that your ears fit nicely inside each headphone, this keeps outside sounds out and inside sounds in. It also creates a nice environment for some added bass as I often find that headphones that just cover the ears but not enclose them lose the deeper end of the bass scale.

                            Other features include a replaceable cord (for situations such as cutting the cord with your record box!), sturdy reinforced joints and 24K gold plug which is a standard 3.5mm with a 6.3mm adaptor. Power in is a high 3500mW and power out is a tasty 5Hz to 30kHz, which gives an awesome clear sound allowing you to hear every blip, beat and tone. Another great feature is the swivel mechanism that is used on each headphone which allows them to be angled in many ways which is great for when you are moving them around your head and neck whilst monitoring.

                            The only gripe I have with them is that they are pretty heavy and they do clasp quite tightly to your head - this can lead to sore ears and head after a good hour or twos worth of mixing or listening.

                            Overall though I am very happy with my purchase and would definitely consider replacing with the same model if these ever had to be replaced.

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