- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
Samsung have proven themselves a formidable force in the television market, producing numerous high quality sets, consistency is certainly something which they are becoming renowned for.
Enter this newest offering, at 40 inches it is primarily designed for lounge use rather than bedroom use. As a focal point for a lounge, it ticks the right boxes, being aesthetically pleasing because while not being particularly stylish it is quite a nice thin design.
Offering full HD resolution, this television does a good job of displaying colours and depth on SD viewings but is of course hampered by the limitations of SD broadcasting. In terms of DVD viewing, colours are vibrant images have are sharp with admirable depth and there is good detail. However to see the television in it's best light it is recommended to display blu rays, where you will view marked improvements in depth, detail and contrast.
What lets down the tv set somewhat is the sound quality, which while not tinny is thin and lacking in character and when the volume gets increased unfortunately begins to distort but this is due to the size of the speakers packed in a condensed space.
There are of course compromises to be made when you are purchasing a bigger screen television at this lower end of the market, colours look somewhat washed out when viewing from a side angle. The images look somewhat lacking in terms of richness of colour when compared to more expensive sets to, but this is to be expected. There are the typical additional connections but beyond the standard HDMI connections I have no use for these additional connections
We have been purchasing the Daily Mail for over a decade now and this will probably continue. The best way of classifying the Mail is to describe it as being something of a hybrid between a tabloid and a broadsheet. Obviously it's readership is geared a conservative base (whatever that really means) this is illustrated in some of the bias stories and points of view conveyed.
The Daily Mail tries to strike a balance between the serious news and the celebrity, the opening pages are geared towards politics but disappointingly a lot of this section is effectively a reprint of what we already know. The recycling of news spoon fed to the public, the writers range from informed to some who just deeply rile me with their ignorance.
What the Daily Mail does do better than most tabloids though, is bring to life some very serious issues, covering them in detail, with some substantive commentary which proves to be thought provoking. It is a shame that investigative journalism has become something of a rarity but the Mail has not been afraid to tackle any and all issues. While some still like to feed into the notion of a real difference between the right and left in actual politics, if you see beyond this, then you can appreciate that they are at least attempting to rake over some very murky areas.
I really don't care for celebrity news in the least and as the pages pass by the content becomes a little more light hearted, which is no bad thing. The sports pages are excellent, some well written articles, articulated in an engaging manner and plenty of them.
Overall there are certainly worse papers than this
Mirroring the popularity of Coronation Street is BBC's response Eastenders. The show is set in a squarewithin the Boreham Wood area of Hertfordshire. This is the other television soap which I have been watching for a long time.
The show of course is dominated by the southern accent and has a bit of a grittier London feel to it. The story lines always seek to compete with Coronation Street and always go one one better.
There is a good mix of characters both older and younger, showing all sides of the street from the money making schemer, to the hard man who lets very little rattle his cage to the petty thugs and criminals. There is a good mix of story lines to, both the light hearted and the dramatic.
Recently Jack Brannan has been shot by the gun which his sisters son had been keeping. His brother Max is being hit below the belt on an almost weekly basis after trying to come to terms with his son's death and his wife leaving him.
There is always an element of comedy to the show to, sometimes unintentional, for instance someone has gone missing, where could he be? right, the square itself is only a dozen homes, that narrows down the search area!
Sometimes the performances can seem a little dry and lifeless but there have been some tremendously moving scenes. Few were as good as the time where Dot and Jim have a very sad meeting.
If you don't like soaps this will do nothing to change your mind but if you accept the over the top nature, it's entertaining
I recently started buying this after looking for a different offering. The packaging in itself looked extremely enticing and after ensuring it didn't contain any peanuts, something I have an allergy to, I soon became a regular buyer.
Inside the pack you will find round chocolates, in a very smooth and crisp shell is a soft sweet creamy middle. The chocolate is quite rich and very sweet. When you bite into it there is the soft cracking of the shell and your mouth becomes awash with the richness.
It is definitely one of those products which is very few difficult to avoid as it has a great quality of wanting more. Therefore and ironically I am quite thankful that the typical standard size contains only a few minstels and is relatively expensive at over 50p. These can also be purchased in bigger packs to but again at a cost, typically retailing for over 1.00 each time. They also perfectly compliment the taste of tea but are very enjoyable to eat at any time. The calorie count is obviously quite high so if you are watching your weight, you need to be very disciplined when it comes to consumption of these.
For as long as I can remember my mum has been a fan of this show and from the age of 5 and onwards, I ended up sitting in front of the screen while this was being played. As the years have passed I have a confession to make, I actually like this show.
Set in a suburb of Manchester,the fictional area called Weatherfield, the soap has been extremely successful and a mainstay for decades upon decades.
As you would expect from any of these soaps, realism is not the aim of the show. Instead what the show offers is some extremely over the top, action packed storylines. My street doesn't have even a sixth of the drama this show has. There are murders, muggings, suicides, affairs galore and yet more unpredictable happenings.
There are some excellent characters in this soap and it's a combination of long established characters as well as new characters. My favourite characters in the show are Steve and Lloyd as they inject some much neeed humour into the show and allow some breathing space from the more serious storyline. Both are excellent in their roles and really add value to the script.
Elsewhere I think some of the younger actors are more a hindrance than a benefit. Such as Ryan who seems far too wooden and his equally annoying girlfriend. The acting overall though is very good and some of the stars have great versatility as their stories are forever changing, placing differing demand on their acting.
Some of my friends shake their heads in disbelief when i admit I like this and while I have reduced my viewing of this show, I can't seem to shake it. However there is just something about it.
The board might have changed in style, there have might have been all sorts of special editions but thankfully the game remains exactly the same. This is a board game which I usually play with at least 4 players because it's very much a family oriented game.
You start off with choosing to be one of the characters which includes a dog, a boot, a car, a battleship, an iron and a few others. Someone must elect to be the banker to which means you are responsible for issuing the money not scamming people, no wait, I won't go there.
Each person is allocated 1500.00 and they must then roll a dice to move their character forwards. you will either fall on a community square zone which entails you picking a card from the middle, this may mean you get awarded a sum of money, or likewise have to pay a fine. On the other hand your piece might land on one of the many properties, at which point you have the option of purchasing that property. Once you own all of the properties in that particular area, Mayfair for example, then you could build hotels.
If someone else lands on one of your properties they will have to pay a rent to you, which they can finance from their existing funds, or through remortgaging a property they might own. Ultimately the aim of the game is to have a complete monopoly and bankrupt your opponents.
The advantage to the owner of building hotels is the rent owed shoots up astronomically when you land on a hotel.
This is a fun entertaining game which has great replay value and is something which can be easily picked up. It is of course absolutely unpredictable because your fate is sealed by the random dice.
It is one of those games where one moment you are laughing at the plight of your opponent and the next, you are the one who is suffering as you land on a go to hotel square, or worse still land on one of their properties. It is an absorbing game and can often ebb back and forth leading to hours of fun.
Overall excellent board game
Having always been a big fan of chocolate, I will look for any excuse to purchase it. So having become aware that I could buy this in biscuit form I was very much intrigued and decided to purchase from from Asda.
These are bourbon biscuits, small in size and comprising of a chocolate filling in between a dark chocolate biscuit. These came in a double pack, although you can purchase smaller packs to. Unfortunately I was not particularly impressed with these, because while they are quite sweet, the taste is a little over bearing to me. The dark chocolate does have a particularly pleasant taste to me and as for the filling itself, some people may enjoy it but to me it's very much on the sickly side and not something I can honestly say I enjoy.
On the positive side for those that do enjoy this type of full on flavour and taste, depending on the brand, you can purchase these biscuits at very cheap prices. Though of course you would be looking at the no frills brands for this type of pricing level. Since those first bourbons I have tried others to but they essentially have the same taste, perhaps a little lighter or heavier depending on the manufacturer but certainly not something I could indulge in.
After purchasing a Sony PS3 it was bundled with one controller,a wireless analogue controller. While I do enjoy using it, it definitely lacks the presence of the previous dual shock pad I owned on the PS2.
So what is the Dualshock 3? well it's an exclusively made controller for the PS3 only. In terms of both looks and build, it's essentially identical to both the standard controller for the ps3 and prior to that on the ps2. There are the shoulder pad buttons, the four buttons to the right of the dpad and the analogue controls which can be pressed in to activate a control, or moved around which mostly relegates the dpad control to second place.
However while similar in build and looks, it is wireless meaning you can sit back from afar and use the controls. In addition it has six axis control which game allowing, means you can use the motion of moving the control pad itself to drive for instance. However this is very tricky and I prefer the analogue controllers. In addition the dual shock feature means that every hit, every impact, every crash, every alert, results in the controller rumbling in your hand. Giving the sense that you are really pulled into the game itself.
Obviously due to it being wireless, you will need to charge this, but this can be done with the aid of a usb cable which you simply connect to the ps3 or alternatively a computer.
Overall this is very sturdy, durable, intutitive and great fun
Google was one of the first search engines I had come across. I was quite unfamiliar with the choice out there when I initially got the internet and was using all sorts of obscure engines as well as the likes of Yahoo but found them not as useful for quickly hunting down information as I would have liked. Google was then recommended to me as one of the best search engines out there and that I might get along much better with that.
However upon arriving at the google site, it's apparent that google is not a standard search engine. Granted there are literally billions of pages, where even obscure searches will result in vast numbers of hits but this is only part of the appeal. In addition to this if we for instance wanted to search for a particular image, we can quickly navigate to the images section and type in our search.
Likewise although it certainly doesn't better the sheer volume of videos available on youtube, google offers google video also. This is a great alternative due to the fact that there are a wide variety of videos available from documentaries, to comedy, to light hearted weird nonsense.
Also of great interest is google maps which we can use to find any location in the world and what's more the area can be zoomed in on to get a much clearer idea of what a place looks like. Therefore providing you have a decent graphics card, we can zoom in on any particular location with terrific sharpness and resolution.
You can also sign up to google mail which is an alternative for the popular hotmail. The advantage to google mail is the space provided in your inbox is vastly greater than hotmail and the like. and in addition there are a whole of other sub categories to narrow down searches.
Overall google works very quickly, is very smooth to use, it uses very little of the computers processing power and is almost 100 percent reliable. One note of criticism though is that as I am sure you are aware it also owns youtube and it has become apparent that at the very least it has started to become over zealous when it comes to censoring content on there. This is very unfortunate but hopefully other alternatives will arrise which again provider another avenue and make google think twice about such policies.
We like many other people did not choose virgin media instead we were customers of telewest, who then got taken over by blueyonder and who finally were bought by virgin media.
It seems apparent that the average star rating so far has been less than enthusiastic though and this is somewhat different to my own feelings about the company. Firstly we have a combined package of telephone, internet and television with them.
Included in this package is a television package consisting of the likes of ESPN, living, sci fi channel, MTV etc, we have a 20mb connection to the internet and calls anytime telephone deal.
For this deal we pay 51.00 a month which I think is a brilliant bargain. Unlike so many of the more unsavoury packages on offer from other providers, we are allowed some 3gb a day download during peak times (prior to 8pm) and after that is unlimited. If we surpass this limit we are not charged, we are simply throttled for a few hours. Obviously I would prefer if we weren't, but there is only so much bandwidth capacity.
Now sometimes we do have issues with the internet, these are far and far between but if you are experiencing difficulties you are provided with a number you can call. I should caution that they will charge you per minute but if the fault is at their end this will be refunded. In general contacting the call centre is fruitful although sometimes you will be put through to Delhi and other times to an office in England.
Now I can understand some of the misgivings about indian call centres but the majority of my experiences have been quite positive. Their command of English is good and more than enough for them to convey their words clearly enough.
The television can be a little frustrating at times, taking some 30 seconds or even longer to fix onto the channels when initially switched on but this is a nuisance rather than too much of a problem. We also managed to obtain the v plus box for 50.00 installation and this provides us with vastly improved picture due to the hdmi connection. Also of great benefit is the catch up tv section which covers a host of tv programmes allowing you to catch up on episodes you may have missed.
While it's not perfect it is certainly the best in my experience and from reading the details of competitors packages I see absolutely no reason to switch.
I was originally bought this book in excess of a year ago but such is my motivation at times it fell in danger of being left permanently on the back burner. Recently though I fought the urge not to read it and decided if I didn't like it after a few chapters I would leave it alone and probably give it to the charity shop.
The book is Jeremy Clarkson's unique take on the world. He covers topics from war, to british transport, to war's. I use the word covers, it's not an intellectual break down, it's more of a rant really and a ponder at the world around him. He draws upon his experiences, his prejudices, his dislikes and his likes to give you the picture that he sees.
Jeremy is very loud and obnoxious, he is certainly arrogant and loves to create controversy. He has a unique take on things at times and although this might annoy some people I find his irreverence very funny, He has a terrific sense of humour at times although he does make the biggest mountain of a mole hole. What I like about his style of writing is that he realises his faults and unashamedly basks in them.
However there are also moments of intelligent insight to. For instance he makes some very valid points about how we think we understand something when in reality we usually only understand a facet of it and allow our perceptions to form around that limited understanding.
He was once was a writer, a journalist for a local Rotherham paper and despite the fact that he describes himself as a "thicky" he conveys his message with a casual ease which while simplistic is very effective. The book is a very entertaining journey through the mind of Clarkson and is very consistent to. It is one of those books which you don't want to put down and there are many moments where I laughed out loud.
I have been a huge fan of Red Dwarf from it's very beginning and recently bought the entire collection. I didn't really understand the criticisms which were thrown at the later series as I thought these were extremely funny to.
The basic plot is Lister, the only human onboard has been floating around in space now for what seems like forever, he was the only survivor of the former ship and has been joined by a robot called Kryton, a cat who through the explosion became a cat like human and a hologram.
Now though a portal has been opened temporarily which will give Lister the opportunity to go into to get a female, to then restart the human race. This is the only plot I can give away because the rest unfolds over a three part mini series in which they all find themselves on this planet only things are not what they perceived them to be.
I would like to say that this is a brilliant and memorable three parter which recaptured the brilliance but alas this is not so. There are a few moments of relative humour at the beginning but then any hopes of a return to form become an absolute shambolic mess. The stars seem out of place and wit is desperately lacking. What brought this into sharper focus was the fact there is no canned laughter and while the previous attempts certainly didn't need it, this now seems completely empty with it's absence.
It is very difficult to understand what the writers were trying to do here. While they have not tarnished the brilliance of the previous efforts they have left me feeling very disappointed with this one. There is absolutely nothing of any value in this and in fact by the end of the second of the three it becomes painful watching this.
Mozilla or Firefox as it was simply known then, was a browser I downloaded after becoming ever more tired of the constant glitches on internet explorer. So this review is based on this particular browser as well as a comparison between them both.
The downloading of the browser was troublesome and quick and finally I had the option of choosing between 2 browsers. I am not particularly interested in the technical side of things and simply use the browser, there are other add ons you can also download but this is not something I have pondered as of yet.
What I like about the browser is it's very smooth and you can quickly move from one website to another without encountering any slowdown under normal circumstances. Likewise pop ups which can be a real nuisance and before you know where you are, pop ups are crawling all over the screen, therefore it is of great reassurance to know that firefox automatically blocks them and will only display one or all if you give your permission.
This requires a few clicks, is very straight forward and this is what encompasses firefox, it's a good browser which does not bombard with you many things, allowing you to simply get on with browsing the internet.
It is by no means a flawless browser though as firstly some sites simply don't support the code used by firefox and therefore will not display themselves properly on screen. Likewise while the browsing is usually quite smooth, there are some sites which seem to cause a lag on firefox and can sometimes lead to it crashing, when this happens, you are forced to close all screens and restart firefox.
Thankfully though firefox will recognise this and the next time you restart the browser you will be given the option of opening an existing session. Overall this is a very good browser which provides some much needed choice.
As the recession has really took hold I have noted that there seems to be far more people using this shop then there used to be. However while they may be new to this shop, I have been using this for a long time now.
As someone who is looking for a cheap drink and chocolate bar cheaply this is the ideal place to shop at. In terms of confectionary, you have the likes of 7up, Pepsi, Ribena drinks, mars, twix and lion bars as well as Walkers crisps and bottled water. For 1.00 you can purchase 4 items, mix and match them and that is excellent particularly as if I wanted to purchase a chocolate bar in most shops it would cost me more than 40p just for one.
I have recently noted that they also sell sandwiches to and have quite a large range from chicken, to egg, to cheese and onion. The sandwiches aren't the most tasty but they are pleasant enough and what's more, if the sandwiches only have one day left before their used by date prices are slashed to just 50p.
Obviously in a shop there are going to be restraints on what you can purchase. In other words, expect to say batteries, cloths, boxed confectionary, sweets etc. The other characteristic of the shop is while the decor is very bright, the store itself is quite condensed but this is not too problematic because it's one of those shops to go in and out of quite quickly.
The staff are approachable should you have a query but I am conscious about causing an obstruction so unless it's particularly urgent I don't bother them.
Overall this is excellent value
Manchester United have emerged as one of the best supported teams in the world and one of the most profitable to. Each generation has seen grand stars appear, going back decades it was of course the brilliant but tragic memories of the Busby babes. Since then the likes of the brilliant welsh winger Giggs, the french artistry of Cantona and the brilliantly talented maestro Ronaldo have burst onto the scene.
However at the end of a victorious premiership campaign last season, Man Utd did the unthinkable and sold their best player in Ronaldo. This was quite a shock for many Man Utd fans as many times last season he had single handed rescued them from games they were in danger of losing or when a match was petering out into a draw he would strike with flashes of brilliance.
In fairness to Man Utd the decision was truly out of their hands since he had already expressed a deep desire to move to Real Madrid. So when the inevitable offer came in from Real, 80 million was just too good an offer for the club to turn down. Since then Man Utd have bought Antonio Valencia to replace him, himself a very talented Ecuadorian winger bought from Wigan and have sought to try and get the best out of the underachieving Nani.
Of course things are quite rocky for Manchester United right now. Behind the glamour and the prestige there is a colossal debt which has arrived from the Glazer owners using the club as Collateral. It is a precarious situation under which which finances have to be managed extremely carefully indeed. However this is a situation which is out of the control of the players themselves and will have to be resolved internally. The fans though have certainly shown their displeasure and signaled this through wearing the colours of the original team as a strong message of resistance.
Yesterday saw Bayern Munich knocking Man Utd out of the Champions League and it will definitely be a bitter pill to swallow. However anyone who saw that game would have seen that Man Utd dominated and it was a single mistake and an act of petulance which saw them down to ten men and the tide eventually turning against them.
Some people have been predicting this is the end for Man Utd but I think this is nonsense. Starting from the back, Van De Saar will be a big concern as the backup Foster although talented has shown he is suspect with crossing and Kuzack is at best average, therefore a replacement does need to be sought for him.
Elsewhere at right back, Gary Neville is past his best but despite the petulant act of Rafael yesterday, he was until that point outstanding. A great attacking full back who yesterday displayed a defensive quality to his game, he is sure to become the natural successor.
Elsewhere the pairing of Vidic and Ferdinand at centre back, when fully fit and playing together regularly is still very much a formidable partnership. Both read the game brilliantly, are excellent at timing tackles and Vidic in particular is a colossus in the air. At left back the brilliant Evra who is still only 29 is easily the best left back in the premiership.
Where the defence certainly does lack is in strength of depth particularly at centre back. Johhny Evans despite a promising beginning has faded quite badly and seems vulnerable to pacey tricky players.
In midfield Valencia has proved a very capable winger. While not possessing the talent of Ronaldo he is an excellent crosser of the player, is quite pacey, with great drive and energy. Nani on the other wing is starting to show signs of the player Man Utd originally saw before being signed. He is capable of outrageous skill like the back heel he scored yesterday and his consistency which has been a factor in previous years has certainly improved.
Adaptable on both wings is Ji Sung Park who knits play together, has very good tight close control and is full of running. It is this versatility which makes him a vital asset to the club and when fit usually figures strongly on the team sheet.
In the middle of the park, they really have missed Owen Hargreaves, the tough tackling technically gifted energetic centre midfield is unlikely to figure at all this season once again. It could be that his playing days are simply at an end. Also in the middle, Michael Carrick still has a lot to live up to and has simply not proved himself enough for my liking. While his distribution can be excellent, he is very suspect under pressure and has a tendency to dwell on the ball before picking out a pass. It is this indecisiveness which can see the ball being taken from him.
Darren Fletcher is the other main starter in the middle of the field and while I was not convinced with the original hype surrounding him. He has slowly emerged as an absolutely vital player. He has great energy, a terrific tackler with good strength on the ball. However what isn't noted as much is his brilliant range of passes, he is very accurate and technically excellent.
Darren Gibson sits on the periphery at the moment and is still to really establish himself at Old Trafford. However I think this is a matter of time as he is similar type of player to Michael Carrick but much more convincing on the ball and he can really strike a ball with deadly venom and accuracy.
The one player who i haven't really mentioned is Scholes who has been a brilliant midfield dynamo with wonderful footballing skill but that is because at 35, it's likely that next season he won't be in the team too much. Likewise the same really goes for Giggs, both will go down as legends at the club though.
The other problem for Man Utd lies up front because in Rooney the manager Alex Ferguson has an incredibly talented player who is able to pull off the sublime nonchalantly. has great movement and a scoring record this season which few in the world can match. In contrast the other main front man Berbatov while a very gifted player, is very inconsistent, is not a player noted for his movement and simply does not have the same impact on the game.
The problem when Rooney is injured is Berbatov is the only option. Macheda is only very young and while promising is nowhere near the finished article. These are contrary to belief promising times for Man Utd but equally unless they resolve these strength in depth issues there are yet more rocky roads ahead.