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kev1985

kev1985
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Member since: 30.04.2011

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    • Scottish Independence / Discussion / 17 Readings / 10 Ratings
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      08.05.2011 07:24
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      no military, limited economy and international pressures would limit development

      Due to a review which didnt go down too well, this review has been adjusted significantly.

      Due to not being able to remove or change from an premium to express review, i have to write an explanation.

      I disagree on Alex Salmond and his views on Scottish independence. Supporters of this party may say that the majority of the Scottish people now want independence. I disagree to this regarding several points.

      The election turn out
      Majority party under 50% votes
      Local success influencing national decisions

      I also disagree that Scotland is capable of supporting a viable world economy on the basis that;

      Population Size
      Location
      Limited resources
      Basic industrial infrastructure
      Duration to join EU (its not instant)

      Again i worry that Scotland would be able to defend itself effectively as it has too small a population to maintain a professional volunteer military. It would also border a nuclear power with a population 9 times its size, with a greater economy (london alone has a greater economy).

      The combination of the above issues would inevitably lead Scotland to the leagues of emerging small states, corrupted by international organisations and businesses. The claim of North Sea resources would be blocked by England at the U.N. Ensuring that the resources are not seized by Scotland.

      Socio-economic facotrs would also tae place. As seen in N.I. sectarian violence would divide society and with reduced income from central government, the welfare state would struggle. It is common knowledge that Scotalnd would struggle without north sea resources and without central government funds.

      There is inevitably a need for home rule in Scotland, but independence is, in my opinion a fantasy.

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        06.05.2011 05:20
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        Air miles are worthless, rewards are slim pickings

        A combination of being a skint backpacker, the very good looking air hostess and pain killers somewhat distorted my view on credit cards.


        I'll admit, on the flight I thought, this air miles thing might come in handy; I might be able to pay my wage into the card and make loads of air miles each month. A free flight every year... or so it seemed!


        Now, the card terms itself are pretty simple, it's a credit card and at that time had 0% interest for the first 12 months. What a great introductory offer. The percentage is high after that, but wont empty the bank. There is plenty of goodies too, free upgrades, reduced flight costs, discounts and free balance transfers. There is also an opportunity to upgrade to silver and gold membership depending on how much you use the card for air travel, allowing access to executive lounges and the like.


        To give an opening limit of £2500 was to me, as it is most young people a dream! So I blew the lot in America and Canada. I also paid for the flight back to the UK. Eventually after a few months I clocked up almost 10,000 air miles. This was using my wages and special deals Virgin pushed towards its card users.


        OK, so here is the catch. When I paid for the tickets for a friend of mine to come to the UK and return back to the states, I could not claim the air miles because although I bought the ticket, she was the passenger. At the check in desk I asked if I could upgrade my friend with the 10,000 air miles... HERE IS WHAT THEY DON'T TELL YOU!


        10,000 miles, therefore £10,000 of use on the card could not upgrade a passenger. So I contacted the information line and asked just exactly what I could get. For 45,000 air miles I could get reduced airfare (not tax) on a single way trip. The particular journey I wanted to take was £700 return if I booked it online, as if not a member.


        So for spending £45,000 worth of usage on a credit card, I could get under £350 trip to my destination? What a con! Its easier to open up and ISA.


        Unless you open up the black card, which has an annual fee of around £300 at the time, you don't get anywhere near a beneficial service. Or you could in theory undertake forty-five £1000 trips, then have a little bit of a discount for a holiday. Sigh! A waste of time!

        This card has very little to offer unless opened by the extremely wealthy or the extremely silly.

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      • Philips SHS8000 / Headphones / 11 Readings / 9 Ratings
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        05.05.2011 18:25
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        Fundamental flaws outweigh the quality of sound produced, not worth the expense

        I bought these headphones from currys, well I say THESE headphones, what I really mean is, I bought my first pair from currys, then my second pair, then my third pair then this final pair, I promised myself NO MORE!
        I wanted these because I needed earphones to remain in my ear whilst running for long periods of time, so the hooked design seemed more than appropriate at first glance. Admittedly, I looked at the selection of high street earphones, and thought "Phillips, seems a sturdy and reliable make". So I proceeded with the buy and used them for running.



        Style. These are a stylish and well-designed set of earphones, they don't seem to get dated over time and they are incredibly comfortable to wear. But is bemuses me why there is so much cable! How long a neck
        does Phillips think customers really have?



        Sound Quality. The sound quality is unrivalled by other high street earphones. These really are on par with the specialist products and should rightfully be labelled so. I have listened to various genres of music with these headphones and they are more than capable of managing the bass of modern tunes and the clarity and crispness of Beethoven's 7th Symphony (obviously accompanied with a glass of Merlot).



        As mentioned previously, I have bought several pairs of these, and I will enlighten yourselves why, below.
        Connection. After using these every day, the wire connections to either the headphones or the plug in adaptor started to loosen and eventually fail. This is extremely annoying as first there is crackling in your ear piece, then there is the failure of one of the ear pieces, then complete disaster!


        Rubber Plugs. The earphones require/come with, rubber fittings on the ear pieces. They are inter changeable to suit different size ear canals. This is obviously quite a good thing, however, they ping off often and due to their small nature and bouncing capability, they can never be found again. Eventually, you have to buy new plugs or earphones to continue. Just about to go for a run, all mentally prepared for a long distance effort, lovely day, all going well and then BAM! You have your last rubber piece missing so you can't listen to music. WHAT A LET DOWN.


        Durability. Not very reliable build quality at all, I went running and with no clip supplied, the excessively long cable constantly gets snagged. In one instance I had to apologise continuously as I ran past a dog walker and got yanked back, to find out I strangled her dog. Yes, it did not only cause mischief but it also ruined set number 2.



        Price. For what they are, they are expensive. I mean normal person expensive, £30-£40 a pair. The reliability means, that if you want a set to be used continuously for about 12 months, then you may as well buy 3 pairs.

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        02.05.2011 17:50
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        Encapsulating and addictive, this game will take up spare time you didn't know you had!

        Civilisation V is in most peoples opinion, the best turn based strategy game ever invented. The object is to settle new lands, find rare resources and conquer your opponents either through science, culture or military might and conquest.


        If you have never played civilisation games before, then put a full weekend or so to one side for this purpose. It is advised that you select the tutorials or you WILL restart the game when you discover an easier way to play it after say a week or so.


        The worlds can either be generated by the computer, or in the advanced setup mode, you can fiddle with land types, water height, vegetation, climate, resources etc...
        You start by selecting a nation to play as, offering you special abilities for certain units, depending who you are.


        All this information is then mixed up and fermented in the brain of your computer and after about 2-3 minutes of loading, your world is built, with a black fog covering all that is not discovered.
        In the bottom right is a amp of the world as you know it and your red dot of a citizen is huge! But don't let this put you off, as you discover more of the world, the dot gets smaller and smaller and smaller. These maps are endless!


        So, you build a city and create units to explore, defend and develop the surrounding terrain. Special units and buildings can also be built to enable new units, trade and commerce, and special bonuses such as added happiness in your nation.


        After a while, you may have settled many towns, built copious amounts of farms, plantations and collected rare resources. You no doubt would have encountered either barbarian hordes on the way or even another nation or two, which, you can start trading with. Whilst developing your world, you can spend 'culture points' on changing your policies, giving you bonuses and opening up new technologies by researching them when they become available. This continues until either type of victory is achieved, assuming you are not conquered first!


        Now, this game itself is extremely addictive, be warned! It has an unbelievably realistic overview of the world, its grasp on mans' instinct to explore draws players in. The interaction with AI players differs and is unpredictable, with realistic outcomes and often surprising solutions.


        There is only one issue which I have a grievance with and that is, in the earlier Civilisation games, you could select from a list, when researched, a type of ideology for your government, then it was set in stone until changed again by the player. In this version, you must follow a path of progression towards an ideal, which is, ultimately, irreversible.


        The only predictive pattern in this game is the declaration of war if you discover lands and build cities too close to AI cities. This makes no sense, as they have not even discovered the lands yet.
        But these are by far, minor and pointless niggles which are overshadowed by hours of awesome gameplay.
        The technical specifications are admittedly designed for the newer computer, however a simpler, low resolution game can be played on most computers within the last 2 years or so. In order to install this game, you must also have a fast internet connection as it runs with 'Steam'.


        Steam itself allows you to download your game multiple times from the online database to a platform that you may be using, and stores your history of games on the database. As with most new games, it takes more than 4GB of space, so make sure you have a reasonably big hard drive.

        But for under £20 on amazon, this game is a definite buy .

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          02.05.2011 05:50
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          A pricey little number, with the good points heavily outweighing the bad, spoil yourself and buy it!

          As an avid PC gamer and University student (part time) I purchased this laptop to pass the time when theres a rainy day. What brought my attention to this platform was its impressive sounding processor, its stylish good looks and its small nature.


          So, sneakily I purchased this rather pricey laptop whilst my girlfriend was shopping, once the crime is committed there is no turning back I convinced myself.


          Like a child at Christmas, with a skip and a hop I plunged the box on the bed and began to open it. I pulled out the laptop and placed the battery pack in easily, then plugged it into the mains. In one massive swoop, I cleared the desk of papers and placed the laptop in the centre, my little trophy!


          Expecting the obvious 'whirrr' to indicate it was starting up, I double checked I had actually pressed the 'on' button. There was silence, but the speed of installation was faster than I had ever experienced. Now, to understand the simplicity of the initial setup, my girlfriend whom has no experience with computers whatsoever felt comfortable setting it up whilst I did a few odd jobs around the house. Within 25 minutes or so, it was set up.


          Although I have an interest in gaming, one particular game infact, the first thing I checked out was Microsoft Office. Like a squirrel that lost its nuts, I was somewhat miffed! All that money and no free Word? I highly recommend that in this scenario, its good to know other PC users and slip a few beers in to use their family pack of Office.


          Gaming! Ok, there was an urge to play a game on this, I had been waiting ages to play it. With no time lag, great speed, clarity and the detail settings all maxed out, it worked brilliantly! But what I didn't know was that the mains power wasn't turned on and within an hour or so running my game on battery, the battery nearly died. This to me is quite a big fault, why create something portable that has to be plugged in to see its full potential?


          Once plugged into the mains, I connected the HDMI cable to my 42 inch plasma screen TV. With a wireless mouse, the lights off and chilling on the sofa, this was the most involving gameplay I have ever had. On a downside though, without airflow under the laptop, it overheated significantly. When purchasing this, purchase a laptop fan too.


          A few good points stood out when using the laptop, the keyboard was well spaced so there was no 'fat finger' syndrome when typing fast and the screen didn't have any glare at all. The clarity of the screen was also superb. The tools and gizmos which come with this are interesting but not necessary useful to all and the hard drive space has not been dented by my collection of movies and games.

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          01.05.2011 05:01
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          A must buy for those who aim high in self-sufficiency or just dream of growing their own spuds.

          Inspirational, motivational and with over 100 pages, this is an addictively moreish piece of brain food, the chocolate of literature! I eagerly purchased this book at its release in 2009 and there has always been an empty space on the book shelf where it is supposed to be, highly durable and awe inspiring in its content this book has been read by child and adult alike and is often found in the most puzzling of places. Throughout the book, the content itself is supported by beautiful and highly useful illustrations, explaining every step of every individual area of self-sufficiency. This book comprehensively covers planning, land use, crop rotation, propagation, husbandry, cheese making, wine making, butchery, bee keeping, maintenance and much more thoroughly interesting topics.
          Just by its size and quality, this book is durable when being used in the potting shed, the garden or when sticky fingers handle it. When opened, through the medium of art, information floods through your eyes and starts a rollercoaster of addiction. But this is no children's book, no giant LadyBird book. The detailed and comprehensive paragraphs, although manageable at all levels, provides information at an expert level. The book covers capabilities at all levels, whether a home owner or tenant, a small holder or farmer. This book really does give hope to those starting at the bottom of the self-sufficiency ladder.
          There are few negative points about owning this book. As mentioned previously it covers all options for many individuals, but due to this and its addictive nature, there is a lot of information on areas which, unless you have squirrelled away vast amounts of money to invest, it is likely some areas will always remain a dream. Not a bad thing, it has stopped me spending a fortune when reality hit me! Due to the age of the original book and therefore this book, there is information on many practices which are now either too complicated to start or far too expensive, which is a great shame, but they are still a great cultural and historical resource on those particular traditions. The main negative point is that, sadly, John Seymour has passed away and therefore; the information in this book is never going to be reproduced in this dynamic and involving way.
          This book brought out the child in every grown man who has read it, placed a sparkle in their ambitious eye and no doubt, emptied many a savings account, certainly mine!
          A must buy for those who aim high in self-sufficiency or just dream of growing their own spuds.

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            01.05.2011 04:52
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            The best gift in a long time, serious viewers must consider watching The Tudors on DVD.

            As a novice historian and an avid fan of period dramas, The Tudors set a new standard of fine-tuned accuracy and artistic impression, drawing me in like a ravaging whirlpool with its lustful scenes, its grandeur and historical accuracy, this programme has captured me like no other and will no doubt capture the attention of others. This programme covers the entire social history of the reign of King Henry VIII, his six wives, his affairs, children, wars and personal life. It delves the viewer into a world of their own, almost back in time for that short period of viewing. The DVD's deliver all this content is spectacular clarity and ease. On many occasions I have selected 'play all' and left it running in the background just as a bit of an educational ambient sound. Being honest, the corsets, lustful scenes and fiery sexual story lines come across classy and as a real portrayal of those that lived at the time.
            Some may say that this, as a period drama is only for feminine characters, but I myself beg to differ. This has encapsulated audiences of men, drinking beer in my home. It has been shown when drinking a glass of wine with my girlfriend, this programme is suitable for many occasions.
            On a negative note, due to the bloodshed and accurate portrayal of historical events, the mental anguish of life in the period and complex story line, this programme really should not be viewed by those of a delicate state of mind. Its no horror, but it is a no holds barred accurate portrayal.
            Overall, the acting is fantastic, the content thrilling and the suitability spectrum ranging through both genders and many ages. This is by far, one of the best period series produced and should be watched by all those that hold an interest in either, history, romance, drama, or any other of the fantastic array of topics it covers.

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