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Ciao Lottery rules. We desperately want you to review these products ( nudge nudge ...wink wink ...say no more)

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since 13/05/2008


Guess Who (DVD) 07/07/2015

Guess who's not laughing...

HTC Desire 310 07/07/2015

A smart desirable decision?

HTC Desire 310 Ciao’s biggest drawback as a product review site is we tend to review new things as soon as we get them, which I am about to do, and which we are encouraged to do with things like the Ciao Lottery and Newest Prodcut list. It’s a bit of a contradiction. Six months from now my review on this phone maybe very different, as it definitely would be for my last PAYG smartphone, hence me buying a new one. That was a brand new Nokia 520 on the Vodafone network, which I really liked but it soon began to freeze up, eventually totally frozen and unusable after 11 months use. Even with soft and hard reset and taking the battery out it remained frozen, and because you cant get in their and run virus protection to manually fix it there is nothing you can do but hope for a refund or a place locally that honors the guarantee and fixes it for free. The old style mobile phones maybe basic but they are way more durable. Phones are no longer for making calls and texting with though. Fortunately, Amazon were remarkably understanding and quick in giving me a full refund for something I had been using for 11 months and so I had enough cash to buy another smartphone on Amazon. That would suggest Windowsphone’s freeze up a lot and they aint going to argue the toss. I would highly recommend you use the online help center on Amazon to try and blag a refund. Just ask where the nearest under guarantee repair agent is. So this time I wanted to try android software as I now know they have far more free ...

Hostel, DVD 07/07/2015

Welcome to the Hostel California...

The Met: Policing London 07/07/2015

The BBC just got subjective

The Met: Policing London There is no doubt the Metropolitan Police Force get unfair stick. It’s a majority white enforcement agency policing a majority ethnic criminal class. Inevitably there is going to be friction. They are so careful and cowered around PC policing these days that they almost ground to a halt during the riots. Because of that stand back approach to policing and the fact they aren’t generally armed they have killed just three black guys in 50-years with firearms, two of them drug dealers, yet the black community is still outraged ( although it Tends to be in the smaller part of that community that needs to feel outraged). If you want to look at the corresponding figures for Chicago and Los Angeles you would be extremely happy to live in London with the MET police on the streets if you are a black guy. It’s safe here for them and the police incredibly tolerant. I’m sure some armed cops get carried away but there is simply no conspiracy to kill young black men. Its young black men who are killing young black men in London. The London Riots around the killing of Mark Duggan were absolutely disgraceful. We have yet to hear any apologies for 2011 from ‘community leaders’. Yes, I totally get ‘stop and search’ is bloody annoying and racial profiling (so technical racist) but with 61% of gun killings, 67% of knife attacks and most muggings done by young black men ( black people twice as likely to be victims) I’m afraid this community in certain boroughs needs to be heavily policed. White ...

Ryobi RCS 4450 C 06/07/2015

Leatherface time for the holly bush!

Ryobi RCS 4450 C In our back garden we have a huge hollybush that had to go. It sits meanly in the middle of the hedge its slowly sucking the life out of. The hedge separates our gardens and the Holly tree blocks out the sunlight to the patio, ours and next doors. As soon as the new people moved in they wanted it gone, not just for the sun block but the irritant of the prickly holly leaves everywhere, always a prick in your heel waiting for you if you get the washing in wearing your socks. If is not the slugs going squelch it's your foot going yelp! Now we all know about the curse of the Leylandii trees and the taller they are the more your neighbours seem to not want to know you. We had noticed they hadn't cut their side of the hedge to leave this Mohican effect and so maybe they didn't approve of us. So to stop any risk of that nonsense with our neighbours we agreed to go halves on a chainsaw and get stuck in to the Holly tree. This is a 20ft tree and so very hard work to take it on with a normal wood saw, let alone the time spent picking spikes out of your eyeballs! We could have hired a chainsaw but we have a spinney of pine trees that run the length of the road in the top of our back gardens and they are edging their sell by dates, one falling over every year, and so needed to buy a new chainsaw this summer. Pines die of old age and become very brittle and one good October storm and they crash down, usually through our shed roofs. You need one of these for some Leatherface husbandry to ...

School of Saatchi 06/07/2015

The Jokes on You

School of Saatchi Modern art is like jazz, a pretentious muddle that means nothing to most people, celebrated by the haughty few who want to be different from that majority, but perhaps invented for that reason only, very rarely anything of note and structure produced for the common man. The BBC2`s excellent new reality/competition series, 'The School of Saatchi', has got right to the roots of the relevance of modern art in the era it proclaims to represent and produced a very funny and enjoyable documentary series for Monday nights. I fully expect this show to be providing a few funny moments for those end of season TV reviews we get in December, Harry Hill ripping it every week now. Keith Allen tells a funny story in his enjoyable autobiography when he was hanging out with his big mates Alex James from Blur and modern arts superstar Damien Hurst. At a party full of rich city types some chap comes up to them and announces in a very loud voice that he had bought a Hurst painting off him for forty grand a while back. Hurst politely acknowledges this and once the guy is out of earshot tells Keith and Alex that he did indeed charge him forty grand for the piece but it was painted by his two year old son. That to me sums up the absurdity of modern art. Its cr*p, sold to people that are looking for something to spend their money on that makes them look more trendy and interesting because they don't have a creative side to them. And the fact anyone can make modern art makes it worthless for me. ...

Secreteriat (DVD) 06/07/2015

Yay or a nay?

Secreteriat (DVD) Star – Diane Lane & John Malkovich Genre – Disney Run Time – 123 minutes Certificate – PG Country – USA Awards – 2 Wins & 6 Nominations Amazon – £3.70 DVD (£7.27Blue Ray) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = "It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; it does not shy away from the sword."In frenzied excitement it eats up the ground; it cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds." If you don’t really know horseracing you won’t know Secretariat, the greatest racehorse that ever lived, or so say the Americans. It’s hard to judge their triple crown against ours, or, indeed, Ireland or anywhere else. Until this year no horse had won the fable American Triple Crown for 37 years. But American Pharaoh did exactly that by winning all three in 2015, The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness in Maryland and the Belmont Stakes in New York. American Pharaoh didn’t win all three in just four weeks to Secretariat six weeks. Not only did Secretariat set the all-time record for the fastest time at the Kentucky Derby (1:59 2/5), each of his quarter-mile splits were faster than the preceding one, which means he was still accelerating at the end of the race. In the Belmont Stakes, both Secretariat's winning margin (31 lengths) and his winning time (2:24) still stand after 37 years. Secretariat's time in the Kentucky Derby is still the record for that race (1:59 2/5). Preakness officially changed the time for Secretariat's run to 1:53. Secretariat now owns the fastest times for all 3 Triple Crown ...

Exiled (DVD) 06/07/2015

A FIst Full of Yen

The Bay (DVD) 06/07/2015

The Bay of Pigs sh*t?

The Bay (DVD) Genre – Horror Run Time – 84 minutes Certificate – 18R Country – USA Awards – 2 Wins Amazon – £ DVD (£Blue Ray) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = There has been quite a few found-footage movies of late and some of them rather good, Cloverfield one of my favorites. Most have fed off that post 911 paranoia of the unseen threat and suggested terror and many low budget firs time filmmaker efforts, why I was surprised to see Barry ‘Rain Man’ Levison behind the camera for this one. This is an Oscar winning director messing around with B-List money and actors. This type of films appeal also married with the rise of cellphone cameras and ever intrusive CCTV footage, the all seeing eyes that scared is all to think about threats that never really exist. I loved Cloverfield because it was essentially a media monster attacking the sitcom world of Friends Manhattan that is full of hipsters and coffee drinking white yuppies. Anyone who has been to New York will know it’s very different from that. Essentially though, found footage movies are cheap to make and that’s why we have seen more of them. Cast Nansi Aluka ... Jaquline Christopher Denham ... Sam Stephen Kunken ... Dr. Abrams Frank Deal ... Mayor Stockman Kether Donohue ... Donna Kristen Connolly ... Stephanie Will Rogers ... Alex Kimberly Campbell ... Nurse Rebecca Clayton-Luce ... Charles Dave Hager ... Fisher Jerry Plot The film opens with the explanation of the footage we are about to see, confiscated by the U.S. ...

Women and Society 06/07/2015

Girls want to be in the kitchen.!

Raised on Radio - Journey 06/07/2015

A Journey I have enjoyed from start to finish...

Raised on Radio - Journey Rock music belongs to rock fans and we get kind of narked when a genre ignored by playlist mainstream radio over the last five decades suddenly play a classic rock track to death because it’s on a TV show, ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ an example of. Journey was - and are - a fabulous soft rock band but would never get airplay on British radio because of various silly prejudices. The whole scene was totally ignored, even though it was the second top selling music genre of the last century on CD and tape cassette. That meant a lot of great music never left American shores and lot of British rock bands like Def Leppard and Whitesnake had to go there to get famous. I know what you are thinking. Rock and metal is for Beavis & Buttheads and not for you. That may well be the case, and in the flyover states in America, but when a big redbrick university researched the types of music listened to by I.Q, rock music came out third behind indie and Jazz as the genre listened to by the more intelligent. I was surprised at that too. Maybe it’s because rebels like rock and rebels are smarter. Yes, Journey fans are smarter than Beyonce fans. You will not be surprised to learn that the dumbest people out there listen to ‘Drum n Bass’. I think you have all seen and heard the irritating chav playing it super loud on his cell phone. ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ is not on this album but Raised on Radio still my favorite Journey album of the seven I have had on vinyl. Its very West Coast Rock FM radio ...

Ronnie O'Sullivan 06/07/2015

Ronnie at the Masters

Appetite for Destruction - Guns N' Roses 06/07/2015

A Seismic rock record!

Appetite for Destruction - Guns N' Roses Many say Appetite for Destruction is the greatest contemporary rock record made. It’s a great record but not the best for me. But it is exactly what heavy rock was supposed to be and very welcome after the genre went through commercial cleansing in the 1980s to sell to the masses. Rock is supposed to scare you parents and be the music of the rebel, not a mist of hair lacquer, corporate spreadsheets and the mullet, as it became by the mid 1980s. Guns bought things back to where they should be (or shouldn’t, as far as those parents were concerned) in the early 1990s as they replaced that fog of hair spray with a blizzard of cocaine and some serious acid rain. By then Bon Jovi had cut his hair, started reading the New York Post and sponsoring poverty charities, hardly rock n roll. Axel Rose just wanted to f**k, scream and do drugs, often at the same time. I recall the court trail in the late 1970s where the parents of a young man who killed himself claimed their son did it after listening to a Judas Priest record and playing it backwards and received ‘messages from the devil’. God only knows what you will hear if you play a Gun n Roses record backwards on the old vinyl!! Axel Rose was seriously naughty back in the day and a surprise he is still alive. Its greatest song is Sweet Child of Mine, a brilliant guitar tune with Slash likewise iconic riff, a rare rock song where the riff kicks off the song and not ends it. Slash, real name Saul Hudson, was an interesting character, as ...

Everything that starts with S ... 06/07/2015

S is for not so Super Casinos...

Everything that starts with S ... We all know chips are bad for you, especially the working man, so the overturning of the decision to allow one of the so called ‘super casinos’ to be built in a poor area of Manchester last month was refreshing to say the least. I truly hope the Lords did indeed do it to scupper the proposed casino growth in the UK, although I suspect it was tactical to get the only planned one so far moved to Blackpool, the preferred destination for Labor MPs. The original decision seemed to have caught a few observers and seasoned observers off guard. Everyone thought the Americans had it in the bag and the right palms had been greased at the cash-strapped Labor Party so the Dome would get it. I mean how appropriate could that have been, an ideal vacuum with plenty of experience of gathering and consuming huge amounts of tax payers money! I mean what else is that white elephant good for. When London didn’t get it many thought Blackpool would, the sympathy vote for old Labor stalwarts. But it was Manchester at 16-1 to win through on the rails, the type of nag the pure punter ignores and bets the place, an outsider’s price in any horse race. If and where ever it’s built it will probably be in a poor area, supposedly to regenerate the city; plenty of the types of customers the big casinos thrive and feed off. My experience of the big casinos has been in America and South Africa. Indeed the team that thought they had won the Manchester deal are the founders of Sun City in the Kurtzner ...

KP: The Autobiography - Kevin Pietersen 06/07/2015

I did it may way and s*d the rest!

KP: The Autobiography - Kevin Pietersen I have only read two sports books this summer – and not the first time I have read these two books, updated biographies of Jimmy White and Kevin Pietersen. The White book is a cheap rehash with the emphasis on ‘hash’, Jimmies undisclosed love of soft drugs and cocaine deemed worthy of volume two and not exactly great for his lovable cheeky chappie image he crowned with his I’m a Celebrity Win. But Jimmy has an ego and his current form on the snooker table isn’t getting him much attention and so couldn’t resist a book deal. Kevin Pietersen, on the other hand, is just plain angry about the loss of his A-List sporting status and his treatment by the ECB to end his England career and wants revenge. He is the like the sulky lead singer in a rock band that feels he is the band and so leaves to do his solo project. As a cricket writer of little repute I have interacted with Kev a couple of times. He is polite and to the point. Once he told me to f**k off and the other time was a snatched conversation on the boundary at the Oval about his declaration and that wasn’t much better. Me, like everyone else in cricket, is below Pietersen in his eyes. He is one of those sportsmen that knows they are good and as long as he performs in a team at the top level and helps them win matches he doesn’t feel the need to change his selfish method, attend silly team meetings and be like the rest of the guys. He reminds me of me. Team meetings are about putting you in your place. These guys need to be ...
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