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Martin A Hogan "Marty From SF" (San Francisco Bay Area)
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Hey Music
Hey Music
Wird angeboten von thebookcommunity
Preis: EUR 42,48

4.0 von 5 Sternen Great Follow-Up Album, 10. Januar 2009
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Hey Music (Audio CD)
Jamie Savage's second collection of songs solidifies his style. Instead of focusing so much on his Adirondack backyard, his music takes on more universal appeal. The Van Morrison comparison is less so now and his own style shines through. The title song contains some of the most enjoyable multiple guitar work Savage has recorded to date. "All Summer Long" has a light Caribbean lilt just shy of Jimmy Buffett and "We're Just Not" has hints of Dylanesque throughout. Dan Duggan supplies a great backdrop of effortless piano accompaniment especially on songs like, "On My Own" and "Talus". "Living As You Are" celebrates discovering the greatness of diversity in America.

Savages second CD collection is more laid back than his first work, "Forever Green". However, the unique combination of guitars, cello, flutes, mandolin, piano, bass and simple but elegant vocals makes for a grand follow-up. Inspired in the Adirondacks and recording this entire album in New York State qualifies it for an eco-friendly regional recording. It's an inspired and relaxing collection of twelve great songs.


The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life & Times of Harvey Milk
The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life & Times of Harvey Milk
von Randy Shilts
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 13,80

5.0 von 5 Sternen A Man Without Fear, 6. Januar 2009
Author Randy Shilts was a journalist before he became a best selling author ("And The Band Played On", "Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the U.S. Military"). His chronicling of the life of Harvey Milk from New York to San Francisco bears witness to the everyman struggles of gay men of that period. From the arrests and harassments in bars to the ultimate victory of being the first gay man elected to United Sates office, Shilts details every aspect of Milk's life. People famous then and now supplied detailed information on the kind of human being that Harvey Milk truly was. (Mind you, this book was written in the early eighties).

Told in a quickly paced and unrelentingly thorough style, Shilts shows how an ordinary man like Milk can make a global change (all after age forty). Milk did this before he was assassinated, making his story all the more intriguing, tragic and poetic. The recent Gus Van Sant film does a great service to the novel, but Shilts is the one that truly gets under the skin of Harvey Milk and displays a man full of integrity, conviction and humility. In his reporter's style, Shilts also describes Milk's associates, friends and coworkers, pulling together the fabric of a life cut far too short. Of course, see the film and the documentary, but read this book to truly comprehend how an ordinary man can turn into a hero for not just a minority, but also any underdog.


Iron Man (ungeschnittene US-Kinofassung)  [Blu-ray]
Iron Man (ungeschnittene US-Kinofassung) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Robert Downey Jr.
Preis: EUR 7,99

5.0 von 5 Sternen 2-Disc Set Does 'Iron Man' Justice, 6. Januar 2009
There is a lot to `give away' in describing "Iron Man', but suffice it to say that the creators have created the real Tony Stark. He is the rowdy billionaire responsible for building weapons of mass destruction and selling them to the enemy into a reluctant and then powerful `Iron Man'. The cinematography is stunning in Blu-ray and the scenes starting from Afghanistan to Los Angeles's skies are over-whelming. The action is intense, funny, witty and true to the character of the comic book character. Plus, it is all believable. Robert Downing, Jr. playing around with his Iron Man invention is nothing short of hilarious and thrilling. Gwyneth Paltrow is a bit underused as his assistant, but she supplies some killer one-liners. Jeff Bridges plays a role that truly threatens Iron Man, but that's all I'll say. The effects are fantastic, the storyline is fast and clever and it is no small wonder it broke box office records. On Blu-ray disc, it is just as good as being in a movie theater - the details, color and sound are that amazing! Tony Stark IS `Iron Man'.

All Blu-ray discs are set up differently according to their theme, but for Iron Man, I'll describe the imagery. The initial PLAY/SCENES board is a colorful statue of Iron Man with colorful, comic book scientific looking diagrams. Audio is available in English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital. Subtitles are in English, English SDH. French, Spanish and Portuguese. There are some great extras like the `Hall of Armor' showing all four Iron Man designs, `the Invincible Iron man' and deleted scenes. These deletions are great, inclusion "I Am Iron Man', `Visuals Effects of Iron Man', `a fantastic `Robert Downey Jr. Screen Test'. "The Actors Process' (Downing and Bridges get down with some real improvisations), a semi-spoof trailer from `The Onion' on Iron man,' Theatrical Trailers, Galleries, Credits and Subtitles. Not to leave anything out, more extras include six mini features such as `friends and Foes' and "Demon in a Bottle". If you're really into Blu-ray, try connoting to the Internet for BD-Live capability. This is one of the Blu-ray features that put it so far and above regular DVD.


VideoStudio Pro X2
VideoStudio Pro X2

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Big Learning Curve, 29. Dezember 2008
Rezension bezieht sich auf: VideoStudio Pro X2 (CD-ROM)
I became fairly adept at using "Windows Movie Maker" along with my video from my Sony HandyCam (4 megapixel) and my Flip Video Ultra. But I found myself becoming overwhelmed with all of the features with the Corel Video Studio Pro X2! I saw the fact that it is blu-ray compatible as a big plus (even though my computer does not have a blu-ray drive - yet) and the ability to make a 5.1 surround sound video was a big selling point. I do like making small films with music, but had not experimented much with specials effects. The Pro X2 has almost too many options.

It was fairly easy to download clips from my hand-held Sony and my Flip Video to the editing screen. The Pro X2 takes just about any type of video from any source. Its all simply `drag and drop'. Its easy to lengthen, shorten or cut/edit any piece of video. If your video is of high quality, you can actually have a 1920 X 1080 size video which is as good as it gets for a large flat screen television. You can also drop in any music along a separate `timeline' as well as another `timeline' for vocals or narrations. I was also able to do small `montages' by overlaying other video and pictures (kind of like `picture in picture (PIP). Like "Windows Movie Maker" there are tons of various cross fades or transition from video clip to video clip. It was also very cool to be able to `slow down" (slow motion) action and not have the audio affected at all.

Special effects are numerous and when you get overwhelmed, you can actually toggle back and forth so you never have too much information on your `timelines' at once. If you use blu-ray, I understand that you can insert `menus' in your blu-ray discs just like on the ones you rent. I can't wait to get a blu-ray drive. If you have an older or poorly lit video, there is a color and tone correction and it does a fairly good job, even with old splotchy videos. If you are into titles, you can easily insert these anywhere on your screen in any font or color you choose. You can even put a backdrop in any color to make it stand out against the video. This is best for titles and end credits, but I suppose you could have it run the entire length of the video. Other extras are synching your slides to the beat of a song, simulating your handwriting (didn't use this one) and the Chroma Key is very cool. Its like a blue screen in special effects films where you can make the background anything you want and superimpose yourself or your subject onto it. The lines around the front ground subjects are slightly imperfect, but it still looks cool. Imagine yourself walking along a beach in the south Pacific instead of the city - that's the kind of effect you can do.

Sound is a big thing for me, so when I saw 5.1 surround was available, I went crazy. But, I cannot get it to work past stereo. I don't know if it s my Acer Aspire desktop, my Windows Vista or this program, but I just cannot get 5.1 to work. Now there are over a dozen or more surround sound clips you can choose from in the 5.1 surround menu that are very brief (less than 30 seconds), but you can repeat them. However, as cool as they are in 5.1 surround, they are mostly percussion and not very exciting. I contacted Corel about the 5.1 problems and they told me what to do to correct the 5.1 (you just drag the sound clip to the on-line speaker, of which there are five plus the subwoofer in an easy diagram) but it didn't work. You can easily amplify sounds, get rid of annoying hiss and adjust volume levels at any time. However, the 5.1 surround just has me stupefied. Maybe when I can figure it out, I'll come back and revise this review, but at the moment, this program is better than "Windows Movie Maker" only in the choices of extras and special effects.

I am still experimenting and this review is two months plus after playing with this program. I hope to have conquered all the problems some time soon. For the price, the Corel Video Studio Pro X2 is still a bargain, even with a bit of a learning curve.


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5.0 von 5 Sternen Goodbye Swiss Army Knife!, 20. Dezember 2008
Move over Swiss Army Knife - the USA finally has you beat. My nephew knows I'm an outdoor nut and I hate having a heavy toolbox, so I'm always hunting around for stuff to use. He gave me this as a surprise gift!

The Leatherman 830040 is unbelievable with nearly twenty different tools and all of them are stainless steel, easily maneuverable and sturdy as heck. (Take a look at the list of items in the product description). My favorites are the scissors, the bottle opener, the screwdriver and the bit driver (you can buy the additional bit kit, pocket clip, or lanyard ring). I see no more need for my Swiss army knife which I thought was unbeatable for all-purpose tool use. The case holds it securely to your belt or in your pocket (measures 4" X 2" X 1" thick) and is closed with a heavy Velcro flap. There is also a small pocket for additional items like other bits. All the tools are thicker and sturdier than my Swiss army knife and the saw and file are truly heavy duty. The saw and file are very tough and I actually ended up cutting myself handling the saw, it is so heavy duty. This is a keeper (not to mention a 25-year warranty).


Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 Webcam
Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 Webcam

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Easy and Intuitive!, 9. Dezember 2008
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 Webcam (Zubehör)
My Dell laptop has a built-in web cam, but the resolution is only 640 X 480, which is fairly standard. It's a bit blurry and the color is off. It fine for basic communication, but I wanted something better. A friend has a `Logitech Quick cam Communicate STX' and I was surprised at how clear and non-blurry it was. I like Logitech, but wanted something a little sleeker that would just fit on my screen. The Pro 9000 is the answer and its easily rests on top of your screen or on its own stand.

Instead of the typical 640 X 480, the High Definition Video resolution is 1600 X 1200 (pixels) which is very good quality and much clearer. That's 30 frames per second! Now when you move about quickly, there is some minor blur, but for just sitting and chatting, it's great. The settings are easy to work and you can adjust the color, hue, white balance, etc. to your liking or your room lighting (fluorescent lights mess with the colors). It even has a `focus' feature that will follow you as you move around. A red square in the settings focuses on your head and if you move your head down to your keyboard or from side to side, it actually follows you. There is also a cool zoom feature that will zoom in and out on your face automatically. The auto-focus is very clear and the lense is made from an established company called Carl Zeiss - I guess they've been making lenses, telescopes, etc. for decades.

For still shots, the camera takes photos as high as 8.0 megapixels (like my camera). There are also a lot of extras that I don't use, like the avatars (shark, stick figure, etc.) that calibrate to your face. You can actually become a shark and it moves with your real movements. I think kids would like this. There are also filters to personalize your camera for viewing or for prints.

The best part is that it's easy to set up and use. Remember though, that the quality of the video transmission is only as good as the lesser of the two viewers. If you're talking to someone on a lower end laptop, the transmission quality is less. However, two of the same web cams will give you both the same quality. The extras are okay for kids, but it's the quality of the video that I was after. Plus the price is good.

P.S. I use 'SKYPE'.


6 x SWIDO Ultra Clear Displayschutzfolie für TomTom One II - Displayschutz kristallklar
6 x SWIDO Ultra Clear Displayschutzfolie für TomTom One II - Displayschutz kristallklar
Wird angeboten von Schutzfolien Spezialist
Preis: EUR 5,90

4.0 von 5 Sternen Great For All Directions!, 5. Dezember 2008
I have an `Allen Navigator GPS' that works through your cell phone, but my phone screen is very small. When I received the `Tom Tom, I was amazed at how easy it was to setup and use. I had once visited a friend 65 miles away and it took me almost two hours, due to not being familiar with the area. With the Tom Tom, I was there in one hour. Even when I took the wrong highway (on purpose), the Tom Tom recalculated my route with the same destination.

The Tom Tom is all touch/tap controlled on the screen. The driving view is in a nice perspective or plan view (2D) giving you plenty of warning both verbally (you can pick from several voices and several other languages) and visually (large crisp screen). Some of the great features are its easy Tap to zoom in/out, showing you your current location, names of roads you are on and near, trip time, remaining distance and arrival time. The GPS signal strength is strong. Only once did it get lost through a tunnel and it recalculated itself within a minute.

To navigate an upcoming trip, just tap the intuitive screen and select "Navigate to...". You can enter an address with a small keyboard (i.e., street, house number, town). You're done.

Some cool features:

*Shows current time
*Navigate to any address
*Add any address or location (ATM, restaurant, gas station, etc.) to Favorites
*`Help Me' feature that addresses `phone for help', `drive to help', `walk to help', `where am I?', `First Aid Guide'.

Change preferences allow you to:
*Use night colors
*Show your Points of Interest (POI) on a map and warns you when you are near one
*Guided Tours of Tom Tom
*Safety preferences (seven items you choose like, `warn not to leave device in car', `warn when driving faster than speed limit', `suggest driving breaks', etc.
*Turn sound On or Off with a Volume control
*Display the status bar horizontally or vertically
*Can be set to specific units, clock, keyboard, car symbol, brightness, map colors, left-handed option, language (other than English) and more

The only thing I did not like was the fact that you can only update maps for FREE the first 30 days after purchase. However, this version of the Tom Tom is simply easy to use (I could learn to use the functions before I read the manual). The voice and map (a perfect 3.5 inch screen) are a solid reassurance that you are headed in the right direction. In fact, it guided me to my own driveway parking spot and my parking stall at work. I would recommend updating maps with its easy USB port every six months or so, like all other GPS devices. I highly suggest reading the manufacturer's list of functions here on Amazon to get a FULL picture of what this great GPS device provides. This is only a snapshot, but I am very happy with this unit.


Acer Aspire One A150X blau 22,6 cm (8,9 Zoll) WSVGA Netbook (Intel Atom N270 1,6 GHZ, 1GB RAM, 120GB HDD, XP Home)
Acer Aspire One A150X blau 22,6 cm (8,9 Zoll) WSVGA Netbook (Intel Atom N270 1,6 GHZ, 1GB RAM, 120GB HDD, XP Home)

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Small But Convenient, 5. Dezember 2008
Like a strange cross between the standard laptop and an iPhone, the 'Aspire One' is perfect for the student or someone who travels extensively. It measures (outside) only 7" X 10" X 1" thick and weighs 2 pounds. It has a much nicer screen quality than my previous 'Eee PC' and starts up faster than my Acer desktop which has Windows Vista. 'Aspire One' has Windows XP, for you that like the XP over Vista!

As expected, the keyboard is a real squish for large hands, but the keypads are sensitive enough and the mouse pad works perfectly. Unfortunately there is no disc drive, but there is capability to hook up an external drive, if necessary. The USB ports also allow you to add Memory sticks for lots of additional memory. The 'Aspire One' also has a very good Wireless LAN communicator. Its powerful enough to boot up in less than 15 seconds, has a 1.6 GHz Atom N270 processor, 1 GB of RAM and a 160 GB hard drive. The powerful 6-cell battery will give you over five hours of battery life (under normal usage conditions).

For fun stuff, the 'Aspire One' contains a Webcam built in (perfectly adequate), a multi-compatible card reader, 3 USB ports, built-in email, basic web browsing, and numerous digital media applications. It also has stereo speakers, earplug/headphone and microphone jacks. Don't forget about the Ethernet port for non-Wireless!

This really does make the perfect companion for the student or world traveler with its amazingly compact size and its surprising power. The conveniences are all here, plus, it has Windows XP, which I feel is FAR superior to Vista for speed.


Samsung BD P 1500 Blu Ray Player (TrueHD, HDMI 1.3, Ethernet) schwarz
Samsung BD P 1500 Blu Ray Player (TrueHD, HDMI 1.3, Ethernet) schwarz

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Blu-Ray does not limit you to Blu-Ray!, 27. November 2008
I have a 2-year old Sony NS3100ES receiver that plays every format and outputs stereo or 5.1 surround sound. The picture is clear and the sound is impeccable. Why would I go out and spend literally $300 to $1,000 for a player that plays Blu-Ray discs?

Samsung's BD-P1500 is sleek, compact and has so many more functions than other players. It will play regular DVD's, CD', SACD's, DVD-R, DVD-RW, home made DVD's and much more. The HDMI to HDMI cable is the best to use if your television has that port, as it carries the most data most efficiently (you can buy it here on Amazon). You can also connect to a regular TV or sound system with R/B/G cables (video) and R/W cables (audio). Whatever connection or system, it will play stereo to surround sound.

The entire world of Blu-Ray discs is another topic. They have a new optical disc format with over five and a half times the storage capacity of a standard DVD. This means you have more data and extras (like a storyboard guide at the bottom of the screen, display the title list, repeat play to specific points on the Blu-Ray disc, changing the camera angel of the movie, `bookmark' a specific scene spot and much more). There is also a LAN/Ethernet terminal output for updating software from Samsung (most electronic companies upgrade to improve quality over time).

The biggest selling point of all is the massive amount of data that can be played compared to regular DVD players. The picture is SO amazingly crisp (a Full 1080/24p True Cinema picture), I'd much rather prefer viewing a Blu-Ray disc over a regular DVD. The sound is crystal clear (Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD), either in stereo, 5.1 or 7.1 (something I never thought could be improved upon with my Sony DVD player). Now at this price, you can have the new experience of Blu-Ray entertainment. It seems that prices do come down and quality does go up.

Note: Most of the on-line rental companies (Netflix, Blockbuster, etc.) have most of the Blu-Ray discs in stock!


Holy Headshot!: A Celebration of America's Undiscovered Talent
Holy Headshot!: A Celebration of America's Undiscovered Talent
von Patrick Borelli
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 14,15

4.0 von 5 Sternen Uniquely Bizarre!, 7. November 2008
The two guys who put together this book (Patrick Borelli & Douglas Gorenstein) looked at over 50,000 headshots to choose these 100 headshots. Don't be fooled into thinking (as I initially did) that this was a collection of freak shots of D-list actors tossed together for amusement. Far from it.

Along with photos (some zany, some serious, all unique) there are `resumes' ranging from the basic of weight and height to the details of special skills, interests and acting history. They could almost be all your neighbors acting out in their wildest ways; they all look so average (or not normal). As David Cross says in the foreword, "In life you only get one chance to make a good first impression".

Trivia: Meryl Streep was cast in "Sophie's Choice" once the director saw the headshot wherein she was wearing what looked like a prom gown, sucking on a lollipop, and making "crazy eyes". After reading that, I had an entirely new perspective and respect for all these "Head Shots".


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