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Douglas B. Moran "Computer+History/Politics" RSS Feed (Palo Alto, CA USA)

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Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
by Sherry Turkle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.08
75 used & new from $14.49

11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Suffers badly from what it argues against, November 17, 2015
The book is a very long sequence of anecdotes, each followed by shallow analysis, and then a final-thoughts section. The anecdotes and "analyses" are almost all minor, even trivial, variations on each other. It's as if someone posted one of these anecdotes and then friend after friend posted "me-too" stories. The author laments the lack of depth in conversations, but there is no depth here. Similarly for adapting what is said to the anticipated audience ("empathy").

How shallow and redundant? If you have seen/read one of the author's interviews or short articles from the promotional tour for this book you will likely not encounter anything even vaguely new until page 162. Similarly if you had a short discussion at a social gathering triggered by the someone's observation about how smartphones have changed communication. If you have had a deeper conversation, you are unlikely to start find some of those ideas until you get to page 221.

The final-thoughts sections (pages 294-362) is largely disconnected from what came before. For example, it begins with a nice, but breezy, overview of privacy concerns (for those who have never heard about them). And it has a shallow presentation of having conversations with robots and other artificial entities. I have a background in Artificial Intelligence, thus I didn't expect any mew insights for me, but I did expect to find at least a few instance where I would think "nicely said" or "interesting perspective". Instead, it was very bland -- suitable for an easy-A undergraduate survey course.

Normally, I give a book 50-100 pages to demonstrate it has merit, and failing that, I skip through the remainder sampling to see if there are any subsections with merit. Such a sampling approach would have also found this book without merit because the mildly interesting portions are likely to be missed: too scattered and only 0.5 to 1.5 pages long.
So why did I keep reading? In talking with people about this *topic*, they often cited this book very positively. What I came to realize was that they had not read the book, but had been exposed to the thumbnails (from the promo tour) and were projecting their experiences and thoughts onto the book. Their comments were typically more insightful and interesting than what is in the book.

Why 1-star (Amazon's "I hated it")?
This book has two basic failings, either of which alone would have reduced it to (only) 2-star (Amazon's "I disliked it"):
1. It does not respect the reader's investment of time in reading it. A 362-page book should have more content than what would fit into a mediocre medium-length magazine article. This book is akin to a long series of support group meetings, but without the benefit of wine and cheese.
2. The title (and promotion) is highly deceptive. There is very little about "reclaiming" in this book beyond telling the reader that they need to figure out for themselves how to reduce the negative behaviors they see themselves as engaging in. That is, it barely nudges over the line from "First you need to admit you have a problem." In addition, the book's argument for change is almost exclusively of the form "what you are doing is bad" -- the mentions of the benefits are slight in both number of instances and in the advocacy (logic, data and passion). While "pain" can sometimes be a motivator by itself, showing "gain" is often an important, even crucial, addition.

CREDIBILITY: I have problems with the credibility of the accounts and analyses.

1. One of the problems of a discussion based on anecdotes is that the reader doesn't know how representative these stories are (many reviewers have made similar complaints about this book). I live in the heart of Silicon Valley (Palo Alto) and, as a reality-check, I looked at what was going on around me. Yes, there are plenty of instances of what the book describes, but there are also a great many instance of the opposite. For example, the book talks of parents at playgrounds as being immersed in their phones and largely ignoring their children. At my local playground, I see the opposite: Parents actively involved with their children and with the other parents, and largely ignoring their phones -- while they do briefly check messages, the only ones they respond to are from the spouse about coming home (inferred from what they then say to their children). Similarly, the groups of teens that I encounter are engaged in far less phone use than portrayed in this book.

2. The book presents meetings as being diminished by attendees having their attention elsewhere. But if you consider the descriptions of various of the meetings, you may well infer that the problem was with the meeting's organizer/leader and that the attendees were well-justified in tuning-out. This behavior pre-dates networked devices: Before conference rooms had network connections, people would bring laptops to meetings to do work or play games. And before that, they would bring hardcopy to read, or spend their time writing/editing reports, programs, ... You would expect an academic to be intensely aware of the problems of bad meetings -- if the author misses this aspect in her analysis, this argues that you should be highly skeptical of her analysis of other situations.

3. The interpretation of the events. It is expected and accepted that anecdotes be stories that have been greatly simplified to illustrate a point, but you always need to worry about over-simplification "getting it wrong". This over-shoot can result from over-enthusiasm or from not listening carefully and probing what the informants are reporting (The admonition "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"). I was deeply involved in one situation mentioned very briefly in the book: The culture of programmers in the era of time-sharing computers (at MIT 1969-73 and UMichigan subsequently). While the author accurately describes the basic situation, she is entirely wrong about the motivations/purpose of that behavior and thus the conclusion/lesson that she offers is also wrong.

4. The book is overwhelmingly focused on the negative impacts of electronic devices on conversation, and almost entirely ignores the positive. For example, electronic communications can prime face-to-face conversations and make them much more effective and satisfying. For example, two of my pet peeves are meetings that are wastes of time because the participants are unprepared and ones where the person calling the meeting is too lazy to write an email (there is an award ribbon for the victims of that). A running joke among like-minded friends is to email each other "talking points" or "agendas" before getting together for dinner, but this actually has been beneficial by producing more robust conversations (and by having duds dropped faster).

-- Douglas B. Moran
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 28, 2015 12:53 AM PST

3 Days To Kill
3 Days To Kill
DVD ~ Kevin Costner
Price: $17.50
84 used & new from $0.52

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If in the right mood, this (intentionally?) bad movie is very entertaining, June 21, 2015
This review is from: 3 Days To Kill (DVD)
First, don't let Kevin Costner in the lead role put you off. The script centers on a befuddled superspy (see the movie's own description). Normally the combination of "befuddled" and "superX" results in simply a stupid, bad movie. Here it works, largely because of Costner--because this is his normal (only?) character, the audience expects this of him and you don't see any artifice or see him working at it.

I probably would have given up on this movie in the first few minutes if I hadn't been told "It's so bad that it's good." If you aren't paying attention, the script seems to be little more than the result of a dysfunctional committee of chemically-addled hack writers. But then I realized that it lacked the randomness to be unintentionally bad. For example, the pacing of moving from absurdity to absurdity was too tight. And many of the bad choices were so inexplicably bad that it was hard to accept them as mistakes or incompetence.

Instead, I came to view this as a very tongue-in-cheek parody of the genre. While the movie maintains the illusion of being a serious movie by not indulging in the typical aspects of parody (example, overly broad performances, stretched out scenes), it is so consistently absurd that it is hard to think that it isn't a parody--and that conflict/ambiguity is part of the movie's entertainment value. The movie kept me involved by constantly shifting between disparate elements of parody. It has some blatant reference to other movies, for example, Costner's signature scene in "The Bodyguard". It has standard elements of the genre taken to absurd levels. It has standard elements inserted in the "wrong" way. It jumbles up elements from different subcategories of the genre. And it occasionally drops into the surreal.

Make no mistake: This is not a good movie in the conventional sense. But if you are in the right mood and/or with the right group of friends, it can be a very entertaining movie.

-- Douglas B. Moran

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $11.99

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pointless pompous ponderous pap; The actual topic isn't cooking but rather the author himself, June 7, 2015
Many of the positive reviews acknowledge that the book is badly bloated, but claim it had enough interesting content to be worth the read. I didn't find that content: I took the approach of trying to skip over the blattering about his wanderings, life and philosophy. When the author was in such a stretch of self-indulgence, I would skip forward some pages and start reading again to see if I had (finally) gotten to interesting content. I occasionally found a brief definition or concept related to actual cooking, but the author immediately returned to more blatter. Apparently the useful content that others found is so thinly and widely scattered that one is unlikely to find it by this time-honored technique.

Like many others here, I often found the author's style insulting: In the few stretches about cooking, it was so condescending that it seemed that the author felt he was talking to children or half-wits.

The book's comments on culture are a mix of New Age nonsense and foodie prejudices. For example, in the introduction, the book's presentation of cooking-related gender roles throughout history indicates a total lack of awareness of the extensive literature on this topic, leading me to assume that the author was simply making things up as he went along to fill in the story.

The author is technically a good writer and capable of telling a good story. The problem is that the stories he chooses to tell are not what the book claims to be about. The essence of this book is a bore who loves to hear himself talk and can't conceive that the audience wouldn't be enthralled by the minor details of his life and wanderings.

-- Douglas B. Moran
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 19, 2016 1:20 PM PST

An Officer and a Spy: A novel
An Officer and a Spy: A novel
by Robert Harris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.52
223 used & new from $0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Intended as movie script? Shallow, banal, tedious: Could easily have been cribbed from the standard treatments, May 27, 2015
This is one of those books that shows all the signs of not being written for the reader, but to simplify being made into a movie: the structure and pacing, the scenes, the dialogue, the formulaic characters, the obligatory scenes and characters ... It is hard to see the reader as much more than a pawn in a marketing campaign for a movie deal (there was a tentative deal with Roman Polanski in 2012, but no news since).

Because the book is written from the perspective of Col Picquart, I expected significant focus on the attitudes and culture of the French military establishment that led to the Dreyfus Affair (false conviction and coverup). Other than generic, formulaic antisemitism and generic cronyism, there is nothing. You get more and better info on this from any halfway competent account of these events. Similarly, the political climate that played such a large role in the Dreyfus Affair is only vaguely alluded to in this book.

I read about the Dreyfus Affair many years ago, and there was nothing in this book that I found interesting that I didn't immediately remember from that previous encounter.

The book is technically written in the first person, but could have easily been written in the third-person, and probably would have been better that way. In segments of the book, it seems to be written in the latter, so when it shifts back to first person, it is very jarring. Most of the time, the feel is of Picquart dispassionately dictating an account of events to get it into the written record, for example in the sense of someone on his deathbed. In a first person narrative, one expects significant internal monologues, but here those monologues are the sort one encounters in standard third-person narratives.

At no point did I ever feel that the narrator was a military officer, much less a senior intelligence official. What it did feel like was a movie director blocking out scenes, including directions to the set designers (such a placement of irrelevant furniture). The characters are described, but none of them acquire personalities. In the reviews shilling for this book, Picquart is described as "ambitious", "brilliant". "intellectual"... None of that is present in this book. Quite the contrary, he comes across as competent, but plodding. Note: The book has a few brief *statements* that he appreciates culture, but does not *demonstrate* it. He could easily be a poseur.

BTW, the person who recommended this to me said to "Stick with it. It starts off poorly but gets better". That was an understatement: It started with abysmally bad writing and "improved" to being mediocre.

AYL StarLight - Water Resistant - Shock Proof - Battery Powered Ultra Long Lasting Up To 6 DAYS Straight - 600 Lumens Ultra Bright LED Lantern - Perfect Camping Lantern for Hiking, Camping, Emergencies, Hurricanes, Outages
AYL StarLight - Water Resistant - Shock Proof - Battery Powered Ultra Long Lasting Up To 6 DAYS Straight - 600 Lumens Ultra Bright LED Lantern - Perfect Camping Lantern for Hiking, Camping, Emergencies, Hurricanes, Outages
Offered by Accessorise Your Life
Price: $45.99
3 used & new from $17.69

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strongest light pattern is angled up-and-out: Useful for many tasks, but wouldn't choose if main use is hanging above head level, April 9, 2015
I used it throughout a 2-hour power outage and it was very useful for a variety of tasks, including both lighting the room and in moving from room to room (instead of using a flashlight). Small enough to hold with my hand around the body (I am 5'10" male) -- the black portions are well textured and easy to grip firmly.

Light pattern:
A common configuration of lanterns is to have them cast a bright ring of light around the base. One use of this is to position the lantern on a table top just above the book you are reading. This lantern has such a ring, but it only 3-inches wide starting about 1-inch out from the base. After that, it is considerably dimmer, so the utility is very much YMMV, depending on the contrast of the material being viewed and your eyes.

However, if you stand the lantern on its head, the ring of brightest light is much, much wider. If you are hanging the lantern above head-level, you really want to use the small plastic hook that folds out of the base (with moderate difficulty) -- if you hang it by the wire handle, most of the lantern's light will go to illuminating the ceiling. Because I don't trust the durability and utility of the plastic hook in the base, I would not recommend this lantern if it will be *predominantly* used for hanging overhead.

Similarly, when I was walking with the lantern, I found myself routinely tilting it at an angle to direct that brightest band of light at the level I wanted--sometimes the ground in front of me, sometimes the directly in front. The light coming out the sides of the lantern is much dimmer than the top or bottom. This is not necessarily a bad thing. For example, if you have the lantern sitting on the ground, it is putting most of its light at an angle upward and outward. Similarly on a table top.

How bright is the light: As a practical measure that could be conveyed to typical readers, I used the distance at which I could easily read the titles on the spines of books in a bookcase, providing a range of contrasts and font sizes. On the brighter setting, I could *easily* read over half the titles at 10-12 feet. For the light coming out the side of the lantern, the distance was roughly 5 feet (YMMV, I have 60-year-old eyes).

Battery issues:
Summary: Works well with AA LSD NiMH rechargeable batteries with spacers/adapters (LSD = Low Self-Discharge, aka Pre-charged,...). Since I have LED flashlights that run on 4 AA batteries and produce similar amounts of light, my *guess* is that using this configuration does not unduly stress the batteries.

Details: The use of D-cell batteries allows extended usage of this lantern before you need to replace the batteries. LED lights have the good/bad feature that they maintain brightness throughout almost all of the usable life of the batteries, becoming noticeably dimmer only shortly before the batteries need to be replaced. Consequently, if you are using the light in shorter stretches where you can't easily track cumulative time, the batteries may need replacing at very inconvenient times.
Although I have replacement batteries for a variety of devices, this is the only one using D-cells--most use AA or AAA sizes. Rather than keeping spare D-cells immediately available, I used AA batteries in spacers which I had come as components of an Eneloop Pre-charged Battery Super Power Pack, but these spacers can also be bought independently (Eneloop D Size Spacers).

Experience: During a recent 2-hour power outage, I used this lantern powered by AA Eneloop LSD batteries for the duration, and they still have plenty of charge left.

Locator light
The lantern has a small green LED that flashes slowly and cannot be turned off. While this is advantageous when you need to find the lantern, I was worried that the flashing light would be distracting in others. Not to worry. First, the LED is deeply recessed so it is visible only through a limited arc: My estimate is about 45-degrees to each side of the LED. When I was looking at the lantern from the side in a very dark room, I couldn't see the flashing. Also the light is very dim, so it barely illuminates even reflective objects close by.

-- Douglas B. Moran

3LBS Medium Water absorbing crystal,polymer, soil moist, Insect Water
3LBS Medium Water absorbing crystal,polymer, soil moist, Insect Water
Offered by The Dirty Gardener
Price: $12.55
4 used & new from $12.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality, value. Excellent packaging., March 4, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Some of the much earlier reviews complained about the packaging, but that seems to have been resolved. Mine came in a very heavy-weight plastic bag with a fused top that you cut off. Below that is a Ziploc-style resealable strip to keep the bag closed as you use up the contents. This bag could stand up to lots of abuse in shipping without rupturing. Note: Amazon may be combining reviews from multiple offerers. Mine came from Root.Naturally.

The crystals were as expected and appropriately uniform.

My experience with hydrating/inflating the crystals:
1 teaspoon of crystals absorbs about 1 quart (192 tsp) of water in 1-2 hours, reaching near maximum volume. It seems to absorb about another 1/3 quart of water over the next 3-5 hours. However, it is hard to tell how much of that water has been absorbed and how much is simply clinging to the outsides of the inflated crystals or sitting in the gaps between them -- the fully inflated crystal release water under slight pressure.

Note: I mix in batches of 3-6 teaspoons (1-2 tablespoons) of crystals -- I am reporting relative to _tea_spoons to simplify people scaling up the measurements.

Note: For plants in pots, the *recommended* mix is about 1 gallon (4 quarts) of potting soil for 1.5 teaspoons (0.5 tablespoons) of crystals -- mixed *after* the crystals have been hydrated/expanded. However, my calculation is double this: 1.5 tsp expands to 2 quarts, and at 4:1, this would be two gallons of potting soil. I suspect that the difference may result from assumptions about how hydrated the crystals are.
BTW: A 1 cubic foot (common size of bag of potting soil) is 30 quarts (7.5 gallons).

Hydrating seems slightly slower in a deep container, such as a bucket, than an equivalent quantity in a shallow, wide container, such as a cat litter pan (I have ones that have cycled out of that use because the bottom eventually gets too scratched).

-- Douglas B. Moran

Cute Cat Digital Camera Soft Case Pouch w/Strap For Nikon Coolpix S4100 S3100 S100,Sony Canon Nikon fuji Samsung mini,iPhone 4S 5C 5S Itouch 5
Cute Cat Digital Camera Soft Case Pouch w/Strap For Nikon Coolpix S4100 S3100 S100,Sony Canon Nikon fuji Samsung mini,iPhone 4S 5C 5S Itouch 5
Offered by Professional*Bags
Price: $6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent visibility. Very good construction and materials., March 4, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought for the picture on the pouch so that I could easily spot it in the clutter of my home office. The product picture is a good representation -- the green in the eyes isn't quite as vivid in the actual product in normal office lighting, but it still stands out. More importantly, we animals are genetically programmed to spot the eyes of predators and that makes this pouch much easier to spot (no "Where's Waldo" effect).

I don't use this pouch for my camera (although I might). Rather it is for my external backup disk drive, with three purposes: (1) to provide some protection when it is stored away in my desk drawer, (2) when the drive is connected to the computer, to have the empty pouch on the desk as a reminder, (3) as a carry case for another WD My Passport Ultra which is loaded with software that I take when working on someone else's computer.

Regarding internal dimensions:
My backup drive is a Western Digital My Passport Ultra 2 TB Portable Hard Drive and its dimensions are 110mm L x 82mm W x 16mm D. The specs on the pouch say the interior is approx 80mm high, so I expected the extra 2mm might require a little stretching to zipper the pouch shut. However, because the disk drive's thickness is only half that of the spec, that gave room for avoid any tugging (but I would say this is the limit).

The construction is excellent, as are the materials. The zipper works smoothly. The clip on the wrist strap has a strong spring--it is hard to imagine it opening inadvertently. People with weaker hands might have problems getting it to open. The wrist strap was round and soft (but strong) -- the product picture is a good representation.

There was still a distinct smell from the ink when it arrive. Although the product packing had an air hole for venting, the shipping envelope didn't. I put it in my garage and after about an hour, I couldn't smell anything. However, I left hanging up out there until the next morning. If you are giving this as a gift, you might want to air it out first, or at least warn the recipient.

Shipping time: It comes from China and the product page has two different expected shipping times: 8-16 days in the text and 4-6 weeks in the "Estimated Delivery Date". My experience was 12 days.

Draft Day [DVD + Digital]
Draft Day [DVD + Digital]
DVD ~ Kevin Costner
Price: $4.00
82 used & new from $0.96

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not really about Draft Day, or even football. Not a drama. Only an excuse for a long sequence of cameos, February 5, 2015
This review is from: Draft Day [DVD + Digital] (DVD)
If you know enough about the NFL draft to think it would make an interesting movie, this is not the movie for you: You know much more about it than the screenwriters. Similarly, if you have seen an episode of a TV series or another movie where the draft was a non-trivial element, or read some sports columnists or ... you will be perplexed by how this movie could put so little drama and detail into Draft Day.

The trade scenarios don't even rise to the level of "stupid, stupid, stupid", and the characters are neither credible nor sympathetic. The climatic trade contradicts the opening trade. None of the trades show any level of planning and consideration that would made them even faintly credible, much less interesting.

As to characters, Kevin Costner plays a dim-witted General Manager who would have been out of his depth even in a good high school football program. The script clearly doesn't intend this, but if you pay attention to his actions, this is an inescapable conclusion. Furthermore, his character shows absolutely no ability to work as part of a management team, much less lead one.

"Drama" is created by surrounding him by a variety of toxic people (personal and professional). For example, his own mother seems intent on destroying his career by both distracting him and raising his stress level when he is on an extremely tight deadline, and then she pulls his staff away from their time-critical tasks for something that could have trivially waited several days. However, the casting (Ellen Burstyn), acting and direction is to the contrary: The mother is portrayed as loving (rather a manipulative narcissist). Ditto for the girlfriend: She chooses Draft Day to announce she is pregnant (opening of the movie) and then proceeds to jerk his chain. The mis-casting of Jennifer Garner indicates that this was unintended or not thought through. There are only two sympathetic and mature characters: the intern (tiny role) and, interestingly, the ex-wife (bit part in a single inconsequential scene).

The Costner character's staff provides no sense that they are in the midst of an intense, time-critical activity, thus making it impossible for me to believe that crucial aspect of the plot. This staff also has horrendous communications skills, far beyond what is needed to provide excuses for expository dialog. This *did* convey an intense sense of frustration paralleling that of the Costner character, but not creating sympathy for him: It only made me want to walk away from the movie. I did walk away at the two-thirds point, but curiosity about the good reviews caused me to eventually finish it (bad decision). If I worked with the characters in this movie, I would have quit immediately, not bothering to wait to have a new job lined up.

The script has no regard for football itself. Three of the important plot elements involve last-minute discoveries about the potential draft choice. Even allowing extreme latitude for literary license, these contrivances were insulting to any football fan. One (on-field) was something that would have diagnosed in real-time in (tens of) thousands of living rooms--no way that scouts would have missed it. Another (off-field) would not have escaped contemporaneous reporting by the press (both the specific incident and the general situation). The third (character) was a scenario (urban legend?) transferred from another profession that demonstrated that the scriptwriters know nothing about football (A team sent a copy of its playbook to a person who *might* be joining the team -- in professional and major college football, the playbook is highly confidential information, not to be copied and to be returned when a player leaves the team).

This movie is little more than an excuse for a badly pasted together series of cameos by football personalities and various actors (example: Denis Leary gets a couple of brief walk-throughs as a one-dimensional flaming [jerk], although the character's aggravation has some motivation).

-- Douglas B. Moran

Olympus Horizontal Neoprene and Nylon Case with Magnetic Closure (Black)
Olympus Horizontal Neoprene and Nylon Case with Magnetic Closure (Black)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good protection at modest increase in thickness. However, gaps on top sides., February 4, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this for a Canon PowerShot S100. "Pocket-ability" was a major factor in choosing the S100 and I usually carry it in a HD Ziploc bag or a thin (but tough) cloth bag. However, I sometimes carry it in a jacket pocket or other bag where the camera needs more protection.

The case is an excellent fit to my S100, not much larger, but leaving enough room to make it easy to get the camera out. The case would accommodate a slightly thicker camera (but not much thicker) (thickness = front to back).

The magnetic latch is easy to open, but much firmer than I anticipated. It snaps shut smartly. But I am especially pleased by how well it resists inadvertent opening. My test was to grasp the edges of the flap and shake the case with the camera inside: It took a very strong motion, sometimes multiple, to get the flap to release.

Most of the protection from this case come from stiff battens in front and back. There is only very modest cushioning underneath the neoprene (many people think of "neoprene" as including thick spongy cushioning). The case, flap and belt-loop add about 5/8-inch to the thickness of the camera (which is 1-inch thick). The sides and bottom of the case appear to be a thick, tough (nylon?) fabric. The stitching and overall construction appears to be excellent.

The belt loop is tight to the back of the case and will accommodate only a normal belt (don't expect to get away with alternate uses of the belt loop).

There are two pockets for memory cards at the back inside the case and each could hold a SD card in a case measuring 1-3/8 inch square (a tight fit to the height of an SD card, but generous to its width). The fabric for these pockets is thick and soft -- should provide good protection to the screen on the back of the camera while standing up to fingers extracting the memory card. The pocket is also just large enough to hold a spare battery (the Canon NB-SL), so you can carry a spare battery and a spare SD card (or two spare batteries in circumstances where I expect to use lots of battery capacity).

The one-star deduction is that there is a significant gap (1/4 inch) between the sides of the flap and the top edge of each side. These gaps allow debris and other small objects to wind up inside the case. A broader flap at the top would likely have avoided this problem.

Overall, I am happy with the purchase. For my criteria, it was significantly better than the alternatives I looked at. Those criteria were: significantly increased protection over plastic/fabric bag, modest increase in thickness (the most constrained dimension), easy/fast access (zippered cases tend to be slow and awkward for me).

Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle All Purpose Surface Cleaner With The Grease Fighting Power Of Dawn 30 Fluid Ounce
Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle All Purpose Surface Cleaner With The Grease Fighting Power Of Dawn 30 Fluid Ounce
Offered by Useful Universe
Price: $10.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Works OK, nothing special, June 19, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In using this for my typical cleaning jobs, it performed about the same: nothing that was better/worse than normal variability between sessions. Recognize that is doesn't advertise itself to have superior cleaning capabilities, only being more concentrated compared to its siblings within the same brand. Basically you are paying to save storage or carrying space.

It is advertised as a "liquid gel" but its viscosity falls short of what I think of as a gel. However, it is thick enough so that it is perfectly usable in situations where you want a gel instead of a liquid.

The cap seemed to work as advertised.

-- Douglas B. Moran

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