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Customer Reviews: 198
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Helpful Votes: 1424




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Jamie Wilson RSS Feed (Knoxville, TN)
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Contigo SnapSeal Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug, 20-Ounce, Gunmetal
Contigo SnapSeal Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug, 20-Ounce, Gunmetal
Price: $12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Looks cool, holds temperatures, but large liquid hole puts lips at risk from hot beverages, July 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My other travel mug is a Contigo Autoseal Aria Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug, 16-Ounce. This one holds an additional 4 oz and, in my opinion, has a cooler look and design (the gun-metal color is sleek). The rubber grip around the base is a nice feature and ensures that I always have a solid grip. I like the locking push-button "autoseal" feature on the Contigo, but this one snaps open and closed easily with my index finger and once it's sealed, nothing is coming out (I've tested it with some vigorous shaking after I failed to screw the lid on all the way once). So far I've only used it with cold beverages, but it seems to hold the temperature well and I've even found unmelted ice cubes in it hours after I finished my drink.

A number of other reviewers have griped about burning their upper lips with hot beverages because of the design of the lid, but that didn't make sense to me unless people were just pursing their lips around the lip of the mug and letting hot coffee spill over their lips. So, while writing this review, I fired up the Keurig and made a mug full of steaming hot coffee and gave it a try. And burned the hell out of the inside of my upper lip--even when I knew to purposely try to avoid doing that. So yeah, I think there's a design flaw here and it appears to be that the drinking hole is round instead of a narrow slit, so too much liquid is able to come out vertically instead of allowing the same amount to come out along a wider horizontal slit. This is a big problem, in my opinion, so I'm docking it 2 stars for that alone.


Bissell 1422 The Anna Upright Cordless/Hybrid Vacuum
Bissell 1422 The Anna Upright Cordless/Hybrid Vacuum

5.0 out of 5 stars Once you go cordless, you can never go back., July 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The first time I used this I found myself stopping at certain points in my apartment because I had subconsciously become accustomed to having to stop and move the cord to another outlet at those places with other old vacuum cleaner. With the Bissell, I can go through my entire apartment without pausing or fighting with a cord that gets tangled up around the furniture. This saves a lot of time and grief. Vacuuming is no longer a dreaded chore of having to unwind the cord, find a plug, vacuum, change the outlet, wrap the cord back up and put it away. Now I can grab the vacuum, get the job done, and then put it back. This alone makes this vacuum cleaner awesome in my opinion.

I should point out that I live in an apartment with no stairs to clean and limited non-carpeted floors. I'm also an only somewhat domesticated single male with limited vacuum cleaner expertise. I don't evaluate vacuum cleaners based on weight, tilt angle, and things like that.

The Bissell is quieter than my previous vacuum cleaner and did a great job on my carpet. There's a conveniently located touch-sensitive lighted display on top, so switching between carpet, bare floors, drapes, etc. and changing between the 3 suction levels is easy. No fumbling around for oddly-placed buttons or anything like that. I can also see how much battery is left, so I won't be in for any surprises. The actual display looks slightly better than the one pictured, by the way.

The front of the vacuum cleaner is fairly thin, which allows it to slide up under furniture that other vacuum cleaners can't reach. Emptying the canister is easy. It comes off the vacuum cleaner easily, you open a bottom lid, shake the contents into a trash bag, then snap it closed and snap the canister back onto the vacuum cleaner. Simple. The filter also comes out so you can rinse it out periodically. The lid never detaches, so it's possible to end up dumping the contents all over the lid if you're not paying attention, but I don't see that as a problem.

Being able to detach the pod is a huge bonus. You just step on a foot pedal, lift it off, and carry it wherever you need it to go. I don't understand the gripes about this being "too big." It's a friggin' cordless vacuum cleaner that comes apart, not a hand vac. You're lifting the part of the device that *is* the vacuum cleaner off the base. How small do people expect it to be? I love that I can do that. It serves my purposes just fine and I don't have to buy a separate hand-held vacuum cleaner (and this holds much more than one of those could) for cleaning my furniture or even carrying out to vacuum the interior of my car. Sure, my 80-year-old grandmother might struggle with carrying this thing around but, for me, this option is a huge convenience that I'm extremely happy to have.

My only gripe, and this is a really small one, is that the handle doesn't easily slide in and out of the base. It may be that it's still very new and I haven't loosened it up yet, but it does take a little effort to get it in and out of the base. It appears to be due to friction, so repeated use may fix that, or even a little lubrication. Other than that, I really can't think of any other complaints I have with this vacuum cleaner.


Ambient Weather WR-099-AC-KIT Compact Emergency Solar Hand Crank AM/FM/WeatherBand Digital Radio, Flashlight, Cell Phone Charger, Cables and AC Adapter
Ambient Weather WR-099-AC-KIT Compact Emergency Solar Hand Crank AM/FM/WeatherBand Digital Radio, Flashlight, Cell Phone Charger, Cables and AC Adapter
Price: $34.59
2 used & new from $24.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unreliable. Features mentioned in the manual don't actually exist., July 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was really excited when this arrived. It's a little bit larger than a handheld GPS, looks great, has an LED flashlight on it, a solar panel, handcrank, can charge mobile devices, has a weather radio, and can even be attached to a backpack with the attached carabiner clip. As I flipped through the manual I saw that it has AM, FM, shortwave, and weather band. Shortwave? Whoa! That's not on the box, but it's right there in the manual under "Mode" options on page 6 where it says the mode button "switches the radio between AM, FM, SW, weather band (WB0, and weather band alert mode ALT)." Except that page 7, which explains how to tune radio bands, only says it has AM, FM, and weather band (which is what the product packaging says). So which is it? Well, I clicked through the radio bands about 20 times and there is no shortwave band. So, page 6 lies. At least it has a weather band alert mode. That's important. You want to be alerted when an emergency situation is developing, right? Apparently no one told the guy who wrote page 6 of the manual that this device doesn't do weather alerts either. If there is a way to turn them on, it's not in the manual. That's a huge fail.

Okay, so failing all of that, at least I have a weather radio. Well, the reception sucks. Bad. I spent several minutes flipping through all the weather channels and got nothing but static. Fortunately, I also have an Eton American Red Cross weather radio (that actually has a working alert function), so I took this device, sat it next to the Eton, and tuned the weather radio to the same weather channel the Eton is receiving. Nothing. The Eton was just fine. I extended the antenna, moved this radio around, and could barely make out some weather reports but it was never very clear. Totally unreliable. Maybe it would work out in the wilderness, but there's no way I'm going to rely on it for that. In all fairness, if my Eton wasn't able to get a clear weather signal, then I wouldn't blame this radio--but the Eton works just fine.

At least it can charge my phone. Well, about that... Page 7 of the manual says "The WR-099 may not support charging of Apple products, including but not limited to the iPad and iPhone due to current output limitations." What?! Where was that on the box? Another big failure.

PROS:

It has a working LED flashlight. It's not very bright. Spend your money on a $20 Dorcy 41-4200 weather resistant and virtually indestructible 140-lumen LED light that you can drop in your pocket.

It has a handcrank and a solar panel. The handcrank slips loosing into its slot, so I'm not confident it won't fall out and dangle around from time to time. By the way, peeling the protective plastic sticker that's used to protect the solar panel while boxed also pulled the protective plastic window that protects the solar panels out. I'm doubtful that's supposed to be removable. Fortunately, it snapped back in and hasn't fallen out again.

It has AM/FM radio, if that's important to you.

CONS: Virtually everything you'd buy this radio for.

So far, I'm very happy with my Eton American Red Cross Axis radio. It has a handcrank, can take AAA batteries, can be charged from a USB cable, has a weather alert option, AM/FM/WB radio, an LED light, and a flashing red light. It's not as small or portable as this Ambient Weather radio, but it does seem to be much more reliable (and I'm reluctant to think the American Red Cross puts its name on unreliable emergency products).

With all that said, this radio has a lot of positive reviews, so I'm left wondering if I just got a defective one with an error-ridden manual.


STANLEY STMT73795 Mixed Tool Set, 210-Piece
STANLEY STMT73795 Mixed Tool Set, 210-Piece
Price: $129.00
2 used & new from $129.00

5.0 out of 5 stars This plus a hammer should meet most common needs, July 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you're going to buy one tool set, buy this one--and a hammer. From what I can think of, about the only thing this is missing from this set for most common needs is a hammer. These are high quality Stanley tools that come in a solid, robust case. Even the latching mechanism is solid; not one of those cheap clasps you find on inferior tool sets. Everything in the case snaps in securely and is easy to find when you need it. There are a lot of interchangeable screw driver heads, but Stanley made things even more convenient by having 4 standard-sized screw drivers (two flathead, two Phillips head) ready to go with no more work than choosing the right one and snapping it out of the case. This is the kind of tool set that makes for a great housewarming gift for friends and family. I'm really glad I got it.


AmazonBasics 24-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper, CD, and Credit Card Shredder with Pullout Basket
AmazonBasics 24-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper, CD, and Credit Card Shredder with Pullout Basket
Price: $179.99
2 used & new from $150.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Going up to 24 sheets at a time with a longer continuous runtime has been great for burning through stacks and stacks of old pap, July 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a much-desired replacement for a smaller 8-sheet shredder I had for years. Going up to 24 sheets at a time with a longer continuous runtime has been great for burning through stacks and stacks of old paperwork. The basket has at least twice the capacity of my old shredder, which saves me a lot of time in not having to empty the thing as often. I'm pretty sure this thing can handle more than 24 sheets at a time because I've fed it entire mail order catalogs (e.g. ThinkGeek not Sears catalog) without a problem. In fact, the only jams I can recall were due to me seeing just how much I could get away with shoving in there at one time. I'm not recommending you follow my bad example. I'm just pointing out that this shredder can eat a lot of paper in a short amount of time. And it does fairly quietly.

My old shredder sat on top of the basket, which meant I had to physically lift it up and put it down somewhere else in order to empty the basket. This inevitably led to paper dust and shreds of paper ending up on the floor, which meant even more cleanup. The AmazonBasics has a removable basket that just slides out, so emptying is much less of a hassle.


DLZ
DLZ
Price: $1.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Amp!, July 9, 2014
This review is from: DLZ (MP3 Music)
This song rocks! Great energy! I can't get enough of this song.


TCP LDCT4W27K6 LED Torpedo - 25 Watt Equivalent (4W) Soft White (2700K) Dimmable Candelabra Base Light Bulb - 6 Pack
TCP LDCT4W27K6 LED Torpedo - 25 Watt Equivalent (4W) Soft White (2700K) Dimmable Candelabra Base Light Bulb - 6 Pack
Price: $39.18
4 used & new from $33.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent replacement for my incandescent bulbs, July 8, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There's not much to say. When turned on, these are indistinguishable from the incandescent bulbs I replaced with these. The light output is the same, but uses less energy. That's a win in my book!


Kernel Season's Movie Theatre Butter for Popping & Topping Popcorn, 10 Ounce Shakers (Pack of 2)
Kernel Season's Movie Theatre Butter for Popping & Topping Popcorn, 10 Ounce Shakers (Pack of 2)
Price: $17.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious!, June 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a movie theater popcorn addict. Sometimes I enjoy the popcorn more than the movie itself. I've given up on microwave popcorn that claims to have that authentic movie theater taste. I have yet to find one that actually does. This stuff, on the other hand, pretty much nails it! Sure, it's a little extra work to pop kernels on the stove, but it's well worth it. Pop the kernels in some of this, sprinkle more on the popcorn, add a little salt, and enjoy!


Learning Cocoa with Objective-C: Developing for the Mac and iOS App Stores
Learning Cocoa with Objective-C: Developing for the Mac and iOS App Stores
by Paris Buttfield-Addison
Edition: Paperback
Price: $28.51
40 used & new from $19.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent "first book" to get for learning iOS and Mac development, June 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Perhaps the first thing I should mention is that Apple has released a new programming language for Mac and iOS development called Swift. From what I understand, Swift can replace Objective-C, or work alongside Objective-C in apps beginning with iOS 8. Swift supposedly overcomes some of the frustrations of Objective-C. I mention all of this because Swift may or may not eventually render Objective-C obsolete for iOS and Mac development.

One of the most appealing things about this book is the conversational style of the authors. Programming books can be dry and bore me to tears with unnecessary complexity--and I say that as a programmer. This book is actually interesting and the authors seem to do a good job of knowing what to cover quickly and what to go into more depth on (such as the way iOS handles multitasking and background-running apps).

The book covers everything from the "getting started" beginner parts of development and the way into graphics, geocoding, push notifications, maps, motion, and much, much more. This is a great "first book" to pick up and then add additional references as needed.


Epson VS330 XGA 3LCD Projector, 2700 color lumens, 2700 white lumens (V11H555220)
Epson VS330 XGA 3LCD Projector, 2700 color lumens, 2700 white lumens (V11H555220)
Price: $399.00
5 used & new from $399.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Great versatility for whatever you need to project, wherever you need to project it, June 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Versatility is what I love about this projector. It has 6 different types of inputs (USB-A, USB-B, composite, S-video, serial, and HDMI), so it'll work with whatever type of input I need--including doing a slide show of photos I may have on a thumb drive (I even tested it with my Xbox 360, Modern Warfare 3, and a wall--you know, for science). Placement is very flexible, so I can project onto screens that aren't directly in front of the projector. A few lens adjustments and I overcome distortions caused by projecting on an angle in a matter of seconds. The remote control allows you to flip through input sources, make adjustments to the display, zoom in and out, freeze the display, and even includes an on-screen pointer (although, definitely not as nifty as a laser pointer). The projector also has a built-in speaker for those times you don't have another audio source.


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