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Customer Reviews: 215
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Jamie Wilson RSS Feed (Knoxville, TN)
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Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer, Lemon Lime, 12 Count
Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer, Lemon Lime, 12 Count
Offered by Harvest Moon Natural Foods
Price: $18.00
8 used & new from $17.95

1.0 out of 5 stars Can't get past the horrible taste, October 22, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the second Vega product I've tried today and, like the protein bar I tried earlier, it was disgusting. I couldn't bring myself to finish it so I could at least test its energy-boosting abilities. I have a workout in 20 minutes and the last thing I want is to be limping through it feeling sick because of my pre-workout drink. There are just too many competing products available that provide a pre-workout boost and taste decent to purposely choose something that tastes bad. I've been using N.O.-XPLODE (fruit punch) for several weeks now and it does a great job and tastes great. I've also read that it's vegan-friendly, but do your own research if that's a must-have for you. As for me, I think I'm done with Vega products.


Vega Sport Protein Bar Chcolate Mint, Box of 12 - Men's
Vega Sport Protein Bar Chcolate Mint, Box of 12 - Men's
Offered by Total Health Vitamins
Price: $32.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Has the texture of dirt, October 22, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My first unfortunate bite was a large one. It felt like I had a mouthful of mint-flavored dirt. Yes, it has the texture of dry dirt. I can't stomach half of one of these bars, much less a box of them. In all fairness, it's apparently difficult to create a protein bar that doesn't feel like eating cement mix and actually tastes good since I've had very few that have come close. It's probably even more difficult to create a vegan protein bar that has a tolerable taste and texture. Unfortunately, this is an example of what can go wrong.


Classic Brands Defend-A-Bed Premium Waterproof Mattress Protector, Queen Size
Classic Brands Defend-A-Bed Premium Waterproof Mattress Protector, Queen Size
Price: $17.99
3 used & new from $17.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works great, October 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Goes on easily, does what it's supposed to do. I gave it a quick test after first putting it on my mattress by pouring some water on it. The water just beaded up. All I had to do was shake it off. Assuming it continues to provide that kind of protection, and holds up in the wash, I see no reason not to give it a full 5 stars.


iloome Apple iPhone 6 4.7in (Onyx Black) ScreenMate Real Tempered Glass 9H Hardness Premium Screen Protector with CurveProtectTM Technology, Rounded Edges and Oleophobic Coating
iloome Apple iPhone 6 4.7in (Onyx Black) ScreenMate Real Tempered Glass 9H Hardness Premium Screen Protector with CurveProtectTM Technology, Rounded Edges and Oleophobic Coating
2 used & new from $24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very impressed with the durability!, October 21, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a great screen protector! It goes on easily and covers almost all of the glass surface of the iPhone 6. It looks great and is very responsive. Other than adding an extra layer to the iPhone's screen, once it's on, you really don't notice it when used with a case.

As far as durability goes, it's tough. I had an extra one I couldn't use (more on that later), so the best thing to do with it was to test it. I laid the protector on my desk and jabbed it with the pointy end of a pair of scissors. No shattering, no scratches. I scratched at it with the scissors. Still nothing. It took some pretty tough stabbing with the scissors to finally get it to break. Even my skeptical co-worker was impressed. It took some serious bending to finally get the thing to really shatter (and that level of bending would cause enough damage that the screen would be the least of your concerns). The protector feels like plastic, but that's because the glass is protected by two other layers (maybe more) and those layers keep the broken glass contained within the protector--and not on the floor, or worse, the face of your iPhone.

If you buy this protector, be very careful with the cases you use it with. It works great with my Spigen Slim Armor case, not so much with the Speck CandyShell case. The CandyShell popped the ScreenMate off the phone and, once off, it's very hard to get back on without getting dust and bubbles underneath.

Finally, be very careful when putting this screen protector on. Clean the phone surface thoroughly and avoid dust at all costs. After losing the first screen to the CandyShell case, I bought another. I spent several minutes cleaning the phone and got the screen on perfectly only to discover, too late, that a single white piece of fabric from the included screen cloth had gotten stuck underneath and formed a small but annoying bubble. By the time I got that out of there, enough other dust got in that the protector was ruined. So...I have to buy this protector a third time. Since it's not available for Prime shipping, I'd almost recommend buying two and sending the second one back if you get the first one on without incident.


Speck Products CandyShell Grip Case for iPhone 6 - Black/Slate Grey
Speck Products CandyShell Grip Case for iPhone 6 - Black/Slate Grey
Price: $34.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great case, but be careful with screen protectors, October 16, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a solid case sturdy case that is very form-fitting--and I mean a very snug fit. It takes some work to get the phone in there and some effort to get it back out. I unfortunately learned that this case (unlike my Spigen Slim Armor case) does not play well with the iloome ScreenMate tempered glass screen protector. As soon as I snapped the phone into the case, I watched in horror as the screen protector slowly lifted off the face of the phone from one corner and spread across the entire face. Since the screen protector won't properly adhere back to the iPhone, I'm forced to shell out another $25 to replace it--the cost of testing this case. That's not to say this case won't work with other screen protectors, including tempered glass. The reason I choose the ScreenMate over other tempered glass protectors is that this one seems to cover more of the iPhone 6's glass surface than other competing products. In retrospect, that's not as big of a deal if you have a case that's protecting the edges of the glass--which this case appears to do.

With that said, and despite my huge frustration and costly test, this is a great case. It meets military-grade drop protection standards (I didn't even know MIL-STD 810G existed) and the rubber ridges on the back of the case provide excellent grip, which helps you in the first defense against drop damage: not dropping your phone in the first place. Just be very careful when using it with a screen protector.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 21, 2014 8:22 AM PDT


The Best American Infographics 2014
The Best American Infographics 2014
by Gareth Cook
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.50
60 used & new from $9.88

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of infographics for data nerds and designers alike, October 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a data nerd who loves infographics and the creative ways that data can be presented in visual and informative ways. I was excited to receive an advanced reading copy of this book. Unfortunately, someone didn't see any problem sending a book on infographics in black and white copy. Since a lot of the infographics in the book rely on color to have any meaning, I was left to assume that they looked good and were actually useful in color. With that said, this book has a wide variety of interesting, clever, and downright cool infographics to peruse. Whether you're just interested in seeing data presented in visual form, or you're looking for inspiration for your own infographics, this is a great book to have on your bookshelf. It covers everything from demographic charts to the evolution of Justin Bieber's "look" (even that was strangely interesting).


Philips GoLITE BLU Energy Light
Philips GoLITE BLU Energy Light
Price: $99.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A touch of sunny blue sky for my office and an extra energy boost!, October 13, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I spend most of my workday in an office and, unfortunately, I don't have much of an outside view from my window or get much natural sunlight through it so I was excited to give this a try. It doesn't take up much space on my desk and has an attractive minimalistic design but, most importantly, it puts out a lot of diffused blue light--the color of a perfectly sunny blue sky. I've been using it for several weeks now and turn it on periodically throughout the day when I feel my energy level dropping. It really does seem to work. I normally hit my mid-afternoon slump around 1-2 p.m., but when I feel it coming on, I just turn this light on and the effect is really fast. It's a very bright light even on its lowest setting, so I keep it just out of my direct line of sight. I only wish I could replace the overhead lights in my office with this kind of lighting!


Jabra STEALTH Bluetooth Headset - Retail Packaging - Black
Jabra STEALTH Bluetooth Headset - Retail Packaging - Black
Price: $84.79
20 used & new from $65.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable, connects fast, sounds great!, October 6, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Jabra STEALTH replaces my Quikcell E200B V3.0 Mono Bluetooth headset, which turned out to be a big disappointment. I often keep my headset in my car and turned off until I need it--which is often when I have an incoming call. The Jabra connects very fast and I'm able to take a call almost immediately, whereas the Quikcell failed to connect properly during incoming calls and I'd often either inadvertently hang up on the caller or have to call them back because the audio wouldn't redirect to the headset (pairing with an iPhone).

The Jabra gives me voice notifications of when the device has paired and disconnected, which is great. When I'm driving, I don't want to listen for a special beep or find out it's not connected when I attempt to make or receive a call. I am a bit frustrated, though, that the STEALTH does not have volume control on the device and I have to use the phone to increase or decrease the volume. That keeps it from being a truly "hands-free" device.

Overall, though, I'm pleased with the STEALTH. There are about a half-dozen earpieces, so you're very likely to find one that fits and is comfortable to wear. The audio sounds great and I've not had any complaints from individuals I've spoken to with it. I'm an iPhone user and I like that it taps into Siri quite well (I use Siri often when I'm driving). One minor gripe I have, though, is that my iPhone often detects it as a Bluetooth speaker and likes to sometimes redirect *all* audio back to the headset when I connect it and I have to switch the audio back to the default out. Other than that, I really like it.


UP 24 by Jawbone - Bluetooth Enabled -  Medium - Retail Packaging - Onyx
UP 24 by Jawbone - Bluetooth Enabled - Medium - Retail Packaging - Onyx
Price: $107.89
141 used & new from $66.64

5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, September 29, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've had my UP 24 for about 6 months now and love it. It's comfortable and, after just a few days, wearing it became natural. Now it feels weird if I don't have it on. I really only take it off to shower or go swimming (it's splash resistant, but not water proof). The latest firmware update doubled the battery life to about 14 days.

The sleep tracking has been extremely useful for me. It allows me to see how long it took for me to fall asleep, how many times I woke up during the night, and even how long I spent in "sound" and "light" sleep. Because UP keeps a "life log," I can look back through past data and spot patterns. The smart alarms have replaced my alarm clock. Instead of having a blaring alarm shocking me out of a deep sleep, UP's smart alarms gently wake me up by vibrating the band. You can configure the band to wake you up to a set number of minutes before your desired alarm time so that UP can nudge you awake when you're in a lighter sleep. Unfortunately, there's no snooze button--but that would kind of defeat the purpose of being woken at the perfect time.

One of the most useful things about UP 24 is the app itself. Not only does it pull data from the UP 24 band, but can also tap into data from other apps such as MyFitnessPal, Fitt, RunKeeper, Strava, Automatic (yeah, the car tracker), Apple's Health Kit, and more. While it's nice to be able to collect data from other apps, it's the UP app that I find most useful since it tracks so much, keeps an ongoing life log, and provides me with useful charts and graphs. Perhaps my favorite thing about the app, though, is that it gives me daily tips based on the information it has collected about me. It'll ask me to commit to getting in bed at a certain time in order to get enough sleep that night and then remind me of that goal later that evening. It'll encourage me to increase my steps to bring my average up, or to tweak my eating a little bit. Throughout the day, the band will vibrate if I've been sitting idle too long to remind me to get up and walk a bit.

Finally, UP can tap into cool services like IFTTT.com. IFTTT (If This, Then That) is a service that ties a large number of different types of services together. For instance, when I put my tracker into sleep mode, IFTTT could trigger another app to turn off all the lights in my home. If I use Foursquare to check in at the gym, IFTTT could automatically log a workout for me in UP--or log a meal when I checkin at a restaurant.


Linksys EA3500 - Dual-Band N750 Router with Gigabit and USB (Certified Refurbished)
Linksys EA3500 - Dual-Band N750 Router with Gigabit and USB (Certified Refurbished)
Offered by Amazing Deals Online
Price: $35.00
16 used & new from $32.12

2.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish. Best suited for non-technical low-bandwidth users., September 26, 2014
I bought this router a couple of years ago for over $100, but finally got fed up with it and upgraded to the ASUS (RT-AC68U) Wireless-AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Router and immediately saw huge improvements in reliability and speeds. It turns out that my slow broadband speeds I'd been experiencing had little to do with my ISP and nearly everything to do with this rubbish router.

First off, the router administration was dumbed down when Linksys/Cisco pushed the cloud-based administration. It's ridiculous to have to log into a remote server to get access to the router sitting right on your desk. It's worse that the manufacturer spent more time making the administrator tools look pretty than actually be useful. Fortunately, you can stick with the "old" firmware by not allowing auto-updates, but expect that you won't be seeing any updates for the non-cloud firmware. You'll probably be happier with the control you have over your router, though.

Speed and reliability were my biggest issues with the EA3500. File transfers from one device to another on my local network were much slower than they should have been. Internet speeds often tanked, sometimes depending on where I was in my apartment (even though the router was centrally located). I often had to power off and power on the EA3500 in order to improve speed and reliability--which is not an acceptable solution to me.

I did run a speedtest on my network just before I switched to my new router so I could see what the difference would be between the routers. The EA3500 gave me 2.9 Mbps down and 3.49 Mbps up. I ran the test again after I connected the new router and got 29.56 Mbps down and 5.57 Mbps up. Even when I look further back on my speedtest logs, I see speeds like 0.91, 0.64, 0.21 in there. In all fairness, speeds this low weren't consistent with the EA3500, but my experience with it leads me to believe that it's not a router that's capable of handling the kind of bandwidth one can expect on the average home network these days.


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