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Customer Reviews: 803
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Helpful Votes: 5856

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MyBeesWax "A Music Fan" RSS Feed (The Heart of the Golden State)

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Cool Downz Cooling Towel, Blue, 13 x 29-Inch
Cool Downz Cooling Towel, Blue, 13 x 29-Inch
Price: $5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Works Surprisingly Well; Feels Noticeably Cooler Than A Regular Wet Towel, July 23, 2014
This review is from: Cool Downz Cooling Towel (Sports)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I first came across and read about the Downz Towel I was skeptical, thinking: Wouldn't any wet towel work just as well? Well, not quite. It turns out the Downz Cooling Towel feels noticeably cooler than a regular wet towel. I suspect the the principal through which the Downz works is nothing more than evaporative cooling except that the material is specially engineered to allow more rapid evaporation of water than a regular towel. I use it to keep cool while I do chores around the house. To use, simply wet it. It retains a lot of water but it won't drip after you gently wring out the excess water. I'm pleasantly surprised at how well it works. It's definitely made me a fan of these cooling towels.

Remington Products F7-7800XCDN Men's Interceptor Foil Shaver with Charge Stand
Remington Products F7-7800XCDN Men's Interceptor Foil Shaver with Charge Stand
Price: $70.97
41 used & new from $66.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Shaver Head Bulky And Unwieldy; Slow Shaving; Average Ergonomics, July 22, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am able to get a close shave on this Remington but it requires many passes. The speed of this shaver is a bit on the slow side for me. I'm able to complete a shave a lot faster with my Panasonic ES-LT41-K.

The speed of a electric shaver comes down to the number of micro-vibrations/cycles per minute (CPM) the shaver can deliver. The CPM isn't specified, but judging from the pitch of the vibrations, I can tell it's a lot lower than that on my Panasonic ES-LT41-K (which does 13,000 CPM).

The shaver head is also bulky and unwieldy, which makes it hard to target specific areas. On the plus side, this shaver doesn't pinch and it doesn't give me any razor burns.

The charging base is a nice touch, but the shaver has pin-type charger terminals that need to be plugged into the base, not contact-type terminals that merely needs to touch the contacts on the base. The pin-type terminals still require the use of two hands to unplug the shaver from its base.

The grip is comfortable, but it may be a little on the large side for smaller hands (ladies take note if you're getting this to shave your legs). The grip is textured plastic. I would have liked if it were rubberized. The grip may be a little slick when wet.

The product description doesn't specify whether this shaver can be used for wet shaving. I wouldn't advise it even though it's "washable." This is because the seams are not sealed and can allow water to seep into the electronic components inside. I have shorted out and ruined a shaver attempting to use it to wet shave when it wasn't designed to!

I may sound a little nitpicky, but the little niceties are a big part of what makes a superior product truly superior. This shaver is, in my opinion, just okay -- nothing spectacular. 3¾ stars (rounded to 4). Personally, I would shell out an extra 10.00 - 20.00 and swing for something nicer.

Foscam Blue Iris Professional Surveillance Software - Up to 64 Cameras, SMS/Text Message Alerts, H.264 Encoding, Supports most major IP Camera brands and CCTV Systems
Foscam Blue Iris Professional Surveillance Software - Up to 64 Cameras, SMS/Text Message Alerts, H.264 Encoding, Supports most major IP Camera brands and CCTV Systems
Offered by Foscam Digital Technologies LLC
Price: $47.99
3 used & new from $35.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Unreliable And Lacks Delay Function To Allow Time To Exit Premises, July 22, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've tried a number of motion detection software and Blue Iris is the most configurable and has the most features. However, it has a number of serious problems that make it very unreliable. My version of Blue Iris is 3.58.00. Here are the problems I've encountered with this version of Blue Iris:

(1) I have to periodically re-registered it every time it inexplicably reverts back into evaluation mode. It's happened twice just in the last 3 days. At least 2 other reviewers have the same problem.

(2) The setting to loop the alarm over a user-configurable number of times does not work. For example, I've set it to loop over a 2-second sound file 10 times, but it only plays it once. My workaround is to create and use a new wave file with an extended play time. To create the file, I used the free Audacity sound editor to "copy and paste" to 10 copies of the 2-second sound segment from the old wave file into the new wave file.

(3) The setting to delay the alert by a user-configurable number of seconds after the system is triggered does not work properly. For example, I've set the delay to 6 seconds but the alert doesn't activate until 10-12 seconds after the system is triggered. The work around is to set the delay to a shorter duration.

(4) My two Logitech Web cams don't always come on. The glitch doesn't happen very often but it definitely doesn't inspire a lot of faith in the reliability of the surveillance software. I've never had a problem with the Web cams when they are used with other software. The error message I receive is: Error: 800705aa()1019

Additionally, you can't set the motion detector to activate after a delay to give yourself time to exit the premises. My workaround is to write a batch file with the following lines:

IF "%COUNT%" == "100" GOTO EndLoop
ping localhost
GOTO StartLoop
"C:\Program Files\Blue Iris 3\blueiris.exe"

This batch file starts the Blue Iris program after roughly 5 minutes.

Blue Iris is memory intensive and a CPU hog. It uses 400 MB of memory and slows my 3.4 GHz dual core computer down to a crawl.

When Blue Iris DOES work, it does what I need it to do: when it gets triggered it (1) alerts me by email with snapshots AND a video of the intruder and (2) sounds the alarm through my computer speakers after. Blue Iris allows me to select the quality and the number of seconds of video to send. I am able to get a 5-second video down to 200 KB.(200 kilobytes, or a one-fifth of a MB (megabyte)) without compromising too much on the quality of the video. Even with the sadly meager 0.5 Mb (megabits) upload speeds of my network, I calculated it would take around 3 seconds to upload the video:

(200 kilobyte)*(1000 byte/1 kilobyte)*(8 bit/1 byte)*(1 sec/0.5 Megabit)*(1 Megabit/1 000 000 bit) = 3.2 sec

I've done tests where I've "pulled the plug" on the system 4-5 seconds after a triggering event and found that the 4-5 second duration provides sufficient time for the emails to be sent.

Blue Iris also has a number of other features like FTP, script execution, making a phone call with a telephony modem, etc. -- all of which can be configured.

Pity. Blue Iris has a lot of potential, but the problems I've mentioned above make it very unreliable. My biggest gripe with Blue Iris is that I have to re-register it with the 16-character code every couple of days. It doesn't seem to be an isolated instance as at least TWO other reviewers have the same problem. It's extremely irritating especially when I'm in a hurry to leave the premises.

I've contacted Foscam (the seller) twice the past week and haven't received a response. I've also contacted Blue Iris (the maker of the software) and I'm awaiting a response. I will update this review when I get the issue resolved.

Syba SY-KVM20051 USB Interface, 2x Ports Cable KVM Switch, Compact Design, Video up to 2048x1536 Pixels, with Wired Remote Switch
Syba SY-KVM20051 USB Interface, 2x Ports Cable KVM Switch, Compact Design, Video up to 2048x1536 Pixels, with Wired Remote Switch
Offered by CommonByte
Price: $18.50
15 used & new from $16.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy To Set Up And Works Flawlessly! Love This Thing!, July 22, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The fiasco with Windows 8 and the EOL support for XP gave me the final prod I needed to turn to Ubunto -- a popular, open source, and completely free flavor of Linux. However, I"m not quite ready to take off the training wheels just yet and need a means to quickly switch my monitor and peripherals between two computers -- one running Windows and the other running Ubunto.

Enter the Syba SY-KVM20051 Cable Switch. It works flawlessly to help me switch my monitor, keyboard, and mouse between the two computers at the touch of a remote button. SHWEEEEET!

Note that the USB cables from the switch have to be connected to the computers even if you choose to omit switching he mouse and keyboard because the switch is powered by the USB ports from the computers.

I've used the Syba KVM switch for two weeks and it hasn't failed me yet. Love it! If you're looking for a KVM switch, this is definitely the one to get.

August DTA102 Extendable Telescopic TV Antenna with 3- Segment Extendable Rod / Standard Coaxial Connector and Impedance-Signal Optimizer
August DTA102 Extendable Telescopic TV Antenna with 3- Segment Extendable Rod / Standard Coaxial Connector and Impedance-Signal Optimizer
Offered by Daffodil US
Price: $5.45

1.0 out of 5 stars Pathetic: Did Not Pick Up Any Channels, July 22, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got duped into buying this antenna after reading the positive reviews. (After I looked over the profiles of the reviewers who had left 4- or 5-star reviews, I strongly suspect that most of these reviewers are shills -- You win this round.)

This antenna is worse than the one that came with my Avermedia TV. The Avermedia antenna managed to pick up 20 channels. This one picked up a grand total of ZERO channels -- and I live in a metropolitan area. I suggest you pick up a Mohu Leaf instead. The Mohu a bit spendy but it's rated 4 stars by over 7000 reviewers and recommended by a number of trusty reviewers.

"If it's too good to be true, it probably is."

*sigh* I never learn.

Remington Products Xr1350 Hyper Series Rotary Shaver
Remington Products Xr1350 Hyper Series Rotary Shaver
Price: $69.97
3 used & new from $69.97

2.0 out of 5 stars Good For Short Stubble; Pinches Longer Stubble; Not For Acne Prone Or Uneven Skin, July 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I did not like this shaver at all. I can feel it pinching when I'm shaving longer stubble. The shave isn't very close at all. I also get tufts of stubble around acne and other uneven areas of my face. I dare not go over these areas too many times because I received a cut over an acne the first time I used the shaver. My face also feels raw after shaving.

I do not have these problems with the foil-type Panasonic shaver that I've used for the last 2 years. I cannot recommend this shaver, especially if you have acne prone or uneven skin.

AVERMEDIA H837 AVerTV Volar Hybrid Q HDTV & FM Radio - Black
AVERMEDIA H837 AVerTV Volar Hybrid Q HDTV & FM Radio - Black
Offered by Platinum Micro, Inc.
Price: $46.85
39 used & new from $43.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Product Description INCORRECT: Cannot Record One Channel And Watch Another Channel At The Same Timel; Software Is A Serious POS, July 21, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had predicated my decision to buy this TV tuner on the product description, which clearly states "Watch and Record two channels at the same time." In actuality, you CANNOT record one channel and watch another. If you try to change the channel you're currently recording, a message will pop up saying. "Do you want to stop recording and switch channel?"

I have verified that the model I received IS in fact the AVERMEDIA H837, so it's not as if I had received the wrong model of the product. So, do take note: the product description is INCORRECT; you can only watch the channel you're currently recording. If you plan on watching one channel while recording another, keep looking. The first spotlighted review on the product page will corroborate this error. I'm surprised most of the other reviews omit mentioning this. Grrrr...

I'm using the unit on the version of XP that doesn't come with Windows Media Center, so I'm stuck with the included software. Before I get any flak -- yeah, yeah, I know it's an obsolete OS, and I'm in the process of moving my data over to another hard drive with Windows 7 installed. Reportedly, WMC works very well with this unit. Once I've had a chance to use the product with Windows Media Center on Windows 7, I'll update this review.

The included software is riddled with problems, the most serious of which is the BSOD. For the uninitiated, BSOD occurs when Windows crashes and the computer needs to be rebooted -- you lose all of your unsaved changes in all of your programs. The Avermedia software is infuriatingly sluggish . I'm using a 3.4 GHz dual core computer,which well exceeds the minimum specifications. The user interface is unbelievably bad. You can't preset channels and the navigation is laborious and confusing. Timeshift doesn't work, period. When I try to activate timeshift, the program freezes EVERY single time, no matter what channel I'm on. The included software is a joke!

Is there any redeeming quality to this product? Well, the included antenna is *kind of* descent. It's able to pull in 20 channels where I live (a metropolitan area), although most of the channels are rather spotty (I get anywhere from 30% to 90% signal strength). At least I consistently get 100% signal strength on two channels. I plan on upgrading the antenna to the Mohu Leaf 50 Indoor HDTV Antenna, which has a lot of positive reviews.

This product did not deliver what's been advertised. My beef is not so much with the product listing as with the software. Errors do occur in product listings, and I can overlook that. But I have a hard time getting over how appallingly bad the software is in all respects -- from the UI to the functionality. Forethought in the design of the UI is patently absent, and it seems the software has been rolled out without having undergone even cursory testing. Manufacturers need to know that it's inexcusable when any part of their product fails to deliver -- hence the low 2-star rating on this product.

I will be testing this product on Windows Media Center and reporting back.

ZAQ Mini II Litemist Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser, White - (Battery or Micro Adapter Powered - not Included)
ZAQ Mini II Litemist Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser, White - (Battery or Micro Adapter Powered - not Included)
Offered by Voltage Converter Store
Price: $19.99
3 used & new from $19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slowly Rising Wisps Of Diffused Essential Oil And Multi-Colored Light Show Is Enthralling But Reservoir A Little Too Small, July 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have insomnia. This is the latest remedy I've incorporated in my arsenal of sleep aids, which includes Neuro Sleep and a Water Fountain. It's very easy to use. I simply add water and a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil to the reservoir, plug it in to the power outlet, and push a button on the unit. The soothing smell of the diffused lavender oil from this unit and the sound of rushing water from my fountain help lull me to sleep.

My main complaint about this unit is that the capacity of the water and essential oil reservoir (20 ml) is a little too small. It will run for approximately 3 hours only (it automatically shuts off when the water runs out). Granted, this is a "travel unit," but I would have liked if the unit ran for at least 6-8 hours -- the duration of my sleep.

This diffuser also doesn't come with a power adapter or cable. However, that's not a problem for me as I have spare power adapters and cables lying around. This unit can be powered by (1) a MicroUSB Connector and a USB Power Adapter or (2) 3 AA batteries. It can also be powered by the USB port on a laptop or desktop.

The light show on this little unit is quite spectacular, and the wisps of diffused water and essential oil emanating from its top definitely add to the spectacle. The light can be turned off by pressing the same button used to turn on the unit. The button cycles through a few functions: (1) multi-colored light transition (2) colored light (press the button at the precise moment the light transitions to the color that you like) (3) no light (4) unit off. I'm accustomed to sleeping in a very dark room, so I turn off the light at bedtime.

All in all, this isn't a bad unit. Just be aware that this unit will run for approximately 3 hours only and and that it doesn't come with a power adapter and cables.

Case Logic DSS-101 Luminosity CSC/DSLR Sling (Black)
Case Logic DSS-101 Luminosity CSC/DSLR Sling (Black)
Price: $79.99
3 used & new from $79.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Allows Quick And Easy Access To Your DSLR But Won't Hold A Bigger Telephoto Lens And Sloppy Tripod Strap, July 18, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
For the most part, this camera bag is well designed and well thought out. It's not only compact but its ergonomics is such that it will allow you very quick and easy access to your camera. This camera bag definitely has a few very nifty features that I love. I do, however, have a couple of complaints:

1) The compartments can't be configured to hold a larger lens. For example, it won't hold my Canon EF 100-400mm f/5.6 lens (even with the lens hood off). This camera bag may not be well suited for bird and wildlife photographers and portrait photographers who use a bigger portrait lens such as the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8. Still, the bag is very practical for landscape photography -- and that's what I'll be using this bag primarily for.

2) Tripods (save for the ultra compact and lightweight tripods like this Slik Sprint Mini II Tripod) cannot be securely strapped onto the side. The paltry single tripod strap on the side of the camera bag gives larger tripods plenty of wiggle room and that's definitely not something you want while you're on the go.

In all other respects, I'd have to say Case Logic has done an incredible job in making this camera bag very, very user friendly:

= Ergonomics
The camera bag has strategically placed handle bars that allow you to steady the camera bag with one hand while the other hand is able to quickly zip or unzip a compartment. The operation of the zippers to all compartments is very, very smooth. All zippers have these very distinctive zipper pulls that make reaching for a zipper to zip or unzip a compartment BY FEEL uncannily quick and effortless.

= Compactness
The camera bag measures 9" x 6" x 14" (L x W x H). Its compact size is ideal for the photography who doesn't want to be bogged down by clunky and unwieldy camera equipment while on the go. Wildlife and landscape photographers and photographers who want to travel light will appreciate the mobility this camera bag affords them over traditional camera bags.

= Protectiveness
The camera bag is well-padded all around to protect your camera and lenses from some bumps, or even a short drop.

= Compartments
Now, let talk compartments:

- Main (Side) Compartment
The main compartment will hold a full size DSLR (e.g. Canon 5D Mark III) with a larger walk-around lens (e.g. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8) plus one or two smaller lenses.

- Top Compartment
The top compartment will hold batteries, cleaning implements (lens pen, lens blowers, microfiber cloth, etc), and a few other odds and ends. Within the this compartment is a zippered compartment for your filters and memory cards,

- Back Compartment
The back compartment is big enough for a good-sized tablet (possibly a smaller notebook). It measures 8" x 11".

- Tripod Compartment
The tripod strap will securely hold an ultra compact and lightweight tripod.

= Rainfly
The camera bag comes with a rainfly stowed on the bottom of the unit will keep your camera equipment dry in the event of rain.

As an avid hiker and photographer, I will be using this camera bag for taking my equipment with me while I'm on shorter (~10-mile or less) hikes. I had never been a fan of the single should sling camera bags, but after using this Case Logic bag, I have become a convert!

The Verdict: If you're looking for a compact camera bag that will hold a bigger camera lens, this camera bag will unfortunately not fit the bill. However, if you have no need to bring along a bigger camera lens and you use an ultra compact tripod, I think you'll be very happy with this camera bag.

TCP RLBR3010W27KD2 LED BR30 - 65 Watt Equivalent (10W) Soft White (2700K) Dimmable Energy Star Flood Light Bulb - 2 Pack
TCP RLBR3010W27KD2 LED BR30 - 65 Watt Equivalent (10W) Soft White (2700K) Dimmable Energy Star Flood Light Bulb - 2 Pack
Price: $23.98
2 used & new from $21.63

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bright But Dimming Isn't Very Smooth, July 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I find the 65 Watt rating on these light bulbs right on the mark. They are BRIGHT, and unlike incandescent, CFL, halogen, and other types of light bulbs, these TCP light bulbs don't get hot -- merely warm -- when they're turned on for long periods. That is a sure sign that these light bulbs are very energy efficient as most of the energy is converted to light and not dissipated as heat. Replacing your regular light bulbs with these will definitely help lower your energy bills.

These light bulbs are dimmable. They can be used with a regular dimmer. However, they don't dim down to a soft amber glow like traditional incandescent light bulbs. The color temperature remains at 2700K even when dimmed all the way down. Additionally, the dimming isn't very gradual; it occurs in very noticeably discrete levels of brightness.

Note that these are BR30-styled flood lights. They are bigger than regular light bulbs (a bit longer and wider) and are best suited for use in recessed light fixtures on the ceiling. If you plan on using them on lamps, do note that because of their longer profile, these light bulbs will only work well in lamps with longer lamp shades.

The dimming is a bit of a letdown, but in all other respects, these light bulbs definitely deliver. They are bright and energy-saving. If you don't plan on using these with a dimmer, I'd HIGHLY recommend them.

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