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Customer Reviews: 443
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Sreeram Ramakrishnan RSS Feed (Lynnfield, MA)
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Contigo AUTOSEAL Pitcher Set with Infuser Stick and Ice Core, 72-Ounce
Contigo AUTOSEAL Pitcher Set with Infuser Stick and Ice Core, 72-Ounce
Price: $24.28
8 used & new from $20.43

4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and practical, July 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This Taiwan-made well-constructed pitcher has an appealing color and styling. Contigo is a brand that has become known for the durability and styling of the products, though they can seem pricier than other options. This pitcher has unique "autoseal" lid that is easy to operate and very effective in preventing any spills. In fact, the seal is so effective it can be annoying to take the lids off for cleaning - this is probably the only minor complaint - getting all the parts out for cleaning may not be easy for everyone. The infuser stick/ice core are very functional and easy to interchange as needed.


Bissell 1161 Hard Floor Expert Deluxe Canister Vacuum
Bissell 1161 Hard Floor Expert Deluxe Canister Vacuum
Price: $129.99
2 used & new from $129.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Overall a good value for small areas, July 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The fairly light-weight vac does an excellent job in picking up dust on hard floors - but the canister is not sufficient for a large home; fills up fairly quickly and the constant need to empty it makes cleaning floors a little inconvenient than it needs to be. The power switches on the body and the handle, the stylish color/design, sturdy construction, easy-to-store size and good performance makes this an excellent choice. Other than the canister size and the relatively short cord, there isn't a major design flaw.


Victorinox Swiss Army Prep 'N' Chef's Set
Victorinox Swiss Army Prep 'N' Chef's Set
Price: $67.57

3.0 out of 5 stars OK value, not the most throught-through set, July 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Swiss made knives from an enduring brand look well-constructed and sturdy. The knives are well fused with their handles (no rivets/screws to worry about). There are a few issues, though - for one, the butcher knife has no place in the block and one needs to find a safe way to store it (obviously, it is very sharp; and with very little leverage, it slices through large watermelons easily). Secondly, the handle colors don't go well together or with the cheap-looking block. Thirdly, the pricing of the set seems not well-thought through - at this time, it is cheaper to get buy the knives separately. While these are by itself a minor issue, put together, it diminished the overall value of the set and prevents a hearty endorsement. Time will tell if the set is consistent with the Victorinox brand's endurance.


How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World
How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World
by Steven Johnson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.78

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long-zoom approach leading to intriguing hypotheses, July 6, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In Where Good Ideas Come From Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover 1st (first) edition Text Only, Johnson masterfully weaved history, science and interesting narratives to provide a thought-provoking look at innovation. Fans of that approach will not be disappointed with the same skillset displayed in this book either. Taking a relatively unique view of key innovations that has shaped our lives, Johnson attempts to encourage thinking in broader contexts and hypothesizes several connections in completely unrelated fields. That exposition of "humming bird" effect (as the author calls it) is laudable, but some of the conclusions come off as highly unlikely and Johnson doesn't even pretend the need for more evidence for such theorized connections. For example, in a chapter on "Cold", he makes a sweeping claim that the largest mass migration to today's cities is triggered by a home appliance - air conditioning; later he makes a rather tenuous connection between the rise of Hitler (and later Martin Luther King) and inventions related to amplification/broadcast/vacuum tubes, etc. There is an inherent assumption of linearity in some of the claims, and even a stronger assumption on causality - dismissing correlations. To be fair, Johnson does admit that the long-zoom approach is not without limitations; he lists a few significant limitations in the preface, but doesn't seem to be keen on addressing them head-on in his narration.

Nevertheless, the historical anecdotes, well-edited narratives, and mostly intriguing attempts at discerning a connection between unrelated (as far as conventional wisdom goes) events/topics makes for a very interesting read and provides many opportunities to rethink our understanding of history and how various events/persons/trends shaped it. In the end, the author is mostly imploring to "get a little lost" if you want to develop a intuitive perception of hidden things (quoting Ada) and positions that as a stark alternative to a determined, focused approach within confines of tradition that can lead to slight improvements. Johnson manages to seed that thought in a reader's mind...but may have fallen shot to give it everything (evidence & generalizable precepts) it will need to germinate.


Wilson Jones Heavy Duty Round Ring View Binder with Extra Durable Hinge, 1.5 Inch, White, 4 Pack (W70363-34WAPP)
Wilson Jones Heavy Duty Round Ring View Binder with Extra Durable Hinge, 1.5 Inch, White, 4 Pack (W70363-34WAPP)
Price: $21.33

3.0 out of 5 stars More suited for gentle use and archiving, July 5, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If this is "heavy duty", you probably want to avoid any other category the brand may offer; the rings and the hinges do look sturdy (unsure why the guarantee is only one year for something that is advertised to last 10X longer). The covers do not inspire confidence to handle 350 sheets as advertised. The inside pockets may be able to handle 5-7 sheets without crumbling them. It would've been great if the set came with the inserts for the front hinge to help with organization. Overall, a decent set but may be more suited for storage/gentle use than regular use such as daily school work.


Holmes HSF1613A-NM Misting Fan
Holmes HSF1613A-NM Misting Fan
Price: $89.99
5 used & new from $77.79

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK performance, not sturdy construction, July 4, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
For this price-point, one would have expected a sturdier base and more importantly the grill frame for the fan. It feels very cheap and one can only hope that it will last a few seasons. The assembly is very straight-forward; easy to connect to a garden hose (works fine in "dry" mode as well). It may have to do with this particular unit - one of the nozzles is temperamental - it mists in random times and decides to go to sleep more often than not. The grounded GFCI plug makes this a safe option (obviously, ensure you have an appropriate outlet and easy access to connecting a garden hose to prevent kids from tripping over). The cheap-looking construction and the inconsistent nozzle performance makes it difficult an enthusiastic recommendation. Comparable units from Frontgate and NewAir should be on a potential buyer's list. Some of the newer models come with remote control and 18" blades (expect to pay about 50$ more).


Vidal Sassoon Pro Series 1 Inch Touch Control Digital Straightener
Vidal Sassoon Pro Series 1 Inch Touch Control Digital Straightener
Price: $25.00
8 used & new from $25.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing extraordinary...., July 4, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There are a few design features that make this straightener a good choice - long cord, swivel base, slightly unique interface to control temperature settings, stylish looks, quick heating, auto-shutoff. However, the results were not consistent for the two experimenters in the house... Overall, an OK choice, but hard to definitively assess/predict its long-term performance. (will update after 6-12 months)


WordPerfect Office X7 Home and Student
WordPerfect Office X7 Home and Student
Price: $68.09
24 used & new from $59.95

4.0 out of 5 stars OK choice, but no contender for Office or even LibreOffice/OpenOffice, June 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A sturdy word processor/spreadsheet/presentation software is a must for home/students alike. Apart from database program (equivalent to Access), this suite aims to provide all three essential components. The word processor is fairly rich with features and could meet the needs for most. Saving the file in Word format works mostly ok, though very often some of the formatting gets lost when you try to reopen the file in Word. If you plan to send files to others in a different format, you need to factor in this risk (perhaps better to change to pdf, verify the format, and then send). The spreadsheet, much improved from X5, may still not match Excel in all the features, but is still a strong contender. Overall, for the price and 3 licenses, this is a good alternative, though entire free options with no licensing needs may also fit the needs for most home/student purposes.


DEWALT DW317SA Corded Jig Saw and Sheet Sander Combo Kit
DEWALT DW317SA Corded Jig Saw and Sheet Sander Combo Kit
Price: $119.00
2 used & new from $119.00

5.0 out of 5 stars great combo kit, June 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This set comes with high-quality products that are noticeably heavier and sturdier than comparable brands. An excellent addition to my Dewalt three-piece combo that included a drill/impact hammer. I am a light user of power tools, but when I need them, I want them to be intuitive to use, easy to clean up and store, and dependable. Dewalt products always meet those attributes. At the current price point, this is an excellent value. The corded nature of the tools may give some pause for those looking for more versatlity, but given the quality and dependability of the brand, one should be able to make that compromise. With the help of a few instruction videos on popular handyman and video sharing sites, one can easily find ways to increase knowledge and use of these tools.


Dyson DC59 Motorhead Cordless Vacuum
Dyson DC59 Motorhead Cordless Vacuum
Offered by Electronic Express
Price: Click here to see our price
9 used & new from $485.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent product; for the price - a few issues could've been ironed out..., June 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The designers clearly emphasized lightness and maneuverability as the primary objectives - and it clearly shows. This lightweight, stylish colored vac does have a few minor irritants, considering the price point. The dust bin is on the smaller side and will require constant emptying; since the motor is close to where you are holding, the loudness of the vac is more apparent. The attachments cannot be stored with the unit, each needs to be carried around separately. The battery life of 20 min or so is decent enough, but I end up having to depend on a regular vac to finish my cleaning. It is very powerful in cleaning up dust/hair, but often times struggles to pick a single dead ant, for example. Performance in carpet and hard floor is excellent and consistent. Overall, a great vac but for this price point, some may get annoyed at minor issues such as those listed above. The suction power, however, cannot be beat.


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