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JCC "Tech Maven" RSS Feed (New York, NY United States)
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Giro Nine Snow Helmet - Men's
Giro Nine Snow Helmet - Men's
Price: $62.47 - $109.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice helmet, great value!, February 25, 2015
I own the large size in black. First of all, the Nine is the 2015 model vs the Nine.10, which are 2014. So be sure to get the newer one if you're paying the same price!

These helmets are fantastic. They're light weight and keeps your head and ears warm. They also fit snugly with the in form fit system which has a little dial on the back of the head that allows you to cinch the inside straps to your head. The inside padding and straps are very comfortable and soft.

One thing I've noticed is that some of the more expensive Giro models use softs shell construction rather than in mold construction. Soft shells are more durable but also adds a lot of weight. It makes the helmets too heavy, in my opinion. I wouldn't get them especially when they're also more expensive.

These seem to offer the most value. They're light weight, feature rich, comfortable, and priced reasonably.


Dragon APX2 Goggles Jamie Lynn/Blue Steel And Yellow/ Blue Ionized Lens Mens
Dragon APX2 Goggles Jamie Lynn/Blue Steel And Yellow/ Blue Ionized Lens Mens
Offered by Smooth Shop
Price: $219.95
4 used & new from $216.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good start but can be improved., February 25, 2015
I own the Jamie Lynn version. What Dragon has done was to make a pair of goggles that makes it immensely easy to swap out the lenses. Just slide a couple of switches (one on each side of the lens) and release the latch that holds the lens in place, put the new one in, and slide the switches again to close the latch. That's it! It's so simple and can be done in literally 4 seconds. All goggles should be this simple and secure!

Other positive attributes are that it comes with a free second yellow lens for low light conditions. Another great accessory is the rigid storage case that comes with this kit as well as a white cotton storage cloth. The black rigid case should protect the googles when you have it in your backpack etc. The white storage cloth has a divider that separates your goggles from the spare lens which is great.

Overall, the fit is fantastic. Both of the lens have a yellowish tint when looking through them. The goggles also have rigid vents on top and bottom unlike other manufacturers that use just foam. Foam is easily torn or disintegrates after time. These plastic vents will last.

Here's where I think it falls short. First, the Jamie Lynn version has a white frame. That's fine on the outside, but the inside is also white which makes it distracting when you wear them as you notice them too easily. They don't "disappear" as when you have a black interior. Second, the peripherals are not as wide as for example, the Oakley Canopy. Lastly, and this is a big one which Dragon may not be able to easily overcome, the lens itself is not as good as the new Oakley Prizms. The Prizms are out of this world in terms of showing you contrast in the snow. I've never seen anything like it.

If Dragon can fix those shortfalls, I think they will have the best goggles on the market.


Sigg Replacement Gaskets for Sigg Kids Water Bottles
Sigg Replacement Gaskets for Sigg Kids Water Bottles
Offered by Some2Buy Inc
Price: $7.11
4 used & new from $3.95

5.0 out of 5 stars They're especially great for the older bottles which, January 29, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These are standard replacement rubber gadgets for Sigg bottles. Even though it says that they're for kids water bottles, they fit regular sized ones as well. They're especially great for the older bottles which, if you've had them for many years like me, have rubber gadgets that have started to harden.

I just wish that the shipping didn't cost as much as the gadgets themselves.


Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Graphite
Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Graphite
Price: $49.95
3 used & new from $49.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but could have been designed better., June 8, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was looking forward to using Pencil after ordering it. I`ve been using 53's other product, Paper, ever since it was introduced as an app many years ago. I must admit that the product's packaging as well as the machining of the device itself is exquisite.

However, I think 53 made a mistake in the way they designed the pencil due to their criteria of embedding a USB battery charging connector within the pencil itself. This decision means that the overall form factor would need to be based on that restriction.

I think the pencil is too big as a stylus. It could have been designed to be much smaller and lighter. There are other ways of designing a charging connector that would have allowed for a much smaller form factor.

What's most unfortunate is that by letting the USB charging connector ultimately dictate the size of the pencil, they made the sensing tip too big for any delicate work. For example, when I try to draw a thin line across the page, it's difficult to judge where that fine line will end up exactly on the page. It becomes almost impossible if you have to continue that line further down the page unless you magnify the area. What they should have done was to design a thin pen and an even thinner sensor point so that users can match the tip to what's actually drawn on the page. I would rather have a thin pen that could draw a thick line on screen than the thick pen that draws a thin line.

The weight of the pencil is okay but I would have liked a lighter one. The pencil lasts quite a few hours although I haven't been able to do a scientific test to see just how many from beginning to end. The pencil does have a bit of a delay between when you draw or write something until it's registered onscreen. I'm not sure if that can be improved but it's more disconcerting when writing something than drawing something. The eraser on the top of the pencil works great as advertised.

Overall, I think this is a decent first effort by the team at 53. It's a good companion to have with the Paper app, although it's a little pricy. Let's hope that the next version would remove some of the constraints I pointed out above.


Vornado VFAN Vintage Whole Room Air Circulator, Green
Vornado VFAN Vintage Whole Room Air Circulator, Green
Price: $109.83
10 used & new from $99.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Airflow, Great Fan, April 19, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is no ordinary fan. I recommend this fan to anyone who recognizes that in order to get quality, you have to pay for quality. This product will not disappoint. It functions on three speed levels, all quietly, and can be adjusted so that airflow can be moved manually 180 degrees. This is not an oscillating fan, but that is not detrimental to the great design of this product. It is quiet and safe. All moving parts are enclosed in this retro-looking, metal fan. The paint color is very attractive – muted green with brass-looking vent. What makes this fan different from any I have owned before is that it ventilates a room. It is advertised as a “whole room air circulator”, which is true. As a bonus, the product comes with a 5-year warranty. I’ve used small, plastic oscillating fans before, as well as larger fans, but none has had the effectiveness of this fan, which functions at a higher level consistent with its value. My only negative criticism of this product is that I would like the cord to be a little longer – it is 66”. Do not let this deter you, do what I do and switch outlets. I look forward to using this fan this summer to supplement our A/C unit and feel confident it will cool our sunny room faster than the air conditioning unit alone. Great fan.


Clarks Men's Originals Wallabee Run Oxford,Tuape,9 M US
Clarks Men's Originals Wallabee Run Oxford,Tuape,9 M US
Offered by What's Hot
Price: $89.99
2 used & new from $89.98

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most comfortable shoes, April 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These have some of the softest soles around for a casual shoe. They're equivalent to the Nike Free in terms of comfort. The toe box is also wide like the Nike Free. This was perfect for someone like me who usually likes to wear Nike Free but those runners are inappropriate for some situations where a real pair of shoes must be worn. Please note that they run a bit big. I usually wear size 9.5 in dress shoes and I had to go down to a 9 in these. I wear 10.5 in Nike Free just for comparison.

As far as getting it dirty? Just do as I do and go buy a can of the silicon waterproofing shoe spays and give it a good spray BEFORE your first use and water and dirt will roll off of these like buttta! It has kept mine looking nice and new for ages.

These are cheaper than Nike Frees and I'll definitely be buying more...

Update:
Ok, and this is important, after wearing these shoes for some time I discovered that even though you can fit into a smaller shoe, you should instead buy the exact size that you wear. In my original review above I sized down by a half to a 9 when my actual measured size is 9.5. Although the smaller one fits me just right leaving a little headroom in the front of my toes, I discovered that overtime, the way the shoes rolls when you push off with your feet, it will push your big toes towards your other toes so that it becomes sore after 15 minutes of walking. Even though the larger size feels like there's too much room in the front of your toes, it actually works as intended to keep your toes from getting squashed when you push off. So, stick to your actual size.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 4, 2014 3:02 PM PDT


T-fal P2510737 Stainless Steel Dishwasher Safe PFOA Free Pressure Cooker Cookware, 6.3-Quart, Silver
T-fal P2510737 Stainless Steel Dishwasher Safe PFOA Free Pressure Cooker Cookware, 6.3-Quart, Silver
Price: $71.99
25 used & new from $55.50

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value, February 16, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you have cooked with a pressure cooker before, as I have, you will find this T-Fal pressure cooker to be easy to use. If you have not used one before, do not be intimidated by the product and give it a try. In either case, be smart and read the instruction booklet before you use this cooker, including the first time trial with only water in the pot. T-Fal includes clear instructions with each part labeled A, B, C, etc. I like the clearly marked orange ring around the valve on the lid, enabling you to choose two pressure levels and to match the dot for steam release—easy. The pressure cooker is low and wide, but sufficient for a meal for four people and the steamer basket is a generous size proportionate with the diameter of the cooker. When you release the pressure, two forceful streams of steam exit the lid, as it is designed to do, and it is noisy for a good 30 seconds, but weakens gradually in a minute or more. One not terribly obvious but important feature is the pressure dot in the black handle, which pops up on full pressure as red, and sinks when pressure is released back to black. As for cooking quality, I was very pleased with the end result of the food I cooked, which included meat (beef) in the bottom of the pot, and potatoes and carrots in the basket.

I own a Kuhn Rikon Duromatic pressure cooker that I have had for 11 years. It is about a quart larger, deeper, and less wide than the T-Fal, and it is also more than twice the retail cost of the T-Fal, largely due to the heavy stainless steel design. I like the lighter weight of the T-Fal, and I think that anyone with strength or grip issues will like it better as well. The Kuhn Rikon is easy to clean and maintain, and the T-Fal is a little more work what with the need to clean out the inside valve from time to time, which must be done to ensure safety and steam release. However, the important factor is the quality of the cooking, and I see no difference thus far in the much more expensive Kuhn Rikon over this T-Fal.

For those who are still skeptical, I have never had a negative incident with a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers are wonderful for saving time. A recipe that requires simmering beef for three hours can be reduced to 45 to 50 minutes in a pressure cooker. Risotto cooks beautifully inside a pressure cooker, eliminating the need (and time) to stand over a hot stove stirring rice (think summer). Chicken will cook in half the time required and come out tender. A busy, time-constrained professional needs a break in the kitchen from time-to-time and this pressure cooker provides that break. You can put the meal in it and walk away to do other things. For the price Amazon is asking for this pressure cooker, you won’t be sorry you made the purchase. It’s worth your time.


Philips Norelco CC5059/60 Kids Hair Clipper
Philips Norelco CC5059/60 Kids Hair Clipper
Price: $34.99
16 used & new from $32.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept, could be a bit better, February 11, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This Norelco kids trimmer is light and less noisy than the traditional trimmer. I applaud Norelco for thinking up such a product but why target just kids?

The key differentiator between a regular trimmer and this model seems to be weight, sound level, and attachments.

It succeeds in the first two but somewhat fails in the last. The attachment comb could have been better designed. It’s bulky and a bit cumbersome to remove and attach. It’s almost as if they were designing a kids product and not a tool to be used by adults on kids. There’s a big difference.

The length comb should have also been designed to be small and nimble. Instead, it’s a big, plastic slide that’s not so easy to adjust and a real pain to clean. I understand that Norelco wanted to make it easy to dial up and down the length of the comb but the way it’s designed needs work.

As far as the sound level is concerned, it’s about half the noise of traditional plug in trimmers. It still puts out quite a bit of noise so don’t think they created a miracle. It’s far from “ultra” quiet.

Lastly, the unit looks nice but we won’t know how long it will last. It’s not watertight and the battery seems small for such a unit. It’s almost as if they repurposed one of their shavers for hair use.


Jabra SOLEMATE MAX Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Speakers - Retail Packaging - Grey
Jabra SOLEMATE MAX Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Speakers - Retail Packaging - Grey
Price: $266.66
2 used & new from $221.54

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, if not expensive for what you get, January 19, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Solemate Max is a heavy and solid piece of gear. Jabra thought of just about everything when designing a Bluetooth speaker. It has everything anyone has ever asked for: portability, weather-proof durability, decent sound, wire/wireless operation including NFC, speakerphone. The question is whether they managed to do it all well?

First, the sound quality is decent. The lows are not that earth shattering. It’s what you would expect from < 3” drivers. There’s only so much you can do as simple physics takes over. Mids and highs are clear, not tinny like some of the cheaper speakers. Overall, the sound is a 3.5 out of 5.

The paring is easy and rock solid. I haven’t experienced any dropped connection unlike a Belkin Bluetooth wireless stereo connector that I own. The Solemate will sleep requiring you to reconnect the next time your device is near it. Once your device has paired with the Solemate, your device will retain the selection on your device so you’ll only need to select the Solemate on your device the next time you want to connect. You may have to first toggle the Solemate on as it goes to sleep after it’s disconnected for a period of time.

The speakerphone is a nice feature but not entirely effective. The sounds from the speaker is fine but the receiver on the other end will have a hard time hearing the caller as the noise filtering microphone is not loud enough. You’ll have to shout or get really close to the Solemate if you want to be heard. To use the speakphone is easy, once you’re connected just dial your number on your phone and you’ll be able to select the Solemate as your choice.

You can also recharge your other devices using the built in USB connection. The battery itself doesn’t seem that large in capacity. There are no specs regarding the mAh of the battery so there’s no way to tell how much juice you have to recharge another device.

The design of the integrated cable for connecting any device by wire is ingenious. You’ll always have the cable with you as it’s tucked neatly on the bottom of the speaker. You can see it in the photo. It’s the yellow cord that’s wrapped inside the bottom cover. It has male 3.5 mm jacks on both ends.

I don’t have a NFC enabled devise so I can’t really test that function. In addition I didn’t download their app to utilize the Dolby Surround function.

Overall, it’s a decent unit that reminds me of the boom-boxes from the 80’s. It can get decent volume but don’t expect tremendous range in the low end. I think it’s a bit expensive for what it does.


Baxter of California Best Badger Shave Brush
Baxter of California Best Badger Shave Brush
Price: $55.00
2 used & new from $55.00

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than their travel brush, January 9, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Badger brushes comes with different badge hair grades.

The lowest grade is Pure Badger. It's the most common hair found on the belly of the badger which covers around 60% of a badger's body. The hair is courser than the other grades and usually has a darker hue. It's also the cheapest of the grades by a long shot.

The second grade is Best Badger. It's a finer more pliable hair from about 20-25% of the badger's body. It's longer in length and lighter in color than the Pure Badger.

Then there's the Super Badger. It's more expensive than the previous two grades but it's often highly bleached on the ends Pure Badger hair to make it resemble the highest quality, the Silvertip Badger.

The best grade is the Silvertip Badger. It's also the most expensive and rare coming from the neck of the animal. The ends are naturally white. Brushes made from Silvertip are usually hundreds of dollars. The hair is softer and fluffier which helps it hold more moisture to lather soap on the face.

This brush is a better grade than their lowest grade travel brush, which I own. That brush is not a very pleasant experience.

This best badger brush is softer and better than the travel brush due to the fact that it's a step up from the lowest grade. It certainly can't compare to my Silvertip brush but that costs multiples of this brush.

It comes in a heavy metal handle with black plastic around it. It stands about 4 ¼" tall and the head is about 2" in diameter. The handle will also fit the standard brush holder stands made for these brushes.

Although this Amazon listing states that the brush is made in Germany, I can't verify that as I don't see that anywhere on the brush or packaging. I would say that it's fairly priced for a brush of this quality.


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