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Customer Reviews: 473
Top Reviewer Ranking: 424
Helpful Votes: 3177




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Brian R. RSS Feed (United States)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

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Oreck XL and CC Micro Filtration Bag, 12 Bags Treated with Ultra-Fresh for Models CCPK80H, CCPK80F, CCPK8DW, PK80009, PK80009DW and CCPK8
Oreck XL and CC Micro Filtration Bag, 12 Bags Treated with Ultra-Fresh for Models CCPK80H, CCPK80F, CCPK8DW, PK80009, PK80009DW and CCPK8
Price: $11.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not as nice as original Oreck, but still fit fine. Removing them is more messy, though., December 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These aren't as nice as the genuine Oreck bags. The ones by Oreck are much more "fabric-like", are more flexible, and easier to use. These ones fit perfectly, but don't have the spots called out that you need to push on in order to snap it into place. Also, when removing, these don't have the sliding cardboard door that keeps the dust from coming back out. That's a really nice feature of the genuine Oreck ones.

Otherwise, as for in-use, they do seem fine. I changed the bag and I didn't notice any smells or anything, and we have two dogs. That usually comes to be more of a problem as the bag fills up, so I'll try to update this review down the road as that occurs.


Cardinal Laboratories Botanic Training Rewards Mini Treats Small Dogs, Bacon, 4-Ounce
Cardinal Laboratories Botanic Training Rewards Mini Treats Small Dogs, Bacon, 4-Ounce
Price: $5.49
2 used & new from $5.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect size for small dogs., December 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are a great size for training small dogs. My dogs love them. The only thing is that they are a bit dry and crumbly compared to another brand I've tried. The other brand was a bit larger and I could squish them around a small pill. Trying to squish these, they just crumble up and disintegrate.


APLWL USB 2.0 A to Micro B Cable 3FT-TPE jacket-Blue
APLWL USB 2.0 A to Micro B Cable 3FT-TPE jacket-Blue
Price: $5.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Works well for charging, December 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Fits well in all our devices and is pretty durable. Not all that flexible, but not super stiff, either.


APLWL USB 2.0 A to Micro B Cable 3FT-TPE jacket-Green
APLWL USB 2.0 A to Micro B Cable 3FT-TPE jacket-Green
Price: $5.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Works well for charging, December 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Fits well in all our devices and is pretty durable. Not all that flexible, but not super stiff, either.


Carmine's Celebrates: Classic Italian Recipes for Everyday Feasts
Carmine's Celebrates: Classic Italian Recipes for Everyday Feasts
by Glenn Rolnick
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.67
60 used & new from $17.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully presented book with a variety of recipes and complexity, December 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I like that there's a variety of recipes from simple to more complex contained in this book. I do wish that some of the pictures actually said what dish they are. For instance, I'm not sure that the cover dish is even in the book. Most of the ingredients are fairly easy to find, though some will set you back a decent amount of money.

For instance, for spagetti and meatballs, It was hard to find DOP certified canned San Marzano tomatoes in my area, though when I did, they weren't all that bad of price (about $3/can). I halved the recipe (spagetti and meatballs) so that I only needed 2 cans instead of 4. The next problem was for the meatballs, it called for ground veal. That's about $8/lb and only sold in 1lb packages (but I only needed 1/4 pound for a half recipe). It also called for Romano cheese, which was around $8/lb. I'd say this is one of the more basic receipes. So from a cost standpoint, it's a heck of a lot more expensive than a $2 can of sauce and a $3 bag of frozen meatballs, but it's not so outrageous that you spend a week's budget on one meal.

One other thing to note is that Carmine's recipes usually refer to other recipes within each other. So, the spagetti and meatballs actually has a separate recipe for the sauce, and also requires the Carmine's breadcrumbs, which is also a separate recipe found in the book. So, just be careful that you research all the ingredients you actually need. The nice thing is that many of these stock recipes do keep for a while.

The book itself is nicely laid out, and easy to find what you're looking for. The pictures are beautiful as well.


1:12 Licensed RC Hummer H2 Remote Control Car - Full Function READY TO RUN - YELLOW
1:12 Licensed RC Hummer H2 Remote Control Car - Full Function READY TO RUN - YELLOW
Offered by USA Toyz
Price: $59.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Would be ok with the right adapter and antenna, December 21, 2014
Length:: 9:54 Mins

I prepared a video review for this product, but Amazon's system is rejecting it. Hopefully I'll be able to upload it at some point.

Nicely detailed toy-grade R/C car.
Fairly low speed, typical for this class.
Ok suspension
Cool LED tail and headlights
Weird sound when turning
Large (~4') turning radius makes it hard to drive indoors
Mine was missing the right charger (replacement due to be sent by manufacturer)
Was also missing the transmitter's antenna, making the range only a few feet.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 25, 2014 10:34 AM PST


Polk Audio Omni S2 Wireless Speaker
Polk Audio Omni S2 Wireless Speaker
Price: $99.00
5 used & new from $84.16

3.0 out of 5 stars Decent speaker for the price; wifi but requires constant connection to your phone; app is crippled for iOS, December 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In a nutshell, the Omni speakers by Polk aren't quite as nice as the HEOS speakers by Denon, but they are also considerably less expensive. That said, the iOS app lags considerably behind the Android version and severely limits the speakers and the usefulness of the system as a whole. I would not recommend these for iOS users until the app is updated. This is as of Dec 2014. Also, since your phone acts as the audio source, you can only play back filetypes supported by your phone. For instance, I was able to stream FLAC files through an Android phone but not from an iPhone.

Overall, the sound quality is acceptable and similar to other speakers in this price range. Vocals are pretty good, though the low end could use some improvement. It's not that it completely lacks bass altogether, but it just doesn't get very deep or with much "boom".

The drivers are symmetrically placed, such that it disperses the sound pretty well. This also lends itself pretty well to pairing the speakers, though since it's a dispersed pattern, even with two speakers the soundstage is a bit unclear.

One MAJOR difference between HEOS is that Play-fi doesn't allow the speaker to directly connect to your music source. It must always stay connected through your phone. With HEOS, I can set Pandora to play and then I could completely turn off my phone. With Omni, if my phone gets turned off or even out of the wifi zone as I walk around the house, the music buffer runs out and gets disconnected.

The App and wifi features:
The app is ok. It's basically the same app as other Play-fi speaker manufacturers, just rebranded with the Polk logo and color scheme. It's fairly easy to use, though sometimes can be confusing depending on what you're doing. The hardest thing to understand, and which isn't explained all that clearly is the difference between groups and zones of speakers. Basically, until you have 3 or more speakers, you won't need to mess with either of them two much. Also, once you set a pair of speakers as a stereo pair, they will act as a single group within a single zone.

The iOS app completely lacks the ability to create a stereo pair of speakers. It also lacks the EQ and zone features. In other words, pretty much anything you'd want to really do with a system like this, you can't do with the iOS app.

Compared to HEOS, it's much harder to select zones of speakers and play different music in each zone. There's less utility and advanced options as well.

Speaker construction:
I also received the S2 portable for review. The speakers sound very similar, and I didn't really notice too much difference between the S2 and S2 portable. The portable might have a slight bit lower volume, but nothing to really nitpick about. It is heavier due to the built in battery. The power button on mine feels like it doesn't work right. It gets stuck. I'm not sure if that's the source of another problem, but it seems that when unplugged, the speaker stays on until the battery dies, even if you're not playing music. And when plugged in, it doesn't always stay on and therefore isn't always recognized by the app. I usually have to press the button a couple times until the power light decides to come on, then I can connect to it. The S2p has an external antenna in the back, while the S2 doesn't. Also, the S2p's grille is metal and cannot be removed or changed to white.

There are no mounting options for the speakers, whereas the HEOS3's have a mounting thread on them.

Connecting to media:
It was very easy to connect to an external hard drive which is connected to my router as a DLNA device. One major note here is that the media you can actually playback depends on the device you're using. For instance, since Android supports more filetypes, it can play back more types to the speaker. So, I was able to play music in some formats from an Android phone, but not from my iPhone. Again, this system is very dependent on the device you use to stream.


Games As A Service: How Free to Play Design Can Make Better Games
Games As A Service: How Free to Play Design Can Make Better Games
by Oscar Clark
Edition: Paperback
Price: $40.91
41 used & new from $36.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Hundreds of ideas and thought points for the app-game developer, December 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I thought this was an interesting book. It is obviously geared towards app developers, specifically ones who create games, although some of the concepts could easily be applied to other types of apps. The reading is pretty easy and it's broken down into small paragraphs each framed by a heading. In other words, it's easy to pick up and put down, since it very few topics span more than a full page. I'd say this is also my biggest criticism. While the book introduces and illuminates hundreds of concepts to think about in terms of the business model of game design, you're mainly left on your own to determine how to tie it all together and to what degree.


Sterling Silver Cubic Zirconia Heart Halo Stud Earrings
Sterling Silver Cubic Zirconia Heart Halo Stud Earrings
Price: $26.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Looks just like the picture and are nice looking when worn., December 16, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These arrived and looked pretty much exactly like the picture, so I was pleased with that aspect. My daughter really likes them and wore them in a ballet performance without any problems with them falling out. They sparkle nicely and are a nice size for her ears.

I'd say the only thing to watch out for is that the bag and box they come in are pretty cheap looking and feeling. While they come in a box that looks like it would contain the velvet snap-shut box, but it doesn't. It contains a small velvet bag, which is also pretty cheap and crinkly feeling, basically it's velvet lined plastic. But, since those don't really affect how they look, I'm not holding that against them...just something to be aware of.


UBU Blender Baby Foundation Sponge
UBU Blender Baby Foundation Sponge
Price: $7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Working well for our daughter., December 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My daughter is using this for applying foundation, as these were recommended by the cosmetics woman where we bought her makeup. She said by wetting the sponge and dabbbing on the liquid foundation, it would apply a lighter amount vs. using a foundation brush.

This sponge is small in size, which is nice for a younger girl. It's dense without being too hard, and I don't think the picture really gives you a good idea of how it actually feels. Seems to be working well without lifting off the makeup or absorbing it too much.


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