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VINE VOICE

3.0 out of 5 starsHas potential

August 5, 2015

Color: BlackPackage Type: Standard PackagingVine Customer Review of Free Product( What’s this? )

I was quite excited to receive these. I have been an endurance athlete for about 10 years now, and I am always looking for new technology. I think these might work well for a certain segment of that population. They’re really overkill for anyone who just casually runs, hikes, or even rides just for fun.

First of all, I initially had some trouble getting the uplink to connect to the sunglasses. So I called Tech support. The first man I talked to told me to download Firefox, or maybe Google Chrome, and try again. So I did that and still no luck. Then he asked me a few questions. I told him I had windows 8. “Oh, it’s not compatible with Windows 8. ” Really? I asked when it might be compatible. “I don’t know. I’m not on the software development team–I’m tech support.” Yes, but not very good tech support. None of this is true, by the way. It works just fine with Windows 8 and you don’t have to download Chrome or Firefox, which I eventually learned after a second tech support person asked me, “Isn’t there anyone at home who can help you?” My husband just dumped the whole thing and re-loaded it from the beginning, but even if I had loved the product I would still knock off a star for their crappy tech support.

And I don’t especially love the product. It does have some cool features–you can shoot photos and videos while riding/running, and with the app, people can find exactly where you are. I see this as a great feature for women nervous about working out by themselves. It would be reassuring to know people can find you easily in case of an accident or whatever. However, there are some cons as well. One, I feel like a complete dork wearing them for a run, as if I had gotten lost on the way to my Terminator audition. Even if I couldn’t see people staring I really didn’t feel especially comfortable wearing them for a run. Also, you wouldn’t think it but it’s hard to see the screen in bright sunlight.

I also tried them out on a ride. This went better. People usually wear sunglasses while riding a Tri bike, so they didn’t make me feel as conspicuous. I did have some difficulty changing kilometers to miles and changing the data fields–you can change them on the unit themselves. I was trying to do it on the website and I couldn’t get it to work. But they are nice on a bike–you can pretty easily see what’s going on with your speed, distance, and if you add on a few features, power and cadence. And there’s a clock right in the middle so time-crunched triathletes can keep an eye on it. After a while I forgot I was wearing them.

But here’s the thing. If you are a runner or a triathlete, there are watches you can buy that will do all of the data these do, at about $200-$300 cheaper. A Garmin 920 will even pick up swimming. No, they won’t take pictures or record video, and the software, to my knowledge, will not show your friends exactly where you are. But unless you are so time obsessed you can not afford the half of a second it takes to glance all the way down to your watch, I would totally go with the watch. I suppose you can’t receive calls and texts on your watch, but I really don’t want to be receiving texts or talking to people when I’m working out anyway. Also, you clearly can’t wear these at night, so if you are in the habit of mountain biking or running at night, you can’t wear your technology. Given what I do and when I do it, I think a watch has more useful practical applications. I do think the technology might have some potential, but as it stands now, I see other products meeting my needs better.

39 people found this helpful

The Manson Women and Me: Monsters, Morality and Murder by Nikki Meredith
ByG. KellnerVINE VOICEon February 22, 2018

Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What’s this? )

In 1969, Charles Manson’s followers brutally murdered seven innocent people over the course of two nights. The first night, they pulled into 10050 Cielo Drive and killed Steven Parent, Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger and Voytek Frykowski. Sharon Tate was eight months pregnant and begged for them to spare her baby’s life, to no avail. The next night they killed Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. The crimes were seemingly random and especially brutal, almost all the victims (except for Steven Parent, who was shot) were stabbed, beaten and clubbed to death. Patricia Krenwinkel was there for both nights, Leslie Van Houten was “only” along for the killing of the LaBianca’s.

This subject has potential. Ms. Meredith does discuss the crimes, but mostly she talks about her relationship with Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten. The main question, in so far that there is one, is what would prompt two normal, middle-class white girls to brutally kill seven people they didn’t even know?

She does bring in some research, discussing how these girls fell under Manson’s spell and how through both drugs and de-individuation they were led to participate. Mostly, though, she talks about…herself. Her relationship with Leslie and Pat, her relationship with Catherine Share, who was a Manson follower she went to school with. She also talks about her ethnicity, her parents, her brother (who went to prison), her ex-boyfriend, etc, etc. There is some philisophical discussion, about whether or not either one of them should ever be paroled and some discussion of morality, but I would guess about half of the book is about the Manson women and about half of the book is about Ms. Meredith.

Apparently, she has gotten to know these women because she contacted them and requested interviews and they agreed to be interviewed. Fairly early on, she mentions that she will hold off on contacting Susan Atkins “for reasons I will explain later” and then she never does. It’s not like I was on the edge of my seat or anything, but it stuck in my mind. Why not contact Ms. Atkins? What was it about her that made Ms. Meredith decide not to contact her? I don’t know if Susan Atkins just never wanted to talk to her or what.

I skimmed quite a bit–mostly the parts that had nothing to do with the Manson women, and then when I finished I thought, “Well, thank God that’s over.” I’m sure Ms. Meredith is lovely but that’s not why I read this. Like I said, it did have potential and there is occasionally something interesting in here, but overall it was not an enjoyable read.

9 people found this helpful

The Gollum of Hollywood by Jonathan Kellerman

ByG. KellnerVINE VOICEon June 17, 2014

Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What’s this? )

Jacob Lev is an alcoholic cop whose just been demoted to traffic. Life sucks. Then he is recruited for a “special project” and is called to investigate a severed head left in a remote house in the Hollywood Hills. A carving in the counter reveals the Hebrew word for “Justice.”

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It’s a delightful combination of police procedural and Jewish mysticism, realistic and fantastic. You wouldn’t think that would work, but it does. I was surprised I liked it so much–I read something by Jonathan Kellerman years ago, and I remember not liking it. But there’s so much to like–nice imagery and metaphor, great character development, really fantastic writing. I thought it all worked and was really very well done.

2 people found this helpful

 

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