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New refrigerators have more features and doors

Manufacturers continue to tinker with the French door design

Making a refrigerator that just keeps food cold is no longer enough. Manufacturers have upped the ante in recent years, adding bells and whistles and sleek...

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Lawsuit: AOL rips off non-tech-savvy seniors

Subscribers still being charged for services they don't need or use, suit charges

Harvey Dunn, 76, might be a lot like your grandfather, or maybe your elderly aunt. He hasn't really kept up with the evolution of the Internet. Want proof?...

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FAA clears electronic devices for take-off

Most devices will be OK to use most of the time on most airplanes

The days of starting blankly into space during airline take-offs and landings are just about over. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator...

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ADP: Job creation weakens in October

Initial jobless claims dip by 10K

It'll be a little over a week before the government's October jobs report comes out, but ADP is giving us a preview of what we're likely to see. In its Na...

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General Motors recalls Chevrolet Camaro coupes

The required air bag warning label on the sun visor may peel off

General Motors is recalling 18,941 model year 2013 and 2014 Chevrolet Camaro coupes manufactured June 9, 2013, through September 6, 2013. In the affected...

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Gree expands dehumidifier recall

The dehumidifiers can overheat, smoke and catch fire

Gree Electric Appliances is recalling about About 2.2 million dehumidifiers in the U.S. and Canada, adding four models of SoleusAir dehumidifiers, and exp...

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Nissan recalls Pathfinders with Almond interiors

The airbag may not deploy properly

Nissan North America is recalling 2,310 model year 2014 Pathfinders manufactured from July 25, 2013, to September 5, 2013, with Almond interiors only. Th...

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BMW recalls xDrive and sDrive vehicles

The vacuum pump that supplies brake power assistance may fail

BMW of North America is recalling 76,191 model year 2012-2014 320i, 328i, 320i xDrive, and 328i xDrive sedans; model year 2014 328i xDrive Sports Wagons; m...

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Google asks for short-cut to appeals court in wiretap case

It says a rapid appeal will help define Internet privacy issues for everyone

Normally, the defendant in a lawsuit drags its feet, using whatever delaying tactics it can come up with, thinking of appeals court only as a last resort....

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That's entertainment: Virgin America turns safety instructions into song and dance

Passengers to be tutored on safety rules by Hollywood production number

Air travelers know that flying is no picnic. Besides the fees for everything under the sun, there's the hassle of passing through security and getting on t...

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Sure jumps on the genderizing bandwagon

Raise your hand if you're Sure — and a woman

Sure antiperspirant is trying to increase sales by alienating males in its customer base—or, as AdWeek put it, “Sure deodorant is now going aft...

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HCG promoter sued for claiming his homeopathic potion can make the pounds melt away

The hormone, derived from the placenta, has been a favorite of potion pushers for years

Chalk up another loss for homeopathic potions. This time it's HCG Platinum, a supplement containing HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone pr...

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Chevrolet Cruze vehicles recalled

The right front half shaft may fracture and separate

General Motors is recalling 3,161 model year 2013 and 2014 Chevrolet Cruze vehicles equipped with manual transmissions (MF3/MR5) and manufactured January 2...

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Garden Fresh adds to list of recalled ready-to-eat chicken and ham products

The products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

Garden Fresh Foods of Milwaukee, Wis., is recalling approximately 103,080 additional pounds of ready-to-eat chicken and ham products due to possible contam...

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Nissan recalls Titan and Armada vehicles

The brake master cylinder may reduce the pressure supplied to the front brakes

Nissan North America is recalling 3,247 model year 2013 Titan and Armada vehicles manufactured February 22, 2013, through May 3, 2013. The affected vehic...

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A rebound in mortgage applications

Contract interest rates fell to their lowest levels since June

Mortgage applications bounced back during the week of October 25 after dipping during the previous week. Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA...

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Secondary recall follows expansion of Reser's Fine Foods recall

The products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

In response to a recall earlier this month by Reser's Fine Foods of select products due to the potential of Listeria monocytogenes contamination, Taylor Fa...

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Shutdown and debt worries send consumer confidence tumbling

Volatility is expected during the near term

The government shutdown earlier this month, along with jitters about the debt ceiling, took a toll on the way consumers viewed the economy. The Conference...

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When should you start holiday shopping?

There's no one answer but chances are, it isn't Black Friday

Some people – superior beings who are extremely organized – do their holiday shopping throughout the year. As the holidays approach, they are b...

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Three critical things to consider before retiring

It starts with figuring out what retirement is

Retirement is everywhere these days. And no wonder, the Baby Boom cohort is either 65 years old or getting close. Financial services companies fill the TV ...

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Audi, Volvo, GMC break Japanese dominance of Consumer Reports' reliability ratings

Lexus, Toyota, Acura took the top three spots in the annual rankings

European and U.S. automakers have broken Japanese dominance of Consumer Reports' annual auto reliability rankings, with Audi, Volvo and GMC taking three of...

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Home prices on the rise again

Year-over-year gains are the best in more than 7 years

Home prices continued to claw their way higher in August. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showed that the 10-City and 20-City Composites gained 1....

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Fritos case may crumble, judge is skeptical

Similar suit against Nestle's Buitoni pasta products dismissed

The latest trend in consumer class actions is suing big food manufacturers over their labeling, particularly claims that products are "natural." But judges...

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Wholesale prices dip in September

A decline in food prices offset an uptick in energy costs

A dip in the cost of food more than made up for a slight increase in energy costs, sending the government's Producer Price Index (PPI) down 0.1% in Septemb...

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Taylor Farms recalls broccoli salad kits

Salad dressing may be contaminated with monocytogenes

Taylor Farms of Jessup, Md., is recalling approximately 5,084 pounds of broccoli salad kit products. The kits contain salad dressing in packets that may ...

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Volkswagen recalls Audi A8 and S8 vehicles

The sunroof glass panel that may shatter

Volkswagen Group of America is recalling 1,120 model year 2013-2014 Audi A8 and S8 vehicles equipped with a standard sunroof, manufactured March 12, 2013, ...

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Reser's expands recall of refrigerated ready-to-eat products

The products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

Reser's Fine Foods of Beaverton, Ore., is expanding the recall it issued earlier this month of refrigerated ready-to-eat products because they may be conta...

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Keeping up with scams a never-ending job

For law enforcement, it's like playing Whack-a-Mole

Scammers always seem to be one step ahead of the authorities, victimizing unsuspecting consumers with impunity for years before justice finally catches up....

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Honda planning late release of 2014 Civic

Absence from showrooms has industry tongues wagging

If you've visited a car dealer lately you know that in most cases, the 2014 models are on the lot and salesmen are eager to send you home in a 2013 model, ...

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Researchers find new genes linked to Alzheimer's

More genes identified in three-year study than in all of the previous 20 years

The largest international study ever conducted on Alzheimer's disease has found 11 new regions of the genome involved in the disease, providing new underst...

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Another drop in pending home sales

A decline in affordability is hitting the market hard

Higher mortgage interest rates and home prices sent pending home sales tumbling for a fourth consecutive month in September. The National Association of R...

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Kraft And Polly-O string cheese products recalled

The products may spoil before their 'Best When Used By' code dates

Kraft Foods Group is voluntarily recalling some varieties of Kraft and Polly-O String Cheese and String Cheese Twists products. These products may spoil ...

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For kid smokers, it's all about taste

Flavored little cigars or flavored cigarettes are catching on with the young puffers

How do you fight tobacco use when it doesn't taste like tobacco? That's a problem anti-smoking forces are facing. A report by the Centers for Disease Cont...

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Audi S6 and S7 vehicles recalled

The vehicles' fuel line may leak

Volkswagen Group of America is recalling 3,594 model year 2013-2014 Audi S6 and S7 vehicles equipped with 4.0L engines. Due to manufacturing tolerance is...

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Ford recalls Focus Electric and C-Max vehicles

The 'open door' chime can malfunction

Ford Motor Company is recalling 23,000 model year 2012-2013 Focus Electric vehicles and 2013 C-Max vehicles equipped with the Intelligent Access Push Butto...

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'Lucky 13' Tips for a Safe Halloween

It's no trick to treat yourself to an accident-free holiday

Goblins ghouls, vampires and witches will be out in force in a few days as we celebrate Halloween. It would be a shame if all that fun were marred by poor ...

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How to shop for a bank

Choosing the wrong one will cost you money

Dissatisfaction with banks has been growing in recent years. Part of it may be due to the growing emphasis on fees. It may partly be due to a perceived dec...

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Marketing to men by appealing to "manfluencers"

We did not invent the word "manfluencers." They did.

Hooray for gender equality! We’ve finally discovered something to rival the insultingly asinine results you see whenever some company’s marketi...

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New FDA guidelines for animal feed

Surprisingly, these basic guidelines aren't already the law

The Food and Drug Administration, as part of its Food Safety and Modernization Act, has proposed new safety guidelines for animal food. But for the average...

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United fined for lengthy O’Hare tarmac delays

The carrier chalked up 13 violations in a single day

United Airlines is being fined $1.1 million for lengthy tarmac delays that took place at Chicago-O’Hare International Airport on July 13, 2012. This is ...

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Collection of allegedly fake payday debts halted

The FTC claims consumers were threatened with arrest

A federal court has put the brakes on an operation based in Atlanta and Cleveland that allegedly used deceptive and threatening tactics to collect phantom ...

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Boston Salads and Provisions recalls ready-to-eat products

The products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

Boston Salads and Provisions Company of Boston, Mass., is recalling approximately 222,959 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken salad products due to possible co...

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Alternatives to signing up for Obamacare online

You can sign up the old-fashioned way, but could lose out on subsidies

The dysfunctional Healthcare.gov website, where residents of 36 states are attempting to shop for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, remai...

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Amazon vs. brick-and-mortar stores: whose prices are the lowest?

Short answer: It depends. There's no one-size-fits-all answer

Just yesterday came news that Amazon is raising the minimum purchase limit required for free shipping, from $25 to $35. And today, the Lifehacker ...

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600 Spirit Airline passengers stranded in Fort Lauderdale

Police called out as conditions in airport deteriorate

Caveat emptor: let the buyer beware. That’s important for everyone to bear in mind whenever they sign a contract or make a purchase, and it’s d...

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E-cig lobbyists working to head off new regulations

FDA is expected to issue proposed new regulations by Oct. 31

With new regulations looming, lobbyists for the electronic cigarette industry are heading to Capitol Hill, hoping to persuade lawmakers that the combustion...

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Some things to know before Black Friday arrives

Over the years misinformation has accumulated around this shopping season kick-off

Every year Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving – seems to become an even bigger event, with people camping out in front of big box stores...

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Airline on-time performance shows improvement in August

The carriers also reported two lengthy tarmac delays

The nation’s largest airlines improved in August from a month earlier, but dropped a bit from the same time a year earlier. According to the U.S. Departme...

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Another drop in weekly jobless claims

The federal government shutdown had an impact

First-time applications for state jobless benefits dropped in the week ending October 19 for the second week running. According to government figures, ini...

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Infinitoy Recalls Softimals toy sets

The plastic hats on playset figures pose a choking/aspiration hazard

Infinitoy, Inc. of San Mateo, Calif., is recalling about 7,134 building toy playsets. The plastic hats on playset figures pose a choking/aspiration hazard...

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Reser’s Fine Foods recalls refrigerated ready-to-eat products

The products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

Reser’s Fine Foods of Beaverton, Ore., is recalling approximately 109,000 cases of refrigerated ready-to-eat products because they may be contaminated with...

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Nissan recalls variety of vehicles with braking problems

Antilock brake system software problems could increase stopping distance

Nissan is recalling 151,695 model year 2013-2014 Nissan Pathfinder vehicles manufactured April 18, 2012, through September 20, 2013; model year 2013 Infini...

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Get used to being served by machines

Futurist predicts most businesses soon will be open 24 hours

It started in chain supermarkets. In one section of the check-out aisles there suddenly appeared self-service scanners where consumers were encouraged to c...

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Getting your lawn ready for winter

You'll see the payoff in the spring

Autumn is the perfect time to do repair work on your lawn, which may have been over stressed by the summer heat and may now be infested with unwanted weeds...

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NBA reaches agreement to stream local games

It's the first major league to reach a a deal for local streaming

Live video streaming is coming to the courts -- the basketball courts, that is. The NBA is reportedly close to signing deals with several cable outlets to ...

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Amazon raises the free-shipping bar

Free shipping limited to pruchases of $35 or more

If you plan to use Amazon for this year’s holiday shopping, take note: the minimum purchase required for free shipping has gone up, from $25 to $35 (...

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The Internet is the place to be this Christmas shopping season

Deloitte's annual holiday survey says almost half of us will shop online

Offers like free shipping, free returns and in-store pickup will help make the Internet the top holiday shopping destination for the first time, according ...

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Safety advocates want ban on novelty magnets

Children can be harmed or killed by swallowing the magnets, pediatricians warn

Doctors and safety advocates are pressing for a ban on high-powered novelty and toy magnets, arguing that strong regulation is the only way to prevent chil...

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Your federal tax refund may be a little late arriving

But that doesn't mean you don't have to file on time

Blame the government shutdown. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is. The tax agency says because of the 16-day closure this month, there will be a delay ...

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Mortgage applications post first decline in three weeks

Housing prices continued their rise during August

After rising for two weeks on a row, mortgage applications slipped 0.6% during the week ending October 18, 2013, according to the Mortgage Bankers Associat...

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Reser’s recalls chicken, ham and beef products

The products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

Reser’s Fine Foods of Topeka, Kan., is recalling approximately 22,800 pounds of chicken, ham and beef products due to possible contamination with Listeria ...

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Minnesota Costco recalls ground beef product

The product may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7

Costco in Coon Rapids, Minn., is recalling an undetermined amount of lean fresh ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. The p...

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Sunny Pine Farm recalls Chevre cheese

The cheese may not have been pasteurized properly

Sunny Pine Farm of Twisp, Wash., is recalling Organic Chevre, Organic Parsley Chive Chevre and Organic Honey Lavender Chevre due to possible improper paste...

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FDA can't track down source of pet poisonings, asks for public's help

The agency wants to hear from consumers whose pets became ill

Everyone has a pet theory or two about what is making America's dogs and cats sick after they eat jerky treats but no one has managed to conclusively prove...

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Beware Paula Deen's flaky cookware

Interior and exterior coatings prone to flaking off

Last summer, celebrity chef Paula Deen's career nosedived and crashed after her apparent affinity for racist language became common knowledge. This a...

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Dinner delivery: a recipe for penury?

Wheels on Meals is for the elderly and infirm, not busy young professionals

We read with interest Jennifer Abel's story about "dinner kits" a few days ago. A dinner kit, it turns out, is sort of like a paint-by-numbers set for thos...

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Apple to release new operating system, updated iPads

Promises extended battery life for MacBook Pro

Tech and consumer journalists could save a lot of time if they’d program their work computers so that pressing a single key made the sentence “...

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Does vitamin D prevent diabetes?

A federally-funded research project hopes to find out

The first definitive, large-scale clinical trial to investigate if a vitamin D supplement helps prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in adults who have prediab...

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Better late than never -- government releases September employment numbers

The economy added jobs last month, but not as many as projected

New jobs found their way into the economy in September, but the total fell short of forecasts and the number of positions created the month before. Releas...

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Questions and answers about Obamacare

New entitlement remains mired in political controversy

After a shaky rollout, uninsured Americans are attempting to sign up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. As has bee...

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Magicjack: Good idea but many complain of bad service

Some consumers are surprised by porting charges, although they are disclosed in advance

Nobody’s perfect, and neither is any company; even the best-run business is bound to goof up on occasion. So if we only get one or two reader complai...

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Free shipping: It's almost everywhere

Retailers who want your business aren't wasting any time

What's almost as good as a great bargain on merchandise? A lot of people would say “free shipping,” and it shouldn't be hard to find this Christmas shoppin...

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Apple remains the top platform for mobile media

Samsung is trying to catch up with new types of mobile devices

You can tell a lot about the state of mobile technology by measuring viewership on various mobile platforms. A new report suggests Apple remains the mobile...

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Coca-Cola labels are misleading, lawsuit claims

Plaintiff says the company is misleading consumers, even though it lists the disputed ingredient

Does anyone really think Coca-Cola is free of artificial flavors and chemical preservatives? Paul Merritt apparently thinks so. At least he claims in a Cal...

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Careers for college grads: what’s hot

Here’s a list of fields where the growth is

Your all graduated and ready to go -- but go where? Moving from the classroom to the world of work is not the easiest transition, but it doesn’t have to be...

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Sales of existing homes drop in September

Prices, on the other hand, are still heading higher

A turnaround last month in existing-home sales. After hitting their highest level in almost four years during August, sales of previously owned homes fell...

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Holiday hiring is underway now; don't wait til November to start looking

A temporary slot could lead to a permanent position

Looking for a full-time, permanent job? A temporary Christmas season position may be the way to get there. According to CareerBuilder's annual survey, ret...

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Feng shui home consultants: helpful or hooey?

Quasi-mystic icing on an interior-decoration cake

Let’s hash out the burning debate of our time: If you’re trying to sell your house but enjoying no success, would it help if you reorganized yo...

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Technology gives Internet radio a big boost

An old medium may be getting a new lease on life

When you think about it, radio is old technology. Inventor Guglielmo Marconi figured out how to transmit voices through the airwaves in the early 20th cent...

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The cold sore cream that makes you think you're a corpse

Swedish researchers discover a truly bizarre drug side-effect

Swedish pharmacologists have discovered a nasty modern paradox: cold sores might make you wish you were dead—but cold sore treatments might make you ...

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Certain blood pressure meds tied to lower Alzheimer's dementia risk

Other hypertension drugs, though, showed no such link

An analysis of data previously gathered on more than 3,000 older people suggests that the use of certain blood pressure medications may reduce the risk of...

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Rotisserie chicken products recalled

The chicken products may be contaminated with Salmonella

Costco’s El Camino Real store in San Francisco, Calif., is recalling an additional 14,093 units of rotisserie chicken products that may be contaminated wit...

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Toyota recalls Camrys, other vehicles

A problem with the air conditioning condenser unit housing could affect airbag performance

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., is recalling approximately 803,000 model year 2012-2013 Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Venza vehicles due to a ...

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Black Friday may last longer, offer better deals this year

Retailers hint at more aggressive promotions

Now that Congress has reached a debt compromise and gasoline prices have dipped from their summer highs, the nation's retailers are feeling more optimistic...

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Facebook opens teens to the world

Nothing hypocritical about Facebook -- it admits it's doing it to be more competitive

Social media sites just love kids. They can't get enough of them and are willing to pay just about any price to get more of them, as long as that price is ...

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Read the contract before you sign! And keep a copy.

Gold's Gym customers learn this the hard way

Here’s a piece of advice which you hopefully know already, though it still needs to be said: never, ever sign a contract without reading it first. Ev...

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Student loans -- the hassles of payment processing

From the feds, help in dealing with your loan servicers on payments

Completing your education should be a dream come true as you head out into the real world to find employment and begin your real life. But for students wit...

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Finding Alzheimer's before the symptoms

Biomarkers in spinal fluid appear to be they key

Researchers at Johns Hopkins say they may have a head start on dealing with Alzheimer's disease. According to the scientists, by measuring levels of certa...

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First-time jobless claims fall

Computer glitches are continuing to have an impact

The number of workers filing first-time applications for unemployment benefits fell in the week ending October 12, but not by as much as some forecasters h...

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More retailers plan early Black Friday start

Macy's is the latest to announce a Thanksgiving evening opening

The concept of holiday shopping on Thanksgiving – instead of waiting for Black Friday – is apparently here to stay. Despite some grumbling last...

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Consumers to put Santa on a diet

A new survey finds economic worries may prompt shoppers to cut back this year

The holiday season may not be as jolly this year. The National Retail Federation's (NRF) holiday consumer spending survey, conducted by Prosper Insights ...

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Grocery manufacturers in the soup in Washington State

There's the little matter of that $7 million they spent trying to defeat a genetic-food labeling initiative

It's bad enough to spend a lot of money trying to throw an election your way. It's even worse to get in trouble with the law after you spend all the money ...

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"Smart" shelves to spy on grocery store customers

Sensors determine the age and sex of customers for real-time targeted ads

If you’ve ever wanted to say “The shelves at the grocery store are spying on me” without being accused of harboring paranoid delusions, j...

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Should doctors have to pee in a cup too?

Consumer group presses for mandatory drug testing of doctors

It seems that just about everybody is asked to take a drug test these days -- everyone from school bus drivers to parolees.Not doctors, though. And that ...

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Are Oreos really as addictive as cocaine?

News flash: rats prefer Oreos to rice cakes, cocaine to saline water

Are Oreo cookies as addictive as cocaine? According to neuroscientists at Connecticut College, the answer is “yes” – at least, if you ass...

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New mortgage servicing rules clarified

The new rules take effect in January

Communications with family members after a borrower dies, contact with delinquent borrowers, and treatment of consumers who have filed for bankruptcy are a...

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Builder confidence dips in October

Washington wrangling and higher mortgage rates are blamed

The government shutdown, the debt limit battle and rising mortgage rates have home builders on edge. According to the latest National Association of Home ...

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Mortgage applications up again

It's the second straight week applications have been higher

Mortgage applications increased 0.3% from one week earlier, as the market digested the ramifications of the continuing government shut down and a possible ...

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Middle-wage jobs: What they are and where they are

You may have to relocate, but they're out there

What happened to all those so-called “middle-wage jobs?” According to the Federal Reserve, the share of middle-skill or middle-wage jobs in the U.S. workf...

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Organix sounds organic but guess what ...

Company settles lawsuit that claims its names misled consumers

Consumers who purchased Organix hair- or skin-care products could receive money as part of a class-action-lawsuit settlement.The lawsuit was filed agai...

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Measles vaccination: earlier is better

A new study finds there are fewer side effects

It doesn't make any difference when have your children immunized against measles -- as long as you have it done, right? Not necessarily. A new Kaiser Perm...

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IBISWorld sees Halloween spending slowing

Concerns about the economy appear to be spooking consumers

An uncertain economic and political environment, the government shutdown and worries about the nation's debt limit are combining to produce a tightening of...

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Broadcasters want Supreme Court to shut down Aereo

The Internet TV service is "transforming the industry," the broadcasters whine

Once you throw message in a bottle into the water, you have no control over what happens to it. It may sink. It may wash up on an uninhabited island. Or it...

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What happens if there is no debt deal?

The government will be running on fumes after Friday. It won't be pretty.

How much cash do you have on hand? Enough to get you through Friday? If so, you're in about the same shape as the U.S. government. It has about $30 billion...

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Consumers going deeper into debt

It marks a shift from post-recession borrowing

Happy days are here again, or so it would appear.Since 2008 consumers have been paying down their debt and not taking out so much new debt, in part becau...

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Does pollution make you fat?

Reputable research studies suggest it does

Americans—along with everybody else in the industrialized world—have been growing fatter over the last couple of generations. But why? Dozens o...

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Kids a pain? Send them to bed

A new study finds irregular bedtimes are linked to behavioral problems

Is there anything more annoying at the end of a busy day, or in the grocery store -- or anywhere for that matter -- than a cranky kid? Maybe he needs more ...

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JC Penney sued on behalf of investors

But while investors may be unhappy, consumer complaints have died down

JC Penney sued on behalf of investorsA San Diego, Calif., law firm has filed a class action suit against J.C. Penney, accusing the beleaguered retailer o...

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Postal Service defaults, but the mail still goes through

USPS is profitable but bankrupt -- how is that possible?

The United States Postal Service is sort of like Congress -- everybody complains about it. On the other hand, it's sort of not like Congress -- it is still...

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Study: Ethanol not a major factor in reducing gas prices

An MIT economist says it doesn't affect what you pay at the pump

Remember all those years ago when were were told that adding an ethanol blend would cut dependence on imported oil and bring down the price of gasoline? Di...

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Want to see your name in digits? Just praise a product on Google Plus

Google announces its version of Facebook's "Sponsored Stories"

Want to make big bucks by endorsing products in Google ads? It's easy to do as long as you omit the big bucks part. Following in the footsteps of Facebook,...

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Is it time to reinvent the PC?

Sales figures show the machine is losing favor with consumers

Personal computers, and the companies that make them, are not feeling the love lately. Consumers have swooned over tablets and now use their smartphones fo...

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Real estate market sending mixed signals

Sales and prices are falling but so is inventory

After months of a strong and stable recovery, U.S. home sales have slowed going into Autumn and prices have dipped. Even so, inventory remains tight in man...

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Status symbol for seniors: a hybrid

A new study suggests it's good for the image and the environment

Feeling old and uncool? A Baylor University study says "going green" in a hybrid car may raise your self-esteem and image, in addition to giving a healthy ...

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California sues Corinthian Colleges

The suit claims the for-profit college engages in predatory schemes

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris is suing Corinthian Colleges, Inc. (CCI) and its subsidiaries, charging false and predatory advertising, intentional misr...

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Foster Farms California plants remain open

New processes and technology are being added to the operations

Foster Farms' three California facilities in Livingston and Fresno will remain open amid continuing daily USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in...

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Gasoline prices: silver lining to the Washington mess?

Worries about economic turmoil may be sending fuel prices lower

Consumers might be looking at the standoff in Washington, where a last attempt to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has led to a govern...

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Post Office to destroy print run of "Just Move" stamps

Stamps destroyed over fears they promote unsafe messages to kids

As if the U.S. Post Office didn’t have enough financial problems already, it has to destroy the entire print run of its not-yet-released “Just ...

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Vonage buys a smaller company, says it will benefit from the Vonage brand

But service and billing disputes have tarnished the Vonage brand for many consumers

Vonage, the Internet phone company, is buying Vocalocity, another Internet phone company, for $130 million. Vocalocity caters to small- and medium-sized bu...

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McDonald's to give away kids' books with Happy Meals

Self-published masterpieces emphasizing the importance of good nutrition

Since our name is Consumer Affairs rather than Corporate Affairs, we generally focus on offering [hopefully] useful advice to consumers, and let the market...

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Flying home for the holidays? Be prepared to dig deep

The cost of getting there will likely be higher than it was last year

If you plan on flying anywhere for the Thanksgiving holiday, this might be a good time to book your flight. Travelocity's Thanksgiving data show that the...

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Mortgage rates mixed amid caution about the government shutdown

Freddie Mac rates were steady, while Bankrate's fell

Not much change during the week in fixed rate mortgage (FRM) rates as tracked by Freddie Mac. Analysts say it was do to the continuing mess in Washington, ...

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Another dip in consumer spending

Even with the slight decline, things still look pretty good

For the second time in as many months, the Deloitte Consumer Spending Index declined in September. The Index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of ...

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Initial jobless claims shoot higher

The surge has more to do with repaired computer glitches than the government shutdown

California finally got its computer system back on track, resulting in a big jump in the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits. Government...

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B@B Trade recalls weight loss dietary supplements

Slim Fortune, Lidiy, and Slim Expert are being pulled

B@B Trade is recalling all lots of Slim Fortune, Lidiy and Slim Expert after laboratory analysis found the dietary supplements to contain undeclared Sibutr...

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American Home Shield -- worth the cost?

Not according to many of our readers, who say it's easier and quicker to do the job yourself

If you’re a homeowner worried about the cost of maintaining your house and appliances, setting money aside in a special “rainy day/repair fund&...

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Consumers expect to spend more this holiday season

Increasing number say they'll turn out for Black Friday

Consumers plan to spend more money and shop more often this holiday season, according to the Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey. And Black Friday this year ...

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How many ounces in a pint of beer?

In Michigan bars, that might be a trick question

How much beer is in a pint? In Michigan, the correct answer is so hard to figure out, a state lawmaker has proposed a bill to fix it....

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Salmonella outbreak in California chickens sickens 278

The contaminated chicken is not being recalled; consumers are urged to follow safe-handling tips

A major Salmonella outbreak traced to Foster Farms chicken processors in California has sickened at least 278 people in 17 states, the U.S. Centers for Dis...

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Samsung's latest smartphone is nothing if not curvy

There's nothing flat about the Samsung Galaxy Round

Back in the day, people got excited about cars and manufacturers obliged by hanging all manner of ridiculous bling on their new models -- most notably, the...

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Shutdown or no: Pay your taxes, IRS says

Taxpayers who got an extension still have to pony up by Oct. 15

There may be a partial shutdown of the government, but the Internal Revenue Service doesn't care. It wants your money. In a recently issued bulletin, the ...

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Why do you get dizzy?

Maybe it's all in your head -- really

Most of us have had episodes when, apparently for no reason, we suddenly get dizzy. Because it's usually just a quickly passing thing, we don't think much ...

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Feds fine Washington Federal, Mortgage Master

Lenders violated mortgage disclosure requirements, CFPB charged

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has ordered Mortgage Master, Inc. and Washington Federal to pay civil penalties for violating the Home Mort...

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Yo-yoing continues as mortgage applications increase

The latest MBA weekly survey shows refinancings were up as well

After dropping in the previous week for the first time in three weeks, mortgage applications bounced back during the week ending October 4, with a gain of ...

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Federal reserve releases new $100 bill

Holographic ribbons, color-changing designs and other new security features

The arms race between counterfeiters and those who thwart them never ends...

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Beats launching new music streaming service

Beats bought MOG last year to get into the streaming music business

Beats is launching a new music streaming service, Beats Music, in the U.S. “within the next few months,” President and COO Luke Wood ...

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Yahoo spiffs up its email

New lay-out, fancy themes and a enough storage to last several lifetimes

Yahoo is getting to look a lot like Gmail. Yahoo unveiled a major redesign of its email today, offering Gmail-like threaded conversations and Flickr photos...

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Adults and kids alike go for the traditional this Halloween

Millions say they'll stay with what they know for costumes

Pumpkins, princesses, zombies and witches will dominate the landscape this Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2013 Top Costumes...

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Consumers say they're spending less

Average daily spending estimate in September down by $11

A pullback in consumer spending last month as measured by Gallup Daily tracking. Self-reports by U.S. consumers of daily spending averaged $84 throughout ...

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Younger Americans learning thrift the hard way

They're shaping up to be thriftier than their parents and grandparents

Americans are mired in debt, from college loans to credit card bills. The numbers don't lie.But there may be an interesting story developing behind those...

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Airbnb rental crackdown in New York

State attorney general subpeonas Airbnb, demanding renters' names

If you’re one of the 15,000 New Yorkers who used Airbnb to rent out your home for awhile, watch out: the state attorney general’s office is trying to find ...

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Is the death knell sounding for payday lenders?

Industry opponents point to recent developments as hopeful trend

The complaint against the payday loan industry is longstanding. Consumer advocates charge these small, short-term loans end up trapping borrowers in a cycl...

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Healthy dog, healthy owner? Could be

It appears we can learn a lot about a dog's owner from the dog himself

“How's your dog?” That's how a monologue by comedian George Carlin began, but we won't go into that here. However, the question has some real value. Expe...

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Microsoft testing new card-linked offers program

Bing Offers users can redeem discounts just by swiping their card

Microsoft, like everyone else, would like to get into the daily deals/on-site discount game, as a way of attracting users to its Bing search engine. I...

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Turkey Hill Dairy recalls ice creams, desserts

Some packages may contain metal shavings

Turkey Hill Dairy of Conestoga, Pa., is recalling a variety of ice cream and dessert products. There is a possibility that some packages may contain metal...

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How to pick the right college

With costs rising, making the right choice has never been more important

For those attending college, choosing the right institution of higher learning has never been more important. After all, it's a big investment. There's a l...

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Kosher chicken -- kosher but not necessarily safer

Study finds high incidence of antibiotic-resistant E. coli in kosher chickens

A new study finds that kosher chicken may harbor up to twice as much antibiotic-resistant E. coli as poultry raised conventionally, despite the common...

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Chicken nuggets autopsied; results not pretty

If you like chicken nuggets, you won't like this

Fat was present in equal or greater quantities along with epithelium, bone, nerve, and connective tissue.” In other words, chicken nuggets are mostly chick...

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TurboTax users to share $6.55 million settlement

Lawsuits claimed Intuit charged usurious interest rates for processing tax refunds

If you used TurboTax Online over the last five years and had fees deducted from your tax refund, you may be eligible to share in a $6.55 million class acti...

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Meracord targeted for processing illegal debt-settlement fees

Feds say the company aided illegal practices by debt-settlement companies

A leading debt-settlement payment processor is being sanctioned for allegedly helping others to collect millions of dollars in illegal upfront fees from co...

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Shutdown delays release of September jobless report

No alternative release date has been set

The Labor Department's (DOL) monthly employment report, which is usually released on the first Friday of the month is Missing In Action. In a press releas...

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Job forecast: Steady as she goes

CareerBuilder says prospects should remain steady through year's end

If you like the way the labor market looked at the end of 2012, you should be fairly happy with the way this year will wrap up. According to a survey done...

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Quick ways to raise extra cash for the holidays

See how much you can save between now and Black Friday

Millions of consumers increase their debt during the holidays each year because they put their spending on a credit card, to be paid later. Personal financ...

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When to file an insurance claim

Believe it or not, there are times when you shouldn't

It seems counter-intuitive. You pay for insurance to cover damage to your home or car. So when you suffer damage, why in the world would you pay for it you...

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Redesigned Toyota Corolla misses the mark in overlap front crash test

A marginal rating is the best it can do

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released the results of its test of the redesigned 2014 Toyota Corolla and the news isn't good. The small ...

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Roadside fire raises doubts about Tesla safety

Company's stock falls sharply after car bursts into flames following minor accident

The Tesla SIt's one thing to pay more than $70,ooo for an electric car. It's something else entirely to stand helplessly by as the thing catches fire a...

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Modest sales gains expected this holiday season

Al things considered, it's a pretty decent forecast

Okay -- it's only October. But in the dog-eat-dog world of retailing, it's never to early to start looking ahead to your most profitable time of year: the ...

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Job cuts retreat from 6-month high

Health care continues to absorb the brunt of the losses

More people found themselves out of work in September as employers announced plans to reduce their payrolls by 40,289. That's the lowest level of cuts in ...

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ADP: Economy adds 166,000 jobs in September

The services sector and small businesses led the way

Because of the government shutdown, we may or may not get the official word on how many jobs the economy cranked out in September. But, according to the AD...

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Online labor demand rises in September

The increase was widespread and the largest of the year

If you go online to look, you'll find the jobs are out there -- and in growing numbers.. The Conference Board reports online advertised vacancies were up ...

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Unhappy timeshare owners agree: never buy into a timeshare

Wyndham Vacation Resorts netted lots of complaints in September

Thinking about buying a timeshare? Think again....

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Class action against Purina dog treats handed a setback

Plaintiffs say Yam Good chicken treats killed their dogs

A class action charging that Nestle Purina's Yam Good chicken treats killed the plaintiffs' dogs has suffered a setback. A federal judge in Illinois ruled ...

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Government shutdown shuts down political party brands

Survey finds both parties are being damaged by the stand-off

As lawmakers forced the government to shut down for the first time in 17 years, as a market researcher I wondered how Americans see the political parties t...

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GPS vs. reality: Don't let GPS win

Too many drivers blame accidents on GPS

GPS vs. reality: Don't let GPS win. Too many drivers blame accidents on GPS, bad-GPS-direction stories are becoming downright commonplace....

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CARD Act has reduced the cost of credit, study finds

Reduced penalty fees and lower credit costs are among the benefits

Reduced penalty fees and better explanations of the cost of credit cards are two of the benefits consumers have reaped from the 2009 CARD Act, according to...

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Mortgage applications post first drop in three weeks

Applications for refinancings moved higher

New applications for mortgages slipped last week, giving back some of the gains they'd tallied in the previous two weeks. According to the Mortgage Banke...

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Central Valley Meat expands ground beef recall

The meat may contain small pieces of plastic

Central Valley Meat Company of Hanford, Calif., is recalling approximately 89,720 pounds of ground beef that may contain small pieces of plastic. No report...

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What's the best health insurance plan?

Consumer Reports picks 114 out of the thousands of plans available

Finding the best health insurance plan become even more important today, as the Affordable Care Act takes effect, requiring everyone to sign up for a h...

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Watch out for Obamacare scams

Con artists are out in force as new healthcare plans roll out across the country

HealthCare.govMillions of Americans are starting to sign up for health insurance and financial assistance as the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as...

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New York stops payday loan companies from collecting

Payday loans are illegal in New York and lenders can't try to collect what's owed them

Payday lenders around the country have been routinely ignoring state laws against payday loans. That's not going over well in New York, where five companie...

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Hitting a deer is no small matter

These mishaps can be dangerous and costly, but fortunately they appear to be on the decline

Hitting a deer with your car or truck can cause extensive property damage and even serious injuries and death. Fortunately, your odds of hitting a deer are...

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KFC Go Cups make their debut

Great for people wishing to spend still more time in their cars

A container designed to fit in a standard car cup holder and hold foods that can be eaten with one hand while the other presumably stays on the steering wh...

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Leisure-time exercise: It's not just for loosening up your creaky joints

Researchers say it could affect your blood pressure -- in a good way

A lot of people look for reasons to avoid physical activity. But here's a good reason to seek it out. New research in the American Heart Association journ...

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Haute Health recalls Virilis Pro, PHUK and Prolifta capsules

The product has undeclared ingredients that may lower blood pressure to unsafe levels

Haute Health, LLC is recalling all lots of Virilis Pro, PHUK and Prolifta, which are labeled and intended to be used as dietary supplements for sexual enha...

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Festool recalls plunge cut circular saws

The blade can remain exposed from the housing, posing a laceration hazard

Festool USA of Lebanon, Ind, is recalling about 5,700 TS 55 REQ plunge cut circular saws in the U.S. and Canada. The plunge lock can engage when not inten...

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