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Is political peace possible on Facebook?

Researcher suggests listening to, not tuning out, opposing views

The 2012 election seems like ancient history now but some of the friendships damaged by political posturing on Facebook linger on.Bob, a retired military...


Change your Yahoo passwords! There's been another security breach

No, not the Yahoo security breach you already know about; this is a new one

If you have a Yahoo email account, you'll definitely want to change your password, in case yours was one of the countless millions stolen by hackers...


10 Luxury cars under $40,000

Kelly Blue Book finds a handful that don't break the bank

Luxury cars, by their very nature, are expensive and many can easily set you back $50,000 or more. But there are cars in this class that can be had for les...


Hope on the horizon for peanut allergy sufferers?

Brtish researchers reduce severity of peanut allergies via controlled exposure

There's possible good news for peanut allergy sufferers, though it definitely falls under the “Don't try this at home” category...


Amazon Prime looks at raising its Prime membership fee

Free shipping, free videos, it's almost too good to be true

If you're an Amazon Prime member, you're in good company. So are 25 million or so other consumers. For $79 per year, you enjoy free two-day shipping on man...


Watch out for third-hand smoke, the goop that second-hand smoke leaves on surfaces

It gets more toxic with time and can cause serious health problems, researchers find

Third-hand smoke shown to cause health problemsUC Riverside-led study shows third-hand smoke causes hyperactivity and significant damage in liver, lung; ...


Britax recalls strollers

The hinge on the stroller’s folding mechanism can partially amputate consumers’ fingertips

Britax Child Safety of Fort Mill, S.C., is recalling about 224,800 B-Agile, B-Agile Double and BOB Motion strollers. The hinge on the stroller’s folding m...


Cloth seats may lead to Toyota recall

Some sets with electric heaters may not meet flammability standards

Toyota has halted sales of the Camry and several other cars that are equipped with fabric seats and seat heaters, because of fears that the fabric may not ...


West Marine recalls folding bicycles

The frame can break causing a rider to fall

West Marine Products of Watsonville, Calif., is recalling about 4,600 folding bicycles. The bike’s frame can break during use, posing a fall hazard to the...


Walker’s Food Products recalls chicken salad products

The products contain soy, an allergen, not listed on the labels

Walker’s Food Products of North Kansas City, Mo., is recalling approximately 2,200 pounds of chicken salad products. The products are formulated with a so...


Home inspectors: who are they working for?

Author claims it's Realtors who are running the show

If you've purchased a home in the last 30 years or so, you know the drill. Prior to settlement a home inspector gives the property the once-over and report...


Another look at the Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

President's proposed MyRA would likely be a far different product

In his State of the Union speech President Obama offered up a proposal for a new retirement savings vehicle for workers at companies that do not offer a 40...


Amazon working on a retail check-out system that uses the Kindle

Everybody is trying to capture point-of-sale transactions

There are two or three lines of business that all the big technology companies want a piece of, and perhaps the one with the most potential is retail check...


"Don't let the bedbugs bite" gets harder every year

DNA tests confirm one pregnant bedbug can spawn an entire colony

The “insects vs. humans” battle has been ongoing for as long as humans have existed, yet the bugs keep winning because they outbreed us...


Google offloading Motorola to Lenovo

It was one of those acquisitions that looked and sounded good but didn't quite work out

Well, that didn't last long. It was just last May that Google made a lot of noise about its plan to manufacture a smartphone in the USA, saying the Moto X ...


Staying safe in cold weather

Seniors are particularly at risk for hypothermia

There's no getting around it: This has been one cold winter in many areas of the U.S., with temperatures sinking in areas where folks don't even own a coat...


How NOT to get that job you really want

The first five minutes of an interview can be make or break

With the labor market apparently opening up (depending on which month you're looking at) a bit, people who are out of work are putting their resumes in ord...


Pending home sales fall in December

The cold snap likely was a factor

A bump in the road for home sales. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), which is based on contrac...


Economic growth backs off

Fourth-quarter GDP fell short of its performance in the third quarter

The robust economic growth reported for the third quarter was apparently a fluke. After expanding at an annual rate of 4.1% in the July-September period, ...


Gree once again expands dehumidifier recall

GE brand dehumidifiers are now included

Gree Electric Appliances is expanding an earlier recall of dehumidifiers to include 352,700 in the U.S. and Canada with the GE brand name. The company pre...


It's cold out there, but housing prices are hot

Prices are up for 2013 as a whole, despite a dip in November

Much of the nation may be shivering through this winter, but home prices are showing no signs of cooling. According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price In...


Some outside-the-box thinking at the Postal Service

Watchdog report urges move into financial services to stem the flow of red ink

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has some severe financial problems, defaulting on a $5.6 billion retiree benefits payment last October. Besides its huge pen...


Breaking out of the long-term unemployed isn't easy

Thirty percent of long-term unemployed haven't had a single job interview

The nation's unemployment rate is finally beginning to fall but economists generally agree that's due in large part to discouraged job seekers dropping out...


Should the War on Drugs include coffee?

Caffeine is the most widely-used drug in the world, but overuse is seldom treated

It's common to hear people say things like, "I'm a zombie without my morning coffee" but in fact, many people are dependent on caffeine to the po...


Fiat + Chrysler = Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV

Fiat changes its name after completing acquisition of Chrysler Group LLC

It's official -- Fiat S.p.A. has completed its acquisition of Chrysler Group LLC, creating a new company that from now on will be known as Fiat Chrysler ...


How to protect your account following recent payment card data breaches

The CFPB offers tips and information on where to get help

We've all heard about the recent breaches of payment card and other data at Target and other merchants and banks. In an effort to help you if you were amo...


Little change in mortgage applications

The refinance share of mortgage activity is down, though

A bit of a slowdown in mortgage activity last week. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, mortgage ap...


IKEA expands recall of junior beds

The metal rod connecting the guard rail to the bed frame can break

IKEA North America Services LLC, of Conshohocken, Pa., is expanding an earlier recall of 40,000 KRITTER and SNIGLAR junior beds. Another 3,500 beds have be...


2014 may be a good time to buy a used car

Just so happens there's a flood of vehicles coming off lease

Used car dealers will often say the first quarter of the year is their busiest time. That's when consumers have received income tax refunds and, if they ne...


Google Glass getting into the prescription visionwear biz

Prescription eyeglass frames plus Google Glass will cost you $1,725, plus lenses

If you're a corrective-lenses wearer who thinks, "The problem with my life is, not enough of it is online in hackable form," great news!...


The Super Bowl: a merchandising bonanza

NRF projects consumers will spend $12 billion on the Broncos-Seahawks match-up

Let's call it what it is: the National Couch Potatoes Convention – because that's pretty much what it boils down to. The National Retail Federation is pr...


How to select a tax preparer

If possible find someone who will be there year after year

If you normally pay someone to prepare your federal and state tax returns, you should have someone lined up by now. But if you haven't gotten around to tha...


Consumers feeling their oats

The increase in the January confidence index is the second in a row

Ordinarily a fickle bunch, consumers have been happy with the economy for two straight months. The Conference Board reports its Consumer Confidence Index...


Watch out for "Order Canceled" scam

It's a ruse to get your personal information or infect your computer, or both

Consumers are being warned to keep an eye out for a post-holiday email scam carrying malicious malware disguised as a link to a helpful “change of ad...


George's recalls frozen chicken products

The products are formulated with wheat, an allergen not listed on the labels

George’s Inc., of Springdale, Ark., is recalling approximately 1.25 million pounds of frozen par-fried chicken tender products. The products are formula...


Red Flannel cat food recalled

The product may be contaminated with Salmonella

PMI Nutrition of Arden Hills, Minn., is recalling its 20 lb. bags of Red Flannel Cat Formula cat food for possible Salmonella contamination. There have b...


Is anyone to blame for the obesity epidemic?

In a survey, consumers suggest we all look in the mirror

There is no debate that the U.S. – and the world – is struggling with rising obesity that poses a threat to long-term health. The debate is ove...


Impulsive behavior may be linked to food addiction

Georgia researchers hope to develop treatments and interventions

People who are prone to impulsive behavior are known to be more likely to abuse alcohol and other drugs. And now a new study says they may also be more sus...


Is Google outing transgender people?

Since the New Year, Google+ privacy violation accusations have become downright commonplace

If we were prone to believing conspiracy theories, we'd think at least one high-ranking Google executive is actually a deep-cover secret agent working for ...


New home sales drop in December

Total homes sold last year is sharply above the 2012 figure

Sales of new single-family houses fell in December for the second straight month. The decline of 7.0% to -- a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 414,000 ...


Congress declares war on stink bugs

The nasty little brown bugs are heading west

This may not strike fear into the hearts of stink bugs but it may provide some encouragement to homeowners and farmers who are thoroughly sick of the pests...


Bags fly free to the Caribbean this summer

Southwest flights from Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington and Orlando start July 1

Southwest Airlines today began selling seats on its first-ever international flights. The discount carrier begins service to Aruba, the Bahamas and Jamaica...


Computer screens may be distracting doctors

Study finds doctors may miss nonverbal cues, fail to communicate with patients

When physicians spend too much time looking at the computer screen in the exam room, nonverbal cues may get overlooked and affect doctors’ ability to...


Shopping cart accidents on the rise

Researchers say current voluntary safety standards aren't getting it done

Parents who grocery shop with young children often use the shopping carts as a stroller as well, putting the child in the cart along with the food.But ar...


Sweaty breasts? That's what towels are for

The guys trying to sell you boob deodorant think you're an idiot. Don't prove them right.

The beauty industry is based on contempt for its would-be customers, who must be convinced “You're not good enough, unless you buy our products."...


Western Sky will stop trying to collect interest on NY payday loans

Consumers who paid back excessive interest will get refunds under NY settlement

New Yorkers who took out payday loans from Western Sky and its affiliates will be getting some relief under a settlement announced today by New York A...


Head lice: Every parent’s nightmare

Here are some tips for prevention and treatment

“Cooties.” That's what we called them back in the day. But head lice is no laughing matter. A year-round problem, the number of cases seems to peak when ...


Trident pool gate latches recalled

The latch may not secure the gate properly

Nationwide Industries of Tampa, Fla., is recalling about 2,500 Trident pool gate latches. The magnet contained in the striker portion of the latch assembl...


Lawsuit against Lift Vapor e-cig company

The stuff is free -- but the shipping costs are allegedly through the roof

Beware those wonderful-sounding advertisements offering you something either for free or a ridiculously low price—plus “shipping and handling"...


Is Facebook like a disease?

Research paper compares it to an infectious disease outbreak

Facebook is like a disease. So says a research paper that exploded onto the scene yesterday. Written by two Princeton PhD students, the paper basically say...


A more affordable alternative to for-profit colleges

Non-profits offer online convenience at lower cost

For profit colleges that advertise heavily and conduct most of their course offerings online have been the center of growing regulatory concern about stude...


Home sales and prices on the rise

The year just ended was the strongest since 2006 for existing-home sales

It wouldn't be a surprise if they're popping champagne corks at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) today. The real estate trade group reports say...


AOL buys Gravity, a "personalization" start-up

The software creates a "fingerprint" for each visitor, then tailors content to them

Internet portal AOL has agreed to pay about $90 million to acquire Gravity, a software startup that tracks users to show them personalized ads and content....


FDA studies caramel coloring in soda

Consumer Reports magazine study found potentially carcinogenic chemicals in some sodas

Under pressure from consumer groups, the Food and Drug Administration says it is taking another look at the safety of caramel coloring in soft drinks and f...


Ray LaHood adds another post-DOT title

He and his former chief of staff join DLA Piper as "policy advisors"

DLA Piper announced today that former US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has joined the firm as a senior policy advisor in the Washington...


Toyota again takes No. 1 title

GM in second, VW third

Toyota is once again the world's top-selling automaker, beating General Motors and Volkswagen for the second year in a row in 2013, fighting back from the ...


Midwest-CBK recalls baby rattles

The head on the rattle can detach

Midwest-CBK of Cannon Falls, Minn., is recalling about 1,900 baby rattles. The head on the rattle can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children. ...


St. Mary’s River Smokehouses Oven Smoked Salmon Stix recalled

The product be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

Lochiel Enterprises Limited of Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, is recalling 56 lbs of St. Mary’s River Smokehouses Oven Smoked Salmon Stix, Chili Mango Flavor. T...


Flat Creek Farm & Dairy corrects information on previous cheese recalls

The lot number in the previous recall announcement was incorrect

Flat Creek Farm & Dairy of Swainsboro, Ga., is correcting information contained in an earlier recall of its Heavenly Blue Cheese and Aztec Cheddar cheese. ...


Don't let identity thieves steal your tax refund

It's easy money for a hacker, a big headache for you

Identity theft is already a growing consumer problem. When a hacker assumes your identity they can open up lines of credit in your name and even clean our ...


NHTSA proposes changes for child safety testing

Child restraint systems to be tested against side-impact crashes

We're huge fans of secondhand shopping as a way to save money, but there are some things you should not buy secondhand and child safety seats are one ...


Now's the time to stockpile "Forever" stamps

First-class stamp prices to rise three cents on Sunday

Now's the time to visit the post office and lay in a stockpile of first-class “Forever” stamps, before the price rises again this Sunday. Today...


Beware of lifetime gym memberships

The gym company's lifetime might be considerably shorter than your own

For all the undeniable health benefits from exercise and working out, we admit to taking a pretty dim view of long-term gym memberships. This is partly due...


IIHS: Don't count on minicars for front crash protection

Fiat 500, Honda Fit fare the worst, Chevrolet Spark the best

It was not a good showing for minicars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says only one of the 11 vehicles it achieved an acceptable ratin...


Could reality TV be a force for good?

Researchers think two shows may have helped reduce teen pregnancy

There's general agreement that unmarried teen-age girls should not be encouraged to have babies. So when MTV came up with reality TV shows like “16 a...


A love song to Mr. Sears and Mr. Roebuck

The Sears catalog was once a sort of analog Amazon

Robert Passikoff is president of Brand Keys, a retailing consultancy.--Robert PassikoffFor nearly 100 years Sears, Roebuck & Co. was Ameri...


Most Members of Congress are now millionaires

They may not get much done but at least they're staying solvent ... and then some

For the first time in history, most members of Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of personal financial disclosure databy the Cent...


A surge in tarmac delays in November

But don't blame the airlines

The nation's airlines reported 11 tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights and four delays of more than four hours on international flig...


Chrysler now officially a subsidiary of Fiat

Fiat has acquired the remaining Chrysler stock it didn't already own

Chrysler is now officially a subsidiary of Fiat, the Italian automaker that cranks out everything from Fiat econocars to sleek Ferrari and Maserati racers....


Mortgage applications on the rise

Interest rates, meanwhile, were falling

Interest in buying a home climbed a bit last week. Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey show mortgage ap...


Stemvida International recalls StemAlive 90 Capsules

The capsules contain milk, an allergen not declared on the label

Stemvida International Corporation of Ontario, Calif., is recalling StemAlive 90 Capsules. The capsules contain milk, an allergen not declared on the labe...


Arctic Cat recalls snowmobiles

Fuel can leak from the fuel tank

Arctic Cat is recalling about 264 Arctic Cat snowmobiles Fuel can leak from the fuel tank, posing a fire hazard. No incidents or injuries have been repor...


American Honda recalls lawnmowers

The engine stop switch can malfunction allowing the blade to continue to rotate

American Honda Motor Company of Torrance, Calif., is recalling about 24,000 walk-behind 21” lawnmowers in the U.S. and Canada. The engine stop switch can ...


Eager to file your tax return? Get a head start

You can prepare your return using Free File right now

Millions of taxpayers don't dread filing their income tax returns. They might if they owe extra tax, but in most cases taxpayers have over-paid and are due...


Amazon's latest patent takes speedy delivery up a notch or two

"Anticipatory delivery" forecasts purchases and gets them into the pipeline

Amazon lets no grass grow under its customers' feet. Its one-click shopping eliminates the tedious shopping-cart procedure that most other e-commerce sites...


Dr. Dre's Beats Music goes toe-to-toe against Spotify

More competition in the streamng music field

Even if you're not a fan of Dr. Dre the hip-hop artist, be glad Dr. Dre the businessman introduced Beats Music ...


The eBay watch dispute resolved

And there's no watch monopoly, either

When eBay asks “Buying more items from this seller?” it's not trying to confirm what you've already done; it's urging you to buy more....


Study: post-accident neck pain is common

But researchers find few of the injured sue

In the typical car accident that doesn't produce an apparent injury, the insurance companies for both drivers settle up, usually without much, if any, mone...


Caution: Infrastructure improvements ahead

"Infrastructure bank" would raise money from companies in return for tax breaks

Is your infrastructure struggling? It must be, judging from the bipartisan chorus now tuning up in Congress to support what's being called an "infrastructu...


Ford recalls commercial vehicles with windshield problems

Some of the windshields may form bubbles

Ford Motor Company is recalling 4,532 model year 2011 Ford E-150, E-250, E-350, and E-450 vehicles built from May 12, 2011, through May 26, 2011. Due to...


European Meat Products recalls beef and pork

The products contain wheat, an allergen not declared on the labels

European Meat Products of Lakewood, Colo., is recalling approximately 130,000 pounds of fresh and ready-to-eat beef and pork products. The products contain...


Nissan recalls Titan King Cab and Crew Cab pick-up trucks

The Tire and Loading Information label overstates the maximum load and passenger carrying capacity

Nissan North America is recalling 183 2014 model year Titan King Cab and Crew Cab pick-up trucks manufactured August 27, 2013, through November 13, 2013. ...


Cloverdale Foods recalls beef franks

The products contain milk, an allergen not declared on the label

Cloverdale Foods of Mandan, N.D., is recalling approximately 2,664 pounds of beef franks. The products were formulated with milk, a known allergen that i...


Internet continues to level the playing field for consumers

Businesses now scramble to provide better service and competitive prices

There has always been a certain tension between businesses and consumers. What has been good for one has not always been particularly good for the other....


The cost of having a baby can vary widely

Researchers call it an "appalling state of affairs"

You may know that it is very expensive to have a baby these days, but how expensive can vary widely, pending on the hospital you use.Researchers at the U...


Wells Fargo, US Bank discontinue payday loans in California under consumer pressure

Regions Bank also backed out of the payday loan business last week

Source: Wells FargoConsumer groups have been putting pressure on big banks that make ultra-high-interest payday loans and they're starting to get resul...


Chocolate, tea, berries may guard against diabetes, study finds

Obesity, heart disease and cancer may also be affected, researchers say

A British study finds that eating high levels of flavonoids found in berries, tea and chocolate could offer protection from type 2 diabetes. Find...


Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras recalled

The exhaust components can overheat

General Motors is recalling 300,000 2014 model year Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras equipped with 4.3L or 5.3L engines. When the vehicle is idling i...


Truitt Brothers recalls Cheeseburger Mac products

The products contain allergens, which are not declared on some labels

Truitt Brothers Inc. of East Bernstadt, Ky., is recalling approximately 1.77 million pounds of shelf-stable pasta and ground beef products because of misbr...


Gusto Packing recalls sliced spiral hams

The hams may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

Gusto Packing of Montgomery, Ill., is recalling approximately 67,113 pounds of sliced, spiral ham products. The hams may be contaminated with Listeria mo...


Midwest Wholesale recalls various 'male enhancement' products

The products contain drug ingredients not listed on the label

Midwest Wholesale is recalling the following products and Lot numbers: Boost Ultra 12 pill bottle, Lot#B70130, Exp 03/15 3 pill bottle, Lot#B70130, Exp 3/...


Rancho Feeding recalls various meat products

The products were not full inspected

Rancho Feeding Corporation of Petaluma, Calif., is recalling approximately 41,683 pounds of various meat products because they were produced without the be...


Facing foreclosure? The 'forensic audit' is no easy fix

Many may be useless, some are outright scams

The foreclosure wave has subsided a bit but homeowners are still losing their homes. The rate of foreclosure is still much higher than it was in 2007, not ...


The Grandma Scam: not just for grandmothers anymore

Do email scammers think you're stupid? No, but they sure hope so

Most would-be scammers try to profit from people's sense of greed. Worse are the scammers who prey on people's sense of compassion...


Regions Bank exits payday loan business

Center for Responsible Lending hails the move

Consumer groups – the Center for Responsible Lending in particular – have been hammering big banks for getting into the payday loan business. T...


Google testing a "smart" contact lens for diabetics

The lens contains a miniature glucose sensor, which can take a reading once per second

Saying that having diabetes is "like having a part-time job," Google researchers are working on a "smart" contact lens that could sample the glucose level ...


Pennsylvania house might or might not be haunted

Full disclosure or TMI? Sometimes it's hard to tell

Any dwelling larger than a kid's plastic playhouse comes with its own soundtrack that gets steadily louder as the house grows older...


Fewer smokers than 50 years ago but the risks are higher

At the current rate, 5.6 million U.S. children will die prematurely, Surgeon General says

Surgeon General report says 5.6 million U.S. children will die prematurely unless current smoking rates dropReport also finds cigarette smoking causes diab...


Broccoli salad kits recalled

The kits may have been exposed to Listeria

Taylor Farms Maryland, Inc. in Jessup, Md. and Taylor Farms Texas Inc. in Dallas are recalling approximately 22,849 pounds of broccoli salad kit products d...


TeleCheck to pay $3.5 million for credit reporting violations

Certegy paid a similar fine last year; both companies agree to clean up their procedures

The check authorization companies that consumers love to complain about may be doing some complaining of their own these days. TeleCheck has agreed to pay ...


Headed for college? Student loan mistakes to avoid

It starts with how you spend your student loan

The rising total of student loan debt has been well documented. At last count it is more than $1.2 trillion, according to the Consumer Financial Protection...


Sperm donor nightmare in Salt Lake City

How can fertility clinic patients protect themselves?

There's no knowing exactly how many families from the Salt Lake City area have been personally rocked by the revelation that in the late 1980s and early 19...


Why it may be important to improve your financial skills in retirement

Managing retirement funds may be more challenging than saving them

Sometime in the early 1990s there was a change in the American workplace. Companies began phasing out their defined pension plans for employees and began p...


"Blood type diet" debunked

Blood type had "absolutely nothing" to do with how test subjects responded to the diet

Popular blood type diet debunkedResearchers from the University of Toronto (U of T) have found that the theory behind the popular blood type diet--which...


Bad buzzword classics: hunks of rock verified GMO-free

Himalania pink salt: GMO-free since last May (plus the entire history of salt before that)

In the world of buzzword marketing, sometimes “cynical genius” and “jaw-dropping stupidity” look exactly alike....


Teens ditch Facebook as the 55+ crowd flocks to it

Kids are drawn to sites like Snapchat, where postings don't live forever years ago, we published a report on 201...


Heroin invades U.S. suburbs

Middle class families increasingly affected by this "hard core" drug

Vermont is a largely rural state noted for quaint B&Bs and rolling countryside. Yet when Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin stepped before the state legislatur...


Expiring Windows XP support may mean many more Target-sized data breaches

No one knows how many computers and point-of-sale systems are still running XP

There's a lot of sound and fury being generated over the Target data breach that may have exposed the credit and debit card data of more than 100 million A...


We may get a break at the pump this winter

The recent pattern of surging winter gasoline prices may be broken

The national average price of regular gasoline began 2014 at a record high for January 1 – around $3.30 a gallon, according to AAA. A bad omen to be ...


Study: Childhood obesity begins at home

Fast food is a factor but is only one part of a bigger problem, researchers report

Just yesterday, University of Illinois researchers reported that fast food is not one of the primary causes of obesity in children. And now a University of...


Unintentional humor in BrandIndex brand rankings

Data quickly turns obsolete in the Internet era

In the fast-paced world of the Internet – where, when something newsworthy happens on the opposite side of the planet, you can know about it less tha...


Some phthalates exposure has fallen since federal ban took effect

But exposure to some forms of the chemicals continues to rise sharply

It's still not clear how much is too much but the good news is that Americans are being exposed to significantly lower levels of some phthalates -- specifi...


Credit card thief gets 15-year sentence

California man was caught with 100,000 counterfeit cards from China and elsewhere

There are all kinds of ways to steal credit cards. There's the high-tech way, used by the bandits who made off with information on as many as 110 million T...


Omaha Steaks Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo recalled

The product contains a know allergen that is not declared on the label

Intevation Food Group, LLC, a Plover, Wis., establishment, is recalling approximately 156,924 pounds of frozen chicken fettuccine alfredo products because ...


Target's brand engagement off 85% after cyber stick-up

"Trust and security" is the third-most-important engagement driver

Robert Passikoff is President of Brand Keys. a retail consultancy.---We figure that one in three of you are pretty concerned about this because, as it ...


False "like" allegations lead to Facebook lawsuits

Is Facebook monetizing opinions you don't actually hold?

Like all social media companies, Facebook uses proprietary algorithms to determine everything from what advertisements you see on your "feed" t...


DirecTV gives the Weather Channel the boot

It's the latest fee dispute among the giants of the TV world

If you like to sit around and watch The Weather Channel, you'll have to do it somewhere other than on DirecTV, which has ousted the Weather Channel from it...


Google buys wi-fi thermostat, smoke alarm company

You can sleep well at night. Google is watching.

We're always being told that the "Internet of Things" is the next big thing, and it must be true because Google has just agreed to pay $3.2 billion to buy ...


This flu season is hitting the young and healthy

Hospitalizations are up sharply over last year

The flu virus is widespread in at least 35 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which says the illness is hitting the...


Appeals Court nixes net neutrality

Court rules FCC doesn't have the authority to police Internet service providers

Net neutrality is not one of those issues that makes consumers' blood boil, although maybe it should. Basically, it's the principle that Internet service p...


Top three risk factors for child obesity

Illinois study looks at 22 variables, finds top three risk factors

Most people think they know what causes kids to be overweight. They'll often name over-eating, fast food and lack of exercise as the primary villains.But...


Mortgage relief scammers will pay $3.6 million to settle FTC charges

The defendants charged troubled homeowners hundreds of dollars but failed to help them

A group of South Florida defendants will pay nearly $3.6 million to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that they operated a mortgage relief scam...


SRAM recalls hydraulic bicycle brakes

The brakes can fail, posing a crash and injury hazard

SRAM is recalling SRAM Hydraulic Road Rim Brakes and Hydraulic Road Disc Brakes for bicycles. The brake systems can fail, posing a crash and injury ha...


The plot thickens: Neiman Marcus admits security breach, three others implicated

Congressional action seems likely as confidence in credit cards is shaken

The Target security breach may have been the biggest but it wasn't the only holiday-season incident that exposed millions of customers' credit and debit ca...


Consumer journalism awards announced

The top award honors Martin H. Bosworth, ConsumerAffairs' late managing editor

Martin Bosworth (staff photo)A new series of awards recognizing outstanding reporting of consumer issues launches this year, a joint project of the Med...


Why it's never been safer to fly

In the last decade, fatal accidents have become a rarity

One can make the case that commercial air travel has never been a bigger hassle. There are security bottlenecks, crowded planes and fewer direct flights....


Supreme Court agrees to hear arguments in Aereo-broadcasters dispute

TV broadcasters say online TV distribution violates their rights

Network-approved antennaIf you can put an antenna on your roof to pull in television signals, why can't you let Aereo put an antenna in its equipment r...


Lame lawsuit alleges weaponized Nikes

Kicking people in the face: bad idea no matter what brand of shoe you wear

Nike-brand sneakers tend to be considerably more expensive than other-brand sneakers, so if ever you hear us say “Buying Nike is a bad idea,” we m...


Vermont goes after VerMints

Vermont products need to be made in Vermont

Disclaimer: during a trip to Vermont a couple years ago, we vaguely recall a tourist trap offering “VerMints” for sale. Specifically, we recall...


Unlicensed movers caught in sting operation

Many advertised on Craigslist, Angie's List and other online venues

An undercover sting operation in New Jersey caught 26 unlicensed moving companies, including two that were solicting interstate business. The 26 companies ...


New lung cancer cases are declining

But prostate cancer remains a serious threat for men

It's been a half century since the U.S. Surgeon General issued a report on January 11, 1964 linking cigarette smoking and lung cancer. Since then there has...


Taxpayer advocate calls for Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Taxpayers might be more willing to pay if they were treated more fairly

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) needs to adopt a comprehensive Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR). So says National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson in her...


Further integration for Gmail and Google+

Google likes the proposed changes. Nobody else seems to.

This past week has been a bad one for Google+ public relations. On Wednesday, Americans learned the story of Massachusetts resident Thomas Gagnon, arrested...


More employees looking for new jobs in 2014

Survey suggests growing dissatisfaction is prime motivator

With employment prospects improving over the last few months more people are beginning to think about changing jobs. When the unemployment rate hovered aro...


Smartphone companies scramble for each others' subscribers

More competition between companies usually means better deals for consumers

Smartphones have now entered what you might call the “cannibalism” phase of market growth—which is considerably less disgusting than it s...


Facebook's "Sponsored Stories" ads will be going away

But that doesn't mean there won't be ads with users' pictures and "likes"

Facebook in early spring will shut down a controversial ad feature that got the company in legal trouble over privacy, the social network said Thursday.I...


Unemployment dips below 7% in December

But the decline was accompanied by tepid job creation

The unemployment rate fell below 7% in December, but it's not because of a robust labor market. Government figures show the decline -- to 6.7% -- was due ...


Target now says data on 70 million consumers was stolen, up from 40 million

The retailer says it wasn't just credit and debit card information that was taken

It was pretty bad when Target announced before the holidays that credit and debit card data for 40 million customers had been stolen. Now it's even worse -...


Flat Creek Farm & Dairy recalls cheese

The product may be contaminated with Salmonella

Flat Creek Farm & Dairy of Swainsboro, Ga., is recalling 90 pounds of Heavenly Blue and 78 pounds of Aztec Cheddar cheese. The products may be contaminate...


Consumer Watchdog says Google+ Circles admit just anyone, friend or not

But it also thanks Google for taking steps against online predators

Fairly or not, people often judge you by the company you keep. And the nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog says this can cause huge problems for people with ...


New mortgage rules called 'back to basics'

Lending reforms take effect Friday but most consumers shouldn't notice

The long-awaited Qualified Mortgage (QM) Rule, drafted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to prevent another housing meltdown, take effect ...


Job-cutting pace slows

Fewer jobs were eliminated in both December and the year as a whole

Employers continued to cut jobs in 2013, but not as many as the year before. Outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas reports that job cuts f...


The continuing rise in home prices

Year over year increase for November totals nearly 12%

For the 21st month in a row, home prices posted a year-over-year increase during November. Residential property information, analytics and services provid...


Online fitness tools offer a low-cost way to health

For the highly motivated, these apps could replace a health club

Too much computer use can lead to weight gain and poor overall health. But there are tools you can access with your computer or mobile device that might he...


Is your car spying on you?

Government report finds navigation systems retain some personal data

A new report from the Government Accountability Office finds that several major automakers and GPS manufacturers collect information about your locati...


Apple, Android still dominate the smartphone universe

Competitors fall further behind in late 2013 data

If you were trying to decide what kind of smartphone to buy based on what other consumers are using, your choice would be a tough one. The race between the...


Fingerprint scan can block unauthorized use of your e-cigarette

Vapor X uses biometics to keep the device locked for everyone except the authorized user

Back in the day, people might try to bum a cigarette off you, which was basically no big deal. But with today's electronic cigarettes, it's a different sto...


Trying to lose weight? Take an avocado to lunch

Eating half an avocado at lunch may help fill you up and reduce your desire to snack

If you're trying to lose weight, you already know that healthy a healthy, low-fat, low-calorie lunch is a good start -- but it's what happens after lunch, ...


Mortgage applications open the year with an increase

Refinancings bounced back after a steep decline

More consumers were shopping for mortgages as 2014 got underway. Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey sh...


New mortgage rule resources for consumers

New materials include sample letters to mortgage servicers

As part of a campaign to educate the public about the new protections provided by its new mortgage rules, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) h...


Did Google+ inadvertently violate a restraining order?

Man claims automatic Google invite led to his arrest

In light of the old joke “You're not paranoid if everyone really is out to get you,” we offer the following corollary joke: “Therefore it's not possible to...


The jobs keep coming

ADP says December job growth exceeded the November total

Another 238,000 jobs were created by the U.S. economy from November to December, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report. The report, pro...


Honda recalls Acura RLX vehicles

The bolts attaching the rear lower control arms to the sub-frame of the vehicle may be loose

American Honda Motor Company is recalling 7,387 model year 2014 Acura RLX vehicles manufactured August 7, 2012, through November 5, 2013. The bolts that ...


Hyundai recalls 28 Santa Fe vehicles

The tires may have a damaged sidewall

Hyundai is recalling 28 model year 2014 Santa Fe vehicles manufactured November 5, 2013, through November 15, 2013, and equipped with P235/65R17 103T Conti...


Shopping for a snow blower

If you've never used one the selection can be baffling

With it promising to be a cold, snowy winter in much of the country you may be considering adding a snow blower or thrower to your arsenal of...


Google's Android system to power car entertainment system

Audi, GM, Honda and Hyundai team up with Google and Nvidia

OAA graphic"What's under the hood?" used to be the first question car enthusiasts asked when a new model came out. These days, the question is rapidly ...


Sen. McCaskill launches probe of bogus weight-loss products

The Missouri Democrat follows up on FTC sanctions against two supplement manufacturers

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill says it's tough enough to lose weight without being victimized by dead-end weight-loss scams and supplements. The Missouri De...


New Dish system can record eight TV shows at once

Dish says the system reduces "channel conflict" but who has time to watch all this?

BusinessWire photoFor most people, the trick isn't remembering to record TV shows and movies, it's finding the time to watch all of them.Dish Network...


Cancer death rates continue to drop

Middle-aged African American men are the biggest beneficiaries

Cancer death rates have been on the decline for the past two decades, according to the annual cancer statistics report from the American Cancer Society htt...


Feds net $700,000 in fake NHL goods

The 2014 Winter Classic brought out the scammers

That great deal you got on a Detroit Red Wings sweater may not have been such a bargain after all. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homela...


Booze: the rarely discussed topic in doctors' offices

A new report finds alcohol screening and counseling is an effective but underused health service

Although its a major health problem in the United States, alcohol abuse is a topic that rarely comes up between physicians and their patients. A new Vital...


Frigid weather a threat to pets

Here are some tips for keeping your dog or cat safe

With an arctic air mass slamming the eastern U.S., it might be an opportune time to pass along some pet care tips from veterinarians and other pet experts....


Yahoo hit by massive malware attack

Company says Americans unaffected; few Americans feel reassured

If you visited or any of its subsidiary websites at any time between Dec. 31 and approximately five seconds ago, you might need to check to ensur...


Need help preparing your tax return?

The IRS has it in a variety of forms

Anytime I am asked if I do my own income taxes, I respond that I would no more do that than I would do my own appendectomy. But, for those who insist on d...


2014 may not be a great time to sell your home

Yes, prices are up but so are interest rates

The U.S. residential real estate market continued to heal in 2013 with strong price appreciation in many areas and steady sales. In some areas it has been ...


Traffic fatalities rise in 2012

Still, highway deaths over the past 5 years are at historic lows

2012 -- the latest year for which full results are available -- was a rough year for traffic fatalities. Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data ht...


General Motors recalls Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD vehicles

The fuel gauge could indicate an inaccurate reading

General Motors is recalling 9,733 model year 2012-2013 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD vehicles, equipped with 6.6L diesel engines and dual fuel t...


One sale from might be one sale too many

Multiple complaints of Christmases ruined and items never sent

Since this is January 2014, it's probably too late for us to warn you, “If you want to buy presents and receive them in time for Christmas 2013, don't buy ...


New e-cig ad pushes the line: Friends don't let friends smoke but vaping is OK

2014 is expected to be the Year of the E-cig, as manufacturers race regulators to the wire

Friends don't let friends drive drunk. And now, a new ad campaign tells us they don't let them smoke either. Ah, but there's a catch, as the NJoy ad h...


Who gets rich off scammy Internet ads?

The Atlantic profiles master scammer Jesse Willms

If you've ever wondered who exactly is behind those obviously scammy flashing ads that pollute most Internet pages.......


Here's the latest wrinkle in the tech support scam

This time the callers are claiming they can get your money back if you fell for the earlier scam

You could hope that those tech support scams would fade into history with the passage of 2013 but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. In fact...


Dietary supplement as concussion treatments? No way

But the facts rarely get in the way of a good hustle

It never fails. An issue pops up that causes public's concern and somebody is sure to find a way to make a dishonest buck on it. Take concussions. Some co...


WK Travel (also known as OneTravel) fined for code-share disclosure violations

Consumers were not told the name of the airline operating the flight

WK Travel, also known as OneTravel, is being fined $95,000 for violating the Transportation Department’s (DOT) rules on disclosure of code-share flights. ...


New year, old news: fixed mortgage rates head higher

A strengthening economy is said to be pushing rates upward

It may be 2014, but the mortgage rate picture sure looks like 2013. Both Freddie Mac and are reporting average fixed mortgage rates (FRMs)co...


Combi recalls various child restraints

The harness webbing fails to meet minimum breaking strength requirements

Combi USA is recalling 33,139 model 8220 (Coccoro) child restraints manufactured January 6, 2009, through December 5, 2012; model 8836 (Zeus 360) child res...


The hot consumer trends for 2014

Virtual travel, Chinese wine and podcasts will be big this year

Time marches on. Now that 2014 is here, what are the consumer trends that we can expect to see?Ann Mack, Director of Trendspotting at JWT, a global adver...


We prepare to put the Chevrolet Volt through a hellish year

Can an electric car really satisfy demanding American drivers? We'll find out

A recent study found that 40% of American households could get by just fine with an electric car, although electric cars currently make up only 1% of the n...


Air Canada succumbs to Twitterati, changes voucher policy

The airline had previously required that both parties in a voucher transfer have the same last name

Good news for modern couples hoping to fly on Air Canada: after an embarrassing controversy on Twitter, Air Canada kicked off the new year by reforming its...


Are student loans the next financial crisis?

Probably not the way the housing market meltdown was

The genesis of the 2008 financial crisis is pretty clear. Mortgage companies eagerly made loans to homeowners without thoroughly checking whether they coul...


Another drop in jobless claims

Construction spending rose in November

First-time applications for unemployment benefits posted a second straight decline last week. Government figures sow that in the week ending December 28, ...


The year ahead: hiring to continue at a cautious pace

Employers will add positions while keeping a close eye on Washington

If you're looking for a word to describe the attitude of businesses as we enter the new year, “cautious” might be a good choice According to CareerBuilder...


Consumers like what they see

Confidence in the economy rebounded in December from November's decline

What a difference a month makes. After posting a 2-point decline in November -- to 72.0, the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index shot up more tha...


Walmart recalls card table and chair sets

The chairs can collapse unexpectedly

Wal-Mart Stores of Bentonville, Ark., is recalling about 73,400 Mainstays five-piece card table and chair sets. The chairs can collapse unexpectedly, posi...


Cultured Kitchen recalls cashew cheese

The product may be contaminated with Salmonella

The Cultured Kitchen of West Sacramento, Calif., is recalling all flavors of its non-dairy cashew cheese product. The raw materials used in the production...