Engineers at Netflix have figured out a way to connect the streaming video service to new “smart” lightbulbs so that the lights in a room respond to color changes on screen, providing a much more immersive experience. Alas, we might never get to try this for ourselves. [More]
If you’re tossing and turning every night in a futile search for the elusive experience of a good night’s sleep, you aren’t alone. And if you’re taking prescription medication to ease that hunt for Zzzs, there are 8.6 million other Americans out there just like you. We’re a restless nation, says the first federal health study to focus on prescription sleeping pills. [More]
Zolpidem, the active ingredient in prescription sleep aids Ambien, Edluar, and Zolpimist, is apparently leaving some users — especially women — groggy and impaired in the morning. Thus, the FDA is requiring the manufacturers of these drugs to lower the current recommended doses. [More]
The idea of the bad consumer — the person whose antics make products and services more expensive or cause stores to enact anti-consumer policies — is nothing new to Consumerist readers. But a college student in Washington recently undertook an effort to identify seven categories of what he calls “Customer Service Saboteurs.” [More]
While there are a number of full-color devices like the Kindle Fire or the Nook that are sold as e-readers, there is a segment of the e-book reading world that views them as dumbed-down tablets with too-bright backlit screens that suck up battery power. Many of these people have been waiting for a color version of the E-Ink technology used in all the non-Fire Kindles and a few other readers to eventually become a reality. Well, now it is, but you won’t be seeing it stateside in the near future. [More]
Our scientific sisters over at Consumer Reports have set out to answer the question that’s on everyone’s minds lately: Is an LED lightbulb really a viable replacement for the controversial-and-soon-to-be-phased-out inefficient incandescent?
After 3,000 hours of testing, the best LEDs were still as bright as the incandescents they replaced. But only about half were as bright as promised. All the LEDs reached full brightness instantly, even at frigid temperatures, providing warm white light that was unaffected by frequently turning them on and off. Energy use matched or exceeded claims, and LEDs don’t contain mercury (CFLs do in small amounts). Some LEDs dimmed as low as incandescents. But not all LEDs are good at shining light where you need it. [More]
Remember that Bieber track that turned into a symphonic masterpiece once it was slowed down 800%? Yes? No? Well you might as well kill yourself, Brian Eno, because here’s an old-school dial-up modem slowed down 700% , becoming an epic soundscape of terrifying drones and robotic wails, punctuated by tsunamis of static. Ah, it really captures the essence of what connecting to AOL in 1995 felt like. [More]
Oh, hey there. I didn’t see you as I was just watching this improperly audio-synced Saving Private Ryan Blu-Ray on my overheating Vaio laptop. Welcome to our home, a top-to-bottom shining example of danger, stocked to the brim with 2010’s most infamous recalled products! Let’s take a little tour, shall we? [More]
Last week, two adventurous Consumerist readers took us up on our challenge to test out White Castle’s experimental BBQ and noodle menus being tested at single restaurants in Indiana and Ohio, respectively. Now, we complete the White Castle Trilogy with a reader’s impressions of the chain’s Decker’s pressed sandwich menu in Lebanon, TN. [More]
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Toyota has announced that it plans to recall 95,700 2009 and 2010 model year Toyota Corolla, Corolla Matrix, and 2008 and 2009 Scion xD vehicles all equipped with 1.8 liter engines. The company is only notifying owners in states “affected” by extremely low temperatures: Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Rich, poor, Slimfast or Milky Way, one thing grocery store customers can usually agree on is that they hate waiting in line. Retailers have sought out a number of solutions over the years – from self-checkout terminals to entertaining distractions and ambient fragrances – but, according to the Wall Street Journal, the latest trend is single-line queues.
As you lounge in your house during the summer days, it’s hard not to associate that ambient air conditioner hum in the background with a paper shredder destroying your money.
Some Camaro fans at Camaro5 have put together a list of owner-submitted things to watch out for with the new Camaro. Although they point out that not every other Camaro that rolls off the line is a bucket of fail—this isn’t the Xbox 360, after all—there do seem to be enough first year production issues that you should inspect the vehicle very carefully before leaving the dealership.
Chronic insomnia is one of those life-altering problems that seems minor at first, but builds up over time until it’s negatively affecting everything in your life. The New York Times has a new article up about cost effective ways to treat it, including generic Ambien (so you can have generic sleep-sex, we guess). The treatment that seems to show the most promise is cognitive behavioral therapy, or C.B.T. Sessions cost between $100-150 each, but if your insurance won’t help, there’s an online self-guided version of C.B.T. for $25.
We knew Ambien could cause sleep driving and sleep eating, but this man blames it for causing him to hook up with a woman he barely knows. Now he says the woman has called his home and refers to him as her f*** buddy, and yet he can’t even remember the act. Oh also, he’s married.