They work silently, leaving no trace behind. A Chicago neighborhood is on alert after the number of thefts of air conditioning units have jumped sharply in recent weeks. The robbers are after the copper inside, which they can resell for scrap, a favorite quick money-making method for drug addicts. But they’re not just cracking open the units and plundering the pipe, they’re lifting the entire central AC unit. [More]
Hello, credit card reform! The first pieces of the CARD Act went into effect today. Card issuers must now allow customers to opt out of some changes to their cards, mail bills at least 21 days before the due date, and give 45 days’ notice of all changes in interest rates or fees. [Consumer Reports Money]
Earlier today, the House approved an additional $2 billion for the Cash for Clunkers program. Don’t celebrate yet, though. Consumer Reports Cars warns that it’s best to wait a while before trying to trade in your inefficient car to make sure that the program stays in place, and that you really will get your rebate. (Photo: G Travels)
If you’re an E*TRADE customer who lives in California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, or Washington, you may be eligible for a class action settlement regarding the undisclosed recording of phone calls. The deadline to file your claim form is September 25, 2009. [Settlement site]
Consumer Reports Cars asks: “Should you buy a Hummer, Saab, or Saturn?” Their answer: No. Or at least “Not now.” [Consumer Reports Cars]
If you’re looking for a good read tonight, try curling up with a cup of herbal tea, some Nilla Wafers, and the PDF of the House Health Reform bill. (warning: opens extremely large PDF) If 1,018 pages is too much reading for tonight, you can look over this one-page PDF on the public insurance option included in the bill, or read first impressions from Consumers Union and the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein. [Consumer Reports Health]
The Huffington Post is having a “Capture The Recession” photo contest. I’d argue that their Flickr pool is nowhere near as cool as ours, but it’s not shabby. Users can rate the pictures and choose the most recession-riffic. [Huffington Post]
Is AOL ripping off your mom? …or stepdad, or aunt, or neighbor? Mainstreet.com gets to the bottom of why AOL continues to charge many, many not-terribly-Internet-savvy customers for their AOL e-mail accounts. You know, the same AOL accounts that are actually offered for free and have been since 2006. [MainStreet]
Yesterday, we reported that production at the ConAgra facility where Slim Jims are manufactured will not resume until fall due to damage from the horrific explosion in June. This information is incorrect. Employees will return to work on July 19, and production will resume on July 27. [WRAL] (Thanks, Lon!)
Hey, look! Comcast has their very own blog! It features mostly regular company news about Comcast services and the adventures of employees and executives, but at least it allows comments. Even Consumerist favorite Frank Eliason, Director of Digital Care (aka @comcastcares on Twitter) has joined in the fun.
More than one million play yards made by Kolcraft and sold under a variety of names have been recalled. Brands include Kolcraft, Carter’s, Sesame Street, Jeep, Contours, Care Bears and Eric Carle. There’s a problem with the side rail, and children can fall out. Check to see if yours is affected at the CPSC.
Tired of Big Sunscreen profiting from your love of the outdoors? Instructables shows you how to make your own sunscreen, with a few fun ingredients and some safety equipment. Alternately, sunscreen-ify your favorite premade lotion by adding zinc oxide or titanium oxide. (Via Lifehacker)