Spike In Thieves Stealing Entire Central AC Units

Spike In Thieves Stealing Entire Central AC Units

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]


Great news, homeowners! Drywall manufactured in China from waste byproducts may have a horrible stench and corrode everything in your house, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission has concluded that at least it’s not radioactive. [Consumer Reports Safety]


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]


Hey, kids! Get up off the couch, go outside, and maybe drink a glass of milk once in a while. A study published in the scientific journal Pediatrics shows that 70% of children studied had “insufficient” Vitamin D levels, or an outright deficiency. [Consumer Reports Health] [Pediatrics]

Cash For Clunkers Restarted With $2 More Billion

Cash For Clunkers Restarted With $2 More Billion

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]


It’s a Woot-off! Yes, it’s one of Woot’s fun sales events. As of right now, they’re having some site issues, so either you get a fantastic sale, or you get an error message with Keyboard Cat. You win either way. (Thanks, GitEmSteveDave!)


Share the gift of orange pasta! For every click on their “Share A Little Comfort” site, Kraft will donate ten boxes of Macaroni and Cheese to Feeding America (previously known as Second Harvest.) One click per person per day up to 1 million boxes, etc. There are also coupons on the site. [Kraft]


Consumer Reports Cars asks: “Should you buy a Hummer, Saab, or Saturn?” Their answer: No. Or at least “Not now.” [Consumer Reports Cars]


You mean I don’t need a $900 stroller? Perhaps this is a sign that perhaps the recession is dragging everyone back to something approaching reality. Even affluent American parents are buying secondhand items or using hand-me-downs for their children. [New York Times]


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!)


Usually, to follow someone on Twitter, you click “Follow.” So why does Walmart have a 3,379-word terms of use specifically for their Twitter accounts posted on the company Web site? Seriously, we’re asking, because no one has any idea. [BoingBoing]


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)