As regulators continue to craft rules meant to crackdown on costly and harmful short-term payday lending, companies are offering alternative products like installment loans and open lines of credit to consumers. But, as it turns out, these cash infusions can be just as devastating to those in need, and few states offer sufficient protections for borrowers. [More]
Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission sued T-Mobile, accusing the wireless company of making hundred of millions of dollars off of so-called “premium” text-messaging subscriptions that were often never requested by subscribers. To preempt others from getting involved in illegal “bill cramming,” the FTC is asking carriers to implement policy changes now instead of waiting until it’s too late. [More]
Lifehacker reader Apollo Clark has put together a matrix that compares seven of the most popular and/or feature-packed smartphones on the market, as well as the iPad for some reason. If you’re planning on trading up to a fancy new phone/multimedia device in the next couple of months, it’s worth checking out to see which phones best align with your wish list. [More]
If you haven’t tasted a Flying Dog Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale, you’re missing out on a “fresh, balanced and lively” drink that’s “almost Pilsner-like,” says a panel of beer experts in the New York Times. The Flying Dog took top honors in a taste test of 20 American pale ales, followed by Long Trail, Stoudts, Sly Fox, and Otter Creek. If you can’t remember these smaller labels this weekend on your way to the cookout, you can always stick with Sam Adams pale ale, which placed seventh. [More]
Update: We asked the Skywalk to confirm that they have a “no-refunds” policy. Their answer is at the bottom of this post.
This $10 silicone bib for babies is stain-proof and non-porous, and it forms a scoop (you might even say a trough) underneath baby’s uncooperative mouth, so that food items end up there instead of on the baby, table, floor, dog, etc. It can even be thrown in the dishwasher. [Cool Tools]
In what may have been the most awesome blind taste test ever, a BusinessWeek writer served his friends chilled shots of various brands of vodka to see whether there was any noticeable difference in taste. His argument was that vodka is a neutral spirit and by definition is nearly indistinguishable from one brand to the next—and that consequently the “brand story” (including country of origin) is really all that separates a Grey Goose drinker from a Ketel One alkie. To test this, he asked his subjects to pick their favorite brands from shots and mixed drinks.
A turkey fryer has never really sounded like a safe way to cook—there’s just something inherently stupid about the act of dropping a dead bird the size of a basketball into a vat of boiling oil, no matter how tasty the outcome. According to TheStreet.com, “Turkey fryers are a known cause of many fires, so much so that the National Fire Protection Association advises against their use.” TheStreet test-drives an alternative, the $129 Char-Broil Big Easy oil-less fryer, which Char-Broil describes as “Just like a turkey fryer, minus the boiling, hot oil and visits from your local firefighters.” According to TheStreet, it doesn’t leave the skin as crispy as a real fryer would, but otherwise works great.
The sommeliers who read The Consumerist may scoff, but there are actually some decent wines available for $10 or less, or so says the New York Times food critics.
We got some poison ivy and first we tried our Hot/Cold water method. In this, first you run hot water on the rash until it’s so hot you can’t stand it. Then hold it there. Then flip the water to freezing. Your nerves will be so freaked out they won’t know how to itch for the next few fours.
You can apply the principles of the Getting Things Done book to all aspects of your Consumerist lifestyle, from following through on a resolution to draft a budget, to remembering to call customer service, to funding your IRA.