The Tasty Lies Behind Your Favorite Convenience Foods

The Tasty Lies Behind Your Favorite Convenience Foods

There are a number of criticisms you can make about frozen meals and chain takeout: poor nutrition, factory farming, and wasteful packaging. Most Americans don’t care about that, though. What they want to know is: does this meal look anything like the photo on the package? Does it taste like beef-flavored cardboard? Is the portion big enough to keep me from running to the break room vending machine by 3:00? For them, the convenience food blog Tasty Lies exists. [More]

Banzai Slide 'N Splash Whale Pool Box Vs. Reality

Banzai Slide 'N Splash Whale Pool Box Vs. Reality

Three years after we first started pointing it out, Banzai continues to make kiddie pools that are disproportionately smaller than they appear on the box. The latest to enrage the internet is their “Slip ‘N Splash Whale Pool.” On the box it shows four children frolicking. In real life, those would have to be tiny munchkin children. [More]

Cornell Software Can Spot Fake Reviews

Cornell Software Can Spot Fake Reviews

It’s not always easy to sort out genuine rave reviews from online users from those made by company plants, but technology may be able to sort out what the gullible human eye cannot. Cornell University researchers say they’ve developed software that can identify fake reviews. [More]

Hotel Openly Advertises For Fake TripAdvisor Review Writers

Hotel Openly Advertises For Fake TripAdvisor Review Writers

It’s no secret that hotels put bogus user reviews of themselves on sites like TripAdvisor, but usually they’re more discreet than this. TripAdvisorWatch found an example of an owner of several hotels in Hanoi posting on freelancer.com under his real name asking “if anyone can teach me the way to write reviews on this forum in which my reviews can not be found as fake and be removed.” [More]

Company Retaliates For Bad Game Review With… Bad Reviews Of Reviewer's Novel

Company Retaliates For Bad Game Review With… Bad Reviews Of Reviewer's Novel

Writer Mike Murdock published a fantasy novel in 2008 that had a sudden uptick in reviews on Amazon.com a few weeks ago. Why the sudden popularity? Was it reviewed somewhere prominent? Made part of Oprah’s Book Club? Tweeted by Roger Ebert? Not exactly. Murdock also reviews video games, and recently published a very unfavorable review of the new Sega/High Voltage Software Wii game Conduit 2 on Joystiq. A High Voltage employee then sent a link to the book’s Amazon page to co-workers, urging them to read Murdock’s book and “return the favor.” Well, if a one-star review calling the book “below fan-fiction garbage” is a favor.
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White Castle's BBQ Menu: Hot Or Not?

White Castle's BBQ Menu: Hot Or Not?

As we wrote last week, White Castle is testing out a new Blaze BBQ menu at one of its restaurants in Indiana. Lucky for us, blogger Kat Jones lives in the area and decided to take us up on our request for a proper review. [More]

Yelp Reviewer Gives 1 Star For Restaurant That Hasn't Opened Yet

Yelp Reviewer Gives 1 Star For Restaurant That Hasn't Opened Yet

As with any community-sourced online content, Yelp’s reviews can vary widely in quality. Still, this may be one of the most ridiculously self-entitled and clueless reviews anyone has ever posted about a restaurant: [More]

Canon 7D Or Barbie Video Girl: Which Is Better?

Canon 7D Or Barbie Video Girl: Which Is Better?

Sometimes when you’re comparison shopping for electronics, it helps to find a fan-made video test that looks at the devices side by side. Luckily for you, if you can’t decide whether to buy an $1800 Canon 7D or a $50 Barbie Video Girl, now you’ve got some help. (Hint: only one of these can be called “the sassiest camera money can buy.”) [More]

Are Upside-Down Tomato Planters No Good?

Are Upside-Down Tomato Planters No Good?

A tipster sent us a link to this short advice column on gardening at PennLive.com, where the author says upside-down planters in general aren’t that great, and in dry hot summers are particularly bad for your tomatoes. [More]

Hulu Plus Reviewed: Is It Worth Your Money?

Hulu Plus Reviewed: Is It Worth Your Money?

Staci D. Kramer at mocoNews tested Hulu Plus, the forthcoming “pay us $10 a month to watch commercials” subscription offering from Hulu, and reports that it’s okay-to-disappointing depending on your needs: “Given that I’m a subscription addict, I was fairly sure I’d wind up keeping it after my free review month. One week in, not so much.” [More]

What Are The Best Smartphone Apps For Motorists?

What Are The Best Smartphone Apps For Motorists?

Maybe I can’t play Plants vs. Zombies while I drive (or maybe I can!*), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of useful apps for the average driver. In its August issue, Consumer Reports reviews a bunch of apps for motorists, both free and paid, that promise to help you remember maintenance dates, get the correct info after an accident, or find your car in a big parking lot. [More]

Use Doctor Finder To Prescreen Your Doctor

Use Doctor Finder To Prescreen Your Doctor

If you’re like most people, you pick a new doctor by going through an approved list provided by your insurer and selecting someone nearby. Doctor Finder from insiderpages.com hopes to make the process less random by providing reviews for doctors and dentists. You can search by zip code, then narrow down results by your insurer, distance, gender, specialty, language, and experience. [More]

Wired Reviews Smart Mop, Says It's Dumb

Wired Reviews Smart Mop, Says It's Dumb

The twistable, change-your-life-forever Smart Mop that’s sold via infomercial looks sort of handy, but does it work? Wired tested one out, and says no, it does not work. In fact, it leaves behind liquid instead of sopping it up, falls apart frequently, and scrapes across the floor if you don’t hold it just right. Wired wraps up the review with this very non-infomercial suggestion: “If you’re sick of taking paper towel to floor every time Junior dumps his milk, well, tough, that’s part of being a parent.” [More]

Toyota Stops Selling Lexus SUV After Consumer Reports Says "Don't Buy"

Toyota Stops Selling Lexus SUV After Consumer Reports Says "Don't Buy"

It’s a big deal when Consumer Reports awards a “Don’t Buy” rating to a vehicle, and when it announced earlier today that the 2010 Lexus GX 460 should be avoided because of safety risks, the story started popping up all over the web. Now only 12 hours later, Lexus has announced that it is asking dealers to temporarily stop selling the vehicle while it looks into the situation, and that it’s taking the Consumer Reports claim “very seriously.” [More]

Hey Online Shoppers, Please Don't Agree To Withdraw Negative Reviews

Hey Online Shoppers, Please Don't Agree To Withdraw Negative Reviews

Jessica Palmer at the blog Bioephemera recently had a bad run-in with a bookseller on Amazon, which she talks about at great length in a post. The mistake she made, she says, was that she didn’t exercise due diligence in researching the seller for complaints, and she didn’t read through all the many reviews on Amazon to see if the negative ones demonstrated a pattern. But her bigger issue is that there’s still no way to shame a bad retailer the way local news stations do with local brick and mortar stores, which is why it’s so important to stick by your complaints once you make them. [More]

Yelp Accused Of More Negative Review Extortion

Yelp Accused Of More Negative Review Extortion

Yet again, business owners are accusing massive review site Yelp of extortion–and they’ve filed a class action lawsuit. This time, instead of guaranteeing positive reviews in exchange for cupcakes, the site is accused of contacting business owners and offering to remove their negative reviews for money. In a written statement, Yelp denied the allegations and noted, “Running a good business is hard; filing a lawsuit is easy.” [More]

Looking For A New Snack? Try Taquitos.net

Looking For A New Snack? Try Taquitos.net

The Daily Beast has published a short profile of Jeremy Selwyn, a web developer in Massachusetts who runs the snack food review website Taquitos.net. Selwyn started the site about ten years ago, and now he has nearly 4.5 thousand different entries on various chips, candies, pretzels, and whatever else can be combined with salt and flavored powder. Naturally I immediately checked out the “Worst Chips Ever” section, which includes an awful lot of sea creature flavored abominations. Apparently sour cream and clam isn’t a good idea for a chip. [More]

TechCrunch Intern Fired For Trading Reviews For Gadgets

TechCrunch Intern Fired For Trading Reviews For Gadgets

TechCrunch canned a teen intern for asking for a MacBook Air in order to do a post about a Startup, Inquisitr reports, pointing out the site’s founder and co-editor Michael Arrington throws the kid under the bus, hardly acknowledging the lack of managerial oversight that made the practice possible. [More]