The issue of who can access information stored on your electronic devices has become increasingly controversial in the last year, with authorities obtaining search warrants to unlock smartphones for everyone in an office building, courts ruling that police can force smartphone users to give up their devices’ passcodes, and federal lawmakers trying to force weakened encryption on consumers. Now, police investigating a homicide are hoping to get a look under the hood of Amazon’s Echo speaker to see if its virtual “Alexa” assistant might have recorded evidence of a murder. [More]
A few weeks ago, Apple admitted that some iPhone 6S batteries were not working properly, causing the phones to shut down suddenly during otherwise normal use, and launched a repair program for affected consumers. But Apple hadn’t said why the batteries weren’t working properly… until this week, when it blamed the problem on air. Yes, literally air. [More]
For the better part of two years Ford has been the center of federal safety investigations related to certain sedan doors that just wouldn’t stay shut. This week, the carmaker announced it would recall 830,000 vehicles to replace side door latches in certain states. [More]
Taco Bell is giving some of its restaurants a shiny new makeover, with a test of four different “upscale” design concepts. They might feature different decor but there are a few elements they’ll share, including larger tables that aren’t bolted to the floor so people can eat in bigger groups. [More]
You know the feeling: your head is full of stuffing, your feet are dragging, and you just need to find somewhere to rest your tired bones after a long flight and before you get on another plane. If you don’t have access to an airline’s lounge, there are limited options for napping at most airports: snoozing upright in a chair or perhaps tucked away in a corner on the ground. JetBlue is offering another choice with new napping pods at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. [More]
After riding the trend of blurring the line between phone and tablet with its iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus, Apple is going the other way with the iPhone SE — a device with a screen the same size as the iPhone 5S, but with the same chip as the 6S. [More]
Both retailers and consumers are increasingly choosing higher-efficiency LED lights over incandescent and compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, and General Electric is responding, announcing plans to end CFL production in favor of providing more LED options.
When you’re having a hard time getting a good night’s sleep, you might reach for the pill bottle for a simple, chemical solution. And you’re not alone — according to a new survey from our colleagues at Consumer Reports, more than one-third of adults who complained of sleep problems at least once per week said they had used an over-the-counter or prescription sleep drug in the previous year. [More]
Summer blockbuster season is almost upon us. The months of kicking back in the full-blast air conditioning and watching digitally-created stuff blow up will begin in just a couple of weeks, and at this point, it’s an annual ritual. [More]
Have you ever looked at your empty cup of coffee and just wished you could devour it? You’d probably survive eating your standard paper cup, but it wouldn’t be the most tasty of experiences. Thank god there’s KFC, which is introducing an edible coffee cup in the UK. [More]
If you’re having a difficult time falling asleep after reading a few chapters of the latest can’t-put-it-down book, the bright light emitted from your eReader may to blame. [More]
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.”
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.