Scott Adams, creator of the comic strip “Dilbert,” wrote a blog post earlier this month where he compared investment advisors to palm readers. If there is no real science to stock-picking, he reasons, then telling people what to invest in should be for entertainment purposes only. Like palm readers. That raises an interesting question: what kind of investment advice can you get from a palm reader? [More]
Verizon customers waited for years to get their hands on the iPhone, and a new study finds they use those waiting skills more than their AT&T brethren, because the Verizon model takes twice as long on average to download data.
It’s hard to keep track of all the extra fees airlines have invented to pad a ticket purchase, especially since they keep introducing new ones; USA TODAY says revenue from added fees have jumped nearly 16% from a year ago. The newspaper reviewed fees from 13 airlines in the U.S. and compiled this handy reference chart of current fee schedules, to make comparison shopping a little bit easier. As expected, Southwest continues to be one of the best values.
Name brands exert a strong power over shoppers: 17% of us think name brand foods are more nutritious, even though there’s little nutritional difference between the two categories. Consumer Report performed taste tests on several food categories to determine whether name brands tasted better than store brands, and found that in some cases the store brands actually won.
BillShrink compared the new iPhone 4 to the Droid Incredible, the Evo 4G, and the Nexus One to see which one is the cheapest in total cost of ownership, and the results were somewhat surprising given the iPhone’s reputation as a money gobbler. If you opt for the cheapest data plan AT&T offers, the TCO for the iPhone 4 is the only one of the four devices that comes in under the $2,000 mark. But beware! That “cheapest data plan” conditional is a pretty tricky one.
The next time you go shopping for a new HDTV, keep in mind that the brightness and contrast settings don’t adjust brightness and contrast, and most of the fancier-sounding image quality controls don’t do anything except possibly degrade the image. Also, motion blur in live video is largely imaginary, which is good because advertised response times are highly exaggerated. And hey, that impressive “dynamic contrast ratio” the manufacturer is crowing about? Most of the extra contrasty goodness happens when there’s no image on the screen.
Greg wrote to us and said that he’s in the market for a new credit card: “I canceled my Chase card because they raised my interest rate to 29.99% + prime. What credit card companies should I be looking at for a replacement card? What are their perks, their drawbacks?”
I spoke with Samir Kothari, the co-founder and vice president of products at BillShrink.com, to see what he thinks about the CARD Act and how it will change the credit card marketplace.
Zagat, the popular consumer feedback-based restaurant review guide, now reviews wireless carriers as well, and they’ve released rankings on the four national carriers. The company surveyed 2,319 wireless consumers and then created Zagat-style scores in a variety of categories. Here are some of the highlights.
ConsumerAffairs.com says that the Texas Attorney General has gone after a couple of online price comparison companies. The sites all claim to offer unbiased comparisons of retailers, but in reality the companies have been accepting payments in exchange for preferential listings. The companies, Intercept LLC and Everyprice.com Inc, both operated multiple sites with names like Flyingprices, Diduprice, and Lowpricedigital. All the sites are currently offline.
You may think that buying an iPhone with AT&T service is an expensive commitment, and you’d be right. But as this chart from BillShrink shows, your total cost of ownership (TCO) for any of the latest smartphones is going to exceed 2 grand over a 24-month period. In fact, the highly-praised new Motorola Droid on Verizon works out to exactly the same TCO as the latest iPhone.
Laptop Mag pitted AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon in a battle royale to decide who was the fairest of them all in regards to customer service. The magazine’s investigation found T-Mobile led in all three ways to contact the companies — the physical store, online and over the phone — and took the overall crown.
Florida lawyer Lesly Carmen Longa objects to will kits, free or otherwise.
The big benefit of rechargeable batteries, aside from possibly being more ecological, is they’re supposed to save you money in the long run. However, blogger Len Penzo argues that for some devices, you’ll spend more money if you go the rechargeable route.
If you want to decide which cellular provider to do business with based on performance, you might be interested in checking out the new “2009 Wireless Call Quality Performance Study” from J.D. Power and Associates. If you don’t have time, just remember that Verizon Wireless offers the most reliable call quality around the country, coming out on top in 4 of the 6 regions.