Pressure washers make various outdoor cleaning tasks much easier, but they can also be pretty dangerous when pointed in the wrong direction. That’s why our ever-efficient colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports no longer recommend any pressure washers that come with zero degree nozzles, or adjustable wand tips that can be dialed down to zero. That setting poses a special risk of injury to people, and to carrots. Carrots? [More]
The very thing that makes disposable diapers so useful–their super-absorbency–can make them deadly to pets. While nobody goes around giving diapers to their dog as a chew toy, animals do have a gift for rifling through the trash, and one thing they can find there are diapers. KKTV in Colorado interviewed one family whose dog died after eating some of the absorbent material in a diaper. [More]
It’s not all that unusual to fall asleep with your smartphone under your pillow: they make fine alarm clocks, and can hold so much important information that you don’t want it out of your reach, even while unconscious. Yet a Samsung smartphone woke up a 13-year-old girl near Dallas in the middle of the night when it began smoldering. [More]
When you see a co-worker pass around the inevitable Girl Scout cookie order form and grumble about how you had to do door-to-door sales back when you were a kid, keep this story in mind. A family alleges that a Girl Scout selling cookies in a California neighborhood had a gun pulled on her by a potential customer. [More]
A Las Vegas toddler died a few weeks ago, and the reason for his death wasn’t immediately clear. His illness began when he started coughing blood, and doctors couldn’t figure out what was making the child ill. The culprit wasn’t identifiable in an X-ray: a small coin-shaped battery. [More]
The sky could fall sometime within the next few days. German authorities say the broken-down ROSAT satellite, which once mapped stars and studied X-rays, will plunge into the Americas sometime between Friday and Tuesday. They’ve lost communication with the device so there’s no way of knowing exactly when or where it will hit. [More]
Chad is a T-Mobile customer who used to be a Sidekick user. He also still is a Sidekick user, depending on which situation is more advantageous to T-Mobile. See, he signed a new contract and got a shiny new Sidekick last February. Earlier this year, that phone died and he bought an inexpensive Android phone to use while he waits out his contract. T-Mobile is ending Sidekick service soon, and has offered users still under contract the choice of leaving their contracts with no early termination fee, or switching to a different subsidized phone and sticking around. Chad is still under the original contract that he signed when he got his Sidekick last year, but at the same time is not under a Sidekick contract according to T-Mobile, so neither option is open to him. [More]
Adam is one of the last of the T-Mobile Sidekick customers hanging around. The phone is finally being put to pasture in May, as T-Mobile turns to Android instead of Danger/Microsoft. But Adam is annoyed at how T-Mobile chose to (not) tell him, and their offer of a replacement phone. Not that this actually affects him, since he had switched to Verizon days before. [More]
Talk about pouring a bitter cup. The Post reports that eight customers inside a Long Island Starbucks were unceremoniously kicked out at the peak of yesterday’s lethal storm. [More]
According to a new survey, the top 5 calamities parents fret over happening to their kids are, in order from most fretting to least: kidnapping, school snipers, terrorists, dangerous strangers, and drugs. What they really should be concerned over are the top 5 way children actually get hurt and/or killed: car accidents, homicide by someone the kid knows, abuse, suicide, and drowning. [More]
The bodies of a family of four were found on their couch at the bottom of a crevasse after the area underneath their house suddenly gave way Monday. The culprit was an ancient one, the modern-day after-effects of a 10,000-year old inland sea. [More]
We’re all going to die: Over 1/3 of US bee colonies didn’t make it through the winter, for the fourth year in a row. Bees are an important part of the global food economy; It’s estimated that at least a 1/3 of the stuff we eat gets pollinated by honeybees. At this rate, we may only have the comic stylings of Eddie Izzard with which to remember our apiatic friends by. (Video after the jump). [The Observer] [More]
We’ve been talking about the dangers of texting while driving for a while, and if you’ve been paying attention, you know it’s no joke: texting is 23 times more distracting than talking on a phone. In spite of this, most people do it anyway. If you just can’t help yourself, here are three apps that will limit your ability to text while driving.
Is it okay for an alarm company to ask a neighbor to check on its customer? By sending a 70-year-old woman over to check on their 80-something-year-old customer, American Medical Alarms may have helped prematurely end a robbery/beating in progress. On the other hand, they asked a 70-year-old woman to go investigate an emergency next door—basically turning her into a potential Red Shirt. As the heroic neighbor’s daughter points out, “They should have already considered the possibility that something like this could happen, and have policies in place to prevent it.”
If you’ve been waiting impatiently to get your data back on your Sidekick, here’s your opportunity. IntoMobile reports that T-Mobile has posted data retrieval instructions on its website. They note that most but not necessarily all contacts should be there, but if you’re one of the unlucky few who lost all of your data, T-Mobile has a shiny $100 gift card for you.