Practicing solid bathroom hygiene is a great way to keep from getting sick, and doing so is especially important when using heavily trafficked, rarely cleaned public lavatories. The nastier the bathroom, the more unique the health challenges they present.
Devising the amount of security you need at your home is a matter of taste. There’s no such thing as total security for the paranoid, and those who take the matter too lightly are probably leaving themselves open for abuse. But there are simple, low-cost things everyone can do to make things more difficult on potential unwelcome visitors.
There’s a reason your office building probably has a fire evacuation map posted on a wall. When things get crazy, it’s best to have a plan in place for how to react, and a map with a rendezvous point for friends and loved ones could prove invaluable during earthquakes, fires and floods — not to mention the apocalypse.
As weather conditions force people to spend more time indoors, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning grows. The odorless gas can knock people out before they realize they’re in trouble.
Are you tired of the high fructose corn syrup battles? Today the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, released a report that said Americans on average eat enough salt every second to kill a
humpback whale kraken. I have not actually read the report, but it probably said something like that. It also said that public education campaigns have failed to reduce sodium intake, and voluntary self-regulation by the food industry hasn’t been effective.
Last week, Jon wrote to us asking how he can help protect his grandmother from falling for any more direct mail scams. She’d answered a piece from psychic Maria Duval, and subsequently her mailing address was sold to all sorts of scammers who thrive on easy marks. We suggested filing a prohibitory order via the USPS, but the core problem remains: how do you convince someone who wants to believe in psychics that she’s being lied to?
A security company says that one easy way to find recently closed laptops hidden in cars or bags is to search for Wi-Fi radios, because some laptops can take half an hour or more before going into sleep mode. You need a specialized scanner to do sniff out Wi-Fi radios, but NetworkWorld.com says you can get one for about $50. The security company, Credant Technologies, says a group of lottery scammers in Jamaica were using stolen laptops that they found in this way. The solution: disable your Wi-Fi before you close the lid on your laptop.
Are you cooking a turkey, but not accustomed to baking and carving entire animals? You’re not alone, and there are hotlines full of helpful and knowledgeable people ready to help you with any and all poultry crises. Or other food safety issues.
There’s also an app for that–the interactive Turkey Timer iPhone application is on sale for $1.99 today (regular price $2.99). It reminds you when to baste, tells you how long until the turkey is cooked, and even estimates the internal temperature of your bird. (Warning: do not insert iPhone inside turkey.)
We’ve posted before about security keys—those little digital keyfobs that generate expiring security codes over and over and make it incredibly hard for someone to gain unauthorized access to your account. They’re a great idea, and now if you own an iPhone you can install a Verisign app that will work with Paypal and eBay, as well as about two dozen lesser known sites. It’s probably the easiest step you can take to vastly improve security on those accounts.
Someone needs to explain to Stonyfield Farm that free usually means that you don’t have to pay any money for the item in question. Especially in a case like this, where you’re already having to send in multiple proofs of purchase to prove you’ve “earned” the “free” item. What you find when you peel back the foil lid is some fine print that explains you also have to pay $2 for this free offer. SLR, who sent in this tip, adds, “I wrote to them via their web site asking what part of free don’t they understand, but received no reply.”
JustStolen offers a free online database where you can store information about your personal property—”Any descriptive information can be entered into the database including make, model, color, serial number and any thing else you can think of. You can even upload photographs of your items.” The company makes its data available for free to police departments everywhere, so they can locate the owners of recovered items by (for example) typing in a serial number. It’s based in Boston but, since it’s an Internet company, it can be used by consumers and police departments no matter where they’re located.