The internet — and its accompanying social media networks — can be a fickle beast. The same post could have friendly, supportive feedback right next to vitriolic, threatening rants from complete strangers. Last month, Instagram began testing a feature that let high-profile users filter out unwanted comments based on keywords, and now that new tool is becoming available to all Instagram users. [More]
It’s always nice to get positive, and even constructive, feedback on your Instagram photos. It’s not so nice when someone takes the time to hurl insults or make threats in the comments. Soon, Facebook-owned Instagram will give users new anti-harassment tools that let them hide unseemly messages left on their photos. [More]
With student loan debt in the U.S. now well beyond $1 trillion, everyone seems eager to get into the debt-reduction business. Some cities will pay down your debt if you move there, while a growing number of employers are making loan payment contributions part of the benefits package. Now some financial institutions are dangling the debt-reduction carrot in front of potential customers — but should you bite? [More]
We’ve talked about privacy policies a lot before. While they exist to give consumers information about what data is being collected and how it’s being used, they tend to share one big problem in common: aside from a few exceptions, most privacy policies are utterly impenetrable for the average reader.
With seemingly daily reports of new data breaches and related scams, it’s no secret that identity theft is now more of a concern than ever. In an effort to help victims work their way through the process of restoring and protecting their identities, the Federal Trade Commission has launched a new online interactive tool. [More]
Chad has carried around a Leatherman Super Tool since 1996. It has proven useful many, many times since, but for the last year he carried it, it just wasn’t working correctly. He asked for and received a new one for Christmas from his wife. Hurray! After bonding with his new tool, he learned about the company’s 25-year warranty. 25 years? Why, his old one was only 16 years old when it went out of commission. He sent it along to see if it could be repaired. He was sad to learn that it couldn’t.
Patrick didn’t say where in the country he lives, but in most of the United States, people don’t need string trimmers year-round. Their grass and weeds grow from maybe late spring to maybe early fall. He bought a new Craftsman string trimmer from Sears back in April, just in time for the plants to start growing. He had a problem with it about a month ago, so he brought it in to the store so Sears could make good on that two-year warranty it came with. That’s when he learned that thanks to the glacial speed of repairs, he’ll be lucky if he sees his string trimmer again before the end of the summer.
Think quickly: if you saw the “USA Quality Guarantee” seal on a product you found in a store, where would you assume that it had been manufactured? If you guessed “China,” you’re an awfully cynical person. You are, however, correct.
Reader Stuart, who writes a blog about tools, noticed this little badge of dishonor on a knife for sale at Home Depot. If it’s not meant to make customers think that the knife was made in the USA, then are the words just for decoration?
Let us disrupt the otherwise normal bucolic sight of everyone in the neighborhood out on a warm afternoon, mowing away at their green lawns. Why does each house need to own their own lawnmower? At around $300 a pop for a new one, they’re not cheap, and households could cut costs drastically if they shared them, but negotiating that can lead to arguments over how much each borrower should chip in, if any, and when. So the Eschaton blog muses on this and wonders, why couldn’t there be a Zipcar for tools? Well there is! They’re called tool rental libraries.
The descriptively named stolencamerafinder.com helps you track down your stolen fancy digital camera. Just drag and drop photos from your camera before it was stolen onto the box on the website. The site then scans scraped databases for the EXIF data embedded in the picture to locate other photos encoded with your same serial number. If there’s a hit, that person might have your camera.
Don’t rely on the buyer to tell you how much your gold is worth, that’s a ripe setup for getting a bad deal. Instead, know the melt value of your gold before you go into negotiations. To make that easier, GoldCalc is a two-step tool that lets you do exactly what its name sounds like.
You can check out foreclosures all over the US just by drilling down in Google Maps.
DaysToPay is a handy little site that quickly shows you how long you will have to work in order to buy something. Enter the cost and your hourly wage or yearly salary and it shows you just how much of your sweat is going into that new Xbox Kinect.
Wallet, keys, check. Cellphone? Gah! Where did I put that darn thing?
Shopping for a bank but don’t want to get dinged with fees or unfair practices, but not totally sure you know what they all are? Those banks can be darn creative, after all. Here’s a great online guide that takes you step by step through all the practices you should watch out for. Complete the worksheet and you’ll have a good idea of whether you should stash your cash there or not.
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.
Earlier today, Black & Decker and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of 192,000 Black & Decker Random Orbit Sanders after several reports that the plastic disc that holds the sandpaper to the sander can fly off and hurt the hell out of you or anyone around you.
The Department of Transportation has updated its consumer guide to air travel, which provides a quick summary of what to look for when buying a ticket, and what protections you have during travel. It’s also a good starting point when you have an airline-related problem and need more information before deciding what to do next.