Car Smart

  • Motorcycle helmet laws: When the novelty wears off

    In May 2015, the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed updated rules for motorcycle helmets.

  • Your vehicle can be your credit card

    Honda Motor announced in January 2017 its new in-vehicle payment service for fuel and parking, in partnership with Visa Checkout.

  • Jaguar files facial-, gait-recognition patent

    A patent application that Jaguar Land Rover filed in October 2016 might mean that the automaker plans to use gait- or gesture-recognition technology in future vehicles.

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Consumer Alert

  • Tech upgrades make us careless

    A recent report by researchers at Columbia Business School shows that consumers are more likely to be careless subconsciously with their electronic devices when an upgraded
    version of the device comes to the market.

  • “Replica wheels” pose serious risk

    If you hit a pothole at 30 mph, it can be enough to flatten your tire.

  • Beware of IPO frauds

    In November 2016, Securities and Exchange Commission alerted investors to a new scam about initial public offerings (IPOs).

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Healthy Living

  • Food stamps & the 21st century

    A pilot program through Department of Agriculture will allow people who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits—formerly known as food stamps—to use those benefits to buy groceries online beginning in summer 2017. However, the program isn’t all peaches and cream.

  • Experts dubious about copper-bedding claims

    If you shop for a new mattress in 2017, you might see claims about the health benefits of copper to help with everything from joint pain to blood circulation.

  • After you have ‘just one more’

    Many Americans wake up a little green around the gills after a night of drinking and reach for the latest bottle of pills that are marketed to consumers to cure post-indulgence misery.

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Marketplace

  • Bidets: A flash in the can, or potty perfection?

    Some bathroom-fixture manufacturers want to increase awareness of bidets, and James Lin, who owns retailer The Bidet King, says bidets are becoming more popular in the United States.

  • Trade deals tied to food prices

    Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump talked about the need to renegotiate or abolish many trade deals with foreign governments.

  • More robots in retail

    Poor customer service can drive consumers away from a business. Often, service is hampered because employees have to handle tasks that keep them from attending to a customer’s wants and questions.

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What's New

  • Nokia back from the dead?

    Nokia returned to the smartphone market in December 2016 under new leadership from Finnish company HMD Global.

  • New helmet planned for bike-share

    The EcoHelmet, which is a disposable paper helmet that folds flat, is creating buzz in the cycling world.

  • Smartphone features stagnate in 2017

    Although we can expect Apple and Samsung to release the next versions of their smartphones like clockwork in the spring and fall of 2017, experts tell us that we shouldn’t look for companies to add any game-changing features for another 2–3 years.

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Your Money

  • Buying alcohol

    Alcohol is one of the more recession-proof investments that you can make, and these days, the market has gone upscale.

  • Selling your home through social media

    According to National Association of Realtors (NAR), 51 percent of recent homebuyers found their home through the internet in 2016, which is up from 44 percent in 2015.

  • ATM fees reach another record

    The cost to use an out-of-network ATM rose to a record average of $4.57 as of October 2016, according to Bankrate.com.

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