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Updated: 1 hour 7 min ago

Toothache gone wrong

February 28, 2007 - 21:08
Merrill Goozner: An American 12-year-old has died from an infected cavity. Why does this happen in the country that spends the most on healthcare?Merrill Goozner

Susie Bright: Delta Dawn, What's That Frat Pin You Have On?

February 28, 2007 - 19:08
Want to become a bigot? Join the Greek system.Susie Bright

Lifehacker Roundup

February 28, 2007 - 19:08

How much does that tax-prep software really cost?
"If you use any kind of tax-prep software, you owe it to yourself to read this piece."

Recalculate your paycheck deductions
"So you've filed your income tax return, but you want to adjust how much you'll owe/get back in 2007. Take a gander at PaycheckCity.com's Paycheck Calculator, which will figure out your paycheck amount and tax payment based on gross salary and other deductions."

Extend Vista's activation period
"...step-by-step instructions for extending the length of time you can run Vista without activation from 30 to 120 days."

How to track your airline miles in Quicken
"You can use Quicken to track travel reward points as if they were another account."

Recover stolen gadgets with GadgetTheft
"Freeware application and web utility GadgetTheft tracks your stolen gadgets by placing an autorunning application for your iPod, digital camera, or other USB device."

Find hotspots with Hotspotr
"Find a Wi-Fi hotspot in your area with Hotspotr, a new Google Maps mashup..."

Free printable worldwide subway maps

Decide whether or not to hire a tax professional
"The Queercents money blog has a 9-point evaluation that'll help you figure out the right answer for you."

(author unknown)

Shanghaied!

February 28, 2007 - 19:08
Meghnad Desai: What plunging stocks around the world show is that globalised markets are not immune from the good old-fashioned business cycle.Meghnad Desai

Error'd: A Really Really Phat Pipe

February 28, 2007 - 19:08

I don't know which is more impressive; Tyler M's phat pipe (I promise to never say "phat pipe" again), or that he finally found a site that could serve files fast enough to justify his huge bandwidth bills.

 

 

Jake Vinson

Vote For Your Smack Deals

February 28, 2007 - 19:08

What do you want a deal on? On Monday March 5th, Consumerist readers will have the chance to get up to 80% off on select products by playing in a special Jellyfish Smack Deal of the Day.

Jellyfish's Smack Deal of the Day is a reverse auction: as time passes, price drops. The game is to buy the product at the lowest price possible. Towards the end it can get as low as 80% off. The trick is that you don't know how many units are in stock, so if you wait too long... you lose out. Side games and real-time chat make for a rollicking time.

At checkout, players pay full price, but receive the cash back via check or Paypal within 60 days.

Vote now, based on the products you recommended, to help decide which products get smacked. And sign up here so you're ready to go on game day. — BEN POPKEN

Gawker Media polls require Javascript; if you're viewing this in an RSS reader, click through to view in your Javascript-enabled web browser.

(author unknown)

A vision of the future

February 28, 2007 - 19:08
Charles Clarke: Why there needs to be a public debate on Labour's next course of direction.Charles Clarke

Don't trust the polls

February 28, 2007 - 19:08
David McKie: Brown v Cameron is even more unpredictable than Sarkozy v Royal.David McKie

Conservapedia goes into hiding

February 28, 2007 - 19:08
Religious version of Wikipedia disappears as eyes of net turn its way.(author unknown)

The Weekly Olbermann

February 28, 2007 - 19:08
Transcript here. Justin

TV chef to cook up supermarket storm

February 28, 2007 - 17:09
Celebrity chefs have remarkable power. When they tell us what to do, we slavishly obey - and this doesn't just go for cooking times.Matthew Weaver

Matt Taibbi: Why Can't We Talk about Peace in Public?

February 28, 2007 - 17:09
Our national love affair with high-tech weaponry is an inevitable consequence of having a military industrial complex that underwrites our economic structure.Matt Taibbi

War on Iraq: Why Can't We Talk about Peace in Public?

February 28, 2007 - 17:09
Our national love affair with high-tech weaponry is an inevitable consequence of having a military industrial complex that underwrites our economic structure.Matt Taibbi, RollingStone.com

Sprint's New Unlimited Voice, Messaging, Data, Internet Plan: $150

February 28, 2007 - 17:09

Sprint is trying out two new unlimited bundle plans that one industry analyst is calling, "a grenade," with the power to disrupt both wireless and landline carriers.

For $120 a month, you can get unlimited voice, messaging and data on your Sprint cellphone. For $30 more, you can get all that and unlimited internet access.

The plans are currently being tried out in San Fransisco. They could be a good deal for people who find themselves constantly going over their minutes.

If Sprint rolls these out nationally, it will be interesting to see whether they mean unlimited in the dictionary sense of the word, or in the Comcast sense... — BEN POPKEN

Sprint Nextel 'grenade:' unlimited voice, messaging and data [RCR Wireless News] (Thanks to Justin!)
(Photo: Sam Wilkinson)

(author unknown)

Inside A Bag Of Microwave Popcorn

February 28, 2007 - 17:09

Ok, so this isn't exactly Movietone News or anything, but we didn't realize that whatever was in microwave popcorn was quite that nasty looking. We will never again wonder why the bag is opaque. Incidentally, we'd like to direct you to easy instructions for making your own microwave popcorn. Cheaper, healthier and it doesn't look like dog crap that, should you see it come out of an actual dog, would likely prompt you to notify the ASPCA. —MEGHANN MARCO

Inside A Bag Of Microwave Popcorn [HotHotFlame] (Thanks, Apul!)

(author unknown)

Home Depot's Contractors Instructed to Intentionally Inflate Estimates, Charge For Items Not Installed

February 28, 2007 - 17:09

KNBC in Los Angeles is investigating a nationwide epidemic of fraud being perpetrated by Home Depot. Is it that bad? Yeah, it's that bad. From KNBC:
Now, NBC4 has heard from customers in 22 states and from insiders from across the country, who have given NBC4 a paper trail of internal documents, suggesting the company overcharges customers on window and siding installations, kitchen remodels and on roofing jobs."

KNBC brought in an expert to inspect the work Home Depot had done on one customer's roof. He found that new flashings costing over $1,000, shown on the customer's receipt, were never installed. According to KNBC, these aren't simple mistakes, they're systematic and intentional."I've been taught and trained to rip-off customers," says a former employee for US Home Systems, a nationwide subcontractor that sells refacing jobs for Home Depot. NBC4 spoke with numerous employees of the company.
"You were told to intentionally inflate the estimate," Grover asked the former employees.

"Correct," they replied.

If a job came in on budget, the customer was supposed to receive money back. But the insiders showed NBC4 documents proving some customers didn't get money back.

"How often did customers not get back money they were owed," Grover asked the insiders.

"A hundred percent of the time," one insider replied.

"Are you saying thousands of people have been ripped off," Grover asked.

"Yes," the insiders replied. The good news is: Home Depot is offering to make good with ANY customer who contacts them through KNBC. Nationwide. If Home Depot's contractors have ripped you off, click here to contact KNBC!

Home Depot Investigation - Part 3 [KNBC]
(Photo: MortonFox)

(author unknown)

Why Does It Take Microsoft 6 Weeks (And Counting) To Send A Mailer For An XBOX?

February 28, 2007 - 17:09

Poor guy. A blogger calling himself Saruman has been waiting for Microsoft to ship him a box for his broken XBox for 6 weeks. Just the box. So he can mail it in for repair. 6 weeks. They still haven't mailed it. Did we mention it's been 6 weeks?! From his blog:
... another week goes by (4 weeks).

I call up on a Sunday and get someone that could actually speak and he told me that there is definitely a problem with this order and it is totally screwed up and all of the previous guys were lying just to hang up the phone with me (gee thanks earlier guys!). This guy was easily the most helpful and told me to call back tomorrow when the supervisors are in and they will be able to help me. I call up on Monday and the supervisor is not available but takes my information in order to call me back.

... another week goes by (5 weeks).
This is just insane. What on earth could be going on that it would take 6 weeks for a major company to mail a box? If your customer service is going to suck this bad, you should just announce that you don't offer any. Hi, this is Microsoft, we have take 6 weeks to mail a box, purchase at your own risk. Perhaps people should think of an XBOX as a really expensive can of Reddi-Whip, a product that comes with about the same level of customer service, and is also fun in its own way. —MEGHANN MARCO

Broken360
(Photo:dcvision2006)

(author unknown)

URL Hack Reveals CompUSA's Hidden Liquidation "Deals"

February 28, 2007 - 17:09

You can find out how crappy the closeout deals will be at your local liquidated CompUSA by hacking this URL: http://www.compusa.com/specials/storeblowoutsale/blowoutXXX.htm

1) Enter Compusa and your town or zip into Google to find your local CompUSA's store number
2) Replace XXX with your store number and hit enter

You should get a list of "blowout" specials. Then:

1) Find an item you like.
2) Enter it into Amazon, Pricegrabber, or Froogle.
3) Laugh.

— BEN POPKEN

UPDATE: Is this just for items that are getting discontinued, not liquidated? That's what reader Krishen says:

    "That link is not for stores that is closing. All that is for is that what items are discontinued at the store. It has nothing to do with what the store is going to liquidate.Even the stores that are not going to close have discontinued Items. "Dump Bin SKU - must not go online - DVD MIX 100 COUNT TOWER" what that means is that they have movies for 4.98. Mostlikely previously viewed."

(author unknown)

A doomed mission

February 28, 2007 - 17:09
Tariq Ali: Failure in Afghanistan has revived the Taliban and now, after six years of occupation, there is no way Nato can win this war.Tariq Ali

Rewriting the school rules

February 28, 2007 - 17:09
Fiona Millar: The plan to allocate school places by lottery is a brave one, and will undoubtedly be fairer than many other admission methods.Fiona Millar