DESCUENTO LECTORES

Cómo incrustar contenidos de las redes a tu blog #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía sobre Cómo incrustar contenidos de las redes a tu blog. Vía Un saludoArchivado en: Infografía, Redes Sociales, Sociedad de la información Tagged: Blogs, Infografía, internet, redes sociales, tic, Web 2.0.



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/11/20/como-incrustar-contenidos-de-las-redes-a-tu-blog-infografia-infographic-socialmedia/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Privacidad y seguridad en FaceBook #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía sobre privacidad y seguridad en FaceBook. Vía Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/11/20/privacidad-y-seguridad-en-facebook-infografia-infographic-socialmedia/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Las 10 mejores prácticas del buen contenido #infografia #infographic #marketing

Hola: Una infografía con las 10 mejores prácticas del buen contenido. Vía Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/11/20/las-10-mejores-practicas-del-buen-contenido-infografia-infographic-marketing/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Las APPs más peligrosas al volante #infografia #infographic #software

Hola: Una infografía sobre las APPs más peligrosas al volante. Vía Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/11/20/las-apps-mas-peligrosas-al-volante-infografia-infographic-software/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Actividades comunicativas tóxicas en las empresas #infografia #infographic #marketing

Hola: Una infografía sobre actividades comunicativas tóxicas en las empresas. Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/11/19/actividades-comunicativas-toxicas-en-las-empresas-infografia-infographic-marketing/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

París o Londres ¿qué prefieres? #infografia #infographic #tourism

Hola: Una infografía sobre París o Londres ¿qué prefieres? Vía Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/11/19/paris-o-londres-que-prefieres-infografia-infographic-tourism/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Interim management en 2013 #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía sobre Interim management en 2013. Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/11/19/interim-management-en-2013-infografia-infographic/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Unión Europea: líder de la economía mundial #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía sober la Unión Europea: líder de la economía mundial. Vía Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/11/19/union-europea-lider-de-la-economia-mundial-infografia-infographic/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

El proceso creativo de una aplicación móvil #software

Hola: Una presentación sobre el proceso creativo de una aplicación móvil. Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/11/19/el-proceso-creativo-de-una-aplicacion-movil-software/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Alcanza tu meta como startup #infografia #infographic #entrepreneurship

Hola: Una infografía sobre como alcanza tu meta como startup. Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/11/19/alcanza-tu-meta-como-startup-infografia-infographic-entrepreneurship/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Google vs. Apple #infografia #infographic #internet

Hola: Una infografía sobre Google vs. Apple. Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/11/19/google-vs-apple-infografia-infographic-internet/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Kmart Has Customers Jangling Over Men Jingling Their Junk In New Ad For Joe Boxer

Another day, another ad that could be seen as either clever or so suggestive that social media is roaring over the indecency of it all and how could you put that on TV, etc. This time it’s Kmart’s turn to face the Internet firing squad over an ad that features men jingling their junk like so many melodious bells in Joe Boxer shorts.


The ad shows men all lined up with tuxedos on — or actually, just tux tops once the table with bells moves out of the way. What happens next can only be described as men using their nether bits to make a Christmas song. Is that so bad?


Well, yes, according to some of Kmart’s customers on Facebook. They’re ready to stop shopping at KMart (wait, people shop at KMart?) over the ad.


THE BAD



“I am very disappointed in your Christmas Joe Boxer commercial. That is not appropriate for a supposed family store.”




“I am highly offended by your Joe Boxer ad. Do not expect me to do ANY shopping there if you do not cancel it immediately!”




“Shame on you. You lost my business!”




“On the one hand, you work with St Jude’s Children’s hospital to cure childhood cancer, on the other hand you show vulgar commercials of men banging their gonads together to celebrate Christmas. Trying to have it both ways? Not with my help.”



But then there are the others out there who appear to be enjoying the music.


THE GOOD



“Love the commercial…freaking hilarious!!!!! Don’t mind all those that are offended. I’m sure they are also offended by the Victoria Secret Ads, Burger Commercials, and pretty much every Saturday Night Live skit that is ever aired. You got everyone’s attention. Seize the moment!”




“LOVE the new commercial, can’t please everyone!!!!!!”




“Your Joe Boxer ad is fantastic! Tell the haters that if they unbunch their own panties they may be able to make them ring too.”




“I just watched it again just for the fun of it. Too funny. Will I be showing my 8 year old when she gets off the bus, no, but would I freak if it came on the tv? No (although keep it off Disney or Nick lol!) This is clothed men shaking their hips. The innuendo is left to the adult mind. Not sure why everyone’s freaking out, but really, it’s genious – look at all the attention. There’s no such thing as bad publicity!”



It’s true, with all this attention it’s likely KMart will sit back and enjoy the hubbub, much like Kraft did during the controversy around the Mostly Naked Guy On A Picnic Enjoying Salad Dressing ad. Because whether you love it or hate it, the ad’s got over 1.6 million views.


*(In case you were wondering, yes, jangle is a word: “make or cause to make a ringing metallic sound, typically a discordant one.”)




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Dispositivos móviles para el aprendizaje: lo que debes saber





via Educación tecnológica http://villaves56.blogspot.com/2013/11/dispositivos-moviles-para-el.html www.bscformacion.com

Fuentes de financiación de las startups #infografia #infographic #entrepreneurship

Hola: Una infografía sobre fuentes de financiación de las startups. Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/11/19/fuentes-de-financiacion-de-las-startups-infografia-infographic-entrepreneurship/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Cómo se accidentan los iPhone #infografia #infographic #apple

Hola: Una infografía sobre cómo se accidentan los iPhone. Vía Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/11/19/como-se-accidentan-los-iphone-infografia-infographic-apple/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Estadísticas sobre marketing B2B #infografia #infographic #marketing

Hola: Una infografía con estadísticas sobre marketing B2B. Vía Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/11/19/estadisticas-sobre-marketing-b2b-infografia-infographic-marketing/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

2014: el año del final del Mega #infografia #infographic #internet

Hola: Una infografía sobre 2014: el año del final del Mega. Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/11/19/2014-el-ano-del-final-del-mega-infografia-infographic-internet/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Seguridad de los escolares en los colegios #infografia #infographic #education

Hola: Una infografía sobre la seguridad de los escolares en los colegios. Vía Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/11/19/seguridad-de-los-escolares-en-los-colegios-infografia-infographic-education/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Hold The Potty Jokes: World Toilet Day Seeks To Raise Awareness About Need For Basic Sanitation


The next time you visit your clean, safe commode in the privacy of your own home, take a minute to think about how lucky you are. Seriously. Today is World Toilet Day, and despite the easy potty jokes you could easily summon, a third of the world’s population doesn’t have access to basic, clean sanitation. Never mind that heated seat you love so dearly.


The U.N., Unilever and charity WaterAid issued a joint report today with statistics about just how dire the sanitation situation is for many people, called “We Can’t Wait.” World Toilet Day has been held on Nov. 19 since 2001, and is observed in the hope of increasing awareness about how many people go without the luxury of a clean place to go.


“World Toilet Day is not just about toilet humor, or an attempt to make toilets sexy,” the founders wrote on their website, via CBS News. “World Toilet Day has a serious purpose: it aims to stimulate dialogue about sanitation and break the taboo that still surrounds this issue. In addition, it supports advocacy that highlights the profound impact of the sanitation crisis in a rigorous manner, and seeks to bring to the forefront the health and emotional consequences, as well as the economic impact of inadequate sanitation.”


There are a full 2.5 billion people who can’t do their business on sanitary toilets or latrines, and a billion of those don’t have any facilities at all — just legs to squat with and the wide open world.


Without sanitation, these practices can lead to contaminated drinking water, says the report, which is another huge issue facing much of the world’s population, as it can harm those with autoimmune disease as well as children.


Women can be especially at risk, if they have to go to the bathroom in situations where they could be more vulnerable to sexual attacks, the report says. About 526 million women have to go in the open, and spend 97 billion hours a year just trying to find a safe spot to relieve themselves.


And fewer girls are likely to go to school once they reach puberty if there isn’t a safe toilet. If the school does have sanitary toilets, enrollment among girls goes up 11 percent, says U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon Ban


“We must break the taboos and make sanitation for all a global development priority,” he said.


The groups involved in the report suggest governments be held accountable to the promises they make about sanitation access, and called for more education about sanitation and hygiene as part of school curriculum.


“We simply cannot wait. By acting decisively we can now make a positive impact on global health, education, women’s safety, social equality and economic growth for generations to come,” the report authors wrote.




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Butterball Doesn’t Know Why Its Fresh Turkeys Aren’t Getting Big This Year


When you’re a big-name turkey titan like Butterball and use phrases like “plump and juicy” on your packaging, it’s problematic when your birds don’t grow to the heft you expect in time for Thanksgiving. That’s why the folks at Butterball are looking into this year’s flock of skinnier than usual turkeys.

Speaking to the AP about why his company won’t have a full supply of fresh, 16-plus pound birds available for this Thanksgiving, Butterball CEO Rod Brenneman said it’s a mystery for which he doesn’t yet have a solution.


“It’s a really good question. We don’t have an answer yet,” admitted Brenneman. “For whatever reason, they just didn’t gain quite as well this year.”


The fact that his birds didn’t get as plump as usual is curious, especially since Butterball is one of many poultry producers that feeds its animals medically unnecessary antibiotics to encourage growth (and maybe encourage the development and spread of some lovely drug-resistant superbugs). But even with these drugs, many of the turkeys failed to meet the 16-pound mark.


The skinny bird problem won’t affect the 85% of Butterball customers who get their birds frozen. The turkeys used for frozen birds were slaughtered and put on ice before this latest batch of birds stopped getting heavy.


For much of the year, Butterball produces turkeys that are frozen and stored until they’re ready to be sold for the holidays. But then in October and November, it shifts into production for fresh turkeys. And that’s when the company ran into problems with the turkeys not gaining enough weight, Brenneman said.


Whatever it is, not everyone is complaining about the lack of big birds.


“The weather was great, so the turkeys were a little bigger,” the global meat buyer for Whole Foods tells the AP.


While meat biggie Cargill says it’s never faced the issue of having too few fat turkeys for Thanksgiving.


Butterball won’t say how extensive the fresh turkey shortfall is, but the Big Y supermarket chain in Massachusetts told the AP that it had been told by the company that stores should only expect about 50% of the usual number this year.




by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Flight Attendant Suing Jay Leno For On-Air Jokes About Her Close Relationship With A Pet Rat

(bclinesmith)

This is not the rat in question. It’s just a pet rat. (bclinesmith)



Remember the American Airlines flight attendant who sued her employers over allegations that people claimed she smuggled her pet rat onboard in her underthings? She’s now claiming in a new lawsuit that the host of the Tonight Show, Jay Leno, and NBC defamed her by falsely accusing her of “engaging in bestiality and sexual misconduct with a rat.” So there’s that.


The flight attendant filed her suit in Nassau County Supreme Court, reports Courthouse News Service, claiming that a joke he made on-air constitutes “sickening, outrageous and disgusting attacks” on her.


He made the quips during his “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda” segment discussing the July lawsuit against American Airlines, addressing one co-worker’s claim that she’d been feeding her rat. The flight attendant says she was just eating a roll.


“I don’t know who eats dinner rolls out of a cup,” Leno said on the July 18 show, then inviting three guest comedians to comment. They aren’t included in the suit as defendants but she claims they “systematically criticized, defamed, and humiliated” her.


One panelist allegedly “berated [the flight attendant] for seating the rats ‘in cooch,’ a reference to plaintiff’s genitalia,” according to the lawsuit. Cooch, as in coach, would be the joke here.


Another panelist said the plaintiff liked having “something creepy in her underwear” and suggested that she then “hook up” with him. Because he’s creepy, see?


The worst comments, she says, came from the panelist who suggested that the flight attendant “coulda used what the rest of us ladies use … a Rabbit.” That also happens to be the name of a popular vibrator.


“In a wholly uncalled for and unsubstantial attack on plaintiff’s character, the second panelist accused [the plaintiff] of using the rats for her own sexual gratification and portrayed [her] as a woman engaged in sexual misconduct of the most depraved sort, bestiality,” the lawsuit states.


“Throughout the segment, defendant Jay Leno indulged panelists’ outlandish comments and laughed as his guests attacked [her] character.”


As a result of the millions who viewed the segment, the woman claims in the suit that she and her husband “became pariahs in their own community.”


It’s also messing with their bedroom life, the lawsuit claims, as her husband “now suffers from severe sexual dysfunction and inability to perform sexually” when he thinks about the segment depicting her as “a sexual deviant.”


She’s seeking unspecified damages because she says Leno knew that the story was based on “blatantly false and malicious rumors.”


Woman Takes Aim at Leno’s Bestiality Jokes [Courthouse News Service]




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

No Amount Of Money Could Convince Me To Go Down World’s Tallest Water Slide


Oh, hello, soon-to-be world’s tallest water slide at Schlitterbahn park in Kansas City. What’s that you say? You’re going to drop people from almost 140 feet up at speeds over 60 mph? No, no thank you. I’d rather keep my insides intact. [via Gizmodo]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Digital Delivery Allows Companies To Ship Broken Products Without Refunds Or Returns

Oh, the fun of playing Battlefield 4...

Oh, the fun of playing Battlefield 4…



Not so long ago, if you bought a book with missing pages — or a DVD that skipped, or a CD or video game that wouldn’t play — you took it back to the store and got an exchange or a refund because obviously the manufacturer did not intend to provide you with an incomplete or broken product. The relatively new era of digital media delivery has improved upon this by allowing content providers to patch files and fix errors, but it’s also allowing companies to knowingly release inferior and/or broken products, often without giving the consumer any way to seek redress.

Nowhere is this more prevalent than in video games, where many consumers are now used to getting a brand new game — whether on a disc or downloaded — and being told that it won’t work without some patch that needs to be downloaded and applied.


In some cases, these patches are honest oversights or glitches that weren’t caught until after the title was cleared for release. After all, video games now contain a huge quantity of information, often assembled by different studios and third-party contractors from around the world. On some titles, it seems inevitable that there will be errors that need to be fixed along the way.


In this regard, the video game industry has become like the automotive business, in that they both now have systems in place whereby consumers can get their faulty item fixed for free, usually without having to get an entirely new one.


But it’s one thing to use post-sale patches and fixes to correct issues missed in the production process. It’s another to know that you’re shipping a broken product and hoping that you will have the patch ready early enough so that only a small number of customers are affected.


That is what two-time Worst Company In America Champ Electronic Arts is accused of doing with the PlayStation 4 version of its game Battlefield 4. A game-crippling error was encountered by journalists on pre-release versions of the game back in October, a number of weeks before the game hit shelves with the release of the PS4 console.


Now it’s possible that EA had no idea of the problem, but given the frequency with which the error occurred, it gives credence to allegations that the company was aware of the possibility and released the game anyway in order to meet the Nov. 15 on-sale date.


This highlights one of the biggest growing pains with the current transition to digital delivery — the persistence of discs. Almost all disc-based games are manufactured overseas and require a lengthy lead time in order to produce, ship, and distribute. When a manufacturer has to make a decision between shipping a fractured product that makes the delivery date (but will require one or more patches to be fully operational) and possibly missing that delivery date in order to fully test its product, you can rest assured that many companies will opt for the former.


It’s easier to weather some negative publicity — especially in the video game world, which is largely ignored or looked down upon by the mainstream press — than it is to tick off buyers at Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and all the people at Sony who have been promoting your game as a launch-day title.


Had Sony and Microsoft decided to ditch discs for these consoles, the publisher would have had a lot more time to clean up the finished product (though that’s still no guarantee that it would have been ready in time). In the Battlefield 4 case, EA has apparently not patched the problem yet, meaning that it did have enough time between making the discs and launch date to solve this glitch.


Over on this Reddit thread, a reader uses the example of the Battlefield 4 botch to make the case for stronger consumer protections.


“We should not be expected to buy broken software and wait for weeks to see if the developer can fix it,” writes the Redditor. “At some point you have to wonder when a publisher is being fraudulent by releasing games they know do not properly work.”


The post calls for people to push for state-level consumer protection laws specifically for digital media products, or at least to extend the current protections for physical goods to the digital world.


“There is no difference between a game sold on a disc and one sold through an online store, except the delivery method,” reads the post.


Given that thousands of people have spent $60 on a new game that has yet to work properly, it seems reasonable to us that consumers should have a right to a refund, even if EA eventually patches the problem.




by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Cruise Lines Hiding True Overboard Numbers From Public


So much of what happens on a cruise ship happens in international waters and far from U.S. shores, and cruise lines aren’t legally required to share with the public every detail of every incident that occurs on board every one of their ships. One stat for which most cruise passengers would expect an accounting is the number of people who have gone overboard. Most cruise operators disagree and think you only want to know when an American goes missing.

Note the distinction there — not just overboard, but actually missing. Someone falls into the water and is eventually found, dead or alive? Doesn’t go on the tally, says a recent report from the Miami Herald.


This is because federal law only requires that cruise lines report incidents in which U.S. nationals go missing, and only then on ships sailing to or from North America.


And anyone who has been on a cruise knows that many of the passengers — and often a majority of the crew — are from all around the world. So if any of those people go overboard, you probably won’t see it on a public report from the cruise line. Same goes with people rescued from the water, and anyone who goes overboard on a cruise abroad.


How many incidents does this mean don’t make it onto reports? Three major cruise lines recently reported, between Oct. 2010 and June 2013, a total of 7 U.S. nationals went missing.


But the Herald talked to a sociology professor who tallies his own overboard stats based on news reports and witnesses. He calculated that the real number for this time period was 30 overboard incidents for these cruise lines. The cruise operators have confirmed 28 of these, meaning that only 1/4 of all overboard incidents are being reported by these cruise lines.


Among the majors operating in the U.S., the Herald found that only Royal Caribbean Cruises publishes an annual report accounting for all overboard incidents.


Figuring that 12 million people a year go on ships operated by under-reporting cruise lines, and the number of overboard incidents accounts for a 33 month period, you can assume that this means 28 out of 33 million people went overboard during that period of time. That is .000085% of all passengers. Given that this is such a tiny fraction of cruise passengers, is the industry shooting itself in the foot by fudging the numbers?


“It makes it appear as though they have something to hide,” says the professor. “You just wonder, because if it’s as infrequent as they say it is, no one’s really going to take note of it.”


Pending legislation in Congress would require cruise lines to report all overboard incidents, along with bringing other reforms to the industry.


“Reviewing the many horror stories from cruise ships in recent years, it is clear that proper oversight of the industry and consumer protections for passengers are desperately lacking. At times, it is the Wild West on the high seas,” writes the bill’s sponsor, Congressman John Garamendi of California.


“We must ensure that consumers have transparent and accurate data about incidents that occur on cruise ships so that they can make informed decisions when considering a trip,” Congresswoman Doris Matsui, also of California, tells the Herald. “This includes reporting ‘man overboard’ incidents separate from other onboard incidents so that consumers have as clear a picture as possible of the safety and security of a ship.”


[via Skift]




by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Google Says It’s Working On Removing Image Of Man’s Slain Son From Maps


Anyone who’s ever used Google Maps has likely searched for their own address, where they grew up or other important spots, just to see what image of the place Google has captured. But unfortunately for a man whose teen son was killed in 2009 in Richmond, Calif., it appears the image of his son’s body is shown at the spot where he was found.

Since he first learned of the image’s presence, the 14-year-old shooting victim’s father brought his concern to the media, telling KTVU.com he didn’t want Google to show the disturbing snapshot out of respect. The teen’s slaying remains unsolved.


“When I see this image, that’s still like that happened yesterday,” his father said. “And that brings me back to a lot of memories.”


After the station ran the story about the offending image, Google called KTVU to work with the man and let him know they’d be working on removing the picture.


The vice president of Google Maps says that although images are usually on the site for one to three years and removing them rarely happens, the company was willing to make an exception to get the satellite image removed as soon as possible.


“Our hearts go out to the family of this young boy. Since the media first contacted us about the image, we’ve been looking at different technical solutions,” said the statement from Brian McClendon. “Google has never accelerated the replacement of updated satellite imagery from our maps before, but given the circumstances we wanted to make an exception in this case.”


The image should be replaced with a new one within eight days, which means as early as next Tuesday.


Although Google has apologized, the father wants more from the company.


“Sorry is not all. Just to say sorry? It affects my whole family,” he said. “They need to be more careful when they publish in the future.”


Yes, making sure there are no murder scenes on the map seems like it should be a high priority, so better star working on that, guys.


Google says its working to remove image of slain teen [KTVU.com]




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Apply For A Job Or Shoplift A Sex Toy, But Not Both During Same Shopping Trip


It’s good to multi-task and combine errands in one trip, saving time and fuel. It isn’t such a good idea to get drunk, then visit a sex shop in order to steal an “adult toy,” then apply for a job at the same shop.

Actually, we recommend only doing any given one of those things at the same time. Yet one Florida woman didn’t ask for our advice before her fateful shopping trip. According to police, the 23-year-old left her contact information, inquiring about working at the store. After she left, the store manager noticed a product missing from its display.


Sure enough, surveillance cameras showed the job applicant fussing with her clothing near the display, “in an action consistent with concealing the device within her pants.”


By the time police caught up with her, the woman had allegedly opened and used the device: as the police report explained, it was “no longer in a condition to be returned to the business.” Indeed. At the same time, though, she didn’t remember stealing it, what with being drunk and all. She did confirm that it was her image on the surveillance video.


So, remember, kids: Drinking, applying for jobs, and shoplifting: only do one of these things at a time. Except you shouldn’t shoplift.


Woman accused of stealing adult toy, then inquiring about job (via CBS Tampa Bay)




by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

How To Not Suck… At Home Inspections


You’ve finally found that perfect home. A white picket fence. A pretty flower garden. That’s what it looks like to the untrained eye. But that perfect home could be filled with all kinds of trouble — poorly installed insulation, foundation problems, sub-par electrical work, infestations of termites and mice. Even a savvy home-shopper can miss hidden problems in homes. Put away your macho. No matter how handy you may be, a home inspection isn’t something that fits in the DIY category. Spending a few hundred bucks now on a qualified home inspector can save you tens of thousands later.

FINDING A HOME INSPECTOR


Start by hiring someone who is really qualified to do the job.


32 states require home inspectors to have some kind of license or registration. But even having a state license isn’t a guarantee you’ll find a qualified inspector because not every license requires education and training.


You can read more about the requirements for each state on the American Society of Home Inspectors’ website.


Because each state is different, and some states have no requirements at all, it’s hard for consumers to know if a potential inspector is qualified.


Narrow down your search by looking for a pro who is associated with a respected industry group. Check to see the requirement for membership because some groups will be happy to “certify” anyone willing to write a check.


Some related groups to consider:

The American Society of Home Inspectors is the nation’s oldest industry group. Members must pass two exams, and must complete more than 250 inspections before they can call themselves “certified.”

The National Association of Home Inspectors members must also pass a test and complete 250 verifiable inspections.

The National Institute of Building Inspectors requires continuing education for annual recertification.


Also be suspicious if your real estate agent is pushing one particular inspector. You’d be better served if the agent can give you a handful of names to consider.


Before you call the inspector, check out his or her reputation with your state to see if there are any complaints against the inspector. If your state offers licensing, make sure the inspector’s license is current.


If the inspector is a member of an industry association, give it a shout and ask if the member is in good standing.


While it’s no guarantee of quality, look up the inspector with the Better Business Bureau and do a simple Google search to see if the name comes up on any consumer complaint boards or in local newspaper articles.


When you finally call the inspector, ask:

What are your credentials? Training background?

Do you belong to any associations?

Are you licensed?

Do you carry insurance? (Not all states require this, but if the inspector has a policy, ask for a copy.)

Do you offer a guarantee?

What can you do, and what can’t you do, in an inspection?

What will you offer in writing when the inspection is complete?

How long will the inspection take? (Most inspections should take at least three hours.)

Can I be there? (During an inspection, the inspector should teach you about the home and point out what he sees. If he doesn’t want you there, beware.)


Remember that no home inspector has X-ray vision, and no one is going to see every flaw in a home. Still, a qualified inspector will check all the usual suspects and point out areas that you need to know about, or ask more about. You can always negotiate with the home seller to correct items before you take possession of the home, or you negotiate a better price for the home.


WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE INSPECTION

When you join your inspector for the check of your wannabe home, be prepared to get your hands dirty.


As the inspector goes through the home, he should point out potential problems and show you how the home’s systems work


A standard home inspection will include:

The exterior: The inspector will examine the outside of the home, including the foundation, frame, joists, siding, windows, doors, steps and other outside areas. The inspector will also look at the roof, gutters and drainage systems, chimney and any skylights.


The electrical system: You want to make sure a home’s electrical system has kept up with the times, won’t zap you or cause a fire, and that there’s enough juice to keep your family’s electronic needs running. The inspector will check out the electrical box, wires, breakers and fuses. He should also turn on every light and test the outlets to make sure they all work.


The plumbing: The inspector will check out the home’s pipes for corrosion or leaks, and he will look at your hot water heater. And yes, you should flush every toilet and turn on every faucet and shower head.


Heating and cooling systems: The inspector should blast the heat and make sure all systems are go, including the thermostats, chimney and any fireplace the home sports. Same goes for central air conditioning units.


Appliances: The inspector should check all the appliances to make sure they’re working, including the refrigerator/freezer, stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer. Make sure the smoke detectors are operational, too.


The guts: The inspector should take a look at insulation wherever accessible, including attics, crawl spaces and basements.


Mold: Basements and attics, especially areas that may be damp or leaky, should be examined for mold. You may need to order extra testing to see how serious a problem may be.


The cosmetic stuff: Walls, paint, carpets and flooring, grout, water stains and similar cosmetic issues (or, we hope they’re only cosmetic) should be examined.


Extra systems: If you have a septic system or a well, you will probably need to pay extra to have the systems properly tested. And it’s worth it: you don’t want your family drinking bacteria-laden water or, um, have a septic system meltdown or overflow. Yuck.


Termites and radon: These tests will also cost extra, but it’s not the place to save a few bucks.


Also check this DIY inspection checklist for areas you want to make sure the inspector examines, courtesy of Popular Mechanics.


AFTER THE INSPECTION

The inspector should get you a written report of her findings within a few days. Problems are unavoidable in most homes, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fixable.


Use the report to negotiate with the seller for fixes or compensation (usually in the form of a reduction in the sale price of the house or an increase in the amount of closing costs covered by the seller) so you can get the work done yourself.


No home inspection story is complete without a few horror stories. Take a look at these DIY home improvement nightmares. If you see anything like this, run. But first, take a photo and send it notsuck@consumerist.com.


Have a topic you’d like to see covered in How To Not Suck? Or maybe you’re an expert who would like to share your insight with Consumerist readers? Send us a note at notsuck@consumerist.com.


You can read Karin Price Mueller’s stories for The Star-Ledger at NJ.com, follow her on Facebook, and on Twitter @kpmueller.


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by Karin Price Mueller via Consumerist

These Dishwasher Additives Remove Gross Hard Water Stains


I love having deep royal blue glassware, but hard water stains look especially gross on dark-colored glass. Fortunately, detergent manufacturers are here to save us all from their new phosphate-free formulas with improved versions that pollute the environment less, but pollute our dishes more. Our sparkling colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports learned that additives meant to clean up this gross residue actually work.

The three additives that they tested all performed well, though one

(Finish Power Up Booster Agent) required an adjustment to the directions, since it didn’t work very well in the pre-rinse cycle. Glisten Dishwasher Cleaner & Hard Water Spot Remover and Lemi Shine Original both performed admirably.


If you’re trying to shine up your dishes for use on the Thanksgiving table, remember that not all dishes and serving pieces can or should go through the dishwasher on a regular basis: be careful with china and crystal, for example. They won’t explode on the first washing, but repeated trips though the washer can damage the dishes.


How to remove white haze from your good dishes [Consumer Reports]




by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

McDonald’s Worker Will Have 29 Months Behind Bars To Regret Spitting In Cop’s Snack Wrap


In case any of you out there were considering depositing some saliva in a customer’s food today (or at any point in the future), remember that it’s not just gross, it’s illegal. And if you’re caught, you’ll lose your job and possibly your freedom. Just ask the former McDonald’s employee who will spend at least two years in jail for adding some secret sauce to a customer’s food.

And not just any customer, but a police officer in uniform.


According to the Iron Mountain Daily News, the officer ordered a snack wrap from a McDonald’s back in Aug. 2012, when the employee thought he’d put a little spit in it for the customer.


“It’s something that any customer at any restaurant worries about,” said the prosecutor in the case.


Making matters worse, the former fast-food slinger? He’s subsequently tested positive for hepatitis C. The spitter claims he had no idea he carried the disease until after the blood test. Luckily, the officer who received the drooled-into food has tested negative.


The 24-year-old spitter was sentenced in Dickinson County (Michigan) Circuit Court on one felony count of placing harmful objects in food. Because of his past offenses, he could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, but instead received a sentence of at least 29 months in county detention.


The convict’s lawyer says his client admits the spitting was “dumb and disgusting,” but says that he’s gotten his GED in the months he’s already spent behind bars and hopes to someday go to college.


“I’m sorry for all this that’s transpired here,” the spitter told the judge at yesterday’s sentencing. “I want to get out there and actually do right.”




by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Nobody Panic, But Vancouver Has Banned Door Knobs


We don’t have much time. Are you in Vancouver, in a room? Is the door closed? Okay. Now is there a door knob or a lever on that closed door? Don’t panic but if you’re in that room come March, you will have no way out if there’s a door knob on that door. Fine, not really, but the city has banned door knobs in favor of levers and push pads, so in the future a lever will be your only way out.

How in the what and the who in the huh — how can a city get rid of an entire design? Vancouver can and did. And since it’s the only city in Canada with its own building code, that sets it up as a sort of arbiter of taste for the rest of British Columbia. Now that legislators there have tweaked the code to get rid of the ubiquitous knob by March, it’s likely others across the country will as well, reports the Toronto Sun.


See, levers and push pads are easier to operate when your hands are busy carrying things (like poutine maybe, yum, good job with that one, Canada). All knobs will be on the outs, including the kind that turn water faucets on and off. That means no fancy porcelain or glass door dongles in your home, no polished metal or any other circular openers and closers.


There won’t be a door knob police squad busting into homes however, just all new housing construction will have to comply with the updated code and use lever handles and faucets. So if you’ve got a knob, you can keep it. Cherish it, call it your precious, whatever you want.


But anyone moving into a new place, don’t expect the knob to greet you with its circular little face. Some see that as going too far, including a Yankee with a certain affection for the things.


“I can understand if you have a public building where everybody wants to have free access and that is a problem,” the president of the Antique Door Knob Collectors of America tells the paper. “But to say that when I build my private home and nobody is disabled that I have to put levers on, strikes me as overreach.”


But a professor and director of the School of Social Work at the University of B.C. says it’s more about opening up the world to everyone and not keeping anyone out.


“Basically, the idea is that you try to make environments that are as universally usable by any part of the population,” he said. “The old model was adaptation, or adapted design. You took a space and you adapted for use of the person with a disability. What universal design says is let’s turn it around and let’s just build everything so it is as usable by the largest segments of the population as possible.”






Vancouver’s ban on the humble doorknob likely to be a trendsetter [Toronto Sun]




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

$13 Billion JPMorgan Settlement Includes $4 Billion In Consumer Relief


Today, it’s expected that JPMorgan Chase and various federal agencies will announce a settlement worth a total of $13 billion to put to bed numerous bank-related investigations tied to mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. And about 30% of that money is reportedly earmarked for some form of consumer relief.

According to the Wall Street Journal, somewhere between $1.5-1.7 billion will go toward principal write-downs on JPMorgan-held loans where the value of the mortgage is now higher than the value of the house. However, it’s believed that these write-downs will not apply for properties that are still above a certain price threshold.


Another $300,000 to $500,000 will be put toward restructuring other loans to reduce monthly payments.


Then there is the remaining $2 billion of this relief money, which is still a bit vague at the moment. The Journal reports that some of this will go toward assisting new mortgage originations for low- and moderate-income consumers. A portion may end up going to cleaning up properties in distressed areas or tearing down homes deemed ready for the wrecking ball.




by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Car Fires Prompt NHTSA To Open Official Probe Into Safety Of Tesla Model S


The smell of car batteries roasting in the flickering flames has reached the nose of he National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which aid it’s opened a formal probe into the safety of the Tesla Model S electric car after reports of two fires caused by cars hitting debris in the road. In other words, Elon Musk is probably not happy right now.


The “undercarriage strikes” are the reason for the safety investigation, reports UA Today, as both cases involved fires in the battery compartment when cars hit stuff in the road that pierced those compartments.


This morning before the NHTSA announced the probe, CEO Musk rolled out three steps the company would take because of the fires but said in the lengthy blog post that he still thinks the cars are safe. The steps as summarized by USA Today:



•Higher ground clearance to make them less likely to strike road debris that can potentially penetrate the battery pack and ignite a blaze.


•Asking federal safety regulators to “conduct a full investigation as soon as possible into the fires.” Musk gave no hint that NHTSA was about to open an investigation.


•Amending the cars’ warranty to cover damage due to fire.



See, so he asked for the probe, or so it might seem. And besides, those battery fires are nothing when compared with the thousands of burned up cars after gasoline fires in ruptured tanks.


“Since the Model S went into production mid last year, there have been over 400 deaths and 1,200 serious injuries in the United States alone due to gasoline car fires, compared to zero deaths and zero injuries due to Tesla fires anywhere in the world,” he writes.


The NHTSA does throw the Tesla Model S a bone in noting that passengers were able to escape the cars after they caught on fire.


“In each incident, the vehicle’s battery monitoring system provided escalating visible and audible warnings, allowing the driver to execute a controlled stop and exit the vehicle before the battery emitted smoke and fire,” NHTSA writes.


After the NHTSA is done investigating, Musk says if the feds have any suggestions on how to make the cars safer, he’ll implement them speedily.


Feds open formal probe into Tesla electric car fires [USA Today]




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Find Surprisingly Relevant Technology

The Raiders of the Lost Walmart seek out the finest and most hilarious pieces of archaic technology still on the shelves in the nation’s discount stores. Only sometimes, the items they find aren’t so ancient. Sometimes they seem laughably old to our tech-savvy readers, but have a real use to some customers.


casette


Vincent sent us this cassette recorder, available at Kmart for $24.99. That’s some pretty obsolete technology, isn’t it? Not if you want to make recordings that are easily playable on consumer equipment, such as recording a child’s musical instrument practice or making an audio recording for someone who doesn’t have access to a computer to listen to digital voice files.


Not everyone has a CD burner, after all, and sometimes we don’t want to fuss with recording files, then transferring them to a computer, then burning them to a CD. The regular cassette was the perfect technology for recording voice or music or barking dogs at home, then giving them to someone else to listen to.


faster56K


Todd found this 56K modem at Walmart, with a few different pricing stickers on it. While this item has been there for a while, that doesn’t mean that no one has any use for it.


The last time we featured a dialup modem in a Raiders segment, people wrote in to let us know how ignorant we were. Sadly, there are a lot of people who have no access to broadband, many of whom live in rural areas. One reader wrote in about his parents, who live in rural Michigan and can’t get service from Comcast. “None of the companies would bother to run services out there for only 20 houses or so even thought we had everyone sign a petition guaranteeing that they would get the service if it was offered.” Sad.


It’s not just rural America, either. Another reader wrote in to explain:



There’s a reason those are still available. Older pieces of hardware require a modem connection to dial in for remote access because that’s how they were originally designed. Since modern computers don’t have modems, the USB modem is the best solution.I didn’t know this until I ran into it for work (I was trying to call in remotely to some monitoring equipment for environmental work).


It’s more of a niche product than something completely antiquated.





by Laura Northrup via Consumerist