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Testing out a new future for Consumer Reports
Documents the financial difficulties Consumer Reports faced in recent years. Useful discussion of the financial challenges faced by an advertising-free publication interested in publishing reviews of goods
consumer-reports  product-reviews  !beyond-seven-review  wirecutter  digital-media  present-and-future-business-models-for-monetizing-the-newspaper-industry 
11 days ago by beyondseven
How to Get a Credit Card for the First Time: Reviews by Wirecutter | A New York Times Company
Getting and using credit card for the first time can be confusing. We’ve gathered information to help you understand what you’re getting into and to simplify the process. This guide will help first-time applicants understand what to consider when choosing a card, how to get a credit card, and how credit cards work. You may also find this article helpful if you’ve had credit troubles in the past and are looking to get a credit card while rebuilding your credit.
Although there’s no way to guarantee that you’ll get approved for a card, and there’s no “best” credit card for every person, becoming a knowledgeable applicant and cardholder can be important first steps in getting the most out of your card.
The research
What to know about getting a credit card when you’re brand-new to credit
Three ways to get a credit card
How to choose the right credit card for you
Choosing a credit card if you’ve had credit troubles in the past
credit_cards  howto  wirecutter  finances 
24 days ago by rgl7194
Ashley Bischoff on Twitter: "Is there any chance that you could use the NY Times’ URL shortener when linking to NY Times articles? Or maybe no URL shortener? For those of us who don’t work there, we only get like 5 free articles per month, so I try to
(This is your tweet where you asked @wirecutter if they could avoid URL shorteners for NY Times tweets—)
“Is there any chance that you could use the NY Times’ URL shortener when linking to NY Times articles? Or maybe no URL shortener?

“For those of us who don’t work there, we only get like 5 free articles per month, so I try to be very careful about which NY Times links I click on.”
nytimes  wirecutter  twitter  tweets  urlshorteners  2018 
24 days ago by handcoding
How to Sell Your Old iPhone: Reviews by Wirecutter | A New York Times Company
When it comes time to upgrade to a new iPhone, you have a good number of options for getting some value out of your old one. If you’re on an upgrade program with your carrier—or on Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program—the process may simply involve turning in your current phone and getting a new one. If you aren’t on such a plan, though, and you aren’t planning to hand down the old phone to a family member or friend, selling it will help offset the cost of a new one.
You could list the old phone on Craigslist or eBay and hope for the best, but that’s a labor-intensive process with no guaranteed results and some potential pitfalls. One Wirecutter staffer who has sold several iPhones on eBay has seen the US Postal Service lose a phone before the package even left his town. Another phone was stolen by a buyer who claimed—falsely, it was later revealed—that an unauthorized person had signed for the package at his address.
Instead, you can use one of several buyback services that have popped up in the past few years. These services generally offer a lower price than you might get by selling your old iPhone yourself, but the process is much easier. (By the way—whichever service you choose, make sure to securely wipe your old device before you sell it.)
iphone  upgrade  wirecutter  comparo  howto 
25 days ago by rgl7194
The Best Cell Phone Plan for Frequent International Travel in 2018: Reviews by Wirecutter | A New York Times Company
After working in and traveling through dozens of countries all over the world over the past five years and researching every option to remain digitally connected, we believe that T-Mobile One is the best mobile phone service for the majority of frequent international travelers. If you don’t want to switch providers or you need faster service for working from the road, we’ve got advice for you on using local SIM cards where you’re going.
Our pick
T-Mobile One
The best plan for international travelers
With coverage in more than 210 countries and no international data roaming fees, T-Mobile One is the best plan for most people who travel frequently and already own their phone. The one drawback: the data is slow.
Buy from T-Mobile
With its near-worldwide coverage and “unlimited” data even when roaming, the T-Mobile One plan will likely save you money and headaches when traveling abroad. Dozens of new Android and iOS phones will work on T-Mobile, and if you already have one you’re happy with, you can probably use it. This plan is also relatively inexpensive compared with its competition and, in particular, their international roaming plans. However, although you’ll have dependable data in more than 210 “countries and destinations,” that data is very slow: 2G speeds, or 128 Kbps. That is only slightly faster than old-school dial-up speeds, so everything takes forever to load: It’s still usable for maps and email and researching destinations (albeit slowly), but video isn’t going to work. For the days when you need faster downloads—let’s say you want to work from the beach—you can get a 512 MB “Global Pass” 4G data pack (good for a day) for $5, or you can get a local SIM if you need faster Internet for multiple days in the same country. We’ll discuss this option more in the What about local SIMs? section below.
cellphones  travel  wirecutter  comparo  review 
25 days ago by rgl7194
How to Use Your Existing Phone Overseas: Reviews by Wirecutter | A New York Times Company
Having a phone that works just like it does at home when you’re traveling internationally is probably the best thing you can do to reduce stress and maximize your ability to enjoy wherever you are. Being able to use Google Maps and Translate, staying in touch with friends and family at home, having easy access to booking sites like Orbitz and Expedia in the event of delays—these are only a few of the ways Internet access is invaluable while overseas.
But depending on your carrier, using data outside the US can be costly. The dreaded roaming fees alone can cause stress, with every moment you spend online potentially racking up budget-destroying bills.
It doesn’t have to be that way. As someone who’s traveled to 12 different countries in the past year alone, I’ve learned many ways to travel with your current phone cheaply—or at least for cheaper than you might think.
If you travel outside of the US regularly, check out our Best Cell Phone Plan for Frequent International Travel guide. Changing carriers (and maybe phones) can save you money in the long run.
cellphones  travel  wirecutter  SIM 
25 days ago by rgl7194
The Best Pillow for Side Sleepers for 2018: Reviews by Wirecutter | A New York Times Company
Nothing highlights the importance of a good pillow like trying to sleep on a bad one, and people who sleep on their side, in particular, can have a tough time finding the right fit because they need more neck and head support. After 956 nights sleeping on 56 pillows, we’ve found that the Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is the best for a range of side-sleepers.
Our pick
Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam Pillow (standard)
Best for side-sleepers
Moldable and adjustable, with excellent support for side-sleepers, this is also one of the most affordable pillows we tested.
$50 from Amazon
We recommend the Xtreme Comforts for both side- and back-sleepers in our full guide to bed pillows, and we know some stomach-sleepers—those who sleep half on their side, half on their stomach—also find it comfortable. The shredded-memory-foam fill molds to the neck and head and is adjustable to the right height for good alignment, and the pillow is affordable. This has been our favorite pillow for three years running.
Many companies advertise their pillows for specific sleep positions, but in our experience their recommendations don’t match up all that well. Overwhelmingly, our side-sleeping testers have preferred pillows with shredded memory foam (even when they didn’t like the idea of sleeping on foam at first) because of its moldability. If you’re willing to spend more, our side-sleepers preferred Nest Bedding’s Easy Breather Pillow. But given that it’s usually twice the price of the Xtreme Comforts, most of our testers agreed they’d be happy enough with the Xtreme Comforts.
sleep  wirecutter  review  comparo 
25 days ago by rgl7194
When Was the Last Time You Replaced Your Bike Helmet?: Reviews by Wirecutter | A New York Times Company
If you ride a bike and wear a helmet, you may have heard at some point—perhaps for vague reasons having to do with foam degrading, or maybe corrosion from salt or sweat—that helmets expire. Which is why we were surprised to learn, in the course of researching our recent bike-helmet guide, that John Larkin, an industrial designer specializing in helmets (including some iconic ones, such as the Giro Reverb and Schwinn Atlas), hasn’t replaced his helmet in more than 20 years.
“I ride a 1998 Trek Photon,” he mentioned via email, “which is the first helmet I ever designed. Light, good ‘perception of ventilation’ and ‘vintage’ all at once!”
Now Larkin may be an extreme case, but even the most trusted helmet safety resources do not agree on when to retire a seemingly undamaged bike helmet. The government testing body in the US, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), recommends replacing a bicycle helmet every five to 10 years. The Snell Memorial Foundation, which also certifies helmets for safety, states a firm five years. And many manufacturers tell you to get rid of your helmet after as little as three years.
So do helmets actually deteriorate or what? They do, but perhaps not in the way you might think. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to replace your helmet.
bicycling  safety  comparo  review  wirecutter 
25 days ago by rgl7194
The Best Fire Extinguisher: Reviews by Wirecutter | A New York Times Company
After spending over 30 hours researching fire extinguishers and talking to eight experts in the fire-safety industry, we think the best fire extinguisher for your home is the First Alert PRO5, which is readily available, affordable, and certified by the Underwriters Laboratories (now UL), a leading global safety-testing organization. The reality, though, is that choosing an extinguisher doesn’t have to be a complicated purchase—any UL-certified, similarly sized extinguisher from a quality manufacturer has the same firefighting ability.
Our pick
First Alert PRO5
A fine extinguisher
Easy to handle and effective against all types of common fires, this First Alert model exceeds the minimum recommendations for the home and is easy to find.
$51* from Amazon
$50 from Ace Hardware
*At the time of publishing, the price was $36.
The First Alert PRO51 can effectively handle all types of common household fires, including wood and paper, burning liquids, and electrical fires. But its build, reusability, and availability set it apart from the competition. The First Alert exceeds the minimum size recommendations of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) yet weighs a manageable 10 pounds. It has a sturdy and reliable metal valve (not plastic), and you can recharge it for about half the cost of a new extinguisher. You can find a number of extinguishers that share most of its features, but the PRO5 gains the edge due to its wide availability on the shelves of Ace Hardware, Lowe’s, Target, and Walmart. This is important because it’s possible for a fire extinguisher to discharge during shipping.
home_stuff  safety  wirecutter  review  comparo 
25 days ago by rgl7194
The Best Packing Cubes: Reviews by Wirecutter | A New York Times Company
After testing seven more sets of popular packing cubes, we still think the Eagle Creek Pack-It Original Cube Set is the best choice for most travelers for the third year running, thanks to its functional design and excellent build quality. Its simple design features high-quality fabrics and allows you to easily organize and access your clothing and small items.
Our pick
Eagle Creek Pack-It Original Cube Set
Well-built with easy access
Simple and solidly constructed, the Eagle Creek Pack-It Original Cube Set is an ideal way to keep organized for short trips.
$28 $22 from Amazon
You save $6 (21%)
The three-piece Eagle Creek Pack-It Original Cube Set keeps a week’s worth of clothes organized efficiently to move easily from suitcase to hotel dresser: The full-size cube is great for shirts or insulating layers, the half cube is perfect for socks and underwear, and the quarter cube is the perfect size for travel extras like chargers, batteries, and cables. They’re made of 300-denier polyester lined with nylon so they feel nice to the touch and stay upright when empty, for easy packing. The Pack-It’s windows are made of the finest woven mesh we tested—better for resisting snags—and its smooth zippers close easily around all corners, even when the cube is overstuffed. We also like that they open all the way so you can easily access everything inside if you place them in a drawer. They’re available in black, blue, red, and usually a few limited-edition prints at any given moment.
travel  luggage  wirecutter  comparo  review 
6 weeks ago by rgl7194
The Best Wall Outlets With USB Charging Ports for 2018: Reviews by Wirecutter | A New York Times Company
After researching 14 options and testing five, we found that the Topgreener TU21558AC outlet with USB Type-A and Type-C is the best wall outlet with USB charging ports for mobile devices such as phones, tablets, and e-readers. Its ports can charge two devices as fast as possible, and since one of them is USB-C, it will still be the best outlet, as your newer devices will be able to take advantage of this newer port. It’s also easy to install safely yourself.
Our pick
Topgreener TU21558AC
The best wall outlet with USB
This is the only outlet that can charge both a standard USB-A device and newer USB-C devices at full speeds simultaneously. It’s the most versatile way to upgrade outlets around your home.
$26 from Amazon
We like the Topgreener TU21558AC because both its standard USB-A port and its newer USB-C port go as fast as any plug-in wall charger—2.4 A (12 W) and 3 A (15 W), respectively—and unlike all the other options we tried, it won’t slow down even if you use the ports at the same time. And like any good wall outlet, our pick is UL listed and compliant with the National Electrical Code, so it’s as safe as a standard outlet when installed correctly.
wirecutter  electric  comparo  review  USB  charger 
6 weeks ago by rgl7194
The Best Smart Thermostat: Reviews by Wirecutter | A New York Times Company
[Points for the Nest:]
“As part of that visual difference, the third generation [Nest] offers a feature called Farsight. The Nest E and previous Nest models light up when they sense you are in front of them, but this model can illuminate when you are farther away, such as when you enter the room. It’s nice to be able to see the temperature from across the room, but by no means a necessity. The best feature of Farsight, we think, is the capability to choose what the screen displays when it’s not in use: You can opt for temperature, weather, or time (using a digital or analog clock face), which you can’t do on other Nests. The third generation’s display also turns red when its heating and blue when its cooling, giving you a clear visual cue of what your system is doing no matter where you are in the room.”

[Points for the Ecobee:]
“The Ecobee4 manages your home’s climate using its built-in sensor and any remote sensors you add (it comes with one); together the sensors allow the thermostat to monitor two or more areas in one zone (it cannot manage two zones). This arrangement promises to help fix the age-old heating and cooling problem where one room is toasty and warm while another feels like a refrigerator (or vice versa in the summer). Ecobee’s remote sensors are better than Nest’s because they are also motion sensors, so the thermostat can follow you through your house, focusing its efforts on the room you’re in just by your being there, no need for you to do anything.”
nest  thermostats  2018  reviews  wirecutter  ecobee 
6 weeks ago by handcoding
The Best Smart Thermostat: Reviews by Wirecutter | A New York Times Company
“A C wire is the common wire that supplies AC power from your furnace to the thermostat to power the screen, among other things. Some thermostats, including Nest models, can work in the absence of a C wire, instead charging by stealing power from other wires. However, that can cause serious side effects, according to HVAC contractor Bronson Shavitz. He told us that old-school furnaces are generally resilient enough to provide power for devices such as the Nest and the Lyric, but that the high-tech circuit boards on newer furnace models can be more prone to failure when they’re under stress from the tricks these devices use to charge themselves without a common wire.”
thermostats  wirecutter  nest  ecobee  reviews  2018 
6 weeks ago by handcoding
The Best Stand Mixer for 2018: Reviews by Wirecutter | A New York Times Company
After five years and over 50 hours of testing, we still think that the KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer is the absolute best stand mixer you can get for its performance, versatility, and price. It whips up cakes, cookies, and creams with ease, and can knead sticky bread and pizza doughs without straining. A stand mixer is a great way to take your baking game to the next level, but if you’re an occasional baker looking for something more compact and affordable, you may want to try a hand mixer instead.
Our pick
KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
The best stand mixer
This classic mixer can tackle nearly any recipe without knocking around on the counter. It’s easier to use than many other tilt-head mixers, and is one of the quietest we tested.
$280 $210 from Amazon
You save $70 (25%)
$280 from JCPenney
$210 from Walmart
$475 from Macy’s
We’ve been using the KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer for more than five years, and we can definitively say that it is still the best for most home bakers and cooks. The Artisan is a sturdy machine that can power through thick doughs and aerate light batters without straining. It’s easy to use and clean, and it’s built to last. KitchenAid also makes attachments like a meat grinder or pasta maker that you can use with this machine, and as an added bonus, the Artisan comes in a huge variety of fun colors.
wirecutter  review  comparo  food  cooking 
6 weeks ago by rgl7194
The Best Sleep-Tracking App for 2018: Reviews by Wirecutter | A New York Times Company
“Per the recommendations of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, SleepScore is one of the few companies that validates its results in articles that are readily available on its website. Its latest white paper, for instance, reported that the app can correctly detect a wake when you are actually awake 87 percent of the time compared with PSG. It has a tougher time tracking light sleep, being only 64 percent accurate. These are not independent studies, so take them with a grain of salt, but we appreciated the transparency.”
sleep  reviews  wirecutter  apps  software  ios  2018 
6 weeks ago by handcoding

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