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29 Sep 21:11

GM: This Is Awkward, But Those Corvette Valet Cams Might Be Illegal

by Mary Beth Quirk

Having an extra pair of eyes and ears to keep watch over your expensive ride might sound like a wonderful idea, but GM is now warning owners of its new Corvette that those valet nanny cams might be illegal, depending on where you live.

“Valet Mode” allowed owners of the 2015 Corvette to monitor their cars via a camera, which includes cabin audio, as well as turn off the entertainment system and lock storage compartments.

But if you live in one of 11 states where you can only record someone if both parties consent — meaning anyone in the car besides the owner — turning that feature on means breaking the law.

GM sent drivers and dealers a letter telling them to turn off the feature or to ask permission from anyone else in the car before using it, reports CNNMoney.

“U.S. customers have been sent a letter advising that they should not use the ‘Valet Mode,’ or that if they do they should obtain consent from the vehicle’s occupants before they record them in the vehicle,” GM said.

The company said Chevrolet would soon “be making a software update available to remedy this issue.”

As for how that’s done, it’s unclear — maybe disabling it depending on your car’s location or simply not recording people who haven’t given permission?

A CorvetteForum.com poster says the below letter is from GM, and was sent to dealers:

Attention:
General Manager, Service Advisor, Service Manager, Parts and

Service Director, Parts Manager, New Vehicle Sales Manager,

and Warranty Administrator

This notice is being sent to you regarding 2015 model year Corvettes equipped with the Performance Data Recorder (UQT).

The Performance Data Recorder (UQT) in these vehicles, when used in Valet Mode, allows a customer to record the driving of their Corvette when the vehicle is not in their control. In Valet Mode, the PDR will also record activity and conversations that take place in the vehicle.

To help our customers use the Performance Data Recorder (UQT) consistent with legal requirements that pertain to audio recording devices, we will be requiring a very important update to the system of each affected vehicle in the near future. We expect that the update will be available early next month. At that time, we will provide details about the update and let you know what steps you need to take, if any, to complete the update for vehicles in your inventory.

In the meantime, you must advise any customers who take delivery of an impacted vehicle that they should refrain from using the Valet Mode until the update takes place. If they do use the Valet Mode, they should (i) notify any occupants of the vehicle that they will be recorded while in the vehicle, and (ii) obtain their consent to this recording. It is very important that you explain this to each customer at the time of delivery.

Attached is a copy of a written communication for you to provide to customers to accomplish this notice. We are sending the same communication to customers who have already taken delivery of a Corvette vehicle equipped with PDR.

We greatly appreciate your cooperation in conveying this important information to your customers.

GM fixing problems with Corvette’s ‘nanny cam’ [CNNMoney]

29 Sep 21:14

Tourists Rent Car, Get Free Snake In The Trunk

by Laura Northrup

carpython“Free ball python with every car rental” might appeal to some customers as a promotion, but it would be an expensive one, and most customers probably wouldn’t be interested. Two tourists found a free surprise python in the trunk of the car they had rented at Logan airport in Boston and drove to their motel in Maine. The good news? The snake was alive and unharmed, and its owner has already been found.

Still, the women were clearly alarmed to find a snake in the car’s trunk, and they had motel staff call 911. (They didn’t talk to reporters about the incident.) Local police used a pillowcase to remove the snake from the car, and brought it to a nearby pet store equipped to care for a snake of that size.

It turns out that the snake had been hanging out in the vehicle for a few weeks: it escaped from its tank during a previous rental. “We spent about three hours trying to find it and never found it,” the owner told TV station WBZ.

Going on vacation in Maine, hanging out at the Burger King drive-thru: escaped snakes are leading very exciting lives this year. The boa constrictor in the United Kingdom that lurked in the trunk of a used car to surprise the new owner last month didn’t seem to have any fun plans, though.

Women Find Python In Trunk Of Car Rented From Logan Airport [WBZ]

29 Sep 08:59

Wal-Mart: Morgan, others weren't wearing seatbelts

Wal-Mart says actor-comedian Tracy Morgan and other people in a vehicle struck from behind by a company truck on a New Jersey highway in June weren't wearing seatbelts.
29 Sep 07:10

Police probing house fire that killed 41 dogs

Police in North Las Vegas have launched an animal cruelty investigation surrounding a home where firefighters say at least 41 dogs were killed and 52 survived a weekend fire.
28 Sep 14:40

California adopts 'yes means yes' sex-assault rule

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Sunday that he has signed a bill that makes California the first in the nation to define when "yes means yes" and adopt requirements for colleges to follow when investigating sexual assault reports.
28 Sep 17:53

Prince William County community calendar, Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2014 - Washington Post


Prince William County community calendar, Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2014
Washington Post
Dale City Farmers Market, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Dale City Commuter Lot, (behind Center Plaza Shopping Center), Dale Boulevard. Free. 703-670-7112, Ext. 227, or www.pwcparks.org. “War and Peace” tintypes, an exhibit of portraits by Melissa Cacciola depicting ...

and more »
15 Aug 14:00

The Stores That Will Refund Your Money When a Price Drops

by Kristin Wong on Two Cents, shared by Andy Orin to Lifehacker

The Stores That Will Refund Your Money When a Price Drops

You buy an item, and a few days later, it goes on sale. It can be an annoying experience. But some retailers will refund you the difference in price. Kiplinger put together a list of popular retailers that with price drop policies.

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15 Aug 12:30

Construction Calculators: To Use or Not to Use?

by Kit Stansley on Workshop, shared by Andy Orin to Lifehacker

Construction Calculators: To Use or Not to Use?

A construction calculator has specific functions that allow you to more easily do construction-related calculations. Some people swear by them, and others paid a lot of attention in fifth-grade geometry and don't need them. What do you think?

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14 Aug 18:00

The Services You Can Save Money on at Costco (Outside of the Store)

by Melanie Pinola

The Services You Can Save Money on at Costco (Outside of the Store)

Sure, you can save a great deal of money at Costco when shopping at the warehouse (even if you're not a member ). Don't forget you can also save a ton with Costco's services.

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14 Aug 12:30

Get More Out of Your Drill With These Tips and Attachments

by Kit Stansley on Workshop, shared by Andy Orin to Lifehacker

A cordless drill is a handy tool to have around, but it can do a lot more than drill holes. Here are some interesting attachments that go beyond your typical set of bits.

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14 Aug 11:00

The Best Bundles that Save Money on Multiple Purchases

by Alan Henry

The Best Bundles that Save Money on Multiple Purchases

Whether you're shopping for books, music, software, or video games, the web is full of "bundles," or discounted packs, where you can get lots of goodies at a discounted price. Let's build a list of the best bundles around the web that offer good stuff at great prices—whatever that stuff may be.

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12 Aug 18:00

How Are You Teaching Your Kids to Be Safe Online?

by Melanie Pinola

How Are You Teaching Your Kids to Be Safe Online?

We teach our children to be safe in the real world, when walking to school or meeting strangers, but what about the great, big, sometimes dangerous place called the internet?

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12 Aug 12:00

The 15 Best and Worst Words to Use on Resumes According to Recruiters

by Mihir Patkar

The 15 Best and Worst Words to Use on Resumes According to Recruiters

Given how little time recruiters spend on a resume, you should use any edge available to stand out from the crowd. A recent survey of over 2,000 human resource professionals highlights the best and worst words to use in your CV.

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11 Aug 19:00

Ask an Expert: All About Dressing for a Job Interview

by Andy Orin

Ask an Expert: All About Dressing for a Job Interview

Your resume caught a recruiter's eye, you've had a phone interview, and now you finally get your foot in the door for a job interview. There's a lot of pressure to make a good first impression. So what do you wear?

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11 Aug 15:00

How (and Why) to Develop Your Mental Toughness

by Patrick Allan

How (and Why) to Develop Your Mental Toughness

Developing your mental toughness can help you be more emotionally resilient, push you to go further and harder, and build armor to persevere against the bullets that life fires your way. It's not as easy to just "be tougher," though. Here are some tactics to toughen up your mind for life's hard knocks.

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11 Aug 13:30

Schedule Your Day Backwards to Get Everything Done in a Timely Manner

by Eric Ravenscraft

Schedule Your Day Backwards to Get Everything Done in a Timely Manner

Your to-do list is only as useful as as your ability to actually get it done. When you're planning out your day, start with the time that you need to be done with work and plan backwards from there.

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11 Aug 12:30

How to Patch a Hole in Drywall

by Kit Stansley on Workshop, shared by Andy Orin to Lifehacker

How to Patch a Hole in Drywall

If you ever find yourself staring at a hole marring an otherwise perfectly good wall, don't worry. Patching drywall is easier than it looks: you just need the right tools and a few basic principles.

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10 Aug 18:00

Check Your Social Profile for These Lesser-Known Job-Killing Mistakes

by Dave Greenbaum

Check Your Social Profile for These Lesser-Known Job-Killing Mistakes

We all know that potential employers check out our social media profiles, but we aren't always sure what they are looking for. CareerBuilder surveyed employers and found out some surprising reasons they found to reject candidates

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09 Aug 15:00

Top 10 Tips and Tricks We Learned from the Military

by Melanie Pinola

Top 10 Tips and Tricks We Learned from the Military

You learn unique, useful skills in the military—not just for special ops, but also often applicable to everyday life. Here are ten of the most interesting ones we've learned over the years.

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08 Aug 14:00

The Retailers Who Will Reward You for Abandoning Your Shopping Cart

by Kyle James on Two Cents, shared by Alan Henry to Lifehacker

The Retailers Who Will Reward You for Abandoning Your Shopping Cart

Have you ever been shopping online at your favorite store, added items to your cart, then decided to not make the purchase for one reason or another? Maybe it was just to expensive. Maybe the shipping costs were a deal breaker. Whatever your reasoning for abandoning your online shopping cart, some popular online stores are now sending a follow-up email to try and entice you back with a coupon or discount to complete your purchase.

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06 Aug 17:30

Make a Breakfast Casserole Overnight in the Slow Cooker

by Melanie Pinola

Make a Breakfast Casserole Overnight in the Slow Cooker

The slow cooker. That awesome low-effort device that lets you come home to a complete meal —or wake up to one , like this complete breakfast of eggs layered with hash browns, sausage, and shredded cheese.

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06 Aug 11:30

Glassdoor Benefits Reviews Shows What Perks Companies Offer

by Mihir Patkar

Web: Glassdoor already does a good job of telling you salaries and work conditions from insiders at a company. The service has now launched Benefits Reviews to find out the perks and benefits packages that firms offer.

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05 Aug 15:00

Three Basic Design Principles Everyone Can Use in Everyday Life

by Eric Ravenscraft

Three Basic Design Principles Everyone Can Use in Everyday Life

We all enjoy good design, but not everyone has the experience to know how to do it right. Even if you're not an artist, there are certain principles that everyone can learn that are useful in everyday tasks.

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26 Sep 20:45

Restaurant Kicks Out Blind Man And Service Dog, Gets Schooled On ADA

by Laura Northrup

service_dogService dogs are able to help people with a wide variety of problems, from diabetes to seizure disorders to blindness. Whenever there’s a controversy over whether a service dog dog should be allowed inside a business, we frequently hear that an employee told the disabled person, “you’re not blind!” Recently in California, though, a blind man, his family, and his service dog visited a restaurant and were told that Dogs Are Not Allowed.

Normally, service dogs are allowed to go anywhere that their owners are, including taxis, stores, and restaurants. Technically, a business owner can ask an animal to leave, but only if the dog isn’t housebroken or is being disruptive in some other kind of doggy way.

When the family visited this Indian restaurant in South Sacramento, they were asked to leave. Well, the dog was. “No dog. Get out. Just get out,” he recounted to the TV station. They decided to investigate for themselves. Instead of attaching a camera to the same customer, they sent in their own blind guy/service dog team. They were asked to leave, but pushed back by quoting the relevant parts of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

It turns out that the restaurant’s owner and staff simply weren’t familiar with the laws surrounding service dogs, and didn’t know that there are circumstances under which dogs have to be allowed inside. That could be an expensive lesson: the kicked-out customer could have sued them for not allowing him to bring the dog inside.

Call Kurtis Investigates: Sacramento Restaurant Denies Blind Man’s Service Dog [CBS Sacramento]

26 Sep 15:58

Another Beautiful Nightmare Before Christmas Display At Target

by Laura Northrup

Every retailer has its own specialty when it comes to holiday mashup decorations. At Hobby Lobby, it’s beautifully decorated evergreen trees with a fall theme. Target has settled on a holiday specialty, and that is “Nightmare Before Christmas” displays that combine elements of the two holidays. We’re pretty sure that it’s accidental, but maybe it’s not. We have to admit, though, when you see these displays in the wild at Target, they sort of work.

target_nightmare

Reader Paula spotted this mashup at a Target store in Arizona, and submitted it to the Consumerist Flickr pool.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas,” of course, refers to the 1993 Tim Burton stop-motion animation film about the mysterious beings in charge of our holidays, and what happened when the residents of Halloweentown kidnapped Santa Claus and put themselves in charge of Christmas, therefore guaranteeing that goth-leaning young adults would buy piles of Disney-licensed Christmas merchandise for decades to come. It’s available on Netflix streaming, and you should watch it.

Or you could skip that and just check out the live-action version at your local Target store.

PREVIOUSLY:
Target’s Accidental Nightmare Before Christmas Looks Kind Of Cool

26 Sep 06:03

Mom found fit for trial in kids-out-window case

A defense lawyer says he'll fight a finding that a Las Vegas woman is fit for trial on charges alleging she threw her 7-month-old son and 1½-year-old daughter out a second-story window before jumping out herself.
26 Sep 12:40

Fire at control site stops O'Hare, Midway flights

All flights in and out of Chicago's two airports were halted Friday morning because of a fire at a suburban Chicago air traffic control facility. The ground stop threatened to send delays and cancellations rippling throughout the nation's air travel network, as more than 500 flights had already been canceled in Chicago and more were expected.
26 Sep 13:10

Teacher faces new sentence in Montana rape case

A teacher who spent just a month in prison for the rape of a 14-year-old student is going back to court to be resentenced after the original judge in the case was censured over comments that placed some responsibility on the victim.
26 Sep 07:46

US: Most new immigrant families fail to report

For nearly three months this summer, the Obama administration carefully avoided answering questions about what happened to tens of thousands of immigrant families caught illegally crossing the Mexican border and released into the United States with instructions to report back to immigration authorities.
26 Sep 15:26

Official failures cited in Md. case of 9 dead dogs

The private foundation responsible for Allegany County animal control is acknowledging it failed to respond to calls about abandoned pets in a home were nine dogs died.