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Posts Tagged ‘Consumer Reports’

Cubes: Touring the Mad Science of Consumer Reports

In the latest episode of “Cubes,” we get an inside look at the science behind Consumer Reports. The magazine’s headquarters feature an echo-proof sound chamber, a state-of-the-art photography lab, and a special machine that crushes baby cribs, among other cool things.

For more videos, check out Mediabistro.tv, and be sure to follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV


Consumer Reports Offering Free Access Online Today

With sites like Yelp giving everyone a place to spout their own completely biased opinion about just about everything, Consumer Reports remains the one place where you can get feedback on items based on actual research and testing. So it’s worth noting that for today only, the magazine is offering people a chance to view its complete product reviews archive for free.

All you have to do is go here and register and bam! You can check out all the products that the magazine reviews online. It’s starting to get hot out there, so we suggest starting with fans and air conditioners.

Fiscal Times Will Have Powerhouse Of Journos, Content

jackie.jpgNow see, this is the kind of publication we hope to see more of in 2010: The Fiscal Times, set to launch next year, will be an online-only entity that “will aim to drive the conversation surrounding our nation’s most pressing economic issues.”

Sure, there are plenty of economic blogs out there right now, but there are two things that make us excited about The Fiscal Times. One is its content sharing agreement: the news org already has a deal with The Washington Post, and is working on arrangements with other publications, much in the way that The Business Insider has done. Secondly, The Fiscal Times really has culled some of the best financial reporters and editors: Ann Reilly Dowd, formerly of Fortune and Money; Elaine Povich from The Chicago Tribune and Newsday; Dan Morgan, an ex-investigative reporter for The Washington Post and Eric Pianin, a 28-year veteran of The Washington Post. What’s more, TFT’s editor-in-chief is Jackie Leo (at left), who formerly held the same position at Reader’s Digest and was editorial director of Consumer Reports.

With this group, it finally makes sense why the organizations that are sharing content would actually want to take articles from The Fiscal Times, and not the other way around.

Says one of the founders of the publication, Peter G. Peterson, “The Fiscal Times is a new entity whose time has come, an independently supported publication comprised of top journalists and opinion makers covering the critical economic issues of our time.” We might actually believe him.

Read More: Fiscal Times launching next year –Twitter

The Fiscal Times’ Twitter

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Attack On Former Gawker-Owned Site Crashes Server

server.jpgYesterday, our colleagues at AgencySpy floated some ideas as to why Gawker Media‘s blogs were experiencing slowness and technical difficulties over the last few days. One theory: a DDos attack:

“A Distributed Denial of Service attack is, simply put, like two or 10 people hitting refresh on Gawker millions of times a minute. Obviously, this is not a hack for the faint hearted (or unskilled). Sometimes it’s one person, others it’s multiple. Sometimes the damage is temporary, others it is permanent.”

Today it looks like that was in fact what was bringing sites like Jezebel, Gizmodo and flagship Gawker down. However, Gawker Media said in a memo to employees that the attack targeted Consumerist.com, a site that Gawker sold late last year to Consumer Reports, although it apparently still hosts the site.

$5 to the person who can find the Consumerist story that might motivate such an attack on the site. Or maybe those in the Scientology community, upset with a recent Gawker piece, are just really smart and sneaky.

(Photo via Flickr)

Layoffs Avoided At Consumer Reports Publisher

After threatening to layoff staffers earlier this month if it could not produce $1.8 million in cuts, Consumer Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, has reached a deal with the union representing its staffers.

consumer.pngThe company has reached a tentative agreement with the Newspaper Guild of New York, promising to nix the layoffs if guild members agreed to “give up a 3 percent pay increase scheduled to kick in in January 2010; the company 401(k) match in 2010; and other benefits,” Editor & Publisher reported.

The guild represents 350 researchers, scientists and writers who work for Consumer Union, and the company had threatened to let go 21 of them if they could not find a way to cut costs.

Newmark, Sklar, Sullivan Talk Consumer Protection With Consumer Reports and Consumerist

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Last night’s panel (from left to right) Kevin McKean, Craig Newmark, Rachel Sklar, Ben Popken and Bob Sullivan

Last night, we hit a panel at 92Y Tribeca hosted by the Consumerist and Consumer Reports that focused on online media’s contribution to consumer protection.

The panel, moderated by Consumer Reports‘ editorial director Kevin McKean, featured Consumerist co-executive editor Ben Popken, Craigslist.org founder Craig Newmark, former Huffington Post contributor Rachel Sklar (who is currently working for Abrams Research) and consumer reporter Bob Sullivan, who writes MSNBC‘s the Red Tape Chronicles column.

Throughout the discussion, Sullivan represented a traditional media point of view while Popken commented on the differences a Web site like Consumerist can make in getting companies to recognize and react to consumer complaints. Newmark advocated social media and consumers’ individual responsibilities to speak up, while Sklar, quoting Ronald Reagan, warned consumers to “Trust, but verify,” their sources of information.

“Anybody who wants to can be an authority, can be a blog publisher, can make their opinion known, can make their experiences known, can join in a movement if they wish,” Sklar said.

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