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Consumer Affairs

Data company counts 46 million vehicles with unrepaired recalls

It's a huge increase over last year's estimate

A year ago, a company selling automotive data to consumers reported there were more than 3 million cars on the road in 2013 with an open – or unrepaired – safety recall. This year, it counts more than 10 times that number.

An app to let you know if your college student is in class

Educators agree class attendance is essential to success

Success in college depends on many things but one thing is for sure -- you have to show up for class.

Call-blocking by consumers OK in FTC's view

Consumers being flooded with unwanted telemarketing calls, many from overseas

Is it -- or should it be -- legal for consumers to block unwanted telephone calls from telemarketers, solicitors, politicians and others who intrude brazenly on their privacy? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says yes, it is and should continue to be legal.

Law enforcement tracks all Americans, but doesn't want Americans tracking them

DEA expands its national surveillance while cops ask Google to disable cop-locator app

If you're an American citizen looking for a single sentence to summarize your relationship with the government, here's one possibility: “The government gets to spy on you and know your whereabouts at all times, whereas you aren't even allowed to know where to find the police officer nearest you.”

FTC urges caution as Internet of Things expands

Interconnected devices are fine but the humans need watching

The Internet of Things -- interconnected devices like appliances and security alarms -- are fine but it's important to protect them against errant humans, a report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions.

Google, Cablevision ready to wade into wireless wars

You thought Uber was disruptive? Wait til you see this

What was once called the cellphone business is about to face the kind of disruption that has left everything from newspaper barons to taxi drivers wondering where their next meal is coming from.

It's getting expensive to have a dog that's considered dangerous

Liability attached to a "dangerous" breed may be more than most consumers can afford

If you have a dog that’s generally considered dangerous, you'd better start cutting back on dog treats or maybe get a smaller house and a cheaper car, because you are going to have a hefty insurance premium -- if you can even find a policy.

1 in 5 Americans admit to financial infidelity

What the spouse doesn't know can hurt them

About 1 in 5 say they have spent $500 or more without telling their partner. Then there are the independents who make up 6% and maintain a hidden checking or savings account and use secret credit cards.

Problem: genuine AT&T texts look too much like phishing bait

Watch out, because the standard scam-detection rules don't apply here

AT&T customers beware: you're far more vulnerable to phishing scams than customers of other companies, thanks to AT&T's text protocols – or the lack thereof.

Small improvements can make a big difference in your home's value

Renters are once again looking to buy; is your home ready?

Perhaps it's time for an upgrade just to modernize your home a bit or to start prepping for a sale.

Real chocolate or compound chocolate? We won't get fooled again

Another reason to check the ingredients before you buy candy

The FDA lists standards for various types of “Cacao products,” including “breakfast cocoa,” “cocoa,” “sweet chocolate,” “milk chocolate,” and more. Basically, to legally qualify as real chocolate (as opposed to a “chocolaty” or chocolate-flavored product), a minimum percentage of the candy must come from actual cacao beans, including fat derived from genuine cocoa butter.

Can fast food stores really pay their people $15 an hour?

Massachusetts researchers say they can without impacting jobs or profits

Stagnant wages in the U.S. economy have put increasing pressure on businesses that pay the lowest wages to increase their workers' hourly pay.

What happens when the pipes freeze

It could turn into The Nightmare on Your Street

When water in a pipe freezes, it expands and puts tremendous pressure on both metal and plastic pipes. If the pipe breaks, it can easily release a torrent of water into the building.

Zero-day exploit leaves Adobe Flash vulnerable to hackers

Thursday's security update didn't work

On Thursday, Adobe released a new security update initially intended to patch a zero-day security flaw in Flash – but mere hours after releasing the patch, Adobe admitted that hackers had already figured out how to work around it.

How to deal with a hostile boss

Believe it or not, researchers say you should be hostile right back

When the boss gets on your case your life can be miserable. But when a demanding attitude crosses the line to hostility, it can be even worse.