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Consumer Affairs

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.

Utility bill scammers cheat small business out of $1,000

Hang up on any caller who threatens to cut off your electricity – even if the caller claims to be from the electric company

Thieves have used the “utility bill scam” to try cheating honest people out of their money for about as long as utility companies have existed.

January is the month for fantasy planting

It's a good time to order the seeds you'll need in a few months

This is it, this is the month that all the seed catalogs come out and try to warm your heart by letting you know that spring is right around the corner.

Study finds needy, neurotic people are kind to their pets

Helicopter parents may make good pet parents

Helicopter parents now have a place where they can engage in that style of parenting and feel the wrath of criticism. Some experts think that it might be very beneficial if the child that you’re parenting has four legs. Rejoice overprotective parents -- a new study says this style of parenting could be what's right for your pet.

Scam alert: this job offer is really an envelope-stuffing scheme

Real jobs expect to pay you. Scam jobs expect you to pay them

If you're looking for a job, bear in mind that there are plenty of people out there who already have a job. Unfortunately, their job is separating you from your money.

Mandatory labels on foods containing DNA? 80% of Americans support that

Yet statistics on dihydrogen monoxide remain hard to find

According to a recent survey by the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics, over 80% of Americans said they would support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA,” roughly the same number that support the mandatory labeling of GMO foods “produced with genetic engineering.”

Microsoft and Google feud over latest security update

What happens when Patch Tuesday and Project Zero butt heads?

What makes this latest security update noteworthy is what's going on in the background: a recent public spat between Microsoft and Google. One of the latest Microsoft updates involves fixing a Windows 8.1 vulnerability announced first announced on Sunday — by security researchers working for Google.

Wireless keyboards can be very easy to hack

Another day, another way hackers can spy on your life

Here are two rules you must always keep in mind regarding your own personal computer or information-based security: One, anything with an Internet connection can be hacked. Two, this means anything wireless is also hackable.

Propane exchange tank suppliers ordered to halt efforts to restrain competition

Blue Rhino and AmeriGas are accused of ganging up on Walmart

The two leading suppliers of propane exchange tanks were accused of illegally colluding to push Walmart -- a key customer -- to accept a reduction in the amount of propane in exchange tanks.

Fear of falling is a big part of growing older

But a simple game of catch might be part of the answer

For older adults, a fall can be a life-threatening situation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the death rates from falls among older men and women have risen sharply over the past decade.

Employers must follow strict rules for independent contractors

Government is cracking down on those that don't

There is nothing wrong with hiring independent contractors instead of employees and plenty of workers are happy to operate as freelancers. But businesses and organizations that hire independent contractors must follow strict rules.

The flap about doggie doors

Safety and energy are two big considerations

Not everybody wants to take their pup for a walk in below freezing weather, but your dog still needs to go out. One option that might make it easier on you would be to install a doggie door. The ins and outs of doggie doors can be a little confusing.

Families aren't what they used to be, study finds

They now come in many more shapes and sizes

The latest survey on families from Pew Research finds that just 46% of kids who are under 18 live in "traditional" families headed by hetrosexual couples who are in a first marriage. Going back to the year 1960 it was 73%.

Heat pump water heaters: more efficient than you thought

Government researchers find ways to improve their performance

In the typical home, the water heater is a significant source of energy consumption, but most consumers don't think much about it.

Airlines face more dilemmas as travelers seek to bring pets along

When pigs fly, maybe they'll have their own seating area

Despite resistance to pigs flying, a recent survey of 430 customers conducted by airport shuttle service Go Airport Express, found 52% of fliers saying they would be OK with pets traveling in airplane cabins, rather than being stowed as cargo.