Stirio Hands-Free Stirrer mixes it up in the kitchen

Stirio Hands-Free Stirrer mixes it up in the kitchen

Making risotto is a labor of love. It’s rice, after all, turned into something wonderful but the constant stirring that’s required scares off some people and getting to perfection takes time. But what if a motorized pot stirrer could make the risotto? The Stirio Hands-Free Stirrer, $ 54, is claimed to do just that and more, so the experts at Consumer Reports put Stirio to the test.

Stirio claims

“Clamps onto your pot and will stir any food; for example, … (read more)

Spring fixes to protect your home from the elements

Spring fixes to protect your home from the elements

After a rough winter in many areas of the country, spring has been no fling. Insurance claims for damage from hail, wind, and sewer and sump pump backups spike in the spring, according to Travelers. With snow shovels stashed, now’s a good time to inspect your house for any damage that may have occurred over the winter while your were inside keeping warm. Here are some steps to take to prevent further harm from wild weather.  

Check … (read more)

10 cheap housecleaning tools that will keep your home spotless

10 cheap housecleaning tools that will keep your home spotless

You don’t have to hire a cleaning team or purchase professional-grade cleaning supplies to rid your home of dirt and dust. We asked Consumer Reports’ experts and a panel of pros for advice on the best housecleaning supplies. We found 10 cheap cleaning supplies that can handle many of your housecleaning chores.

Turns out, you can purchase the full set of items on the list below for $ 58.20 to $ 115.55, based on the lowest online prices at … (read more)

Room air conditioners that keep their cool

Room air conditioners that keep their cool

The latest batch of room air conditioners in Consumer Reports’ tests meet tougher energy requirements so in addition to keeping you cool they help you keep your cool over rising utility bills. Small window air conditioners are the biggest sellers and we found five to recommend that cost in the $ 200 range. We also tested more than a dozen portable air conditioners but unfortunately, most struggled to cool a room. Here are the details.

Window air conditioners

Small.(read more)

Privacy tips for the Internet of Things

Privacy tips for the Internet of Things

If you don’t like the idea of being tracked by your devices, you might think you have only two options: Avoid the technology altogether or simply surrender to the surveillance. But for most smart products, there are strategies that can at least restrict how much of your information gets collected.  

1. Password-protect anything that collects personal information. Many smart devices are managed through Internet-based accounts. Some have pass codes you can enter on the device as well. Use both. And … (read more)

Connected devices and your privacy

Connected devices and your privacy

What it does. Modern multitasking parents can check in on their infants via smartphone using fully networked, motion-sensing, HD video-streaming systems with built-in speakers that let them talk to their baby while loading up the washing machine.

That type of right-there access is comforting for a parent, but it’s positively sickening if a hacker is also tuning in. The threat isn’t theoretical. In January, it was reported that a nanny in Houston heard an unfamiliar voice coming from a two-way baby monitor made by … (read more)

In the privacy of your own home

In the privacy of your own home

Last spring, as 41,000 runners made their way through the streets of Dublin in the city’s Women’s Mini Marathon, an unassuming redheaded man by the name of Candid Wueest stood on the sidelines with a scanner. He had built it in a couple of hours with $ 75 worth of parts, and he was using it to surreptitiously pick up data from activity trackers worn on the runners’ wrists. During the race, Wueest managed to collect personal info from 563 racers, including their names, … (read more)

Laundry packet standard doesn’t go far enough

Laundry packet standard doesn’t go far enough

The convenience of laundry detergent packets has a dangerous downside: Tens of thousands of children have been exposed to the colorful, bite-sized packages since their introduction in 2012, leading to hundreds of hospital visits for injuries that include seizures, vomiting, and respiratory arrest. ASTM International, the non-profit standards-setting organization, is developing a voluntary standard designed to make the packets safer. Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, joined other consumer groups this week in casting a negative vote … (read more)