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Google is blamed for directing a pedestrian to a state highway with no sidewalks.

By Karen Datko Jun 1, 2010 4:05PM

File this under "We're not making this up": A woman is suing Google after she followed a suggested Google Maps walking route and was struck by a car.

 

Lauren Rosenberg looked up Google Maps directions on her BlackBerry on Jan. 19, 2009, to walk from a street address in Park City, Utah, to another Park City location. The directions included just over a half-mile walk on Deer Valley Drive or State Road 224, which has no sidewalks and looks like this.

 

Her lawsuit seeks at least $100,000. Her pain and suffering could very well be exacerbated by comments across the Web.

 

"PSA for the day: Google may seem all-powerful and all-knowing, but if it tells you to walk off a cliff, you really don't have to," Kayla Webly wrote in her report about the lawsuit at Time.

 

Want a cheap handset? Steer clear of your carrier.

By Karen Datko Jun 1, 2010 1:17PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.

 

In the market for a new cell phone? Consider shopping at the nearest electronics store.

 

Starting today, Wal-Mart will sell the 16GB iPhone 3GS for $97 with a two-year AT&T contract, instead of the $199 price tag both AT&T and Apple offer. When Wal-Mart announced its planned price drop last week, analysts and consumers alike saw the move as a confirmation that Apple would unveil a new model of the popular smart phone in June.

But it's not at all unusual for big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, Best Buy and RadioShack to offer handset prices that are significantly lower than those at carriers.

 

Picking the right time and a high-traffic location are the first rules for a community yard sale.

By Stacy Johnson Jun 1, 2010 12:12PM

This post comes from Leah Ingram of partner site Money Talks News.

 

Recently, I organized a community yard sale. Its purpose was to raise money for our middle school, plus provide a service to folks like myself who live in a place that is not conducive to having a yard sale.

 

Organizing it was easier than you might have thought.

 

Is it OK to use taxpayer money to reduce the mortgage balances of struggling homeowners? Some states are considering this.

By Karen Datko Jun 1, 2010 11:13AM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.

 

Where do you think we should draw a line in the sand with these mortgage bailouts? Myself, I'm not a hardball libertarian make-your-bed-and-you-lie-in-it type of taxpayer; I do believe in government. I'm not a bleeding heart type, I tell myself, but I like to think I do have a heart.

It seems right to me that government should pave roads and hire teachers and cops. When life whumps people upside the head through no fault of their own, it seems like a decent thing to have a safety net that helps get them on their feet. Not a down cushion, mind you. Just a net, with big wide mesh.

 

But this business of failed mortgages just confounds me. Who should we help?

 

Theater chains offer special programs of family-friendly flicks on weekday mornings.

By Teresa Mears Jun 1, 2010 8:56AM

It's summer, and a young mother's fancy turns to -- free and cheap movies to entertain her children in air-conditioned comfort. Dads and grandparents may like these films, too.

 

Most of the major theater chains have a summer program of free or discounted movies for children.

Some public libraries, cities and parks also show free movies during the summer. If school is already out in your district, the summer movie programs may start as early as this week, but most start next week or the week after.

 

It exists everywhere, but some places have more of it than others.

By Karen Datko Jun 1, 2010 7:35AM

This post comes from J.D. Roth at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.

 

I'm back! After 10 days boating through Southeast Alaska (and two days of recovery), I'm ready to think about personal finance once again. Actually, it'll probably come as no surprise that I never stopped thinking about personal finance. Even while we were skirting among ice floes, pulling up prawns, and admiring whales, my mind never strayed far from the topic of money. (I'm not saying this is a good thing, but it's the truth.)

 

It would be all too easy for me to share another sermon about the perils of stuff -- when you spend 10 days on a 38-foot boat, living out of a single carry-on bag, you come to realize how little you actually need in life -- but I think I've beaten that topic into the ground over the past few months. I'm working to cut down my dependence on things, and I know that many of you are, too; let's save further discussion for another day.

 

Today, I want to talk about the value of social capital.

Though I don't mention it often around GRS, the idea of social capital is constantly lurking behind the scenes.

 

The poll found that most people don't know how to react to a yellow traffic light.

By Karen Datko May 28, 2010 2:52PM

This post comes from Mark Huffman at partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

One reason highways are hazardous is because too many drivers don't know what they are doing, an insurance company study suggests.

 

GMAC Insurance conducted an online survey, posing 20 questions taken from state driver's-license exams. The results showed that many respondents might have flunked if it had been a real test.

For example, 85% of respondents did not know how to react to a traffic signal when the light is yellow. Others showed confusion on other questions or admitted to unsafe habits like texting while driving.

 

Frugal folks will have to find other ways to reduce their spending on toiletries.

By Karen Datko May 28, 2010 12:55PM

A friend of ours didn't spend a dime on bath soap for at least a decade. Her job required lots of travel, and she hauled all those little hotel soap bars home. Tiny bottles of shampoo, conditioner and lotion, too.

 

(Is that theft? More on that below.)

 

The days of free bar soap for frugal folks appear to be numbered. A consultant to the hotel industry predicts that permanent soap and shampoo dispensers will be the norm in U.S. hotels, including the fancy ones, within five years.

 

Meanwhile, hotel soap bars have been getting smaller, reports blogger Harriet Baskas in an article at MSNBC.com.

 

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