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There's no proven link between credit histories and insurance claims, and insurance scoring often can be random and unfair. It's time to limit the practice.

By Money Staff Nov 3, 2010 7:57PM

This post comes from MSN Money's Liz Pulliam Weston.


Liz Pulliam WestonThe fact that credit scores correlate with insurance claims is pretty well-established. People with bad credit cost insurers more, and people with good credit cost insurers less.

But anyone who pretends to know why that's true is blowing air up your skirt.

Because nobody knows why. There are plenty of theories, such as:

  • People with good credit are more careful drivers or homeowners.
  • People with bad credit are less likely to have money to pay claims out of pocket.
  • People with bad credit are more likely to be impulsive/aggressive/bad at judging risk.

Russian crackdown has led to a dramatic drop, but expect it to be temporary.

By Karen Datko Nov 3, 2010 6:37PM

Enjoy the drop in Viagra spam traffic while you can. (Don't claim you didn't notice.) It's expected to be somewhat brief, as others move in to fill a void authorities say was created by an investigation of Igor A. Gusev, Russia's reputed "spam king."

Viagra and other prescription drug spam reportedly dropped by 20% worldwide -- 50 billion e-mails a day -- when the Russian computer police got involved.


Consumer Reports surveyed bespectacled readers about their purchasing experiences.

By Karen Datko Nov 3, 2010 4:13PM

This post comes from James Limbach at partner site


Shopping for eyeglasses isn't easy, especially when frames can cost well over $200 a pair -- even without the fancy add-ons and logos. But a Consumer Reports survey found that a great pair of eyeglasses doesn't have to break the bank.

The magazine surveyed more than 30,000 of its bespectacled readers about their most recent purchase of a pair of glasses and found that Costco topped the ratings of eyeglass retailers, which included large chains, independent local optical shops, and private doctor's offices.


Amazon launches new FB service, boosting retail move toward social networking and mobile commerce.

By Teresa Mears Nov 3, 2010 2:44PM

You check Facebook and realize that, once again, you've forgotten your niece's birthday. She's away at college in another town, so mailing brownies is out of the question if you want them to arrive in time. And you refuse to indulge in those lame Facebook games that involve spending real money for virtual gifts.

Retailers have indeed seen your need. This week, Amazon launched a new app with which you can send your friends gift cards via Facebook. You may see more apps like it soon.

Amazon gift cards have long been available via e-mail. Making them available on Facebook is another way to integrate shopping with a service that reminds participants of friends' birthdays and lets people share their shopping experiences online.


Research shows that interruptions can make pleasant things more pleasurable, and unpleasant things even worse.

By Karen Datko Nov 3, 2010 1:54PM

This guest post comes from Pop at Pop Economics.


Sometimes, I read a study and go, "Hahaha, yeah, right." Most often, I then proceed to do exactly what the study says I would do. This is one of those studies.


I mean, how would you react if the study title was, literally, "Enhancing the Television‐Viewing Experience through Commercial Interruptions"?

A couple years ago, Leif Nelson of UC Berkeley and Tom Meyvis of NYU decided to measure how much our pleasure in watching a TV program diminished when it was interrupted by commercials.


More banks are paying you to open accounts, but 'free' money has a cost.

By Karen Datko Nov 3, 2010 12:26PM

This Deal of the Day comes from AnnaMaria Andriotis at partner site SmartMoney.


There is no such thing as free money -- unless, of course, you want to open a checking account. Several banks have started offering cold, hard cash to get new customers in the door.


But hidden in the fine print are fees and rules that will wipe out the windfall.


Cash incentive offers have more than doubled over the last year, says Schwark Satyavolu, chief executive of, which tracks bank account trends.


The chaos that moving creates affects all aspects of our lives.

By Karen Datko Nov 3, 2010 8:38AM

This post comes from Kentin Waits at partner blog Wise Bread.


The thought of moving is enough to strike fear in the hearts of the bravest souls. Relocating on the cheap -- without the benefit of a team of professional movers, a sea of boxes and bubble wrap, and a small fleet of vans -- well, that's just plain hard.

But, for most of us, high-end moving services aren't part of our reality, and moving involves straining the bonds of friendship, frustrating all-night packing marathons, and eating croutons and bacon bits for lunch because we've packed the rest of the food.


With some simple preparation, a laser-like focus, and lots of patience, moving on a budget can be less of a hassle. Here are eight tips for successful DIY moving:


Brazilian court orders fast-food giant to pay former employee who gained 65 pounds on the job.

By Karen Datko Nov 2, 2010 7:33PM

This post comes from Jon Hood at partner site


McDonald's has lost a high-profile obesity lawsuit, with a Brazilian court ordering the fast-food giant to pay $17,500 to a former manager who says he gained 65 pounds while working at a franchise.

The employee, whose identity was not made public, said he went from about 155 to 231 pounds during his time with the company. The plaintiff said the random presence of "mystery clients" -- who are tasked with visiting franchises and evaluating their food quality, cleanliness and customer service -- made him feel obliged to sample the food every day.



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