Highest Rated Comments

usatoday1371 karma

Yes. Here's an example. We reviewed a clothes dryer a few years ago and said we liked everything about it except the lint trap. It had a weird handle and was awkward to remove.

So a few months later we're visiting at that company's headquarters for a product briefing. A designer walks up and hands up this hunk of plastic. He says, "hey, I just made this in our 3D printer. It's the new handle for the lint trap. We're going to put it in all the dryers starting next month."

I don't know how, but I think we made the world 0.5% better that day.

usatoday1156 karma

A co-worker asked if we could use black and white photos of the storm, so he could see Dorian Grey.

usatoday849 karma

From the period of 1990 through 2016, the three-day track error for tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico declined from 555 kilometers to 185 kilometers, dramatically reducing the size of hurricane warning and evacuation zone areas, according to NOAA.

usatoday676 karma

Yes, sadly. It’s never from the big companies, though, since we tend to have actual relationships with them and they know the drill. (Which is basically: Send us products on loan if you can. If not, we'll buy them anyway. You're not allowed to be present while we're testing and we won't tell you the results before we tell our readers.) The bribery attempts are usually from fly-by-night companies that you've never heard of. Since it's rarely something we were going to review anyway, I don't even reply to the emails.

usatoday619 karma

Yes, this is another thing that does happen in the review world. Some of the bigger companies have samples that they run through their QA labs before shipping to us. We don't have a huge problem with this because we also purchase products off the shelf.

And when you review enough of these products, whether it's TV or washing machines or whatever, you start to get a sense of their parameters. Do these results fall in line with what I expect based on the component and technology they're using? It's very rare that they're wildly better than expected. And if we don't trust the results of a particular unit, we'll buy a second one as verification. That's happened maybe once or twice in my time.