I, otoh, can't think of the last time I've looked at CR -- it's just
not a resource I think of as useful in general.
Oh, and one other reason -- for the most part, the things I buy most
frequently they simply don't rate. I don't buy much at all in the
consumer electronics or other high-volume goods and have strong enough
opinions on things like cars, etc., that I'm not influenced by others'
Farm equipment and the kinds of tools for woodworking and so on I do
buy are beyond the level of what they look at.
I think the _best_ information available is looking at the actual in
depth product data from the manufacturers. Things like pigment
concentration levels, etc., that normal consumers never bother to look
for or understand if they do...the problem w/ their ratings when the
subject came up on a usenet thread some time ago and I looked at them
in some detail was that the same paint from the same manufacturer in
subsequent reports could get a widely different rating. Hence, the
same problem as others have noted on other products -- either the
ratings are inconsistent and/or flawed or the products themselves
aren't consistent enough to make the generalization of much value
unless you can find the specific paint tested and ensure it is
actually the same formulation as that tested -- which may not be
possible to determine. Then, one has the problem of transferring the
conditions of the test to the conditions under which one is going to
be using it -- they test may or may not be valid or have any direct
bearing. It's the same old thing of "statistically significant" -- if
the conditions aren't the same, extrapolating the results is risky.
The best one can say is that under those conditions, with their
preparation and application, the results they reported are such and
such. Whether that is useful is, imo, hard to say definitively.
Wrong frame of reference. I'm wondering if _CR_ is sponsoring the
playing of these infomercials on the "news" casts or if it is simply a
sign of laziness and/or cost-cutting on the local stations' part to
use cheap pre-canned programming rather than having to actually do
something on their own.
My problem with CR is that they usually test the "yuppy" priced products.
They may rate Mercedes as the best station wagon,
but that hardly affects the greater population.
Too many of their tests are between products out of my price range.
I have a whole house vacuum installed in my home, but there are times
when I need the portable.
I was walking though Wal-Mart one day, not looking for a vacuum cleaner,
but something down one aisle caught my eye. It was a Candy Apple Red
Bissell convertible (upright w/cannister). It had a hepa filter, but it
was the color that got me. I am a sucker for Candy Apple Red. Cost $179.
It works well, but is used only occasionally, so I don't need the best.
That reminds me, it needs another coat of car wax. :-).
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