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Consumer Confidential: Hummer recall, new Google, Newsweek for sale

May 5, 2010 | 10:06 am

Here's your what-ho Wednesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- Of course there's another car recall to report -- two, in fact. General Motors says it's recalling about 162,000 Hummer H3 SUVs and 40,000 Corvettes. The Hummers are being recalled because a defect can cause the hood to detach while you're driving, which by all accounts is a very bad thing. The Corvettes have a problem with the steering column. In March, GM recalled about 1.3 million Chevy Cobalts and Pontiac G5s because of problems with the power-steering system.

-- There's a new Google in town. Everyone's favorite search engine is introducing a new interface that the company says will help users navigate around different Google functions. It's also cleaning up its logo a bit because, well, because. The biggest change, which most of us should start seeing by the end of the week, is a new left-side bar with various Google tools. There will also be suggestions for other searches you might want to try, based on your original query. I haven't seen the new bells and whistles yet, but I have little doubt they'll be cool.

-- Adios Newsweek? The Washington Post says it's selling off the weekly news magazine after nearly half a century of going mano-a-mano with rival Time. No buyers have stepped forward yet. Newsweek has been struggling to position itself in a real-time, 24-hour news environment. A redesign attempted to give it a more analytical profile but just made it seem less newsy. Meanwhile, financial troubles have been growing. I'm thinking Newsweek will migrate to an online-only format and will soon be available as an iPad app.

-- David Lazarus

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