Time.com. Earns a B+ for crisp navigation and uncluttered design while receiving criticism for subsection titles that are poorly identified. The site is highly praised for its social network options and engaging features such as “Most Read” and “Most E-mailed” stories.Cosmopolitan. The site is lauded for a clean and carefully designed homepage designed to get readers inside the Web site as well as “intelligent use” of quizzes. 24/7 Wall Street says the site makes one big mistake by putting “More from Cosmo” so close to the bottom of the homepage. Minimal social media and Web 2.0 features. Grade: BLadies Home Journal. Receives a B for an “extremely well-designed homepage” and for editors engaging visitors right away with a section called “Everybody’s Talking About.” Most pages have search functions to help the reader find other interactive tools on the Web site.People.com Despite a slick design and intuitive navigation, 24/7 Wall Street says People.com “has been hemorrhaging visitors.” Still, the report gives People.com a “B” and says the site is “set up to maximize page views by keeping visitors occupied.”Taste of Home: A Reader’s Digest site, 24/7 Wall Street says, “This is about as ‘plain vanilla’ as a content site can be, which is not all bad.” Props are given to the simple and straightforward slide shows and instructional videos, while “Top Recipes” section gets slammed for “text links which look primitive and resemble Google advertising.” Grade: B-Reader’s Digest. Site earns praise for clean navigation that runs across the top of the homepage and a section called “Today’s Digest” that draws visitors to the site. RD.com gets marked down for a hard-to-find Comments section and lack of multimedia. Better Homes and Gardens. Site gets a B- for a “My BHG” option that allows visitors to become members and customize what they want from the Web site. National Geographic. The site is “well designed to bring readers to sections beyond the home page and makes state of the art use of multimedia features, especially video.”Woman’s Day. Site has a well designed, clean and easy-to-follow homepage but marked down for hiding important elements such as games, blogs and coupons.Sports Illustrated. SI.com is praised for the center of its front page which features video but is also “clean and well done.” However, photo and video sections at the bottom of the homepage are called “average” in design and quality while type is small and pages are cramped.Grade: CPlayboy.com. Earns high marks for being visually well done and offering engaging features like a section for downloading free MP3s and a sophisticated entertainment guide but the report takes a shot at Playboy for attempting to put much of the content behind a pay wall. “There may be some evidence that online readers will pay for content but naked women are probably in a different category than world news.”Grade: C-Family Circle. Report calls the homepage “boring” and marks site down for random organization of articles. Family Circle does get credit for a “very clever section” that allows readers to gets specific information on topics of interest via e-mail.Game Informer Magazine. The report says, “Given the demographic of heavy video game users, it is surprising that the site has so few social media connections.” Grade: D+Prevention.com. Site gets a “D+” for overwhelming the reader “with too much material crowded onto its homepage” and promotions that can be confused with editorial. Bright spots include a robust community site with a visible link to Facebook.Grade: DSouthern Living. While the design is fine, the Web site offers almost nothing beyond the magazine, according to the report. Props are given to the “home section” for its use of video and 360 degree viewing but the fitness section is lacking much-needed illustrations and the community section is an after-thought. Newsweek.com. The report takes Newsweek.com to task for an “extremely confusing” homepage that features blog sections with titles that have no meaning to the readers. “Newsweek.com is one of the few sites where the reader has an easier time navigating the site on the inside pages and sections,” the report says. “Almost all the major design elements are text and the use of illustrations and video are typically pushed to the bottom of the pages.”AARP the Magazine. Site is marked down for choppy lay-out and confusing copy.Grade: D-Good Housekeeping. Receives the lowest grade in the survey for an “awkwardly designed homepage,” a jumble of content mixed with distracting offers for the print magazine and online promotions and “photos so poorly cropped that they are over-layered on top of the text.”Not Graded: American Automobile Association. With more than five separate sites tied into parent AAA.com, 24/7 Wall Street doesn’t offer a grading. Financial news site 24/7 Wall Street has released a new report grading the top 20 consumer magazine Web sites. The sites are rated “A” through “F” based on strength of content; ease of use and navigation; use of technology and online tools including comment sections, message boards and multimedia; layout; a strong advertiser presence and size of audience (based on data from Compete.com and Nielsen Netview). The listing on 24/7 Wall Street’s site is confusing with the sites ranked 1-20 based not on the Web site grades or even online traffic but the magazine’s print circulation. Below, we’ve reworked the order according to the grading and summarized 24/7 Wall Street’s comments for each site. The results are surprising, with some legacy print brands scoring high marks while others that have made very aggressive online moves not faring so well. Grade: A+TVGuide.com. The best magazine Web site of the survey, according to 24/7 Wall Street, with “a nearly perfect combination of the best of the print version and contains features that strengthen the product online.” Latest news, photos and video run straight across the top while search features allow users to explore the site or the site’s video. Inside sections are extremely simple and functional.Grade: B+AARP Bulletin. The news site for AARP earns a high grade for easy navigation and an excellent “Ask the Experts Section.” However, the site for AARP the Magazine doesn’t fare as well (see Grade: D).
The House on Wednesday passed a fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill that despite two days of debate over dozens of amendments was little changed from the version passed in committee.Most significantly, the defense policy bill retains a budget maneuver that would allocate $18 billion in overseas contingency operations account (OCO) funds for base budget items not requested by the administration. The funds are designated for training, new weapons and facilities improvements desired by the service chiefs but left out of the Pentagon’s budget request.That gambit, which would result in funding for overseas operations to run out at the end of April, was one reason only 40 Democrats supported the bill, which passed 277-147. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the ranking member on the Armed Services Committee, opposed the legislation after criticizing the bill’s approach as “a fiscal path to nowhere,” reported CQ Roll Call.Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) defended the budget move, pointing to the military’s urgent readiness shortfalls.“Just think about what the alternative is: ‘No, we’re not going to help troops now, because we’re not sure where the money is going to come from next year or in five years or in 10 years,’” Thornberry said. “But in the meantime, while we’re not sure about all of that … more people stand in danger of losing their lives.”The authorization bill passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee last week does not adopt the House’s funding plan. That version is scheduled to go to the Senate floor next week.Democrats who voted against the bill took issue with a number of provisions beyond its use of OCO funds to evade the statutory spending caps, including the measure’s restrictions on closing the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay. An amendment by Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) to remove the bill’s prohibitions on the closure of the prison was rejected by the chamber.Democrats also objected to a maneuver by the House Rules Committee to drop language from the bill requiring women to register for the Selective Service System, and to a provision critics say would allow federal contractors to gain religious exemptions to an executive order barring discrimination based on sexual orientation or identity. Smith said those points of contention prompted him to vote against the legislation, reported Military Times. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
49 Photos Tags Honda RidgelineAgain keeping the status quo, the Honda Ridgeline maintains third place on the American Made Index. This crossover-that-looks-like-a-truck provides a better ride than a traditional pickup and gets an awesome lockable trunk right in the floor of the bed. And it doesn’t do the truck stuff too badly, either, as it’s able to carry 1,860 pounds of payload and tow 3,500 pounds.The Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 good for 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. That is channeled through a six-speed automatic transmission with available all-wheel drive. It’s built in Lincoln, Alabama. Share your voice More From Roadshow 2019 Honda Ridgeline: The commuter’s pickup truck Honda PassportThe Honda Passport is a new (well, reborn) entry to both the Honda lineup and the American Made Index. This midsize crossover comes to the fray with great driving dynamics and plenty of tech like the standard Honda Sensing suite of active safety features. An available 8-inch touchscreen gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot.Under the hood is the stalwart 3.5-liter V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. However unlike the Ridgeline, the Passport sends that power through a nine-speed automatic transmission. Having said that, just like the Ridgeline, this is the only powertrain available. The Honda Passport is built in Lincoln, Alabama. 2019 Honda Ridgeline review: Light duty, heavy punch Car Industry Honda OdysseyThe feature-rich Honda Odyssey minivan also retains its number-two slot from last year’s list. While the 2019 model doesn’t see any changes from last, it’s still a darn good choice for families on the go with reconfigurable seats, Wi-Fi and an excellent rear-seat entertainment system. The Cabin Watch video system lets parents keep an eye on their little darlings without turning around in their seats, while Cabin Talk amplifies their voice so no yelling is required.The Odyssey is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 rated for 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Most trims get a nine-speed automatic but the top Touring and Elite trims now use a 10-speed automatic with stop-start technology. The Honda Odyssey is made in Lincoln, Alabama. 12 Photos Chevrolet ColoradoMaking its debut in the top 10 is the Chevrolet Colorado. Shown here in the tough ZR2 Bison off-road spec, the Chevy Colorado is an excellent truck and one of the two midsize pickups you can get with a diesel engine. Adding to the ZR2’s two-inch lift and front and rear locking differentials, the Bison gets beefier skid plates (trust me, that’s a good thing), steel bumpers and integrated recovery points. Heck, you can even get a snorkel.Base models get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual transmission, but a more popular choice is the 3.6-liter V6 gas engine with 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Meanwhile, the 2.8-liter diesel pumps out 186 horsepower and a delicious 369 pound-feet of twist and is mated to a six-speed automatic. The Chevy Colorado is built in Wentzville, Missouri. Chevrolet CorvetteMoving up from the 10th-place slot last year is the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette. While we’ve all been ogling the new mid-engine Corvette, it’s easy to forget what a performance bargain the current-generation ‘Vette is. From the base trim to the Grand Sport to the bonkers ZR1, the Corvette is an American icon.My preference is for the Grand Sport, which strikes a perfect balance between everyday drivability and canyon-carving performance. The 6.2-liter V8 puts out 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. You can get it with a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, but the kicker is the borrowed chassis and aero parts from the beefier Z06. Like I said, perfect balance. The Corvette is made in Bowling Green, Kentucky. 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport loves to hustle (Hat tip to Autoblog for finding the SCMP story.) Honda PilotDropping down to seventh place for 2019 is the Honda Pilot. Like its two-row Passport sibling, the three-row Pilot offers parent-focused technology like Cabin Talk as well as myriad standard driver-assistance features through the Honda Sensing tech suite. Honda’s largest crossover offers up nearly 84 cubic feet of cargo space. Honda’s 3.5-liter V6 engine shows up again, making a serviceable 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Touring and Elite trims get a nine-speed automatic transmission while lower trims have to make do with a six-speed auto. The Honda Pilot is made in Lincoln, Alabama. 2019 Acura MDX adds new features and an A-Spec model 2019 Honda Pilot Elite: A smoother, tech-rich crossover SUV Nio Eve concept previews an attractive autonomous future Post a comment 52 Photos 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value GMC CanyonIf you’re looking for a slightly fancier version of the Colorado that’s more focused on luxe than dirt, check out the GMC Canyon. The top Denali trim gets standard heated and ventilated front seats as well as a heated steering wheel. Maximum payload capability is 1,665 pounds while max towing is a fairly healthy 7,600 pounds.The Canyon is available with the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, 3.6-liter V6 or 2.8-liter diesel as the Chevrolet Colorado. It’s also built in Wentzville, Missouri. 68 Photos Comments 0 69 Photos 2019 Honda Odyssey offers plenty of room and features for families 2019 GMC Sierra Denali review: So close to greatness More From Roadshow Acura MDXMoving up one slot to sixth place on the American Made Index is the non-hybrid variant of the Acura MDX. With its SH-AWD system, the MDX is one of the better handling midsize luxury crossovers, and for 2019 the company gives us the A-Spec treatment with a new front fascia and side skirts, 20-inch wheels, wider exhaust tips, unique gauges, a new steering wheel, carbon fiber trim and various Alcantara interior touches.However, both the standard and A-Spec models get a 3.5-liter V6 engine, rated for 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque going through a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Acura MDX is made in East Liberty, Ohio. 81 Photos 71 Photos 2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison: An off-road animal 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison: A tougher off-roader Enlarge ImageNIO’s been on a roll lately, but this spot of bad press won’t do it any favors in downtown Beijing. Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow Having your car break down in traffic is always a serious bummer, but if you’re an automaker it has to be way worse, and yet that’s what reportedly happened to Chinese EV startup NIO during a recent test drive in Beijing.According to a report published last week by the South China Morning Post, an unspecified NIO concept car was doing a development drive in downtown Beijing when the car’s driver managed to initiate an over-the-air software update that made the vehicle essentially undrivable until it completed.It’s not clear what made the driver confirm the update, which he presumably did as NIO has stated that the update wouldn’t have happened automatically, but the car was stalled for over an hour while the update downloaded and installed itself. This was in the middle of one of the busiest districts in China’s capital city.Representatives from NIO attempted to explain what happened on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, but mostly just threw the driver under the proverbial bus and reminded us that you should be parked when you initiate an update.Still, despite this minor setback, NIO seems to be powering forward in its drive its drive to become one of the world’s biggest electric vehicle manufacturers, having already launched several production models in China and given an excellent showing at last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.NIO didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 2019 GMC Canyon: A fancier Colorado Share your voice Tags 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Electric Cars Concept Cars,Enlarge ImageIt’s all in a day’s work for the Jeep Cherokee, the most American-made car in 2019. Jeep With high trade tensions looming and increasing talk of tariffs, more and more consumers are looking to buy American. Cars.com has released its annual American Made Index, showcasing companies that use the most American-sourced parts and labor in their vehicles. The results may surprise you.Cars.com analyzed more than 100 US-built vehicles for five key data points: manufacturing location, parts sourcing, US employment, engine sourcing and transmission sourcing. You might think something like the Ford F-150 would top the list, but it drops from its No. 5 spot for 2018 and out of the top 10 completely. Even the first-place holder, the Jeep Cherokee, is a pretty global product. It’s a Jeep, sure, but that brand is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, an Italian-owned business.Cars.com surveyed 1,000 people and found that half are concerned about automotive import tariffs, with 41% saying they are unsure if tariffs would make them more likely to buy American. Either way, we’re big fans of all the vehicles on this list. These days, buying American doesn’t necessarily mean sticking with a US-based automaker. Acura RDXThe third-generation Acura RDX squeaks into the top ten list with larger proportions, plenty of interior space and better handling than its predecessor. Forward collision warning with collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control that works even in low-speed traffic, lane-keeping steering assist and road departure mitigation are all standard across the board. Like its MDX counterpart, the RDX is available with the A-Spec styling package.The RDX sports a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. Output is stated at 273 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and it’s mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The new RDX is built in East Liberty, Ohio. 2019 Acura RDX A-Spec: Sharp handling, sharper looks 12 Photos 10 Photos 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better 2019 Jeep Cherokee can handle the rough stuff 2019 Honda Passport: A well-rounded midsize offering 4 26 Photos 18 Photos Jeep CherokeeKeeping its top-of-the-list placement, the Jeep Cherokee is 2019’s most American-made car. Refreshed for 2019, the compact crossover now features more tech, better cargo space and a slightly tweaked look. It’s available in no fewer the nine trims, including the off-road specific Trailhawk and a fancy-pants Trailhawk Elite.For 2019, the Cherokee gets a new 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine with 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, though naturally aspirated I4 and V6 choices are also available. Regardless of engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission gets the power to the pavement — or dirt as the case may be. The Cherokee is made in Belvidere, Illinois. 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