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Fewer gadgets called necessities

Americans’ appetite for the appliances that have become standard necessities in the past couple decades declined through the recent recession, according to a recent survey.

U.S. adults were slightly less likely to call standard household items such as microwaves, the home PC, clothes dryers, cars, TV sets and land-line phones necessities this year than in the recent past, according to the poll by the Pew Research Center.

To be sure, more than half of the people surveyed said still they considered a car, a land-line phone, a clothes dryer and an air conditioner a necessity at home.

Younger people were less likely than older people to say they needed a TV. But younger people were more likely to say a home computer, high-speed Internet access and a cell phone were key accessories, the survey said.

The Pew Research Center contacted 2,967 U.S. adults via land-line and cellular phones during May 11-31. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.


» About 11,000 Beaba Express steam bottle warmers, manufactured in China and imported by Williams-Sonoma Inc. of San Francisco, are being recalled because they can allow liquids and baby food to overheat, posing a risk of burns. The warmers were sold at Williams-Sonoma stores around the country, as well as through the company’s website and catalog, from June through July. Details: by phone at 877-548-0850, online at or

» About 18,450 Char-Broil vertical gas smokers, manufactured in China and imported by Char-Broil LLC of Columbus, Ga., are being recalled because gas can build up inside the smoker under certain circumstances. This could cause an explosion that bursts the smoker’s door open. The smokers were sold at Wal-Mart and other stores nationwide from March 2008 through last June. Details: by phone at 866-671-7988, online at or


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