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Americans say microwave ovens are among the most positive changes in their lives in the last few years, according to a Gallup survey on change.

The survey, commissioned by Self magazine, found that 82 percent say they are satisfied with the current pace of change or welcome even faster changes. Among technological advances, 82 percent said microwave ovens had changed their lives for the better.

The telephone survey of 1,003 adults had a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Videocassette recorders, telephone answering machines and overnight mail services also received high marks.

Getting low grades were cosmetic surgery, which only 9 percent found positive and 12 percent found negative, cars that "talk" and television infomercials -- long commercials meant to look like talk shows.

In the social and lifestyle area, 81 percent saw a greater concern for the environment as the most positive change, 78 percent picked more emphasis on family life, and 68 percent pointed to increased availability of news and information.

Fifty percent referred to crime and violence as the biggest concerns, followed by AIDS and world terrorism.

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