Company That Paid YouTube Users To Promote Xbox One Settles Charges Of Deceptive Advertising

Company That Paid YouTube Users To Promote Xbox One Settles Charges Of Deceptive Advertising

When Microsoft teamed up with Machinima to launch a promotion that paid affiliated YouTubers for shilling for the Xbox One console in January 2014, we questioned whether any potential negative publicity and regulatory hassle would be worth it. Turns out, we were right to think the company would face scrutiny from federal regulators, as the Federal Trade Commission says it has cleared Microsoft of wrongdoing and settled charges that Machinima pushed videos of people endorsing the video game without disclosing they had been paid. [More]

(frankieleon)

I Signed Up For Samsung’s “Ultimate Test Drive” And All I Got Was A Defective Phone With No Way To Return It

A few weeks ago, Samsung announced a new promotion called “Ultimate Test Drive,” wherein iPhone users (and only iPhone users) could sign up to receive a Galaxy smartphone and try it out for a month, for just a $1 processing fee. Consumerist reader Alex figured he might as well take Samsung up on its offer, and signed up to get a Galaxy Note 5 for the month. He’s now stuck with a Samsung phone that doesn’t work, no way to return it and the company hasn’t responded to any of his requests for help. [More]

Police Put Up Signs To Remind Motorists How Stop Signs Work

Police Put Up Signs To Remind Motorists How Stop Signs Work

Can a financial incentive make people change their driving habits? One police department in Pennsylvania is taking a slightly passive-aggressive approach to preventing accidents with signs that remind motorists how stop signs work. “Complete Stops: FREE,” the signs say. “Rolling Stops: $128.50. Your choice.” Police in neighboring towns are interested in the signs now, too. [More]

Mass. AG, Lawmakers Call For More Assistance For Former Corinthian College Students

Mass. AG, Lawmakers Call For More Assistance For Former Corinthian College Students

Ever since for-profit education chain Corinthian Colleges Inc. closed its Everest University, WyoTech and Heald College campuses, leaving tens of thousands of students with millions of dollars in loans, consumers advocates, legislators and others have urged the Department of Education to relieve former students of their debt burdens. Those calls for help continued on Tuesday with renewed pressure from Massachusetts Attorney General Marua Healey and Sen. Elizabeth Warren calling on the Dept. to rid victims of the defunct for-profit college of unsustainable loan payments. [More]

(Nicholas Eckhart)

Arby’s CEO Apologizes After Florida Police Officer Was Reportedly Refused Service

The CEO of Arby’s has apologized to a Florida police department after an employee at a local restaurant reportedly refused to serve a uniformed officer. [More]

Philadelphia Sues, Fines Uber $300K Over Allegations Of Operating Illegally

Philadelphia Sues, Fines Uber $300K Over Allegations Of Operating Illegally

After 10 months of driving the streets in Philadelphia, Uber now faces a lawsuit and $300,000 fine for providing ride-hailing services in violation of city regulations.   [More]

Hackers Swipe 225,000 Jailbroken iPhone Users’ Account Information

Hackers Swipe 225,000 Jailbroken iPhone Users’ Account Information

Jailbreaking your Apple device, or using illicitly obtained software to customize it in ways that Apple never intended and install unauthorized apps, is something that most users thought was against the rules but innocent, even if it does void your Apple warranty. Now Apple is facing a good news/bad news situation: a hack involving jailbroken iPhones validates their policies, but also means that the phrase “iPhone hack” is all over the news. [More]

(Redditor Cheeze4444)

Taco Bell Testing Taco Shells Made Out Of Fried Chicken Because Why Not?

Everyone who’s anyone in the fast food world knows that fried chicken is hot right now (pun intended), prompting chains that might not be known for serving it to jump on the chicken bandwagon. To wit: Taco Bell is exploring its poultry side with the “Naked Crispy Chicken Taco” — basically, a taco that has a shell made out of fried chicken. [More]

Hulu Finally Offers Ad-Free Option For $12/Month

Hulu Finally Offers Ad-Free Option For $12/Month

The rumors are true — you can now get Hulu (well, most of it) without the ads. You’ll just have to pay more to avoid all those obnoxious, repetitive commercial interruptions. [More]

Bar Says City Sanitation Workers Demanded Booze To Pick Up Trash

Bar Says City Sanitation Workers Demanded Booze To Pick Up Trash

Any good bar goes through a lot of cans, bottles, cardboard pretty quickly — not to mention all the trash that can accumulate — so it’s important for bar owners that this detritus be hauled away in a timely manner before it becomes a nuisance. But the owner of one bar in New Jersey says city-contracted sanitation workers tried to shake him down — not for money, but for free booze. [More]

The movie Millenium says 16 Popcorn Time users illegally downloaded.

Hollywood Studio Suing 16 Users Of Popcorn Time Over Alleged Online Piracy

Often when we hear about Hollywood seeking to snuff out online piracy, it’s the sites or services that distribute that content that are the targets of any legal action. But this time, the studio behind a direct-to-DVD flick starring Pierce Brosnan is going after 16 users of Popcorn Time, a service that uses an integrated media player to stream movies and TV from torrent sites. [More]

Amazon announced an expansion of its Dash ordering gadget.

Users of Amazon’s ordering gadget, the Dash button, have been able to quickly restock their supply of Kraft Mac & Cheese, Tide, Cottonelle, Bounty and 14 other products for about five months (or one month if they didn’t receive an invitation early on). Now, they can buy even more, as the e-commerce company has expanded its quick-ordering platform by 11 additional brands, including Ice Breakers, Ziploc, Orbit gum and Greenies dog chews. As was previously the case, the gadget can be purchased for $4.99, but for a limited time Amazon will provide customers a $4.99 credit for each Dash button they buy. [The Washington Post]

Internet-Connected Video Baby Monitors Are Basically The Most Hackable, Least Secure Thing Ever

Internet-Connected Video Baby Monitors Are Basically The Most Hackable, Least Secure Thing Ever

The implacable march of technology has, in many ways, made parents’ lives easier. But in other areas, it’s added a whole new layer of complication. Like the fact that video-enabled baby monitors, designed to let parents have peace of mind while their kids are sleeping in another room, almost universally have completely crap security that any random stranger on the internet can tap into. [More]

Home Depot Website Glitch Provides Two Ratings For Some Products

Home Depot Website Glitch Provides Two Ratings For Some Products

While researching products on a retailer’s website, other customers’ reviews and ratings of those items can be helpful. But a glitch in Home Depot’s rating presentation system has caused a bit of confusion: the product page shows two different ratings for some products. [More]

Takata Airbag Recall Lowered, Still Largest Auto Recall In History

Takata Airbag Recall Lowered, Still Largest Auto Recall In History

Months after Japanese auto parts maker Takata gave into pressure by federal regulators and recalled more than 30 million vehicles equipped with potentially deadly airbags, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revised the number of vehicles, reducing it to 19.2 million. [More]

On the left, annoying. On the right, you're mobile-friendly.

Google Won’t Consider Sites Mobile-Friendly If They Use Those Annoying, Full-Screen App Install Ads

There you are, searching for the perfect cheese dip recipe on your phone, and you think you’ve finally found the cheesiest of the cheesy. You click on the Google search result, excited, anticipating, ready to gain knowledge — and you’re faced with a plea to install that site’s app that covers your entire screen and forces you to find the tiny “X” to close out of the thing and move on with your life. Hate that? You might see it less often, as Google says sites that use those full-page app install ads will soon not be considered “mobile-friendly” sites. [More]

Burger King Planning Peace Burger With Denny’s, Wayback, Others; Still Not Giving Up On McD’s

Burger King Planning Peace Burger With Denny’s, Wayback, Others; Still Not Giving Up On McD’s

Burger King is quite ready to give up hope that McDonald’s will see the light and agree to squash the beef in the name of peace. But while the King continues to wait, it is moving forward with offers of collaboration from other restaurant chains. [More]

The Uber Misclassified Employee Lawsuit Is Now A California Class Action

The Uber Misclassified Employee Lawsuit Is Now A California Class Action

While class action lawsuits can be an effective consumer remedy, they are not a quick one. Former drivers for ride-hailing service Uber first filed a class action on behalf of all California drivers in 2013, and it has just now been certified as a class action. The original lawsuit alleges that drivers for Uber are misclassified employees, who should have their vehicle expenses covered by their “employer,” Uber. [More]