(David Blackwell.)

Hey Look, Someone’s Already Made Beer Out Of Sewage Water

Yesterday we told you about an Oregon water treatment company asking permission from the state to let them demonstrate the potability of their end-product by allowing brewers to use their cleaned-up, recycled water in the making of beer. But it looks like one homebrew enthusiast (and wastewater engineer) in Wisconsin is already doing just that. [More]

(Ben Schumin)

3 Reasons You Might Want To Dump Your Credit Card

While it’s not always a good idea to get rid of a bunch of credit cards all at once, some of that plastic in your wallet may not be offering you the best possible credit. [More]

Comcast Changes Customer’s First Name To “A**hole,” Is Really Sorry

Someone at Comcast thought it would funny to change the customer's name, but the cable company says they will fire whomever is responsible for this. (Image via Elliott.org)

We know from years of talking to people on the frontlines of customer service and billing that they don’t always have the nicest things to say about customers; you probably wouldn’t either if your day consisted of being yelled at for issues beyond your control. But most people don’t let their distaste for customers boil over to the point where they actually rename a customer “A**hole Brown.” [More]

This ad from 2012, cited in the FTC complaint, shows that TracFone did not even mention the possibility of data throttling in the fine print.

TracFone To Refund $40 Million To Customers For Deceptive “Unlimited” Data Claims

Beginning in 2009, TracFone began selling supposedly unlimited prepaid data plans for $45 under brands like Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile, and Telcel America, but without clearly disclosing that users who went beyond certain monthly usage thresholds would have their data speeds throttled or cut off entirely. But today, in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, TracFone has agreed to refund $40 million to affected customers. [More]

(photo: Other98.org)

Marching Band Delivers Petition To Citi Asking Banks To “Revoke License To Steal”

In a handful of recent decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the right of businesses to effectively break the law by putting a few carefully worded sentences into their contracts and user agreements. But just because you can add these clauses doesn’t mean you have to do so, which is why pro-consumer advocacy groups gathered more than 100,000 signatures on a petition that was delivered, with a little bit of music, to Citigroup HQ in Manhattan this morning. [More]

Best Buy Becomes First Retailer To Sell Samsung’s Gear VR Headset (Galaxy Note 4 Not Included)

Best Buy Becomes First Retailer To Sell Samsung’s Gear VR Headset (Galaxy Note 4 Not Included)

The Samsung Gear VR headset has been on sale since the fall, but it’s been hiding quietly on the Samsung website, which isn’t exactly the place most of us do our shopping. But now the virtual reality headgear has popped up on the website for Best Buy. [More]

Chinese Government Accuses Alibaba Of Selling Fake Goods, Taking Bribes

Chinese Government Accuses Alibaba Of Selling Fake Goods, Taking Bribes

China-based e-commerce megasite Alibaba is catching heat in its home country following a government report that scolds the company for lax controls over the sale of bogus goods to consumers, along with allegations of bribery and using its size to bully merchants from working with Alibaba’s competitors. [More]

UPS Sorry About That Driver Who Peed On House After Throwing Package

UPS Sorry About That Driver Who Peed On House After Throwing Package

It’s nothing new to hear of a UPS, USPS or FedEx driver being caught on camera treating a customer’s package with reckless disregard for its contents. But what you don’t hear too much about are delivery drivers who, after mistreating the parcels with which they’ve been entrusted, decide to use the recipient’s house as a toilet. [More]

(Adam Fagen)

Can You Make Good Beer With Sewer Water? Oregon Company Says Yes You Can

A water treatment company in Oregon says that it does such a good job of cleaning sewage that the resulting clean water could be used for human consumption rather than just irrigation and similar other purposes permitted by state law. And to prove their point, they are asking the state to let them provide brewers with recycled water for the brewing of beer. [More]

Please Stop Making Bomb Threats Against Southwest (Or Any Airline)

Please Stop Making Bomb Threats Against Southwest (Or Any Airline)

For the second time this week, a Southwest Airlines flight had to be investigated because someone thought it would be hilarious to waste everyone’s time by making bomb threats for flights between San Diego and Dallas. [More]

(Robert Walker)

Apple Pay Gets More Useful, Coming To 200,000 Vending Machines & Other Self-Serve Devices

Apple Pay is not (yet) available at some of the nation’s largest retailers as they prepare to introduce their own mobile payment system, meaning you can’t use it to buy a week’s worth of groceries at Walmart or a TV at Best Buy, or even pay for your prescriptions at CVS and Rite-Aid. But what about those transactions on the opposite end of the spectrum, the ones with dollar values so small that you may feel odd not paying in cash? One company says it will be bringing Apple Pay to hundreds of thousands of vending machines and other self-serve devices. [More]

Words Of Neil Gaiman, Jeffrey Eugenides To Appear On Chipotle Cups You Will Discard Without Reading

Words Of Neil Gaiman, Jeffrey Eugenides To Appear On Chipotle Cups You Will Discard Without Reading

Neil Gaiman is a bestselling author whose work spans multiple genres and formats, from children’s books to literary fiction to graphic novels to screenplays. Now he can add fast food packaging to that list, as he joins other notable writers like Jeffrey Eugenides, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver, Paulo Coelho, and comedian Aziz Ansari in slapping their work on Chipotle cups and bags. [More]

Confirmed: Google Fiber Coming To Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham

Confirmed: Google Fiber Coming To Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham

UPDATE: As Google preps to make its official announcements about Google Fiber, the service’s website has been updated to include Atlanta, Nashville, and the North Carolina markets of Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham as “Upcoming” Fiber cities, with San Antonio, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Portland (OR), and San Jose now designated as “Potential” sites for Google Fiber in the future. [More]

(Brian Rome)

Verizon Fined $2 Million For Failing To Investigate Rural Calling Problems

Verizon and other operators of copper wire landline service have been accused in recent years of letting these old networks fall into disrepair in order to shift consumers over to wireless and fiberoptic services. It certainly doesn’t help Verizon’s case when the company spends months failing to investigate problems with rural phone service that its own data showed existed. [More]

Wait — What Did The Guy In This FarmersOnly.com Ad Just Say?

Wait — What Did The Guy In This FarmersOnly.com Ad Just Say?

If you’re a fan of basic cable, you’ve most likely seen any number of the many ads for FarmersOnly.com, the online dating site targeting rural Americans. The ad’s recent slate of commercials are more professional-looking than some of the bottom-dollar spots that first got that darn jingle stuck in our heads, but there’s one new-ish ad that we had to rewind a few times just to make sure we heard it correctly. [More]

Conde Nast Proudly Using Editors To Write Sponsored Content For Advertisers

Conde Nast Proudly Using Editors To Write Sponsored Content For Advertisers

For quite some time, we’ve been telling you about a particularly pernicious evil that goes by various names — advertorial content, native advertising, brand reporting, branded content, sponsored stories, pure crap — that a growing number of websites have tried to slip past their readers as actual editorial content. The most ethical sites take measures to call these stories out as being bought and paid for, and many sites refuse to taint their editorial process by allowing their staffers to work on this nonsense. But Conde Nast has decided that the best way to use its highly qualified and talented staff is to have them writing shill content for advertisers. [More]

Verizon Nearing End Of Plans To Build FiOS Network

Verizon Nearing End Of Plans To Build FiOS Network

Are you like a lot of people in this country — You want to change your broadband provider but you can’t because the only high-speed option in your town is your cable company? Maybe you’ve been holding out hope that Verizon will bring FiOS to your town so that you’ll at least have something that resembles a choice. We’ve got bad news for you, the company says it’s getting to the end of its current plans to build out the FiOS network. [More]

The Reality Of The KFC Double Down Hot Dog Is Depressing

The Reality Of The KFC Double Down Hot Dog Is Depressing

Nearly five years ago, KFC tried to rejuvenate interest in its menu by going the extreme-food route with the Double Down, a bacon and cheese sandwich with two pieces of fried chicken for the bun. Now the fast foodery is trying to push a hot dog version of the Double Down on its customers in the Philippines, and the results leave a lot to be desired. [More]