City Bills Landowner $944 For Non-Existent Water Service For Vacant Lot

This luxurious 0 BR 0 BA home in the up-and-coming Sharswood area of Philadelphia apparently has been running up some expensive water bills.

There are vacant lots all over the place here in Philadelphia, and a number of them are sold at auction by the city’s Housing Authority. When one area man purchased one such empty spot of land two years ago, the last thing he probably expected was to someday be hit with an unexplained and massive water bill for a property with nothing built on it. [More]

The Oxford Prescription Drug List says that asthma drug Montelukast is an inexpensive Tier 1 drug, but makes no mention that it's pulverized form is a Tier 2 drug at twice the cost. (Click to enlarge)

We Live In A World Where Your Insurer Doesn’t Care That It Charges Two Prices For One Drug

In one month, the price of your generic prescription doubles. The first person at your insurance company says “Oops, that’s a mistake,” but a second person tells you that the mistake was actually made when you were charged the original, lower price. Meanwhile, the insurance company’s website tells you that the lower price is the correct one — and none of these people actually seem to give a damn. [More]

Sketchy Online Retailer With $250 Fee For Complainers Is “Down For Maintenance”

Sketchy Online Retailer With $250 Fee For Complainers Is “Down For Maintenance”

For the last few days, we’ve been following the story of sketchy online retailer Accessory Outlet, which was recently sued over its bizarre policy of penalizing customers $250 for even threatening to publicly complain about a purchase or file a chargeback request with their credit card issuers. Then we revealed how the site was blatantly lying about its various customer service ratings, awards, and certifications. Now it looks like the site has been pulled down, if only temporarily. [More]

(via John Hodgman's Instagram)

Company Sends John Hodgman His Order In Box Covered With Photo Of John Hodgman

It’s one thing if you’re a celebrity and you turn on the TV and see your face. That happens. But when ordering something online, even a world-famous uber-celebrity like hunky author, actor, comedian, raconteur, and undercover CIA spy John Hodgman probably expects to receive the same anonymous treatment that the rest of us do. [More]

Bank Of America Doesn’t Want To Pay $1.27B For Countrywide’s “Hustle” Mortgage Scam

Bank Of America Doesn’t Want To Pay $1.27B For Countrywide’s “Hustle” Mortgage Scam

Between settlements, fines, legal fees, and loan reductions, Bank of America’s tab for its part in the mortgage meltdown is well over $50 billion, including last week’s record-setting $16.65 billion deal. And yet BofA is still trying to fight a nearly year-old jury verdict involving a scam by Countrywide Financial that sold off oodles of worthless home loans before the housing bubble collapsed. [More]

Would You Like To Be Able To Buy A Big Mac With Empty Soda & Beer Cans?

Would You Like To Be Able To Buy A Big Mac With Empty Soda & Beer Cans?

Got a hankering for a Big Mac but don’t want to spend the money? Your recycling bin may hold the key to sating your special sauce craving… or it would if you were living in Sweden. [More]

Google Also Plans To Hasten Robot Apocalypse With Delivery Drones

Google Also Plans To Hasten Robot Apocalypse With Delivery Drones

Not content to sit idly by while the likes of Amazon, UPS, DHL, and others work to bring about the inevitable robot apocalypse, Google announced last night that it too is getting into the delivery-drones-of-doom game with its Project Wing flying machines. [More]

Hershey Joins Elite Club Of Companies With Poo-Like Logos

Hershey Joins Elite Club Of Companies With Poo-Like Logos

Hershey decision to redesign the company logo to look more chocolaty was probably well-intentioned. But as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions… and littered with poo from jerks who don’t pick up after their dogs. [More]

Your Favorite Horror Icons — Now In IKEA Form

Your Favorite Horror Icons — Now In IKEA Form

While it might seem like Jason Voorhees — the silent, masked killer from the Friday the 13th movies — has a knack for being everywhere at once, you can’t have a mass-produced Jason in every home in America at a reasonable price. Yet. [More]

Food Industry Initiative Highlights How Little The FDA Knows About What’s In Our Food

(Jeanette E. Spaghetti)

For decades, the food industry has been able to use ingredients that are “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) without approval from the FDA. When first used in the ’50s, this was intended to apply to ingredients, like vegetable oils and vinegars, where an additive’s safety is common knowledge, but in 1997, a backlogged FDA allowed food companies to merely submit their GRAS findings instead of the supporting data, creating a loophole the food industry has exploited to include a vast number of chemical ingredients that manufacturers claim are safe but which don’t go through a rigorous approval process. Feeling pressure from the public to pull back the veil on the GRAS process and its ingredients, the food industry announced a transparency initiative yesterday that may be a step in the right direction, but highlights just how little the FDA seems to care about the “F” part of its name. [More]

Russia’s Biggest Bank Offering Loaner Cats To Entice Mortgage Borrowers

Just some of the cats available for a 2-hour visit to qualified borrowers' new homes.

Because it’s apparently good luck in Russia to let a cat stroll through your new home before you move your stuff in, and because mortgage interest rates have skyrocketed in the country, some employees at the nation’s largest bank are offering to lend out their feline friends to a handful of mortgage borrowers in the coming months. [More]

(jag9889)

Time Warner Cable Fined $1.1 Million For Failing To Report Outages

No, this isn’t about the huge nationwide outage that hit millions of Time Warner Cable customers earlier this week, but the timing couldn’t be more perfect. The FCC has announced that TWC must pay a $1.1 million penalty for failing to report a number of network outages to the Commission. [More]

More Sketchiness Revealed About Retailer That Charges Customers $250 For Threatening To Complain

More Sketchiness Revealed About Retailer That Charges Customers $250 For Threatening To Complain

Yesterday we told you about Accessory Outlet, the online retailer that claims to be “the #1 Mobile Accessory wholesaler in the United States” but which also charges a $250 fine for customers who even make the threat of publicly complaining about a bad purchase or requesting a chargeback from their credit card company. We want to update you on some additional shady things we’ve learned since then. [More]

Unofficial Calorie Count For Arby’s Meat Mountain: There Are Worse Things You Could Eat

Unofficial Calorie Count For Arby’s Meat Mountain: There Are Worse Things You Could Eat

For the last few days, the Internet has become more than a little obsessed with the Arby’s Meat Mountain, a pile of protein including roast beef, ham, turkey, steak, bacon, brisket, chicken tenders, and various cheeses. While you might initially think that this would be off the calorie charts, an unofficial tally of the nutrition info shows that it’s not even in the range of many chain restaurant calorie bombs. [More]

(The Joy of the Mundane)

After Denial, Dairy Queen Admits It Was Victim Of Hack

After initially denying reports of data breaches at a number of its stores, soft-serve royalty Dairy Queen has finally admitted data breaches at a currently undisclosed number of locations. [More]

Petition Asks LEGO To Realize That Science Isn’t A Limited-Time Job For Women

Petition Asks LEGO To Realize That Science Isn’t A Limited-Time Job For Women

Earlier this year, LEGO woke up from its swingin’ ’60s Don Draper haze and realized that women scientists exist and — hey! – maybe it would be a good idea to reflect that reality in its vast line of minifigs. The resulting set — featuring an astronomer, a paleontologist, and a chemist, all female — went on sale recently and sold out quickly, never to return. But some say LEGO should consider bringing on these female scientists for a full-time gig. [More]

Online Retailer Will Fine You $250 If You Even Threaten To Complain About Purchase

Online Retailer Will Fine You $250 If You Even Threaten To Complain About Purchase

If you were put off by KlearGear.com’s ridiculous “Non-Disparagement” fee, which penalizes customers for sharing their bad shopping experiences with the public, another online retailer is apparently trying to go one further, by not only banning customers from saying bad things online, but by also forbidding them from even bringing up the threat of a complaint or a credit card chargeback. [More]

Copyright Troll Lawyer Doesn’t Seem To Understand Copyright Law

The lawyer's DMCA takedown letter included these screengrabs that he alleges infringe on his copyright.

If someone publishes copyrighted content online without permission, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides a process for requesting that content’s removal. But a lawyer who apparently doesn’t like being the subject of negative articles — and who either doesn’t understand the DMCA or is hoping that others don’t — is trying to use the law to have critical comments removed from websites. [More]