(Robert Fairchild)

You May Soon Need Less Of A Down-Payment To Buy A Home

One of the biggest hurdle’s to buying a home is coming up with a down-payment. In order to get a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you generally need to come up with at least 5% of the total cost. But the federal regulator overseeing Fannie and Freddie says it has reached a deal that would lower that minimum back down to 3% for some borrowers. [More]

These sorts of ads began showing up over the summer when Google users added terms like "torrent" or "DVDrip" to their searches.

Google Fights Piracy (And Makes A Buck) With Ads For Legal Downloads In Search Results

Have you been wanting to catch up on Game of Thrones but don’t have HBO (or a friend who will share her HBO Go login info)? People who search for things like “Game of Thrones Download” on Google are now being greeted by ads from services offering legal ways to pay for the content you’re after. [More]

Read the message from bottom to top. First, Citi sends Zach a message intended for a completely unrelated customer named Geoffrey. Then Zach replies that he is not Geoffrey and that this is cause for concern. Citi's response is to tell him how to add another person to his account.

Citi’s “Secure Message Center” Run By Idiot Robots Who Don’t Care They Sent E-Mail To Wrong Person

If you’re a customer of any of the big banks, you’ve likely gotten a few messages in an online inbox that is only available via the bank’s website. You probably ignore most of these because they’re either about site downtime or upsells for add-on products you’ll never buy, but you probably assume that — unlike your gmail, yahoo, hotmail, or AOL account — this inbox doesn’t include messages that are intended for someone else. Wrong. [More]

Walgreens Gives Teen Wrong Prescription, Shrugs

Walgreens Gives Teen Wrong Prescription, Shrugs

It’s bad enough that a Michigan Walgreens pharmacy gave a 14-year-old customer someone else’s prescription, but the teen’s family says the drugstore chain made the situation much worse by demanding that the family go out of pocket to finally obtain the correct drug. [More]

Cafe Banned From Cooking Bacon Because Not Everyone Loves The Smell

(Danny Ngan)

Many people enjoy the smoky, porky sent of bacon wafting out a kitchen in the morning. But it might not be the scent you want surrounding you while shopping for wedding dresses, which is why one cafe in Australia isn’t allowed to cook the stuff anymore. [More]

(Christopher.V)

Senator Asks Comcast To Stick With Net Neutrality Beyond Its Legal Obligation

While its counterparts (we can’t call them competition, since that doesn’t exist) at other cable and Internet service providers have been drooling over proposed “net neutrality” rules that would allow ISPs to charge content companies for “fast lane” access to end-users, Comcast has consistently maintained that it is the only ISP to hold to the since-gutted 2010 version of neutrality (without mentioning that it’s legally obliged to follow those rules for a few more years). Now the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is asking Comcast to stick to those rules even after it no longer has to. [More]

(Evan Jackson)

Former Nursing Home Manager Accused Of Stealing $460K From Residents

Authorities in Michigan say that a manager of a nursing home spent several years siphoning off residents’ funds, making herself wealthier to the tune of nearly half a million dollars in the process — and she wasn’t caught until after she’d already been fired. [More]

(dwlathrop)

Will You Avoid Data-Breached Retailers This Holiday Season?

The massive 2013 holiday data breach of Target, which siphoned off the personal and payment information for more than 100 million shoppers, provided an eye-opening moment for consumers who had previously assumed that this sort of ID theft mostly happened when shopping online. The Target debacle was followed by attacks on big-name businesses like Home Depot, Dairy Queen, P.F. Chang’s, Jimmy John’s, Kmart, and the Albertsons/Jewel-Osco/ACME, Shaw’s chains of supermarketstwice. But will all these lapses in security actually drive shoppers elsewhere this holiday season? [More]

(John Kittelsrud)

7 Habits Of Highly Obnoxious Travelers

Traveling is supposed to bring joy and relaxation into one’s stressed-out life, but not all of us can fly in private planes with only those people we know we won’t want to beat senseless with a swim noodle before the jet lands. Since we all want to land without resorting to fisticuffs or threats of forcible early deplaning, there are certain behaviors from which we’d all be wise to abstain while traveling. [More]

UPDATE: National Car Rental Bus Driver Not Fired For Kevin Hart Photo

There’s a happy ending to the story of the National Car Rental shuttle driver who was suspended after being caught snapping a photo with actor/comedian Kevin Hart. According to Inside Edition, the employee has been reinstated, effective immediately. [More]

Woman Sent To Jail For Failing To Mow Lawn

Woman Sent To Jail For Failing To Mow Lawn

If you’ve ever looked a lawn that needed trimming and said to yourself, “I’ll get around to it. What are they gonna do, arrest me?” this story of a woman in Tennessee might have you dusting off the mower and hedge clippers. [More]

Kevin Hart Begs National Car Rental To Not Fire Driver Who Took Photo With Him

Kevin Hart Begs National Car Rental To Not Fire Driver Who Took Photo With Him

Even during my darkest days of working in the celebrity news trenches (a time in my life I’d like to forget), I still found myself occasionally starstruck, posing for poorly snapped cellphone photos with celebrities like Salma Hayek and Love Boat’s Jill Whelan. Thank heavens I wasn’t a bus driver for National Car Rental, or I’d have been suspended from my job. [More]

Michigan May Be Latest To Ban Direct Sales Of Teslas

Michigan May Be Latest To Ban Direct Sales Of Teslas

Because car dealerships don’t want to move beyond an era of gladhanding salesman upselling customers on unnecessary add-ons — and because they apparently want to give electric car company Tesla as much free advertising as possible — they are pushing for Michigan to enact legislation preventing carmakers from selling directly to consumers in the state. [More]

(Raymond Bryson)

McDonald’s Franchisees Pinning Hopes On Monopoly & McRib

Sales at McDonald’s have been slipping in recent years, and the company has done everything from making major changes in leadership to revamping the Dollar Menu to offering chicken wings that largely sat uncooked in franchisees’ freezers. Facing forecasts of another down quarter, franchisees are hoping that a couple of old favorites will help point sales in the positive direction. [More]

One of the suspects caught on camera allegedly stealing a bag from the Sea-Tac baggage claim.

Couple Accused Of Stealing $45K Worth Of Luggage From Airport

Did you have a bag go missing at the airport last spring? If the airport was Sea-Tac International in Washington, we have a pretty good idea what might have happened to it. [More]

FBI Director Wants To Change Law To Allow Easier Snooping On Smartphones

FBI Director Wants To Change Law To Allow Easier Snooping On Smartphones

Last month, FBI Director James Comey expressed vague concerns that new privacy measures on iOS and Android smartphones might allow criminals to do bad things. Now Comey is saying it’s time to change the law to make sure that law enforcement doesn’t have to figure out your phone’s password. [More]

Comcast Sued By Customer Who Says Cable Company Had Him Fired From Job

Knight725

Last week, we brought you the story of former Comcast customer Conal O’Rourke, who lost his job at renowned accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers after someone from Comcast called his employer with details of Mr. O’Rourke’s numerous — and valid — complaints about his cable service. Comcast has subsequently apologized for the myriad billing and service problems but maintains it did not intend to have O’Rourke fired, but that has not satisfied Conal, who has filed a lawsuit against the nation’s largest cable company, alleging violations of, among other claims, a federal law prohibiting cable companies from sharing personal information without customers’ consent. [More]

Comcast Sat By As ID Thieves Set Up Multiple Accounts, Ran Up Thousands In Charges

Comcast Sat By As ID Thieves Set Up Multiple Accounts, Ran Up Thousands In Charges

A local news report in Nashville about a local man whose ID was stolen and used to open up two bogus Comcast accounts hundreds of miles away in Louisiana has uncovered numerous additional complaints from consumers in the area who say they have also been sent to collections for fake Comcast accounts opened in the same city. [More]