1-In-10 U.S. Households Sharing Passwords For Netflix & Other Streaming Services

(Chris Goldberg)

A new study confirms that video streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, have quickly become the new norm, and are being accessed by a majority of American homes. However, not everyone who’s logging in to binge-watch Orange Is The New Black or Transparent is paying for it. [More]

Why Is It So Dang Difficult To Get Accurate Information About Broadband Speeds?

(Steve)

Your cable company sells you a broadband plan advertising download speeds of “up to 25Mbps.” But it feels sluggish to you so you check out an online speed test site and it tells you you’re only getting a fraction of that speed. Then the FCC comes out with its Measuring Broadband America report which — if you can even make heads or tails of it — says your ISP is actually exceeding its advertised download speeds. Why don’t all of these things agree? [More]

Starbucks Is Really Sorry That This Employee Flipped Out On Customer (And That It Was Caught On Video)

Starbucks Is Really Sorry That This Employee Flipped Out On Customer (And That It Was Caught On Video)

There’s a widely held misconception that customer service used to be perfect “back when,” and every retail transaction was straight out of a 1960s sitcom. The fact is that customers and store employees have been going at each other since the first paleolithic entrepreneur tried to upsell his neighbor on a thrashing stick to go with his bludgeoning stone. But now we all get to see and hear about these retail rows and foodservice fisticuffs — and companies are often compelled to apologize for them — thanks to social media. [More]

FDA Finally Warns Drug Company Against Selling Antibiotic As A Pig-Fattener

FDA Finally Warns Drug Company Against Selling Antibiotic As A Pig-Fattener

A year after public health advocates called out drug maker Novartis for continuing to actively market a particular antibiotic as a product farmers could use to fatten up their pigs, the FDA has finally gotten around to issuing a warning. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Detergent Pod Poisonings Increase, Even After Changes To Packaging

In spite of efforts by manufacturers to make their laundry detergent pods look less like candy in a jar, the number of poisoning incidents related to these products continues to grow. [More]

Appeals Court Blocks Utah Law That Would Have Banned Price-Fixing On Contact Lenses

Appeals Court Blocks Utah Law That Would Have Banned Price-Fixing On Contact Lenses

In recent years, many of the country’s biggest contact lens manufacturers moved to set minimum sale prices for their products, meaning any retailer wishing to discount these lenses couldn’t go below that price floor. The practice — which would have been illegal until a 2007 Supreme Court ruling — has come under scrutiny from federal lawmakers, and Utah state legislators passed a bill earlier this year that would outlaw this form of price-fixing in the state. However, a federal appeals court has temporarily sided with the lens makers and blocked that law from being enforced. [More]

(DCvision2006)

Why Cord-Cutters Aren’t Getting The Holy Grail TV Of Streaming Services Just Yet

As a growing number of consumers drop — or never sign up for — traditional pay-TV services, it’s easy to point to Netflix as a big reason. And yet, Netflix and similar services don’t actually replace the TV experience, especially when it comes to sports. Newer offerings, like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, replicate the live TV watching experience, but falter compared to traditional pay-TV when it comes to things like DVR functionality. What’s stopping the big players from offering an all-in-one online service now? [More]

(Image: KDKA-TV)

Family Switches To Sprint To Get Bill Cut In Half, Ends Up With Bill For $3,800

While we’ve criticized Sprint’s “half off” promotion, which says it will cut your current wireless bill in half, for really only providing savings of about 20%, we’re pretty sure the idea wasn’t to stick customers with nearly $3,800 in bills for service they never used. [More]

CVS Feels Pain Of $22 Million Penalty For Florida Painkiller Pill Mills

CVS Feels Pain Of $22 Million Penalty For Florida Painkiller Pill Mills

When you think of Florida and the Drug Enforcement Administration, your head might be filled with images of cocaine-packed speedboats or propeller planes sneaking in pallets of marijuana. But in recent years, the DEA has also been focused on major drugstore chains that looked the other way as stores filled massive numbers of questionable painkiller prescriptions. Nearly three years after shutting down a pair of CVS pharmacies in the Orlando area, the company has agreed to pay $22 million to put the matter behind them. [More]

NJ Residents Call For Info On Sprint Refund, Get Phone Sex Line Instead

NJ Residents Call For Info On Sprint Refund, Get Phone Sex Line Instead

Earlier this week, Sprint and Verizon reached multimillion-dollar settlements with federal regulators for allowing third parties to bill for unwanted and unauthorized add-on services. But when New Jersey residents tried to call the Sprint information number given out by the state’s attorney general, they were in for another telephonic surprise. [More]

(paul_houle)

What Are The Best And Worst Airlines For Using Rewards Travel?

So you’ve racked up a bunch of frequent flier miles or loyalty points or whatever your preferred airline calls them, but can you actually use those rewards to book free travel when you want? For some U.S.-based carriers, the answer ranges from “almost definitely” to “good luck.” [More]

(Newton Free Library)

CFPB Wants To Hear Your Comments On Student Loan Servicing Practices

Outstanding student loan debt now totals more than $1.2 trillion in the U.S., and it’s only going to grow as college tuitions continue to outpace inflation. Meanwhile, student loan servicers aren’t exactly making it easy for borrowers to pay down that debt with confusing and inconsistent policies and an apparent reluctance to work with troubled borrowers. In an effort to see if the repayment process can be made less byzantine, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is asking for you to share your thoughts on the state of student loan servicing. [More]

AT&T Makes Deal With Hulu To Integrate Video Content

AT&T Makes Deal With Hulu To Integrate Video Content

Hulu, which recently announced a deal that would let Cablevision sell the streaming service directly to its broadband subscribers, is continuing to make a big push to increase its reach. Today, the company unveiled a deal with AT&T that will integrate Hulu video and AT&T’s live and video-on-demand offerings on new mobile and web-based apps. [More]

We have no idea if this Budget Beef is mechanically tenderized, as it is visually no different than meat that doesn't go through the process. (photo: catastrophegirl)

Mechanically Tenderized Beef To Finally Be Labeled

More than a quarter of all beef sold in the U.S. is mechanically tenderized, meaning that machines with tiny little blades have been used to make the raw product more tender. But this step can also have the effect of driving surface pathogens deeper into the meat where they might not be killed during the cooking process. Since 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received reports of six outbreaks attributable to these products. Two years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it was going to require labels for mechanically tenderized beef. Those labeling rules have now been finalized and will go into effect a year from now. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Report: FCC May Look Into Comcast’s Don’t-Call-Them-Data-Caps If Implemented Nationwide

For more than two years, Comcast has been testing data caps — sorry, “data thresholds” — in various markets around the country. With the possibility of this usage-based pricing model being rolled out on a nationwide basis, a new report claims that the FCC could use its new authority to scrutinize the data limitations. [More]

Are There Any Non-DEET Insect Repellants That Work?

Are There Any Non-DEET Insect Repellants That Work?

For half a century, DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) has been the most commonly used ingredient in insect repellants. While DEET does work to keep the tiny critters off, it can also have some ugly side effects, including rashes, disorientation, and seizures. People looking for equally effective but safer insect repellants haven’t had much to choose from, but new tests show that some non-DEET products can offer the same level of protection. [More]

Verizon, Sprint To Pay $158 Million To Settle Wireless Bill-Cramming Allegations

Verizon, Sprint To Pay $158 Million To Settle Wireless Bill-Cramming Allegations

Several months after AT&T and T-Mobile reached multimillion-dollar settlements with federal regulators to close the books on allegations of bill-cramming — illegal, unauthorized third-party charges for services like premium text message subscriptions — both Sprint and Verizon have also decided to pay the regulatory piper. Combined, the two wireless companies will pay $158 million to settle cramming claims with the FCC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. [More]

1 Photo & 3 Quotes That Explain Why You Should Watch Tonight’s Frontline About Chicken & Salmonella

Frontline

Over 1 million Americans get sick from salmonella every year. The bacteria, especially in more potent, drug-resistant forms, is responsible for the highest number of hospitalizations and deaths of all food borne illnesses; all in spite of increased anti-salmonella measures by the poultry industry. One giant chicken company was recently responsible for sickening more than 600 people in 29 states, while the federal government was virtually powerless in demanding a recall. [More]