The Only Way To Avoid Paying A Fee For iPhone Upgrade Is To Pay Full Price

The Only Way To Avoid Paying A Fee For iPhone Upgrade Is To Pay Full Price

Earlier this week, we looked at the various offers being thrown out by the four major wireless carriers in their attempts to attract people switching to the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. What was left out of that discussion — and which seems to be catching a number of customers by surprise today — is that some of them must pay a fee to upgrade. [More]

(Jason Cook)

MPAA Swears It’s Not Pushing For More Anti-Piracy Legislation

A few years back, the entertainment industry used its unique charms (read: money) to glamour several members of Congress into supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act, one of the few pieces of legislation to draw almost universal disdain from everyone other than the industry that backed it, as it would have exacerbated the shoot-first-maybe-investigate-later model already in place thanks to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Thankfully, some Congressional aides actually look at the Internet and sensed the public backlash wasn’t worth the campaign donations that their bosses were still going to get anyway, and SOPA failed. Now the industry says it wants to combat piracy by winning over consumers instead of arresting teenagers. [More]

Sprint CEO On Failed “Framily” Plans: It’s Hard To Sell A Talking Hamster

Sprint CEO On Failed “Framily” Plans: It’s Hard To Sell A Talking Hamster

If you’ve watched TV in the last year, you’ve likely caught one of the many, overly quirky ads for Sprint’s former “Framily” plans. Between the francophile daughter, random goth hanger-on Gord-on, and a hamster patriarch voiced by Andrew Dice Clay, the company’s new CEO admits that it was all just a bit too much for what was otherwise a cruddy group data plan on a really slow network. [More]

AT&T Promises 15Mbps Wireless Broadband To Rural Customers After DirecTV Merger

AT&T Promises 15Mbps Wireless Broadband To Rural Customers After DirecTV Merger

AT&T has dangled a big carrot out there in its attempt to lead regulators to sign off on the company’s merger with DirecTV. If the deal happens, AT&T says it could bring 15Mbps wireless data service (bundled with satellite TV of course) to rural America in 2015. [More]

The Starboard critique not only slammed Olive Garden for wasting breadsticks, but also said the new logo looks like it was written by a second-grader.

Investor Asks Olive Garden Servers To Be Stingier With Free Breadsticks

For all of its menu updates and attempted image changes over the decades, Olive Garden has never stopped reminding consumers of the free breadsticks they’ll get when they come in for a bite. But one hedge fund says that the O.G. is hurting itself, and its investors, by not paying enough attention to all the bread they put in those baskets. [More]

Starbucks Might Allow Employees To Show Tattoos

(Steve)

In spite of Starbucks’ origins in tattoo-heavy Seattle and the fact that the coffee colossus employs thousands and thousands of younger adults with ink somewhere on their body, the company’s dress code has long been decidedly anti-tattoo. But in an acknowledgment of changed public attitudes toward tattoos, and an effort to retain its workers, Starbucks may be relaxing its stance on body art. [More]

NFL.com Sinks To New Low: Forces You To Watch 5 Ads For 5 Mins. Of Video

NFL.com Sinks To New Low: Forces You To Watch 5 Ads For 5 Mins. Of Video

Regular visitors to NFL.com are probably familiar with the site’s love of auto-play video and video advertising in general. Not only do many NFL.com news stories include an auto-play video — one that is often, at best, tangentially related to the topic — but those clips are almost always preceded by pre-roll ads that you can not pause or mute (without muting your computer’s speakers). Yesterday, the site sunk to a new low, forcing fans of one regular NFL.com feature to sit through 5 separate GEICO ads just to watch a few minutes of video. [More]

(Phillip)

Failed Quiznos, Cold Stone Franchises Left Taxpayers On Hook For $72.5M In Last Decade

When that Quiznos sandwich shop you always drove by but never visited closed, you probably didn’t even notice. Or maybe you were a little bit disappointed during your last trip to the mall when you found out the Cold Stone Creamery had shuttered. But what you probably didn’t know is that those failed franchises have left taxpayers on the hook for $72.5 million over the last decade. [More]

Senators Request Info From Home Depot, Apple On Recent Data Disasters

Senators Request Info From Home Depot, Apple On Recent Data Disasters

Following two serious violations of consumers’ privacy — the theft of potentially hundreds of millions of credit and debit card numbers from Home Depot, and the personal photos and information stolen from Apple iCloud accounts of numerous female celebrities — some lawmakers in D.C. are looking for some answers from the companies that were supposed to keep our data safe. [More]

Infomercial Scammer Kevin Trudeau Appeals Conviction

Infomercial Scammer Kevin Trudeau Appeals Conviction

Almost a year ago, it seemed like a federal court had put an end to the decade-long fight with bestselling scam artist Kevin Trudeau, finding the author and infomercial weight loss/personal finance pitchman in contempt of court for violating a 2004 court order barring him from telling lies in order to sell his books. Now, only a few months into his 10-year sentence, Trudea has filed an appeal. [More]

Your Guide To The Major Carriers’ iPhone 6 Offers

Your Guide To The Major Carriers’ iPhone 6 Offers

Apple announced a couple of new phones yesterday, triggering a Pavlovian response in some consumers that can only be eased by the acquisition of one of these new phones. It also pits the four national wireless carriers against each other in a battle for Apple-hungry customers. [More]

Sorry U2, Your Free Album Doesn’t Count On Billboard’s List

Sorry U2, Your Free Album Doesn’t Count On Billboard’s List

At the end of yesterday’s time-warping, genre-defying, multilingual livestream of the Apple iPhone 6 and Apple Watch announcement, the computer company decided to give a little-known Irish band the spotlight, allowing the lads from U2 to play some tunes for the crowd while simultaneously releasing their new album as a free iTunes download. But there is some bad news for these upstart rockers — they won’t be seeing their band’s name on the Billboard best-selling album chart. [More]

Complain All You Want, California! State Outlaws Silly Non-Disparagement Clauses

Complain All You Want, California! State Outlaws Silly Non-Disparagement Clauses

In the wake of lawsuits over online retailers that try to charge customers huge fees for allegedly violating “non-disparagement” clauses that prohibit customers from complaining about their transactions, lawmakers in California have approved a bill outlawing the ridiculous practice. [More]

(Misfit Photographer)

4 Ways You Can Save Your Self Into Financial Trouble

In general, saving money is good. But if you are overzealous about your thriftiness or think only in terms of immediate or short-terms savings, you could end up paying more in the long run. [More]

L.A. Warning Airbnb Hosts About Their Tax-Collecting Obligations

(Chris Goldberg)

Subletting one’s home or renting out space on your own property has long been a way for some Los Angeles residents to earn some extra income without telling the taxman. And the rise of home-sharing services like Airbnb and VRBO has only encouraged more people to make money off their unused rooms. But the city of Los Angeles is now sending stern reminders to people who list properties on these sites that they have to pay taxes similar to those paid by hotel operators. [More]

(Plankton 4:20)

Sony’s Online Pay-TV Service To Launch With Channels You Might Actually Want To Watch

After what seemed like an eternity of news leaks, rumors, and promises of an online-only pay-TV service from Sony, the company has finally announced that it will indeed be launching that cloud-based service, and that it will start with a slate of channels including some that humans actually watch. [More]

McDonald’s Tries Again To Trademark “McBrunch”

McDonald’s Tries Again To Trademark “McBrunch”

Given McDonald’s love of selling breakfast, and its even deeper affection for trademarking anything even vaguely food-related starting with “Mc,” it’s surprising to learn that the company is just now getting around to trying to stake its claim on the phrase, “McBrunch.” But the real question is: Does this mean a real brunch menu is on the way from McDonald’s? [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Burger King Employee Beats Up Former Co-Worker Who Attempted To Rob Restaurant

In a move that would probably get him fired if he worked at Walmart, a Burger King employee in Ohio fought off a knife-wielding wannabe robber, who happened to have previously worked at that restaurant (and whose special lady friend still works there). [More]