Facebook Gets Rid Of Silly Subscription Fee For WhatsApp

Facebook Gets Rid Of Silly Subscription Fee For WhatsApp

Most popular messaging services are free to use. Even Facebook-owned WhatsApp is free for the first year you use it, with the hope that you’ll stick around and pay a $1/year subscription fee from then on. But today the company realized that this is a silly idea and it’s time to figure out another way to make money. [More]

(Myszka)

Coca-Cola, Pepsi Once Again Fund Study Claiming Diet Soda Is Better For You Than Water

Back in 2014, the soft drink industry funded a study that, coincidentally, concluded that diet soda is better for weight loss than water. These same companies are at it again, not only providing the backing for another study extolling the virtues of diet drinks, but also — according to new reports — directly paying money to the researchers involved. [More]

Penthouse Slipping Into Something More Comfortable, Going Online-Only

Penthouse Slipping Into Something More Comfortable, Going Online-Only

Months after Playboy made the decision to try to stay in print by ditching the bared flesh that made it famous, its raunchier longtime competitor Penthouse has decided to give up on print and focus on being an online-only publication. [More]

(Coyoty)

Science Says: You’ll Order More Food & Booze If Your Waiter Isn’t Skinny

It’s a stereotype of the swanky metropolitan restaurant — only hiring wait staff that looks like they just slinked off the pages of Vogue or the runways of Milan — but the results of a recent study seem to indicate that restaurants could pad their bottom lines by hiring servers with a little more padding. [More]

(pjpink)

Big Tobacco Loses Legal Challenge To FDA Report On Menthol Cigarettes

A federal appeals court has stymied the tobacco industry’s attempt to challenge a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel report on the safety of menthol cigarettes. [More]

Here Are The Walmarts That Are Shutting Down, And When They Will Close For Good

Here Are The Walmarts That Are Shutting Down, And When They Will Close For Good

Earlier today, Walmart announced it would be closing 269 stores worldwide, including 154 in the U.S. We now have a state-by-state breakdown of all of the stores to be closed, and when they will close the public. [More]

(blitzcat)

ID Thieves Also Use Call Centers To Outsource Their Scams

We all know that a lot of businesses outsource customer service work to call centers around the world. But what you may not know is that there are also call centers that specialize — and openly advertise — their services in aiding ID theft and other cyber fraud. [More]

GE Selling Its Appliance Business To China’s Haier For $5.4 Billion

GE Selling Its Appliance Business To China’s Haier For $5.4 Billion

A month after giving up on the idea of selling its appliance business to Electrolux, GE has found a new buyer willing to pay big bucks for the company’s slate of washers, dryers, and fridges. This time, it’s the China-based Haier Group, which will pay $5.4 billion to take over this portion of GE’s business. [More]

(Eric Allix Rogers)

Walmart Closing 154 Stores In U.S., Ending “Walmart Express” Experiment

Walmart’s five-year dalliance with trying to go small through new “Walmart Express” stores is apparently over. This morning, the company announced that it will shutter 154 locations in the U.S., including all 102 Express locations, in an effort to focus on its larger outlets. [More]

TWC has updated its VoiceZone site to include the option of turning Nomorobo on or off with a click.

Time Warner Cable Integrates Robocall-Blocker Into Telephone Service

While traditional phone companies have been reluctant to integrate available call-blocking technology to help consumers avoid unwanted “robocalls,” some six million Time Warner Cable customers will now be able to turn on a free feature that can cut down on these telephonic annoyances. [More]

You May Soon Not Be Able To Access Any International Netflix Content You Want

You May Soon Not Be Able To Access Any International Netflix Content You Want

Sure, your U.S. Netflix account offers a wide variety of movies and TV shows, but those offerings vary from country to country. Some show that aired in Europe last year may not even be available for Netflix to license to stateside viewers. Or an American movie may be unavailable locally because HBO or some other service has an exclusive, but people in Colombia can watch it on their Netflix. Clever Netflixers have long employed various workarounds to access international Netflix offerings, but now the streaming video service is warning that these may soon not work. [More]

Would You Ditch ESPN To Shave $8/Month Off Your Cable Bill?

Would You Ditch ESPN To Shave $8/Month Off Your Cable Bill?

ESPN is, by far, the most expensive single channel on most cable customers’ basic cable bill, responsible for more than $5/month, with some industry analysts putting an approximately $8/month price tag on ESPN and ESPN 2 together. While it’s long been considered a basic cable must-have, millions of Americans have been dropping their pay-TV packages altogether, and recent surveys show that ESPN wouldn’t be a part of many folks’ ideal a la carte cable menu, meaning not everyone has a desperate need for ESPN. So, could cable companies hold on to their customers by lowering rates in exchange for saying goodbye to the 24-hour sports channel? [More]

When It Comes To Privacy, Some Americans Are Willing To Negotiate

Rich Renomeron

We recently wrote about the apparent reluctance of drivers to join auto insurance programs that could save them money in exchange for giving up some of their privacy. While many people want little to do with this sort of tracking, there are still a large number of consumers who don’t take such a hardline stance and are willing to consider ceding their privacy if they receive some benefit in return. [More]

Chipotle Closing All Restaurants For A Few Hours To Talk To Employees About E. Coli

Chipotle Closing All Restaurants For A Few Hours To Talk To Employees About E. Coli

After months of being repeatedly kicked in the butt by humiliating outbreaks of E. coli and norovirus outbreaks, Chipotle has decided it’s time to take a short breather to sit down with its employees to talk through this recent crisis. [More]

Taco Bell Will Reportedly Use Super Bowl To Announce Year-Old “Quesalupa” Idea

Taco Bell Will Reportedly Use Super Bowl To Announce Year-Old “Quesalupa” Idea

It’s been a year since we first got wind of the Taco Bell “Quesalupa” — or as Conan O’Brien put it, the “case of lupus” — and 11 months since the company began testing the vaguely taco-like object (complete with a soft, cheese-stuffed shell) in Dayton, Ohio. Now it looks like the Bell is set to unleash this menu item nationwide. [More]

This "Fast Crafted" Arby's food looks an awful lot like fast food. (photo: Morton Fox)

“Fast Crafted,” “Fine Casual” & Other Nonsense Terms Restaurants Use To Avoid Saying “Fast Food”

In the foodservice industry, fast food joints have long been referred to as “quick service restaurants” or QSRs, but that was never a term intended for use by the public, which was just fine using the equally accurate “fast food.” But for many in the QSR business, this phrase has the stink and sheen of rancid french fry oil. So they are increasingly turning to borderline nonsensical descriptors to avoid it. [More]

If you've been texting Sir Mix-A-Lot and he hasn't responded since 2012, you probably need to update your address book.

Interesting Things Happen When Verizon Gives You Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Old Number

If you’ve ever gotten a new phone line with a number that previously belonged to someone else, you know how annoying it can be to repeatedly tell callers that “No, this isn’t Carl. Yes, I’m sure I’m not him. No, I can’t pass him a message.” But when you get the former number of a ’90s rap superstar, the calls and texts are slightly more interesting. [More]

Amazon Prime Adds 20% Discount On Video Game Pre-Orders & New Releases

Amazon Prime Adds 20% Discount On Video Game Pre-Orders & New Releases

For years, Amazon was able to win over some video game fans by guaranteeing release-day delivery of new titles. But now that gamers can pre-order digital downloads of their games (for the same price) so that they’re available right away when they go live, Amazon is going after customers who want to save money on these pricey new releases. [More]