Retailers Extend Hours, Enable Last-Minute Christmas Shopping

Retailers Extend Hours, Enable Last-Minute Christmas Shopping

If you celebrate Christmas, yet aren’t done with your shopping yet, don’t feel bad: the nation’s retailers are here to help you spend your money as the business days count down to the holiday. Some department and big-box stores are open around the clock, and online retailers will help you avoid human interaction while using express shipping to order gifts. [More]

(gumbyliberation)

Do You Have Cold Symptoms? Don’t Reach For Vitamin C

Our colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports, armed with actual facts, are out to debunk everything that I do when I think I might be coming down with a cold. First, they explained why taking zinc supplements isn’t a good idea, and now they’ve pointed out that taking Vitamin C supplements isn’t all that helpful either. If they debunk lengthy naps next, my cold-coping strategies are all eliminated. [More]

UPS Will Conquer Its Biggest Shipping Day With Temps And Automation

UPS Will Conquer Its Biggest Shipping Day With Temps And Automation

While the second-to-last Monday before Christmas is usually the busiest shipping day of the year for the U.S. Postal Service and FedEx, for UPS the biggest day is today, the last Monday before the holiday. The company has invested a lot of money and technology in making sure that there isn’t a repeat of last year’s massive delay caused by bad weather and a flurry of last-minute shopping. [More]

(Robert Martin)

Staples Confirms 1.16 Million Cards Breached In 115 Stores

Back in October, big-box office-supply retailer Staples announced that it was investigating a possible customer payment data breach. The results of that investigation are in: yes, the payment systems of some Staples stores were breached. [More]

(Karen Chappell)

Charity Application Problems Leave Tots Without Their Toys

Here’s an important lesson on following up with paperwork: nonprofit organizations near Pittsburgh (and possibly in other regions as well) learned that when they celebrate Christmas with disadvantaged children this year, there will be no toys supplied by Toys for Tots for Santa to hand out. Why? Toys for Tots and the local organizations point their fingers at each other. [More]

(Morton Fox)

UPS Drives Forklift Into Valuable Sculpture, Shrugs

Current ad campaigns for UPS brag about the carrier’s abilities at logistics: getting a thing from one place to another is their specialty. Unless you’re one family in Michigan who used UPS Freight to ship a valuable sculpture across the country, which the carrier drove a forklift into. The company wouldn’t pay out an insurance claim on the artwork because the customer failed to fill in the statue’s declared value on the bill of lading that went with the shipment. [More]

*kevin dean)

Skip Stores And Middlemen: Shop Directly From Chinese Wholesalers

Instead of buying inexpensive, mass-produced junk from China at your local big-box store, why not save time, avoid human interaction, and go right to the source? You can eliminate layers of middlemen by ordering from a wholesaler in China. It’s easy and affordable to do so online for everything from phone cases to wedding gowns, but should you? [More]

(John Hanley)

Flickr Stops Selling Prints Of Photos Licensed For Free Use

Creative Commons licenses let people without expansive legal teams license their creative work for use in other creative projects: a piece of Creative Commons-licensed music could appear in a podcast or a video, for example, or a photo could be used to illustrate a blog post. The idea is to let people share their work and build on others’ creative work. Users of photo-sharing site Flickr were upset about the company’s sale of prints of their CC-licensed photos without giving them a cut of the proceeds. [More]

Apple Condemns BBC Reports About Factory And Tin Supplier Conditions

Apple Condemns BBC Reports About Factory And Tin Supplier Conditions

Earlier this week, the BBC aired an hourlong documentary program on conditions for workers in factories assembling Apple products in China, and conditions in tin mines in Indonesia that supply Apple. Factory footage showed iPhone assemblers begging for time off and dozing off on the assembly line, and an illegal tin mine in Indonesia that is purportedly part of Apple’s supply chain. [More]

(Ben Schumin)

Online Shipping War: Amazon’s Shelf Robots Against Walmart’s Puny Humans

Amazon and other e-commerce companies have vast order fulfillment warehouses filled with shelves full of goods. Traditional big-box retailers don’t have the same kind of operations, but are trying to compete with e-commerce companies in shipping items directly to customers’ homes and to stores for pickup. How can they compete without building fulfillment warehouses of their own? By turning their existing stores and employees into a vast online order fulfillment operation. [More]

(Karen Chappell)

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

Here are eight of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

Aspiring McDonald’s Customer Falls Asleep In Drive-Thru, Arrested For Drunken Driving

Aspiring McDonald’s Customer Falls Asleep In Drive-Thru, Arrested For Drunken Driving

The woman in line at the drive-thru at a McDonald’s near Cleveland simply wanted to order some fast food and be on her way. Presumably that’s what she wanted, anyway: she was in the drive-thru line. Restaurant employees called police when she was unable to order due to slurred speech, then fell asleep at the wheel, blocking the drive-thru. [More]

(Michelle)

Gym Business Models Depend On You Being Too Lazy To Work Out

Generally, there are two different kinds of gyms: the kind that actually expect their members to show up regularly and work out, and the kind that depend on most of their members to not show up on a regular basis. How do you get someone comfortable enough with a gym to pay up, even if they’re too busy or too lazy to show up? Sounds weird, but that’s their entire business model. [More]

(Scott Lynch)

Remember, the best time to shop for a snow shovel is before you actually need a shovel. Just grabbing the cheapest one at the closest store can create a lot of extra work for yourself in the long run if it isn’t the right shovel for you, your abilities, and the type of snow that you typically get. Know your abilities and know your shovel types. Maybe even buy more than one for different surfaces. [Consumer Reports]

(Area Librarian)

After ‘Serial’ Season Is Over, Global Tel-Link Will Keep Charging Inmates Outrageous Phone Fees

The last episode of the current series of hit podcast “Serial” was made available for download this morning. It’s the last time that millions of listeners will hear a brand name that has appeared in every episode but was likely unfamiliar to them. The people over at Global Tel-Link probably aren’t heartbroken that they’re losing the free product placement, though. As a telecommunications company providing phone service for prisoners, consumer name recognition isn’t very important to them. [More]

Anti-Santa takes his toy haul from the store while people tend to his alleged accomplice

Police: Man Faked Heart Attack At Walmart While Pal Took Off With Cart Full Of Toys

You’re shopping or working at Walmart when a young man collapses in front of you, showing signs of a heart attack. What do you do? You tend to the victim, because you are a human being with a soul. However, police say when this happened in Florida, two men took advantage of the functioning souls of the people around them to steal a cart filled with toys. [More]

Sony Pictures Entertainment Cancels Release Of ‘The Interview’

Empty theaters. (Scoboco)

Throughout today, more movie theater chains have announced that they would prefer not to screen the comedy “The Interview” in the wake of vague terrorist threats against theaters screening the film. Sony Pictures Entertainment, had already canceled the scheduled premiere in New York City tomorrow and told theater operators that they were welcome to not screen the movie if they don’t want to. All of the major theater chains took Sony up on this offer, and now the planned Christmas Day release has been canceled. [More]

Amazon Offers Special Deal On The Perfect Gift: Sticks

Amazon Offers Special Deal On The Perfect Gift: Sticks

Wooden sticks are a wonderfully versatile item. You can use them to hit people you don’t like, or to knit homemade mittens for people you do like. You could use one to stir paint, or use a pile of them to build a house for dolls. Only your imagination limits the possibilities. [More]