The IRS Is Still Using Windows XP, Has A Cybersecurity Staff Of 363 People

The IRS Is Still Using Windows XP, Has A Cybersecurity Staff Of 363 People

In the last few years, tax return fraud has become a serious problem at the state and federal levels, thanks to the growth of e-filing and security holes in IRS and third-party tax software systems. Is the IRS to blame for this trend? There are really only two options: the IRS is either broke or incompetent. [More]

This McDonald’s Asks Drive-Thru Customers To Bend The Laws Of Physics

This McDonald’s Asks Drive-Thru Customers To Bend The Laws Of Physics

McDonald’s is trying all kinds of new things to attract younger customers and sling fries at them, but we’re not so sure about their plan to increase drive-thru traffic in the United Kingdom by bending the laws of physics. “Please use both lanes to place your order,” a new sign says. Both? [More]

Dunkin’ Donuts Debuts Chips Ahoy-Flavored Doughnuts

Dunkin’ Donuts Debuts Chips Ahoy-Flavored Doughnuts

If you feel your energy flagging at work today, don’t worry: as of Monday, Dunkin’ Donuts has a new doughnut for afternoon eating. Starting Monday, they’re starting a partnership with Nabisco’s Chips Ahoy brand to turn doughnuts into an all-day food. [More]

School Year Ends, Students Wonder Where Their Senior Photos Are

School Year Ends, Students Wonder Where Their Senior Photos Are

“I feel like I’m gonna be a senior citizen rather than a high school senior by the time I get them,” one student wrote about their photos. That’s an important part of the business when you’re a school photographer: delivering students’ photos to them, preferably before they graduate. One school photo company in California failed to do that this school year, and families are upset. [More]

Uber Proposes Simpler Privacy Policy, Will Let Riders See Their Ratings

Uber Proposes Simpler Privacy Policy, Will Let Riders See Their Ratings

One feature of ride-hailing app Uber that’s meant to keep riders from acting like complete jerks is mutual rating: passengers rate their drivers, sure, but drivers also rate passengers. Secretly. Users can’t see their own ratings, but they could prevent someone from being picked up at a busy time. The company has promised to clarify its privacy policy and allow passengers to see their own ratings. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Kevin Cardosi)

Here are eleven 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]

Maybe save this post until you're done eating your salad.

3 More Toxic Salad Beetles Show Up In Canada And Texas

It turns out that fleeing to Canada won’t keep you safe from the Salad Beetle Scourge. You may remember the Iron Cross Blister Beetles turning up in organic salads and pakages of leafy greens across the United States. We learned today of three more discovered in different parts of North America, two of which were in Canada. [More]

(Uber)

Uber Testing App Enhancements That Help Deaf And Hard Of Hearing Drivers

We’ve covered in the past Uber’s problems with the ride-hailing service’s disabled passengers, which range from ride snubs to service dogs forced to ride in the trunk. It’s worth keeping that in mind when you learn about Uber’s latest change to their driver app to accommodate a different community of people with disabilities: the service is testing changes to its system that make driving for the service possible for people who are deaf. [More]

This Former Pizza Hut Is Now The Liquor Hut

This Former Pizza Hut Is Now The Liquor Hut

Pizza Huts are distinctive buildings. They’re so distinctive that there’s really nothing else like a Pizza Hut in the chain restaurant landscape. They have steep mansard roofs, brick exterior walls, and trapezoidal windows, and it takes significant renovation for them to not look like Pizza Huts anymore. That’s why we appreciate when new occupants surrender to their destiny and just call their new venture a “Hut.” [More]

(Sean)

Man Arrested After Police Say He Stuffed An AK-47 Down His Pants

The AK-47 is many things, but it is definitely not a small and discreet weapon. That’s why it’s not surprising that a man in Florida was arrested after trying to shove one of the assault rifles down his pants in a pawn shop, evidently thinking that this was something he would be able to get away with. [More]

Dawn Shrinks Dish Soap 2 Ounces, Plasters Bottle With ‘2X More’

Dawn Shrinks Dish Soap 2 Ounces, Plasters Bottle With ‘2X More’

Jill noticed that there were two different designs of Dawn dish detergent on the shelf. As a savvy consumer, she knew that sometimes a redesign can mask a strike from the Grocery Shrink Ray. Indeed, the new bottles contained two fewer ounces of detergent, yet advertise that they contain “2X More.” Wait…two times more of what? [More]

IRS Suspects Russian Identity Thieves In Data Breach

IRS Suspects Russian Identity Thieves In Data Breach

You may remember that the Internal Revenue Service announced late yesterday that about 100,000 taxpayers’ personal information was breached when thieves armed with their personal information were able to log in to the IRS transcript system and extract even more sensitive information about their victims. Today, we learned that the IRS suspects that an organized group of hackers out of Russia are responsible for the 200,000 attempts to extract taxpayer data. [More]

You just KNOW your cat would text you that string, if it could text. (J)

Apple Working On Fix For Text That Instantly Crashes iPhones

It sounds like something out of a horror movie…if mobile phones watched horror movies. A certain string of Arabic characters, when sent to an iPhone, can crash the device and force it to restart immediately. It’s a hilarious prank, but also a nasty security flaw that could disrupt important phone calls. [More]

30 People Kicked Out Of Hotel After Scuffle Over Waffle Iron

30 People Kicked Out Of Hotel After Scuffle Over Waffle Iron

Few people are very amiable before breakfast, but things got really out of hand this week at a hotel in Michigan. A brawl of Chuck E. Cheese proportions broke out during breakfast at a hotel in Pere Marquette Township, Michigan. Two women began an argument over whose turn it was to make a waffle at the hotel’s breakfast bar. [More]

A Legitimate Car Seller Will Not Ask For Payment In Amazon Gift Cards

A Legitimate Car Seller Will Not Ask For Payment In Amazon Gift Cards

As gift cards go, Amazon gift cards are pretty flexible: they’re available in any amount and can be used for a wide variety of merchandise. You can even use them to buy imaginary cars. At least, that’s what happened to a Michigan man who thought that he was buying a car that was in Montana, but was in fact sending four thousand bucks into a scamtastic void. [More]

Why Builders Are Tearing Down Old Suburban Houses And Replacing Them

Why Builders Are Tearing Down Old Suburban Houses And Replacing Them

I was recently alarmed to see a modest-sized house in my neighborhood demolished to make way for a much larger residence that straddles two lots. I shouldn’t have been surprised to see that house knocked down: it was a two-bedroom, one-bathroom home built during the Great Depression taking up space in a wealthy suburb, and the real estate market won’t stand for that. The little house’s demolition fits with a nationwide pattern: older suburbs are turning over. [More]

The enemy: pollen. (Karen Chappell)

Big Data Predicts Pollen Levels, Keeps Allergy Medicines In Stock

Here in the Northeast, people who are allergic to pollen are having a harsh spring. They should take comfort, though, that there isn’t a corresponding shortage of allergy medicines, as there apparently was five years ago. Drug companies have learned how to take global climate data and turn it into more plentiful antihistamines when people need them. [More]

IRS: Thieves Obtained Information On 100,000 Taxpayers From Transcript System

IRS: Thieves Obtained Information On 100,000 Taxpayers From Transcript System

A tax transcript is a document from the IRS that shows key information from tax returns that you’ve already filed, or changes to what you and the government owe each other that may have been made after the return was filed. You can normally order them online, but the system is now closed after the IRS learned that people identified only as “thieves” accessed transcripts for about 100,000 people. [More]