Family Finds Free Lizard Inside Bundle Of Salad Greens, Brings It To Live At School

The tale of Green Fruit Loop the anole lizard is an epic one, as takes about lizards go. GFL began life somewhere in the southern half of the country, apparently as a wild lizard. She made the amazing journey from being a wild lizard hanging out in a field to living in a reptile habitat in an elementary school science lab. [More]

Sprint To Lay Off 2,000 Customer Service Employees

Sprint To Lay Off 2,000 Customer Service Employees

Sprint’s recent promotions, including “iPhone for Life” and the promise to cut customers’ bills from other carriers in half have helped the fourth-place carrier, gaining it 500,000 new postpaid subscribers even accounting for customers who have left. The company is responding to the good news by laying off 2,000 customer service representatives in centers across the country, and directing customers to use the self-service app instead. [More]

For A Brief, Glorious Moment, An Igloo In Brooklyn Was Listed On Airbnb

For A Brief, Glorious Moment, An Igloo In Brooklyn Was Listed On Airbnb

If your dream vacation is to sleep out under the stars and enjoy the brisk winter air from inside a secluded retreat yet remain right inside the city, the perfect opportunity for you was briefly available for only $200 per night on the rental site Airbnb. Unfortunately, the site immediately pulled the listing, perhaps suspecting that renting out an igloo in a Brooklyn backyard was against housing codes. [More]

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Will Put You On Hold On Their Landline Now

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Will Put You On Hold On Their Landline Now

The Raiders of the Lost Walmart are the brave retail explorers who comb the nation’s big-box stores for retail antiquities: items that have been left behind and forgotten on clearance shelves, out of date and comically overpriced. Today, the Raiders have turned in their field notes on three items: a charger for a long-ago media player, a device to torture people you’re on the phone with, and a trackball mouse that has waited a very long time for a markdown, a buyer, or both. [More]

(The Digital Reader)

Amazon Puts Mini E-Book Stores In Drugstores In Washington State

Back in November, Amazon did something unexpected: the company opened a real-life bookstore in its hometown of Seattle. The company also has a Kindle and Fire showroom at its new package pickup point at UC Berkeley. Amazon clearly wants to move into real-life retail, in some ways, and they have an intriguing new product spotted on drugstore shelves in Washington state. [More]

Reminder: Do Not Run To The Doctor Demanding Antiobiotics If You Have A Cold

If you have or are getting over a cold, we hope that you feel better soon. However, our colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports hope that you do not run to your doctor’s office and demand antibiotics unless test results show that your have strep throat, or you show symptoms of pneumonia. Antbiotics are life-saving when you need them, but taking them when you don’t can contribute to antibiotic resistance in the community. [Consumer Reports]

(Eric Allix Rogers)

Walmart Comes To Town, Other Stores Close, Then Walmart Leaves

The Walmart Express experiment was a teeny proportion of the more than 5,000 stores that the retailer claims across the United States: fewer than 150 tiny Walmarts in small towns across the country. Walmart pulling the plug on its experiment has a very real and very terrible effect on the people who live in those small towns. In some places, it leaves them without any local grocery stores or pharmacies. [More]

Dole Withdraws Potentially Listeria-Laden Salad Greens From Stores

Dole Withdraws Potentially Listeria-Laden Salad Greens From Stores

Beginning back in September, 12 people in six different states have become sick with the same strain of Listeria. The common link between the patients was that they had recently eaten bagged salad. When routine state government testing of lettuce from a Dole packaging plant in Ohio turned up the same strain of Listeria, the answer was clear. Now, Dole has withdrawn affected greens from the market. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

15 Things We Learned About The Downfall Of Target Canada

Why did Target’s expansion into Canada fail so quickly? The company is based in Minnesota, which is dangerously close to being Canada. Yet Target Canada failed spectacularly. Why? Sure, they expanded too quickly, and had supply chain problems: we all know the answer. Yet what did that look like on the ground? [More]


CDC Investigating Possible Listeria Outbreak In Dole Salads

Since the beginning of July, there have been twelve people who became so sick from a specific strain of Listeria that they were hospitalized. One of them died. Public health authorities know that the cases are linked because of genetic analysis of the bacteria, and have finally been able to link the illnesses to one Dole packaging plant for salad greens in Ohio. [More]

U.S. Postal Service Looking For More ‘Experimental’ Delivery Ideas, Cost Savings

U.S. Postal Service Looking For More ‘Experimental’ Delivery Ideas, Cost Savings

The U.S. Postal Service has adapted to a future where we send and receive fewer first-class letters, but need many more packages delivered to our doorsteps. In testimony to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs this week, Postmaster General Megan Brennan told the assembled senators that the postal service is still looking for new things to deliver to make more money, but hopes that the Senate can pass legislation meant to make it less broke. [More]

Consumer Reports Checks Fitbit Heart Rate Monitors Again

Consumer Reports Checks Fitbit Heart Rate Monitors Again

Earlier this month, a lawsuit from several Fitbit tracking watch owners made the news. In it, three users claimed that the heart rate monitors are inaccurate, and that customers had been misled. Yet our pulse-monitoring colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports had just tested the same products, and didn’t notice any problems with their heart rate monitoring ability. Had they missed something? They decided to check. [More]

(713 Avenue)

Google Paid Apple $1 Billion In 2014 For Privilege Of Search Bar On iPhone

When you go to perform a Web search on an iPhone, the phone automatically chooses Google for you. Why? There are other fine search engines out there, and the iPhone could direct you to use any of them. However, the public learned from a copyright lawsuit against Google that the two companies have a revenue-sharing agreement that keeps iPhones performing Google searches, and in 2014 the revenue that Apple received was $1 billion. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Carbon Arc)

Here are ten 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]

Carl’s Jr. And Hardee’s Now Have Their Own $4 Meal

Carl’s Jr. And Hardee’s Now Have Their Own $4 Meal

Years ago, the hot trend in fast food was dollar menus. As 2016 begins, the new hotness is $4 meal deals, or other packages that offer good value and get new and old customers in the door, but also require them to pay more than a buck total for their meal. Now Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, the bicoastal power couple of chain fast food, are putting out their own version of a $4 meal that’s… pretty much the same as everyone else’s. [More]

Airbnb Tells Mayors: Be Our Friend, And We’ll Collect Lodging Taxes For You

Airbnb Tells Mayors: Be Our Friend, And We’ll Collect Lodging Taxes For You

Airbnb just wants to be your friend, mayors. All it wants is for you to let city residents rent all or part of their homes out sometimes, and in exchange for that, the peer-to-peer short-term rental service will collect taxes and turn them over to cities. That’s the service’s pitch at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting this week in Washington, D.C. Are America’s mayors interested in the pitch? [More]

(Brady O'Brien)

Dish Network Could Pay $24B In Fines For Millions Of Illegal Telemarketing Calls

When a company hires a telemarketing contractor, and that company makes telemarketing calls on your behalf, should you be held responsible for what that contractor does? This week, a trial in federal court began against Dish Network, where the feds and four state governments are seeking more than $24 billion in fines against the satellite TV company to resolve accusations that it made illegal calls. [More]

Darth Vader Baby Outfits Recalled For Oddly Appropriate Reason

From the “oddly appropriate recall” files, some baby bodysuits (don’t call them onesies!) bearing the image of Darth Vader have been recalled because they pose a choking hazard. No, not because Sith lords are holding out their hands to hurt any younglings, but because the snaps at the bottom might detach too easily and babies could put them in their mouths. A suit celebrating the 60th anniversary of Disneyland has also been recalled, but that doesn’t make as good a headline. Both suits were sold at Disneyland, Disney World, and on Disney cruise ships. [CPSC] (Thanks, Dirk!)