Soon ads like this one that play before YouTube videos will allow viewers to easily buy the promoted product.

Soon You’ll Be Able To Easily Buy The Stuff Showcased In Ads Played Before YouTube Videos

Have you ever sat through an advertisement before being able to watch that super cool, totally in-the-moment viral video on YouTube, and thought “Man, I really need that [insert random item you probably don’t need]?” No? Okay, but in case that ever is you, Google wants to ensure it’s as easy as possible for you to make a purchase right then and there. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Michael)

Here are twelve 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]

(Harry McCracken)

McDonald’s, If It’s Come To This, Just Improve Your Food

“We’ve heard the same rumors you have,” says a recent publication from McDonald’s. “Fillers in our beef, so called ‘pink slime.'” The message is fine, but the location is problematic: McDonald’s is not only protesting a little too much, but this message is on a tray placemat. In one of their restaurants. The kind that you look at while you eat your McDonald’s food. [More]

(Caroline Angelo)

6 Out Of 11 Extra Virgin Olive Oils Tested Don’t Meet Standard

There’s at least some good news out of the National Consumer League’s recent tests of olive oil that they purchased in retail stores in the Washington, DC area: out of all the samples they tested, none of them contained oil that wasn’t olives. That’s an improvement over other recent olive oil testing, including an investigation that the New York Times published last year. Unfortunately, all of that olive oil wasn’t exactly as advertised. [More]

(Cambodia4kids.org Beth Kanter)

Flickr Robots Auto-Tag Every Photo, Auto-Annoy Users

Flickr’s survival is a minor miracle of the Internet age: it’s one of the few sites that Yahoo acquired in the last decade that it didn’t kill off or change beyond all recognition. That’s because of its core base of very loyal and very talented users. Unfortunately, that kind of base means a popular uprising whenever anything about the site changes, a minor revolt happens. [More]

FDA Report Shows Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Failed To Adequately Comply With Testing, Cleaning Procedures

FDA Report Shows Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Failed To Adequately Comply With Testing, Cleaning Procedures

While Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams prepares to reopen its scoop shops this weekend, newly released federal investigation reports show the Ohio-based company’s issues date back several years before its public battle with listeria contamination. [More]

No laughing matter.

Restaurant Chain Suing Sweets Company Over Smiley-Faced Cookies

In a case that just makes me want to order folks to turn their frowns upside down, a Pennsylvania baked goods company is suing a Chicago business over what it calls a similar use of smiley faces on cookies. Can’t we all just eat cookies featuring joyful visages and be happy about it? [More]

Credit Bureaus Must Pay $6M, Fix Errors More Quickly Under 31-State Agreement

Credit Bureaus Must Pay $6M, Fix Errors More Quickly Under 31-State Agreement

The three largest companies to collect and disseminate credit information for millions of Americans – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – must significantly change the way they treat disputed information on credit reports as part of a massive multi-state settlement announced this week. [More]

Roger H. Goun

How Long Until A Hybrid Car Actually Saves Me Money?

Because common sense is more common than you might think, sales of hybrid cars are down now that gas prices have fallen as well. That makes sense. Yet there are some circumstances where it makes sense to buy a hybrid car, even when fuel costs are low. How do you know if that includes your situation? The government is here to help. [More]

(nyer82)

Report: Shake Shack Considering Getting Into The Chicken Game

Though burger chain Shake Shack has yet to extend its reach to every state or even region of the United States, the company is reportedly ready to start looking beyond beef patties and enter the chicken sandwich arena, according to a new report. [More]

58 Senators Urge CFPB To Create Rules Against Forced Arbitration Clauses In Financial Products

58 Senators Urge CFPB To Create Rules Against Forced Arbitration Clauses In Financial Products

A month after legislation was introduced to eliminate mandatory arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, civil rights and antitrust cases, a coalition of 58 lawmakers and several consumer advocate groups are urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to take things a step further by protecting consumers from forced arbitration clauses in financial services contracts. [More]

(Coyoty)

Devotees Of Deep-Fried Food Could Be Facing Price Hikes For Their Favorite Fare

Take a look at that fried chicken sandwich/French fry/potato chip you’re about to eat. It could soon cost you more money to reach deep-fried satisfaction, as the crops necessary to make the vegetable oil used by many companies to fry your favorite foods to a golden crisp are struggling in Canada. [More]

(stuartpilbrow)

FTC Puts A Stop To Three Debt Collection Operations Using Threatening Text Messages, Robocalls

For the most part, we can’t say many glowing things about the debt collection industry that has, in the past, been known for using a litany of abusive and deceptive practices to pry money from consumers. Three such companies will no longer be bothering people after the Federal Trade Commission temporarily shut down the operations for engaging in nearly all of the hallmarks of shady collectors: threatening lawsuits or arrest, impersonating law enforcement and government officials and illegally contacting supposed debtors. [More]

Hobby Lobby Misses Prime Opportunity For More Christmas Mashups

Hobby Lobby Misses Prime Opportunity For More Christmas Mashups

Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft and home decor chains, is infamous on this site for two things: being the first retailer to put out Christmas merchandise every year, and for taking advantage of that fact by making glorious “Nightmare Before Christmas” trees, or Christmas trees covered with beautiful fall leaves and acorns. That’s why we’re disappointed in them: if they’re going to get Christmas decorations out in May, why not double-celebrate other holidays too? [More]

Not the vendors in question. Just wieners. (hesweptlime)

NYPD Catches Up To Hot Dog Vendor Accused Of Ripping Off Tourists

It seems the news travels fast, and in New York, the police are definitely paying attention: After a report that a hot dog vendor near Ground Zero had been caught charging customers $30 for a hot dog and overcharging on other items like pretzels, water and soda, the NYPD announced they’ve served the wiener peddler with three fines for not posting prices on his cart. [More]

AT&T Ditching 2-Year Contracts At Walmart & Other Retailers

AT&T Ditching 2-Year Contracts At Walmart & Other Retailers

In the latest move to nudge new customers into paying full price for their phones, AT&T is going to stop offering 2-year contracts through third party retail stores like Walmart and others. [More]

Yes, You Can Be Prosecuted For Stealing Gold, Weapons From Video Game Characters

Yes, You Can Be Prosecuted For Stealing Gold, Weapons From Video Game Characters

In the Big Bang Theory episode “The Zarnecki Incursion,” Sheldon’s World of Warcraft account is hacked and his in-game character is robbed of all its amassed treasure and weaponry. The local police and FBI both laugh off his demands to track down the virtual thief, but in the real world there are prosecutors going after this new form of criminal. [More]

(Pedestrian Photographer)

110-Year-Old Man Credits Long Life To His Daily Can Of Beer

We’ve all heard that an apple a day can keep the doctor away, but one man who’s reached the lofty age of 110 has entirely different maxim — drinking a can of beer a day is keeping the reaper away. [More]