(NatalieProcter)

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(missgvs)

Americans Will Spend $703 Million On Valentine’s Day Gifts For Pets

Do you like to celebrate holidays with your pet? The National Retail Federation asked Americans how much we plan to spend on Valentine’s Day gifts for our pets, it adds up to $703 million across the whole critter economy. [More]

Isn't that adorable.

Sony Ditches Its Streaming Music Service, Teams With Spotify For Playstation Music

If at first you don’t succeed, try again using someone else’s system: Sony is pulling the plug on its current streaming music offering, Music Unlimited, and hitching its wagon to Spotify’s star with a new partnership for PlayStation. [More]

(photo: Other98.org)

Marching Band Delivers Petition To Citi Asking Banks To “Revoke License To Steal”

In a handful of recent decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the right of businesses to effectively break the law by putting a few carefully worded sentences into their contracts and user agreements. But just because you can add these clauses doesn’t mean you have to do so, which is why pro-consumer advocacy groups gathered more than 100,000 signatures on a petition that was delivered, with a little bit of music, to Citigroup HQ in Manhattan this morning. [More]

This is what puppies look like, sometimes. (Lisa Pisa)

Uber Delivering Adoptable Puppies To Offices In 10 Cities Today

Because no one can resist the lure of baby animals romping and frolicking in the workplace, Uber is teaming up with Animal Planet and the Puppy Bowl today — and today only — to deliver adoptable puppies to customers’ offices for 15 minutes of playtime. [More]

Best Buy Becomes First Retailer To Sell Samsung’s Gear VR Headset (Galaxy Note 4 Not Included)

Best Buy Becomes First Retailer To Sell Samsung’s Gear VR Headset (Galaxy Note 4 Not Included)

The Samsung Gear VR headset has been on sale since the fall, but it’s been hiding quietly on the Samsung website, which isn’t exactly the place most of us do our shopping. But now the virtual reality headgear has popped up on the website for Best Buy. [More]

(DEARTH !)

Vermont Lawmakers Mulling Idea Of Legalizing Marijuana

Voters in Colorado, D.C. Washington State did it, but if Vermont’s lawmakers legalize recreational marijuana, it’d be the first state legislature to do so, instead of people heading to the polls to push it through. [More]

Just Because Your Kmart’s Shelves Are Empty, That Doesn’t Mean It’s Closing

Just Because Your Kmart’s Shelves Are Empty, That Doesn’t Mean It’s Closing

As Sears Holdings, the parent company of Kmart and Sears, tries to save itself from impending doom, the company is closing a number of its weaker stores. In the current round of cuts, Kmart stores are heavily affected, but the company wants to assure residents of one California town that in spite of empty shelves, their local Kmart store is not about to close. [More]

(jimmywayne)

Delaware Wants To Become The First State To Offer Digital Driver’s Licenses

We have digital documents that have become just as accepted as paperwork — from contracts to concert tickets — so why not that holy grail of wheeled freedom for the minor set, the driver’s license? Delaware wants to start the technological trend of having digital driver’s licenses, with the state legislature adopting a resolution to start looking into the process. [More]

(Andy Jones)

Nissan Recalls 768,000 SUVs For Fire Risks, Flying Hood Issues

Nissan Motor Co. issued two separate recalls this week that cover more than 768,000 SUVs and crossover vehicles in North America because no one wants to drive a car that can catch fire or that has a hood that could unexpectedly fly up while driving down the road.  [More]

Chinese Government Accuses Alibaba Of Selling Fake Goods, Taking Bribes

Chinese Government Accuses Alibaba Of Selling Fake Goods, Taking Bribes

China-based e-commerce megasite Alibaba is catching heat in its home country following a government report that scolds the company for lax controls over the sale of bogus goods to consumers, along with allegations of bribery and using its size to bully merchants from working with Alibaba’s competitors. [More]

GoDaddy Pulls Super Bowl Ad Featuring Danica Patrick Amid Puppy Mill Complaints

GoDaddy Pulls Super Bowl Ad Featuring Danica Patrick Amid Puppy Mill Complaints

If GoDaddy wanted to find out how people feel about puppy mills, well, it’s done that, at the cost of one of its intended Super Bowl ads. After a tease of the spot hit the web, featuring a lost puppy who finds his way back to Danica Patrick, the driver for an online puppy business, the public lashed out at GoDaddy through social media. [More]

UPS Sorry About That Driver Who Peed On House After Throwing Package

UPS Sorry About That Driver Who Peed On House After Throwing Package

It’s nothing new to hear of a UPS, USPS or FedEx driver being caught on camera treating a customer’s package with reckless disregard for its contents. But what you don’t hear too much about are delivery drivers who, after mistreating the parcels with which they’ve been entrusted, decide to use the recipient’s house as a toilet. [More]

(Joshua Derr)

How To Protect Your Shoes Through Salt And Snow

We’re dealing with ankle-deep slush in the parking lots here at Consumerist’s northernmost bureau. Harsh winter weather is harsh for shoes, especially shoes that haven’t been designed to be tough and waterproof. If you’re still waiting for your backordered duck boots, here’s what you should do to keep your shoes looking nice after the snow melts. [More]

University Of Phoenix’s Risk-Free Trial Might Not Cost You, But Is It An Accurate Taste Of College?

University Of Phoenix’s Risk-Free Trial Might Not Cost You, But Is It An Accurate Taste Of College?

From diet pills to dating websites, it’s not hard to find someone offering a “risk-free” trial membership, and thanks to the University of Phoenix, that “try before you buy” model now applies to college courses. But while one might admire the idea of giving potential students a taste of the school before committing to an expensive education at the for-profit online university, consumer advocates are concerned about the program’s benefits. [More]

White Chocolate Raspberry Fights Red Velvet To Become Official Valentine’s Day Flavor

As February approaches, it’s time for a Flavor Battle. The fast-food, candy, and coffee-shop industries must decide what the official natural and artificial flavor of Valentine’s Day is. Is it red velvet or white chocolate raspberry? These two flavors must battle it out to become the pumpkin spice of early February. Dunkin’ Donuts has cast its vote, introducing white chocolate raspberry flavored coffee and lattes. The chain apparently believes that red velvet is a Christmas flavor, having put it on their 2013 holiday novelty drink menu. [The Impulsive Buy]

FTC: Totally Fine By Us If Phone Companies Block Robocalling Numbers

FTC: Totally Fine By Us If Phone Companies Block Robocalling Numbers

Robocalls suck. Everyone hates them. And yet despite decades of trying to deal with autodialers and phone spam, they’re still a big problem. The FCC wants to know if phone companies can block them getting to you. Phone companies say too bad, so sad, the rules mean we can’t block them… but the FTC now disagrees. [More]

(Adam Fagen)

Can You Make Good Beer With Sewer Water? Oregon Company Says Yes You Can

A water treatment company in Oregon says that it does such a good job of cleaning sewage that the resulting clean water could be used for human consumption rather than just irrigation and similar other purposes permitted by state law. And to prove their point, they are asking the state to let them provide brewers with recycled water for the brewing of beer. [More]