Congress Finally Passes Bill To Re-Legalize Cellphone Unlocking

(Consumerist)

Nearly two years after the Librarian of Congress decided to make it illegal for consumers to unlock cellphones and take them to a new carrier without getting permission from their current wireless provider, the U.S. Congress has finally signed off on legislation that will restore that right to Americans. [More]

IKEA Workers Tried To Get Birds Drunk So They’d Stop Flying Around Store

(Gregory Brown)

Calling all avians with a thirst for the hard stuff — workers at an IKEA store in Florida are handing out rum to birds for free. Not because IKEA decided to open a bar for our feathered friends, but to try and get a couple bothersome birds drunk enough on rum that they’d slow down and be easier to catch. [More]

(dooley)

Verizon To Start Throttling Speeds For LTE Data Hogs

Back in 2011, Verizon started throttling 3G data speeds for the 5% of its smartphone customers who used the most data every month, even if those customers had so-called “unlimited” data plans. The company then killed off unlimited data in 2012, but existing plans were conditionally grandfathered in. In what appears to be an attempt to weed out the few remaining unlimited plans, Big V will soon start throttling 4G LTE data speeds for that top 5% of users. [More]

CPSC: Best Buy And Its Closeout Stores Sold Electronics And Furniture After Recall

CPSC: Best Buy And Its Closeout Stores Sold Electronics And Furniture After Recall

Once an item has been formally recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, it becomes illegal to sell that item. Yet the CPSC reports that Best Buy, Magnolia, Best Buy Private Auction, CowBoom, and TechLiquidators continued to sell products that had already been recalled in 2012 and 2013. [More]

(photographybynatalia)

Dunkin’ Donuts Wants Cashiers To Do More Upselling To Afternoon Customers

Are you one of the many people who pops into a Dunkin’ Donuts on your way home from work, not to buy a box of glazed chocolate Munchkins, but to get your caffeine fix? Well, get ready to have cashiers try to suggest you also purchase donuts, sandwiches and other items, because the chain’s CEO says stores aren’t doing enough upselling in the afternoon. [More]

Arriving Aug. 15... or now.

Leaked Copy Of ‘The Expendables 3′ Downloaded More Than 100K Times A Month Before It Hits Theaters

The devotion of young men who love action movies and Sylvester Stallone combined with that demographic’s ability to torrent video content quickly and easily is providing quite a headache for Lionsgate, the distributor of the upcoming The Expendables 3, after a reportedly near DVD-quality copy of the movie leaked online earlier this week. [More]

(Gigi Barker)

No Actual Humans Were Harmed In The Making Of Weird Flesh Chair (That We Know Of)

The world has gone entirely mad. That’s the only reason I can think of for why someone would create a chair that not only feels like human flesh (shudder shudder shudder, okay that’s better) but also looks like it and smells like it, too. Nope, not done yet (shudder shudder shudder aaaand shudder). [More]

Witnesses Report Drone Allegedly Crashed Into Space Needle, Police Find No Evidence Of Actual Impact

Witnesses Report Drone Allegedly Crashed Into Space Needle, Police Find No Evidence Of Actual Impact

Maybe he was just practicing for future drone deliveries? Okay, probably not, but an Amazon employee visiting from out of town allegedly crashed his personal hobby drone into the Space Needle earlier this week. [More]

The city of Chattanooga wants to be able to offer its city-owned broadband service to surrounding towns, but Tennessee law prohibits it. (photo: ash)

FCC Chair Now Has Two Chances To Overturn Bans On Municipal Broadband

Thanks to deep-pocketed telecom lobbyists, 20 states in the U.S. have laws that either ban or heavily restrict local governments from creating or investing in public broadband networks, and more states are trying to jump on that ban-wagon. For months, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has been saying that his agency could use its authority to preempt these anticonsumer laws and give municipalities the ability to invest in Internet infrastructure if they want. Now it’s time for Wheeler to put up or shut up, as the FCC ponders petitions from groups in two states. [More]

Lyft Can Launch In New York City, Only Using Commercial Drivers

Lyft Can Launch In New York City, Only Using Commercial Drivers

Two weeks ago, car-sharing service Lyft was supposed to launch in New York City, allowing car-owners to receive cash for driving strangers around. The state’s attorney general stopped the launch, saying that the company is a livery service in disguise and should be regulated as one. Today, the AG’s office announced that they’ve come to an agreement with Lyft, which will be able to launch in New York City using only already-licensed commercial drivers. [More]

(Van in LA)

Man Who Tried To Rob Pizzeria Sues Restaurant For $260K, Claiming Unnecessary Roughness

A man who’s in jail for several robberies including an attempted robbery at a pizza restaurant in Delaware is now suing police and several employees of that eatery for $260,000, claiming they were unnecessarily rough in subduing him. [More]

AirBNB Squatter May Be Developer Of Overdue Kickstarter-Funded Game

AirBNB Squatter May Be Developer Of Overdue Kickstarter-Funded Game

The man occupying a vacation condominium in Palm Springs, California without paying rent was not thrilled that his new landlord planned to cut off the electricity. He said that it would affect his work, which he does from home and earns $1,000 to $7,000 per day. What kind of work? Developing video games, apparently. [More]

Regulators Investigating Hyundai Because Seatbelts And Airbags Are Supposed To Work

Regulators Investigating Hyundai Because Seatbelts And Airbags Are Supposed To Work

Since there’s no point in having seatbelts or airbags in a car if they don’t function when needed, the National Highway Traffic Administration is looking into an issue that could knock out these safety features in some Hyundai vehicles. [More]

(Patrick Hirlehey)

Hidden Listening Devices Found At Ford HQ; FBI Investigates Former Engineer

Like mismatched partners in a bad early ’90s buddy cop movie, Ford and the FBI are working together to investigate why a former engineer at the car maker may have placed listening devices in conference rooms at the Ford global HQ in Michigan. [More]

"A personal coach" or a human prod?

The Latest In Wearable Fitness: A Wristband That Shocks You For Not Exercising Enough

As if the prick of a guilty conscience isn’t enough every time you pass those dusty gym shoes, someone has gone and created a device users willingly wear that give out electric shocks if you’re not sticking to your exercise regime. [More]

Corinthian Colleges Continued Lobbying During Negotiations With Dept. Of Education

Corinthian Colleges Continued Lobbying During Negotiations With Dept. Of Education

You can’t say they didn’t try. Corinthian Colleges Inc. – the for-profit college operation behind chains Everest, Heald and WyoTech – spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for lobbying right up until it was announced that its schools would be closing or sold. [More]

PA Court Says I Don’t Need To Tell Buyers That My House Was A Satanic Murder Pit

(Great Beyond)

Should a home seller be obliged to reveal that the lovely 4-bedroom with a 2-car garage on half acre just also happened to be the place where previous tenants were brutally murdered? Not if that house is here in Pennsylvania. [More]

(Misfit Photographer)

Chubby Checker, HP Reach Settlement Over Penis-Measuring App

It’s been more than a year since a dispute between singer Chubby Checker and Hewlitt-Packard over a penis-measuring app plunged this country into darkness, dividing households, pitting brother against brother, leaving deep scars from which we may never heal — but which will always stand as a reminder of an era we’d all like to forget. Finally, the two parties have put aside their differences for the sake of generations to come, and reached a settlement. [More]