(NoNo Joe)

Washington Could Become First State To Raise Smoking Age To 21

The era of walking into a store and buying that first nudie magazine and pack of cigarettes upon turning 18 might soon be a thing of the past for presidents of Washington State, as legislators there are proposing a new age threshold for those who want to light up. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Karen Chappell)

Here are nine 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]

8 Things We Learned About The End Of Abercrombie & Fitch’s Jeffries Era

8 Things We Learned About The End Of Abercrombie & Fitch’s Jeffries Era

This week, Bloomberg Businessweek asks the question: can Abercrombie & Fitch be saved? Now that the retailer is losing sales, it has removed logos from its clothing, introduced the color black, and started selling some clothes above women’s size 10. (Mostly online, of course.) Is that enough to save the company, which for years was controlled by a CEO who saw himself, at age 70, as exactly like his 25-year-old ideal customers? [More]

Cheetos Will Sell Cinnamon-Sugar Puffs This Spring

Cheetos Will Sell Cinnamon-Sugar Puffs This Spring

Have you ever looked at a bag of Cheetos and wondered how delicious they would be if, instead of a mysterious orange “cheez” substance, the snacks were covered with cinnamon and sugar? No, we never thought of that, either, but the nice people at Frito-Lay have. They’re making dessert Cheetos into a real thing, which will be a limited-time product available around Easter. [More]

(Scorpions and Centaurs)

Hallmark Planning Mini-Stores Inside JCPenney Locations

After a year of discussions and a pilot program in 15 stores, JCPenney and Hallmark are pleased to announced that they might be moving in together. Well, sort of. Hallmark mini-stores may join Sephora and Disney mini-stores inside hundreds of JCPenney locations across the country. [More]

(frankieleon)

4 Ways Copyright Law Actually Controls Your Whole Digital Life

We all know that copyright law means you shouldn’t download copies of movies from shady torrent sites, and that you should pay for the music you listen to. We know it means people and companies have rights to stuff they make, like photos and music and books, and that there are legal and illegal ways of sharing those things. [More]

(Great Beyond)

Some NFL Fans Will Have To Wake Up At 6:30 A.M. To Watch Games Next Season

One reason I could never live on the West Coast — aside from the warrants out for my arrest in every county from Multnomah to Imperial — is that I’d have to wake up before noon on a Sunday to watch football. But today the NFL decided that the entire continental U.S. must wake up early to catch games — or at least the three bouts taking place in London in 2015. [More]

(Jeremy Brooks)

Signing Up For The Consumerist Newsletter Is Like A High Five For Your Inbox

The best thing about a high five? It’s immediately energizing — an affirmation that you are ALIVE, that this world is real, and you are an integral part of the way the whole thing moves. That’s the kind of feeling you’ll get every week (we hope) when you sign up for Consumerist’s weekly newsletter. Invigorating! [More]

While Target Canada Winds Down, Walmart Builds More Supercentres

While Target Canada Winds Down, Walmart Builds More Supercentres

A week ago, Target made the surprising announcement that it is closing its Canadian division. Meanwhile, things aren’t bad in the Canadian retail sector for all discounters from across the border: competing American invader Walmart announced that it’s opening eleven new Supercenters Supercentres in eight different provinces by the end of January 2015. [More]

(Taber Andrew Bain)

Wells Fargo, Chase To Pay $35.7M For Allowing Illegal Mortgage Kickbacks

Federal law prohibits giving or receiving kickbacks in exchange for a referral of business related to a real-estate-settlement service, but for four years a now-defunct title company in Maryland provide cash, marketing materials and consumer information in exchange for referrals. And now the banks have agreed to pay more than $35 million — including $11.1 million in redress to affected consumers — for their sins. [More]

(AaronBBrown)

Ralph Lauren Agrees To Destroy All Its Converse Copycats In Settlement

After Converse sued 31 companies it accused of ripping off its classic Chuck Taylor sneaker designs, at least one competitor named in the suit has agreed to destroy all similar designs as part of a reported legal settlement. [More]

(frankieleon)

GM Stops Sales Of Some 2015 SUVs After Goodyear Announces Tire Recall

If you were planning to purchase a General Motors SUV this weekend you might be out of luck. The automaker instructed dealers to halt sales on thousands of model year 2015 SUVs after Goodyear announced the recall of nearly 49,000 tires. [More]

T-Mobile's "Zero Down For All" slogan should probably have an asterisk indicating that "For All" means "For everyone who has paid their T-Mobile bill for at least a year."

T-Mobile’s “Smartphone Equality” Targets Loyal Users With Bad Credit

If you have bad credit or no credit history, it can be tough to take advantage of the best pricing plans available from wireless companies — even if that stain on your credit report is years old. Today, T-Mobile said that subscribers with imperfect credit may now be able to enjoy the company’s $0 down-payment perk — if they’ve been loyal and responsible customers. [More]

(Joe M. O'Connell)

Startup Claims It Can Automate Copywriting Process, Leaving Copywriters Time To Finish Their Novels

All that junk promotional mail that ends up in your mailbox or e-mail inbox is presumably written by a human being. But many of these items are just variations on themes that have been played so many times that you could teach a machine how to write them. Which is apparently why some investors are putting their money into a startup that aims to automate the copywriting process. [More]

Court Agrees With Rihanna, Says Topshop Can’t Sell T-Shirt With Her Face On It Without Approval

Court Agrees With Rihanna, Says Topshop Can’t Sell T-Shirt With Her Face On It Without Approval

Back in the summer of 2013, pop star Rihanna was none too pleased to find her face splashed all over shirts sold by clothing retailer Topshop. Because while surely there are famous faces appearing on any number of items for sale, Rihanna didn’t give her permission to use a photo of her to shill shirts. And now, another court has agreed with her. [More]

(Steve)F

Are You Vaping Formaldehyde In Your E-Cigarette?

ormaldehyde may be good for preserving dead bodies, but as a known carcinogen, it’s not really something you want to put into a living body. But when users of e-cigarettes — many of whom ditched smoking because of cancer-causing chemicals like formaldehyde — enjoy their tasty vapor, they may be getting more formaldehyde than they would from smoking a cigarette. [More]

Pizza Hut Takes Ads Featuring People Who Hate Its Products To Australia

Pizza Hut Takes Ads Featuring People Who Hate Its Products To Australia

A recent Pizza Hut ad that you’ve probably seen on TV features the chain purportedly bringing some of its new crusts and toppings to a small town in Italy, where old people hated everything. While pizza crust stuffed with Vegemite/Marmite isn’t new in Australia and New Zealand, this ad bragging about how much foreigners hate it is new. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Dollar Tree Crowned Victor In Battle For Family Dollar

The dollar store war appears to have finally come to an end today, as the shareholders for Family Dollar overwhelmingly voted in favor of a smaller, but safer, takeover bid from Dollar Tree, effectively crushing the heart of aggressive suitor Dollar General.  [More]