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]

(Great Beyond)

Oregon Proposes Smoking Ban For All 362 Miles Of Its Coastline

Any beachgoers that enjoy puffing away on a cigarette while they sit on the sand or frolic in the surf may have to get their nicotine fix elsewhere, as Oregon has proposed a ban on smoking that would include all 362 miles of beaches on its coastline. [More]

(boldsheep)

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

Here are eleven 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]

GEICO Spent Almost $1 Billion On Advertising Last Year

GEICO Spent Almost $1 Billion On Advertising Last Year

If it seems to you that Geico advertises during every program you watch on TV, you’re not wrong. The insurance company spent $935 million on ads last year, and there cannot possibly be anyone left in this country who doesn’t know how long it might take them to save 15% on car insurance. Can there? [More]

Corinthian Colleges Employee: “We Work For The Biggest Scam Company In The World”

RiddimRyder

Corinthian Colleges — the operator of for-profit school chains Everest University, WyoTech, and Heald Colleges — is selling off or shutting down campuses as it faces lawsuits and investigations from multiple state and federal agencies. The allegations involve bogus job-placement stats, grade manipulation, and misleading marketing. We recently spoke to several current and former CCI teachers and admissions staffers who confirmed these bad practices and explained that it was all done in pursuit of billions of dollars in federal aid from taxpayers. [More]

(Bunch O Balloons)

Smartest Person Alive Invents Gadget That Fills & Ties 37 Water Balloons At Once

On the one hand, who wouldn’t want to be sitting pretty in a backyard fort with hundreds of water balloons that took only minutes to fill and tied themselves. On the other hand — no, I can’t. There is no downside to a device that allows you to fill 37 balloons with water at one time and spares you the time/pain of tying all those slippery little suckers. [More]

Cottonelle Toilet Paper Contained No Cotton Until 2013

Cottonelle Toilet Paper Contained No Cotton Until 2013

Have you ever stopped to wonder whether Cottonelle brand toilet paper has any cotton in it? Well, of course it does–”cotton” is right there in the name, right? That’s what Ed had always thought. Then he saw a sign on the shelf at Sam’s Club that challenged his assumptions. Not that he had really given toilet paper ingredients enough thought to form any assumptions. [More]

Bank Of America To Pay $16.6M To Settle Allegations Of Processing Drug Traffickers’ Transactions

Bank Of America To Pay $16.6M To Settle Allegations Of Processing Drug Traffickers’ Transactions

Processing transactions for drug traffickers is a big no-no, which is why Bank of America has agreed to pay $16.6 million to resolve federal allegations that it was involved in moving money around for ten traffickers over the course of four years.
[More]

Local And Regional Grocery Stores May Have Sold Recalled Fruit

While Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s get the headlines, Wawona Packing Company sold fruit that’s potentially contaminated with Listeria to wholesalers, who then sold it to local and regional grocers. According to Food Safety News, reports in the media indicate that contaminated fruit may have been sold at Food 4 Less, Foods Co., Giant Food Stores, Martins, Hannaford, BJ’s Wholesale, Dillons, Save-a-Lot, Fry’s Food Stores, King Soopers, Raley’s, Stop & Shop, Big Y Foods, and Ralphs. [Food Safety News]