City Seizes Decaying Bank-Owned House, Gets It Fixed Up

City Seizes Decaying Bank-Owned House, Gets It Fixed Up

The city of Haverhill, Massachusetts has had it with abandoned, vacant buildings, especially those that are now bank-owned due to foreclosure. One three-unit apartment building had vagrants occupying the space, using the floors as a bathroom and turning the building into a biohazard. Having such a “disgusting” building on a main road made no one in the city happy, and the city found a private company to act as a receiver and renovate the building. [More]

(dsuniaga)

Why Does McDonald’s Have Such A Hard Time Wooing Millennials?

Does McDonald’s need to try to change the world to win back its customers? Mickey D’s, still reeling from reporting its steepest monthly sales decline in 14 years, has been reaching out to ad agencies and media companies looking for advice on what kind of charitable partnership it can work up to help it connect better with its customers (specifically “millennials”), the Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources familiar with the matter.

[More]

(Listener42)

GM Fund Now Links Ignition Defect To 42 Deaths, 58 Injuries

The General Motors victim compensation fund approved four death claims last week, bringing the total number of confirmed fatalities linked to faulty ignition switches to 42 – officially tripling the number of deaths GM initially linked to the issue. [More]

(Andrew McDaniel)

From Guacamole To Coffee To Beef To Bourbon, Your Favorite Things Will Cost More In 2015

While the prices on certain things will inevitably decrease in the coming year — like the cost of my 1989 Daihatsu Charade or the amount of money I need to spend on shampoo — lots of things are expected to get pricier. Unfortunately, a number of these more expensive items are probably on many of your “things I really enjoy” lists. [More]

(bibledude)

Former Salvation Army Bell Ringer Offers $21K To Return Widow’s Donated Wedding Rings

Remember the story of the widow who donated her wedding rings to the Salvation Army? One good turn deserves another, as another anonymous donor is stepping up to buy the rings for $21,000 — so she can return them to their generous owner. [More]

U.S. Patent Office To Decide Whether Patent Troll Company Actually Owns Podcasting

U.S. Patent Office To Decide Whether Patent Troll Company Actually Owns Podcasting

Podcasts are simply the done thing, in 2014: everyone’s taking their modern update on the radio show with them on the go. One company out there, seeing all the dollar signs, now claims that they invented and patented podcasting 18 years ago, and is suing anyone not paying them license fees. But consumer tech advocates are fighting back, and hoping to get regulators to make the patent trolls crawl back under their bridge. [More]

(Mississippi Snopes)

CFPB: College Credit Card Agreements On Decline; Debit, Prepaid Card Agreements Increase

Since Congress passed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act in 2009, the cozy relationship between credit card issuers and institutions has fractured. But while the number of agreements between the two entities has declined drastically, that doesn’t mean banking on campus has gotten any safer for students. [More]

Layaway Angels Fan Out, Hit West Virginia And Tennessee

Layaway Angels Fan Out, Hit West Virginia And Tennessee

Layaway is a useful tool that some retailers only offer during the holiday season. Let lets consumers without access to credit pick out gifts and pay them off over time––and, as one mother pointed out to me, keeps gifts hidden at the store, far away from impatient, snooping kids. Layaway was dying out before the Great Recession, and came back with its own folk heroes: the Layaway Angels. [More]

(benh57)

American Airlines Will Give Extra Bonus Miles To Frequent Fliers Buying Its Priciest Fares In 2015

If you’re a first- or business-class traveler who’s willing to shell out the big buck on the priciest fares in the sky, American Airlines says it’s got just the right new bonus mileage program for you. The airline announced today that it’ll be rewarding those travelers with extra mileage that works out to as much as 24,000 more miles per round trip. [More]

Apple’s Appeal Of E-Book Price-Fixing Verdict May Hinge On Court’s View Of Amazon

Apple’s Appeal Of E-Book Price-Fixing Verdict May Hinge On Court’s View Of Amazon

While all of its alleged co-conspirators have settled and begun the process of atoning for the price-fixing sins they have not legally admitted to committing, and even though it was found guilty of its part in the arrangement in 2013, Apple is still fighting to clear its name. Today, the electronics company once again squared off against federal prosecutors, trying to make the claim that Apple was actually trying to help break up Amazon’s monopoly on e-book pricing. [More]

Today Is The Biggest Shipping Day Of The Year

Today Is The Biggest Shipping Day Of The Year

Today is it: traditionally, December 15 is the highest-volume shipping and mailing day of the entire year. The U.S. Postal Service will process 640 million cards, letters, postcards, periodicals, catalogs, and packages today alone. FedEx is doing its part, processing 22.6 million packages today. UPS says that its busiest day will be next Monday, as people try to get last-minute Christmas gifts to their destinations. [More]

(avlxyz)

McDonald’s Customers In Japan Can Only Order Small Orders Of Fries Due To Potato Shortage

The next time you pull up to a McDonald’s drive-thru window and order a large serving of French fries, drop one on the ground for our comrades in Japan, where customers can only get small orders of fries right now. What fresh hell is this? [More]

(Marcus Heinrich)

Court Orders Safeway To Refund Overcharges For Online Orders

Despite facing two previous lawsuits related to overcharging customers at its bricks-and-mortar stores, it doesn’t appear that Safeway understands the concept that you can’t say something is one price and then make a customer pay more – even online. And last week, a California federal judge ruled Safeway must refund customers the amount of money they were overcharged when the company broke its own terms and conditions by marking up prices of items ordered online. [More]

Pennies Are Still Useless, And Nickels Cost Eight Cents To Make

Pennies Are Still Useless, And Nickels Cost Eight Cents To Make

Printing and minting money is one of the privileges that government has. In theory, this is a privilege because the face value of coins is more than they cost to make. The problem is that while we still have one-cent and five-cent coins here in the United States, those coins are worth less than they were decades ago when they were designed. Minting new ones costs taxpayers money. [More]

(CBS Los Angeles)

Enough Already: Thieves Take Off With 50-Year-Old Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Statue

While it’s understandable that where there is good will and cheer toward man, there’s also going to be those grumpy, awful, bah-humbugging Grinches out there who want to ruin anything nice about the holiday season. Already today we’ve heard of Christmas tree thieves, and now comes the news that not even 50-year-old Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer statues are safe, despite the giving nature of the season. [More]

From the letter sent by Sony's lawyers to reporters who may have written about or accessed files stolen in the recent hack.

Sony Demands Reporters Stop Reporting On, Destroy Stolen Documents

Sony is still reeling from the recent massive hack that has opened a seemingly endless source of news stories about funny names that celebrities use to check into hotels and which movie stars are considered greedy jerks by greedier, jerkier studio executives. But now the company is hoping to put this to an end, sending legal notices to reporters asking them to cease writing about the stolen items and to delete anything they might have in their possession. [More]

(Alan Rappa)

Amazon Marketplace Glitch Brings Early Christmas To Shoppers, Nightmare For Sellers

Every once in a while a company will suffer an online glitch that leads to consumers purchasing items at bargain-basement prices. While most of the recent buying free-for-alls came courtesy of deeply discounted airline tickets, an issue on Amazon’s UK marketplace Friday gave new meaning to the idea of a holiday fire sale when thousands of items went were priced for a little as one penny (or 2 pennies if you’re in the United States). [More]

Babies “R” Us Is Already Over Christmas, Moves On To Valentine’s Day

Babies “R” Us Is Already Over Christmas, Moves On To Valentine’s Day

It’s not often that we find a retailer that’s over Christmas before it even starts — on the contrary, we usually find Christmas Creep to be the creepiest of all the holiday creeps, sometimes starting as far back as July. But they’re not having it over at Babies “R” Us. In fact, Christmas might as well be over, for all this store cares. [More]