Would You Pay $45 Per Month For Unlimited Coffee?

Would You Pay $45 Per Month For Unlimited Coffee?

How much would you pay per month for an unlimited coffee pass? If you drink coffee daily and don’t brew it at home, that could become a pricey addiction. Yet CUPS, an app out of Israel, recently expanded to this country. Its premise is simple: subscribe and get discounted or even unlimited coffee from independent coffee shops for a discounted price. [More]

Dish To Refund $2 Million To Washington State Customers Over Sketchy Surcharge

Dish To Refund $2 Million To Washington State Customers Over Sketchy Surcharge

In May 2012, Dish customers in Washington state began seeing an additional item on their bills — a mysterious “Washington Surcharge” of between $1.00 and $1.09 a month. The satellite provider stopped this surcharge later that year after the state’s attorney general’s office began investigating, and yesterday it agreed to issue a full refund to customers who’d been hit with the questionable fee. [More]

Game Of Thrones Episode Breaks Record, With 193K BitTorrent Users Sharing Single File At Same Time

Game Of Thrones Episode Breaks Record, With 193K BitTorrent Users Sharing Single File At Same Time

The new season of HBO’s Game of Thrones is doing well in the TV ratings for the premium network, but it’s also gaining popularity with pirates who don’t feel like subscribing to the channel (or whichever premium stations air the show in other parts of the world) or waiting until it’s available to buy or rent legally. In fact, the most recent episode of the series has shattered a record for the number of people simultaneously sharing a single file via BitTorrent. [More]

(adam reker)

Microsoft Sends E-mail To Make Sure You Don’t Want E-mail From Microsoft

You don’t get it, Microsoft. Your customers tried to be nice about it: they don’t want to get e-mail from you. They unsubscribed from all of your news and webcast announcements. They don’t want to hear about your product trials. They don’t want to get e-mail from you. So what did you do? You e-mailed them to find out whether they’ve maybe changed their minds. [More]

Now That Netflix Is Paying Comcast, Users Finally Get Decent Speeds… But At What Cost?

Comcast's speed has rebounded to its fastest ever since bottoming out in January.

The good news: Netflix’s deal to pay Comcast for better access to its network is working. The bad news: This will now set a precedent that Internet service providers can hold content companies hostage with complete disregard to net neutrality. [More]

Ask Tax Dad: Doula Deductions, Pension Distributions, And The Sandwich Generation

Ask Tax Dad: Doula Deductions, Pension Distributions, And The Sandwich Generation

Historically, our staff Certified Tax Cat has handled readers’ questions about taxes, but he took feline early retirement and hung up his oversized eyeglasses. Filling in for him is Laura’s dad, a retired accountant and real live independent tax preparer. Exclusively on Consumerist, Tax Dad answers your questions. [More]

The Comcast Merger Isn’t About Lines On A Map; It’s About Controlling The Delivery Of Information

(knight725)

Comcast and proposed merger partner Time Warner Cable claim they don’t compete because their service areas don’t overlap, and that a combined company would happily divest itself of a few million customers to keeps its pay-TV market share below 30%, allowing other companies that don’t currently compete with Comcast to keep not competing with Comcast. This narrow, shortsighted view fails to take into account the full breadth of what’s involved in this merger — broadcast TV, cable TV, network technology, in-home technology, access to the Internet, and much more. In addition to asking whether or not regulators should permit Comcast to add 10-12 million customers, there is a more important question at the core of this deal: Should Comcast be allowed to control both what content you consume and how you get to consume it? [More]

Goose and Maverick, meet your competition.

Science Says: Swatting Fruit Flies Is Annoying Because They’re Basically Tiny Fighter Jets

As proven time and time again after you leave those bananas on the counter for too long, the grasping meathooks we call hands are basically ineffective when faced with the ever elusive fruit fly. But don’t feel bad, it’s not just your giant, clumsy hamfists, it’s that fruit flies are basically mini fighter jets. And they’re all named Maverick or Goose, obviously. [More]

(The.Comedian)

Detroit Police Bust Shoplifting Ring Accused Of Stealing $15K Of Stuff Per Day

While you might think you know about shoplifting based on that ill-advised stint in middle school when everyone was doing it, cops in Detroit have fried a much bigger fish than your normal grab-and-go thieves: Investigators say they’ve just busted a shoplifting ring responsible for stealing as much as $15,000 worth of merchandise a day and reselling it on the Internet. [More]

Aereo Coming To Chromecast As Supreme Court Ruling Looms

Aereo Coming To Chromecast As Supreme Court Ruling Looms

As streaming-video service Aereo prepares to make its case before the U.S. Supreme Court later this month, it continues on in its effort to expand its audience (who may have their new toy taken away from them if the Supremes rule in favor of the broadcast networks). Today, Aereo announced that it will soon become available via Google’s Chromecast dongle, making it easier for people to see the streamed feeds on their TVs. [More]

Everyone Who’s Anyone Knows Today Is The Cool Day To Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Everyone Who’s Anyone Knows Today Is The Cool Day To Sign Up For Our Newsletter

We’re not saying life is a popularity contest, or even that we’re you know, “cool.” But if all your friends were signing up for the Consumerist newsletter, wouldn’t you want to, too? You wouldn’t want to be the only one not in the know. [More]

Weather Channel Returns To DirecTV, But With Less Reality Programming

Weather Channel Returns To DirecTV, But With Less Reality Programming

Three months after a standoff over fees left 20 million DirecTV customers without The Weather Channel, the station is making a return to the satellite service. But in order to get that large audience back, the Weather folks have had to agree to some changes in its programming, which some had criticized as being too focused on things other than just telling people about the weather. [More]

Consumerist’s At-Home, Hands-On Impression Of The Amazon Fire TV

Consumerist’s At-Home, Hands-On Impression Of The Amazon Fire TV

Last week, Amazon unleashed its new video-streaming device the Amazon Fire TV (or fireTV, as the label reads), which the company says would be faster and easier to use than competing devices like the Google Chromecast Apple TV and the Roku products. We recently purchased one to see if it lives up to those promises (and because the Consumerist Bat Cave can never get enough streaming video). [More]

Sprint Now Offering To Pay Up To $350 In ETFs For People Willing To Switch To One Of Its Framily Thingies

Sprint Now Offering To Pay Up To $350 In ETFs For People Willing To Switch To One Of Its Framily Thingies

Months after AT&T and T-Mobile dueled over subscribers by offering to pay them to get out of their current contracts early, the folks (frolks?) at Sprint are finally (frinally?) getting into the game with a temporary deal that will reimburse up to $350 in early termination fees for people who dump their current plans and switch to one of Sprint’s Framily shared-data plans. [More]

(captplanetrocksmysocks)

Should Online Publishers Block Users Who Install Ad-Blockers?

The Interactive Advertising Bureau is a trade group for, well, interactive advertising. That’s to say clickable online banner and video ads. If you’re one of the smarmy people piping up right now to say, “there are ads on the Internet? I wouldn’t know, I use ad-blockers,” you’re part of the problem as far as the IAB is concerned. [More]

Will Netflix Speeds Improve For Verizon, AT&T Internet Customers Anytime Soon?

Will Netflix Speeds Improve For Verizon, AT&T Internet Customers Anytime Soon?

Starting in the second half of 2013, Netflix speeds on several major Internet service providers began to sink drastically as the ISPs allowed Netflix downstream traffic to bottleneck, resulting in slow, fitful delivery to consumers who had paid Netflix for the service and the ISPs for broadband access. Earlier this year, Comcast speeds turned up out of their nosedive when the company made a profitable deal with Netflix, but what about everyone else? [More]

(steakpinball)

Apple And Samsung Back In Court For Round Eleventy Billion Of Their Legal Fight

What’s happened once has happened before, and will happen again. Whether or not you ascribe to that kind of Battlestar Galactica/Rust Cohle on True Detective life view, it certainly feels like seeing Apple and Samsung in the legal ring again was inevitable. We’re on about round eleventy billion, give or take an eleventy, as the two head back to court today in a dustup over patents. Again. [More]

Let’s Count The Ways In Which The NY Times’ Love Letter To The Comcast Merger Is Full Of Bull

Let’s Count The Ways In Which The NY Times’ Love Letter To The Comcast Merger Is Full Of Bull

Yesterday, the NY Times’ “Common Sense” column demonstrated anything but common sense in a thinly-veiled love letter to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, who is apparently the savior of cable TV and will somehow bestow wonderful, magically-awesome levels of customer service on Time Warner Cable… if only those big-bad regulators in D.C. would just see what is so obviously a perfect deal for consumers. If only that were true. [More]