Report: Amazon Wants To Help International Factories Sell Directly To You

Report: Amazon Wants To Help International Factories Sell Directly To You

A few years ago, Amazon made a prediction that came true: shoppers were about to use Amazon more for commerce across oceans and borders, ordering easily from all over the world. Yet experts at Amazon must have been wondering how they could help international merchants along, and make more money while they were at it. One possible solution: becoming a freight and warehouse operation for manufacturers abroad. [More]

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Did Net Neutrality Kill Broadband Investment Like Comcast, AT&T, Verizon Said It Would?

Last year, when the FCC was preparing to vote on the new Open Internet Order (aka “net neutrality”) and its reclassification of broadband Internet as a vital utility, virtually the entire telecom and cable industry claimed this change would ruin investment and slow innovation. But a look at the year-end financial figures for the biggest naysayers casts a lot of doubt on these dire predictions. [More]

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In Comcast Country, Set-Top Box Competition Will Hurt Innovation, Raise Prices

Earlier this week, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler proposed new rules intended to increase competition in the pay-TV set-top box market. Rather than paying hundreds of dollars a year to your cable company for a device you can’t get anywhere else, the idea is that you would be able to buy your own box and save money in the long run. Amazing, Comcast — which stands to potentially lose billions of dollars if this happens — is crying foul. [More]

Staples Cuts Jobs In Preparation For Life With Or Without Office Depot Merger

Staples Cuts Jobs In Preparation For Life With Or Without Office Depot Merger

It appears that Staples is adhering to the adage, “hope for the best, prepare for the worst,” when it comes to their challenged billion-dollar merger with rival Office Depot. This week, the retailer took steps to streamline its operation, changing its management team and reportedly laying off hundreds of employees at its headquarters.  [More]

Staples, Office Depot Extend Merger Deadline To Fight Antitrust Lawsuit

Staples, Office Depot Extend Merger Deadline To Fight Antitrust Lawsuit

Just because the Federal Trade Commission went to court in an effort to block the pending merger of Staples and Office Depot, doesn’t mean the companies are putting the mega-deal behind them. In fact, the office-supply chains have extend the contract for their proposed $6.3 billion merger to allow more time to placate antitrust regulators.  [More]

Verizon Finally Catches Up To T-Mobile, AT&T; Launches Program To Free Up More Data For Mobile Subscribers

Verizon Finally Catches Up To T-Mobile, AT&T; Launches Program To Free Up More Data For Mobile Subscribers

Last month, executives with Verizon said the company would one day test sponsored data. That day is apparently today, as the largest wireless provider in the U.S. launched FreeBee Data, its version of T-Mobile and AT&T’s programs that don’t ding users’ data plans when they access certain content. [More]

Amazon Exec: Prime Air Drones Will Be “More Like Horses Than Cars”

Amazon Exec: Prime Air Drones Will Be “More Like Horses Than Cars”

Amazon isn’t ready to unleash its Prime Air drones into the skies just yet (and the Federal Aviation Administration isn’t ready to let it, either) but in the meantime, company executives don’t mind talking about their plans for Prime Air. [More]

T-Mobile Execs Say YouTube Is “Absurd” For Complaining About Downgraded Video Quality

T-Mobile Execs Say YouTube Is “Absurd” For Complaining About Downgraded Video Quality

The war of words between T-Mobile and YouTube continues, with executives from the wireless company claiming it’s “absurd” that the streaming service should care so much about T-Mo downgrading the quality of YouTube videos. [More]

Uber Settles With NY Attorney General Over 2014 Data Breach

Uber Settles With NY Attorney General Over 2014 Data Breach

Ride-hailing services have vital information about both their drivers and their readers on file. For drivers, they have license and vehicle information, as well as personal information used for payment. For passengers, a location-based app knows where users are, creating a Marauder’s Map of cars and people in a city. NeW York State has settled with ride-hailing company Uber for $20,000 over a 2014 breach, and the company also agreed to encrypt and limit access to passenger location information. [More]

Amazon Won’t Say If Employee Added Unrequested Dildo To Customer’s Cart

Amazon Won’t Say If Employee Added Unrequested Dildo To Customer’s Cart

In the world of customer service, there are usually a few, easily predictable responses from companies that we encounter: either an issue gets resolved to the satisfaction of the customer, whether quickly or with a bit of effort, or it doesn’t. But one Amazon customer found himself in wholly unfamiliar territory after providing negative feedback, when, he claims, an employee of the e-commerce giant put an unrequested 10-inch dildo in his shopping basket. [More]

Looking Ahead: 5 Big Issues To Follow For 2016

frankieleon

Now that 2015 is done and we finally learned that Luke Skywalker is actually Faye Dunaway’s daughter (and sister!), it’s time to take off the party hats, sweep up the confetti, and do the walk of shame forward into the uncharted territory of the year to come. [More]

Bill Lewis

24 Stories We Covered In 2015 That We Never Saw Coming

The following is a true story: One day, two Consumerist staffers were chatting about the work day. One said, “I can’t believe I’m writing about the legal ramifications of butt-dialing.” The other replied, “We should probably remember this conversation for a year-end story about things we didn’t expect to ever write in 2015.” A calendar alert was made, and our future selves were duly reminded. [More]

Cox Must Pay $25M For Failing To Stop Repeat Pirates

Cox Must Pay $25M For Failing To Stop Repeat Pirates

Weeks after a court ruled that Cox Communications had deliberately ignored repeat piracy offenders and put up roadblocks to prevent certain copyright holders from filing infringement claims, a jury has handed down a $25 million verdict against the cable and Internet provider. [More]

A screengrab of the InternetHealthTest.org test results.

New Yorkers: Here’s How To Help Make Sure You Get The Internet Speed You Pay For

Back in October, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent letters to three of the state’s biggest broadband providers — Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, and Verizon — seeking information about the connection speeds they market to consumers and the speeds they actually deliver. Now, the state is asking for consumers’ help in seeing if these Internet service providers are being honest. [More]

Verizon To Follow Lead Of AT&T, T-Mobile; Try Some Sort Of Sponsored Data

Verizon To Follow Lead Of AT&T, T-Mobile; Try Some Sort Of Sponsored Data

The largest wireless provider in the U.S. has also been one of the least innovative in terms of its pricing. Its Chief Financial Officer even said earlier this year that “We’re a leader, not a follower.” And yet, Big V is just beginning to dip its toes into an idea that its competition has been swimming in for quite some time. [More]

Judge Says Cox Refused To Pull Plug On Known Copyright Pirates

Judge Says Cox Refused To Pull Plug On Known Copyright Pirates

Earlier this year we told you how apparently innocent Cox cable/Internet customers had gotten caught up in a piracy lawsuit filed against the company by a music publisher. While some of those customers were able to remove themselves from the dispute, a judge has ruled that Cox knowingly allowed pirates to continue using their broadband accounts in violation of the law. [More]

YouTube Wants To Be Your New Netflix, Seeks Rights To TV And Movies

YouTube Wants To Be Your New Netflix, Seeks Rights To TV And Movies

If you want to curl up on the sofa on a cold winter night and watch a movie, that’s what Netflix is for. And if you want to watch music videos, mash-ups, or cats doing foolish things, you’ve got your YouTube. That’s how it’s been since approximately the dawn of time, by which we mean roughly the last five or six years. But it looks like the times, they are a-changing, and YouTube wants to be your one-stop shop for video of any and all sorts. [More]

Toy Maker VTech Hires Cyber Forensic Team To Help Beef Up Security After Data Breach

Toy Maker VTech Hires Cyber Forensic Team To Help Beef Up Security After Data Breach

After a data breach at popular kids’ toy maker VTech that put the personal information of nearly five million parents and children at risk, as well as reportedly exposing many of their photos and chat logs, the Hong Kong-based company says it’s bringing in the pros to help shore up its security. [More]