(frankieleon)

Private Companies Building Giant Unregulated Databases Tracking License Plate Location Info

Do you know everywhere your car has been in the past week? Month? Year? You may or may not remember it all, but there’s a good chance that your license plate has had its photo snapped, and its location recorded, a whole bunch of times in that period. And anyone who can pony up the cash for a subscription to that database can tell exactly where you’ve been. [More]

The Seiki 50" Ultra HD TV sells for around $1,500, but Consumer Reports says to save your money.

Consumer Reports: $1,500 Ultra HD TV Is Just a Mediocre LCD TV

With many Ultra HD (or 4K) TVs ranging in price anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000, early adopters who want that level of visual definition without going bankrupt may be tempted to buy Seiki’s 50″ Ultra HD for around $1,500. But our TV-testing siblings at Consumer Reports say you’d probably be better off saving your money for now. [More]

The BK Bacon Burger Is A Disgrace To The Word ‘Bacon’

The BK Bacon Burger Is A Disgrace To The Word ‘Bacon’

Burger King recently released a $1 bacon burger. Only a dollar and it comes with bacon? Excellent. In a typical case of fast food advertising vs. reality, though. the bacon isn’t quite as advertised. Matt tried the burger and found that the reality is quite pitiful when compared to the luscious bacon-stuffed bun shown in photos. [More]

Shot of my sandwich at the same angle

Quick-Serve Ads Vs. Reality: Panera Roasted Turkey And Cranberry Sandwich

Anderson tried a seasonal offering at Panera, the Roasted Turkey and Cranberry sandwich. The promotional photos made it look appetizing, but the sandwich that ended up on Anderson’s plate wasn’t. We know that speed is really important at Panera, and maybe this is just a hastily-assembled meal. Anderson decided to throw it away, leave the Panera, and then complain online. This plan was somewhat flawed. [More]

Safeway Says This Tiny Pile Of Sad Chicken Covered In Gloop Is Supposed To Be A Gourmet Meal

Safeway Says This Tiny Pile Of Sad Chicken Covered In Gloop Is Supposed To Be A Gourmet Meal

We aren’t sure in what world a paltry pile of pale chicken covered in some kind of gelatinous gloop accompanied by a whole lot of rice with bits vaguely resembling vegetables could be considered part of any “Gourmet Club.” But Safeway said its “Safeway Select” branded Orange Chicken meal is fine frozen dining and showed a lovely picture on the package to that effect. Consumerist reader Doug in Seattle sent in evidence to the contrary after he purchased the family pack meal. [More]

Consumer Reports Pits Pretty Food Packaging Picture Against Paltry Reality

Consumer Reports Pits Pretty Food Packaging Picture Against Paltry Reality

We’ve all fallen for it before: Cruising down the grocery aisle, deciding what to pick when suddenly, there it is — a box bearing a beautifully shot photo of a tantalizing snack, delicious gourmet dish or some other form of tempting cuisine. That fantasy can come crashing down, as plenty of customers have complained to our hardworking siblings at Consumer Reports that the packaging on many products just doesn’t live up to the reality. [More]

Packaging Vs. Reality: Kraft Macaroni And Cheese Cups

Packaging Vs. Reality: Kraft Macaroni And Cheese Cups

Jay is smart, and knows that packaged food never quite turns out the way it looks on the box. It’s not physically possible. But he was surprised, when cooking a pre-packaged cup of Kraft macaroni and cheese from Costco, that the quantity of food-like substance in the cup didn’t really measure up to what was shown on the box. Is he overreacting, or is this really an unrealistic portrayal of the food product within? [More]

Toys 'R' Us Must Pay $20.6 Million In 2006 Pool Slide Death

Toys 'R' Us Must Pay $20.6 Million In 2006 Pool Slide Death

We enjoy mocking Banzai and their tendency to put wildly inaccurate photographs of their products on the boxes. But another wild inaccuracy led to tragedy in Massachusetts in 2006, when a 29-year-old mother went headfirst down an inflatable waterslide that collapsed. She broke her neck and later died as a result of the injuries. The jury deliberated for less than an hour before awarding her survivors $20.6 million–and they weren’t even allowed to hear about the other person allegedly paralyzed by a similar injury while using the same product. [More]

Batman Costume Package Vs Reality

Batman Costume Package Vs Reality

It’s not exactly the kind of crime the caped crusader would go after, but reader synimatik was a bit pissed when she opened her son’s Batman costume and found it didn’t match up with the image on the outside of the package. [More]

Groupon Uses Pretty Picture To Advertise Not As Pretty
Reality

Groupon Uses Pretty Picture To Advertise Not As Pretty Reality

Being the savvy consumers that you all are, you’re probably no stranger to something not appearing in person as it does in a promotional photo. [More]

Banzai Slide 'N Splash Whale Pool Box Vs. Reality

Banzai Slide 'N Splash Whale Pool Box Vs. Reality

Three years after we first started pointing it out, Banzai continues to make kiddie pools that are disproportionately smaller than they appear on the box. The latest to enrage the internet is their “Slip ‘N Splash Whale Pool.” On the box it shows four children frolicking. In real life, those would have to be tiny munchkin children. [More]

Fast Food Advertising Vs. Reality: Quiznos Baja Chicken Sandwich

Fast Food Advertising Vs. Reality: Quiznos Baja Chicken Sandwich

Sarah writes that her recent experience at Quiznos was bad enough that she doesn’t plan to ever return. Looking at the pictures she sent in and the description of what happened, we can see why. She was served something that sort of resembled a Baja Chicken sandwich, but wasn’t much like it at all. [More]

Fast Food Ads Are Often Opposite Of Reality

Fast Food Ads Are Often Opposite Of Reality

Last week the overwhelming majority of readers told us that while fast food ads needn’t match the actual product exactly, but the food should at least be recognizable. Dario submitted a project showing cases in which fast food companies most definitely didn’t live up to this standard. [More]

Walgreens Now Sells Televisions By The Inch

Walgreens Now Sells Televisions By The Inch

Rob took this picture of a 15″ LCD television for sale at Walgreens in Virginia. It’s nice that they chose to highlight the price, but confusing that they also posted the unit price. If you’re wondering, TVs cost $8 per inch. I like this pricing scheme, and hope to see other retailers adopt it. [More]

Banquet Spaghetti Meatballs Box Vs Reality

Banquet Spaghetti Meatballs Box Vs Reality

On the left is a box of Banquet brand frozen spaghetti and meatballs. On the right is what is inside. Disappointed at the lack of visible meatballs, reader reader Sonia snapped the photos and sent them in. On the one hand, that’s what you get for eating $1.00 Walmart frozen pasta and meatballs. On the other, well, couldn’t they have left at least one in? [More]

Subway's Beef Barbacoa Sub Could Use Some Beef

Subway's Beef Barbacoa Sub Could Use Some Beef

Subway is offering a limited-time sandwich, the “Beef Barbacoa,” in a few markets. Skylar in California ordered this sandwich, being misled by the name into thinking that it contained a reasonable amount of beef. Don’t be silly, Skylar. [More]

"Food In Real Life" Shows You Junk Food Without Makeup

"Food In Real Life" Shows You Junk Food Without Makeup

Not content to wait for the next installment of our occasional “Picture vs. Reality” series, someone has started “Food in Real Life,” which helpfully lowers your expectations of the microwaved treat you’re about to inhale at your desk.

KFC's Mashed Potato Bowl: Picture Vs Reality

KFC's Mashed Potato Bowl: Picture Vs Reality

Jay sent us this picture of a KFC Mashed Potato Bowl he purchased. It’s probably blurry in real life, too. Click through for larger, even less appetizing pics, plus a special YouTube tribute.