People In Alaska Are The Best Tippers, People In Delaware The Worst

People In Alaska Are The Best Tippers, People In Delaware The Worst

Sure, Internet comment threads seem to be evenly split between generous tippers and people who resent the practice, but what about the population at large? Credit card payment service Square analyzed their transaction data and found some interesting patterns in tipping by state. We don’t want to draw any wider conclusions, but we’re also giving Delaware a sidelong glance. [More]

Sample 834 data. It's not supposed to be diagonal, don't worry.

What Is An 834 Transaction, And Why Should I Care?

The good news is that Healthcare.gov, the health insurance marketplace for states that haven’t set up their own exchanges, is now up and functional. Well, the front end is working. Now that eligible people in need of insurance are able to log in and sign up, the next step is for the site to send their information over to the health insurance companies. That’s where things might go very wrong. [More]

(robertnelson)

Progressive Snapshot Car-Monitoring Device Helps Man Beat Murder Charge

There may be an upside to having a device in your car that monitors your driving habits on behalf of your car insurance company. Yes, really. A Cleveland-area man who also happened to be a Progressive customer with a Snapshot device at the time his infant daughter suffocated to death was acquitted of murder thanks to its data. [More]

(yoshiffles)

Ann Taylor Scrambles My Data With My Friend’s, Shrugs

Patty set out to make a purchase from Ann Taylor Loft. Her friend who lives in a different state did not. And yet, their data is somehow tangled. Patty’s friend’s credit card info is part of Patty’s Ann Taylor account record, and no one has any idea why. [More]

(rockmixer)

Straight Talk Cuts Off My Data, Will Only Explain Why In Confusing Doublespeak

Mike’s phone spent two weeks in the repair depot at Samsung. When it came back, shortly afterward his data stopped working. Oh, no! Would it have to go back for more repairs already? Well… no, that wasn’t the problem. The problem is that his mobile carrier, Straight Talk, has throttled his data access down to nothing. [More]

(bikeoid)

I Can’t Make My Son Use Less Data On HIs iPhone Without Giving AT&T More Money

Mark has a teenage son. His son has an iPhone. Like many teens (and quite a few adults, come to think of it) his son has trouble managing his usage on his 200-megabyte data plan. Most of the time he’s near wi-fi…but that’s only most of the time. Mark called up AT&T to see whether there was any way that he could lock down the phone from his account so it just can’t access the data network at all after reaching its limit. That would be a nice feature, wouldn’t it? Too bad that AT&T doesn’t offer a way to do that without somehow giving them more money. [More]

Facebook's New Mobile Ad Network Uses Your Data To Target You In Other Apps And Sites

Facebook's New Mobile Ad Network Uses Your Data To Target You In Other Apps And Sites

Yesterday, Facebook announced that it’s new mobile ad network (the one that analysts are counting on to rescue the company’s stock price) would allow advertisers to pay to use your Facebook data to target you with ads outside the Facebook environment. So, for example, if you’ve authorized Facebook on an outside mobile website, you’ll begin to see ads targeted to your Facebook profile data. [More]

Ask The Consumerist: Is There Any Point To All These Stupid Surveys?

Ask The Consumerist: Is There Any Point To All These Stupid Surveys?

Rachel is sick of surveys and writes in to ask if we think they serve any purpose. [More]

House Passes Bill To Track All Federal Spending On Single Website

House Passes Bill To Track All Federal Spending On Single Website

The federal government has never exactly been known for its transparency, especially when it involves exactly where all our tax money goes every year. But things could get slightly clearer thanks to legislation passed yesterday by the House of Representatives. [More]

T-Mobile Customer Demands Refund For Two Years Of Too-Slow Data… And Gets It

T-Mobile Customer Demands Refund For Two Years Of Too-Slow Data… And Gets It

When Sam was having problems with his T-Mobile smartphone, he did what he thought he was supposed to do: call up support. The agent on the phone couldn’t restore his phone’s Internet connectivity, but they did try to upsell him on some new services. He’d rather have the services he was already paying for working, thanks. When he took the phone to a retail store for help, he learned the real cause of his problems: he’d been wandering around for two years with an old 2G SIM in his 4G phone. He thought that he should have the extra cost of a 4G data plan refunded to him, and T-Mobile acquiesced… but only after he launched an executive e-mail carpet bomb. [More]

Cheap Ways To Back Up Computer Data

Cheap Ways To Back Up Computer Data

Your computer seems to know when you’ve neglected to back up important data so it can choose those times to crash and burn. To protect your precious work, you’ve got to preemptively strategize against your devices by making a habit of backing up data as often as possible. [More]

A Richer Way To Measure Poverty

A Richer Way To Measure Poverty

The way we currently measure poverty is, shall we say, based on a paucity of data. New York is deploying a new system of measuring poverty that aims to give a greater depth and richness to the poverty picture. [More]

How To Use A Smartphone Overseas Without Ruining Your Entire Life

How To Use A Smartphone Overseas Without Ruining Your Entire Life

Using a smartphone over seas can be annoying at best, and at worst, well… this. The Wall Street Journal has some tips to keep you relatively stress free while you’re jet-setting. [More]

Whopping 11% Of US Homes Are Empty

Whopping 11% Of US Homes Are Empty

The vacancy sign is blazing over house divisions across the US. About 1 in 10 houses in America have no one living inside them, according to new data from the Census, CNBC reports. (Update: while technically correct, this number includes other kinds of properties like abandoned farm house. The more typically used number, the home-vacancy rate, is 2.7%, up from 2.5% the previous quarter). [More]

Consumer Reports Says AT&T Is "Worst-Rated"

Consumer Reports Says AT&T Is "Worst-Rated"

It won’t come as a surprise to its users who have had to deal with dropped calls and poor customer service, but AT&T ranked dead last in a new Consumer Reports survey of wireless carriers. [More]

How Fast Is T-Mobile's "4G" Data Network?

How Fast Is T-Mobile's "4G" Data Network?

T-Mobile rushed out of the gates with news this week about its high-speed 4G mobile data network. Not so fast, said competitors and telecom experts, who were quick to point out that the network is more like “3.5G” and isn’t nearly as fast as other 4G networks. [More]

Nielsen Partners With Facebook, Other Websites To Measure Ad Views Online

Nielsen Partners With Facebook, Other Websites To Measure Ad Views Online

If you don’t like the concept of having your online actions tracked for marketing purposes, you can add Nielsen to you list of sworn enemies. The audience measurement company is better known for its TV viewer ratings, but yesterday it announced a new partnership with websites like Facebook where it will access user info (age and gender only, it says) to collect aggregate data on ad views around the web. [More]

Walmart's New Cellphone Plans Are Great If You Skip The Data

Walmart's New Cellphone Plans Are Great If You Skip The Data

Yesterday, Walmart announced that starting next week it will offer a new wireless plan under its own brand, but running on T-Mobile’s network. The rates are good compared to national carriers: $45 per month for unlimited texting and minutes, and $25 per month for each additional line. There’s also no contract, and you pay the bill at the end of each month instead of loading up a pre-pay account. It’s one of the better family-style deals available, except for one thing: the data plans are actually more expensive than AT&T or T-Mobile. [More]