Consumer Group Launches Anti-Google Ad In Times Square, Keeps Google Analytics On Its Own Website

Consumer Group Launches Anti-Google Ad In Times Square, Keeps Google Analytics On Its Own Website

The group Consumer Watchdog is pushing hard for Congress to establish a “do not track” list for online consumers, which I’m all for. I’m not sure whether releasing a ridiculously unpleasant cartoon in Times Square is the right strategy, though–especially when you use the very service you’re warning people about. [More]

Watch For Mysterious Data Usage On Your iPhone

Watch For Mysterious Data Usage On Your iPhone

If you’re on one of AT&T’s limited data plans, you’d better start carefully monitoring the data usage, because some customers are noticing unexplainable daily hits on their accounts. The support forums at Apple are filled with pages of theories and complaints from frustrated customers, but our tipster David got the following admission directly from an AT&T rep: “She told me that most, if not all, 3g-capable iPhones were being charged erroneously like I had been experiencing. She told me AT&T was unaware of why the data was being charged, and where it was coming from.” [More]

Flight Cancellations Hold Steady Despite New Tarmac Delay Limit

Flight Cancellations Hold Steady Despite New Tarmac Delay Limit

Remember how airlines threatened to cancel a mess of flights if the Department of Transportation imposed fines for holding planes on the tarmac for more than three hours? Well, the DOT imposed the rule and it looks like airlines are coping just fine. The Wall Street Journal examined recently released data and found that the most probable explanation for the slight jump in cancellations is a combination of weather and shoddy maintenance. [More]

iPhones Help Cops Solve Crimes By Capturing Everything You Type, Do

iPhones Help Cops Solve Crimes By Capturing Everything You Type, Do

Cops love finding iPhones at crime scenes because the phones carry so much priceless data about your usage habits, or as the cops call it, evidence. That email you typed months back about feeling stabby when you drink? It’s still there because there because the iPhone captures everything you type to help fuel its spellcheck abilities—even emails you thought you deleted. And that’s not all. [More]

How To Opt Out Of Apple's iAds Service, Eventually

How To Opt Out Of Apple's iAds Service, Eventually

If you don’t want Apple collecting data on you and using it to target you with ads starting July 1st, you can opt out from “any device running iOS 4,” says AppleInsider. The opt-out is automatic when you hit up http://oo.apple.com from an iOS 4 device, and as far as I can tell you can’t undo it, so don’t click the link unless you really want to opt out. Also, it’s not working at the moment. [More]

Coming Soon, A Way To Find Out How That Online Ad Knows What You Like

Coming Soon, A Way To Find Out How That Online Ad Knows What You Like

Last year the FTC asked online marketers to regulate targeted advertising, so in an attempt to avoid new regulatory policies the major ad industry groups have gotten together to launch a new service. Starting late summer, when a targeted ad from a participating marketer appears on your screen, you’ll be able to click a small icon somewhere on the ad and see your profile on that marketer’s site. You’ll also be able to then opt out of future ads from that ad network, reports Wired. [More]

Facebook Announces Simplified Privacy Settings

Facebook Announces Simplified Privacy Settings

Faced with a steady stream of criticism from users, privacy advocates, and more recently members of the government, Facebook has announced today that they’re simplifying how privacy settings work on the site. The WSJ is liveblogging Facebook’s conference call right now. CNET’s coverage is coming in faster, though, and offers more detail. Below is a quick summary of what Facebook is changing. [More]

4 Years Later, Family Still Fighting Verizon On $18k Bill

4 Years Later, Family Still Fighting Verizon On $18k Bill

Four years ago Bob and Mary’s and their son used their Verizon Family Share plan to send 33 text messages, talk for 184 free minutes, and to download 1.13 gigabytes of data. The bill? $17,984.02. [More]

Franken and Schumer To CEO: We Hate Facebook's Privacy Changes

Franken and Schumer To CEO: We Hate Facebook's Privacy Changes

Recent and proposed changes to Facebook’s information sharing policies have Senators Franken (D-MN) and Schumer (D-NY) a little irritated. They’ve penned a letter, along with Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Mark Begich (D-AK), asking Facebook to reconsider their new opt-out procedure, and to take further steps to keep user’s personal details, such as their interests and friend lists, private unless they chose to share them. [More]

Senator Asks FTC To Provide Privacy Guidelines For Facebook, Other Social Networks

Senator Asks FTC To Provide Privacy Guidelines For Facebook, Other Social Networks

Senator Charles Schumer is upset on your behalf over Facebook’s latest loosening of its privacy policies, and yesterday he called for the FTC to step in and provide some guidance, offering to introduce legislation if the agency feels it needs that extra authority. Specifically, Schumer wants three things: opt-out defaults should be switched to opt-in, sites should always disclose where the information is going, and there should be some general “guidelines for user privacy” that sites follow. [More]

Mapping The Hidden Costs Of Living In The Suburbs

Mapping The Hidden Costs Of Living In The Suburbs

Living in the city seems much more expensive than the suburbs, until you consider transportation costs. Good points us to a new tool from The Center for Neighborhood Technology that maps the percentage of income various areas spend on transportation and housing combined. Turns out living in the suburbs can be less cost effective.

Something to research when you’re thinking of moving. [More]

Google Data Explorer Makes Pretty Charts From Depressing Numbers

Google Data Explorer Makes Pretty Charts From Depressing Numbers

Google Labs recently unveiled its latest toy, the Public Data Explorer. The tool adds visualization features to Google’s public data search engine, letting you make charts and graphs like this one, which overlays unemployment stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on a U.S. map. Colorful and cheery, right? All those lovely pale green circles (10% umemployment), flashes of orange (13%) and the occasional outburst of red (15%). Who knew that modeling depressing data could be so much fun! [More]

Do You Mind If Mint Sells Data Based On Your Transactions?

Do You Mind If Mint Sells Data Based On Your Transactions?

Financial blogger Felix Salmon wants to know why there isn’t regulatory oversight of Mint and other financial management websites, especially if they’re going to sell data created from their users’ transaction histories. [More]

Illinois And Wisconsin Do Not Mess Around When It Comes To Drinkin'

Illinois And Wisconsin Do Not Mess Around When It Comes To Drinkin'

Say what you will about the heart of the Midwest,
it’s certainly not hard to find a bar. Geography blog FloatingSheep
took a look a the bar-to-grocery store ratio in different parts of
the country and it became immediately apparent that Illinois and
Wisconsin (and part of Iowa) team up to form the beer belly of
America.

Do A Total Background Check On Yourself

Do A Total Background Check On Yourself

Now you can know what Big Brother knows about you and get access to the same dirt everyone from your boss, landlord, insurance agent, to your favorite casino has on you. Here is a comprehenisve list of websites and phone numbers for most of the “specialty” consumer reports, like your employment, rental, and check writing history. Be sure to check them out and correct any errors, before a crisis hits. [More]

Verizon Didn't Know Difference Between $.002 and $.00002

Verizon Didn't Know Difference Between $.002 and $.00002

Who’s in charge, the masters or the machines? You’ll be wondering the same thing after you listen to this iconic gem from The Consumerist archive, the infamous Verizon Can’t Do Math call, which we reposting because the original video got deleted and the posts were kind of scattered. In it, George recorded his attempts to get Verizon to explain why they said they would charge .002 cents/kbfor data roaming, and then billed him for .002 dollars/kb, a difference of about $76. Problem is, no one at Verizon can do math. [More]

Your Medical Records: Ask For Them!

Your Medical Records: Ask For Them!

Hospitals can be slow to respond for health records, writes CNN, which can cause serious problems if you’re moving a patient from one facility to another. Here are steps from that article on how to make sure you get your data as quickly as possible. [More]

AT&T Debuts New Unlimited Plans In Attempt To Irritate Verizon

AT&T Debuts New Unlimited Plans In Attempt To Irritate Verizon

AT&T just put out a press release announcing new unlimited plans for all of their customers, even the ones with, gasp, iPhones. [More]