What You Need To Know About New Rules Allowing Debt Collection Robocalls From Feds

Joe M. O'Connell

If you ask any American to name the things they love the most, they are sure to reply, “debt collectors, intrusive pre-recorded phone calls, and the federal government!” So today — under orders to do so from a piece of rushed, tacked-on legislation — the Federal Communications Commission released its final rules allowing the federal government and some of its contractors to make debt-collection robocalls to wireless lines. [More]

Hammerin Man

DEA Denies Governors’ Petitions To Reclassify Marijuana For Medical Use

Half the states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, but the plant remains an illegal, Schedule I drug on the federal level. Five years after the governors of Rhode Island and Washington petitioned the Drug Enforcement Agency to reconsider this classification, the DEA has denied their requests. [More]

Homeowner Says Airbnb Guest Did $25K In Water Damage, May Have Shot Porn In Her House

Homeowner Says Airbnb Guest Did $25K In Water Damage, May Have Shot Porn In Her House

We’re not saying this is the way things should be, but it’s the way things are: If you’re going to use Airbnb or some other service to rent out your house like a hotel, you need to know there’s a chance that the people you let stay in your home while you’re away might also see it as nothing more than a hotel room they can mess up and leave behind. [More]

Appeals Court: Municipal Internet Is Great, But States Can Still Restrict Access

Steve

More than a dozen states have laws that either prohibit counties and cities from operating their own broadband internet networks, selling service directly to consumers, or expanding their service behind a prescribed footprint. In 2015, the FCC voted to preempt two of these laws — in Tennessee and North Carolina — but this morning a federal appeals court says the FCC lacks the legal authority to do so. [More]

Tesla Says Driver Took Hands Off Wheel In Latest “Autopilot” Crash

Tesla Says Driver Took Hands Off Wheel In Latest “Autopilot” Crash

Once again, high-end electric car maker Tesla is in the spotlight following a crash by a driver who was using the company’s “Autopilot” feature. However, the company says the driver was taking the term “autopilot” too literally. [More]

Disney Confirms ESPN Streaming Service Without ESPN

Disney Confirms ESPN Streaming Service Without ESPN

A month ago, we told you about rumors that ESPN would be offering a new, standalone streaming service but that it wouldn’t include access to the flagship ESPN pay-TV channel. Now ESPN’s parent company Disney has confirmed that such a project is in the works, and that it may use the ESPN name but won’t look like the ESPN you know. [More]

Ad Watchdog: Comcast Should Stop Claiming “Fastest Internet In America”

Ad Watchdog: Comcast Should Stop Claiming “Fastest Internet In America”

If you live in one of the many parts of the country served by Comcast, you’ve likely seen the company’s nearly endless ads claiming that its Xfinity broadband “delivers the fastest internet in America,” and the “fastest, most reliable in-home WiFi.” However, an ad industry watchdog group has asked Comcast to rein in its bragging. [More]

Scott Ableman

Activist Investors Call On KFC To Phase Out Antibiotics In Chickens

With Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Papa John’s, and Subway all making an effort to curb antibiotics overuse in chicken and other animals, some investors of Yum Brands say it’s time for KFC to do its part. [More]

The Monkey Selfie Case Gets New Life In Federal Appeals Court

TBD

When a U.S. District Court shot down Naruto the macaque’s copyright claim over one of the internet’s most disputed photographs, it looked like it might be the legal end of the road for the world’s most embedded wildlife photographer. Yet the case has been appealed, with one prominent primatologist arguing that Naruto and other animals “can be the authors of valuable works of art.” [More]

Feds Accuse 1-800 Contacts Of Badvertising

Feds Accuse 1-800 Contacts Of Badvertising

The Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit today against 1-800 Contacts, accusing the online lens retailer of making agreements with more than a dozen competitors to not compete with each other for online search ads, resulting in lens buyers paying higher prices. [More]

Lisa Bunchofpants

Cybercriminals Breach Computers For Massive Point-Of-Sale Payment System

The folks at computing giant Oracle have alerted users of its hugely popular point-of-sale payment system that cybercriminals managed to breach the company’s customer support computers and insert malicious code, potentially affecting hundreds of thousands of retail locations around the world. [More]

jetsetpress

AT&T Penalized $7.75 Million For Allowing Scammers To Charge Bogus “Directory Assistance Service” Fees

Nearly two years after AT&T was hit with a $105 million settlement over bill-cramming — the practice of letting third parties place questionable or false charges on customers’ phone bills — the Federal Communications Commission says the company has agreed to pay another $7.5 million to close the book on additional cramming accusations involving a bogus directory assistance service. [More]

NBC Universal Will Make Original “Shows” For Snapchat

NBC Universal Will Make Original “Shows” For Snapchat

A number of high-profile entertainment companies are already programming content for Snapchat, but for the most part it’s repurposed stories, photos, list-icles, and infographics that has seen life elsewhere in the world. However, NBC Universal seems to believe Snapchat could be a platform for exclusive original content. [More]

Should “Locked” Digital Content Be Labeled So You Know What You’re Buying?

Joel Zimmer

Have you ever “purchased” an ebook, mp3, or video only to found you can only access it on a certain number or type of devices, or that it must be played through a specific player, or only accessed when you’re connected to the internet? Maybe that’s the sort of thing you’d like to know before you paid for this content. [More]

Andy Jones

Strap On Your Brain Belt: It’s Time For The Consumerist Quiz!

We write stories. You read them. It’s a purely transactional arrangement; no strings attached. Question is: How well do you remember what you’ve read? Take the Consumerist Quiz and find out. [More]

Grocery Association To Vermont Stores: Keep Labeling GMO Foods, But Only If You Want To

Grocery Association To Vermont Stores: Keep Labeling GMO Foods, But Only If You Want To

On July 1, a new Vermont regulation kicked in, requiring simple text labels on foods — even those prepared or packaged in the stores — made with genetically modified (GMO) ingredients. Then on July 29, President Obama signed into a law a bill that overturns the Vermont rules and will eventually (maybe) create a national standard for GMO labeling, leaving Vermont supermarkets unsure of what they should do about all the stuff they just started labeling. [More]

ralph

Do You Have A Constitutional Right To Shop At Home Depot?

It’s not uncommon for a retailer to ban shoplifters from ever stepping foot on the premises again. However, a California man convicted of stealing from a Home Depot says that being barred from going back to the store — or any other Depot in the state — is a violation of his rights. [More]

JeepersMedia

Wendy’s Quietly Getting Rid Of Antibiotics In Chicken

The same week that McDonald’s publicly touted that its chicken menu items are now 100% free of antibiotics, Wendy’s quietly changed its policies to establish a timeline for ridding its birds of antibiotics that are deemed medically important to humans. [More]