Consumerist

Comcast Still Not Quite Sure If Its $70 Gigabit Offer In Chicago Actually Exists

One city at a time, Comcast is upgrading its cable internet networks to a fast new high-speed standard, called DOCSIS 3.1. In Chicago, the launch of the tech itself seems to be fine… but finding out how much it costs, if you can sign up for it at all, has proven much harder for consumers. [More]

When It Comes To Food, “Generally Recognized As Safe” May Not Mean What It Sounds Like

MeneerDijk

Here in the U.S., we have food safety regulations — a lot of them. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for making sure foods (and a bunch of other stuff) adhere to some basic health and safety rules to reduce the likelihood these products will hit store shelves and make a million people sick. So far, so good… but there’s a major food safety system that the FDA uses that, it turns out, is neither standard nor safe — despite its name. [More]

Google Knows How Much You Hate Getting Giant Pop-Up Ads On Your Phone

Google Knows How Much You Hate Getting Giant Pop-Up Ads On Your Phone

It is one of the small but ubiquitous frustrations of the modern era: You tap an interesting-looking link on your phone, only to be greeted by some giant ad that takes up the whole screen and has some stupid tiny X mostly hidden, and in trying to close the ad you end up opening it and it’s annoying. If you are like most human phone-using people, you really hate that. Well, for stories you get to through search at least, Google’s got your back. [More]

Ryan Finnie

We’re All Watching Digital Video, But Most Of Us Aren’t Buying Any

When you just want to watch something, you probably look for it first on Netflix or Amazon. When you really treasure something and want to make it part of your library, you might buy the disc. But when do you buy a digital copy of a TV episode or a movie? Basically never, right? Yeah, and that’s the problem for the whole industry, because you’re not alone. [More]

Paul McCarthy

Do Not Try To Parkour Across A Bruegger’s Rooftop To Impress Your Date

Emergency responders had to work for hours overnight to free a Pittsburgh-area man trapped between two buildings. He was not there due to some accident of architecture or building collapse, though; he was there because he’d tried to execute a rooftop maneuver he shouldn’t have been doing, and failed. Badly. [More]

Jon Fingas

[Update] Sony’s Fall Plans: Two New PS4 Versions, Price Hike For PlayStation Plus

Ah, September: time for the kids to head back to school, the air to get a little crisper, and the tech companies to get all their stuff launched so folks can plan to get it before the many-months-long Holiday cycle hits in earnest. And reports say that Sony’s planning not just one but two new PlayStation models for store shelves this year as days shorten. [More]

Facebook

Facebook Opens Up A Little About The Very Many (Many Many) Ways It Targets You

Facebook is, primarily, an advertising business. It doesn’t just want you to grudgingly put up with its ads, and it certainly doesn’t want you to block them. No, it wants you to love its ads, to embrace its ads, and to beg to be targeted to selectively. [More]

Mike Mozart

Why Are There Still So Many Bank Branches Everywhere? Because You Keep Going.

If you live in a certain kind of urban area, you see it all the time: those new mixed-use buildings go up, and on the ground floor of practically every single one there’s a bank branch or two. And if you thought to yourself, “Why are there so freaking many bank branches opening in an era when all the young folk living in those buildings bank by phone?” you’re not alone. But it turns out there’s an easy reason that bank branches keep proliferating: customers are using ’em. [More]

Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Fines California Health Insurer $340,000 For Breaking Whistleblower Protection Laws

When a business is doing something shady and illegal, often the best-placed people to know about it are the employees who are supposed to carry it out. That’s why there are laws in place to protect whistle-blowers who report their employers to the appropriate authorities… and breaking those laws can sometimes land a company in as much trouble as doing the thing an employee would report them for to begin with. [More]

frankieleon

TCP Disconnects “Smart” Lightbulb Servers, Leaves Buyers In The Dark

This is, unfortunately, becoming one of the most predictable stories of the early 21st century. It goes something like this: new tech product comes on the market. Consumers, finding product solves their problem, eagerly buy. Then the company that made the product turns off the server that made the thing “smart,” and suddenly early adopters are up a creek with no recourse. [More]

Gawker.com Shutting Down After Bankruptcy Sale To Univision

Gawker.com Shutting Down After Bankruptcy Sale To Univision

Gawker Media declared bankruptcy in June after losing a major lawsuit. The company went up on the auction block this week and Univision bought it up. And while the company likely has plans in mind for at least some of what it paid for, the flagship site isn’t going with: Gawker.com is shutting down. [More]

JimmyBionic

The IOC Is On The Prowl To Take Down “Periscope Pirates”

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is infamous at this point for being very, very tight-fisted with any and all things Olympic. And it makes sense, to a point: they literally have one job (Olympics) and companies sign contracts worth billions of dollars for exclusive rights to air and share the Games. Even using gifs of Olympic events is banned, a harsh rule in our visual and image-based era. So you can imagine how well the IOC takes to having anyone live-streaming the events on the sly. (Spoiler: not well at all.) [More]

Adam Fagen

Nashville Mayor Wants Google, Comcast, AT&T To Sit Down And Make Nice Over Fiber Plans

Incumbent cable and telecom companies push back hard when Google wants to come to town with Fiber service. But while corporations file legal challenges and yell at each other by proxy, residents are stuck in the middle without competitive service. [More]

Discrete_Photography

Portland Joins The “Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting For Google Fiber” List

Remember how last week, it turned out Google was temporarily suspending their plan to build out more Google Fiber in their own silicon valley back yard? Well, metro San Jose can feel special about one thing with the delay, at least: it’s not alone. [More]

John Oliver, Keegan-Michael Key Explain Why Subprime Car Loans Are So Awful

John Oliver, Keegan-Michael Key Explain Why Subprime Car Loans Are So Awful

Subprime car loans are pretty much terrible. They’re exploitative of lower-income borrowers, financially risky for lenders, and frankly the only thing that keeps them from being every inch as disastrous for everyone as subprime mortgages — so far — is that their dollar values are lower. [More]

Your Cable Company Will Probably Give You Free HBO For A Few Months, But Good Luck Getting The “New Customer” Rate

Kenneth Rogers

For years, we here at Consumerist HQ have heard anecdotal claims that negotiating for a better rate from your cable provider is no longer as simple as it used to be. The discounts weren’t as deep, people would say, the offers were on the weak side, and in the wake of bad PR, companies have seemed more willing to call customers’ bluff and let them cancel service painlessly. Of course, anecdotes do not equal data, so we wanted to know: is this actually a thing? [More]

Katherine McAdoo

Microsoft Buying Its Own Game Streaming Service To Take On Twitch

Game streaming is big business. And like TV streaming before it, everyone with two wires to plug together wants a slice of that delicious viewer pie. (Ew.) Which explains why Microsoft is hopping in the pool with its own streaming service acquisition. [More]

frankieleon

JetBlue Flight Diverted After 24 Passengers And Crew Injured In Severe Turbulence

It’s pretty common for a cross-country flight to meet a thunderstorm somewhere between the coasts, especially at night during the summer. It’s thankfully much less common for the turbulence from that storm to be so bad that two dozen people end up being checked out in the hospital. [More]