Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Paula S)

Here are eight of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

Possible Squatter Lives In House With No Water, Holes In Roof, 4 Dogs

Possible Squatter Lives In House With No Water, Holes In Roof, 4 Dogs

The man who lives in a nice brick house in the suburbs of Dallas says that he isn’t a squatter: he’s paying rent for the house. Who is he paying it to? That part is not so clear, and it’s not entirely clear who even owns the house. The neighbors, however, are tired of the mystery tenant’s approach to yardwork, poor maintenance of the house, and constantly barking dogs. [More]

Ride-Hailing Service Drivers Try To Start Their Own Driver-Centric Apps

Ride-Hailing Service Drivers Try To Start Their Own Driver-Centric Apps

Ride-hailing services aren’t very asset-heavy businesses. They don’t need to invest in fleets of cars or etxensive real estate: all they need is a functioning app, a critical mass of drivers, and some customers to hail rides. That’s why it was perhaps inevitable that frustrated drivers for Uber and Lyft would band together and create their own services that compete with the big names in the business. [More]

(Cavale Doom)

CDC Corrects Error, Finds Health Risk Of Laminate Flooring Higher Than Previously Announced

Two weeks ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their report on formaldehyde levels emitted by certain types of laminate flooring, including but not limited to controversial lines imported from China and sold at Lumber Liquidators. Now the CDC has revised its report, noting that the levels of formaldehyde given off by the flooring could cause higher rates of cancer, breathing problems, and irritation than previously thought. [More]

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Find 8-Year-Old GPS For $150

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Find 8-Year-Old GPS For $150

It’s not that if you bought this Garmin Nuvi (sorry, Nüvi) 260 standalone GPS, it wouldn’t work. As long as the battery still holds a charge, and the maps are updated, it should work just fine. The problem is that Walmart is trying to charge $150 for an 8-year-old GPS model, and an item that may have been on the shelf for that long. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Carbon Arc)

Here are seven of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

Ghostbusters Tie-In Beverage Hi-C Ecto Cooler Is Really Coming Back

Ghostbusters Tie-In Beverage Hi-C Ecto Cooler Is Really Coming Back

Back in the ’80s, Coca-Cola’s Hi-C brand agreed to develop a citrus-flavored drink to promote the cartoon series The Real Ghostbusters. The drink was a green-colored citrus-flavored sugar concoction called Ecto Cooler. Now, it appears that Ecto Cooler is returning to shelves to promote the new Ghostbusters movie. [More]

Startup Promising Cash For Weddings Pivots To Crowdfunding Platform, Infuriates Couples

Startup Promising Cash For Weddings Pivots To Crowdfunding Platform, Infuriates Couples

The news went out around December: a startup in Seattle would give engaged couples loans for their weddings, and some couples receive $10,000 toward their wedding expenses with no obligation to pay it back… for as long as the couple stays together. Then it abruptly changed the entire business model when it launched. [More]

Well, At Least Advertisers Like The Nudity-Free Version Of Playboy Better

Well, At Least Advertisers Like The Nudity-Free Version Of Playboy Better

A few months ago, Playboy magazine announced that it would be acknowledging that the Internet is a thing and getting rid of full-frontal nude pictures, going for more PG-rated content, wider availability in stores, and some nice free publicity. Is it working? The magazine’s most important customers are pleased with the change: advertisers. [More]

Computerized Gas Station Price War Takes Prices Down To A Few Pennies In Ohio

Computerized Gas Station Price War Takes Prices Down To A Few Pennies In Ohio

Gas prices have finally fallen below $2 per gallon where I live, but that’s still a fortune compared to what some motorists in Ohio encountered over the weekend. A computer glitch of some sort made the price at a Pilot Travel Center plummet as low as a few pennies, which attracted opportunistic shoppers. Then the Circle K across the street decided to keep up with their competitors by lowering their prices, too. [More]

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Discover New Variety Of Ancient MP3 Player

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Discover New Variety Of Ancient MP3 Player

In retail archaeology, it’s exciting when an excavation turns up a new type of artifact that has never been studied before. Reader Paris is one of Consumerist’s Raiders of the Lost Walmart, the brave explorers who hunt down retail antiquities in the world’s big-box stores. He found something that we had never seen before: another variety of decade-old MP3 player with a comically high price tag and free downloads from the Walmart Music Store, which shut down in 2008. [More]

(Pablo Romeo)

Kenya Is Now The World’s 4th Largest Flower Grower

If you give or receive any flowers this Valentine’s Day, they were most likely imported from somewhere with a much warmer climate and lower wages than the United States. On Valentine’s Day, when tradition demands that massive amounts of roses be ready all at once, many of the flowers delivered or aavailable for sale may have come from Kenya, which has a great climate for delivering roses in mid-February, and has less demand from its recent biggest customers. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(ken fager)

Here are nine of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

Ben Roffelsen Photography

US Foods Plans Public Stock Offering After Failed Merger With Sysco

Back in 2013, food service giant Sysco proposed a purchase of another foodservice giant, US Foods. After a lengthy engagement, Sysco ultimately dropped the attempted merger, which the Federal Trade Commission wasn’t keen on. Instead of being acquired by a rival, now US Foods wants to hold an initial public offering of its stock to raise more money. [More]

Companies Move Back To Cities, Abandon Suburban Office Parks

Companies Move Back To Cities, Abandon Suburban Office Parks

How many likely tenants are there for a concrete suburban office complex of 470,000 square feet? The owners of office complexes are having similar problems to the owners of malls, but for different reasons. As shoppers have moved either to ritzier malls or to shipping online, offices have moved back into cities. Both changes leave behind massive buildings or complexes that nobody wants. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Nicholas Eckhart)

Here are eight of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

Mark Clifton

Sears Hometown Opens Stores Within Other Stores

Sears and JCPenney are two department stores with more space than they need and a need to get more people in the door. They’ve started opening stores within stores, or subdividing their space and leasing part of it to other retailers. Now a member of the Sears family that has gone off on its own is trying this strategy to get a retail foothold: Sears Hometown is opening a store in an Ace Hardware. [More]

Ann Fisher

1/3 Of American Adults Use Online Ad-Blockers, Few Publishers Try To Stop Them

If you’re one of the approximately 1/3 of American Internet users who employ an ad-blocker in your web browser, we don’t mind, because Consumerist doesn’t accept advertising. Other websites that do depend on ads for their income definitely do mind that customers are using ad-blockers, but they don’t really do anything to stop users. Why is that? [More]