Mike Matney

Trump White House Directs Agencies To Start Lining Up Regulations For Chopping Block

In January, President Trump signed an executive order dictating that for every new federal regulation put in place, at least two existing regulations would need to be removed. Today, the President took things even further, directing these agencies to start thinking now about which rules should be eliminated. [More]

David Goehring

Florida Man Arrested For Collecting Payments For Jamaican Lottery Scammers

Operators of some overseas scams will use American middle-men to collect money from victims before sending it on to the scammers. Federal prosecutors have accused one Florida man of being the cash conduit for a “lottery” scam being run out of Jamaica. [More]

FCC

FCC Eases Transparency Requirements For More ISPs, Hints At Coming Net Neutrality Fight

It’s been most of a month now since noted net neutrality foe Ajit Pai took over the chairman’s seat at the FCC. Today the Commission held its regular monthly open meeting — the first of Pai’s tenure — giving us a glimpse into what we’re likely to see from the Commission in coming months. [More]

Amazon Hasn’t Turned Over Echo Recordings Related To Murder Investigation

Amazon Hasn’t Turned Over Echo Recordings Related To Murder Investigation

Nearly two months after police investigating a homicide in Arkansas served Amazon with search warrants, requesting any information that may have been stored on an Echo speaker located inside the suspect’s home. They wanted to know if the device’s “Alexa” virtual assistant had recorded any evidence of the murder, but Amazon has thus far refused to turn this information over to authorities. [More]

amanjo

Warm Winters Mean Bad Maple Syrup Harvests

If you live in the northeastern United States, you’ve probably noticed that temperatures are warmer than usual for this time of year. While that’s great news for most people, it’s terrible news for maple syrup producers, who are coping with low sap production and cloudy syrup. [More]

AT&T: It’s Fine For Us To Buy Time Warner Because We’re Too Small To Hurt Competition

AT&T: It’s Fine For Us To Buy Time Warner Because We’re Too Small To Hurt Competition

AT&T’s plan to buy Time Warner — the parent company of several cable networks, not the cable company that Charter snapped up last year — was greeted with a surprising amount of skepticism right from the start. Even though AT&T is sidestepping a lot of regulatory scrutiny by not seeking FCC approval of the merger, lawmakers have continued to ask why this merger would benefit anyone other than the shareholders of these companies. AT&T’s response: Competition or prices won’t be affected because we’re such a small-time player in the pay-TV business, and Time Warner’s viewership numbers are low. [More]

Adam Fagen

Confused By All These New Unlimited Mobile Data Plans? Here’s What’s Up

It’s amazing what competition can do to a marketplace: In the span of a week, all four national wireless carriers have either introduced, enhanced, or dropped prices or restrictions on unlimited data offerings for mobile customers. But that’s a lot of change all at once — so what does it mean for you, the actual subscriber? [More]

Mike Matney

Operator Of Foreclosure Rescue Scheme Sentenced To Four Years In Prison

During the housing crisis, consumers in danger of losing their homes were often approached by unscrupulous companies making false promises they could help consumers delay foreclosures or evictions. One such company brought in nearly $3 million, and now the man behind the scenes is headed to prison.  [More]

Matthew DeWaal

Congressmen From California And Georgia Introduce Bill Against Negative Option Billing

Negative option billing is an especially insidious way to make people keep buying things from you, and it’s an especially big problem online. Most products promising a “free trial” use it, and the method sells products like credit monitoring, college financial aid help, skin care products, weight loss supplements and shoes. Canceling these subscriptions can be a huge hassle, and wouldn’t it be easier if opt-out subscriptions just weren’t a thing? [More]

(Mike Mozart)

AT&T Updates Unlimited Plans In Wake Of Verizon, T-Mobile Changes

The unlimited data plan wars are heating up. Days after Verizon’s surprise announcement that it was bringing back unlimited data options and T-Mobile’s decision to boost its own plans, AT&T has launched a new — you guessed it! — unlimited data plan.  [More]

Jeremy Schultz

NY AG: Please Send Us Your Broadband Speed Tests So We Can Investigate Providers

Some things, you can measure centrally. Some, you can survey with a sample group. But sometimes, what you really need is a giant crowdsourced effort — and that’s what New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is asking Empire State residents to help with. [More]

Dash Cams: Coming To A Dashboard Near You

Consumer Reports

You’re driving calmly along when, suddenly, a small truck sideswipes your passenger door, taking your sideview mirror with it. Your heart is pounding and you both stop, whereupon the other driver starts shouting that you swerved into his lane—when you know for a fact that you did no such thing. Now it’s just your word against his. Anticipating the headache of filing a police report and arguing over the insurance claim, you think, “If only I had a video!” [More]

Scott Lynch

Can You Actually Haggle On Price Of New TV Or Laptop? It’s Worth A Shot

If you’re planning to buy an ultrathin laptop or a 4K TV in the next few months, you may want to brush up on your negotiation skills. According to Consumer Reports’ annual electronics retailer survey, a little haggling often pays off in a big way. [More]

Mike Mozart

T-Mobile Fires Back At Verizon, Improves Its Unlimited Plan

This is why competition is good for consumers: On the heels of Verizon’s surprise announcement yesterday that it’s bringing back unlimited data options, T-Mobile, refusing to be outdone, boosted its own offering. [More]

Snuggle Up And Share Some Valentine’s Day Specials And Meal Deals

Dunkin' Donuts

People love to go out to dinner for Valentine’s Day, and that means restaurants are competing for your business. If what you and your significant other share is a love of frugality, the holiday is a fine time to find discounts and deals on meals out. Or heart-shaped pizzas. [More]

Lawsuit Claims Walmart’s Private Label Craft Beer Is “Wholesale Fiction”

Lawsuit Claims Walmart’s Private Label Craft Beer Is “Wholesale Fiction”

It can be hard to tell if that craft beer on the grocery shelf comes from the vats of a small, independent brewer, or if it is the product of a commercial vat. That’s the crux of a new class-action seeking lawsuit that claims Walmart is deceiving consumers with its private label “craft” beer brands in an effort to inflate prices. [More]

Atwater Village Newbie

DirecTV Asks Court To Throw Out Justice Dept. Lawsuit Over SportsNet LA

It’s hard to be a baseball fan in Los Angeles. For what feels like ages, the LA Dodgers have had an exclusive deal with Time Warner Cable — now Charter — to air their games in the area. Other carriers reportedly have tried to get access to the games but were stymied, eventually leading to a complicated court case where the Justice Department sued DirecTV over allegations of colluding unlawfully with other carriers in negotiations with SportsNet LA. Now, DirecTV is fighting back. [More]

Mike Mozart

Surprise! Verizon Wireless Bringing Back Unlimited Data Plans

Once upon a time, when smartphones were a brand new idea and 4G was still a glint in an engineer’s eye, Verizon offered its customers unlimited monthly data plans. For many years now, though, the company has been trying every trick it can to squeeze its remaining grandfathered unlimited-data customers off their plans. It looked for all the world as though Verizon had well and truly abandoned unlimited data to the era of Blackberry and “Gangnam Style”… until late last night when Verizon announced, surprise! Unlimited data is back. [More]