LG

Ransomware Spreading Onto Smart TVs, Is A Pain To Fix

Streaming TV has been a boon for consumers. Programming is everywhere, right at our fingertips, as soon as we get our screens online. But that connectivity comes with a big risk: wherever there’s an internet connection, there’s a possibility for bad guys to show up. And now they are showing up in the real world, holding TV sets hostage with ransomware and demanding cash to let you access your own stuff. [More]

frankieleon

Hotels Harm Consumers By Not Including ‘Resort Fees’ In Room Rates

Staying in a hotel comes at a price — there’s the room rate, service charges, taxes, and hotels are increasingly taking on “resort fees” to cover amenities like internet access, parking, gym, spa, and pool — even if you never use them. These fees, which can significantly increase the total cost of a room, are almost never included in the advertised price and are often minimized or omitted until it comes time to actually book your stay.
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Our Picks From 2016: Editors’ Favorite Stories Of The Year

Brad.K

We write thousands of posts every year at Consumerist, and before we hit “publish,” we tell each of them that they’re our favorite. That’s a lie, though: when we look back, there are always posts that stand out. Whether it’s because of their real-world impact, important insights, important topics, or use of the phrase “Underwear Time,” we each have our favorites out of our work for the year. Each of our writers chose theirs along with some honorable mentions, and explained what made them love that post just a little more than the others. [More]

From Cash Registers To Escalators To Shopping Carts: 11 Important Firsts In Bricks-And-Mortar Retail History

From Cash Registers To Escalators To Shopping Carts: 11 Important Firsts In Bricks-And-Mortar Retail History

These days you can shop from the comfort your couch in your soft pants, ordering up a flat of cat food, paper towels, and a smartphone with one click. So it’s easy to forget that once upon a time shopping at retail stores wasn’t a necessary evil, but an “experience” that many of us actually enjoyed. [More]

Domino’s Japan

Sorry, Rudolph Fans: Domino’s Giving Up Reindeer Pizza Delivery Dream

We know you might have been excited to hear that Domino’s was attempting to deliver pizzas in Japan with reindeer. Alas, the chain has shattered that vision, announcing that it’s giving up on that dream in favor of more traditional delivery vehicles. [More]

Study: Students “Easily Duped” By Fake News, Sponsored Content

Jason Cook

You might assume that a child raised on online content may be better positioned to tell when news and information is coming from legitimate sources and when that source is a fake or an ad. However, the results of a new study appear to indicate that this always-connected generation is no better equipped to sort fact from fiction online. [More]

C x 2

The Consumerist Guide To Your 2016 Ballot Initiatives

We’re almost there: at long last, after one of the frankly just-plain weirdest years of news most of us can remember, Election Day is finally drawing nigh nationwide. And while the candidates at the top of the ticket have definitely captured most of the metaphorical air in the national room, there’s far more than just that at stake this year for most voters.

In addition to selecting candidates for dozens of federal, state, and local offices, voters have a wide array of state and local ballot initiatives to choose from this year. Many of those directly address major consumer issues of many kinds. So we’re helping you break those down, with a state-by-state guide. [More]

Why AT&T Is Buying Time Warner, And Why So Many People Aren’t Happy About It

Why AT&T Is Buying Time Warner, And Why So Many People Aren’t Happy About It

The time from new rumor to signed deal was only about two days, and yet here we are: AT&T is putting the moves on Time Warner, planning to bring the content powerhouse under its roof. This proposal will now, of course, have to grind its way through the gears of government approval. But while this proposal is a giant deal for two giant companies, the name that’s likely to come up more than any other in all the comments back-and-forth is neither Time Warner nor AT&T, but rather a competitor: Comcast. [More]

How Much Control Do You Actually Have Over Your Private Data?

Library of Congress

“Privacy” is the buzz of our era, but… what even is privacy? Different consumers, businesses, and regulators each have their own definitions and perspectives on the issue, while the law, too, is always evolving. [More]

Facebook

Facebook Fires Humans, Hires Robots To Tell You What’s Hot Today

If you’ve ever looked at the Trending Topics in the top right of your Facebook newsfeed, just to see chatter about some video game character right next to news about a massive natural disaster, you’ve probably thought, “who on earth is deciding what shows up here?” Well, now it’s what, not a who, and it… might still need some refining.

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fromagination

Of Course People In Wisconsin Are Getting Wedding Cakes Made Entirely Out Of Cheese

Usually, the topic of wedding trends makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a wire hanger dipped in hot tar, but when you introduce cheese into the picture, well, that’s another matter entirely. [More]

7 “Health” Products From The Past That Would Never Make It Onto Shelves Today

7 “Health” Products From The Past That Would Never Make It Onto Shelves Today

If someone walked up to you today and suggested you drink radioactive water to reinvigorate your body, or offered you a cigarette to ease your asthma symptoms, you’d probably walk away quickly, in the hope that such craziness isn’t contagious. Yet not that long ago, these and other questionable “health” products were openly marketed to the public as great ideas. [More]

Bar-S Recalls 186 Tons Of Hot Dogs And Corn Dogs For Possible Listeria Contamination

Bar-S Recalls 186 Tons Of Hot Dogs And Corn Dogs For Possible Listeria Contamination

Time to check the box of hot dogs or corn dogs before your next cookout: if it comes from the brand Bar-S, you’ll have to get some new wieners from the store and either bring the Bar-S ones back to the store where they were purchased, or call the company for a refund. The hot dogs may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a nasty foodborne pathogen. [More]

ConAgra Expands P.F. Chang’s Recall To Include 6 Additional Frozen Meals

ConAgra Expands P.F. Chang’s Recall To Include 6 Additional Frozen Meals

After a long day, it can be nice to come home and grab a frozen meal from the fridge for a quick and easy dinner. If you’ve been stocking up on P.F. Chang’s frozen meals, you might want to double-check they aren’t included in a recently expanded recall of more than 195,000 pounds of frozen dinner product that may contain metal fragments.  [More]

photographynatalia

FCC, Congress Go At It About Pretty Much Everything Once Again

The more the FCC actually tries to create or change regulations around communications companies, the more often chairman Tom Wheeler and the other four commissioners find themselves ordered to Capitol Hill for some kind of hearing. And so today in the continuing series, “The FCC And A Congressional Committee Argue With Each Other,” we learned more about privacy, set-top boxes, and zero-rating.

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What Do You Do When All Your Instagram Photos Disappear?

What Do You Do When All Your Instagram Photos Disappear?

From that time the cat wouldn’t stop attacking its reflection in the mirror, to the gargantuan bacon cheeseburger you ate last night, Instagram users post all kinds of memories on the photo-sharing site. So when Consumerist reader Dylan was suddenly faced with losing all his pictures, he was understandably upset. [More]

John Kittelsrud

Man Gets Entire Plane To Himself After Fellow Travelers Catch Other Flights

It’s not every day that the average traveler has an entire row of seats to take over, much less an entire plane. But one Delta passenger flying home this week got to experience the sweet sensation of being the only person on his flight when his fellow travelers opted to take other flights. [More]

8 Kinds Of Human Food Your Dog Should Never Eat

mytoenailcameoff

Now that the weather is heating up and you’re ready to head outdoors for a cookout or dine al fresco at sidewalk cafe, you might want to bring your canine companion with you. But although it might be tempting to let Rover snap up any errant scraps you drop or feed Fido your leftover barbecue, you should make sure your pet stays away from some very common kinds of people food. [More]