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FAA Considers Banning Samsung Galaxy Note 7; Another User Reports Explosion

Samsung still hasn’t officially recalled the Galaxy Note 7, its new smartphone that has a rare but very problematic issue with exploding batteries. While the company has admitted that the phones are defective and has an exchange program in place, it’s not an official recall through the Consumer Products Safety Commission. That’s a problem for the Federal Aviation Administration, since the phone would automatically be banned from planes if it had been recalled. It hasn’t, so it’s not. [More]

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Australian Regulator Sues Volkswagen Over Diesel Cheating

After many months of bad press, recalls, and legal woes, Volkswagen earlier this year reached a settlement with U.S. regulators over its emissions-cheating dirty diesel “defeat devices.” But just because the case is mostly closed (at least on paper) here in the states doesn’t mean Volkswagen’s out of legal hot water yet. There are, after all, more than 190 other nations in the world, and some of them are ticked off too.

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Olympic Athletes Complain Of Blocked Toilets, Exposed Wiring In Rio Dorms

Olympic Athletes Complain Of Blocked Toilets, Exposed Wiring In Rio Dorms

Two years ago, athletes and reporters arriving in Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games were greeted with less-than-finished room accommodations that led at least one bobsled team to have a very rough weekend. Fast forward to 2016, as Olympic athletes descend on Rio and it seems like history may be repeating itself — leaky faucets, exposed wiring, and all.  [More]

Could Using The “World’s Ugliest” Color Stop People From Smoking?

Could Using The “World’s Ugliest” Color Stop People From Smoking?

Opaque Couché, described as looking like “death,” “filth,” and “lung tar,” is widely considered the world’s ugliest color. With a reputation like that you wouldn’t expect the hue to be used much, but it is — as a way to deter consumers from purchasing cigarettes in some areas of the world. [More]

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Park Ranger Drives 12 Hours To Remove Fake McDonald’s “Opening Soon” Sign From Middle Of Australian Desert

Like some kind of fast food mirage rising from the middle of an Australian desert, a McDonald’s sign sat towering over the emptiness, beckoning travelers with the promise implied in its golden arches. Upon closer inspection, the sign noted that a restaurant would be “opening soon.” But almost a month after pranksters installed the sign 124 miles from the edge of the desert, the South Australian government says it sent a park ranger on a 12-hour trip to take it down.

[More]

They stopped smiling when they learned about this recall. (Barbara Wells)

Groupon Australia Sold Boxes Of Counterfeit Durex Condoms

Overall, Groupon’s transition from a company that sells discount vouchers to a company that sells discount merchandise has gone pretty well. Yet some news from Australia caught our attention when we learned that Groupon in that country sold counterfeit condoms on their website. Now the Australian government is alerting consumers who purchased those condoms that they should probably not use them. [More]

Netflix Bases International Pricing On Country’s Piracy Level

Netflix Bases International Pricing On Country’s Piracy Level

Netflix has rapidly expanded beyond the borders of the U.S. and now has 60 million subscribers worldwide. However the price of Netflix service varies from country to country, and the company says this is due in no small part to local piracy levels. [More]

Netflix Changes Tune About Seeking Data Cap Exemptions For Service

Netflix Changes Tune About Seeking Data Cap Exemptions For Service

In recent years, Netflix has been a vocal proponent of net neutrality and an outspoken critic of ISP business models that would allow certain deep-pocketed companies to gain a competitive edge over smaller players in the streaming video market. Thus the company was heavily criticized in March when it made deals with Australian ISPs that would exempt Netflix from users’ monthly data caps. This morning, the company announced that it regrets this decision and will no longer seek exemptions going forward. [More]

Is Netflix Trying To Have Its Net Neutrality Cake And Eat It Too?

Is Netflix Trying To Have Its Net Neutrality Cake And Eat It Too?

Last week’s vote by the FCC to approve new net neutrality rules was seen as a big win for streaming services like Netflix, as it prevents ISPs from throttling or blocking access to online content and from prioritizing any data. And indeed, Netflix has been one of the more vocal corporate cheerleaders for neutrality. But that apparently hasn’t stopped the company from making deals that calls into question Netflix’s actual stance on the issue. [More]

Banks Blame Each Other For Erroneous $10 Million Account Balance

Banks Blame Each Other For Erroneous $10 Million Account Balance

When a woman in Australia checked her bank account balance earlier this week, she was surprised to see that she had $10 million available in her account. (That’s worth about $7.8 million US dollars, if you’re wondering.) She wondered whether it was an error or a prank, so she called her bank instead of running off on an international spending spree. The bank told her that it was no error: she was an unwitting millionaire. [More]

Philip Morris Does Horrible Job Of Defending Itself After John Oliver Mocking

Philip Morris Does Horrible Job Of Defending Itself After John Oliver Mocking

On Sunday night, John Oliver called out the tobacco industry, and particularly Philip Morris, for the practice of threatening small and poor countries with complicated, expensive international trade lawsuits if they try to strictly regulate cigarette marketing. But while Big Tobacco has the coffers to pay for costly legal battles, it does a really poor job of trying to defend its actions. [More]

Meet The New Marlboro Spokesman: Jeff, The Diseased Lung In A Cowboy Hat

Meet The New Marlboro Spokesman: Jeff, The Diseased Lung In A Cowboy Hat

On Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver took an in-depth look at how the tobacco industry uses expensive lawsuits and byzantine international trade agreements to keep countries from pushing for stronger regulation on cigarettes. But rather than just call Big Tobacco out for its bad behavior, Oliver also offered a helpful solution that might make all sides happy. [More]

The Jamala Wildlife Lodge in Australia lets guests stay in adjoining rooms with zoo animals.

Australian Hotel Lets Guests Live With Zoo Animals For The Night… Kind Of

Staying in a hotel can be a pretty mundane event: You go to the pool, you watch TV, maybe even order room service. A new hotel in Australia is turning those less-than-exciting trips on their heads by offering guests a chance to lodge with some wild animals. [More]

Smart TV Users Accuse Samsung Of Inserting Pepsi Ads In Their Videos

Smart TV Users Accuse Samsung Of Inserting Pepsi Ads In Their Videos

If you own a smart TV, you probably purchased it thinking about all of the ways that you can use it to watch streaming services and your own library of video files. Samsung sees something different, though: they see a great big Internet-connected screen which they can use to splash ads on. It began three years ago with ads on the TV’s home screen, and now users are accusing the company of inserting advertisements where they don’t belong. [More]

Thief’s Attempt To Blast ATM Open Literally Backfires

Thief’s Attempt To Blast ATM Open Literally Backfires

Recently here at Consumerist, we’ve reviewed some very unsuccessful ways to open up ATMs and get at the money inside. Smashing the machine with a forklift, for example, is not a useful method. Neither is pouring acid on it. Now we have a new addition to the list: you also cannot gain access to money inside a cash machine with an explosive. [More]

(photo via The Corner by McCafe's Facebook page)

McDonald’s Keeps Its Name Off Its New Healthier-Food Eatery

The McDonald’s brand — with its distinctive color scheme, yellow arches, and the use of “Mc” before just about anything it offers — is one of the world’s most well-known. Even people who’ve never had a Big Mac or asked which part of the chicken a McNugget comes from are still aware of the company and its food. Given the power of that brand, you’d expect the company to slap the McDonald’s name on every new venture, but it’s curiously absent from a recently launched eatery from the company. [More]

Cafe Banned From Cooking Bacon Because Not Everyone Loves The Smell

(Danny Ngan)

Many people enjoy the smoky, porky sent of bacon wafting out a kitchen in the morning. But it might not be the scent you want surrounding you while shopping for wedding dresses, which is why one cafe in Australia isn’t allowed to cook the stuff anymore. [More]

Would You Pay 8 Bucks For A Burger At McDonald’s?

Would You Pay 8 Bucks For A Burger At McDonald’s?

Consumers are losing interest in fast food, instead preferring the slightly classier fare served at establishments like Five Guys or Smashburger. In Australia, McDonald’s is experimenting with an interesting idea: fancier burgers with ingredients that customers choose themselves, using a magical touchscreen burger-ordering machine. People in Australia like it, but would it work back here in the burger chain’s home country? [More]