Yesterday, Uber announced that it is now offering rides in self-driving vehicles for users in San Francisco — an announcement that apparently came as a surprise to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which has advised the ridesharing service that it is breaking the law by operating this autonomous cars without DMV approval. [More]
Yesterday, automotive tech company Mobileye claimed that it stopped providing parts for Tesla’s Autopilot assisted-driving system over concerns the carmaker was “pushing the envelope in terms of safety.” Now Tesla is firing back, saying the breakup occurred because Mobileye was unhappy to learn that Tesla planned to take over manufacturing of some Autopilot components. [More]
The Department of Education has denied non-profit status to a chain of for-profit career colleges, accusing the schools’ operators of trying to avoid accountability.
We closed out 2015 with the health insurance market poised to get a lot smaller, as Anthem proposed to by Cigna and Aetna said it would buy Humana. If both mergers go through, the number of large nationwide health insurance carriers would drop to just three… a big challenge in a U.S. that’s seen the market for health insurance expand since the Affordable Care Act went into effect. And if reports are true, the Justice Department may feel that’s just too much contraction.
The highest court in New Jersey has ruled that a lawsuit filed by former students against for-profit educator Sanford Brown Institute can move forward, even though the school’s enrollment agreement has an arbitration clause that takes away students’ right to file such lawsuits. [More]
When a thief steals a car it can take owners days, week or even years to retrieve their property. Apparently that’s not the case when your vehicle happens to be a Tesla Model S: a Canadian couple was able to help authorities track their stolen car in real-time with the help of the Tesla mobile app. [More]
Apple has come out against a recent report that had claimed the company was testing a mobile virtual network operator, a cellular service that would replace traditional phone carriers for iPhone users in the U.S. and Europe.
For those of you hoping to get your hands on some sweet Twinkies stock in light of recent reports that the owners of Hostess Brands would be putting shares of the company up for sale in an initial public offering, stop drooling. The CEO and co-owner of the company says he and his fellow owner won’t be selling the company they bought just two years ago anytime soon.
After more than a week of cruising the streets of Seattle, Amazon’s Treasure Truck was supposed to start handing out goods on Saturday. But that didn’t happen, as the company announced in the early hours of the weekend that it would postpone its big debut. [More]
Streaming video service Aereo’s last-ditch bid to stay in business hit another wall this week, as the U.S. Copyright Office has denied their request to be licensed in the same way as a cable company — at least, for the time being.
We commend Safeway for making it easier for customers with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity to find products that they can eat on the store shelves. However, it’s probably not such a good idea to just go around printing any old shelf tags on the “Gluten Free” paper once you run out of other paper. [More]
A quick update to the earlier story about the “Dumb Starbucks” store that opened up in L.A. over the weekend with operators claiming they don’t need permission to use the coffee chain’s name because the addition of “dumb” makes it a parody and therefore covered by the doctrine of fair use. Starbucks disagrees. [More]
Remember last month, when a glitch in United Airlines’ booking system allowed people to score cheap (and sometimes free) tickets? Well, it’s happened again. [More]
“Give me a greasy wax paper packet of french fries and a beef patty slapped between two buns or give me death,” a wise consumer once said. But now that’s changed to “Give me something maybe in a wrap form, with a side salad instead of fries and a gourd-flavored spice latte.” The second order takes a lot longer to make, causing the drive-thru lanes at fast food joints to become clogged and slow. [More]
AT&T, where customer loyalty means nothing, has decided that wireless subscribers no longer deserve the 20-month upgrade period they’ve been expecting, and instead will have to wait out the full two years of their contracts before they can get a newer device at a discount. [More]
Consider the following: 1-in-10 insurance claims are processed incorrectly; debt collectors are using account information that may be incomplete, inaccurate and out-of-date; once reported to a credit bureau, medical debt — whether real or erroneous — can do severe damage to your credit score. Perhaps it couldn’t hurt to give consumers a chance to challenge or resolve medical debts before collectors report them to the credit bureaus? [More]
Lest you think that the Consumerist batcave is somehow immune from cold-calling scammers, here’s a little story about the utter failure of a scammer who just attempted to defraud me out of a “processing fee,” in order to claim my Mega Millions winnings.