More than a dozen states have laws that either prohibit counties and cities from operating their own broadband internet networks, selling service directly to consumers, or expanding their service behind a prescribed footprint. In 2015, the FCC voted to preempt two of these laws — in Tennessee and North Carolina — but this morning a federal appeals court says the FCC lacks the legal authority to do so. [More]
No cultural phenomenon would be a complete success without its own line of merchandise attached to it, and it makes sense: fans of popular TV shows, comic books, and movies will often seek out products that tie-in with those franchises, providing a great way for a lot of people to make a bunch of money. But when it comes to some infamous product tie-ins, we’ve got to wonder if it all that effort was worth it. [More]
Is a selfie stick convenient? Sure, it works great for snapping self-portraits and means you don’t have to ask strangers to take your picture. But it sure as heck isn’t a good thing to use on a roller coaster while it’s in motion. Yeah, we’re looking at you, person who whipped out one of the gadgets on a ride at Disneyland. [More]
Back in January, at the dawn of the year, we gazed into our not-quite-crystal ball and took a look at some pieces of pending legislation that could help consumers this year. Now, in July, we’re at the halfway point of the year, and so it’s a good time to take a look at those bills and see how the wheels of government have turned in 2014.
We mentioned last week that the Los Angeles Unified School District somehow thought it could hand out hobbled iPads to thousands of students without any of these kids figuring out a way to use the device as something other than a really expensive, incredibly fragile textbook. But now that it’s realizing that the temptation to use iPads the way they are intended (and marketed) can be too great for some students, the school district is taking them back. [More]
Ever wonder why stores are so strict about receipt-checking and returns? It’s not simply because they hate consumers — they might, but it’s not the sole reason — it’s because there are people out there like the South Carolina man accused of using forged receipts and counterfeit goods to steal at least $624,000 from Walmart over the last few years. [More]
It’s happened over and over again, and retailers never learn their lesson. A big-box store e-mails a coupon to their customers, then freaks out and backpedals when customers actually show up at the cash register and try to use it, withdrawing the coupon and accusing customers of trying to scam the store. This time, the retailer was Best Buy, which offered a coupon for $50 off a purchase of $100 or more as long as the customer used a Mastercard. The coupon excluded most of the items you’d expect it to exclude: prepaid cell phones, iPods, certain brands of TVs and cameras. One very key thing that it didn’t exclude: gift cards. [More]
You’re several thousand feet above the ground, squeezed into an uncomfortable seat and sitting between people who reek of cheap aftershave and airport concession nachos. And though everyone else on the plane is now enjoying — or at least eating — their in-flight meals, you just want to relax, so you hit the button on the armrest and recline your seat back a bit. Little do you know that these actions are about to ruin everyone’s day.
Earlier this month, a man in Michigan attained minor Internet folk hero status when he sued his local movie theater for charging sky-high prices at the concession stand while refusing to let customers bring in their own grub. But now one theater owner has tried to explain just why he and others charge the so much.