unintended consequences

Mike Matney

Report: Monsanto Skipped Important Testing On Weed Killer That’s Now Killing Crops

There’s a problem in farm country this year: Acres of crops are unexpectedly withering away, but it’s not due to drought or natural blight. Instead, the crisis seems to be related to a new herbicide from Monsanto. Users of the recently released plant-killer didn’t realize it would spread beyond their fields, because — according to a new report — Monsanto skipped over tests that would have highlighted this problem. [More]

Myszka

New Coca-Cola CEO Blames Online Shopping For Sales Decline

When you shop online, you’re skipping an important part of the retail experience. No, not waiting in line or dodging cosmetics kiosk workers. You also don’t take the kind of in-mall break that involves soft drinks or a bottle of water or iced tea, and that’s a problem for Coca-Cola. [More]

Daniel Oines

Demise Of hhgregg Means You’ll Buy Your Next Fridge From Best Buy

The bankruptcy and liquidation of hhgregg is terrible for the retailer’s employees and retail landlords, but someone may benefit from the retailer’s downfall. Best Buy has a national presence and a large overlap with what hhgregg sells, and is in a position to pick up some of the retailer’s former customers the next time that they need a fridge or a computer. [More]

Phillip Pessar

Late Tax Refunds Could Mean Fewer People Watching Super Bowl On New TVs

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced that millions of tax refunds may be delayed this year as the agency tries to combat fraud. Some experts say this delay could have an unintended consequence: fewer new TVs tuned in to this Sunday’s Super Bowl. [More]

Eduardo Woo

Walmart Employees On Break Play Pokémon Go Outside Of Store, Catch Burglar Instead

You know how it goes: you’re hanging out with your co-workers on a break, and while playing a game on your phone to pass the time, you foil a burglar who was trying to rip off your employer. That’s what police say happened at an Illinois Walmart, where employees were playing Pokémon Go during a break, and caught a thief instead of a mini-monster. [More]

Organization Of Walmart Employees Says That More Workers Are Interested After Store Closings

Organization Of Walmart Employees Says That More Workers Are Interested After Store Closings

The closure of 154 Walmart stores earlier this year wasn’t good news for anyone, except for perhaps some small-town storeowners and well organized resellers. One group that’s really benefiting, even though they’d probably rather not, is a splinter group of what used to be known as OUR Walmart, a group that is not a union, but works to share information between employees and organizes protests and strikes. As store closings continued, they noticed their Internet traffic is up. [More]

Pitfalls Of Big Data: Test Prep Company Charges By Geography, Ends Up Charging More By Race

Pitfalls Of Big Data: Test Prep Company Charges By Geography, Ends Up Charging More By Race

Many teenagers’ parents want to give their kids every possible advantage when it comes to the SATs. They pony up a few thousand dollars and buy Junior a test-prep course. It’s expensive, but at least it’s the same kind of expensive for everyone, right? Well, no, it’s not. And worst of all: there sure is an awfully high correlation between the race of the family doing the buying and the price that they get charged.

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Busch Gardens Guests Find Severed Head Halloween Displays A Little Too Timely

Busch Gardens Guests Find Severed Head Halloween Displays A Little Too Timely

The terrorist group ISIS (or ISIL) is in the headlines on a daily basis, and the group uses films and displays of their captives’ and opponents’ heads and bodies as a potent weapon. How potent? Complaints from guests led the theme park Busch Gardens to change a Halloween display that features (fake, rubber) severed heads. [More]

As Miami Homes Enter Foreclosure, Cats Move In

As Miami Homes Enter Foreclosure, Cats Move In

In Miami-Dade County, hit particularly hard by the housing boom, about one in ten dwellngs are in foreclosure. Don’t worry, though. They’re not empty. Homeless families have moved in. To be precise, colonies of feral cats. Because nothing makes a bank-owned property more appealing than the stench of cat urine.

[More]

Stores Worried About Employees Using Gift Cards To Steal

Stores Worried About Employees Using Gift Cards To Steal

Gift cards may encourage spending, but they also make it easy for employees to steal, writes the New York Times.

Among the variations of such crimes, cashiers often do fake refunds of merchandise and then, with the amount refunded, use their registers to electronically fill gift cards, which they take. Or sometimes when shoppers buy gift cards, cashiers give them blank cards and then divert the shoppers’ money onto cards for themselves.

New Credit Card Rules Will Force Banks To Reduce Credit Lines, Close Accounts, Supposedly

New Credit Card Rules Will Force Banks To Reduce Credit Lines, Close Accounts, Supposedly

Here’s another reason to wean yourself off of credit cards, and build up a robust emergency fund, in 2009: the credit card party is about to really dry up, says one analyst.

Health Record Privacy Law Is Messing Up Research

Health Record Privacy Law Is Messing Up Research

Just days after a deputy director of national intelligence told Americans that we need to rethink our concepts of privacy, comes news that it may, in fact, be harming us in the long run. In a recent national survey, nearly 70% of research scientists said the 2003 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is “impeding scientific research, stalling clinical studies and halting others altogether.”