Earlier this week, Microsoft finally got around to showing off Xbox One, the console some gamers have been waiting for since the Xbox 360 came out eight years ago. The company made sure to highlight all the cool bells and whistles of the upcoming device, but also skipped over a number of issues that are already giving some folks reason for concern.
1. THE USED GAME FEE?
As skeptics predicted when Worst Company In America Electronic Arts seemed to be doing something pro-consumer by getting rid of its annoying Online Pass program that required buyers of pre-owned games to pay extra for access to online play, it was really just because Microsoft is tackling the used game issue at the console level.
On the Xbox 360 users have the option of putting disc-based games on a hard drive, but still require the disk in order to play. This will change with the Xbox One, where games will be automatically installed on the hard drive and you don’t need to put the disk in whenever you want to play that game.
This isn’t a problem for people playing new games. But there is obviously some sort of block on the game software that prevents the user from just copying a game onto the hard drive then giving the disk to all her friends.
On this topic, Microsoft is a bit cagey, but it did tell Wired’s Chris Kohler that when a disc is used with a second account, the user will be given the option to pay a fee to install the game from his hard drive.
But what about users who just want to take a game over to a friend’s house? Or what about pre-owned games — can the buyer simply run the game from the disc without paying a fee? All Microsoft will say at this point is that it does have a plan and details are forthcoming.
The company has since backtracked, telling Polygon the fee idea is just one of many possible scenarios considered in its plan for handling pre-owned games.
2. NO BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY
Many Xbox 360 owners have at least a handful of games in their collections. Even if it’s only five or six games, that means you’ve invested upwards of $300 on just those titles. For people with dozens of games, the investment could be in the thousands of dollars. Meanwhile, those games are being played on consoles that could be nearly a decade old.
So wouldn’t it be awesome if you could take those games and play them on a brand new Xbox One? Alas, Microsoft says the new console will not be backwards compatible:
We designed Xbox One to play an entirely new generation of games—games that are architected to take full advantage of state-of-the-art processors and the infinite power of the cloud. We care very much about the investment you have made in Xbox 360 and will continue to support it with a pipeline of new games and new apps well into the future.
I don’t think those people with aging 360s are concerned about their being new games for the console so much as they care about having to run two consoles if they want to also use the Xbox One — and having to buy a brand-new Xbox 360 if their old ones conk out.
3. ALWAYS CONNECTED?
Microsoft has said that the Xbox One doesn’t require a constant connection to the Internet in order to use the console. But you can’t just take this up to your remote, off-the-grid cabin in the woods and play on your generator-powered 52″ TV, as the Xbox One does require an Internet connection to be set up and for periodic check-ins.
A VP for Microsoft tells Kotaku that he believes it’s once every 24 hours, but that seems to be an up-in-the-air question at this point.
4. ALWAYS KINECT-ED
While many Xbox 360 consoles are being sold in a bundle with the Kinect, you don’t have to buy one, and you certainly don’t have to use it. But all Xbox One consoles will ship with the Kinect, and it appears to be thoroughly integrated into the system so it may be a required part of the installation.
The fact is that some people just don’t like the idea of an Internet-connected camera and microphone being dead-center in their living room. The user can get over that concern by turning the Xbox One off when it’s not in use for gaming, but you’d be losing out on many of the console’s features — the ability to control your cable box, go online, multitask.
You can always fashion a lens cap out of electrical tape.
Always dress for the task at hand. If you’re going on a long hike, wear layers. Going to the beach? Put on some sunscreen. Suspicious clouds in the sky? Pack an umbrella. And if you’re going shoplifting, for gosh sakes, make sure your clothes fit properly. And put on some underpants.
A New Zealand woman did not heed either of these key pieces of advice, and it led to her capture and humiliation. Well, maybe she should have tried not shoplifting first. Employees at the boutique in Takapuna, New Zealand recognized the suspect from previous visits. The sole employee working at the time says that the shopper claimed to have something on hold, and ran off with a pricey bag as the clerk headed for the back of the store to get the alleged hold items.
“Everyone was laughing at her because her pants had fallen down and she wasn’t wearing any knickers,” the clerk told reporters. Gosh, isn’t that every criminal’s nightmare?
Thanks to innovations like 3D and IMAX (or IMAX-ish), going to see a movie in theaters is an experience that a home theater really can’t match, even if a home theater has the benefit of comfier seats and no obnoxious strangers. The bosses of Regal Cinemas, one of the chains that have consolidated Americans’ away-from-home movie experience, understand this. So they’re going to raise ticket prices some more.
Talking to investors at the Barclays Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference, Regal execs explained that ticket prices are going up 3-4% for regular old two-dimensional, regular-screen movies. That isn’t where the real money is coming from in the theater biz today, though. Regal’s own RPX ginormous screens let them add on a $5 upcharge from customers. 3D movies on regular-size screens increase prices by $3.50, and the chain can charge $6.50 more for admission to an IMAX film.
“[A]s long as we continue to provide that great, affordable out-of-home experience…people are going to continue to go to the movies,” CEO Amy Miles said at the conference. Yes, they’ll keep going, but how often will Americans be willing to see first-run movies in theaters as prices rise?Take Our Poll
Cracking open a can of peaches and slurping down the syrupy, sticky sweet juice before eating the peaches inside always made me feel like I was getting away with something. How could something so tasty also be good for you? Surely this canned nectar of the gods isn’t as healthy as biting into a juicy fresh peach. But a new study says actually, canned peaches are just as nutritious as the fresh ones.
Not only do peaches that come from a can and were put there by a man in a factory downtown (a process the Presidents of The United States Of America so aptly captured in song) come loaded with as many nutrients as their fresh counterparts, a study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture says sometimes the canned kind are even better for you.
NPR looks into the study and points out the finding that there’s almost four times as much vitamin C in canned peaches than fresh, and a lot more folate as well. Levels of vitamin E were comparable in both kinds.
But how can this be? One food scientist NPR spoke to says that the “canning process opens the cell walls of the fruit’s flesh, and it makes nutrients such as vitamin A more readily available to our body.”
There’s a similar effect in foods like tomato sauce, which has higher levels of lycopene — a potential cancer-prevention agent — than fresh tomatoes.
It’s worth noting that the California cling peach industry, which is the kind of peach in the canned products, partially funded the study. To that point, the lead author of the research says the peach growers had no say in how the tests were carried out.
“The experimental design was our own,” he explained, adding that the researchers and the industry agreed that no matter what the results were, researchers would publish what they found.
We did a little research on our own about the process and came up with just this:
It has to feel completely awful to get a letter from the government saying it’s holding onto your refund check. But even worse, as one couple found out, is the feeling of that happening twice. And then there’s this doozy: Tax officials claim the refunds were put on hold because the state of Mississippi twice has said the husband owed back child support payments. Problem is, the couple has never lived in Mississippi and the man hasn’t father a child there either. Not once, and definitely not twice.
According to a report in USA Today, the couple lives in New Mexico, and got a letter last week from the U.S. Department of Treasury stating that their $4,000 was in limbo over Mississippi’s claims. That was a surprise, to be sure, but not as much as it would be to anyone else, as this happened before.
“We have been the victims for a second time of our tax returns from the federal government being garnished over false child support claims,” the wife says.
The couple says the first time their refund was garnished was more than 10 years ago. They thought that’d been all cleared up when the man explained that his identity had been stolen as a child, and someone had been using his Social Security number.
They thought that telling that to the state Department of Human Services would clear everything up. Surprise! It didn’t.
After this latest muck-up, the couple has written a letter to state officials outlining the exhaustive efforts they’ve undertaken to clear up the situation, to no avail.
“We have called over six numbers trying to get to the bottom of this, and all we have received are apologies, a case number and circulation back to the child support call center. As honest, hardworking citizens of the United States and as New Mexicans, this is atrocious and needs to be settled immediately.”
A Department of Human Services spokeswoman declined to comment on a specific case, but said that if there is an error the money received by the state will go back to the individual.
Miss. twice nabs N.M. couple’s tax refund [USA Today]
Apparently, some scammy jerks have been placing illegal robocalls to senior citizens to let them know they’ve been approved to receive medical-alert devices “at no charge.”
According to New York state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman (the T stands for “tough,” or maybe Thomas or Todd… we have no idea), the calls — coming from a business calling itself Senior Medical Alert or Senior Medical Advisors — use scare tactics, warning consumers of a “significant rise in the number of senior citizens suffering death and serious life-threatening injuries from a delay in response times for medical emergencies, fires, burglaries or even a simple fall.”
The goal is to get people to hand over their billing information so they can be charged $35/month for “monitoring services.”
Some say the scammers are making follow-up calls that are more aggressive than the original. We’re guessing they figure that they’ve already broken any number of laws already, so what’s the harm in a few more?
The AG’s office says these calls appear to be coming from within the state of New York, more precisely from the Syracuse or Utica area. During an undercover call by an investigator, the scammers gave a fake Orlando address as the location of their company’s headquarters. They also claimed to be affiliated with insurance biggie United Health, though we’re pretty sure that’s a big fat lie too.
“Unfortunately, the elderly are disproportionately targeted by scam artists and are often the victims of fraud and abuse,” said Schneiderman. “To prevent senior citizens from becoming victimized, we must educate them and their loved ones with information they can use to protect themselves.”
As always, some things to remember to avoid being scammed over the phone:
· Never give out billing or other personal information over the phone, especially if you receive an unsolicited telephone call from a stranger
· Never cash a check from an unknown source, especially if you are being asked to wire a portion of the proceeds to a stranger
· Never wire money to someone you don’t know who contacts you; it’s the same as handing over cash
You can — and should — file a complaint with the FTC and your state’s Attorney General when you come across a scam, whether you’ve been a victim or not.
Here is a link to the FTC’s complaint assistant, and here is a directory of contact information for each state’s Attorney General.
Back in 2010, before Consumerist’s Raiders of the Lost Walmart had a name and a mission, we shared a fascinating bit of retail archaeology: a copy of the multiplayer game Tabula Rasa, released in 2007 and shut down in 2009. We thought it was bad when a reader spotted a copy on the shelf in 2010, but a Joystiq blogger visited Walmart and found a copy just a few days ago.
An old game on the shelves at too high a price is funny; an obsolete game still on the shelves with no warning to consumers is unconscionable. Do you know what’s even worse? That’s full price. At least the store we featured three years ago had knocked four bucks off the price.
Unfamiliar with retail archaeology, the discoverer of this ancient multiplayer game asked Joystiq readers: what should a person do when they find something like this on store shelves? Commenters reported having notified store staff, but with no tangible results.
Each time I tell them “hey this game is no longer avialable to play. And its services discontinued. Meaning your effectively selling a pretty disk thats completely useless.” Every singel time I come back those same boxes are sitting on the shelves…..
Indeed. Sometimes years later. The game does have some collectible value, but not much, and if you have an Internet connection to learn that it’s been offline since 2009, you have the ability to order collectible discontinued games at much, much lower prices.
The Daily Grind: How do you handle a closed MMO still on the shelf? [Joystiq] (Thanks, Kevin!)Take Our Poll
The good news is that eight of the 12 tested products scored Very Good ratings when it came to protecting against UVA and UVB rays. Only one product — All Terrain AquaSport SPF 30 — scored a Fair rating in that category. This product also had the lowest overall score on the Consumer Reports list.
Three of the four top-scoring products in the test were store brands from large national chains. Target’s UP & UP Sport SPF 50 spray had the highest overall score, followed by Walmart’s Equate Ultra Protection Sunscreen SPF 50 lotion. At only $.47/oz., the Walmart lotion was also labeled a “Best Buy” by CR. The Target spray goes for about $1.16/oz.
Coppertone Water Babies 50 lotion was the only non-store brand to crack the top four, and at $1.38/oz. it’s not much more expensive than the others in its range of scores, like the Continuous Spray Sport SPF 50 from Walgreens which had the fourth-highest overall score and sells for around $1.33/oz.
Some of the higher-priced products in the survey, like Badger Unscented SPF 34 lotion ($5.52/oz.) and the aforementioned All Terrain AquaSport SPF 30 lotion ($4.33/oz.) di not do well on tests for protection against UVB rays, says Consumer Reports. The most expensive sunscreen in the test, California Baby SPF 30+ ($6.90/oz.) only received a “Good” rating on tests for protection against UVA rays and a “Poor” rating for staining fabrics.
Since CR could not possibly test every sunscreen there is, it recommends that when you go looking for protection this summer, you seek out a product that claims broad-spectrum protection, is water resistant, and has a stated SPF of at least 40.
For more on sunscreens, including how CR tested the products, go to ConsumerReports.org.
Despite the initial PR grab on McDonald’s part to get in touch with Charles Ramsey, the Cleveland man who was instrumental in saving three women who had been kidnapped after he noticed one of them while on his porch eating a Big Mac. While McD’s hasn’t followed up, the man’s hometown restaurants are instead issuing him the opportunity to dine on hamburgers free of charge for the rest of his life.
According to The Cleveland Plain Dealer, more than a dozen area restaurants are pledging to supply Ramsey with a burger anytime he drops in, in tribute to his willingness to stop eating and help one of the victims escape from the house she’d been held in with her daughter and two other women for years.
The restaurant where Ramsey works also created a special burger to honor his heroic deed.
“It’s an 8-ounce burger of Certified Angus Beef, with a secret sauce,” says the chef-co-owner Chris Hodgson.
That spurred other business owners, including one man who operates four of the restaurants that are participating in the tribute.
“We want to honor our local hero with local food,” the owner explained. “He stopped his meal midway through to help those women. We’re now making sure he has other opportunities to go out and fully enjoy his burger.”
To get his burgers for life, Ramsey will be given a single-edition “Chuck Card” that’s stamped in his honor, and can be used to get a free burger at any of the participating restaurants.
And while McDonald’s tweet about Ramsey seemed a bit inappropriate and somewhat like a bid to exploit the situation, local restaurants coming together to honor one of their own feels just about right. No good deed goes unburgered, like my mother always says.
Charles Ramsey, who helped free Cleveland kidnap victims, gets burgers for life [Cleveland Plain Dealer]
Electronics that are popular and have been on the market long enough to be out of warranty have vibrant industries of third-party repair shops, replacement parts, and online repair manuals. Yes, we’re thinking of iDevices when we say that. The problem with owning a newer device like the Microsoft Surface is that this kind of cottage industry hasn’t had the opportunity to grow yet. Warranty replacements are the norm and the only way to get things replaced.
That’s what has happened to reader MB, who is tech-savvy enough to want a tablet, but not savvy enough to sit around taking them apart for fun. Microsoft says that the device is liquid-damaged, and there’s nowhere else to turn and no one else to take it to for repair.
Purchased a Surface RT in December. [It] worked fine until March of this year. The problem is it won’t charge. If plugged in to [the] charger, the unit works fine for 15 minutes and then restarts. Called [the] tech line, he said [that the] battery was the problem and it can’t be replaced, so they would send me a new unit. Wow, was I happy!
Two weeks later my old Surface comes back with a generic letter that this unit is void of warranty because one of the following (abuse, fluid damage, physical damage or something else). I called [the] help line and she said they don’t get more specific.
Finally, after I complained enough and 5 minutes on hold she came back and said liquid damage was the cause. I asked if that was true, why does the unit work if plugged in to charger but won’t charge the battery. She said that happens all the time.
I can’t prove this because no one works on these and if I take it apart I am sure it will not work again.
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo playerIf you’re skittish about eating at the ballpark, this video of a sno-cone vendor allegedly using the toilet while his product sits next to him on the bathroom floor probably isn’t going to help.
According to Channel 2 in Houston, the incident occurred at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros [insert joke about how horrible the Astros are this year and wait for hate mail].
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” says the man who snapped this video on his phone. “This guy is taking a dump. There’s no doubt about it. What sane person could possibly think, yeah this is a good idea. I’ll just put the food that I’m about to sell on the floor.”
He tells Channel 2 that he complained to the stadium immediately, and the vendor was given the ol’ heave-ho.
“Well, right away, I just thought, ‘We gotta let this guy go. There is no doubt about it,’” said Reid Ryan, newly installed president of the Astros organization (and son of some guy Nolan Ryan, who apparently used to be in a lot of TV commercials or something).
In a statement to Chron.com, Ryan thanked the fan who snapped the video and alerted management. Meanwhile, ARAMARK, the company that actually runs the vending at Minute Maid Park (and lots of other stadiums), released the following comment:
“Food safety is extremely important to us. This vendor’s actions were a clear violation of our food safety practices and are not reflective of our standards. This was an isolated incident by a third-party subcontractor and we promptly dealt with the matter when it was brought to our attention.”
Abercrombie & Fitch’s top executive/Gary Busey doppelgänger Mike Jeffries lobbed a “Sorry (not sorry) you don’t like my comments about thin, cool people wearing our clothes” non-apology last week, and now the company is kinda sorta trying to take that mea culpa a bit further. Executives met with a group from the National Eating Disorder Association and members of America the Beautiful Teen Empowerment Series to discuss how it can be more diverse and said it regrets the offense it caused.
A&F released a statement timed to the meeting with the group, a sitdown that was instigated by an 18-year-old who started an online petition citing his own struggles with eating disorders.
The company says it’s ready to work on its message, without outlining any specific steps it’s going to take:
“We look forward to continuing this dialogue and taking concrete steps to demonstrate our commitment to anti-bullying in addition to our ongoing support of diversity and inclusion. We want to reiterate that we sincerely regret and apologize for any offense caused by comments we have made in the past which are contrary to these values.”
The teen who had delivered the over 68,000 signatures to A&F in Ohio told the New York Daily News that he’s pleased with A&F’s response to his petition.
“I’m happy to hear that Abercrombie took my passion and your voices to heart in this meeting and plans to take concrete steps to show their support for diversity and inclusion,” he said.
Executives again, refused to comment on whether or not the company will introduce larger XL and XXL sizes, which it definitely does not have to do, but would go a long way toward appeasing its growing group of critics. On that note, does anyone have any better recipes for humble pie? Because Abercrombie & Fitch just seems to be focusing on the half-baked method.
Dubbed “Operation Swill,” investigators in New Jersey raided establishments alleged to be deceiving consumers by putting less-expensive alcohol in bottles for top-shelf brands.
“The customer paid for the premium brand but was instead, unbeknownst to the customer, poured the non-premium brand,” said authorities in a statement.
Among the places caught in the sting were one Ruby Tuesday’s restaurant and one Applebee’s — and a whopping 13 TGI Fridays, accounting for nearly half of the raided establishments. According to the Newark Star-Ledger, all of the Fridays caught up in the raid are owned by the same New Jersey franchisee group.
The corporate office for the Texas-based chain is, of course, taking this matter very seriously.
“TGI Fridays was just made aware of this issue and is working closely with the franchisee and owner of the cited locations to review and investigate these serious allegations,” reads a statement from TGIF HQ. “We have one of the most extensive bar and beverage programs in the industry, which sets a very high standard in the quality and service of our beverages.”
A rep for Ruby Tuesday’s tells the Star-Ledger that the company is “still in the process of collecting more details, but we are cooperating fully.”
You can see the whole list of accused establishments — some of whom deny the charges — at NJ.com.
After a number of high-profile and embarrassing Twitter feed hackings, the tweeps over at Twitter realized that they need to join every other online service that has moderate importance in users’ lives and implement two-factor authentication already. If it’s good enough for our bank accounts and our Gmail, it’s good enough for our joke-delivery service, right?
Two-factor authentication is what you should have turned on for important things like…well, like your personal e-mail and your bank accounts, like I said in that last sentence. The idea is that you log in using a regular old password, and then a second piece of ID that proves you have access to something other than a regular old password. You might have to produce a code from a smartphone app, or a numeric code sent to your authenticated phone number or e-mail address.
Twitter has the advantage that it began as a phone-based service, which is where the 140-character limit originally came from
They produced a handy video showing users how to set up the extra security, if that’s what they want to do.
Of course, the service isn’t meant for regular old Twitter users like you or me with just a few dozen or a few hundred followers, some of whom may not even be spambots. It’s for high-profile accounts with lots and lots of followers like The Onion or the Associated Press. There’s a flaw inherent in this: accounts that belong to companies and to media outlets are usually shared. It’s sort of hard to set up mobile-based two-factor authentication for an account that a number of people share, but these colleagues probably don’t share a smartphone.
Twitter Introduces Two-Step Authentication [Mashable]
Yes, the people in Japan want fries with that — lots and lots and lots of fries, apparently, as McDonald’s is serving up its (reportedly) highest-calorie count item ever: A 1,142 calorie container of fries double the size of a regular large fries, dubbed The Mega Potato. What, not the McMega Potato or Mega McPotato?
According to Japan Today, the serving of three-quarters of a pound of fries is being marketed as “perfect for sharing,” and we should hope so as it clocks in at about half of what an average person should be consuming per day, calorie-wise.
The things is, while some U.S. media outlets are noting that Mickey D’s is “unveiling” this item, it’s actually a limited-edition option that’s simply returning to restaurants across the Pacific.
The nationwide release in Japan starts May 24, but Japan Today found a location that already had the new menu. It reports that just using an eyeball measurement, it looks to be about three times your standard hamburger. It’s only on the menu through June, so if you haven’t booked your ticket yet, now could be a good time to visit Japan.
I’m just having fun imagining New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg trying to keep this thing out of McDonald’s over here. That thing is probably his arch nemesis.
Mega Potato to go back on sale at McDonald’s Japan [Japan Today]
This story has apparently been brewing — yeah, I wrote it — since last fall. According to the folks at Vermont-based Magic Hat Brewing Company, a wholesaler in Kentucky alerted them to a new beer being sold in the area by a company called West Sixth Brewing Company. Magic Hat claims the wholesaler didn’t want to stock this beer he believed its logo resembled that of Magic Hat’s #9 beer.
Magic Hat also took issue with West Sixth’s Amber Ale logo, which uses a more orange tone. It believes that the use of orange confuses the matter further. Here is a side-by-side of the two cans for you to decide:
For what it’s worth, the West Sixth logo was chosen by Paste Magazine as one of the 15 best beer label designs in 2012.
“Our first step was to reach out to them. We hoped to handle it amicably,” says Magic Hat in a statement.
In a post on its site, West Sixth takes issue with the wholesaler anecdote:
“Unfortunately, that isn’t true at all. We have two distributors who distribute both us and Magic Hat without any sort of confusion. We’re sorry that this is what you were told. What actually happened between us and your distributor is this: After we had advanced negotiations to sign with your distributor they were told by another brand they carry that they should not distribute our beer.”
West Sixth co-founder Ben Self confirms to Consumerist that his company began receiving cease-and-desist letters from Magic Hat.
“We replied to all of them — the most recent in March,” Self says. “They have not replied to our letter from March. That was why we were surprised with the lawsuit!”
Yes, late last week, Magic Hat filed suit against West Sixth in a U.S. District Court in Lexington, KY.
“We had no desire to file a lawsuit against a fellow brewer,” said a rep for the plaintiff. “We thought we had made a lot of progress with West Sixth. They agreed in principle to modify their design. And now they’re going back on their word, and are attempting to tarnish our image instead.”
West Sixth maintains that it broke no promises and that Magic Hat simply stopped responding to its letters.
Both West Sixth and Magic Hat state that there was progress being made in this back-and-forth, what exactly was agreed-upon is still up for debate.
Magic Hat claims that four points of agreement were reached, and that West Sixth had consented to:
1. Remove the design element that mirrors Magic Hat’s #9 starburst/dingbat star packaging;
2. Use and promote the wording West Sixth Brewing in conjunction with the design;
3. Work in good faith to phase out and replace any existing materials that may contain the prior version of the encircled “6″ design;
4. Amend its current federal trademark application or re-file the application with the new design.
West Sixth says it was pretty much fine with all of these but #1. It claims that Magic Hat wanted West Sixth to agree to never using the numeral “6.”
“We just don’t think your trademark rights in the numeral ’9′ allow you to keep out any competitor who uses the numeral ’6,’” writes West Sixth. “Our address is 501 West Sixth Street – hence our name. We’re not trying to use any of your designs. Heck, we already distribute a lot more beer than you do in Kentucky.”
West Sixth, which launched a petition on its site to ask Magic Hat to stop the lawsuit, says it doesn’t want to be involved in a lawsuit and that it’s willing to change the compass star in its logo to be something less similar to what is in the #9. All of the proposed logos still feature the numeral “6″ and a star:
In response to this latest post, a rep for Magic Hat released the following statement:
“We have seen West Sixth Brewing’s Facebook post and are glad that they are moving back toward their earlier settlement position, rather than away from it. We have always been ready to talk and will reach out to West Sixth to make sure that happens…
“We look forward to confirming that West Sixth intends to approach any further settlement negotiations in good faith. As for Magic Hat, in order to prevent the spread of misinformation that has occurred this week, we do not believe this matter should play out publicly any further and invite West Sixth to make the same commitment.”
We hope the two parties do come to a resolution that doesn’t involve going to court. After all, good beer is supposed to be fun and bring people together for heated discussions about who was the best third baseman of all time (Mike Schmidt), not battles over trademark infringement.
Three daughters who recently lost their mother to cancer say they were kicked out of the King of Prussia Mall outside of Philadelphia for sporting a unique tribute to her. Two of the women were wearing black-and-pink hats designed by a family friend that read “F – - K CANCER” with the C in the naughty word replaced by a pink breast-cancer-awareness ribbon. They claim that on Sunday, a security guard told them they had to take of their hats, or leave the mall.
The women tell the Daily News they were shopping for a dress for one of their daughters to wear at the mom’s funeral, and two of them stopped with a group of friends to grab a bite in the food court.
That’s when, the group says, a security guard approached them and told them to take their hats off. One of the women did, but another works at the mall and told the guard he’d have to put something in writing.
“He said, ‘Since you don’t want to take your hat off, you can leave my mall,’ ” one of the women says. “He stood there while we ate and threatened to call the cops.”
According to the women, several more security guards showed up, and escorted the group from the food court to a security office, where they were met by a police officer who had been called by the guards. The women say he told them it was offensive that they were wearing the hats, and allegedly added, ”It’s their mall, they want you out, you have to get out.”
Since the story hit the news, the King of Prussia Mall is now apologizing for the whole ordeal.
A spokesman for the property group that owns the mall reportedly called one of the daughters to apologize, asked for their mother’s name and about her battle with cancer.
“Certainly this could have been handled in a much more empathic and sensitive manner,” the spokesman told media. “We’re very sorry about her loss and wanted to apologize for the way her party was treated.”
He added that the mall should be flexible in times like this.
“I do think this is an entirely different situation than a 16-year-old kid with a swear word on his T-shirt cruising the mall,” he said. “We need to be empathic, sympathetic, and listen and make sure that we’re approaching each situation as it comes up.”
While the women had planned a protest at the mall tomorrow night, they now say the event will still go on, complete with controversial clothing on display, but instead it will be an awareness rally against cancer.
Did cancer hats go too far? [Daily News]
Laurel bought her backpack from Timbuk2 in 2006. While that’s practically the blink of an eye if you’re the person in charge of stocking electronics and video games at Walmart, seven years is kind of a long time as far as product warranties go. Not for Timbuk2, though. When they learned that her bag was no longer water-resistant and had lost the rubber coating its bottom, that would not do. She sent an e-mail asking whether she could send it in for a warranty repair. They couldn’t fix it for her. Instead, they sent her a credit for a replacement bag.
Hi there, Consumerist; I first bought a Timbuk2 Track Daypack backpack in 2006. By summer 2012, I had used it daily. The rubberized bottom had started peeling off, and it had lost its water resistance. I wrote to the website asking if I could possibly have my beloved pack repaired- I’d be willing to pay- and they said to mail it in for a warranty examination.
A month later I still hadn’t heard back about my backpack, so I wrote asking for an update. Timbuk2 asked for my USPS tracking information, so I sent that along by email. An hour later they offered me a $99 credit for any new bag off their website. I spent a bit more and got two bags. Above and beyond, needless to say, and they’ve certainly made a lifelong customer and Timbuk2 advocate out of me.
There are no confirmed reports of fake tornado charities yet, but surely they’re coming. Scammers popped up to take advantage of the Boston Marathon bombing and the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. How can you make sure that your money is making its way to people who need your help, and not lining the pockets of soulless swindlers?
If you’re getting a solicitation from a group you’ve never heard of, it’s best to keep your hand on your wallet. Avoid giving cash donations, which you can’t follow, trace, or cancel if you learn that there’s a scammer behind them. Do homework if you really want to give: check with the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance or with GuideStar.
While it isn’t exactly a scam, keep in mind that while it feels really great to gather up cast-off clothes and canned food for people in the aftermath of a disaster, someone has to transport, sort, and deal with your donations. Sending stuff can be a huge waste of everyone’s time. On the ground, it’s easiest to deal with local suppliers, and money is really easy for credible charities to move from place to place. If you feel the need to collect canned food and old clothes, hold a chili cookoff and tag sale, then send the money to an established organization like the Red Cross.
If a natural disaster has affected your home, follow the Oklahoma Attorney General’s advice for avoiding repair and cleanup contractor scams. (PDF)
We live in a world where the desire for a $37 printer can lead to a scene straight out of an action movie, complete with a high-speed police chase and drugs flying out the car windows. Police say a couple was spotted lifting a printer from a Walmart in Louisiana and tried to make a run for it. And it was all downhill (super fast) from there.
A local police spokesman tells WWL News that a loss prevention employee at the Walmart called the cops after allegedly witnessing the couple make off with the merchandise. When the husband saw the police show up and start to approach their vehicles, he apparently put the pedal to the metal and fled, almost hitting the officer.
From there it was a race across the city, say cops, which also served as a way for the couple to start “throwing suspected methamphetamine and marijuana out of the vehicle.”
Another officer heard the pursuit going on over his police radio and pulled over to place spike trips on the road in case the suspects’ vehicle went that way. The metal obstacles did the trick, deflating the fleeing car’s tires.
The couple was arrested, with the wife facing charges of aggravated flight from an officer, resisting by flight, theft of goods under $500, and obstruction of justice. The husband has the same charges against him, as well as possession of marijuana and aggravated assault on a police officer by use of a vehicle.
Next time perhaps a trip to Kinko’s is in order, if you’ve got the need to print something that bad.