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The Consumerist

Anyone Over The Age Of 99 Has To Lie About Their Age To Join Facebook

Wed, 2014-10-15 17:21

(KARE 11)

(KARE 11)

A woman in Minnesota who turns 114 years old today (Happy birthday!) had to lie about her age recently. No, not because she wanted to appear younger, and not because she doesn’t want to admit she was born before every home had a telephone and flying hunks of metal called airplanes got people from here to there. She was trying to sign up for Facebook, which only allows for users 99 and younger.

A supercentenarian named Anna has been in the news lately, after a story about how her 85-year-old son mentioned her while buying in iPhone resulted in her trying to get hip with the social media age on KARE 11 (link has video that autoplays).

The salesman who helped out her son was interested to hear that he had a 113-year-old mother, and he ended up befriending her, teaching her about iPads, FaceTime and Facebook.

But when she went to sign up on the social network, the age option only scrolls back to the year 1905, making her 1900 birth year just out of range. So she lied. She now as an account and 31 friends — there’s even some kind of odd “Public Figure” page listed for her that appears to be a fake.

In the meantime, her new friend helped her write a letter to send to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on a typewriter to see if something can be done about the age limits as they stand.

“I’m still here,” Anna dictated.

Last year when another supercentenarian complained of not being able to create a Facebook account at the age of 104, the company said in a statement (via NPR):

“We’ve recently discovered an issue whereby some Facebook users may be unable to enter a birthday before 1910. We are working on a fix for this and we apologize for the inconvenience.”

Keep rolling that back, guys. All the cool kids want to get online.

Days from 114th birthday, MN woman gets tech savvy [KARE 11]
At 113, Woman Lies About Her Age So She Can Join Facebook [NPR]

Walmart Launches Digital Video Service So Customers Who Still Buy Blu-rays, DVDs Will Redeem Digital Copies

Wed, 2014-10-15 17:03

(Patrick)

(Patrick)

Walmart appears to be going Hollywood. No, the company isn’t going to be the focus of a movie. Instead the mega-retailer and its digital entertainment service, VUDU, have launched a new service putting digital copies of movies at customers’ fingertips – or rather on their smartphones and tablets.

The new service called InstaWatch aims to make it simpler for consumers to redeem digital copies of the the physical movies they purchased in-store or online, USA Today reports.

Customers can access their digital copies by scanning their receipt with the Walmart Savings Catcher app. At that point a digital copy of the film will appear in the users connected VUDU account.

Users will receive an email that they can stream the video on their smartphone, tablet or computer.

InstaWatch will initially provide access to digital copies of 800 movies available at Walmart stores and 1,100 movies available on walmart.com.

Available films include those produced through major studios such as DreamWorks Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Warner Home Video and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Officials with Walmart tell USA Today that InstaWatch was created in part to solve the problem of customers not redeeming digital copies of movies they purchased.

“If you are not getting your digital copy, you are simply not getting the full value,” Gibu Thomas, Walmart senior vice president of digital and mobile says.

Walmart delivers movie digital copies to Vudu [USA Today]

HBO Launching Stand-Alone Service In 2015

Wed, 2014-10-15 17:01

HBO
HBO will be launching a stand-alone service in 2015, Time Warner executives announced in an investor presentation today.

HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler told the investors, “We will launch a stand-alone over the top service with the potential to produce hundreds of millions of dollars of additional revenue,” adding, “There is huge opportunity in front of us … we will use all means at our disposal” to grow and get content in front of viewers.

Time Warner said they would “work with current partners and explore models with new partners” for the new OTT, stand-alone HBO.

The company has not yet provided any other details, such as price, availability, or expected launch date.

Pizza Hut Singapore Apologizes For Receipt Calling Customer “Pink Fat Lady”

Wed, 2014-10-15 16:54

(Facebook)

(Facebook)

Pizza-makers have to keep track of which pizzas belong to which customers somehow, but generally it’s better for everyone when they do not use potentially offensive descriptors of their customers. For example: even if a customer is fat, and is wearing pink, you probably should not write “Pink Fat Lady” on the ticket for her pizzas.

Chain pizza outlets in the United States apparently got the message, though their offensive receipt notes tended more toward ethnic slurs. One Pizza Hut customer was called “BIGBLACK” on his receipt, and a Papa John’s customer was offended when hers identified her as “Lady Chinky Eyes.” The problem, as this similar case at CVS makes clear, is that employees put these funny and potentially offensive identifiers on receipts that they think the customer will never see. For all we know, all of our favorite restaurants have been noting our most prominent and potentially offensive characteristics for years, but usually we never know because the internal ticket never makes it into our hands.

pizzahut

The customer posted the original receipt on Facebook, and to their credit, Pizza Hut Singapore posted a nice apology that doesn’t even include the rote phrase “taking it very seriously.

Pizza Hut Singapore would like to apologize unreservedly to Ms Aili Si for a recent incident that took place on 12 Oct 2014 at 6.01pm. This incident goes against our corporate values and we do not condone behaviour or actions that offend people.

We are currently investigating this matter.

We deeply regret that such an incident has occurred and are attempting to contact Ms Si to personally express our sincere apologies.

We will take corrective measures to continuously improve our standards and consistency in our service and hospitality.

Sincerely,
The management and staff of Pizza Hut Singapore.

Pizza Hut apologises to ‘Pink Fat Lady’ over receipt [AFP]

Converse Suing 31 Companies For Allegedly Selling Knock-Off Chuck Taylor Sneakers

Wed, 2014-10-15 16:34

(yoshiffles)

(yoshiffles)

You’ve seen them on hipsters, your mom, that girl who lived down the hall from you freshman year, maybe you wear them — the point is, Converse’s Chuck Taylor All-Stars, or Chucks, as they’re known by fans, are worn by a whole lot of different kinds of people. Though once the shoe of choice for mainly greasers, nonconformists and athletes, nowadays the sneaker look is appealing to a wide range of people. It’s that popularity that has other companies churning out knock-offs, claims Nike’s Converse in a new lawsuit against 31 companies for allegedly copying the style.

Things like black stripes on the side of the white rubber sole, a rubber toe topper and other design elements have been ripped from Chucks by companies like Walmart, Kmart and Skechers, Converse claims, accusing those companies and others of trademark infringement in 22 separate lawsuits filed yesterday, reports the New York Times. Converse has been owned by Nike since 2003.

Converse wants money out of the lawsuit, but what it really seeks is to rid the shelves of any lookalikes. To achieve that, it’s filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission, which could then keep so-called counterfeit shoes from coming into the country.

“The goal really is to stop this action,” Jim Calhoun, the Converse chief executive told the NYT. “I think we’re quite fortunate here to be in the possession of what we would consider to be an American icon.”

Walmart, Kmart and Skechers didn’t comment to the NYT.

Converse Sues to Protect Its Chuck Taylor All Stars [New York Times]

Toyota Recalls 1.6M Cars Globally For Fuel And Brake Line Issues

Wed, 2014-10-15 16:13

(C x 2)

Here’s the thing about brakes, they’re supposed to actually stop a vehicle. And the thing about fuel delivery pipes is they generally make a car, you know, work. When either of those components don’t work properly big problems, such as crashes or fires, can occur. And that’s why Toyota is recalling more than 1.67 million vehicles globally.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the latest million-plus vehicle recall from Toyota involves concerns about defects with the braking system and fuel components of affected vehicles.

Approximately 802,000 Crown Majesta, Crown, Noah and Voxy models manufactured between June 2007 and June 2014 have been recalled to fix an issue in the master brake cylinder.

Officials with Toyota say the issue stems from a rubber seal ring that could leak brake fluid. If a leak occurs the vehicle’s braking ability could be compromised.

The second recall involves 759,000 Toyota and Lexus vehicles – 423,000 of which are located in the United States – that may have faulty fuel delivery pipes. The fuel pipes in the vehicles could leak, raising the risk of fire.

Affected vehicles include the Toyota Crown, Crown Majesta and Mark X cars and Lexus IS, GS and LS sedans built from January 2005 to September 2010.

Officials with Toyota say the fuel line problem was first identified in a report back in 2010, but that the single report was not enough to prompt a recall at the time.

Toyota reports that it is unaware of any fires, crashes, injuries or fatalities related to the issues found in the recalled cars.

In all, Toyota has recalled more than 5.3 million vehicles in the U.S. this year.

Toyota Recalls 1.67 Million Vehicles [The Wall Street Journal]

Uber Customer Claims She Was Briefly Kidnapped During 2-Hour Ride, Company Calls It An “Inefficient Route”

Wed, 2014-10-15 15:58

uberlogookayThere’s disagreeing with your hired driver about which route to take, and then there’s driving around for two hours and stopping in an abandoned lot before finally getting home. One Uber customer in the Los Angeles area claims she was briefly kidnapped during an extended trip home that should’ve been relatively quick.

Instead, as she told Valleywag, her early morning ride after a party this weekend took two hours, during which time she says her driver ignored her directions and questions, and wound up stopping in an abandoned lot.

The route meanders about 20 miles out of her way, stopping in a dark parking lot in the middle of the night. She says she protested and tried to get out of the car, but that the driver locked her inside. When she started screaming, he finally brought her home, she says.

When she told Uber her store the next day, she says she only got an automated email reply, calling the whole thing an “inefficient route” and refunding part of her fare. A day later, the remainder of her fare was refunded. Nothing was said of her claim that she was briefly kidnapped.

Her route. (Valleywag)

Her route. (Valleywag)

Uber says in a statement to The Verge that the reporting of that night’s events has been “inaccurate,” claiming the passenger was drunk and the driver was the one who needed help.

“Early reports on this ride are inaccurate,” an Uber spokeswoman said. “Based on the information we have at this time, this driver called 911 to ask for assistance with an intoxicated rider who requested an extended trip. However, we have refunded the rider’s trip and reached out to the rider for additional information.”

The woman has reportedly involved the Los Angeles Police Department and is consulting an attorney.

Uber Calls Woman’s 20-Mile Nightmare Abduction an “Inefficient Route” [Valleywag]
Uber rider claims she was kidnapped, company says allegation is ‘inaccurate’ [The Verge]

U2 Sorry For Foisting Its New Album On Millions Of iPhone Users Without Asking

Wed, 2014-10-15 15:52

u2appleaOnly a few weeks ago, a group of middle-aged Irish guys with a band decided it would be a good idea to force-place their new album onto millions of iPhones without asking if those people wanted it, and without initially giving those iPhone users a way to remove the songs. After a bit of reflection, the members of that musical group have decided that maybe this wasn’t the brightest publicity move.

U2 answered questions from Facebook users on Tuesday, including one who asked that the band please never again compel millions of people to download any of their albums in the future.

Bono, apparently no relation to the late Congressman Sonny, replied that he was “sorry about that,” and that the band “might have got carried away with it ourselves.”

The sunglass-loving singer explained that, like many artists, U2 is prone to a “drop of megalomania, a touch of generosity, a dash of self-promotion and deep fear that these songs that we’d poured our life into over the last few years mightn’t be heard.”

He added, “There’s a lot of noise out there. I guess we got a little noisy ourselves to get through it.”

Apple eventually issued a fix to allow people to remove U2’s Songs of Innocence from their devices with the caveat that it would no longer be free after Oct. 13. That day has come and gone, so if you want to hear the new U2 songs on your iPhone you’ll have to do it the traditional way — by illegally copying them from your friends who got them off some pirated music sharing site… or pay for it. We recommend the latter, because we don’t want anyone getting in trouble with the law.

[via CNET]

Enormous Beach Vacation Home Built On Wrong Lot

Tue, 2014-10-14 23:53

(L. Bird)

(L. Bird)

How do you accidentally build a beach house in the wrong place? We wondered that back in June, when sharing the story of a $1.8 million home in Rhode Island that was accidentally built on public park land. Meanwhile, in Florida, a couple spent $680,000 building a custom beach house…on the lot next door to the one that they actually own.

The owners live in Missouri, and built the house as an investment, to be rented out to vacationers. They own a total of 18 lots in the same development, but the builder still somehow managed to put the house on one that they don’t own. “I have built about 600 homes in Flagler County and this has never happened to me before,” the builder told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. It does happen, but it’s rare.”

The owner and the builder agree about who is to blame: the initial survey, performed by a reputable local surveyor back in 2013 before the house was built, was incorrect. The area where the house was built consists of just empty and unmarked lots, so it’s easy to see how an error might be made. The lot where the house was built was purchased in 2003, but still had no construction on it. Well, until 2013.

The parties involved are working to resolve the situation, which probably won’t require the couple to tear down or move the house, unlike the house in Rhode Island. (That house was also built in the wrong spot due to a surveying mistake.)

In Ocean Hammock, dream house, ocean view, wrong lot [Daytona Beach News-Journal]

Dealership Registers Car To Wrong Person, Random Lady Gets 18 Tickets In the Mail

Tue, 2014-10-14 22:57

(Jeanette)

(Jeanette)

An 87-year-old woman in California was confused when she started to receive parking tickets and toll notices in the mail. She had 18 separate tickets, with a total of almost $1500 in fines. Was she racking up tickets and forgetting to pay? No, and she could prove it: she no longer drives at all. The tickets listed her as the owner of a white Acura, and she doesn’t own one.

Where were the tickets coming from, then? The answer is mundane and infuriating. The woman receiving the tickets once bought a Lexus from a local dealership. This put her name and address in their database. Years later, another woman with the same first and last name bought the mysterious white Acura from the same dealership, and they just listed the first customer as the owner of the new Acura. Then the new car owner apparently went on a spree of very minor traffic crimes.

CBS Sacramento got involved after the non-driver spent a year fighting the tickets and the non-existence of the Acura. While the dealership assured her and the TV station that everything had been resolved, she continued to get bills from two cities and a local toll authority. These bills also went away thanks to intervention from the TV reporters.

Call Kurtis: I Don’t Drive, FasTrak, So Stop Ticketing Me! [CBS Sacramento]

Jimmy John’s Makes Workers Sign Strict Non-Compete Agreements To Guard Its Sandwich Secrets

Tue, 2014-10-14 22:22

(C_Dubyaa)

(C_Dubyaa)

In any given area, there is a likelihood that a business nearby is going to be selling sandwiches to hungry customers. But workers who leave Jimmy John’s might have a tough time trying to find new employment after they’re employed at the sandwich chain, as a corporate non-compete clause puts some pretty strict limits on their post-Jimmy John’s careers.

As part of a proposed class action lawsuit filed against a franchisee by two workers who had claimed that the company forced employees to work off the clock, the amended complaint argues that the noncompete agreement even low-wage sandwich makers and delivery drivers have to sign, reports the Huffington Post. The workers claim the agreement is overly broad and “oppressive” to employees.

Per the agreement, as reported by HuffPo:

Employee covenants and agrees that, during his or her employment with the Employer and for a period of two (2) years after … he or she will not have any direct or indirect interest in or perform services for … any business which derives more than ten percent (10%) of its revenue from selling submarine, hero-type, deli-style, pita and/or wrapped or rolled sandwiches and which is located with three (3) miles of either [the Jimmy John's location in question] or any such other Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop.

Got that? You can’t work within three miles of any Jimmy John’s out of the over 2,000 locations if your new place of employment gets 10% of its business from making sandwiches.

Depending on where you live, that could dramatically limit the places a worker could get a job after leaving Jimmy John’s, the workers’ lawyer says. She argues that the blackout area would cover 6,000 square miles in 44 states and Washington, D.C.

“It is disturbing this document is being used and it is our position that it has broad impact on thousands of employees,” she says.

Thus far Jimmy John’s doesn’t seem to have enforced the clause, and is not commenting on the lawsuit.

So why does Jimmy John’s even have a non-compete clause? What trade secrets could there be worth protecting — a super secret roast beef tenderizer? A special way of layering tomatoes?

Jimmy John’s Makes Low-Wage Workers Sign ‘Oppressive’ Noncompete Agreements [Huffington Post]

Finnish Brewer Set To Sell Recreation Of 172-Year-Old Beer Found In Shipwreck

Tue, 2014-10-14 22:14
Finnish Brewery Stallhagen plans to sell a reproduced 1842 beer.

Finnish Brewery Stallhagen plans to sell a reproduced 1842 beer.

Typically you wouldn’t dream of consuming the things found in a shipwreck at the bottom of the ocean. But if you’re a historical buff or a beer connoisseur, a 172-year-old beer found off the coast of Finland – or more accurately its reproduction – might whet your appetite.

The Guardian reports that scientists successfully recreated a beer found preserved inside an 1842 shipwreck and now plan to market it globally.

Back in 2010, the government of the Åland Islands tasked the VTT Technical Research Center with analyzing and recreating the brew.

Now that the researches have successfully determined the alcohol content, color and bitterness of the beer, Finish brewery Stallhagen will reproduce it for the mass market.

The beer, which is described as having a sweet, Champagne-liked taste, will be released in two versions.

One variation of the beer will have the exact same yeast and hops as the original drink found in the shipwreck and will cost around $143 a bottle.

For beer drinkers looking for a more economical taste, the company will create a version using replica ingredients that costs about $7 per bottle.

Officials from the island where the beer was procured say proceeds from the less expensive version are expected to fund marine archeological research and research of history and environment in the Baltic Sea.

Belgian scientists recreate 150-year-old shipwrecked beer [The Guardian]

Amazon Opening Real-Life Stores In San Francisco, Sacramento

Tue, 2014-10-14 21:33

(Stephen Woods)

(Stephen Woods)

Amazon hasn’t officially confirmed that it is going to open a real-life store in New York City, though “people familiar with the plans” told the Wall Street Journal about the company’s planned , and there’s definitely something about to open in the space across the street from the Empire State Building. However, the company has confirmed that it’s opening two seasonal pop-up shops in San Francisco and Sacramento, California.

The San Francisco store will be a kiosk inside the Westfield San Francisco Centre, an urban mall near the headquarters of some influential tech companies. In a statement to CNET, Amazon explained that the goal of the pop-up shops isn’t to promote the Amazon site, exactly. As far as anyone knows, they won’t include warehouse space or online order pickup, which is one of the rumored purposes of the alleged Manhattan store. The real purpose of Amazon stores is to get Amazon’s own products, the Kindle and Fire lines of phones and tablets and the Fire TV, into customers’ hands to try them out.

“While customers can already see our products online and at retailers like Best Buy and Staples, we wanted to provide another option to try out our full lineup leading into the holidays,” Amazon said in its statement confirming the San Francisco store.

Amazon to open retail pop-up store in San Francisco [CNET]

Don Henley Is Not Amused By Clothing Company’s Shirt Puns

Tue, 2014-10-14 21:06

henleyvshenleyExhibit A: Don Henley of the Eagles, a band with a song called “Take It Easy.” Exhibit B: A Henley style T-shirt, on sale with the phrase, “Don a Henley and Take it easy.” This attempt at punnery — pretty successful, if you ask me — is not amusing to Don Henley, who is suing a clothing company for using his name to shill shirts without his permission.

The musician is suing Duluth Trading Company over an email ad it sent out to customers featuring what could be just a harmless play on words, or could be an unauthorized use of Henley’s name and infringement on his tradermarks and publicity rights, reports Billboard.

The apparent reference to the Eagles’ song and the fact that his full name is part of the phrase is at the heart of the lawsuit filed in California district court. He accuses the company of taking advantage of his fame, saying the ad could confused consumers into thinking he’s endorsing the product.

A rep for Henley told Billboard in a statement:

“This kind of thing happens with some degree of frequency and the members of the Eagles always defend their rights, often at great expense. One would think that the people in charge of marketing for these corporations would have learned by now that U.S. law forbids trading on the name of a celebrity without permission from that celebrity.

Both Mr. Henley and the Eagles have worked hard, for over 40 years, to build their names and goodwill in the world community. They pride themselves on the fact that they have never allowed their names, likenesses or music – individually or as a group – to be used to sell products. Their names are their trademarks and, therefore, they take offense when an individual or a business tries to piggyback and capitalize on their art, their hard work and their goodwill in the public arena.”

Thus far Duluth Trading Company hasn’t issued a comment. You can view the lawsuit in full here.

Don Henley Not Taking It Easy on Pun-Loving Clothing Company [Billboard]

Researchers Say The Secret To A Successful Marriage Has Something To Do With Money

Tue, 2014-10-14 21:02

(HerArtSheLoves)

As a newlywed (we’ve made it one week) I’ve received advice from a number of friends and family members on how to make sure my marriage stands the test of time. While I’m sure their counsel is solid, a pair of researchers from Emory University say the secret to a divorce-proof marriage is not listening to those bridal magazines that say an expensive marriage is a happy marriage.

The Atlantic reports that the researchers analyzed 3,000 married couples in the United States to determine if the cost associated with their weddings was related to their likelihood of divorce.

Although every marriage is different and a variety of factors can lead to the demise of a relationship, the report [PDF] found several instances in which the amount of money spent on a wedding related to the duration of the union.

Couples who spent between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring have a significantly higher probability of divorce. Those who spent less than $1,000 showed a decreased chance of divorce, the report showed.

Like previous reports that found having a large wedding (150 or more guests) leads to a high-quality marriage, the new report shows that weddings with between 101 and 200 guests were 84% less likely to divorce.

While having hundreds of guests might improve your chance at a long-lasting marriage, the report found that you shouldn’t actually break the bank for the big day. Researchers found that couples who spent $20,000 or more on their weddings were 46% more likely to divorce than those who spent between $5,000 and $10,000.

But in case you do have several thousand dollars put away for the big occasion, make sure you spend it on the honeymoon: The Atlantic reports that couples who take time off to go on a honeymoon decrease their chance of divorce by 41%.

Of course the study had some non-financial advice for couples as well. Those who date for about three years before getting hitched are 39% less likely to head for the big D than those who dated for one year or less.

Additionally, couples who regularly attend religious services are 46% less likely to divorce than those who don’t.

So what does the research actually mean? Mainly, the report’s authors say it debunks the myth that expensive weddings mean happy marriages.

The Divorce-Proof Marriage [The Atlantic]

Sprint Will Lease Loyal Customers An iPhone 6 For $5/Month

Tue, 2014-10-14 20:54

(iDiapo)

(iDiapo)

While other carriers are looking to eliminate phone subsidies, Sprint has an interesting plan for people who like to upgrade their handsets annually: the “iPhone for Life” program lets you lease a phone instead of purchasing or financing one. Now, the carrier is rewarding loyal customers who have stuck with the carrier through its years of spotty coverage and slow data speeds.

Yes, while most promotions like this are aimed at drawing in new customers, Sprint just wants the customers that it already has to stop fleeing to other carriers. The discount will be in the form of a $15 off “Loyalty Service Credit” on customers’ bills, canceling out most of the cost of leasing the phone. The company says that this credit will continue for as long as the customer keeps the lease, and the program guarantees the right to lease a new device every two years, turning the phone over at the end of the lease.

Sprint to existing customers: Lease an iPhone 6 for $5 a month [CNET]

Cops: Teen Wiped Himself With Cash In The Bathroom, Used It To Pay Restaurant Tab

Tue, 2014-10-14 20:13

(C x 2)

(C x 2)

While it’s up to you how you waste your money, putting feces on your money and giving it to someone as payment is not only totally disgusting, but also could lead to a charge of “battery by bodily waste.”

Police in Muncie, IN have charged a teenager with that crime, reports The Star Press, after he allegedly used poo-tainted cash to pay his restaurant bill over the weekend.

The 17-year-old was part of a group of customers at a new restaurant on Sunday, and cops say he went into the bathroom to do a No. 2, using money to wipe himself. He then allegedly placed that bill or bills in the folder provided for payment.

It wasn’t until the server who collected the check actually touched the contaminated money before realizing it was covered in feces, a police rep said.

Thus far no motive has been provided nor a reason given for why the kid would want to give someone poo money, other than teenagers often do crazy and disgusting things, things which can land them in juvenile detention.

Police: Teen left feces-smeared money at restaurant [The Star Press]

Company Touts “Ebola Containment Suit” As Literally The Most “Viral” Costume This Halloween

Tue, 2014-10-14 19:39

(BrandsOnSale.com)

(BrandsOnSale.com)

Sometimes I like to think that just once there will be a tragic situation that won’t lead to someone trying to make a buck off a serious situation. But hey, it’s Halloween, when sensitivity to world events apparently goes out the window. So why not charge people $79.99 to dress up in an “Ebola Containment Suit”?

The company selling the costume — complete with yellow rubber boots, a white hazardous materials suite emblazoned with “Ebola” on the breast, in case you forget, latex gloves and a breathing mask — doesn’t brush over the tragedy at least, acknowledging that people are dying from the deadly virus. But it’s just perfect for a safe Halloween party!

“The deadly Ebola virus has landed in the United States and the crisis has reached new levels of domestic escalation,” the description starts out, before trying to lure customers in with how appropriately dressed you’ll be should someone with Ebola wander into your vicinity.

“You are sure to be prepared if any outbreak happens at your Halloween party,” the description reads. “This will literally be the most ‘viral’ costume of the year.”

Of course, it’s not like people can’t make their own hazmat costumes for a lot cheaper than $79.99, but at least those won’t involve smug descriptions about being fake prepared for a very real, dangerous virus.

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Thanks for the tip, J.V.!

Chrysler Recalls 184,000 SUVs For Same Airbag Issues Responsible For Ford Vehicles Recall

Tue, 2014-10-14 19:18
(Listener42)

(Listener42)

It certainly hasn’t been the best year for vehicle airbags. In the spring Honda, Toyota and other vehicle manufactures recalled millions of cars because the safety devices were found to be defective. And now we’re learning that the same short-circuit responsible for the recall of hundreds-of-thousands of Ford vehicles last month has been found in nearly 184,000 Chrysler-produced SUVs, prompting yet another safety recall.

Chrysler announced the recall of 184,000 model year 2014 Dodge Durgano and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles after being notified that an electrical issue could prevent the SUVs’ airbags from deploying properly.

According to a notice [PDF] posted with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Robert Bosch LLC, the company behind the potentially defective airbag control modules in the recalled Ford vehicles, says similar components were used in some 2014 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles.

The problem involves an internal electrical short-circuit in the airbag control module that could cause the airbags and other passenger restraint systems to fail in the event of a crash.

Bosch tells NHTSA in the notice that while the hardware components sold to Chrysler are different than those used in the recalled Ford vehicles, they use a similar application of coating that could contribute to the issue.

Officials with Chrysler say they are unaware of any related injuries or crashes related to the issue. Owners of the affected vehicles will be notified and dealers will replace the control module.

Tuesday’s recall comes less than a month after Ford recalled model year 2013 to 2014 Ford C-MAX, Fusion, Escape and Lincoln MKZ for the same electrical glitch.

Statement: Occupant Restraint Control (ORC) Module [Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Family Sells Home For $140K More After Agreeing To Include Their Cat In The Deal

Tue, 2014-10-14 19:05

(News.au)

(News.au)

How much would someone have to pay you to part with your favorite feline companion? Perhaps no amount of money could pry Mr. Whiskerworth van Hugglebottom from your loving arms, but the $140,000 offered to one family to include their cat in a real estate deal is proving pretty darn tempting.

The family auctioned off their five-bedroom home for $2,060,000 Australian dollars this weekend, reports News.com.au, and ended up with a surprising offer for more money while the deal was in the process of closing.

It turns out one of the bidders’ daughters saw the family’s cat Tiffany hanging out around during one of the inspections, and fell in love with her. The mom had joked about including Tiffany in the sale, since “she believes the house is her property,” and apparently the little girl wanted to take her up on that.

The bidders upped their offer to $2.2 million as long as Tiffany came along, and the family has decided to agree to sell their pet. Because $140,000.

Not so happy, however, is the family’s 19-year-old son, who bought four-year-old Tiffany from a pet store.

“She was at the pet shop, the last of the litter, and he felt sorry for her,” his mom said. “We’re thinking we’ll put $20,000 in a pile next to the cat and say to Sam: you choose.”

She did add that it’s not an easy decision to sell Tiffany, saying, “It is quite difficult to part with her.”

Tiffany the cat is worth $140,000. No kitten around [News.com.au]

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