lundi 30 octobre 2017

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How Much Black Licorice Does It Take To Overdose?

The trinity of divisive Halloween candies is made up of candy corn, marshmallow peanuts, and of course black licorice — perhaps the treat most likely to elicit either only joy or rage when it’s put into one’s candy sack. But there’s one thing that even those who stand firmly on the “love” side of this unbridgeable, anise-flavored chasm should know: When it comes to black licorice, there is such a thing as too much.

The Food and Drug Administration is reminding everyone this Halloween that while safe in small amounts, black licorice does in fact have things in it that can make you sick or kill you.

The candy contains the compound glycyrrhizin, FDA experts say, which is the sweet flavoring that comes from the licorice root.

But glycyrrhizin (go on, say it five times fast) can alter the potassium levels in your body. If those drop too far, you might experience symptoms like increased blood pressure, swelling, lethargy, or even abnormal heart rhythms or congestive heart failure.

Obviously, those are bad. But the good news is, it takes a fair amount of candy to cause a problem. For consumers who are over 40, the FDA says that eating 2 ounces of black licorice a day for at least two weeks could land you in the hospital with heart trouble.

In general, the agency recommends, no matter what your age, you should keep servings of black licorice small, and don’t eat large amounts in one go. If you have been eating large amounts of the candy, and you start to feel like your heart is beating weirdly or your muscles are going week, stop immediately and call your doctor. That goes double if you take any drugs or dietary supplements that might be affected by the extra glycyrrhizin.

Additionally, if you really love that taste for some reason and want to binge, many modern “black licorice” candies do not in fact contain any actual licorice, instead using various anise-based flavorings, and won’t have the same negative effects.

United Plane Makes Emergency Landing Due To Smoke In The Galley

Smoke in the cabin of a passenger airplane is a scary prospect. That’s why a plane heading from Munich, Germany to Washington Dulles International Airport made an emergency landing at Boston’s Logan Airport instead: There was smoke pouring from the plane’s galley… which may or may not have actually been caused by a fire.

The plane was diverted to land at Logan, where emergency crews arrived to look for the source of the smoke. What they didn’t do was deplane passengers, who waited until after airport firefighters had checked out the galley before departing the plane.

Boston’s fire department reported to the scene, but their services weren’t needed, and firefighters were “turned back.”

A spokesman for United Airlines told NBC4 Washington that no passengers were injured, but the airline wasn’t sure at that time whether the smoke was caused by an actual fire in the galley. An FAA spokeswoman told the Boston Globe that the problem was a “possible fire.”

Passengers on the ground made the best of the situation, taking pictures, since if you don’t tell your Facebook friends about something, it never happened.

Operators Of Phony Rental Credit Check Scheme Must Pay $762K To Feds

In January, federal regulators announced they had put a stop to an apartment rental scam in which homes (that may not exist) are listed online with the sole purpose of tricking prospective renters into paying for “credit checks” that will never be done. Now, the operators of the scheme must pay $762,000 to put an end to the Federal Trade Commission’s allegations. 

The FTC announced today that it received a court order [PDF] against Danny Pierce and Andrew Lloyd for their part in operating an alleged scheme run by Credit Bureau Center LLC that targeted consumers looking to rent property.

The Alleged Scheme

According to the Commission’s complaint [PDF], since Jan. 2014 Credit Bureau Center — previously known as MyScore LLC, and doing business as,, and — deceptively advertised, marketed, promoted, and sold credit monitoring services to consumers.

When prospective customers responded to the ads, the companies would allegedly impersonate property owners and send emails offering tours if the consumers would first obtain their credit reports and scores.

To do so, the FTC claims, the companies sent the potential renters to websites operated by the defendants. The sites claimed to provide “free” credit reports and scores.

As an extra incentive, the email often stated that, if the consumer’s credit score exceeded a certain level, such as 650, the landlord would waive the security deposit.

However, the complaint alleged that the sites deceived consumers into signing up for a negative option seven-day trial of a credit monitoring service.

The FTC claimed that nowhere on the webpage was it disclosed that consumers were enrolling in an unrelated credit monitoring program. Once the free trial was over the consumers were charged $29.94 each month for the service.

In many cases, people did not realize they had been enrolled until they noticed unexpected charges on their bank or credit card statements, sometimes after several billing cycles.

The complaint also alleged that consumers who obtained their credit reports and scores never got the promised property tours, and that their emails to the purported property owner to arrange the tours went unanswered.

In all, the FTC alleged that the defendants violated the FTC Act, the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Free Reports Rule, which requires that consumers be informed of their right to obtain free credit reports.

Paying Up

Under the order, the duo was ordered to pay a $6.8 million judgment. However, that all but $762,000 of that amount will be suspended. Instead, Pierce will pay $117,000, while Lloyd will pay $645,000.

In addition to the monetary judgment, Pierce and Lloyd are prohibited from misrepresenting material facts about any product or service, and must monitor their affiliate marketers in the future.

Additionally, they are prohibited from profiting from consumers’ personal information obtained as part of the scheme and failing to dispose of it properly.

Where Does The Cheese Belong In A Cheeseburger?

When you think of the ideal cheeseburger, where is the cheese in the sandwich equation — is it beneath the patty, or on top of it? That is the question Google’s CEO has now promised to address, after someone questioned the company’s cheese placement in its cheeseburger emoji.

Media consultant Thomas Baekdal pointed out on Twitter over the weekend that while Apple’s hamburger/cheeseburger emoji has cheese resting atop a beef patty, Google’s version sticks the slice underneath the meat.

RELATED: 5 Tips From A Pro Fro Cooking Up An Awesome Hamburger

Of course, Twitter users immediately started taking sides:

A glance at Emojipedia shows Google’s cheese is really standing alone on this one:

RELATED: We Tried It – 4 Ways To Cook A Burger That’s Safe To Eat But Doesn’t Taste Like Leather

Google is pledging to take swift action to resolve the controversy.

What do you think?

Tesla Ends $1,000 Referral Credit Program

Sure, saving $1,000 on a car that may cost you far in excess of $70,000 might seem like a minor victory, but it’s still better than nothing. But now that Tesla is becoming more of a household name and hoping to reach a more mass-market car-buying audience, it’s getting rid of even this relatively small savings program.

Tesla recently announced it will end its referral credit program that provided prospective buyers with a $1,000 toward their purchase Tuesday evening.

Through the program, current Tesla owners could provide five friends with a $1,000 credit to be used on any new Model S or Model X vehicle. These new customers would also receive free unlimited supercharging for their vehicles.

Individuals who don’t make their purchase by end-of-the-day Tuesday won’t exactly be left empty-handed. Instead, the carmaker notes that purchases made after Oct. 31 will still receive free, unlimited supercharging.

If you’ve got a friend with a Tesla, they might just be hounding you over the next two days to finally buy one of the electric cars. That’s because they’re also getting a prize for referring you to the company.

Current owners receive an array of “thank you” awards, including a free Black Wall Connector, a miniature Model S for kids, a new set of (literal) wheels, and Powerwall 2 home batteries.

Tesla first unveiled its incentive program in July 2015, offering both the current Tesla owner and the new customer $1,000 off the list price of a new vehicle, accessories, or service.

It should be noted that Tesla does not appear to offer any kind of referral program for customers who already own or are looking to buy the new, more modestly priced Model 3.

The Model 3, which officially launched this summer, is intended to be Tesla’s first mass-produced electric vehicle with a price tag starting around $36,000.

However, the car’s debut has been marred with complications, as Tesla deals with “manufacturing bottlenecks.”

Earlier this month, the company said it had fallen short of its goal of producing 1,500 vehicles between late July and the end of September, only producing 260 Model 3 cars and delivering 220 of them.

The Beer & Booze Company Behind Corona, Svedka & Mondavi Is Now Investing In Marijuana

Instead of shrinking in fear from the rising green tide of legal marijuana, the parent company behind booze brands like Corona, Svedka, and Robert Mondavi is jumping right in with a big investment in the legal marijuana business.

Constellation Brands Inc. is shelling out $191 million for a 9.9% stake in Canopy Growth Corp, a Canadian company — known as WEED on the Toronto Stock Exchange — that sells medicinal cannabis products in that country and other markets where it’s legal.

Constellation doesn’t have plans to start selling weed products in the U.S. — or anywhere else, for that matter — until it’s legal “at all government levels.”

In the mean time, Constellation can get a jumpstart on figuring out what will the next big thing in legal marijuana, which is “predicted to become a significant consumer category in the future.”

“Our company’s success is the result of our focus on identifying early stage consumer trends, and this is another step in that direction,” Constellation CEO Rob Sands said in a statement.

While you won’t be able to crack open a cold can of weed-infused Corona any time soon, there could be some kind of cannabis beverage down the road — again, wherever it’s federally legal — as the two companies will be exchanging “knowledge and expertise.”