vendredi 29 août 2014

Possible Mini-Security Breach At California Target Store

targetBack in January, postal inspectors discovered a scheme to duplicate the credit cards of Target customers and rack up purchases on counterfeit cards. No… we don’t mean that Target credit card breach. So far, this appears to be a much smaller breach, though authorities can’t say for sure yet that it’s not at all related to the breach that shook up the retail business and all of our wallets earlier this year.

What we know so far is that postal inspectors have been investigating this situation since January (warning: auto-play video at that link) and in April, they apprehended the man who was allegedly behind the scheme. He told investigators that he used his computer science training to figure out the card number sequence that Target uses for its store cards, and used that information to make counterfeit cards. These cards were then used to buy about $200,000 worth of merchandise from Target stores.

In a statement, Target told local radio station KFBK that they don’t think the thefts are related to a breach of the point-of-sale systems, which is what happened in late 2013.

It’s important to note that there is absolutely no indication that this situation is in any way related to a breach of Target’s networks or point-of-sale systems.

Information protection is a top priority at Target and our investigations team has partnered with local California law enforcement and the local office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to bring charges against this individual that we believe has engaged in physical credit card fraud.

Because this is part of an ongoing investigation, any additional questions should be directed to the local law enforcement.

Central Valley Target Customers May Be Victims of Data Theft [KFBK]

Central Valley Target stores hit with credit card security breach [KXTV] (Warning: auto-play video)

Read more:

Going Shopping? Here’s Where You’ll Find September Deals

(the justified sinner)

(the justified sinner)

Do you plan to spend your Labor Day weekend shopping? If so, there are certain things that you’ll find great deals on as the calendar flips from August to September. Our power-shopping colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports recommend looking for gas grills, digital cameras, bicycles, and small electronics. Our friends over at Rather-Be-Shopping would add mattresses, baseball equipment, pool toys, and model year 2014 cars to that list. [Rather-Be-Shopping] [Consumer Reports]

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Need To Mail This Rebate Before July 1, 2004

Do you have a slightly older computer that would work with a slightly old anti-virus software? If so, stop by your nearest big-box store. The Raiders of the Lost Walmart, brave seekers of retail antiquities, have found large caches of ancient security programs for sale at big-box discount and office supply stores.

Stephen found this program from 2011 at Staples.


What’s that? Not old enough, you say? How about this one from…Oh. 2011 also. Clif found it at Target.


Fine. How about a real retail antiquity, and one from Walmart while we’re at it? Matt writes, “Avanquest is up to version 15 or higher now. Even if you had a perfectly working 486, 586, or early model Pentium to install it on, the publisher will not even let you register it or get any updates for it. I know because I tried to reinstall it after replacing a crashed HDD on an old system.”





The “upgrade” rebate has to be the best part: it would be harder to date this artifact if it weren’t for that handy bit of information.

New York Not A Fan Of Comcast’s Plan To Take Over TWC Service In New York



We’ve known for months that the FCC and the Justice Department are hard at work combing through the proposed Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, but they aren’t the only ones. Although the deal will need approval from both federal agencies in order to move forward, it also has to get the states where Comcast, TWC, and Charter operate on board. And some states, New York in particular, aren’t making it easy for the cable giants to get their way.

Under New York law, the New York Public Service Commission has to approve the transaction before Comcast and TWC can trade over operating licenses in that state. And thanks to a rule change from earlier this year, the NYPSC is obligated to make sure that the deal is actively in the public interest for the residents of New York.

Over the past few months, the NYPSC held a series of public hearings on the merger around the state. Like the FCC, the commission has also been collecting comments on the merger.

Based on their findings so far, the commission also submitted a public comment for discussion to the FCC. Although the NYPSC does not specifically advocate either for or against the merger in their comment, they do identify several areas of potential concern that they encourage the FCC to look more deeply into, particularly including potential “exclusionary pricing practices” that a post-merger Comcast could have the means, motive, and opportunity to engage in.

Bloomberg reports that New York actually has a fair amount of leverage and power over the two companies. Bringing the country’s biggest markets, New York and L.A., into Comcast country is considered to be one of the major goals of the transaction. If New York state declines to approve the merger, that could make it all very difficult for Comcast.

What’s more likely, though, is that the NYPSC will use that leverage to push for certain concessions instead. According to Bloomberg, the PSC staff has recommended that the commission only vote to approve the merger if Comcast promises to offer faster connections, provide better customer service, and expand coverage in rural areas. The Commission staff also recommends that the NYPSC ask Comcast to improve their internet access program for low-income families and to make them promise to keep jobs in New York.

The political environment in New York is not exactly warming to the merger proposal as the review carries on. Bloomberg reports that Governor Andrew Cuomo has indicated that the state’s merger review will now include a close look at this week’s massive, multi-state Time Warner Cable internet outage. And Tim Wu, who is running for lieutenant governor on a platform that includes opposition to the merger, just received endorsement from the New York Times.

The Public Service Commission will hold its vote on the merger on October 2.

New York Flaunts Clout in Review of Comcast Deal [Bloomberg]

Not The Cheese!! Kraft Recalls American Singles For Possible Premature Spoilage

cheese Obeying the correct storage process for ingredients is of the utmost importance when it comes to creating ooey-gooey cheesy deliciousness. And improper storage can spoil your cheese – as one supplier found out now that loads of Kraft Singles are being recalled.

Kraft Food Group Inc announced the voluntary recall of 7,691 cases of some varieties of its Kraft American Singles because a supplier failed to store an ingredient correctly.

The recall was initiated after Kraft found that the supplier did not store an ingredient used in the cheese slices in accordance with Kraft’s temperature standards.

Officials with Kraft say while it’s unlikely, the issue could lead to premature spoilage and/or food borne illness.

There have been no consumer illness complaints associated with the recall.

Affected product is limited to the 12-ounce, two 16-ounce and 64-ounce Kraft American Singles packages and comes with the “Best When Used By” dates of February 20, 2015, and February 21, 2015.

Kraft is recalling a variety of American Singles.

Kraft is recalling a variety of American Singles.

Kraft urges consumers who purchased these products to not eat them. Consumers should return the cheese to the store where purchased for an exchange or full refund. Consumers also can contact Kraft Foods Consumer Relations at 1-800-396-5512.

Kraft Foods Group Voluntarily Recalls Select Varieties of Regular Kraft American Singles Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product Due to Ingredient Supplier’s Out-of-Standard Storage Temperatures [Kraft Food Group]

The Pumpkin Crème Brûlée Latte Is Now A Thing At Dunkin’ Donuts

pumpkincremebruleeIt’s the last official week of summer, but did you think that America had reached peak pumpkin yet? Of course it hasn’t. Apparently the early lattes, pumpkin-flavored peanut butter, toaster strudels, and gum weren’t enough. Dunkin’ Donuts has raised the pumpkin stakes by offering pumpkin crème brûlée latte coffee drinks, and pumpkin mocha drinks. I don’t understand.

Don’t get me wrong: I like pumpkin flavoring, chocolate, and espresso even more than the average person. It just seems like the food wizards are throwing random things together at this point. I humbly suggest that someone make a maple walnut pumpkin spice muffin chocolate chai latte. It would make as much sense as the crème brûlée thing.


Meanwhile, a short drive down Fast Food Row over at McDonald’s, we’ve learned that they’re test marketing tiny bundt cakes in Florida. They’re part of the McCafé menu, and while we mention them in a breakfast context, really, cake is more of an all-day kind of food. There are three cake flavors: Cinnamon Coffee Cake, Lemon, and Double Chocolate. No mention of a pumpkin variety yet: maybe that will be the first July after they’re rolled out nationally, if that happens.

Dunkin’ Donuts Launches Pumpkin Crème Brûlée-Flavored Lattes [Foodbeast]

News: McDonald’s Testing Mini Bundt Cakes to Go with Coffee [Brand Eating]

Denny’s Is Selling A $300 Breakfast Because Everyone Wants Champagne In The Morning

Not all Denny’s locations are created equal. That’s especially true of the chain’s new New York City Financial District location that’s selling a $300 breakfast complete with a bottle of bubbly.

The classed-up version of the diner’s Grand Slam, called the Grand Cru Slam, comes with the traditional eggs, pancakes, sausage and bacon serving and a bottle of top-dollar champagne, the New York Daily News reports.

Instead of coming with an expected glass of orange juice or a cup of coffee, the meal for two comes with a bottle of 2004 Dom Perignon – because everyone needs a glass of champagne before heading to work.

Denny’s has more than 1,600 locations across the country, but its newest is the only one to offer the upscale breakfast option.

First New York City Denny’s will serve Dom Perignon breakfast for the 1% [The New York Daily News]

City Bills Landowner $944 For Non-Existent Water Service For Vacant Lot

This luxurious 0 BR 0 BA home in the up-and-coming Sharswood area of Philadelphia apparently has been running up some expensive water bills.

This luxurious 0 BR 0 BA home in the up-and-coming Sharswood area of Philadelphia apparently has been running up some expensive water bills.

There are vacant lots all over the place here in Philadelphia, and a number of them are sold at auction by the city’s Housing Authority. When one area man purchased one such empty spot of land two years ago, the last thing he probably expected was to someday be hit with an unexplained and massive water bill for a property with nothing built on it.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports on the buyer of two auctioned properties — one vacant, one completely sealed-up — on the same street in the Sharswood section of the city.

The man purchased the buildings in 2012 as investments, but nothing has changed in the two years since taking ownership… that is, until he started receiving water bills for both.

In July, the city billed him for $760.60 on the vacant lot. The sealed property was even worse, somehow running up a $758 bill in spite of having no service.

When the bill didn’t get paid — because they were obvious mistakes, right? — the first one jumped to $944 in August, with the second increasing to $941.

He brought the presumably erroneous bills to the attention of the Water Revenue Board (why is that every municipal body sounds like something out of a Philip K. Dick story?) who promised to send out an investigator… within 30 days.

As we’ve seen many times before, bureaucracies don’t generally respond well to insane water bill disputes, so the property owner took his story to the Daily News in the hope of getting a resolution sooner.

A rep for the Bureau tried to explain the problem by saying that it didn’t find out that these properties had a new owner until April. Aside from the astonishing fact that it took one city agency two years to pass on a piece of basic information to another agency, this still doesn’t explain why the owner was being billed hundred of dollars on properties that have water service or meter.

All the rep for the Bureau would say is that the “bill has been adjusted and the new owner will receive a new bill in the mail.”

As both a Philadelphia resident and someone who covers consumer news, I have a hunch this isn’t the last we’ll hear of this story.

The Only Thing College-Like In These College Themed Hotels Is A Painting Of A Red Solo Cup

A new brand of hotels aims to bring consumers back to the days of college.

A new brand of hotels aims to bring consumers back to the days of college.

Have you ever wanted to go back to college – you know, to relive the glory days when you received your first taste of freedom? We’ve all through about it at least once, right? Well, a new hotel brand aims to take consumers back, but their approach seems to be lacking – a lot in our humble opinions.

Graduate Hotels, a venture between AJ Capital Partners of Chicago and Hong Kong-based Gaw Capital Partners, plans to open 20 boutique-like hotels over the next five years in communities near major college campuses, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Officials with AJ Capital Partners say the goal of the hotels, the first of which are set to open this fall in Tempe, AZ, home of Arizona State University and Athens, GA, home of the University of Georgia, is to appeal to consumers coming back to the area for sporting events, reunions and campus visits.

While the concept is interesting, the execution seems to be sorely lacking when it comes to actually evoking the college experience. So far the only college-like aspects include nods to school spirit, team colors and, as depicted in one promotional photo, a painting of a red solo cup.

This is what one of the rooms in the Athens, GA, Graduate Hotel will look like.

This is what one of the rooms in the Athens, GA, Graduate Hotel will look like.

Everyone’s college experience is different, but I for one picture nights of studying punctuated by others filled with bar visits and a never-ending supply of dirty laundry on the floor, not mismatched patterns and brightly colored walls.

Of course, no hotel that wants to actually make money would purposely stain the carpet with beer and pile textbooks on top of desks, but Graduate Hotels’ concept to include a bar and restaurant and locally inspired art collections just sounds like all the other hotels on the market.

The hotel in Athens will include rooms with vintage ceramic lamps in the shape of the University of Georgia’s mascot and album covers from local bands including REM (because it’s apparently 1990).

In Tempe, the Wall Street Journal describes a giant ant farm behind the front desk that is supposed to represent the school’s popular social insects program. While that may be representative of part of the university, it doesn’t make me think Sun Devils.

Future Graduate Hotels are planned for the University of Virginia’s Charlottesville, VA, the University of Indiana’s Bloomington, IN, and the University of Wisconsin’s Madison, WI.

Hotel Chain Gives It the Old College Try [The Wall Street Journal]

TSA: Please Leave Your Ammo-Filled Bibles And Hot Sauce Grenades At Home

There are a lot of things you aren’t allowed to bring into the cabin of a plane: throwing stars, shoe knives, and toy guns belonging to sock monkeys. While a hollowed-out Bible might be a great hiding place for your bullets at home, the Transportation Safety Administration would like the public to know that you’ll need a different container when you travel by air.


Yes, you can bring firearms and ammunition on flights, but only in your checked baggage, and the gun can’t be loaded. Ammo has to be in a wooden or cardboard box that’s designed for carrying ammunition, which pretty much rules out hollowed-out books.

The TSA’s Instagram feed is a source of never-ending entertainment and edification. For example, who knew that hot sauce was available in handy containers shaped like grenades?


While the case goes with the brand name “flash bang,” that doesn’t mean that putting it in your carry-on is such a hot idea.

These brass knuckles shaped like kitty heads have given me exciting new gift ideas for my Consumerist co-workers.


TSA [Instagram]

We Live In A World Where Your Insurer Doesn’t Care That It Charges Two Prices For One Drug

The Oxford Prescription Drug List says that asthma drug Montelukast is an inexpensive Tier 1 drug, but makes no mention that it's pulverized form is a Tier 2 drug at twice the cost. (Click to enlarge)

The Oxford Prescription Drug List says that asthma drug Montelukast is an inexpensive Tier 1 drug, but makes no mention that it’s pulverized form is a Tier 2 drug at twice the cost. (Click to enlarge)

In one month, the price of your generic prescription doubles. The first person at your insurance company says “Oops, that’s a mistake,” but a second person tells you that the mistake was actually made when you were charged the original, lower price. Meanwhile, the insurance company’s website tells you that the lower price is the correct one — and none of these people actually seem to give a damn.

This is the hellish bureaucratic merry-go-round that ProPublica’s Charles Ornstein found himself on while trying to sort out the seemingly simple question of how much he should be paying for his kid’s asthma medication.

His son takes Montelukast, a generic form of Singulair, and Ornstein had originally paid a $15 copay at his local CVS. Then a month later, that same CVS charged him $30 based on information from his insurance company, Oxford Health Plans, part of mega-insurer UnitedHealthcare — a company so big there’s no room for a space between words.

The first rep Ornstein spoke to said a mistake had been made and he’d be entitled to a $15 refund. The rep asked him to check back in a few days to confirm, but when he did, a second rep told him he should have actually been charged $30 the whole time because the prescription was for Montelukast granules instead of tablets, meaning the drug is in a higher copay tier.

But there was good news — Oxford wasn’t going to come after Ornstein for the additional $15 he should have paid. Amen!

Confusing matters even more, the most recent Prescription Drug List [PDF] for Ornstein’s plan lists Montelukast as a Tier 1 drug — the lowest-cost level — and makes no reference to their being a different charge for granulated vs. tablet form.

Ornstein contact the media rep for Oxford and identified himself as a journalist. The rep confirmed that, in spite of what Oxford’s own drug list implies, the granulated form of Montelukast is indeed a Tier 2 drug. A possible solution, suggested the company, was for Ornstein to purchase the cheaper tablets of the drug and pulverize them himself.

But that still doesn’t answer why the company lists the drug as Tier 1 but charges Tier 2 prices (sometimes).

“Our online prescription drug list (PDL) — while comprehensive — is not all encompassing for every drug and classification for all manufacturers,” explained a rep for the insurer. “It is published twice per year and includes the top 500 most commonly used drugs. It is a great first stop for our members who wish to know if a particular drug is included in our formulary.”

The problem is, this sort of confusion is not rare. When first faced with the increased price, the CVS pharmacist told him that this happens all the time.

And much of the confusion seems to come from the multiple pricing tiers introduced by insurance companies as prices for generics have increased. In 2000, nearly half of private insurance plans only had two pricing tiers for drugs — one for generics and another for name-brand. And nearly 1-in-4 insured workers in the U.S. paid one price for all drugs.

Now, more than 80% of insurance plans have at least three tiers of drug pricing. And even then, there might be pricing differences within each tier, depending on your insurer.

“It’s a maze, a complete maze trying to figure out which end is up,” Lorie Gardner, a registered nurse and the chief executive of Healthlink Advocates Inc., tells Ornstein. “There are errors everywhere, unfortunately.”

Can’t We Just Get Along? Yet Another Flight Diverted Because Passengers Argue Over Reclining Seat

There appears to be a new trend taking over the skies, and it’s one we certainly can not get behind. For the second time this week a U.S. operated flight was diverted because of a disruption over reclining seats.

The Boston Globe reports an American Airlines flight from Miami to Paris was diverted to Logan International Airport in Boston on Wednesday evening after a man became angry when the woman in front of him reclined her seat.

According to Massachusetts State Police, the 61-year-old man became enraged when the woman in front of him reclined her seat. A flight crew member’s attempt to calm the situation backfired, as the man allegedly followed the employee down the plane’s aisle and grabbed his arm.

An air marshal stepped in and handcuffed the man while the plane began its decent.

Upon arrival in Boston, the Parisian man was taken to a local hospital for observation and treatment of a pre-existing medical condition. According to police officials, the man was then arrested and now faces federal and state charges of interfering with the crew.

After the situation was resolved, the flight continued on to Paris.

Wednesday’s incident was decidedly more intense than a similar situation that occurred on a United Airlines flight earlier this week.

In that case, a man and woman were removed for the flight after scuffling. The man allegedly used a Knee Defender – a device that locks onto the tray table on the back of the seat, making it impossible for the person in front to recline.

When a flight attendant asked him to remove the device, he refused. The woman directly in front of him then allegedly stood up and threw a cup of water at him.

Reclining seats have been a point of spirited dispute for ages – resulting in previous rumbles in the aisles (especially during meal time) and even the intervention of F-16s after a reclining seat-induced slap fight. There’s even been discussion as to whether the whole reclining thing should be done away with, especially since some airlines have cut the amount of recline available to begin with.

Seat spat diverts Paris-bound flight to Logan Airport [The Boston Globe]

Sketchy Online Retailer With $250 Fee For Complainers Is “Down For Maintenance”

undergoingmaintenance For the last few days, we’ve been following the story of sketchy online retailer Accessory Outlet, which was recently sued over its bizarre policy of penalizing customers $250 for even threatening to publicly complain about a purchase or file a chargeback request with their credit card issuers. Then we revealed how the site was blatantly lying about its various customer service ratings, awards, and certifications. Now it looks like the site has been pulled down, if only temporarily.

Visitors to any of the multiple URLs that Accessory Outlet uses (including and are no longer greeted with a fake A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau or a stolen image of a Samsung store in Korea, or the dubious claim of being “the #1 Mobile Accessory wholesaler in the United States.”

Instead, people going to these sites now find the message “Site is undergoing maintenance. Please check back later.” Some of the company’s URLs, like, merely come up blank with absolutely no message.

Whether this is merely the site crashing due to overwhelming response from people curious to check out the sketchiness, or if the site is actually being redesigned — possibly in response to the cease-and-desist order from the BBB — is a mystery.

What’s not a mystery are the many complaints that customers have posted about Accessory Outlet and its various iterations on public complaints boards.

We have attempted to contact this company for comment on the lawsuit and the $250 fee, but to no avail.

5 Little-Known Ways To Save Money On Amazon

Online shoppers often end up buying things on Amazon by default. They have the best price, and hey, I have a Prime membership anyway! What you may not realize is that there are ways to save money even after you’ve put that package of flea pills or protein powder or new keyboard in your cart.

Grayson Bell over at Debt Roundup rounded up five ways to save money at Amazon that you might not know about. Most of them aren’t even on a similar post on this subject that we published last year! If you did know about them, just sit back and feel smug.

  1. Amazon Warehouse Deals. What do you think happens when you return something to Amazon’s warehouse, and the box gets dinged a little bit during the journey? What happens when the customer opens a sealed box, then returns the item? Open-box deals, of course! Amazon’s open-box department is called Warehouse Deals, and you can browse it here. Also check out the very similar Amazon Outlet.

  2. Leave your cart and wander off. Doing this makes you a really big jerk while shopping at a store in real life, but is a time-honored method to save money when shopping online. The method is simple, and something that I do accidentally much of the time anyway. Just add some items to your virtual cart while signed in with your account for the site, and then wander off. Many sites will send you an e-mail to remind you about the items that you forgot, and Grayson reports that sometimes Amazon is one of them. “I have saved up to 20% one time when doing this method, but again, this is hit or miss,” he writes.

  3. PriceJump. has developed a tool (also available as a browser extension) that takes the item you want at Amazon and checks other sites to see whether it’s available cheaper somewhere else. I didn’t have much luck with this: I tried it with a keyboard I have my eye on, and PriceJump said that Amazon wouldn’t let the site import information about the item. Sad.

  4. CamelCamelCamel. This site is a tool that lets you get price alerts, track item prices over time, and easily make comparisons. It also has a handy browser extension.

  5. Subscribe and Save. This is a tool that’s well-known to regular Amazon shoppers, but worth trying when there is something that you really do purchase at regular intervals. You commit to regular shipments, and Amazon knocks 15% off the price.

5 Little Known Ways to Save Money at [Debt Roundup]

Company Sends John Hodgman His Order In Box Covered With Photo Of John Hodgman

It’s one thing if you’re a celebrity and you turn on the TV and see your face. That happens. But when ordering something online, even a world-famous uber-celebrity like hunky author, actor, comedian, raconteur, and undercover CIA spy John Hodgman probably expects to receive the same anonymous treatment that the rest of us do.

But, according to Hodgman’s Instagram account, he recently received an order that left him “3% creeped out and 97% THRILLED.”

The man that Angelina Jolie secretly wanted to marry says he had ordered a new remote control for his 22-year-old TV from a website called, only to receive the parcel that stared back at him through his own eyes.

If anyone wants to send me a package with my photo on it, here’s what I really look like.

Bank Of America Doesn’t Want To Pay $1.27B For Countrywide’s “Hustle” Mortgage Scam

Between settlements, fines, legal fees, and loan reductions, Bank of America’s tab for its part in the mortgage meltdown is well over $50 billion, including last week’s record-setting $16.65 billion deal. And yet BofA is still trying to fight a nearly year-old jury verdict involving a scam by Countrywide Financial that sold off oodles of worthless home loans before the housing bubble collapsed.

It was last October that a federal jury found BofA liable for the misdeeds of Countrywide’s High Speed Swim Lane (HSSL, aka “The Hustle”) program, which began in the final, doomed days of the housing bubble with the goal of approving as many loans as possible in order to quickly resell them to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac before they realized the mortgages weren’t worth the Post-It notes on which they’d been written.

In order to expedite loan approvals, the Hustle removed the typical underwriting safeguards that would usually prevent a lender from making a bad loan. Additionally, the government charged that Countrywide misrepresented the quality of these loans when reselling them.

Nearly half of the Hustle loans resold to Fannie or Freddie turned out toxic, resulting in massive losses.

Earlier this summer, the judge in the case finally decided that BofA should have to pay $1.27 billion in damages, and Rebecca Mairone, the Countrywide exec who oversaw the program, is on the hook for $1 million.

Even after the verdict and penalty had been decided, BofA maintained that it shouldn’t be held responsible because the program ended before BofA acquired a failing Countrywide.

And in its appeal, the bank further argues that there was no actual evidence of fraud.

“The trial evidence, even viewed in the light most favorable to the government, did not prove fraud under this standard,” the bank’s lawyers wrote in a motion filed with the court this week, according to Reuters.

Federal prosecutors are expected to file a response on Sept. 18.

Coffee Companies May Have Already Cracked DRM On Keurig 2.0

When we say that someone has cracked the DRM on something, usually it means a pirated song, game, book, or movie is about to make its way through the less-than-legal back channels of the internet. But this time, one company is announcing that they’ve cracked the DRM on another company’s coffee tech.

Keurig single-serving coffee machines have probably reduced workplace acrimony more than any other invention since the advent of noise-cancelling headphones. They’re pretty much everywhere these days, and everyone who sells coffee wants in on the game.

Months ago, parent company Green Mountain Coffee announced that in order to keep making large piles of money, their next version of the machine would, basically, be DRM-locked. They claimed that doing so would allow them to bring innovative benefits to Keurig-owning coffee drinkers, but realistically adding the DRM would mostly require anyone who wanted single-serve drinkers to brew their java to pay Keurig for licensing.

One K-cup-making company, Treehouse Foods, filed a lawsuit against Green Mountain Coffee back in March. In the suit, they alleged that Keurig was unfairly monopolizing the market and locking out competitors unfairly.

Treehouse may not be planning to wait out the whole legal process, though. Back in June they said that the DRM tech would be easy to crack, and this month another company appears to have done it.

In a press release, Mother Parkers, a Canadian beverage business, announced that their product would be available on the new generation of Keurig brewers thanks to their “focus on innovation, quality, and freedom of choice” which “has led to new technology.”

As TechDirt points out, that sure sounds a lot like they developed a work-around in house instead of paying Keurig for licensing.

We’ve asked both Treehouse and Mother Parkers to clarify and will update if we hear back.

Keurig’s Coffee DRM Already Cracked By Competitors; Will There Be A Lawsuit? [TechDirt]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

Here are eleven of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness.

Our Flickr Pool is the place where Consumerist readers upload photos for possible use in future Consumerist posts. Want to see your pictures on our site? Just be a registered Flickr user, go here, and click “Join Group?” up on the top right. Choose your best photos, then click “send to group” on the individual images you want to add to the pool.