Why You Should Care About The Supreme Court Case On Toner Cartridges

Read the full article at consumerist.com.

“A corporate squabble over printer toner cartridges doesn’t sound particularly glamorous, and the phrase “patent exhaustion” is probably already causing your eyes to glaze over. However, these otherwise boring topics are the crux of a Supreme Court case that will answer a question with far-reaching impact for all consumers: Can a company that sold you something use its patent on that product to control how you choose to use after you buy it?”

Here’s Consumerist’s TL;DR summary of the article:

• In order to stop customers from using third-party companies that refill printer toner cartridges, Lexmark began asserting patent control over its cartridges.
• One those third-party companies sued Lexmark, contending that this an abuse of patent protection, and that consumers have the right to do what they want with a product after they buy it.
• If the Supreme Court sides with Lexmark, it could have far-reaching implications, allowing companies to further limit consumers’ ability to use, reuse, or resell the things they purchase.
• A ruling is not expected in this matter until later in the spring or summer.

Watch Out For Card Skimmers On Gas Pumps

This material originally appeared on consumerist.com.

“Security expert Brian Krebs this week delved into the scourge of pump skimmers showing up in The Grand Canyon state of late.

[M]ost of the stations where skimmers have been found are still using the factory-default locks on the pumps — meaning basically anyone with a master key could pop ’em all open.

[S]ince more and more skimmers use bluetooth wireless techology, nobody has to come back suspciously to the scene of the crime to collect the data. They only have to pull up, as if pumping gas, to download it from nearby.

In short, Krebs says, the available data point to “a clear trend of fraudsters targeting owners and operators that flout basic security best practices.” And Arizona, he adds, is just a microcosm — this is happening everywhere (like Dallas and New England and…).

By all means, have a good look at any credit card slot before you put your card in, and don’t ever use one that seems suspicious. But skimmers are getting smaller and easier to hide all the time so in the long run, your best bet is always going to be keeping a tight eye on all your statements and reporting any fraudulent charges to your bank ASAP.”