survey says

Our favorite industries to hate are internet and cable providers, poll shows

May 20, 2014

You might have thought this for a while, but it's finally official: there's nothing we loathe more than dealing with our cable or internet providers. A new survey from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which asked 70,000 people about their overall satisfaction with several communications companies, found that internet and cable providers ranked dead last in terms of satisfaction.

Only 65 percent of those polled were satisfied with their cable companies, a decline of 4.4 percent since last year. Internet companies fared worse, with 63 percent of people reporting they were satisfied with their service — that's a decline of 3 percent since last year. Fiber-optic and satellite companies, like Verizon's FiOS and DirecTV, scored the highest in terms of satisfaction.

Time Warner and Comcast, who are seeking a merger, ranked last for both television and internet companies. Head over to Quartz to see more from the survey.

2016 Watch

Hillary Clinton might wait until July to launch her 2016 campaign

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton might wait even longer than previously expected to debut her presidential campaign, according to Politico.

The former secretary of state was expected to declare her candidacy sometime in the spring. But with no serious challengers undercutting her support, and wary of the dip in popularity that will come with the transition from ex-Secretary of State to presidential candidate, Clinton may hold of on a formal announcement until July.

"If you have the luxury of time, you take it," a Democratic source told Politico.

AirAsia Flight 8501

Co-pilot was flying AirAsia plane during crash

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Oscar Siagian/Getty Images

Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee said Thursday that Remi Plesel, the co-pilot of AirAsia Flight 8501, was in control of the plane when it crashed into the Java Sea last month. The information comes from the black box recording after the flight data recorder was recovered earlier this month. The plane crashed en route from Surabaya to Singapore on Dec. 28, killing all 162 passengers.

The data recorder provided a "pretty clear picture" of what happened during the plane's crash, Mardjono Siswosuwarno, chief investigator for Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee, told The Guardian. According to the data records, the flight climbed sharply before its descent, going from 32,000 feet to 37,400 feet in 30 seconds before dropping to 32,000 feet.

Demanding times

North Korea had a price for South Korea reconciliation talks: $10 billion

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Song Kyung-Seok - Pool /Getty Images

When North and South Korea met for unification talks in 2000, it emerged later, then–South Korean President Kim Dae-jung helped funnel $500 million to late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. So when Kim Jong Il wanted to meet with another South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak, in 2009, he had some bigger demands, Lee writes in a new book, according to Reuters. Lee was president from 2008 to 2013.

The conditions for the talk included $10 billion in cash, 400,000 tons of rice, 100,000 tons of corn, and 300,000 tons of fertilizer, Lee writes, adding that in his opinion, "we shouldn't be haggling for a summit." He didn't agree to the terms, and partly because of that, and partly because Kim Jong Il refused to acknowledge a 2010 torpedo attack that killed 46 South Korean sailors, Lee writes, he never met the North Korean leader before Kim's death in 2011. Last week, North Korea issued new demands for reconciliation talks: South Korea has to lift the sanctions Lee imposed after the deadly torpedo attack.


Scientists: The Ebola virus is mutating

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Handout/Getty Images

Scientists at the French Institut Pasteur have warned that the Ebola virus is mutating. They are now analyzing Guinean Ebola patients' blood samples to determine whether the virus may have become more contagious.

The researchers emphasized that Ebola could eventually morph into an airborne disease, though there is no evidence that this has happened so far. The Institut Pasteur is developing two vaccines that may reach human trials by the end of 2015.

The Ebola outbreak has killed about 8,795 people so far and has infected more than 22,000 people, with Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone hit the hardest.

The Daily Showdown

Jon Stewart isn't impressed with Obama's side trip to Saudi Arabia

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Oddly, the Big Question on late-night comedy on Wednesday was: Why did President Obama cut short his trip to India to visit Saudi Arabia to pay his respects to the family of the late King Abdullah, when he skipped the big solidarity march in Paris, attended by other world leaders? David Letterman sort of shrugged at the question, but Jon Stewart spent a good part of The Daily Show pondering the quandary.

Well, he didn't ponder that much — he went for the obvious explanation: Oil. ("I can't say mad at you," Stewart said with mock doe-eyes after being informed the Saudis are responsible for our low gas prices.) After decrying Saudi Arabia's human rights shortcomings and the corrupting power of oil, though, Stewart did find one concrete example of how America's closest Arab frenemy is "a stabilizing force." —Peter Weber


Malaysia declares Flight MH370 an accident, almost a year after disappearance

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Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The world is not really any closer to knowing what happened to Malaysia Airline Flight MH370 than when it vanished on March 8, 2014, but on Thursday, Malaysia formally declared the disappearance an accident, with all 239 people on board presumed dead. The declaration is largely meant to clear the way for the airlines to start compensating the next-of-kin of the plane's passengers — a move strongly encouraged by China, the home country of most of the passengers.

Malaysia insisted that it is still investigating the crash and hasn't given up looking for the wreckage. There are four vessels currently searching the Indian Ocean for any trace of the Boeing 777.


WHO: New weekly Ebola cases drop below 100, shifting mission from contain to destroy

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John Moore/Getty Images

The global fight against West Africa's Ebola pandemic is entering the cleanup phase, the World Health Organization suggested on Thursday. Last week, only 99 confirmed new Ebola cases were reported worldwide, the first time the number of new infections dipped below 100 since last June, the WHO said. That means, the U.N. agency explained in a statement, that "the response to the EVD (Ebola virus disease) epidemic has now moved to a second phase, as the focus shifts from slowing transmission to ending the epidemic."

The biggest reductions in reported infections and fatalities were in Sierra Leone and especially Liberia, where fewer than a person a day died of Ebola in the 21 days before Jan. 25. Guinea, the third epicenter of the pandemic, saw a slight uptick in cases last week. In all, 22,092 people have been infected with the Ebola virus and 8,810 have died in the pandemic, almost all of them in the three West African nations.

Smart takes

Kristen Schaal mansplains subway 'manspreading' to an uncomfortable Jon Stewart

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New York City's subway authority has recently tried to crack down on "manspreading," or the practice of occupying two seats by spreading your legs apart. But "what seems like a simple question of manners, taking up two seats when you could take up one, has somehow opened a new front in the culture war," Jon Stewart observed on Thursday night's Daily Show. He brought on Senior Women's Issue Correspondent Kristen Schaal to explain why the male backlash against the manspreading crackdown is misguided.

Schaal sides with the men. "The subway is the only place men have left — we have literally driven you underground to find that last inch of ball space," she said, feigning concern. "As a woman who has struggled her entire life to keep her knees together, I am your ally." Things got a little uncomfortable when Schaal insisted on giving a rousing pep talk directly to Stewart's testicles, and when she suggested her new male allies bare "a little ball cleavage" to "show us what you're fighting for." In other words, vintage Schaal. If that's your cup of tea, watch below. —Peter Weber


This BBC video puts Apple's massive, crazy profits in perspective

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Apple reported incredible quarterly earnings this week, netting $18 billion largely on the back of robust iPhone sales. If you earned $40,000 a year, how long would it take you to earn what Apple did in three months? How many times over could Apple buy Lithuania (iLithuania, anyone)? The BBC tackles these questions and more in the video below, trying to make sense of Apple's recent success. Watch and wonder. —Peter Weber

needs more Hingle McCringleberry

Key & Peele returns with a timely spoof of football player names

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Key & Peele is back with yet another East-West Bowl sketch featuring fictional football players with outrageous names, and it is as over-the-top as ever (Stumptavian Roboclick, Swordless Mimeclown, and Triple Parakeet-Shoes are among the tamer ones). For this third installment, however, we're also treated to cameos from actual players with unique monikers — hey there, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and D'Brickashaw Ferguson — showing that they're pretty good sports off the field, too. —Catherine Garcia

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