Pop & Hiss
MTV VMAs 2015: Five reasons it was all a mess
Consumer Confidential With David Lazarus
Here's why drugmakers are held in low esteem

Are you befuddled by the cost of prescription drugs? There may be a legitimate reason.

"It's certainly not an efficient market," Jason Doctor, an associate professor of pharmaceutical and health economics at USC, said about prescription drug prices.

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When your TV can spy on you.

We've heard a lot of gee-whiz talk in recent months about "smart homes" and "smart appliances" — promises from the tech industry that Internet-connected devices will make our lives infinitely better and more convenient.

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Boycott Amazon? It's not an easy choice

There are plenty of examples of consumers flexing their economic muscle in response to what they see as businesses behaving badly.

Take the boycott of California grapes in the 1960s over mistreatment of farmworkers. Or the boycott of Chick-fil-A in 2012 over the fast-food chain's opposition to same-sex marriage.

So what, if anything, should be done about Amazon.com?

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Do we need to put front license plates on cars?

Shayla says she was recently ticketed for not having a license plate on the front of her car, only the back.

"But what if you were issued only one?" she asks.

Short answer: Then it's your responsibility to get that second one.

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AT&T making it even harder for you to protect your privacy

In completing his company's $49-billion acquisition of DirecTV last month, AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said it was "all about giving customers more choices."

He meant entertainment and service choices, but he could just as easily have been referring to the myriad of decisions customers will encounter if they seek to protect their privacy.

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Getting out of an unwanted timeshare deal

Cathy wants to get rid of her parents' timeshare. She's heard about an organization called Timeshare Exit Team and wants to know if they're legit.

First off, timeshares may be a boon to the vacation-minded, but I hear nothing but horror stories about people who are buried under maintenance fees and can't get out of their contracts.

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