1. DIET PILL MAKER CAN’T LOSE STUBBORN $40M FINE
A Georgia supplement company can’t shed federal contempt charges, much like its weight loss supplements don’t shed pounds. The 11th Circuit rejected Hi-Tech Pharmaceutical’s bid to lose a 2017 $40M contempt judgment to the Federal Trade Commission. That, after violating an injunction on making unsubstantiated claims about its supplements, like “warning” consumers about rapid fat and weight loss. Hi-Tech argued SCOTUS’ ruling in AMG v. FTC barred the commission from seeking restitution so it shouldn’t have to keep paying. But the 11th disagreed, concluding the fine happened because it violated an injunction. SCOTUS limited feds’ authority to seek certain equitable relief, not the district court’s ability to grant it.
2. OHIO PAPER PAUSES AI SPORTS WRITING PROGRAM
Robot’s out in Ohio. The Columbus Dispatch and other Gannett-owned newspapers published dozens of high school game recaps this month using an artificial intelligence sports writing tool. But the Dispatch benched the bot after criticism went viral on social media. Humans blasted the colorless writing and use of phrases only robots could love, like “close encounter of the athletic kind.” Groan. Readers also dissed the lack of other human touches, such as accuracy. One AI article reported that the schools’ mascots played each other instead of their soccer teams. The rise of the machines at Gannett follows massive layoffs of nearly half its human workforce.
3. ARCTIC CIRCLE O’HELL FOR WOMEN AT US RESEARCH CTR
Amid the ice, perpetual darkness and howling winds of Antarctica – sexual harassment against women at the U.S.’s primary research center thrives – despite an exposé last year from the National Science Foundation. Those numbers revealed nearly 60% of women workers said they’d experienced harassment or assault. And the problem goes beyond the abuse itself. Records and interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees show a pattern of women who said their abuse claims were minimized, leaving them to fend for themselves on one of Earth’s most remote job sites. The NSF says it has improved safety since the report and established a 24-hour helpline.
4. COFFEE’S NOT MEETING BAGEL DURING APP OUTAGE
Users of a dating app for “serious daters” are seriously frustrated. Coffee Meets Bagel went down August 27 and its 10M users feel ghosted. CMB says it’s making progress but won’t make a long-term commitment as to when it’ll be fixed. For the romance-interrupted, the app’s crash is a bad breakup. Many have complained they had dates set up with new “Bagels” or matches before the crash and peace of mind is playing hard to get since they can’t contact them. Some have even taken to online sleuthing in search of their everything bagel in hopes of contacting them outside the app. One user succeeded, finding her on LinkedIn, but he says searching made him feel like a creeper.
5. CT. 17 AT US OPEN SMELLS LIKE SNOOP DOG’S HOUSE
Sometimes called the unofficial scent of NYC, marijuana’s pungent odor is causing a stink at the U.S. Open. Eighth-seeded Maria Sakkari complained during her match on Court 17 this week that the pot smell was overwhelming. Dude. In recent years 17’s become infamous for the eau de MJ coming from seemingly everywhere. Officials tried to weed out the source but found no evidence anyone in the stands was toking during Sakkari’s match. They think it may be wafting in from the nearby park. If so, there’s not much they can doobie, doobie, do. High-Five fun fact – the Open rates as the world’s noisiest Grand Slam.