The price of everything in the telecom world has fallen over the past decade, except for cable. Cable is now 77% more expensive than it was ten years ago, an increase that dwarfs the rate of inflation and makes telecom executives salivate. The Times looks with pity on all of us who splay our wallets wide for the industry, and asks if there’s any salvation other than à la carte pricing.
Airlines aren’t just hiking fees to cover fuel costs—they’re also reducing the number of places where they’ll fly. Nearly 30 cities across the country have lost their scheduled service over the last year, making it just a little harder to get to sparsely populated areas. [New York Times]
“We can only serve two options and beef and pork obviously have religious restrictions.
The New York Times made a pretty cool graph out of the Consumer Price Index, which tracks changes in prices for many consumer goods over the past year. Turns out, gas prices went up.
Express shipping from Amtrak is a cost-efficient way to ship packages between cities, sometimes costing half the price of UPS or FedEx.
Country Crock’s three-pound vats of fat are now three ounces lighter, but you can’t tell by looking at the packaging. The crock-purveyor Unilever claims that the adjustment was made not to ensure optimal profitability, but to “ensure optimal consumer satisfaction.”
The Labor Department reported that wholesale inflation was up 6.3 percent for all of 2007, reflecting a huge increase for the year in various types of energy costs ranging from gasoline to home heating oil.
John Norris’ family is drinking a lot less milk these days. He said he considers the higher prices and has cut back on his kids’ milk consumption. But between work and family obligations, he still drives almost as much as he used to.
College costs are accelerating in price, according to a new study released this morning.
Just buy ’em and scrape off the lead paint. Why? Because toy makers will be passing the cost of higher-quality and better-made toys on to you next year. Says one analyst, “Anything that’s a new introduction, you can make that price point $19.99 rather than $14.99.”
The L.A. Times is reporting that AARP products are not always the best deal for senior citizens. The American Association of Retired Persons is susceptible to a profit motive; $400 million – 40%, of their annual budget – is generated from “royalties and service provider relationship management fees” gleaned from products, such as Medigap insurance, sold to its 38 million members.
The Times brings us the sad story of Brandy McDowell and Kezia Chandler, two longtime friends whose relationship was shattered when they signed up with rival cellphone companies. The prospect of free mobile-to-mobile minutes has baited many friends groups to sign up or stick with the same carrier, ruining some friendships in the process. The Times article is rife with accounts of people who lost contact with friends banished to wilderness of nights and weekends. Are you loyal to your friends or your wallet? Tell us in our poll, after the jump.
Lifehacker points us to a post on Coding Horror that details how to determine the cost of leaving your computer on all the time. Unsurprisingly, it involves the use of the Kill-a-Watt (power meter), but the post also gives some tips that anyone can use to cut the costs involved in keeping that computer running. —MEGHANN MARCO
American and Delta have rated rates in the face of higher fuel costs, the airlines said yesterday. US Airways and Continental did not match the hike, and United and Northwest said they are studying it.