Say what you will about Apple’s dominion over the music industry, but for a while now they’ve maintained an artificially low market for music tracks by forcing labels to sell songs for 99 cents each. That era is over: in exchange for moving to a higher bitrate and going 100% DRM free (hooray) iTunes has officially introduced “variable pricing” (boo), which means each track may cost 69 cents, 99 cents, or $1.29—it all depends on the song and the label. It looks like Amazon has introduced variable pricing as well, although it’s mostly holding to the 99 cents threshold for now. Amazon’s tracks, by the way, have always been free of DRM.
A CBS investigation has uncovered some Walmart and Macy’s coats being sold at Burlington Coat Factor — disguised as more expensive designer brands. Apparently, some jackass at a coat supplier thought it would be a good idea to glue Perry Ellis labels on cheap coats. As you can imagine, both Burlington Coat Factory and the customers with the fake merchandise are not pleased.
Here’s a perfect example of why you should always approach “healthy” labeling on food products with a skeptical eye. Summer did a quick side-by-side comparison of regular Mott’s apple juice with new Mott’s Plus Light. What she found was that except for a few added vitamins, the Light product was just Mott’s juice diluted by 50% with water—but selling for the same price as the 100% juice.
It looks like the fell Grocery Shrink Ray may have hit cans of Arizona Ice Tea, reducing the size of their 12 oz cans to 11.5 oz cans. We couldn’t find any definite pictures of 12oz Arizona Ice Tea cans, but we did find them being sold on this website in 12 oz cans. What happens to a product when the shrink ray hits it? I imagine it goes eek! eek! eek! and the last eek is an octave higher than the first.
Reader Eric sent us a konfusing photo of Krazy Glue. On the front it clearly says, “Bonds: wood, metal, ceramics, pottery, rubber, leather, plastic.” Yet the back clearly reads, “Not for use on wood and leather.” So does Krazy Glue work on wood and leather? Krazy Glue, you so krazy!
Act mouthwash may look like it comes in two sizes, but according to Mouseprint, the large and small bottles are actually entirely different products. The labeling looks largely the same until you get to the active ingredient. The small bottle contains .05% of sodium fluoride while the large bottle contains .02%. Hit the jump for Act’s sneaky explanation.
That $1,500 Prada bag may have been stitched by an illegal Chinese immigrant slaving away in a Tuscan factory. The tentacles of globalization are starting to snake dirt-cheap foreign laborers into once-protected enclaves known for their quality swag.
If you bought sheets at Bed Bath & Beyond you may have some money coming to you from a class action settlement. BB&B has begun notifying customers that they’ve settled a class action lawsuit brought over the thread count in their sheets. Apparently, said sheets had been labeled in a non-standard manner.
Sony has agreed to sell its songs DRM-free on the Amazon MP3 store, completing the set—now all four big record companies are on board. It’s amazing how a little iTunes competitiveness will bring a bunch of executives together.
Starting today, Warner Music songs are now available on the Amazon MP3 music store, in DRM-free formats and at prices competitive to what iTunes charges. According to Reuters, Amazon has now reached “deals with music labels Universal Music Group, part of Vivendi, and EMI. The remaining major recording group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, has yet to offer its songs for the service.” Sony BMG, you guys are very, very old dorks.
Ever wonder where your goat meat came from? No? Well several Senators did, so their chamber’s version of the farm bill extends country of origin labeling to chickens, macadamia nuts, and goat meat. The labels, which are already required for beef, pork, lamb, peanuts, fresh fruits, and vegetables, should appear by late next year.
Radiohead may have moved 1.2 million copies of its new album “In Rainbows” when it was released last week, but according to industry analysts, over 500,000 copies were downloaded through old-fashioned file sharing networks, eroding the perceived success of the distribution plan and possibly hindering similar release plans for other artists in the future.
Over a year and a half ago, we alerted readers to the sneaky practice of using carbon monoxide to indefinitely preserve raw meat’s red color—several stores admitted to the practice, and while the small amount of gas used does not pose a health risk, the perma-red meat can make it harder to detect spoilage. Now, in the wake of so many food and product safety scandals, the government has proposed a new mandatory warning label as part of the Food and Drug Import Safety Act of 2007. It would read:
Carbon monoxide has been used to preserve the color of this product. Do not rely on color or the ‘use or freeze by’ date alone to judge the freshness or safety of the product. Discard any product with an unpleasant odor, slime, or a bulging package.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is considering a bill that would require bottled water to bear a label clearly stating the source of the water, contact information for the bottler, and the location of recent water quality reports. SB 220 sailed through the California Legislature earlier this month, and would remind bottled water guzzlers that they are shelling out big bucks for a free, public resource.
The confusion has put some companies in hot water. PepsiCo Inc.’s Aquafina brand and Coca-Cola Co.’s Dasani were slammed by consumer and environmental groups for failing to clearly note that their products came from water systems.