Grab your nearest economist and hold them tight, prices are falling. The Labor Department says that the obsessed-over Consumer Price Index fell 0.4 percent for the year — the first annual drop since 1955.
MP3newswire.net browsed through not-quite-hits from past decades on the iTunes Music Store to see where these fabled 69 cent music tracks are hiding. He tried the Katydids, Camper Van Beethoven, the Lyres, Rock and Roll Trio, but found nothing below 99 cents. Then he went back to be-bop and blues recordings of the ’40s—nope. Finally, he looked at songs from Ada Jones, a recording artist from 1893 to 1922. Everything was still 99 cents.
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.
Kodak Gallery is a poor choice for online photo storage. As of this month, they’ve changed their storage policy so that now you must spend a minimum amount—$4.99 or $19.99, depending on whether you’re under or over 2GB of storage—every 12 months or your pics will be deleted. By comparison, Shutterfly has no minimum spending requirement and unlimited storage.
So, it’s not exactly good news, but between the toilet tax and priority boarding fees, Reuters thinks that airlines may have run out of “perks” worth excluding from a ticket’s base price. The bad news? All those new airline fees aren’t going anywhere. American Airlines, which last year pocketed an extra billion in “ancillary revenue,” calls them “a pretty big success story.”
Not to be outdone by all the negative publicity Office Depot is getting over their “not in stock” lies, Best Buy stores in the New York area have been uncovered refusing to price match TV prices in accordance with their official policy. When pressed, the sales associates said that the TVs weren’t covered due to imaginary exclusions that aren’t included in the official policy language. An employee at one of the stores gave in, but then made up a new imaginary policy that said free delivery would cost $100.
The Super Stack can of Pringles on the right looks super big and super packed full of chips. It only has 12% more snack inside, though, while it costs 25% more of your money. Luckily, if you’re not handy with division or don’t have a calculator or phone with you, just look at the price per pound on the tags below. And never trust packaging!
With the the cost of ingredients, gas prices, and interest rates dropping, why are food manufacturers continuing to hike prices and shrink products? According to the L.A. Times, supermarkets don’t know, but they’re as pissed as we are.
Brian begged and pleaded but Verizon simply wouldn’t tell him how much his DSL would cost after taxes and fees, unless he signed a one-year contract. The customer service representatives staffing Verizon’s operation centers claimed that it was too difficult to figure out all that math nonsense for every jurisdiction. When Brian pushed and insisted that surely they had to know how much their service cost, he was told that “there wasn’t anyone in Verizon that knew the answer.”
Reader Jeff is confused. He wants to purchase a laptop from Walmart. Upon Perusing his website from home, he saw a nice Acer Netbook for under $300. Of course, upon walking into the store, he was confronted with a slightly higher price. Luckily, he talked to the nice customer service representative and quickly price matched the in store item to the online price and Jeff walked out a happy customer.
It’s been a little over a year since Amazon released the Kindle, and now publishers are finally getting the chance to set their own pricing on ebook editions. The result has been a slow creep in pricing on some titles—in some cases to levels above the price of a paper edition of the same book—for a digital edition that you can’t resell, give away to someone else, or read on any other device. Kindle owners have started to notice, and now some of them are complaining that Amazon overpromised the $9.99 bookstore concept to move Kindles.