Houses are the most expensive items that most people purchase, and we assume that they will last a long time, remain standing, and rise in value over the time that we own them. Because of bad concrete, though, some houses in Connecticut are slowly collapsing because of materials used in their construction, and homeowners’ hopes for the future and their finances are collapsing along with them. [More]
Mac-n-cheese king Kraft Foods, which acquired British chocolate maker Cadbury earlier this year, isn’t wasting any time when it comes to flexing some American-style corporate muscle. According to the Financial Times, Kraft has warned 3,600 Cadbury employees that they’ll face a three-year pay freeze if they don’t agree to “voluntarily” opt out of the company’s pension plan.
Separately, Kraft announced that CEO Irene Rosenfeld was getting a 40% pay hike this year, due in part to her “exceptional” management of the Cadbury deal. Rosenfeld’s 2009 take will be about $26 million.
The Willy Wonka name has been used to market candy for almost 40 years, and in all that time the Wonka company has yet to introduce anything as interesting as Fizzy Lifting Drinks or Invisible Chocolate Bars, instead subjecting consumers to Laffy Taffy and not-very-everlasting Gobstoppers. Now the Nestle-owned brand is going upscale, with its new Wonka Exceptionals line, which will launch with a Golden Ticket promotion. Winners will get a trip around the world, but won’t be handed the keys to Wonka’s factory or dominion over the Oompa Loompas. [More]
The ebook “war” is a race to the bottom, apparently, with Barnes & Noble trying to out-do Amazon on DRM stupidity. A reader emailed B&N customer service to point out that their “free books” offer consists of 5 public domain titles that are no longer protected under copyright, yet are still locked down with digital rights management (DRM). Their response? “For copyright protection purposes, these files are encrypted and cannot be converted or printed.”