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A dance between math and intuition: Beer pricing

When you go out to a bar or restaurant, have you ever wondered why your beer costs what it does? Here's your chance to find out. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 14, 2014 - 19 comments

Fireman uniforms, bust size, dogs and flowers: for science

Nicolas Guéguen is a researcher in human behaviour who runs curious and somehow whimsical experiments. With the help of a small army of "confederates", he studies the effects of various stimuli, including dogs, smiles, fireman uniforms, bust size (inflatable), hair color, music, flowers, figurines, touching, mirrors, names etc. on the courtship, sexual, helping, chivalrous, tipping, buying, hiring, compliance or eating behaviour of unsuspecting victims. Because not all experiments are successful, he has also published one failure in the Journal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis. Selected papers are listed below the fold. [more inside]
posted by elgilito on May 17, 2013 - 6 comments

a different take on aspirational fashion

Can using different types of models benefit brands? Ben Barry discusses his Ph.D. research in Elle Canada, making a business case for diversity in fashion: women increased their purchase intentions when they saw models who reflected their size, age, and race. Jezebel summarizes, "Barry's research... casts doubt on the age-old theory that people buy things because advertising stokes their insecurities, creating a need that can only be filled by the advertised product. It suggests that advertising can work by inducing in the consumer feelings of affinity for and identification with the people shown in the ad."
posted by flex on May 20, 2012 - 44 comments

Freedom of Sights and Sounds

The Digital Freedom Campaign believes that new technologies are essential to the creativity and innovation, and that digital technology enables anyone and everyone to be an artist and an innovator. The DFC is dedicated to defending the rights of artists, innovators, creators and consumers to use lawful technology free of unreasonable government restrictions and without fear of costly lawsuits.
posted by terrapin on Mar 28, 2007 - 10 comments

Skin Deep

Skin Deep: A safety assessment of ingredients in personal care products. The Environmental Working Group has published a new report listing possible toxins in over 7,500 personal care products, including soap, toothpaste, shaving gel, and hair dye. The Executive Summary of the report is here, and the most handy tool for consumers is their Searchable Product Guide.
posted by Ufez Jones on Sep 7, 2004 - 10 comments

Political blogging 101

It's an interesting week in British politics (and not just because of Hutton). On Tuesday evening, British MP (and noted blogger) Tom Watson raised the subject of RFID tags in a House of Commons debate (text here) - as a result of being alerted to the threat to civil liberties by fellow bloggers. Indeed, he even talked about his website in the chamber. Can blogs continue to affect British democracy? Quite possibly...
posted by ascullion on Jan 28, 2004 - 0 comments

Turkeys

Woman trampled in mammonmas sales I knew those Americans loved to shop, but wow. Appalling though, is Wal-Mart's behaviour. No free DVD for her ... but, hey, they'll put one on hold. You see, they want to "keep her as a shopper". Harsh.
posted by bonaldi on Nov 29, 2003 - 55 comments

Quid Pro.

Money Saving Expert is a site for UKians, to play the credit card game and win, save tax, understand consumer rights, and generally be more savvy in all things fiscal.
posted by Blue Stone on Sep 30, 2003 - 2 comments

Corporate fallout detecter

From MIT's Media Lab: "The Corporate Fallout Detector reads barcodes off of consumer products, and makes a noise similar to a gieger counter of varying intensity based on the social or environmental record of the company that produces the product"
posted by sharksandwich on Jul 25, 2003 - 18 comments

Amazon UK taken down by demand in cheap PDAs

Amazon UK was taken down for over an hour today after a rush of orders caused by apparently mis-pricing Compaq HP iPAQ H5450 Pocket PCs and HP iPAQ H1910 Pocket PCs at £23 GBP and £7 GBP respectively (normally priced at over £200 GBP each)!! I know a few people who have ordered one or two ;) - Amazon is back up and running now but we're all a bit in the dark as to whether we'll get our cut-price goods or not. Logic and fair-play (and the Trades Description Act) dicatates that we should get our goods - but I wonder.... (see also here at The Register)
posted by andyHollister on Mar 19, 2003 - 37 comments

Class Action Clearinghouse

Consumer Power! Not only can you register to join dozens of pending or proposed class action lawsuits, but you can try to convince an attorney to start a new one just for you. A welcome alternative to the Better Business Bureau or a sign of the approaching demise of Western civilization?
posted by boltman on Feb 4, 2003 - 1 comment

FDA now officially useless?

FDA now officially useless? Well, it's looking that way.. They are now about to allow unverified health claims on food labels. They say this is a good thing. I wonder... What function does the FDA have now if it's not to protect the consumer from wild and potentially false claims on their food products?
posted by eas98 on Dec 27, 2002 - 13 comments

"We have done more than 100 surveys and reports since late 2000 and this survey has the most overwhelming, and negative, response to a company or technology we have ever seen." A survey by investment and research firm ChangeWave of its clients who are current and former subscribers of America Online showed that 40% of respondents were dissatisfied with the service.
posted by tranquileye on May 22, 2002 - 22 comments

What exactly does "certified organic" mean?

What exactly does "certified organic" mean? The Consumer's Union has whipped up this good (if incomplete) idea of a resource for people to find out exactly what those so-called "eco-labels" mean. I had heard "free-range" means almost nothing, but didn't find info here on that. But I did learn a few things about how some labels are skewed by industry. Potentially a great site if they ever get around to populating their database and lose the dumb flash stuff.
posted by brookish on Feb 11, 2002 - 4 comments

Niches of Trust

Niches of Trust is an Online Journalism Review article about three 'consumer journalism' sites run by individuals who come from journalism backgrounds. They do something now rare in corporate media - provide honest information separate from advertiser influence and, when necessary, are critical of the business or product being reviewed. The sites are The Car Place, Theme Park Insider and Consumer World. What are your favorite run-by-one-person sites that provide critical analysis of products?
posted by fleener on Jan 27, 2002 - 5 comments

The Economics of Aesthetics

The Economics of Aesthetics Warning, free registration is required
This article points out an interesting problem with calculating how much a product is worth... How much is aesthetics worth to the consumer? How do you even calculate that? (via Signal vs. Noise.)
posted by chason on Jul 12, 2001 - 1 comment

Currently, consumer personal debt is at an all time high, and at the same time we're being inundated with ads asking us to "live richly" and pay for all those "priceless" moments with credit. Credit card companies have maintained a steady stream of advertising that focuses on living in the now, and worrying about the consequences later. Without discounting personal responsibility, should credit card companies be left to advertise their message unfettered, or does anyone think they are too good and perhaps somewhat responsible for the high consumer debt levels?
posted by mathowie on Jun 20, 2001 - 51 comments

Beta Blues:

Beta Blues: Do consumers deserve protection when software companies sell bad or untested code? Is checking for a patch the first thing you do after you install new software? Aren't you tired of being a member of Microsoft's largest beta testing group...the consumer? Read this article and add your opinion to the poll.
posted by Spanktacular on May 16, 2001 - 9 comments

While it's good to know that the courts seem to be behind consumer privacy, I wonder about the executive branch's stance on privacy.
posted by fooljay on Apr 17, 2001 - 1 comment

Northpoint assets have been sold to AT&T.

Northpoint assets have been sold to AT&T. AT&T plans to keep only the hardware assets. Guess what? Thousands of DSL consumers whose ISPs purchase DSL from Northpoint, could be without service very soon.
posted by andre_111 on Mar 22, 2001 - 14 comments

In what appears to be a suicide mission, Gateway announced it is backing away from lucrative services and software (which accounted for 100 percent of its fourth-quarter earnings) in favor of refocusing on computer sales, an area that recently has not made a dime for the company.
posted by shauna on Mar 5, 2001 - 25 comments

Alarming example of consumer vigilante-ism!

Alarming example of consumer vigilante-ism! What do you do when the car dealership reneges on their financing and won't reimburse you for the car alarm you had installed? This is hilarious.
posted by mecran01 on Aug 2, 2000 - 2 comments

Adventures in Consumer Stalking: Interactive TV

Adventures in Consumer Stalking: Interactive TV "Broadcasters and advertisers, meanwhile, have long been eager to fire up interactive services, because they can know more about who is watching (and doing) what, and what consumers are buying. Targeted advertising with better response rates has long been a goal in the television industry."
posted by jenett on Feb 13, 2000 - 1 comment

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