New Blog Disclosure Rules

The FTC recently announced new rules for blogs:

The FTC will require that writers on the Web clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products. The commission also said advertisers featuring testimonials that claim dramatic results cannot hide behind disclaimers that the results aren’t typical.

The new rule also covers testimonials:

Testimonials have to spell out what consumers should expect to experience with their products. Previously, companies had just included disclaimers when results were out of the ordinary — such as a large weight loss — noting that the experience was not typical for all customers.

I just want to assure all two of you reading this awesome blog that blarbles.com does not get jack shit from companies to review their products.  I pan lousy movies without financial incentive from said movie or any other entity.  Even if a company wanted to pay me off to write something good about their crap product they wouldn’t be able to because I would delete the email thinking it was spam.

So rest assured readers, EOH will remain completely unbiased because of stupidity, laziness, and sheer unpopularity.

Oh and also because it is apparently now the law.

A Year in Review

Top tech, movie, tv, game, and music stories in 2007:

  • > The Nintendo Wii was unavailable for yet another Christmas shopping season. Nintendo seemed to care very little until the last minute when it was too late to do anything about it. If they don’t get their act together, your Grandmother, Nintendo’s new target audience, might riot.
  • > 2007 was one of the biggest years for video games with a ton of A-list titles released across all platforms. Halo 3 was the first video game to surpass any of Hollywood’s opening week theater sales. In fact, Hollywood blamed it for low ticket sales.
  • > Warner Music has agreed to put DRM free MP3s up for sale on Amazon leaving only one music label left to hold out.
  • > Speaking of music, the EMI label pulled funding from the RIAA potentially marking a change in the way the music industry treats it’s customers.
  • > Up to 20% of new HDTV owners will return their shiny new TVs and go back to 4×3 analog. Content is everything. HDTVs without high-def content is like the perfect screwdriver without any screws that work with it. Crappy video blown up 2.5 times is crappy video 2.5 times bigger.
  • > The PS3 finally has some decent games after a slow start, the Xbox 360 continues to get great games, and the Wii continues to have crap 3rd-party games.
  • > DVD sales have slowed because 1. People are waiting to see which High-def format wins. 2. Hollywood has been making shit movies for the last couple years. 3. Very few catalog titles are left to be released.
  • > 2007 was the year of the flat-panel TV. Sony has ditched rear projection televisions as of late December 2007. I predict Plasma will fade away next.
  • > Everyone suddenly realized after 25 years of electronics that they used electricity while “off”. I imagine once this “problem” is solved, people will bitch about electronics no longer having instant-on.
  • > Apple Computer became Apple Inc. due to the obscene amounts of money they make from iPod sales.
  • > DirecTV, Dish, Comcast, and Time Warner all scrambled to be the source for HD content. The crown easily goes to DirecTV, who seemed to add new HD channels every other week.
  • > The writer’s strike has doomed us to months of horrid reality TV and reruns. If the Actors and Directors also strike, we could be in for a year or more of no new television or movie content.
  • > The BCS, yet again, was a complete mess. I know they will never allow a playoff system, but college football needs it.
  • > Apple gave the world the iPhone and, once the reality distortion field faded, the world said “meh”.
  • > Microsoft gave the world Vista and almost immediately the world said DO NOT WANT!
  • > OLPC’s made their big debut in 2007 and if you have no idea what an OLPC is then you are not alone. The ultra portable devices failed to impress anyone. They are too expensive, screen is too small, and no one knows what they would do with it.
  • > Google announced Android, the open phone OS. A lot of people got excited, but I have a feeling we will be waiting a very long time before any phones actually ship with the OS.
  • > The HD format war was not decided. Every time it seemed like maybe there was a chance one side was winning the tables turned. Don’t count on the war being decided in 2008 either.

The winner for 2007? Video games. It is an industry threatening to take over Hollywood and has managed to work it’s way into non-gamer households thanks to the Wii. Bungie’s Halo 3 managed to be the top entertainment item of 2007 and broke every game sale record ever despite being released on only one platform. You know the game industry is becoming huge when 40, 50, and 60 million dollar budgets are being talked about for creating next-gen games. 2008 has some big shoes to fill when it comes to gaming.