Consumer Confidential: Frankenfish, Xbox fees, AirTran ticket sale
Here's your traditionally Tuesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:
--Is it OK to eat Frankenfish? Our friends at the Food and Drug Administration say they'll look into whether genetically modified fishies are safe to eat. The fish, made by Aqua Bounty Technologies, are fiddled with at the DNA level to grow twice as fast as traditional Atlantic salmon. The company says this could boost the nation's fish sector and reduce pressure on the environment. But consumer advocates say the side effects, if any, of munching genetically modified fish are unknown, so the FDA will begin hearings on Sept. 19 to explore the question. My advice: Don't eat any sushi bigger than a Twinkie.
--Do you live to play video games like "Call of Duty" online? Well, if you have a Xbox, your cost is going up. Microsoft says it will hike its annual fee for Xbox Live Gold subscriptions to $60 from $50 -- a 20% increase. A three-month subscription will rise to $25 from $20 -- 25% higher. A one-month subscription goes to $10 from $8 (also 25%). Microsoft says it's added more content and services since the online gaming service debuted in 2002, so that's why prices are jumping. I'm thinking the company knows that video games are like crack for some people, so this is a growing revenue stream.
--Traveling? AirTran says it will cut prices from Sept. 7 to Nov. 17, which just so happens to be one of the slowest periods for air travel. The lowest prices will be offered Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and passengers must purchase tickets at least seven days before taking to the sky.
-- David Lazarus