I‘ve added the following note to my about page:
A note on reviews: any actual physical products that I review on this blog have either been purchased by myself or were lent to me for the purposes of the review. In the rare instances where an actual product was sent to me for review without the manufacturer requesting the items’ return, I have given the product away to a reader. The one notable exception to this rule is with software reviewed, as the license or code used for the software often cannot be given away to another person. Unless I explicitly mention that I purchased the software reviewed in the review (which is often the case), please assume that all software reviews, especially iPhone / iPod touch apps reviewed on this blog, were of products that were sent to me to review or for which I received a free copy of the app to review. Yes, this includes the numerous app reviews where I pan the product. I normally delete these applications after the review or I buy my own copy if I like the application. The one exception is iPhone and iPod touch apps, which keep purchases on file, count the free codes as purchases on my account, and won’t allow me to purchase the application after the fact.
Basically, I don’t ever accept payment to review items. Some items, especially software, is only reviewable via a free copy or by me purchasing the item. I note what software I purchased in the reviews.
*Note: The reason I call this new policy ridiculous is because it applies a blanket rule to a large group of people in a rather fuzzy way in my opinion. Anyone who gives an opinion on his/her blog on any product now has to worry about making sure it’s crystal clear at all times that there is no relationship between him/her and the manufacturer of the product or the advertising company that represents the manufacturer. Something about it has a sort of assumption of guilt until proven innocent and an assumption that the majority of bloggers have some such relationship. That’s lame.