New Universal Remote Attachment Could Make Things Easier…Or Harder...

If you have a streaming media device, there is a new universal remote attachment being released that could make your life easier. It could also the be the gateway to losing yet another remote control, and this time it will cost you. According to Tech Hive, a device called Sideclick is being introduced after a successful Kickstarter campaign raised the necessary funds to continue with mass manufacturing. The device is a clip-on attachment for the remote you already use, but it is also compatible with Fire TV, Google Nexus, Roku, or Apple TV. It has eight buttons that you can program using however many remote controls you need to control your television set, the volume, and the streaming media device itself. The basic concept sounds like a promising way to combine three different remotes into one central unit, but TV users know the struggle of losing just one remote. Imagine losing three at the same time. Americans click away at over 335 million TV sets today, and that number is only growing with the introduction of these streaming media devices. While the Sideclick has good intentions, it seems to be a risky investment. Sideclick is starting at $30 per attachment, and additional attachments can be purchased for $5 if you have more than one streaming media device. This is a hefty price tag compared to the price of replacement remote controls that don’t need any programming at all. While Rick Broida of CNET describes the device as “a brilliant idea that works exactly as advertised,” that may just be Sideclick’s downfall. People find the (free) remotes that come with their television in the fridge or all the way out in the car after searching for months. Imagine the panic of losing a $30 device...

Smartphone Users Encouraged to Share Food Photography With New Google Maps Feature...

Since the first photograph was taken over 186 years ago, it’s estimated that more than 3.5 trillion photos have been snapped. With the invention of the smartphone, just about everyone has constant, immediate access to a camera. Google is looking to take advantage of this by unveiling a new feature to their Google Maps service that allows users to directly upload photographs of meals they’ve ordered from restaurants or bars. As reported by Bidness, Etc., the update was rolled out on Aug. 20, but is so far only available to frequent users, specifically Local Guides who are Level 3 or higher. A Level 3 Guide is a user who has written at least 50 reviews for Google. In the early stages of the program, users are asked to attach a food photo to a certain location on the Google Maps service. They are also asked to describe their dining experience, and whether or not they would recommend the business to others. The program is currently set up to notify qualified Guides to assign their photos to certain restaurants, which results in a greater exposure. However, a Guide is able to opt out of these notifications by following a Google support link, which controls the smartphones notifications. Google has previously dabbled in food photography sharing with their experimental service known as Tablescape. Tablescape was launched in February, and allowed users to upload their pictures into specific categories using Google+. However, the app closed down in June after it failed to take off. In the future, Google hopes to work with online delivery services in order to enable users to order directly from their Google search results. The company is looking to take more steps to creating a space for food reviewing through their Local Guides...

Amazon Makes Advertising Change in Potential Challenge to Google...

Amazon is ending an advertising option that has been a favorite of small retailers, according to an email obtained by the Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog. Product listings at the bottom of Amazon pages that show photos of merchandise and act as links to other retailers’ websites will be discontinued on Oct. 31. These Product Ads, as they have been called, allow brands that don’t sell through the online marketplace to still reach some of its 280 million customers. A spokesperson for Amazon confirmed the decision to stop selling Product Ads, telling the WSJ that the company is “constantly reviewing the services we offer partners to help them best reach our customer base.” The current ads will be replaced with simpler text-based ads, appropriately called Text Ads. It’s not yet known how the move will affect Amazon’s advertising revenue. The company typically makes between 10 cents and $2.05 cents per click on Product Ads. Why would Amazon be willing to potentially sacrifice that revenue? Experts are speculating it may have to do with pushing Google off the site. The search engine giant places a handful of ads on Amazon’s site, and has used them to “glean valuable information about Amazon and its users,” according to the WSJ. In the past few years, Amazon has made several moves to challenge Google’s dominance of the pay per click advertising market, which is based primarily on selling ads that appear above and to the side of search results (advertisers bid to have their ads appear based on specific search terms, called keywords). Still, Amazon likely has a long way to go before it will garner the prices advertisers are willing to pay for pay per click traffic from Google. Last month, competitive intelligence firm SEMrush released a...

Apple’s New ‘Spaceship’ Office Propelling Employees Towards Success...

In a shocking turn of events, Apple has decided to take a leap of faith in innovation and try something completely new. Wait, they already do that, don’t they? Man, these guys are good. According to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, Apple and its team of architects are building a massive UFO-shaped campus that should be completed sometime in early 2016. It is being built on a 175-acre construction site in the company’s birthplace, Cupertino, CA. This gives Apple employees yet another thing to brag about to all their friends and family. The “superoffice” will be as loaded with amenities as any office in history, but the project is also being lauded for its potential to boost spirits in the workplace by giving employees some beautiful scenery to look at for inspiration. In addition to a full-sized Apple Store and gymnasium inside the office, the main reason for developing the “spaceship” was to create an aesthetic value that is unattainable in a normal office. Employees who drive to work will leave their cars in an underground parking area, eliminating the depressing parking lot views of most office windows. It’s sort of an “office mind game” that Apple is trying out, replacing asphalt parking lots with calming landscapes featuring oak trees and orchards to improve employee morale. Sir Norman Foster, chief architect of the project, gave some insight into the inspiration for the design, and it’s no surprise that much of the idea stems from Apple founder Steve Jobs. “The car would visually be banished, and tarmac would be replaced by greenery, and car parks by jogging and bicycle trails,” said Foster. Improving the design of an office can be an important part of streamlining communication and reinvigorating the creativity of employees. In fact, a recent...

Research Funded by Coca-Cola Says Its Drinks Don’t Exacerbate Obesity Epidemic Aug26

Research Funded by Coca-Cola Says Its Drinks Don’t Exacerbate Obesity Epidemic...

The average American adult drinks about 500 cans of soda each year. That’s about 52 pounds of sugar being consumed in soft drinks alone. If a person drinks only one soda per day for a year — nearly half the average — they’d still guzzle down more than 35 pounds of sugar. Consequently, one soda per day for a year can lead to a weight gain of 15 pounds. Studies have also identified sodas as key contributors to other such chronic health conditions as type-2 diabetes and coronary artery disease. Coca-Cola, however, says its drinks don’t cause obesity. Or at least the studies funded by Coca-Cola do. The New York Times reports that the beverage behemoth has donated millions over the past several years to the Global Energy Balance Network, a nonprofit organization focused on redirecting America’s obesity conversation from caloric consumption to exercise habits. In other words, Coca-Cola has been funding research that says people can keep eating and drinking whatever they want — they just have to exercise more. “Coca-Cola’s agenda here is very clear: Get these researchers to confuse the science and deflect attention from dietary intake,” Marion Nestle, a New York University professor of nutrition, told the New York Times. Most nutrition journals require researchers to disclose where their funding came from, for transparency’s sake. The studies Coca-Cola has sponsored almost invariably report sugary drinks have no links to diabetes, question the validity of the studies that do make this claim, and — as is the case with the Global Energy Balance Network — find that increasing activity is the most important part in fighting obesity. Analyses of studies that Coca-Cola or its trade association has funded shows that they’re 83% more likely to produce results suggesting that consuming soda...