Exciting New Upgrades to Apple TV Promise to Revolutionize Television
Sep18

Exciting New Upgrades to Apple TV Promise to Revolutionize Television

Apple is continuing to set the bar for technological innovation, and Steve Jobs would be more than proud of their latest feat. According to Tech Times, Apple CEO Tim Cook made the much-anticipated announcement on Sept. 9, which confirmed the belief that company was taking a major leap into the television industry. The upgraded Apple TV will be “centered around apps,” implementing the user-friendly interface that the tech giant has become known for. In basic terms, the new Apple TV turns your television into a giant iOS device. The company revealed that they would be introducing a new operating system for the Apple TV called “tvOS,” which runs on the same fundamental code as iOS, making it easy for developers to create apps specifically for the device. Consumers are excited for two particular add-ons involved in the upgrade: Siri integration and a touchscreen remote. By integrating the Apple TV with Siri, the encyclopedic voice command system introduced in 2010, users are able to have full control over their viewing experience. If you missed an important scene of a movie, simply tell Siri to “rewind one minute,” and the job is done for you. If people are excited about the Siri integration, they are ecstatic over the promise of a touchscreen remote. Studies show that one of the most heavily desired changes in remote controls is a touchscreen. About 47 to 59% of consumers agree that programmable remote controls with a touchscreen would improve their entertainment experience. The touchscreen will be located at the top of the Apple remote, and will enable you to navigate your Apple TV as if it is in the palm of your hand. The sensors will determine what you’re trying to point to based on the location of your finger on the touch-pad. According to Engadget, the remote will be connected via Bluetooth 4.0, and will include standard buttons for volume and channel control in addition to the touch-pad. It also features an accelerometer and gyroscope for motion control features. The upgraded versions of the Apple TV launch sometime in October, with the introductory price for a 64GB device at $199. Developers already have access to the tvOS beta, so there should be all kinds of incredible apps by the time it’s...

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Experts Recommend Taking Advantage of More Health Benefits
Sep18

Experts Recommend Taking Advantage of More Health Benefits

With legislation like the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requiring organizations to offer health benefits to all employees, it’s possible that many Americans have access to perks that they didn’t even know about. A recent story from Fox News stresses the importance of employees taking advantage of all available benefits offered. Wendy King, HUB International‘s director of health and performance, wants people to recognize the small steps involved in staying healthy, which includes using the benefits offered by your employer’s health insurance plans. “It’s a matter of using the right benefits for your life right now. It’s all about saving time, saving money, and improving your quality of life,” said King. King also emphasized preventative care, which can keep adults and children safe from any unpredictable medical events. She says, “Preventive care on the recommended schedule will help to save you money in the long run, and help you to really modify your risk factors over time.” She recommends that employees take advantage of the offered vaccines and screenings, for conditions like: Alcohol Misuse High Blood Pressure Depression Diabetes Hepatitis B or C Lung Cancer These preventative screenings can help to reduce the risk of a chronic illness or other health conditions. Employees can also look at their benefits for programs that can help them to lose weight, quit smoking, and more. Programs to help with tobacco cessation and weight loss can benefit both employees and employers, providing a healthy work environment and encouraging a healthier, more productive lifestyle. Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death in the country, so any steps taken by employers to help their staff quit benefits not only their business, but the community as well. King hopes to steer employees towards exploring their company’s benefit programs. Employees working for organization with over 50 employees automatically have health benefits available to take advantage...

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Hurricane Erika Was NBD for Central Florida, Where Natural Disasters Are a Way of Life
Sep18

Hurricane Erika Was NBD for Central Florida, Where Natural Disasters Are a Way of Life

As yet another tropical storm leaves its mark on the Central Florida area, homeowners are left making repairs and cleaning up debris in some of the nation’s most natural-disaster-prone areas. Hurricane Erika had dissipated into “remnants of a tropical depression” after moving past the Gulf of Mexico, the Orlando Sentinel said, but that Central Florida residents should still prepare for storm damage. The National Weather Service warned that Erika was expected to pick up speed again around Monday, August 31, and would be heading up the west coast of Florida. With hurricane cleanup efforts underway by September 1, it didn’t come as a surprise to most homeowners that multiple counties were rated “high” or “very high” by RealtyTrac for natural-disaster activity. The Orlando metro area was ranked “high” for natural-disaster activity, and Lake County was ranked “very high.” As the Orlando Sentinel reported, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) rated Orange, Seminole, Lake, and Osceola counties to be at a “very high” risk area for hurricane wreckage. In addition to hurricanes, Florida counties also have a high risk of wildfires; the USDA Forest Service and the Fire Modeling Institute also placed Lake County at a high risk for wildfire activity. With its high risk for both hurricanes and wildfires, Lake County is considered one of the most disaster-prone regions in the country; the Orlando Sentinel reported that only 14% of counties across the country present this same risk. Of course, for residents of Central Florida, this isn’t exactly news and it’s hardly a reason to move away from the Orlando metro area. In fact, most residents state that they were well-aware of the storm risks before purchasing a home in the area; instead of choosing to live elsewhere, homeowners simply purchase extensive homeowner’s insurance plans and make repairs to mitigate floor and roof damage resulting from flooding. All in all, Central Florida residents don’t seem too bothered by the recent weather patterns. “I don’t think {potential homeowners] give [hurricanes] a lot of thought,” said Mount Dora real estate agent Tammy King. “A lot of them are just looking to get out of the cold and the snow and I don’t think they really care about...

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Researchers are Working to Find Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease in Order to Prolong or Even Prevent the Disorder
Sep15

Researchers are Working to Find Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease in Order to Prolong or Even Prevent the Disorder

The threat of Alzheimer’s disease has plagued the human population for decades. The lack of knowledge surrounding the root causes, as well as the absence of a cure, are enough to panic to anyone. Fortunately, The National Institute on Aging announced its intentions to donate a grant of $5.67 million over a span of five years to Michigan State University. The institute hopes a study will be able to pinpoint some early signs of Alzheimer’s disease — specifically in Hispanics and Latinos, who are especially prone to the degenerative disease. The overall goal is to use the information to delay and even prevent the onset of the disease. “Current thinking is it takes decades for Alzheimer’s disease to develop, so we are turning the clock back,” said Hector M. Gonzalez the principle investigator of the Study of Latinos. Because an estimated 5.1 million Americans may already have Alzheimer’s without knowing it, finding the early signals could be the answer to effective care. The project will study 7,000 adults between the ages of 50 to 80 years old from different parts of the country, searching for signs of cognitive impairment — a symptom they believe may be a marker for future onset of Alzheimer’s. However, the Denver Post announced that researchers at the National Institute of Health (NIH) may have found a link between midlife obesity and the development of Alzheimer’s. Their study showed evidence that an increased body mass index (BMI) may not only be a sign of the disease’s existence, but a sign of when it will manifest as well. The study consisted of 1,400 patients who had undergone annual cognitive testing over 14 years — 142 of which developed Alzheimer’s. The results showed that those with a BMI of 30 during their middle age developed the disease a year earlier than those with a BMI of 28. It is unclear whether or not slimming down during that stage of life will have any affect, but Dr. Madhav Thambisetty of NIH’s National Institute on Aging suggests “maintaining a healthy BMI at midlife is likely to have long-lasting positive effects.” The mix of studying cognitive abilities and physical elements of a person’s well-being may shine some light on the functions of this elusive disease. Even if not to cure or prevent it, prolonging the onset for even a few years may improve patients’ quality of...

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How U.S. Soccer is Planning to Revolutionize Youth Soccer
Sep08

How U.S. Soccer is Planning to Revolutionize Youth Soccer

In another move to foster long-term development among players, the United States Soccer Federation (U.S. Soccer) recently announced two major changes to its youth soccer standards and coaching regulations. According to an Aug. 24 MLSSoccer.com article, U.S. soccer will change its birth-year registration calendars from its current August-May format to a January-December format. Additionally, the federation will implement new coaching initiatives aimed at strengthening youth soccer players’ individual skill and ability, giving them more opportunity to improve. By switching the registration cut-off date from Aug. 1 to Jan. 1, America’s youth soccer teams will be more in line with international youth leagues. In a statement released by U.S. Soccer, U.S. Under-20 head coach Tab Ramos said this switch will help eliminate the relative-age effect, which favors players born earlier in the year with more physical maturity. “This new calendar makes things easier for everyone,” Ramos said. “If you’re born in a certain year, you belong in that certain age group. It also gets us on the same calendar with the rest of the world, so now it becomes easier to identify for U.S. National Teams and everything else when it comes to international soccer.” By mandating and standardizing small-sided game participation at the same time, youth soccer players will be able to develop heightened soccer intelligence and learn key skills to help improve their game without the presence of an age bias. Small-sided game participation will allow for practice between smaller groups of players for younger players, providing more individualized attention at an early age. The announced changes will undoubtedly impact the thousands of children and teens who play soccer today. Across the U.S., soccer is the second most popular youth sport, with 284,000 boys and 209,000 girls enrolled in high school soccer teams. “When you have young players in an 11v11 game, there are only so many involved in any one play at a time,” Ramos explained. “By taking numbers away and playing 4v4, 7v7, and 9v9, you are multiplying their chances on the ball, increasing their touches and making it overall more for them by making them an active participant at all times.” U.S. Soccer’s changes are scheduled to go into effect by August...

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