It inherited the system from Zagat, the local guide business it bought last year to bolster its search results.
Search Engine Land’s Matt McGee argues that adopting the Zagat system was a mistake, since Google’s own reviews and sites like Yelp have trained most Internet users to expect a system built around points or stars—usually on a scale of one to five.
Now Google is asking consumers to rate businesses as “Poor-Fair,” “Good,” “Very Good,” or “Excellent.” It’s still converting those ratings into a Zagat-style score, but it’s displaying the descriptive terms rather than the score on individual reviews.
The Zagat system is distinctive, but it’s really only useful to people who were familiar with it from Zagat’s printed guides.
Take it away, and one wonders why Google did the Zagat deal in the first place.
Here’s the new review interface, via Search Engine Land:
Grabbing the best prices is all about where and when you shop. Retailer reporting service SumAll has identified the best (and worst) days and months to find online deals and packed it all in this handy calendar infographic.
The data is compiled from over 3,000 merchants and almost half a billion transactions over four years.
It probably won’t surprise you that November offers the biggest discounts (an average of 5.99%), followed by post-holiday January (4.95%), but the calendar also warns you that March is a dismal time to shop if you’re looking for sales (2.76%).
The best days to buy are Tuesday and Thursday. Forget big savings on Sunday.
And new companies (just opened or under two years old) offer the biggest deals versus established ones. So don’t wait to shop at a new site.
Keep in mind that there are specific days and months that are best for particular shopping categories (see our best time to buy anything guide or this handy infographic). If you’re just planning your shopping in general, though, consider waiting until the days and months with the highest discounts.
Plan your purchases and you can grab the best deals on everything from clothes to flat-screen TVs to appliances and more. This infographic from Savings.com breaks down the sale times for just about every product so you can save all year round.
The graphic includes recommendations by month and by day, as well as some additional optimal times to buy (e.g., oil changes early in the morning). The savings recommendations overlap our own comprehensive Best Time to Buy Anything guide and Best Days of the Week to Buy Almost Anything, just offering a different view and some additional items like real estate.
Whether you’re looking for a way to catch the big game this weekend when you’re away from your living room, or you just like to catch live television when you’re trapped somewhere without either cable or a television, you have plenty of options to help you catch a broadcast on your mobile phone or your computer. Here’s a look at five of the best ways to tune in when you’re on the go.
Earlier in the week we asked how you tune into live television that you’re subscribed to on your mobile device or when you’re not in front of the big screen. You responded, and now we’re back to take a look at the top five, based on your nominations.
Photo by IK’s World Trip.
When you need to stream audio or video around the house, to your mobile device, or across the globe when you’re away from home, Orb can certainly deliver. We mentioned Orb several times, and it’s still a great way to stream your media from your computer to other devices in your home, or, if you’re willing to pay for an Orb appliance to connect to your cable box or HTPC, stream live TV or recorded TV to any other device on or off of your home network. Orb supports video up to 720p, and gives you the flexibility to watch live sports, prime time TV shows, or anything else that’s currently airing in your living room on your mobile phone, tablet, or laptop over Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G when you can’t be in the living room to enjoy it. Pricing varies depending on whether you need hardware (between $79-$99 for the set-top box) to connect to your TV and home network, or you already have a TV tuner in your HTPC (the Orb Live and Orb Caster software are both free, but the mobile apps are $9.99.)
Where other live TV streaming solutions offer complexity, Slingbox offers elegant simplicity. The Slingbox from Sling Media is a set-top box that connects to your TV and your cable or satellite receiver that makes it easy for you to effectively log in to your TV at home and watch live TV on your computer or mobile device as though you were sitting in front of your TV. You can change channels, browse TV listings, and even set your home DVR to record TV that you won’t make it home in time to watch. The Slingbox comes in two flavors, the Slingbox Solo and the Slingbox Pro-HD (which predictably supports HD and additional devices connected to it) and will set you back $179.99 to $299.99 (not including extended support options). You’ll also need to drop $29.99 for the SlingPlayer app to control your Slingbox from your smartphone or tablet, but the price buys you one of the most feature-rich and hassle-free live TV streaming solutions on the market.
Elgato’s EyeTV line of TV tuners and live TV software were, for a long time, the only option for Mac users who were looking for an easy way to use their Macs as TV tuners or HTPCs. They’re not the only options anymore, but they’re certainly one of the best, and if you plug a TV source in to an EyeTV and then the EyeTV into your Mac via USB, you want watch live TV right there on your computer screen. Combine an EyeTV tuner or DVR with the EyeTV app on your mobile device, and you can stream live or pre-recorded TV on your mobile device when you’re out of the house. The EyeTV app will set you back $4.99 in the iTunes App Store for any iOS device, and the tuners vary in price from $99 to $199 depending on whether you need a DTV tuner, a DTV and HD tuner, a tuner with a DVR inside, or a Wi-Fi enabled tuner that can wirelessly stream TV to other devices in your home.
The Vulkano Flow may not be one of the most well known set-top tuners on the market, but it’s definitely one of the most powerful. For $99.99, the Vulkano Flow is an easy to install and set up device that connects to your cable or satellite tuner, supports HD video, and your home network to allow you to wirelessly watch live TV on your iOS or Android device on your home network or when you’re away via 3G or 4G. You get complete control over your home TV, so you can switch channels, browse a built-in programming guide (that you don’t have to pay extra to view), and even connect to other video inputs like a DVR or HTPC and control that as well. Vulkano offers desktop players for Mac OS and Windows (Free), and mobile players for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry ($12.99.)
Hauppage is an old name in TV tuners, and the company is still going strong by offering a range of products to HTPC enthusiasts who want to build their own devices to stream, save, and watch live and recorded television and to people who would rather buy a set-top box to handle the streaming for them. Those of you who nominated the WinTV mentioned that you can easily install a WinTV tuner in your HTPC and download the WinTV application on your HTPC and iOS or Android device to stream TV from your HTPC to your device. Pricing varies depending on which tuner you’d like, whether you want HD video, and whether you want an internal or USB tuner to install at all or you’d just prefer a set-top box like the Hauppage Broadway ($199), but the WinTV Extend app you’ll need to stream from your Tuner will set you back $9.95, and the mobile apps are free (although they only support Wi-Fi.)
Now that you’ve seen the top five, it’s time to put them to an all out vote for the winner.
Honorable mentions this week go out to streaming TV sites like Justin.tv, which many of you said you use to stream your own TV shows to the web so you can catch them when you’re away from home, and to The NFL’s website, which many of you noted is indeed streaming the big game on their own. Finally, since we mentioned that the Department of Homeland Security had shut down FirstRowSports‘ primary domain, many of you made note of the fact that the site is still up and running on a different URL.
Have a favorite method that didn’t get the nominations needed to make the top five? Want to make a case for it, or for your favorite of the nominees above? Sound off in the comments below.
It’s the perfect example that doing what you love — and knowing what the market lacks — will eventually pay off.
Alex King-Harris, Craig Kohland and Amani Friend met through the yoga community, but what’s unique about the trio is that they were all musicians making music for those who were terminally-ill or facing chronic illness. King-Harris had been involved in a bad car accident years ago which introduced him to yoga.
As yoga increased in popularity, the co-founders realized there wasn’t a platform for instructors to get recommended healing music or share their playlists with one another or with their students. All three guys immensely believe that the right music is essential for various sequences in a yoga routine.
After initially raising $150,000, YogiTunes, which works a lot like iTunes, but is catered specifically to the yoga community, launched in July 2011. The site currently has around 6,000 artists to choose from and the downloaded music can be played through any medium — unlike iTunes, which requires Apple products.
But people are used to getting their music through iTunes and other popular sources:
“You’re up against people who have really strong habits of consuming through iTunes, or consuming through Pandora,” King-Harris told us. “It takes a little while to shift people’s habitual ways of consuming.”
Eventually, the company wants to grow beyond music and become a community for health and wellness enthusiasts.
“We definitely want to draw people in with the music and then extend to other products, other services, other things that we feel are valuable for people’s lifestyles. It’s kind of taking the Amazon model. They were really good at selling books and now they do everything.”
“We can also scale quite quickly beyond yoga to the health and wellness market. A lot of massage therapists, fitness teachers, tai chi people use our music. I think the yoga market is particularly interesting because, in general, the median income is high so we know we have an broad enough audience.”
For inspiration, the company looks at Beatport, a private company that offers music for the DJ community.
“It’s a similar way that we see ourselves servicing the yoga community. They’re a very successful enterprise, very well-known and well established in what they do. They really know their niche. And that’s what we want to do.”
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Learn Everything You Need to Know About Meat with Meat Master Pat LaFrieda’s Big App for Meat [Video]
Pat LaFrieda, the master butcher and man behind the best burgers in the world, has created an iPad app that’s pretty much the definitive guide to all things meat. Aptly named Pat LaFrieda’s Big App for Meat, you’ll learn about all the cuts and dry aging and grinding techniques with awesome visuals and in-depth videos.
LaFrieda really knows his meat too, he supplies Shake Shack and Minetta Tavern with the most delicious burger patties known to man, so his advice is like canon in the meat world. The app, which is super slick, is deliciously visual, you’ve never seen meat like this before. Each cut of meat (and it details cuts from beef, pork, poultry, veal and lamb) comes with a real life gallery with amazing pictures, a little blurb on the cut, a location of where it can be found on the animal and a 360 degree view.
What’s also great about Pat LaFrieda’s Big App for Meat is how much video content there is. From teaching you Steaks 101 to learning about dry aging to discovering how to grind meat and sharpen knives, LaFrieda himself reveals his secrets. There’s even a fun meat quiz to test yourself on! If you love meat, and I totally expect you to, you’re going to learn everything you need to know. If you’re a vegetarian, I’m sorry. $7 [iTunes]
Buying glasses online can save you tons of money but the downside is you don’t get to try the glasses on and see how they look on your face. Upload a picture to Warby Parker and see different styles on your face.
Last year we shared out exploits in buying super cheap glasses online—it was awesome and we got great glasses for only $8!—but as we noted then it’s a gamble, albeit a cheap one, to buy glasses without trying them on.
Eyeglass retailer Warby Parker has an excellent virtual try on booth on their site which alleviates the can’t-try-it-on shoppers anxiety. Upload a picture of yourself, try out the different frames, and get a feel for how they look on your face. If you absolutely love a pair you find there you can snag them for $95 or just take the style and go shopping on other sites. Make sure to read our guide to scoring cheap eye glasses before you go shopping for some important pointers.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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