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12,000 Tee’d Off At Whirlpool Over Trump PGA Tourney

Whirlpool CEO Jeff Fettig was the target of nearly 12,000 petitioners who urged the company to change the venue of next year’s KitchenAid-sponsored Senior PGA Championship, which was being held at Trump National Golf Club in Washington.

In a reference to presumptive Republican presidential nominee and golf course owner Donald Trump, the online petition argued that “racism, sexism, Islamophobia and hatred are no way to sell appliances.”

The effort was started by Care2, a self-described “social network of 30 million citizen activists.” The organization claims that a previous petition that collected 95,000 signatures persuaded the PGA to move its World Championship of Golf tourney from the Trump National Doral in Miami to a course outside Mexico City.

KitchenAid, the premium Whirlpool brand, sponsored the 2016 Senior PGA Championship last month near company headquarters in Benton Harbor, Mich., and is slated to do so again in 2018.

Facebook, Twitter Join Consumer Technology Association

Facebook and Twitter have joined fellow social media giant Snapchat as members of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

The companies join a large number of social media, app and service providers at CTA, reinforcing the association’s position as representing the full breadth of the consumer technology industry, CTA said in a statement.

Additionally, Facebook is joining CTA’s Disruptive Innovation Council, which engages policymakers and the public on the benefits innovative companies bring to the marketplace. The council includes Airbnb, Boingo, DJI, Expedia, Google, Go-Pro, Lyft, MC10, Nest, Pandora, TripAdvisor, Uber, WebMD and Yelp.

CTA represents more than 2,200 member companies in the U.S. consumer technology industry.

“The Consumer Technology Association’s goals align with Facebook’s mission to make the world more open and connected,” said Greg Maurer, Facebook’s director of public policy. “We look forward to working with CTA and our peers in the tech industry to help government and thought leaders better understand how our services work and what we need to remain an engine of economic growth in America.”

Former Verizon Pitchman Switches To Sprint

Paul Marcarelli, the “can you hear me now?” guy in Verizon commercials, has begun appearing in Sprint commercials to promote Sprint’s improved reliability and cost savings.

Marcarelli appeared in Verizon commercials from 2002-2011.

The first Sprint ad featuring Marcarelli appeared on ABC during game two of the NBA Finals. The ads also will appear on cable and network stations nationwide and in print and digital channels. They will be followed with out-of-home and radio advertising.

The ads highlight what Sprint called its “vastly improved network” in the past two years and its cost savings. The carrier said it analyzed drive-test data obtained by Nielsen in the top 106 markets to find that Sprint’s average voice and data reliability exceeds T-Mobile’s and performs within 1 percent of AT&T and Verizon.

Nielsen drove more than 165,000 miles to conduct the tests in 106 major metro markets with a population of more than 200 million. Among other things, the tests measured the ability of a voice call or download to initially connect to the network and maintain the connection to the end.

The ads counsel consumers not to pay twice as much for a 1 percent difference and point to a promotion offering customers of Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T 50 percent off most of those carriers’ standard rate plans. Sprint also pays switching fees up to $650 per line.

WeVeer Touts Indiegogo Offering As ‘World’s Best VR Glasses For Porn’

Virtual reality’s dirty little secret is no more. VR porn is going mainstream.

That’s the idea behind WeVeer, billed as the “world’s best VR glasses for porn” on its Indiegogo campaign page. The project has now raised almost double its goal of $5,000 in funding.

The adjustable WeVeer headset, for use with a mobile device, integrates a pair of HD optical acrylic lenses with built-in noise-canceling headphones. An onscreen joystick-style remote navigates video and allows for answering calls without removing the headset. (Because sometimes a call is more important than the porn you’re watching.)

The whole unit weighs in at 10 ounces and includes replaceable cushions “because sometimes people just sweat too much for no reason,” says the website.

The campaign page cites Google statistics showing that searches for VR porn increased nearly 1,500 percent since last May.

Each purchase of a WeVeer comes with three months of free access to Virtualporn360.com.

The price for a WeVeer starts at $59 for “super early bird contributors,” $79 for regular contributors, and a “couples pack” with two headsets is $150.

The first products are expected to ship in September.

Wearables Shipments To Grow Nearly 30% This Year: IDC

Worldwide shipments of wearable devices are expected to reach 101.9 million units by the end of 2016, representing 29 percent growth over 2015, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

The IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker sees the market for wearable devices experiencing a compound annual growth rate of 20.3 percent, culminating in 213.6 million units shipped in 2020.

Smart watches: The category is expected to increase from 41 percent of total wearables shipments in 2016 to 52.1 percent in 2020.

Wrist Bands: Driven by low cost vendors Xiaomi and giants like Fitbit, this category will remain influential and accessible.

Eyewear: Such devices are expected to bring a transformational shift in mobile computing to select industries and job functions.

Clothing: Traditional fashion and fitness brands are quickly partnering up with tech companies to deliver smarter clothing.

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