Tech News

Watching Cat Videos Is Good For You, Googling Fast Food Is Bad, & More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 18-06-2015

Watching cat videos for fun and profit, Googling the calories in fast food, running encrypted Bing searches, exploring Ello on iOS, and the jealous cat who hates video games.


Carry On Watching Cat Videos

That time you spend watching cat videos online may not actually be as wasteful and pointless as you have been led to believe. In fact, according to a new study published in the Computers in Human Behavior journal, watching cat videos may be good for you.

The study surveyed 7,000 people about their habit of watching cat videos and how doing so affects their mood. According to CBS News, participants reported experiencing “fewer negative emotions” after watching cat videos, including “anxiety, sadness and annoyance”. And this is true even if the participants were watching cat videos to avoid working or studying.

Jessica Gall Myrick, the author of the study and an assistant professor at Indiana University’s Media School, said, “Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional pay-off may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward”. In other words, watching cat videos could make you more productive How To Be More Productive When Working From Home Is working from home (or to use the term – telecommuting) more productive than working from an office? The debate was re-ignited after Marissa Mayer's clarion call to all Yahoo employees. Just like all blah-blahs,... Read More .

The study also found that cat owners and shy people were more likely to watch cat videos online. Which really shouldn’t come as a great surprise to anyone. However, the fact that just 25 percent of the cat videos the participants watched were ones they had actively sought out shows just how easy it is to be distracted by this genre.

Myrick defended the study against any charges of it being a waste of time, saying, “Some people may think watching online cat videos isn’t a serious enough topic for academic research, but the fact is that it’s one of the most popular uses of the Internet today. If we want to better understand the effects the Internet may have on us as individuals and on society, then researchers can’t ignore Internet cats anymore”.


Google Counts the Fast Food Calories


You can now find out just how unhealthy that cheeseburger you’re about to order is simply by asking Google for the information. This is thanks to the company adding menu items from popular fast food chains to its calorie-counting feature in Google Search.

To find out the nutritional information on any item of fast food, simply ask Google, whether by typing the question or using voice search. A typical query may be, “How many calories in a Big Mac?” Which will provide all of the nutritional information, including the levels of saturated fats, cholesterol, and indeed calories.

You probably won’t like the answer (563 calories per Big Mac), but it could at least help you make healthier choices while standing in the queue waiting to be served. And with Google developing technology that can count the calories in a plate of food Google Counts Calories In Food Porn, Free Amazon Shipping On Small Items [Tech News Digest] Google counts calories, Amazon ships potatoes, Steam offers refunds, Caitlyn Jenner tweets, Bethesda teases Fallout 4, and Bing launches its own self-driving car. Read More from nothing more than a photograph, maybe this is the key to tackling obesity 7 Websites That Give You Nutritional Information to Eat Smarter Nutritional information is crucial for understanding diets especially if you afflicted with lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity etc. Nutritional guides help us to choose healthy foods. So, let these seven online nutritional guides help... Read More .


Microsoft Encrypts All Bing Searches

Microsoft is set to start encrypting all searches Google Starts Encrypting Search, Slashes Storage Prices For Google Drive There's big news coming out of Mountain View as Google gears up to take on the governments as well as rival online storage companies like Dropbox. Read More made through its Bing search engine. In a blog post announcing the move, Duane Forrester, Sr. Product Manager of Bing, said, “Bing has already been offering users the option to encrypt search traffic for about a year and a half now. Beginning this summer, we will begin the process of encrypting search traffic by default”.

Forrester continued, “With the move to encrypted search by default we will continue to pass along a referrer string so that marketers and webmasters will be able to identify traffic as coming from Bing. However, to further protect our users’ privacy, we will not include the used query terms”.

This is a good decision from Microsoft, even if it did take longer than we would have liked. Now, Microsoft just needs to persuade people to actually start using Bing instead of Google Is Bing Better Than Google Search? We Find Out By many accounts, Bing is really giving Google a run for its money. On November 6th of this year, the Guardian reported that Google's search share in the UK dipped under 90% as Bing's share... Read More .

Say Ello to this New iOS App


Ello finally has its own mobile app, almost a year after the social networking site first burst onto the scene. Ello, the ad-free social network beloved by hipsters 7 Great Websites Poking Fun At Hipsters Hipsters, or scenesters as they're sometimes called, are a sub-culture who want to be different. At all costs. That longing to be different has now come full circle, where it's actually the norm (or at... Read More , debuted in September 2014, but failed to grow much beyond the initial flurry of invited users Meet Ello: The Hip New Social Network You Need To Know About It has been said that when a social network makes a small change, it cause a schism, sending users fleeing elsewhere. They're heading to Read More . It recently got given a much-needed reboot Ello Just Had a Refresh, But Can It Be Saved? For a brief moment, Ello was the hot digital property everybody wanted to be on. And then it all fizzled out. Now, if people mention Ello, it's to make the same tired joke. Read More , but its future is still far from assured.

However, a mobile app might help, even if that is something that should have been in place from the start. Engadget has tested the new Ello app and seems rather impressed, but whether it’s enough to increase the userbase remains to be seen. The Ello app is available on iOS from today (June 18th), with Android and Windows users being forced to wait until later this year.

Cuddly Cat Jealous of PlayStation 4

And finally, now that we know watching cat videos can actually be good for you, there’s no excuse for not watching the clip embedded above. It shows a cat who really doesn’t like his owner playing video games, because when he does, he’s not giving kitty his undivided attention.

The owner in question, Alexander Fredriksen, owns a PlayStation 4 How A PC Gamer Learned To Love the PS4 When the time came for me to upgrade my gaming rig, a console was the most viable option. But could I make the transition from keyboard to controller? Let the comedy of errors begin. Read More , so perhaps the cat, called Nala, is just a fan of the Xbox One Microsoft Xbox One Review And Giveaway The console wars are officially raging, and we've had sufficient time with both of them. That begs the question: how does the Xbox One compare? Read More instead. Still, at least Fredriksen has an excuse for sucking at Call of Duty, and video evidence to back up his story. [H/T Reddit]


Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Do you regularly watch cat videos to relax? Would you ever Google fast food before eating it? Do you ever use Bing over Google? Will you be using Ello now that it has its own mobile app? What should that owner do to stop his cat harassing him?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Image Credits: Takashi Hososhima via Flickr

Related topics: Google, Microsoft Bing, Online Video, PlayStation 4.

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  1. Anonymous
    June 19, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    You should change the Big Mac/Google image. It's deceiving in that it displays 257 calories, but a Big Mac's true caloric value is 563. For some reason, the quantity in your screen shot is only 100 grams rather than the full amount.

    Love the study on watching cat videos!