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Food Production Businesses: 3 Challenges You’ll Face

Food production is one of the largest industries in the world, which makes it a decent choice for prospective entrepreneurs who want to enter a reliable market. There are many different types of food production businesses, from businesses that generate relatively small ingredient components, to companies that produce full-fledged edible items.

If you’re determined that the food production industry is the best choice for your business vision, then you have likely made a decent choice. You’re entering into an industry that is high in demand and necessity— but there are still a few challenges you’re going to need to be ready to negotiate.

#1 – The rules and regulations

When you are involved in food production, you have to accept that your business is going to be subject to rigorous health and hygiene regulations. This can mean that you are liable to experience inspections, as well as endeavoring to comply with a long litany of compliance issues. This can mean that the administrative burden on you, the business owner, is substantial.

You will therefore need to be prepared for very careful management of your time and business processes, so you always have the required availability to ensure all regulatory requirements are being met.

#2 – The logistics of growth

In any business, growth is predominantly seen as a positive; it’s the metric we tend to use to judge how successful a business is. However, growth in the food industry is a far trickier task to manage due to the sheer scale of the operation.

Food production tends to require a lot of machinery to help keep the process as efficient as possible. If your business flourishes and you reach a point where you need to move into a larger facility, then moving that equipment is a lot more challenging than it would be if you were just moving office supplies. Of course, you can Visit A&A Machinery for machinery moving resources to help conduct the move, but you’re also going to need to ensure your growth strategy takes into account the fact that moving food production equipment is more time-consuming and complex than a standard business move.

#3 – The problem with trends

If you strike on a foodstuff that is popular with the public, then it can feel like you’ve got it made. You’ll keep producing the item that seems to have so many fans, and you’ll never have to worry about your business experiencing issues ever again.

This isn’t quite how your experience will be. You may find that you produce a wildly popular item, but the food industry is infamous for how its trends can change. You may be producing the must-have foodstuff right now, but something else will inevitably usurp its place as the trends move on. Food production is an industry that requires constant innovation, so you’ll need to be flexible in your business planning.

Final thoughts

As tough as food production can be, there’s no doubt it’s a popular, necessary industry that might just be the best choice to allow you to meet your business goals.

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Take 20% off almost any eBay order of $25 or more today only

Want a new computer, console or smartphone? This discount will take up to $100 off the item of your choice.

Today only, eBay is having a flash sale and offering 20% off orders of $25 or more site-wide with promo code PSPRING20. There’s a maximum discount limit of $100 which is pretty great, and the exclusions are only items in the Coins & Paper Money, Gift Cards & Coupons, and Real Estate categories. Unlike most of the other eBay coupons we’ve seen, this deal is not limited to specific sellers! You can use it on any order over $25 as long as the items aren’t in those excluded categories. This code is limited to one use per account.

This flash sale makes it a great day to grab a deal on a pricey device you’ve had your eye on for a while – especially considering there are already some decent deals on eBay that this code will only enhance. You could take the Nintendo Switch console down to just $224 which is an insane deal, or the Xbox One X with an extra controller down to $368 which is an unheard-of price – until now that is.

You could also find some stellar deals from retailer-specific eBay stores, like Best Buy’s. There you could grab some wireless BeatsX headphones for $68 with the code, a Philips Hue Starter Kit for $56, a 1TB Western Digital Hard Drive for $40 or the Ring Video Doorbell 2 for $160.

Other hot deals you should take notice of today include:

  • Canon Pixma TS9020 All-In-One Printer – $41 (from $53)
  • Bose QuietComfort 25 Noise-Cancelling Headphones – $128 (from $160)
  • (Open-box) Apple Pencil for iPad Pro – $72 (from $90)
  • Logitech C920 webcam – $48 (from $60)
  • Samsung 860 EVO 250GB SSD – $76 (from $95)
  • HyperX Cloud II gaming headset – $80 (from $100)
  • Dell P2715Q 27-inch 4K monitor – $384 (from $480)

See at eBay

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Fortnite Battle Royale by Epic Games is coming to Android and iOS

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Soon you’ll be able to battle on your phone!

There a lot of people out there who enjoy Fortnite Battle Royale; it’s currently the most watched video game on Twitch.tv, and Epic Games has come up with a way to get even more people involved: it’s coming to mobile.

For those of you who don’t know, Fortnite Battle Royale is a 100-person FPS free-for-all where you fight to be the last man standing. You are dropped on to the map with just a pickaxe and have to hunt for weapons and building materials to help you fight through for the win. It’s a tense game with plenty of light-hearted moments and the cartoony graphics make it fun to watch and now, with the arrival of a mobile version, you never need to be far from the action.

Epic Games had this to say about the mobile release:

Fortnite Battle Royale is coming to mobile devices! On phones and tablets, Fortnite is the same 100-player game you know from PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac. Same gameplay, same map, same content, same weekly updates. Starting Monday, you can sign-up for the Invite Event on iOS. Support for Android will be coming in the next few months.

That “coming in the next few months” is always ominous for those of us in the Android community, but it makes sense for Epic Games to get Fortnite out to as many hands as possible in the shortest time, so I assume it won’t be long. If you do have an iPhone or iPad, however, you can sign up now for the chance to play it as soon as it’s available.

Starting Monday, March 12, sign up at www.Fortnite.com for the Invite Event on iOS. Email invites will start rolling out soon thereafter. When you are invited, you will receive an email with a link to download the game from the App Store. If you don’t receive an invite right away, don’t worry. We’ll be adding more players regularly over the coming months. Players who receive invites from Epic will also get friend invite codes to share with others. (Epic Games)

And that’s it for now. We will keep you posted when more Android news rolls around, but for now, be excited that Fortnite Battle Royale will soon grace your phone and support cross-play to boot! At the moment only Xbox and Switch seem to be left out, but not for long I imagine.

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Microsoft 'version' of Galaxy S9 and S9+ now up for pre-order

Just like last year, you can get Samsung’s latest phones with a push to Microsoft’s ecosystem.

Just like last year with the Samsung Galaxy S8, Microsoft is now taking preorders for the Galaxy S9 and S9+, with an expected launch date of March 16. Microsoft’s store listing is quick to point out how well the Microsoft Launcher and Microsoft apps such as Cortana, OneDrive and Office work on the Galaxy S9, however it doesn’t appear these apps come preloaded — they’re just available for download as part of the setup process.

See Samsung Galaxy S9 at Microsoft

Hardware-wise, nothing has changed here — this is identical to the standard U.S. unlocked Galaxy S9 and S9+. That really just makes Microsoft another retailer where Samsung gets some exposure outside of the structured carrier network, and of course gives Microsoft’s growing Android app portfolio a larger potential audience. And really, this is the best way to go — it wouldn’t be in anyone’s interest for Microsoft to get its own hardware version of these phones.

Remember that Galaxy S8 ‘Microsoft Edition?’ Samsung says it never existed …

Microsoft’s current mobile strategy involves adopting Android smartphones and encouraging users to install things like the Microsoft Launcher and apps onto the device. Since Microsoft is no longer focused on Windows 10 Mobile, buying an Android device and loading it up with Microsoft software is now what Microsoft encourages users to do, and so far, it’s working out pretty well.

See Samsung Galaxy S9 at Microsoft

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

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  • Galaxy S9 review: A great phone for the masses
  • Galaxy S9 and S9+: Everything you need to know!
  • Complete Galaxy S9 and S9+ specs
  • Galaxy S9 vs. Google Pixel 2: Which should you buy?
  • Galaxy S9 vs. Galaxy S8: Should you upgrade?
  • Join our Galaxy S9 forums

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4 things the Garmin Vivoactive does better than the Fitbit Ionic

Choose your fitness tracker wisely, because it will probably last you a while.

Both Fitbit and Garmin have long had a presence in the consumer electronics market, with both companies focusing on fitness gear and GPS accessories. In 2018, that means both companies are producing fitness bands, with notifications and other smartwatch features present as well. Fitbit’s latest device is the Ionic, while Garmin’s current flagship is the Vivoactive 3.

I’ve been wearing the Vivoactive 3 for a little over a month, primarily as a smartwatch. I don’t do any fitness tracking in my normal use, but did for the purposes of this article. Here are some things the Garmin Vivoactive 3 does better than the Fitbit Ionic!

The design

Tastes are subjective, but I think most people would agree that the Vivoactive 3 looks significantly better than the Fitbit Ionic. With the right watch face, it doesn’t look any different than a regular wrist watch. The Ionic looks… unique, to say the least. Whether that’s good or bad will depend on the wearer, but if you want a fitness tracker that can blend in with any wardrobe, the Vivoactive 3 is the device for you.

Flexibility

Both the Ionic and the Vivoactive 3 have swappable bands, but the Vivoactive 3 uses standard 20mm connections while the Ionic uses a proprietary system. Fitbit has had a history of quality issues with its watch bands, so a standard connection is much more comforting. Third party bands for the Ionic are about the same price as standard 20mm bands, but the standard bands will work on more devices.

Flexibility…again

With its round display and single button, the Vivoactive 3 can be worn on either wrist. Even better, the interface can be flipped so that the single button is on the left or right side of the watch. This may not sound like a big deal, but when I had the button on the right side of the watch, I kept accidentally pressing it when I would hinge my wrist up. Meanwhile, the three buttons on the Ionic mean it can really only be worn in one orientation, so you’ll have to adjust how you wear it if you accidentally press one of the buttons.

Price

The Vivoactive 3 retails for $269, while the Ionic runs for $300. A $30 difference isn’t much in the long run, but money saved is money saved.

See Garmin Vivoactive 3 at Best Buy

See Fitbit Ionic at Best Buy

A few places that are equal

In my experience, the Vivoactive 3 was perfectly accurate for fitness tracking, and most reviewers have found the Ionic to be equally great. Both watches have tap-and-pay option for NFC-enabled payment terminals. Both Fitbit and Garmin allow users to customize their watch faces, with a healthy store of third party options. Both watches support iOS and Android, but Fitbit actually goes one further by supporting the tens of Windows 10 Mobile users.

What say you?

Have you used the Fitbit Ionic or Garmin Vivoactive 3? Share your experience below!

More: Fitbit Ionic review: More fit than bit

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Here's how to get the absolute best deal on a Samsung Galaxy S9

Don’t miss out!

Samsung is running a decent trade-in program right now alongside its additional student discounts, but if you really want to get the cost of the new phone down, we have an idea for you. This isn’t as straightforward as some of the other ways, but sometimes you have to put in a little legwork to save big. So, let’s break this down for you.

Today only, eBay is running a sale that saves you 25% on any purchase of $25 or more when you use coupon code PSPRING20. How does this help you? Well, you can use the discount to purchase an already-affordable phone to trade in for more than what you pay for it. Seems simple, huh?

Samsung will give you $300 in trade-in credit for a Galaxy S7, and with the coupon code from above, you can pick one up for around $140 from a few different sellers. You’ll have to wait a few days for it to arrive, but to basically get an additional $160 off your new Galaxy S9, it’s well worth the time and effort.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the entire process of maximizing your savings:

  1. Buy Samsung Galaxy S7 using coupon code PSPRING20
  2. Head to Samsung.com
  3. Pick the Galaxy S9 or S9+ of your choice
  4. Select the trade-in you purchased
  5. Complete checkout process
  6. Send your trade-in to Samsung within 15 days of receiving your new phone

The process isn’t overly complicated. Sure, you could probably just trade in the phone that is in your hands right now, but odds are that isn’t as good of a deal. Once you take advantage of the offer as stated above, you can keep your current device as a backup, or even head to Swappa to sell it to help pay off your new phone.

If you’re a college student, you can take advantage of this additional savings.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

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  • Galaxy S9 and S9+: Everything you need to know!
  • Complete Galaxy S9 and S9+ specs
  • Galaxy S9 vs. Google Pixel 2: Which should you buy?
  • Galaxy S9 vs. Galaxy S8: Should you upgrade?
  • Join our Galaxy S9 forums

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Motorola reportedly laying off up to half of its Chicago engineering staff [update]

The Moto Z line could also be in jeopardy.

Update: We received comment from Motorola on the situation. It has been included in the article.

Motorola’s seen decent success with its affordable G and E-series phones, but according to rumors that have recently started going around, it looks like the company’s had better days. There’s a lot to this story, so let’s dive right into it.

Earlier this week, 9to5Google spotted a post on “TheLayoff” from someone referred to as an “Ex-Motorolan.” According to this user:

Motorola Mobility (Lenovo) just tapped 50% of their Chicago workforce on the shoulder to let them know they are being laid off. Their expected last day of work is April 6, 2018. Sad… and to think this was my dream job getting out of college.

Shortly after this started to pick up steam, Liangchen Chen — the owner of the keyboard mod for the Moto Z we saw at CES last January — linked back to the story on TheLayoff and said:

We cannot move on to production until we finish OTA update server implementation with Moto’s side. And the above layoff has a huge impact on current situation and future. This is the most I can tell at this moment.

Chen was then asked by a user on Indiegogo if this meant Motorola was getting rid of the Moto Z series after they released the Z3, and to this, Chen said, “To be honest, it looks even worse than that…”

After this news broke, 9to5Google received a tip from an anonymous source supposedly confirming that between 1/3 and 1/2 of the engineering staff at Motorola’s Chicago headquarters had been laid off. Motorola, for its part, offered this official statement to Android Central:

In late 2017, Lenovo announced a worldwide resource action that would occur over the next several quarters, and impacting less than two percent of its global workforce. This week’s employment reductions are a continuation of that process. We are reducing our Motorola operations in Chicago however this did not impact half of our workforce as reported and our Moto Z family will continue.

What’s this mean for the future of Motorola? It’s hard to say for certain right now, but it certainly seems to me like something bad is happening. I don’t forsee Motorola’s current lineup of phones for 2018 being impacted too much, but the future beyond that does look troubling.

Based on what we know so far, what’s your take on all of this?

Moto Z2 Force

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  • The ultimate guide to Moto Mods
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  • Join the discussion in the forums!

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Android 8.0 Oreo is rolling out to the LG V30 on Verizon

While we wait around for LG’s big flagship for 2018, the V30 remains the company’s best and most powerful phone currently on the market. The LG V30 shipped with Android 7.1.2 Nougat, but now it’s being updated to 8.0 Oreo — as long as you bought the phone from Verizon.

Multiple LG V30 owners who purchased the phone through Verizon Wireless are getting software updates that upgrades the phone to Oreo. The update weighs in at 1702.3 MB, and it brings all of the Oreo goodies you’ve come to expect.

Verizon appears to be the only carrier in the U.S. that’s pushed Oreo to the V30 so far, but I’d expect AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile to follow its footsteps soon.

If you’ve got a V30 on Verizon, have you gotten your Oreo update yet?

Thanks, Casey, Steve, and Bryon!

LG V30 + V30S ThinQ

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Manufacturers can now create custom Google Assistant commands

Notifications, improved media playback, and new Actions are also coming.

During this year’s SXSW convention in Austin, Texas, Google’s got its Google Assistant on full display at the Google Assistant Fun House. Attendees of SXSW can visit the Fun House to see a sock-sorting robot and beer-ordering system for couch potatoes, and powering these things is Google’s new Custom Device Actions.

Beginning today, manufacturers can use these Custom Device Actions to create custom Google Assistant commands that are specific for their hardware. According to Google, one example of this is being able to select a specific color cycle on a washing machine by just talking to the Assistant.

Also coming to the Google Assistant today is media playback support for Actions on smart speakers and Android phones and new Actions from American Idol, iHeartRadio, and others. With media playback controls, you can use your voice to control any media being played by Actions or use your phone’s screen to play, pause, replay items, and turn off your screen while the audio plays in the background.

Coming soon, Google is also adding notifications to the Assistant. This will allow you to subscribe to certain items on your phone, and when there’s a change in a stock you’re following or breaking news story, the Assistant will read the update aloud to you.

If you happen to be in Austin for SXSW, you can visit the Google Assistant Fun House at 1301 E. Cesar Chavez.

These New Smart Displays include Google Assistant

Google Home

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  • Google Home review
  • Google Home Max review
  • These services work with Google Home
  • Google Home vs. Amazon Echo
  • Join our Google Home forums!

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How to control your TV with Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo can replace your remote control, with a little help.

As nice as it would be for every television to include a simple local network access function, most TVs still rely on good old-fashioned Infrared (IR) to receive commands. This isn’t the best news for someone looking to convert their living room into Smart Home 2.0, but there are some tools available that make this a little easier to deal with than you’d think.

For example, you can pair a Logitech Harmony Hub and an Amazon Echo to create a totally voice controlled television. Here’s how you set it up!

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The Harmony line from Logitech has been the best option for universal remotes for a long time, but recently the company has moved from baking all of those smarts into a better remote control to building a hub that controls way more than just the TV. On its own, Harmony Hub can give you the ability to control just about anything connected to your Wi-Fi network as well as anything you can control with IR in a single app. You can even build little scripts inside of Harmony, so a single button press turns on the TV, sets the input you want to be on, and can even be activated on a schedule. It’s an impressive setup, made all the more impressive when you add an Amazon Echo.

Starting your smart living room conversion is fairly easy. Set up your Harmony Hub anywhere that lets you mount the IR sensor pointed right at the television. It doesn’t have to be close, but if you want to set Harmony up with your entertainment center, you can. After it is set up and connected to your network, you can add Harmony to Alexa just like any other skill.

  1. Open your Alexa App.
  2. Go to Home, then Skills.
  3. Search for Harmony.
  4. Select the blue icon that appears.
  5. Enable the Harmony Skill.
  6. Log in to Harmony from the Alexa app.

Once Alexa is connected to Harmony, you have the ability to turn the television on and off automatically. Just about everything else requires a little bit of extra work. Harmony is aware of what channels are available with your provider, but you can’t just ask for a specific channel out of the box unless your television is connected directly to cable. If you use an HD cable box that connects via HDMI, or something like a TiVo, you have to create actions in Harmony under the Smart TV settings.

Volume control is now available through Alexa through multiple command types. You can simply ask for the volume to be turned up, or you can specify an increase or decrease by specific increments between 1 and 20. Alexa currently does not have the ability to switch inputs through Harmony without actions, but an IFTTT trigger can be set up to allow this. Harmony and Alexa are being better integrated all the time with updates, but right out of the box this is a great way to control your television with your voice.

See at Amazon

Update July 2018: This article has been updated with the best tools for using your Echo to control your TV time!

Amazon Echo

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