A True “Pick Me Up”

If you know me, or any of the 6 lovely ladies I live with in “The Cottage,” we love our coffee. The seven of us probably consume 3 pots a day. No shame, gotta get by somehow. 

So, would you buy a “social” coffee mug? One that displayed a sweet picture or an inspirational quote each time you filled it with hot liquid? I know I would.

Well, this is no longer a dream, you can make this a reality

Introducing the Muki, a social coffee mug created by Paulig, a small Finnish coffee roaster, and TBWA\Helsinki, the Finnish arm of the international advertising agency.

Source: http://mashable.com/2014/04/24/social-coffee-cup/

This mug adds an additional perk to your morning java, by giving you a sweet surprise with every cup. Each time it’s filled with hot liquid, an e-Ink image appears that can, from there, be uploaded to social media sites. Users control the mug through an app, and can choose whether they want their mug to show them inspirational quotes or fun pictures.

Of course, the Muki, being a new form of technology, has to go through beta testing before hitting stores. The cool thing is, though, you can be a part of the testing by applying at Pauling’s website. So far, about 2,500 people have applied to be a part of the tests.

If all goes well, this mug could hit shelves in Finland in 2015. I think this calls for a European trip next year.

Promoted Tweets: Love Um or Hate Um?

I don’t know what it is about promoted tweets, but I absolutely hate when they show up on my Twitter feed. I’m sorry Taco Bell, for the millionth time I am NOT interested in eating off your breakfast menu. And yes, Chex Cereal, I know that puppy chow (or as you call it “Muddy Buddies”) are delicious, but I do not need you all up in my Twitter feed reminding me of that. Hello companies, there’s a reason I don’t follow you.


If you agree with me then you’re not going to like what I have to say next. Turns out Twitter is now allowing certain “high-profile” users to promote their own tweets for free. These tweets will be “pinned” to the top of the user’s feed, and won’t be subject to a time limit, it will merely be labeled as “Promoted” and appear on the top of their page. And while this feature is only available online (not in the app), I am bothered by it. 

I just don’t understand why people should be allowed to promote their tweets. I don’t understand the point of it, I mean people either actively follow you or they don’t – and if they don’t, they probably don’t care.

Us regular folk can pay to promote our own tweets, but I just don’t see the value. Am I alone in this sentiment?

Twitter: Tag, You’re It

Is Twitter trying to reinvent itself and become the new Facebook? Based on the latest innovations in the app, the answer appears to be yes.

Twitter is now allowing its users to upload up to four photos in one tweet, allowing you to tag up to 10 friends in the photos, without using up any of your 140-characters.


Source: http://mashable.com/2014/03/26/twitter-photos-social/

The four pictures you add will appear as a collage in your timeline, and when another user clicks on one of them, they’ll be able to see the picture in full.

However, this picture feature is currently only available for iPhone users, Twitter says it plans to roll out this four picture addition to Android and Twitter.com soon.

The friend tagging feature, though, is available to everyone and works just like tagging on Facebook. You tag your Twitter friends in the photo and then they get a notification. If they’re not pleased with the photo, they can delete their tag just like they can on Facebook.

The default setting on this picture tagging feature is a bit funky, though. It’s set so that anyone can tag people in your photos, which could lead to some false tagging. Could be interesting.

What do you think of these changes on Twitter? I must say, I like them. I like Twitter and, in general, my favorite aspect of social media is photo sharing, so combine the two and I am pleased.

Think Technology Hasn’t Affected Our Brains? Think Again.

Technology is omnipresent – our society is constantly browsing the web, texting on our smartphones or glued to the television. And if you think that this constant devouring of technology hasn’t changed the way our brains operate, studies will prove you otherwise. While many experts have differing opinions on what technology has done to our brains, Mashable has compiled a list of 8 Ways Technology Has Completely Rewired Our Brains. Here it is…


1. We Dream in Color.

A 2008, a study conducted at Scotland’s Dundee University showed that adults over the age of 55 who grew up in a household with a black and white TV tend to dream in black and white. Meanwhile, younger participants in the study, who grew up with colored televisions, tend to dream in color.

2. We Experience FOMO…

As a result of constant updates from social media sources, we experience this “fear of missing out” when we are not a part of the social activities lighting up our webpages. We worry that our lives aren’t quite as cool as the people’s around us, and we felt anxious and inadequate as a result.

3. …And “Phantom Vibration Syndrome.”

A 2012 study proved that 89% of 290 undergraduates report feeling “phantom vibrations,” the physical sensation that their phone is vibrating, even when it wasn’t. Something in us assumes that we must constantly be connected and communicating with those around us. Crazy.

4. We Can’t Sleep.

Many of us get in bed, and immediately play on our phones or tablets, or watch some TV, in an effort to fall asleep. Turns out, though, that this sleeping strategy may actually harm our sleeping patterns. According to neuroscientists, the light emitted by these screens affects our body’s internal light cues and sleep-inducing hormones. These lights may make our bodies feel as if it is still daytime, which can wreak havoc on our body’s internal sleep clock, making it much harder for us to fall asleep.

5. Our Memory Isn’t Great, And Neither is Our Attention Span.

With information available to us at the click of a button (thanks Google), people no longer feel the need to memorize facts, because, what’s the point? We rely on social media to remember a friend’s birthday, we use calculators for the simplest of math and we wouldn’t be able to get around town without our GPS.

In addition, the Internet has shortened our attention span. We feel antsy when we are forced to sit down and focus on reading a book, and we tend to only skim articles because they are simply “too long.” This is problem, particularly for the youth of the world, who may never develop serious concentration skills.

6. We Have Better Visual Skills…

A 2013 study showed that first-person shooter video games, like Halo or Call of Duty, have the ability to improve the player’s decision-making and visual cues because they force the play to react quickly to visual cues. According to the same study, gamers are also better able to detect contrast between objects in dim environments. In addition, strategy-based games like Starcraft have been shown to boost the brain’s “cognitive flexibility,” or the ability to multitask.

7. …But Poorer Impulse Control.

However, the same study found that games like Halo can prevent players from being able to tame their aggressive and impulsive behavior, because they can force players to make rash decisions without evaluating the situation first. Meaning, these players are prone to react immediately, with a great deal of hostility, in real-life situations.

8. We Create More.

On a positive note, technology has enabled both artists and non-artists to connect and engage with creative media. Because social media promotes a culture of sharing, we all desire to share something creative of our own, possibly some great edited photos or a DIY craft we created. We desire to contribute to the world and engage with those around us in our creations.

So, what do you think? Do you agree that technology has changed the way your brain is wired?