Category Archives: Technology

The New Frontier

I love my archaic flip phone — it’s sturdy, reliable and gets the job done — but that doesn’t mean I don’t have bouts of tech envy when I long for a smart phone to call my own. 

Usually, this happens when I’m lost in NYC and cursing my terrible sense of direction or when I’m bored on my commute; however, lately I’ve been wanting a smart phone so I can participate in social media platforms, especially Foursquare.

For those who’ve never heard of Foursquare, it’s basically an online application where users can “check in” and announce their location at any moment — allowing them to connect with friends nearby, receive great deals from participating companies and get a whole slew of suggestions of new places to see based on where they’ve checked in previously.

Foursquare seems to be the next big thing in the world of social media, and I hate that only people with smart phones can fully access and use it.  I’ve been telling myself that this trend will pass, that it’s totally for status hungry college students who just want to show off where they’ve been, but I guess I was wrong because someone respectable just checked into Foursquare from, wait for it, OUTER SPACE!

If a NASA-trained astronaut finds it important to check into Foursquare during a mission to the edge of the galaxy, I guess it’s time for me to invest the $30 a month for a data plan.


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Filed under Social Media, Technology, Things I Want, Trends

Facebook From Beyond The Grave

I go on Facebook nearly everyday as do many of its other 500 million users.  But I never gave much thought to a sensitive issue that Facebook deals with on a daily basis — death.  What is Facebook — as both a fun-loving, social phenomenon as well as a serious, multi-billion dollar business — supposed to do with deceased user accounts? 

According to a recent New York Times article, Facebook used to simply delete such accounts, but after the Virginia Tech shooting, people wanted to keep these walls active to memorialize their loved ones forever in cyberspace. 

The problem is that Facebook’s flawed social algorithm, from time to time, suggests users reconnect with someone from beyond the grave — managing to creep people out or even offend them as they mourn.  And with more than 350,000 Facebook users for every Facebook employee, there seems to be no practical means of scanning profiles for deceased users as of yet. 

Regardless of this one flaw in the system, I must admit that I do find it all rather comforting.  In fact, I still look up a SU classmate that has since passed away and it’s heartwarming to read all of the messages and pictures people have posted and continue to post on her Facebook profile.  I’m sure her parents find encouragement in seeing that their daughter was well loved and will be dearly missed.  May she rest in peace.

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Filed under In The News, Social Media, Syracuse University, Technology

These Boots Are Made For…

One of the bad things about going to college in Syracuse, NY is the weather.  I didn’t mind the snow so much, but the rain was RIDICULOUS.  I think I went through two umbrellas every semester and at least three or four pairs of boots. 

The rain and snow might be a bit more tame here, but I might just invest in a pair of rainboots anyway, especially if they’re the Power Wellies pictured above.

These boots do more than keep your feet dry.  They convert the heat energy given off by your feet into enough electricity to charge your phone. 

Who said you couldn’t be green and fashionable?

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Filed under Consumer Goods, Environment, Fashion, Technology, Things I Want

Winos Rejoice!

Pennsylvania is home to many things: the Liberty Bell, the Philadelphia Eagles, Philly cheesesteaks, the Amish…the list goes on and on.  And onto that prestigious list, we can now add wine-dispensing vending machines.  Hallelujah.  What better to go with my 75-cent snack than a bottle of wine?  Clearly, the cheese-substitute found in Cheetos brings out the fruity notes in a glass of Riesling to perfection. 

Way to class up the joint, PA.


Filed under Food+Beverage, In The News, Only In Pennsylvania, Technology

Double Word Score

I still want to play Scrabble — traditional or otherwise.

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Filed under Consumer Goods, Technology, Things I Want, Trends

Forever Young, I Want to be…Forever 21

Forever 21 recently unveiled its new billboard in Times Square, and it’s already creating quite a buzz.  That’s because this billboard is interactive.  With the help of high-tech spy camera technology, the ad features a model that not only shows off Forever 21 apparel on a humongous screen, but appears to pluck people straight off the ground and kiss them or stow them away in her bag as she skips off.  She also occasionally takes photos of the crowd and brandishes them on the billboard — giving even the common passerby his or her 15-seconds of fame. 

The billboard software can even detect the specific trademark yellow of the Forever 21 bag — making loyal customers all the more likely to be noticed by the model in her pursuits. 

And this is just the beginning.  Billy Jurewicz, founder and CEO of Space150 — the company that created the billboard for Forever 21 — expects better, more interactive versions in the future.  “The board now is like the iPod 1.0,” he said in an article for Fast Company.  “We’re going to be updating this more and more.”

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Filed under Ads, Consumer Goods, Fashion, PR, Quotes, Technology, Trends

Buy It, Use It, Break It, Fix It

I was browsing Coyne PR’s blog today when I came across an interesting New York Times article about the dangers of technology overload and how it’s taking over our lives.  Even though the piece was very insightful, can I say duh?  You don’t  have to be a fancy New York Times reporter to know that the people-technology combo has become the ultimate fatal attraction.  We put TVs in our cars, carry laptops at all times, and our smart phones are never more than an armslength away.  We eat through iPods like a pair of two for $5 flip flops from Old Navy, matching them to every outfit and occassion.  Hell, we’re one step away from attaching monitors inside the womb so that our unborn shrimp-like fetuses can watch the cultural wonders of “Jersey Shore.”  

Can you tell I love to exaggerate?

Even though the focus of the article was on adults and how they are freakishly attached to their various devices (don’t make it dirty), the realization that children are more obsessed with technology was by far much worse.  For example, the featured couple in the article, the Campbells, have an 8-year-old daughter who not only has her own laptop, but an iPod Touch and a portable DVD player.  What is an 8-year-old doing with thousands of dollars worth of technology?  If she can’t even spell computer, then it doesn’t seem right that she has one, no?  Maybe it’s not my place to say since I’m not a parent, but for God’s sake give the kid a $5 pack of Silly Bandz, a more price-appropriate toy by far, and have her play outside and maybe even — dare I say it — read.  Gasp!

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Filed under In The News, Technology