Recently in Twitter Category

The Internet of Birds: Meet London's pollution-tracking pigeon patrol

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Someone has finally found a use for London's ubiquitous pigeon population that involves fitting their fat, feathery bodies with tiny air pollution-detecting backpacks.

The bird-brained scheme has seen the Air Pigeon Patrol, as they are known, tracking the levels of nitrogen dioxide in the capital's air while flying around the city as part of a three-day experiment.

The project operators, Plume Labs (no, we are not making this up), are also planning to turn their attention to equipping Londoners with similar sensors, so they can track air pollution levels at street level too.

Aside from monitoring nitrogen dioxide levels, exposure to which reportedly contributes to thousands of premature deaths in London each year, the backpacks also (rather fittingly) feedback their results to Twitter so Londoners can see how high pollution levels are in their area.

The pigeons aren't your common or garden London pigeons; they're actually thoroughbred racing birds that are owned by a chap called Brian. As such, they tend to live around 4 times longer than their city-dwelling counterparts, presumably because they're not breathing in the city's noxious fumes.

Mum's (not) the word

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Organisers of Parklife festival have been fined £70,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office after sending festival goers promotional text messages claiming to be from their mothers.

The short-sited marketing attempt left a number of recipients distressed, especially those whose mothers are no longer with us.

In further bad taste, the festival made jokes about the campaign on Twitter until eventually apologising.

The offending text message read:

"Some of the Parklife after parties have already sold. If your going, make sure your home for breakfast!."

We'd cry too if our mums' grammar was this bad. 

Greggs uses Twitter to turn bad press into brand engagement

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On Googling Greggs today (as many are being encouraged to do so on social media), you might notice that its logo is not quite right.


The logo which Google associates with the brand now reads: "Greggs - Providing sh*t to scum for over 70 years"

Quick to respond to the torrent of Twitter comments, Greggs' social media team have handled the whole situation pretty well, tempting Google with a tray of donuts if they fix the problem

Bull photobomb extreme

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A man was photobombed trampled while trying to take a selfie of a raging bull at the Fetes de Bayonne festival. 

The bull was menacingly running around a few feet behind the man who was desperately trying to get a selfie shot of himself and the angry horned animal.

The best thing about this story is that it was caught on camera for all to see. Don't worry, there's no blood but the bloke in question is clearly caught off guard (how that is possible, I'm not sure) and trampled by the animal. 

All in the name of Instagram.

The importance of punctuation on Twitter, a lesson learnt by the Associated Press

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The Associated Press learnt an important lesson about using correct punctuation within a 140 character Tweet.

Yesterday the news wire sent out a Tweet to inform the world that a Dutch military plane, carrying the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash, had landed in Eindhoven.

Sadly, AP's Twitter handle sent out the following:


This awfully phrased Tweet sparked a fear that the plane carrying the bodies from MH17 had crash landed in Eindhoven.


Twitter was sent into a temporary frenzy thanks to the missing comma between 'crash' and 'lands'.

It was quickly followed by a clarification tweet nine minutes later.

Come on AP, didn't you guys ever read Eats, Shoots & Leaves?

NOT available on the app store

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A new hashtag has been created as a campaign to point out things in life that are NOT available on the app store, because "there isn't an app for everything".

#Notavailableontheappstore encourages people to place modified App Store stickers on things in the real world that aren't available digitally, as a reminder that "the most important things in life are not on the app store."

Caroline and Kayleigh at Computer Weekly took part by sharing tweets of their morning treat as well as shoebox care parcels about to be posted out to the British Forces.



Here are some more Tweets from the hashtag:



The campaign has been created students from Hyper Island - an educational body which is shaking things up in the digital and tech world.

Hyper Island which was set up in Sweden and has offices in Manchester, immerses students in digital and data strategy, as well as art direction, e-commerce, self-leadership and problem solving.

Both post-grad and mature students are given real briefs from major brands so they can experience learning on the job, and 9 out of the 10 students get job within six months of graduating.

Inject some Britishness into your life

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English: A Union jack jacket.

English: A Union jack jacket. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

David Cameron recently said he wants us to be less "bashful" about our Britishness. 

So, despite Britishness being a largely subjective notion that embodies different characteristics for different people - which are constantly changing and evolving, alongside our societal norms and values (get to the point, Ed.) - Downtime decided to compile a few thoughts on how technology enthusiasts might display a bit of Britishness in their own lives.

To get the ball rolling, we suggest you kidnap Stephen Fry, Duct-tape him to a chair and force him to record a quintessentially British answer phone greeting on your mobile in his mellifluous, trademark received pronunciation. 

If he co-operates, give him a cup of Earl Grey and a rich tea biscuit. If he refuses, why not utilise a British-themed method of torture? Threaten to smear Marmite over his eyeballs and shoot Lea & Perrins up his nostrils, while playing the GoCompare jingle full-blast on a stereo.

If he's still reluctant, tweet "Millwall fans are POO POO HEADS!" from his Twitter account, throw him on the front lawn and run - fast. Then, film the ensuing assault on your iPhone before uploading the footage to Facebook as a nod to the charmingly British phenomenon of happy slapping.

Since you're now complicit in several high-profile crimes, you've no choice but to follow in the footsteps of eminent Brits Ronnie Biggs and Lord Lucan by scarpering abroad ASAP. The good news is that, once you've reached Puerto Rico and written your best-selling Penguin Guide to Kidnapping Stephen Fry, it'll be easy for you to dodge tax in true British style, like fellow Englishmen Gary Barlow and Jimmy Carr.

Now sit back in the sun, take a swig of Pimms and know that you've done Cameron and dear old Blighty proud - ideally to the sound of Elgar's Nimrod.

Birds Eye to sell potato hashtags

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Birds Eye is hoping its newest product will be a viral hit. Potato Mashtags are set to feature shapes including one of the most popular key symbols of the social media age - the hashtag.

A pack of Mashtags will actually offer multiples of  five different shapes including hashtags [#], at signs [@] and emoticons [:-)] - surely shaking up the frozen food aisle next to McCain's smiley faces.

Imagine the fun you could have teaming up your hashtags with your potato alphabet shapes? Then you could take a photo on your smartphone and share your meal with your friends over social media.

It's sure to be a smash hit with Tweeters and Instagrammers everywhere.

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Follow the Pope (on Twitter) for your stairway to heaven

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Follow the Pope's Twitter account and you will be granted "indulgences" which reduce the time Catholics will have to spend in Purgatory before ascending to heaven.

However, it's not quite as simple as clicking on the big blue 'follow' button like the Pope's 2,695,130 Twitter followers have done.

Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, head of the pontifical council for social communication said that indulgences were granted to people who do things like climb the Sacred Steps in Rome, or attend Catholic World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro which starts on 22 July.

"You can't obtain indulgences like getting a coffee from a vending machine," he said.

However, he understood that not everyone can afford to jet off to Brazil or Rome, so he said that those who follow the events using media will also qualify for an indulgence - this includes Twitter. But you must follow the live stream of the events. Of course you must. 

One-in-20 people use their mobiles during sex

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Yes, you read the headline right, more than half of people regularly use their mobile devices in bed, with 5% shockingly using their mobile while in the middle of having sex with their partner.*

Narly half check their social networks and emails on their mobile devices instead of listening to their partner, while 40% use their phones while sat on the toilet - please remember to wash your hands!

So apparently 45% of people admit that technology prevents them from ever truly switching off and relaxing in their spare time. Well we don't know about relaxing, but if there's a drop in birth rates next year, we can all blame the iPhone 5.

*Study conducted by UK technology manufacturer, Storage Options

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