Starbucks Christmas Tree Frappuccino just tastes like sugar and regret

Please drive this away from me.
Image: STARBUCKS

Nothing says Christmas like a cold cup of sugar. 

At least that’s what I kept telling myself as I took a sip, and another one of the Christmas Tree Frappuccino. It’s Starbucks’ latest concoction that has people running out to corporate coffee shops, where they spend $5 and most likely take a bunch of smartphone photos to later post on social media. 

Like this: 

Like any good business reporter, I jumped on the trend Sunday. After my editor shared a piece by The Denver Post reviewing the drink and some tweets of people’s reactions, I asked if I could go get one and try it myself. Because that, my friends, is reporting. 

Well, I’ve been wanting to get one ever since my sister shared the Starbucks ad in our family group Thursday morning. 

Three hours later, my mom shared a picture of hers. Her review: “It is delicious.” Her favorite part was the candied cranberry topping. 

Image: screenshot

Image: screenshot

I had participated in two of the previous limited-edition Starbucks drinks. 

The Unicorn Frappuccino, a trend debut, was actually not too bad in my biased opinion. Though I think I was on an emotional high because I drank them with Chloe the Mini Frenchie (RIP). 

important coffee meeting with @kerrymflynn who you would share a unicorn frappuccino with? 🦄☕️

A post shared by Chloe The Mini Frenchie (@chloetheminifrenchie) on

The Zombie Frappuccino was strange, but I was also in the middle of emceeing an event in Columbus, Ohio. 

I definitely couldn’t let this one escape me. 

And so that’s how I ended up drinking 420 calories on a Sunday morning. Fortunately, I live four blocks from a Starbucks, so it wasn’t too burdensome to put on a jacket and walk out in the cold weather for a frozen beverage. 

The most embarrassing part was probably ordering when I asked for a “Christmas Tree Frappuccino” and the barista replied, “What?” So then I had to repeat myself over a cringeworthy order while the person in front of me just sipped her cup of hot coffee. 

I waited to take a sip until I could take photos. Because, of course, that’s exactly what Starbucks wants us all to do. All of our tweets are free ads. Actually, they’re not just free. We’re not getting paid. We’re paying them. Starbucks is making money having us all make ads for them. It’s brilliant, and I’m happy to be part of it. 

I got home and looked at the drink on my counter. The Matcha whipped cream had melted to half its height from before. I finally noticed that there was no candied cranberry topping. But I regretfully took a sip. And oh man, it was not good.

Thin Mints are great (Disclosure: I’m a Girl Scout). Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream is awesome. 

The Starbucks Christmas Tree Frappuccino is not either of those things. Every sip of this beverage is an overload of sugar. I’d rather crush up a bunch of Thin Mints and mix them with some ice and milk in a blender than continue sipping this. 

I’m not going to tell you not to get a Christmas Tree Frappuccino because you can probably make your own decisions. But this is not good and you can spend $5 on something else. If you need the picture, go to Starbucks and just wait for someone else to order one. But be good to yourself, and don’t drink it. 

Please. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/12/10/starbucks-christmas-tree-frappuccino-review-sugar-regrets-photos/

Russia used hundreds of fake accounts to tweet about Brexit, data shows

Researchers discover that accounts run from troll farm in St Petersburg tried to sow discord between Britons

Concern about Russian influence in British politics has intensified as it emerged that more than 400 fake Twitter accounts believed to be run from St Petersburg published posts about Brexit.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh identified 419 accounts operating from the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) attempting to influence UK politics out of 2,752 accounts suspended by Twitter in the US.

One of the accounts run from the Kremlin-linked operation attempted to stir anti-Islamic sentiment during the Westminster Bridge terror attack in March in a bogus post claiming a Muslim woman ignored victims a claim that was highlighted by mainstream media outlets including Mail Online and the Sun.

For days after, the tweeter was gleefully sharing press clippings. Wow Im on the Daily Mail front page! Thank you British libs! Youre making me famous, he said, referring to an article that appeared on Mail Online and which still bore the tweet at the time of writing.

@SouthLoneStar
@SouthLoneStar tweet – which appears to have been generated by a Russian. Photograph: Twitter

A day later, he tweeted: Im on The Sun! Thank you again, British libs! Now Im even more famous!

Damian Collins, the chairman of the Commons culture, media and sport select committee, which is investigating fake news, said the Russian agency appeared to be attempting to divide society and destabilise politics.

The Conservative MP wants Twitter to tell the committee how it believes Russia has been attempting to influence UK politics.

What is at stake is whether Russia has constructed an architecture which means they have thousands of accounts with which they can bombard [us] with fake news and hyper-partisan content, he said.

We need to understand how widespread it is and what the impact is on the democratic process.

Collins has demanded that Twitters chief executive, Jack Dorsey, supply examples of posts from the Internet Research Agency about British politics citing concern at possible interference by foreign actors in the democratic process of the UK.

This is information they hold and I cant see any reason they should be delaying supplying it, he said.

The developments come after the US Congress intelligence committee investigated Russian troll campaigning in the US election of November 2016.

Twitter told the House committee that it had suspended 2,752 accounts which were tweeting about the US election because it believed they were controlled from Russia. The committee said it may well be just the tip of the iceberg.

Hundreds of paid bloggers work round the clock at the IRA to flood Russian internet forums, social networks and the comments sections of western publications sowing disinformation, praising the countrys president, Vladimir Putin, and raging at the west.

The agency has been linked to a businessman who was once Putins favourite chef.

Prof Laura Cram, director of neuropolitics research at the University of Edinburgh, told the Guardian that at least 419 of those accounts tweeted about Brexit a total of 3,468 times mostly after the referendum had taken place.

Archives of the now deleted Russian accounts show they included people purporting to be a US Navy veteran, a Tennessee Republican and a Texan patriot all tweeting in favour of Brexit.

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‘We know what youre doing,’ Theresa May tells Russia video

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson urged Theresa May to bring political pressure to bear on tech giants to reveal the extent to which their platforms have been hijacked, and to take action against agents of the Russian state who use their platforms to disseminate misinformation and untruths.

He said tech companies including Twitter and Facebook havent done enough to identify and weed out the fake profiles and automated content that pose a direct threat to our democracy.

On Monday, May gave a speech in which she said Russias actions were threatening the international order on which we all depend.

She accused Russia of meddling in elections and planting fake stories in the media to weaponise information and sow discord in the west.

Concerns about Russias cyber-operations have also been raised elsewhere in Europe.

Spains prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, claimed on Monday that half of the Twitter accounts that amplified the issue of Catalan independence were registered in Russia and 30% in Venezuela.

Others have voiced concerns that Russian social media accounts also sought to influence this years French and German elections.

A spokesperson for Twitter said the company recognises that the integrity of the election process itself is integral to the health of a democracy. As such, we will continue to support formal investigations by government authorities into election interference as required.

The Russian tweets identified by Twitter as coming from the IRA included one by an account holder using the name @SouthLoneStar.

He reportedly said: I hope UK after #BrexitVote will start to clean their land from muslim invasion! and UK voted to leave future European Caliphate! #BrexitVote.

The same account posted a widely shared tweet at the time of the March terror attack on Westminster Bridge in London.

It posted a photograph of a woman in a headscarf passing the scene of the attack with the caption: Muslim woman pays no mind to the terror attack, casually walks by a dying man while checking phone #PrayForLondon #Westminster #BanIslam.

The woman said later: Not only have I been devastated by witnessing the aftermath of a shocking and numbing terror attack, Ive also had to deal with the shock of finding my picture plastered all over social media by those who could not look beyond my attire, who draw conclusions based on hate and xenophobia.

Another suspended account appeared to be a Republican from Tennessee. @TEN_GOP quoted Nigel Farage telling Fox News about Brexit and Donald Trump: What youve seen this year is just ordinary, decent people, the little people, whove said Weve had enough. We want change.

@WadeHarriot, purporting to be a former member of the US Navy, retweeted criticisms of leftists for trying to subvert #Brexit and predictions of #Brexit #Frexit #Grexit.

Cram said the content of the Brexit tweets overall was quite chaotic and it seems to be aimed at wider disruption. Theres not an absolutely clear thrust. We pick up a lot on refugees and immigration.

She stressed that more research is needed to establish the extent of the tweets influence, and urged caution about drawing conclusions from the relatively small number of troll accounts so far identified. About 78% of the tweets came after the Brexit vote on 23 June 2016, she added.

Russia has been adamant it did not interfere in any way in the EU referendum. We closely followed the voting but never interfered or sought to influence it, Putin said the day after the poll.

However, there is no doubt that many in Moscow welcomed the outcome. An EU without Britain would be less united on sanctions against Russia, many Russian officials hoped, because it would lose one of its stronger foreign policy voices and would be too consumed with its own internal problems to prioritise Russia policy.

At the time, the former US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, said the vote to leave the EU was a giant victory for Putins foreign policy objectives.

The US Congressional investigation into Russian meddling through social media also gathered evidence from Facebook that between June 2015-August 2017 there were 470 accounts on the platform associated with the IRA and that 126 million Americans are likely to have seen content from an IRA page.

Additional reporting by Stacee Smith

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/14/how-400-russia-run-fake-accounts-posted-bogus-brexit-tweets

A timeline of the rogue Twitter employee’s last day at work before deleting Trump’s account

Image: mashable composite. max knoblauch; shutterstock

This post is a part of Mashable Humor. It is not real. We drew the bird, though, and think it’s pretty good.

A Twitter customer support employee is responsible for temporarily deactivating the account of President Trump for 11 minutes on Thursday night, just before 7:00 p.m. EST. According to a statement from the company, it was said employee’s last day, and they acted without the approval of anyone else at Twitter.

What follows is a comprehensive timeline of the “rogue” employee’s infamous last day at Twitter HQ.

9:05 a.m.: Employee arrives at office on their last day. Employee sits at desk.

9:15 a.m.: Employee’s manager approaches, asks employee if they received email. “I haven’t checked my email,” employee replies. “Oh, okay. Well, when you get a chance,” manager answers. The employee will not look at the email.

9:20 a.m.: Employee tells coworker Devin that his coffee mug is on their desk, technically, and has been every day for several months.

9:25 a.m.: Employee leaves for “early lunch.”

1:15 p.m.: Employee returns from lunch.

1:19 p.m.: Employee sends email recommending lunch spot’s Moscow Mules to full New York office.

1:25 p.m.: Employee forwards Moscow Mule email to global staff list with message, “In case any of you are ever in town.”

1:30 p.m.: Using Sharpie, employee writes, “This bread taste like DOGGGG SHIT” on a loaf of bread in the employee kitchen.

1:35 p.m.: Employee reminds coworker Devin about the coffee mug’s location, asking him, “Did you know?”

1:40 p.m.: Employee leaves for “late lunch.”

4:10 p.m.: Employee returns from late lunch.

4:45 p.m.: During team meeting, employee is asked to say a few words. Employee uses full time to again recommend the Moscow Mules. The employee has worked at Twitter for 4 years.

5:00 p.m.: Employee enters back room and adjusts office thermostat to 68 degrees.

5:03 p.m.: Employee arrives at HR for exit interview.

5:10 p.m.: Employee responds to HR’s question of, “How do you feel about your time here?” with simply, “Bad.”

5:12 p.m.: Employee responds to HR’s question of, “Is there anything you feel you have not been able to do in your time here?” with, “Delete the president’s Twitter.” Employee tells HR they think they will be deleting President Trump’s account later in the day. The HR representative chuckles.

5:15 p.m.: Employee returns to desk.

5:30 p.m.: Employee watches the first 25 minutes of Netflix’s What the Health at desk without headphones.

5:55 p.m.: Employee says, “Wow.”

5:56 p.m.: Employee messages manager that the office chairs are very uncomfortable. Manager replies with, “Well, I don’t furnish the office lol.” Employee replies, “I do not like you and I have not liked you for some time now.” Manager does not reply.

6:00 p.m.: Employee stands on desk and announces that they will be drinking Moscow Mules at the lunch spot nearby if anyone wants to go.

6:48 p.m.: Employee returns to office to retrieve coat.

6:49 p.m.: Employee throws Devin’s mug in the garbage.

6:50 p.m.: Employee deactivates the president’s Twitter account.

6:55 p.m.: Employee returns to lunch spot for Moscow Mules.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/11/04/rogue-twitter-employee-deletes-trump-timeline-satire/

Soon, you’ll be able to save tweets for later

Image: Richard Drew/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Twitter, the social network that redefined the term “information overload,” is working on a feature that’ll make it easier to bookmark those cool tweets that deserve a second look. 

Announced by several key Twitter employees, including product VP Keith Coleman, the new feature could be called “save for later.”

According to Coleman, this has been a “top request,” and Twitter wants user feedback before they push out a final version of the feature. 

And Associate Product Manager at Twitter, Jesar Shah, has implied that the feature might first become available in Japan. 

As she pointed out, there are roundabout ways to bookmark a tweet — for example, you can DM it to yourself, like it or retweet it. But a dedicated “save for later” button is probably a better option than cluttering your direct messages and likes. 

Shah also shared an “early prototype” of the feature in a short video (below), but said the final version of the feature is “likely to change.” In her example, the feature is simply called “Bookmarks.”

We’ve pinged Twitter about details on this new feature, and will update this post when we hear from them. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/10/10/twitter-save-for-later/

91-year-old former congressman sets the Twitter bar in the Trump era

John Dingell has been owning Twitter for years.
Image: ambar del moral/mashable

91-year-old former congressman John Dingell has been quick, witty, and on fire with his 140 characters for years.

Despite his age, he knows how to use the tweet machine the way it was intended: biting commentary, playful retweets, and insightful and smart reactions. Time and again he’s shown he’s mastered Twitter.

After tweeter-in-chief Donald Trump was elected, Dingell’s Twitter game has become even more relevant and fiery.

After the violence in Charlottesville and Trump’s bumbling mess of a response to the anti-Semitism and white supremacy on display, Dingell took to Twitter in the days following. One particular tweet resonated, with thousands praising the longtime Michigan lawmaker for posting what the president struggled to say. 

Just look at those likes.

Once known as an imposing Democrat with strong opinions and determined to pass universal health care, he’s refocused his energy toward the Twittersphere, where he still speaks his mind loud and clear even if it’s not on Capitol Hill.

Sure, Dingell also spends a lot of his time tweeting about Michigan sports. But after retiring after nearly 60 years in office at the age of 87 (he was the longest-serving member of Congress in history), he’s kept a running commentary on the ridiculousness of the government and society in general.

In the Trump era, where the president uses a micro-blogging platform to announce policy, devise political strategy, and sling insults, Dingell’s reactions and responses are a go-to source of humor, insight, and reflection.

Dingell’s Trump tweets also have bite. Since inauguration day (and throughout the election, too, if you want to look back and laugh-cry) we’ve been treated to these gems that often encapsulate what a lot of us are thinking.

On resignation

On Trump’s staffing problems

On the health care fight

On Russia and lying

On Trump’s Middle East trip

On cake 

When Trump gave an interview about a missile strike on Syria he talked mostly about “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen.” It was — weird. Dingell noticed.

On the wall

Dingell joined Twitter in 2010. In the seven-plus years since, he’s tweeted almost 5,000 times. Trump, 71, joined about a year earlier, but has racked up nearly 40,000 tweets — eight times the number of tweets, which seems like a good way to measure Trump’s Twitter obsession.

Dingell’s targets go beyond Trump. 

Years before the former reality TV show host joined the political circus, Dingell was posting sharp commentary on, well, everything. The Atlantic called his Twitter feed “the best” back in 2014. Some of Dingell’s earlier Twitter home runs include a post about Sharknado, excellent usage of the hashtag and term “YOLO,” and taking an internet meme to disparage himself. 

In recent days he’s brought down Sen. Ted Cruz with his wit. He’s plugged in to internet culture, whether it’s April the pregnant giraffe or the Kardashians.

With Dingell’s decades of insider knowledge, his posts go beyond your average snarky Trump commentary that poke at the thin-skinned president. Luckily, Dingell hasn’t gotten blocked, and maybe he won’t if he keeps up with his smartly crafted ripostes.

His tweets spark discussion, replies, and thousands of retweets and likes.

If this retired 90-something Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient can keep up with Trump and everything else on Twitter, there’s no excuse for the rest of us. Except for the fact that John Dingell has already won Twitter. Maybe the rest of us should just go home.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/16/john-dingell-twitter-trump/

New York Post says boobs are trendy again but, like, when were they not?

The New York Post is getting royally dragged after it tweeted an article declaring “boobs are back,” leaving women everywhere rolling their eyes collectively.

The article, which was originally published by The Sun said “bountiful boobs” are back in style, welcoming the “return of the out-and-proud cleavage”.

“A big-boob movement is happening, and we should embrace it,” read the article. “An uplifted chest means an uplifted mood, after all.” Wow, who knew that all this time boobs weren’t trendy?

Thankfully, the women of Twitter were on hand to proffer their thoughts on the purported new trend.

Anyone got any spare boobs lying around?

Some women were just really thankful they can finally put their boobs back on.

For those of us with “bountiful” breasts, it’s been a difficult time. Thankfully, it’s all behind us now.

Maybe this new trend needs its own anthem. How about a new version of Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back in Town?”

One smartypants had a very salient point to make about boobs being “back”.

Phew, thank goodness they’re back.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/08/02/new-york-post-boobs-back/

Jimmy Kimmel tweets a sweet update on 3-month-old son

Image: YOUTUBE/JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE

Months after revealing his newborn son’s diagnosis with a serious heart condition, Jimmy Kimmel says that little Billy is “doing great.”

The Jimmy Kimmel Live host shared an extremely cute photo (that smile!) of the 3-month-old baby on Friday. He also encouraged fans to call their representatives and senators a particularly urgent request as Republicans continue to blather on about repealing the Affordable Care Act.

“Thx for the love & support,” Kimmel tweeted. “Please remind your Congresspeople that every kid deserves the care he got.”

The update comes after Kimmel dedicated a Jimmy Kimmel Live monologue to Billy in May, shortly after the child was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary artesia and underwent open-heart surgery.

“In layman’s terms,” Kimmel said at the time, “the pulmonary valve was completely blocked.”

He also called for Congress to prioritize care for people who have pre-existing conditions even if those patients don’t have the financial means to pay for care themselves.

“If your baby is about to die, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make,” Kimmel said. “This isn’t football. There are no teams. We are the team it’s the United States. Don’t let their partisan squabbles divide us.”

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/07/22/jimmy-kimmel-update-son-heart-condition/

Will Neera Tanden’s call not to let Trump’s tweets distract penetrate Keith Olbermann’s bunker?

Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, is making a concerted effort to keep Obamacare in place, though the tactics such as forming a human chain around the Capitol in protest seem about as productive as “Handsmaid’s Tale” (or zombie) cosplay get-togethers or queer dance protests outside Mitch McConnell’s house.

On Saturday, however, Tanden gave some cogent advice that her field army in the mainstream media is unlikely to heed: don’t let President Trump’s tweets distract from the health care bill. We only wish the GOP had it together enough to make this scenario actually happen.

Read more: http://twitchy.com/brettt-3136/2017/07/01/will-neera-tandens-call-not-to-let-trumps-tweets-distract-penetrate-keith-olbermanns-bunker/

Baby reacts to aunt’s EEG leads and the internet can’t handle the cuteness

The internet fell in love with a confused little girl.

Blogger Jordyn Smith uploaded some photos to Twitter of her niece reacting to her EEG leads, and of course, it was simply precious.

Smith has epilepsy and her EEG (electroencephalogram) leads are used to monitor her brain activity.

Image: Jordyn smith

Babies, however, don’t understand what any of this means, so 9-month-old Amina was pretty confused when she saw her auntie.

Image: jordyn smith

Image: jordyn smith

Image: jordyn smith

At the time of this writing, Smith’s post has been retweeted over 70,000 times and has even become a meme.

Smith retweeted some of her favorites.

Many people were just shook with how adorable Smith’s niece is.

Smith was delighted that so many people found humor in the photos.

“I felt so embarrassed when I first had to wear the leads for three days and didn’t even want to leave my house,” Smith said in an email. “But I took those pictures of her and… just realized how easy you can make light of a crummy situation.”

“Life sucks sometimes and that’s okay!”

Smith has been blogging for a year-and-a-half but only recently went public about her medical struggles. She finds it rewarding that documenting her health journey has sparked other people to reach out about “their own battle with epilepsy.”

Since the tweet about her niece went viral, Smith says that people have been sending her pictures of them wearing “EEG’s when they otherwise would’ve been self conscious.”

Smith wearing EEG leads

Image: jordyn smith

Overall, Smith had this to say:

“A lot of the time people just want you to ‘be positive,’ but what I blog about is about increasing positivity but also accepting that life sucks sometimes and that’s okay! And to just make the best out of it.”

Jordyn with her niece, Amina

Image: jordyn smith

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/06/16/baby-niece-eeg-cute-funny/

Trump casually pre-games climate announcement with jazz band

While the world anxiously waited to hear whether or not President Trump would pull out of the Paris Agreement, a jazz band outside the White House kept things chill AF.

After much anticipation, Trump announced on Twitter that he would be making a statement about the country’s future with the major climate agreement on Thursday in the White House Rose Garden.

And what better way to pregame that very important speech than with a nice tasteful jazz performance, am I right??!

Before Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement, which left the U.S. with only two other countries Nicaragua and Syria who also rejected the agreement, many business leaders, celebrities, and scientists publicly warned against the decision.

But hey, Trump knows that some nice, smooth jazz music can solve any problem.

As people waited for the president (who was more than 30 minutes late) to take the stage, the image of what appears to be the United States Marine Band performing jazz in the Rose Garden was all they had to mock.

Some people passed the time by thinking up some climate-friendly requests for the band to play! Fun!

In fact, with this romantic setting, some might even say Trump’s monumental climate announcement felt a bit like an episode of The Bachelor …

Though this random jazz band may seem a bit odd, Trump is certainly no stranger to oddly timed celebratory gestures. We learned this after the House Republicans voted on a health care repeal bill and definitely did not enjoy a cart full of beer.

Enjoy that Rose Garden while you can, Trump!

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/06/01/donald-trump-paris-agreement-jazz-band/