This Week’s Chitter Chatter – Reduce Stress by losing Facebook Friends, an Alternative to Apple Maps and the Return of Fenton the Dog

An interesting article was published this week regarding results from a study assessing stress levels and the use of Facebook. The crux of the findings was that the more Facebook friends you have, the more stressed you’re likely to be. With more and more people joining Facebook every day, it’s easy to see that posts and photos which may amuse your friends may not sit quite so well with your Granny. The average Facebook member has friends from 7 different social circles including ‘real life’ friends, work colleagues, extended family and friends of friends. Unsurprisingly adding parents and employers caused the most stress. Time to sort out those privacy settings we think…

No doubt spurred on by the phenomenal success of the Apple Brand, Microsoft is apparently planning on expanding their network of retail stores into the UK and Europe in 2013. With more than 40 Microsoft retail stores in the US primarily selling Windows PCs and Windows phones as well as software, games and accessories, Microsoft is keen to expand the retail side of its business to compete with Apple. Microsoft have also been experimenting with pop-up holiday stores during the main US holiday seasons. Similar to the service provided in the Apple stores, the Microsoft retail stores offer free training and classes on using their software and phones. Expect the first store to hit our shores sometime soon.

After the embarrassing and widely reported problems with Apple Maps, long suffering iPhone users who are in need of a decent map app will be pleased to learn that Nokia have recently released a rather good rival map app for iPhones and iPads. Rated by many reviewers as being as good as Google Maps, the Nokia  app which goes by the name of ‘Here Maps’ offers public transport information, voiced navigation and allows you to save maps so you can view them offline.

Does anyone remember the brilliant YouTube video hit which featured Fenton the dog chasing deer in Richmond Park and completely ignoring calls from his increasingly frantic owner? With the original version scoring an incredible 7.3 million hits, EE have recreated a spoof cinematic version of the deer-chasing Labrador this time herding up an ostrich, elephant, unicorn and a T-Rex.  The epic remake promotes EE’s superfast 4G and demonstrates to EE customers how they can stream HD videos from YouTube on the move. Watch it for yourself here.