Author Archives: Sarah Butz

Dogs are a Man (& Woman)’s best friend

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Either you own a dog yourself, you walk through the city and see them or maybe you even just scroll through TikTok and Facebook and there are dog videos shown. Sometimes they are funny, sometimes they are sweet or even sad – the “Man’s best friend” is everywhere. Dogs will always stay loyal at the site of their owner (of course, if they treat them right). They are (often) even better friends than people. But why is exactly the dog considered as the best friend. King Frederick of Prussia first mentioned this phrase in 1789 while talking about his dog, an Italian Greyhound.

“The only, absolute and best friend that a man has in this selfish world, the only one that will not betray or deny him, is his DOG. “ – King Frederick of Prussia

The connection between people and dogs is very natural because both are social beings and they both benefit from each other. Mentally and physically. According to a new study, people living with dogs are living a longer life e.g., they may reduce the cardiovascular risk in their owner due to the higher physical activity and given emotional support. Dogs belong to the family and both, the dog and the owner are there for each other. On the good and the bad days. 

The global leaders in the population of dogs are the United States with about 70 million, while in comparison Poland has about 7 million and Germany about 5 million dogs. Of course, there is a much higher estimated number, especially in countries like Greece and Romania due to the very high number of homeless dogs. Dogs who are either looking for food right now, that may just have been injured or even dogs who are waiting right now for their adoption.

Due to this constantly rising number, this topic is currently very present. The slogan “Adopt, Don’t Shop” is all over Instagram and tries to give people a chance about rethinking their current mindset. Instead of buying or even ordering a (over-)bred dog, people should consider adopting dogs that are currently suffering and give them the chance of a good life. Due to the Corona pandemic and the associated lockdowns, a lot of people decided to get a dog – to stay fit, to have something to do, to not be alone or even to bypass the curfew. Hopefully, they will still stay dog owners after this whole situation. 

“What is my dog thinking?”, “What does he want from me?”, “Why is he doing that?” – Questions after questions considering our best friend. Often people can just guess what the dog is thinking. But Stella Jang, a dog lover from South Korea, wanted clarity.  She founded the company called Petpuls, which is about an AI-powered dog collar that helps dog owners in understanding their dog and giving their dog a ‘voice’. 

The Petpuls is supposed to recognize from the dog’s barking whether the dog is happyrelaxedanxiousangry or sad. According to their research, it has an accuracy rate of more than 80% while using an algorithm and a database from more than 10,000 examples of barking dogs from a big variety of breeds. 

The collar comes in 2 different sizes and 4 different colours of collars. Petpuls consists of a small advice attached to the collar, which is also eco-friendly and made from silicone. The collar from Petpuls is available for pre-order and costs around 80 euros.

The results are then available on the corresponding app, which is compatible with Android and iOS. This records the data and shows the emotional status and also the physical movement of their dog.

The idea of the CEO and founder, Stella Jang, got international attention and actually the company would have been a part of this years, CES – the trade exhibition in Nevada for all those interested in consumer electronics, which unfortunately had to be cancelled this year due to Corona. The company also won some awards like the CES Innovation Award 2021.

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WhatsApp introduces new privacy policy

Reading Time: 2 minutes

WhatsApp is currently with over 2 billion users one of the biggest text messaging providers in the world. It was founded in 2009 and purchased in 2014 by Facebook. As already published, the US Federal Trade Commission is currently taking action against Facebook due to illegal monopolization. 

When WhatsApp was purchased back in 2014 for $ 19 billion by Facebook, they announced and assured users that their data will remain private and will not be shared with Facebook. Suddenly, in 2016 WhatsApp started sharing data with Facebook but most important, the users could opt out of the data sharing and adjust in the settings to not share their account information with Facebook. 

Today, on my phone popped up an in-app notification saying that WhatsApp is updating its terms and privacy policy, which comes 8th of February 2021. Furthermore the notification contains:

Key updates include more information about 

  • WhatsApp’s service and how we process your data.
  • How businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats.
  • How we partner with Facebook to offer integrations across the Facebook Company Products. 

The new introduced privacy policy, on the other hand, will not give users the choice to renounce from the data sharing and WhatsApp will soon share their data with Facebook and its affiliates including user phone numbers, other phone numbers stored in contact lists, profile names and pictures and other diagnostic data. In some countries, even financial transactions made through the app because the application features sending and receiving money via WhatsApp.

Facebook will use the received information e.g., for friend recommendations, personalized content and personalized advertisement on different Facebook products. It is important to mention, that WhatsApp is using end-to-end encryption for messages, so texts, videos and other media will remain private and will not be a part of the shared data with Facebook.

Users will have no other choice than to accept the new privacy policy update. If users disagree with this change, WhatsApp suggests them to delete their account. A later update though is stating that due to stronger privacy legislation, the new privacy policy will not apply in the European Union.

After dealing with the topic, I guess WhatsApp will lose some users because data protection is a very sensitive topic for a lot of them and they will switch to alternatives like Signal, Threema or Wire. 


Too Good to Go – The movement against food waste

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In every part of the world food is wasted – for different reasons and under different circumstances. The most food is wasted by the United States, where the food waste amounted to 126 million tons per year, which is about 415 kg per person. Unfortunately they are not the only ones – in Europe a lot of food is being thrown away as well.

According to the CEFO, the people in Poland threw away about 9 million tons of food in 2017, which yields in 247 kg per head. A statistic from 2018 stated that 42 % of Polish citizens admitted that the threw away food, especially bread, fruits and meat products. Most of the time because the food exceeded the best-before date.

End consumers are not the only ones to blame for the very high food waste. It often starts with production, for example through poor harvesting or processing methods or even more banal reasons such as visual defects. Before the food is sold to the final consumer, there are also many causes of food waste due to handling and storage of food, such as rough handling during loading and unloading or incorrect handling of food. All the above-mentioned problems are reasons for food wastage by private end consumers, restaurants, supermarkets, etc.

Reducing food waste is one of the most important things we can do to fight climate change. – Chad Frischmann, Climate Change Expert.

Too Good to Go is the world’s largest B2C marketplace for surplus food. The company was founded in Denmark in 2015 and serves to sell surplus food from supermarkets and restaurants to customers. It now operates in over 900 cities in Europe, including Warsaw and Berlin and has over 9.5 million users.

The goal of Too Good to Go is to bring surplus food in surprise boxes to the private consumers at a lower price, resulting in a win-win situation for both sides. The shops don’t have to discard the leftovers, can present themselves as sustainable and the customers save money and can enjoy cakes, food and co.

Too Good to Go works as an application which can be easily downloaded on the smartphone. While you specify which city you are in, the app gives you an incredible number of places to save food. The app is divided into categories, such as baked goods, lunch or dinner, and shows the pick-up time and price, so that there are no surprises when you get there. The price depends on the shop, mostly the customers pay between 3.50€ and 4.50€, which is about a third of the original price. Most of the time you can pick up the so-called Magic Bags (sometimes you can also participate in the selection yourself) after closing time. 

The payment is processed via the app before the pick-up and Too Good to Go takes about 20 per cent commission per transaction. Since its founding, the company earned 16 million euros and could save over 10 million food packs from being wasted. 

If you want to contribute to making the world a little bit better, download the app and save food that is too good to be thrown away. The app is easy to use and you get something for your next dinner for a small price. As mentioned before, a lot of shops in Warsaw take part and you can pick up a Magic bag at a Green Cafe Nero or Starbucks next to you. A little advice: the offers are highly requested and often sell out quickly, so make sure you place your order in time!