Can Heat from a Laptop Permanently Discolor Your Skin?

A laptop is designed to sit on your lap, right? Who would ever believe that such a device could be dangerous to the very place it was intended to rest – your lap! I know, I know – very few of you out there actually ever place the device there, anyway. It’s kind of difficult to type that way, eh? I personally have only rarely ever used my laptops in this manner. It’s just not comfortable. Comfort – or lack thereof – isn’t the only issue you could face by resting your machine on your legs. You could actually hurt yourself.

If you thought that your laptop could never harm your skin over time, you are sadly mistaken. The odds are actually much higher than you would guess. Balancing your laptop on your knees could cause permanent discoloration of the skin. The heat generated by the computers can cause a nettle sting-like rash – a condition named ‘toasted skin syndrome’.

In a recent case, a twelve-year-old boy suddenly developed a weird sponge-patterned skin discoloration on his left thigh after playing various computer games every day. He played on the laptop, balancing it on his knees for a few hours at a time. “He recognized that the laptop got hot on the left side, however, regardless of that, he did not change its position,” Swiss researchers wrote in the medical-journal Pediatrics.

The temperature underneath a laptop can reach up to 125 degrees Fahrenheit (52C). When looked at under a microscope, affected skin will often resemble skin damaged by long-term sun exposure. Researchers are saying that in some rare instances, prolonged exposure to this type of skin damage from a notebook can cause cancer.

Toasted Skin Syndrome can also effect people involved in professions whose jobs involve being exposed to heat, such as with firemen, bakers and silversmiths. Major computer makers (Apple, Dell and HP) warn in their operations manuals that you should avoid placing your laptop directly onto exposed skin for extended periods to protect against possible burns.

The next time you actually need to place your laptop in your lap, consider using a cushion or desk made to help keep you safe.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Release Date Announced

Fans of the popular World of Warcraft game have been waiting for more than a year to hear when the newest game expansion would be released. Today, Blizzard Entertainment finally made the proclamation that caused millions of fans to sigh in relief. Don’t get your credit cards ready just yet, though. The Xpac will not hit store shelves until December 7th, 2010, just in time for the holiday season. Cataclysm will bring about massive changes to the game you have come to know and love over the years.

Not everyone is excited to see these changes hit their realms. After all, nothing will look exactly as it once did. There will be new races (Goblins and Worgen), new play areas, new talent specs and new levels to achieve. According to Blizzard:

The first two World of Warcraft expansions, The Burning Crusade(R) and Wrath of the Lich King(R), each shattered PC game sales records upon their release.* In Cataclysm, the face of Azeroth will be forever altered by the return of the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing. Players will explore once-familiar areas of the world that have now been reshaped by the devastation and filled with new adventures. In an effort to survive the planet-shattering cataclysm, two new playable races – worgen and goblins – will join the struggle between the Alliance and the Horde. As players journey to the new level cap of 85, they’ll discover newly revealed locations, acquire new levels of power, and come face to face with Deathwing in a battle to determine the fate of the world.

However, many dedicated fans are chomping at the bit to get their hands on this release. My assistant Kat is one of those people, and is already saving her pennies to have them ready for December 7th. She says that this is what keeps the game exciting… not staying stagnant, always creating new and exciting challenges and writing lore she loves to immerse herself in.

Are you looking forward to the expansion, or are you dreading the changes that will make their way to Azeroth?

Deploy – A New Seattle Conference for Developers

I’m launching a new conference with the folks over at Seattle 2.0 called Deploy – Today’s Technology for Tomorrow’s Apps. It will be held Monday, November 8th from 9AM – 5PM at the Bell Harbor Conference Center. Deploy is a conference for technology builders and geeks. New languages, frameworks, storage systems, methodologies and devices are creating entirely new opportunities. Deploy 2010 is a “Show and Tell” conference where speakers will discuss hot new topics and show what can be done – and how. Topics will include NoSQL, Mobile and Tablet, Game Mechanics, Open Source, Location and more.

We have a great lineup of speakers including:

  • Doug Cutting, creator of Hadoop, Lucene and Nutch
  • Andre Charland, creator of PhoneGap – the open source cross-platform mobile technology
  • Brian Fling, founder of Pinch/Zoom and creator of the NY Times iPad app
  • Poornima Vijayashanker, first engineering lead at Mint and bizeebee creator
  • Bob Walsh, author of “MicroISV: From Vision to Reality and the Web Startup Success Guide

Deploy 2010 will be a technology conference focused on software development. It’s perfect for developers of all backgrounds, whether you are still in college or are an industry veteran . It’s also valuable to managers and executives who have technologists in their organizations.

As an added bonus, we are reserving eight spots for show and tell. For three minutes, up to 8 lucky winners, will be able to get up on stage and either speak about or demonstrate their technology. During the morning session, we’ll collect entries from attendees who want to present their technology during the Tech Demo segment. At 1:30 PM, after the lunch break, we’ll draw the entries from a hat. The lucky winner has three minutes to get up on stage and present his or her technology.

If you are a developer or hard-core tech enthusiast, I hope you will join us for join us for Deploy.

Save on Holiday Shopping with Griffin

Yes, it’s nearly that time of year. Heck, I know people who are already finished with their holiday shopping! . I’ve long been a fan of (and supporter for) Griffin Technology. Not only do they have a wide array of products for most of your mobile devices, the products look great and work well. I use a Griffin case and screen protector much of the time on my devices. I have excellent news for those of you who tend to buy gifts late in December. Griffin has graciously extended an excellent coupon offer to everyone in our community!

Use coupon code PIRILLO1510 when ordering from Griffin, and you will save 15% off of your entire order – AND you will receive free standard shipping! This offer runs October 1st, 2010 through December 31st 2010.

Griffin offers a wide array of products, ranging from cases and stands to power solutions and cables. One of the coolest things I have ever seen may be of great interest to you this holiday season: the Woogie. A Woogie is an adorable (and durable) solution when letting your toddler or youngster handle your mobile device.

Woogie is 50% stuffed animal (for your kids) and 50% protective case (for your iPhone or iPod touch), and 100% fun! A protective pocket velcroes shut to hold your iPhone or iPod touch secure, while a touch-through screen protector lets you choose movies, apps, or music for your child. Woogie’s built-in speaker is powered by 2 (included) AAA batteries, or you can plug in headphones (we prefer MyPhones of course). And Woogie’s six arms (or are they legs?) tuck under to prop it up for viewing, or to sit comfortably in your child’s lap.

What an awesome way to let your kids enjoy the content they want to interact with while you have the peace of mind to know your device is safe!

Don’t forget to take advantage of the great Griffin offer before the end of the year.

Use an Ad-Blocker Even if You Don't Want to Block Ads

Various ad-blocking extensions are darn handy – even if you don’t care to block actual ads. Not only can you block ads, rickrolls and things you really don’t have time to have to see, these browser addons can also warn you when a site contains malicious content.

When you first install most ad-block extensions, you won’t see the filters created to list domains used for spreading spyware and malware. This listing started out as a tool for DNS servers, but has been converted to a filter so people using ad blocking services can keep themselves that much safer when using Firefox or Chrome.

There may be a few ads on our software site but I can guarantee you there is no malicious content!