Archives for March 2006
I’ve just banished (almost) wifi from my work environment. Bluetooth hangs on – I need it to be able to send SMS – I also occasionally use it for a wireless headset to use Skype on my PowerBook G4. And I’m very happy to have done so.
Recently the president of Lakehead University banned wifi from the campus network. I am glad to see that I am not the only one concerned about computer and wifi health issues.
I found an interesting weblog called Interface largely devoted to issues of computer safety and health. On wifi radiation:
While people claim wireless radiation is safe because of the low power levels that they use, they seem to forget that there are two ways to cook an egg on a gas stove, for illustration’s sake.
The first method is to use a high flame (high power), which does the obvious fast cooking.
The second method is to use a low flame (low power), which takes longer, but still cooks the egg.
Perhaps his most important point is the precautionary principle – while the negative health consequences of wifi have yet to be conclusively proved, why (pay to) make a guinea pig of oneself. Manufacturers and whole industries will lie and mislead in the quest for profits.
It seems that people have not learnt enough from the nicotine-addiction industry that has been denying health consequences from its lung-rotting sticks for decades.
It is interesting to note that cell phones are linked to an increased incidence of eye cancer. Think of your eyes like a pair of egg. The more radiation you apply to it, the better it “cooks.” Radiation is energy like heat
The author’s point about CRT Monitors refresh rates is mirrored perfectly in my own experience.
Many people are still using CRT monitors set at 60 Hz or 85 Hz around the world.
What they don’t realise is that these refresh levels have side-effects of inducing tiredness, yawning, short-sightedness and the most destructive of which is tooth grinding at night. Unstable images on a CRT can induce tooth grinding subsconciously at night, since an unstable flashing image is disturbing to the brain’s nervous system.
He misses the radiation issue with CRT monitors – there is a tremendous amount of magnetic and electric radiation from a computer – just like a television but you are much closer to the object. If you are still using a CRT monitor and you value your long-term health, an LCD monitor will be the best money you will ever spend. It is an investment against health issues and a general feeling of illness.
I’ve found that sitting an entire day in front of an LCD much less stressful to the organism. But one’s eyes can get very tired. To the point of making one’s existing prescription worse. Reading books doesn’t seem to do the same thing – at least not as quickly.
Apparently there is a good reason:LCDs and Eye Damage
LCDs actually create another problem. LCDs usually have a fluorescent backlight. Fluorescent lights both emit UV rays and HEV (high energy violet) rays…..HEV, which is also known as “blue light,” there is technology now used for sunglasses that is called melanin…..There is a convincing body of research that shows that blue light does damage the eyes and nowadays we are exposing ourselves to very high amounts of blue light, which significantly accounts for the increase in macular denegeration.
The author does go out on a limb trying to damn Blue LED’s. Personally I don’t spend a lot of time staring at the LED’s of either my computers or my electronic devices. I think he is on firmer ground with the Wifi issues and monitor display issues.
He could write a bit more about silent computing. The white noise of many computers is really not good for you. It is best combatted by buying a very quiet computer and using that most of the time. For my own work that means a very quiet primary computer (G4 laptop) with an additional high powered desktop for graphics and video work.
The Interface author’s weblog is hosted on blog.com which looks to be quite an interesting competitor to Typepad where my own weblog is hosted.
I don’t know how many others out there have to deal with the annoyance of trying to buy computer memory in Europe. You get all of these great prices from North America but most of the companies won’t deliver outside North America. Those that do, charge ridiculous delivery fees ($33 and up). If they do send it, you face customs and paperwork on the receiving end.
When you try to shop locally for more obscure memory (as in the SO-DIMMs for an IBM T22), you face really high prices and/or limited availability. Specifically the 256MB stick of memory for my T22 can be had for as little $40 in North America. Vienna prices were about 90 euros if you could find it.
To the rescue Crucial. They have three websites. One for North America, another for the UK and a third one for Europe. My memory for the T22 delivered to my door in one day (not overnight but 36 hours) for 60 euros with lifetime warranty (for the original purchaser only). No customs, no paperwork. It’s easy to find the memory you want, be sure it’s exactly what you need, easy to make the purchase.
A great customer experience. Highly recommended. It’s wonderful when the web actually works – a company which actually gets it.