Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mike Elgan: Why gadget lights are dangerous - Computerworld


LED lights are toxic

The little lights that are built into our phones, computers and other gear are made with a semiconductor technology called the light-emitting diode (LED). These lights are advertised as "eco-friendly." But a recent study by University of California at Irvine's Department of Population Health & Disease Prevention found that LED lights can contain hazardous substances, including lead, arsenic, nickel and more than a dozen other deadly materials.

According to a release by the university, "lead, arsenic and many additional metals discovered in the bulbs or their related parts have been linked in hundreds of studies to different cancers, neurological damage, kidney disease, hypertension, skin rashes and other illnesses."

In general, say researchers, the brighter the light, the more poisons they're likely to contain. Colored lights contain more lead than white ones. Red lights were found to contain up to eight times the amount of lead allowed by California law and about 35 times the amount allowed by federal law. That's right: Red LED lights are so toxic they're illegal.

Researchers say LED lights are generally safe unless they break, in which case they advise that you construct your own hazmat suit to deal with the toxic cocktail that spills out.

One major ongoing risk is car accidents. When cars collide, the LED lights built into the dash, as well as gadgets and computers in the car, can shatter, causing a release of toxic substances that experts say should be treated like any other hazardous materials spill. If LED traffic lights are damaged, it's especially bad because those LEDs are so bright and numerous. Unfortunately, the risk is typically ignored, and emergency crews are routinely exposed to these hazardous materials without protection.

Mike Elgan: Why gadget lights are dangerous - Computerworld

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lenovo ThinkPad Laptops Gain RSA SecureID Security Capabilities

Lenovo, AuthenTec and RSA announced on Tuesday an "industry first" security solution for commercial laptops that combines the convenience and security of AuthenTec biometrics with the strong authentication of RSA (security division of EMC), on select ThinkPad laptops.

Users in government and business can now rely upon this solution for robust, two-factor RSA SecurID authentication engineered to be integrated fully into the PC via AuthenTec’s TCS5 fingerprint sensor, which comes standard on ThinkPad laptops, including the ThinkPad T410s, X201, X201 tablet and W510.

Lenovo ThinkPad Laptops Gain RSA SecureID Security Capabilities - X-bit labs

Overclocker Hits Highest Frequency for AMD Processors Ever During Contest

An overclocker has managed to rather substantially increase the world's frequency record for Advanced Micro Devices' central processing units (CPU) at an overclocking contest hosted by Gigabyte Technologies, one of the largest makers of mainboards.

Utilizing Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD7 mainboard, the overclocker who calls himself Mad222 from Hong Kong managed to overclock AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition processor (3.40GHz) to whopping 7344.48MHz. The computer performance enthusiast used dry ice for cooling. The mainboard was not modified, according to the overclocking.

Overclocker Hits Highest Frequency for AMD Processors Ever During Contest - X-bit labs

Monday, February 07, 2011

A Handy Windows Troubleshooting Tool thats Free For Non-Commercial Use

Among the most useful features is the ability to generate pop-up warnings on your screen to notify you of new entries in the log. You can also have these sent to you (or to anyone else) via email, which makes for a very handy way to keep track of friends' and family PCs to ensure that they're working properly. To avoid receiving too many popups and emails, you can filter on specific event types and set time intervals too.

If you're a techie and you want to ensure that your PC is always running at its peak, check out Event Log Inspector. It's only a 3 MB download, runs on Windows XP and above, and is available in both 32- and 64-bit varieties.

A Handy Windows Troubleshooting Tool that's Free For Non-Commercial Use Gizmo's Freeware