Blogs » Digital Babble » Cell phone allergies, how to get smarter online and one more thing


"My right ear is totally itching now, Madison. Maybe we should text instead."

Just when you thought it was safe to use your cell phone again (remember the cancer scares, the danger from talking or texting while driving,) now comes word from a group of British dermatologists warning about  "mobile phone dermatitis."

The British Association of Dermatologists said that this red or itchy rash, "affects people who develop an allergic reaction to the nickel surface on mobile phones after spending long periods of time on the devices." [Via Yahoo! Tech]

As Max pondered the age-old question, "If a blogger falls in the forest, and no one is around, does he make a sound?", he was horrified to learn the forest had no WiFi.

And remember back when The Atlantic's tech writer, Nicholas Carr, asked if Google was making us stupid? Well turns out that it's not! (Maybe.) A new study suggests that searching the Internet improves brain functionality. 

The study, which will appear in an upcoming issue of the American Journal Of Geriatric Psychiatry, is the work of Gary Small, a professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, Teena D. Moody, Ph.D., a senior research associate at UCLA's Semel Institute, and Susan Y. Bookheimer, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the Semel Institute.


"The study results are encouraging, that emerging computerized technologies may have physiological effects and potential benefits for middle-aged and older adults," Small told the UCLA news service. "Internet searching engages complicated brain activity, which may help exercise and improve brain function."  [Via Information]

If this study is true, then by this time in my life I should be a Nobel-winning rocket scientist/mathematician/theoretical physicist. Or at least figure out how to drive a manual transmission.



We don't need no FireWire! (Or do we?)

And finally, this week Apple introduced their updated line of Macbooks. While the upgrades made to the line have been applauded by many, seems like some are upset over the lack of FireWire on the Macbooks (the Macbook Pros still have this feature).

Are you going to upgrade?