Lost Packets: Networking news and trivia

IT professionals may be suffering from Chronic Geek Syndrome

Are you suffering from insomnia, altered sleep patterns, headaches, back pain and poor attention span? If you are then you might be suffering what is known as Chronic Geek Syndrome. The symptoms noted are becoming a common problem for IT workers, according to some doctors. There are two reasons why IT workers develop such medical symptoms. One is a result of spending too much time at a computer and the other is that their workstation is not properly set up. Chronic headaches could be due to poor screen position, too small a font, too bright or too dark screens and poor sitting posture. Those symptoms and incorrect-sized chairs are also to blame for chronic back pain. To help alleviate these symptoms, doctors suggest exercising several times a week and taking several breaks during the day. To improve sleep, doctors suggest only using the bed for sleep and sex and not for things like watching TV, playing video games or using a laptop. And if you happen to wake up during the night, doctors suggest staying awake for 10 to 15 minutes and doing something non-stimulating like listening to music or reading.

High-tech tabletop collaboration

A new high-tech table with a 42-inch flat monitor is being developed by Japan’s Mitsubishi Electronic Corp. to help make collaboration easier. In the past, workers would often gather around someone’s computer trying to get a good view of the monitor and fighting to get control of the keyboard and mouse. This new table, called the DiamondTouch, allows up to five users to sit around it and use their fingers to create and manipulate projected virtual objects. Each user sits on a pad that conducts a harmless electrical current that goes through the body and this helps the system identify the users. The makers hope to expand the table beyond the work environment and into the gaming community. The price tag for this high-tech table is around US$10,000.

Hotel helps guests with BlackBerry addiction

Even while on vacation, people seem to have the need to always be connected to their office. Once in a while, these people will be whipping out their BlackBerries to check their e-mail and phoning their office while at the same time annoying family members who thought this was a holiday. Now, thanks to a hotel in Chicago, these CrackBerry addicts have a way to curb their addiction. The general manager of the Sheraton Chicago hotel, himself a CrackBerry addict, started a program last month where he will put these communication devices under lock and key for guests at check-in who want a break from the devices. There is no charge for the service, and the stored devices will be returned when requested.

.mobi domain names scooped within hours

Ever since the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers announced its approval of the .mobi domain name earlier this year, it has become quite entertaining to see what names have been scooped for these mobile device Web sites. Within hours titles like Thundercats.mobi, scooby-doo.mobi, bugsbunny.mobi and flintstones.mobi were snatched up when Top Level Domain Ltd. declared that the .mobi registration was open. The .mobi domain name was created in response to frustrated mobile phone users who could not view Web sites on their cellphone. The sites with the new .mobi domain name are designed to be viewed on these small screens.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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