Do you hate going to the dentist? If so, maybe you should consider spending less time fragging your friends. According to new research, playing Counter Strike or any number of other video games is bad for your teeth. Say what?
It's not the games themselves that break down your tooth enamel and leave holes in your teeth, but all the snacking that inevitably occurs. Those who spend substantial time defusing virtual bombs and knifing their buddies in the back are more than twice as likely to develop tooth decay as those with more active lifestyles, the study suggests.
"This study helps our understanding of the dietary habits and subsequent decay risk of gamers when the effects have previously been unknown," said Dr. Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation. "Every time you eat or drink anything sugary, your teeth are under acid attack for up to one hour. This is because the sugrar will react with the bacteria in plaque -- the sticky coating on your teeth -- and produce the harmful acids. So it is important to keep sugary foods only to mealtimes, limiting the amount of time your mouth is at risk."
Spending too much time playing video games has often been mentioned in obesity reports, but this is one of the first studies to make a link between gaming and oral health.
App developers take note - smartphones are popular. Crazy popular. According to the latest numbers from mobile advertising firm AdMob, smartphone traffic is up 193 percent year over year in absolute terms.
As far as AdMob's traffic goes, Apple's iPhone OS rules the mobile roost with exactly half of the mobile OS market share. Android comes in second with a 24 percent slice of the market pie, while Symbian takes third place with 18 percent. A distant fourth is RIM with 4 percent, while Windows Mobile OS accounts for 2 percent, as do all other mobile OSes.
If that seems off to you, that's because it is.
"AdMob does not claim that this information will be necessarily representative of the mobile Web as a whole or of any particular country-market. AdMob's traffic is driven by publisher relationships and may be influenced accordingly," the ad firm states in a disclaimer.
Still, no matter how it's distributed, the bigger point is that not only is the smartphone market booming, but it's still growing at an enormous rate.
The global recession might be taking a bigger toll on small businesses than initially thought, suggests a new report by research firm IDC.
According to IDC's data, worldwide SMB spending on information technology will only go up by a lethargic 5.5 percent from now until 2014, far lower than what was previously forecast.
"The downturn had a devastating impact on SMBs worldwide," said Ray Boggs, vice president of small and medium business and home office research at IDC. "Moving forward, small businesses will not follow the past pattern and return to prerecession's spending levels more quickly than midsize firms. Instead, SMBs of all sizes will remain cautious with their IT spending over the next several years."
IDC says spending declines weren't focused on one particularly category, but affected various segments of hardware, software, and services. Going forward, IDC expects SMB spending on PCs and peripherals to grow the most, while systems and storage will see the least amount of growth.
Any manufacters still dragging their feet when it comes to getting into the eBook reader business might want to get the ball rolling. A new report suggests there will be a lot of cash at stake as ebook reader shipments surpass $3 billion in 2013, compared to $244 million in 2008.
That figure rests on the assumption that the e-reader market continues to grow, which will depend on what kind of threat the emerging tablet brouhaha poses. But as DigiTimes Research sees it, ebook reader shipments will continue to scale upwards, growing from 700,00 units shipped in 2008 to 28 million units in 2013. That would represent a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 386 percent.
As it currently stands, Amazon and Sony sit on top of the e-reader hill, but DigiTimes predicts a "major shakeup" in 2010, both from Barnes & Noble as it becomes more competitive, and from any number of niche players looking to ride the e-reader gravy train.
Quick, what's the most dangerous city in the U.S. when it comes to cyber crime? If you said Seattle, give yourself 500 geek points (unless you Googled), because you're correct, according to Symantec.
The security firm ranked the 50 most dangerous cities to surf the Web from, with Boston, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Raleigh, N.C. checking in behind Seattle.
"I look at it like driving a car," said Dan Nadir, the director of product management for Symantec. "Your risk of an accident is going to be greater the more you drive. If you're online more, you need to be more cautious, just like the more you're on the road, the more you should wear your seatbelt, have airbags, and rotate your tires."
Symantec got a little help from Sperling's BestPlaces to come up with the rankings, which took into account the number of malicious attacks, infected machines, and the number of zombie PCs per capita.
After struggling in 2009 with a yearly world growth rate of just 2.9 percent, market research firm IDC says the PC market is on a pretty big rebound, one that will see double-digit growth in 2010. Not ony that, but 2009 wasn't so bad when you consider a few factors.
"PC volume continued to grow in 2009 -- faring much better than in 2001, when a smaller recession produced a decline in PC volume. The positive 2009 results reflects lower prices and the fact that PCs are increasingly a must-have product," said Jay Chou, research analyst at IDC.
Now that a recovery is under way, IDC says it expects the PC market to rebound to the tune of 12.6 percent, and grow 18.5 percent in emerging regions. Much of this growth will be attributable to portable PCs, a segment the IDC sees claiming a 70 percent share of all PCs by 2012. And let's not forget the potential tablet frenzy on the horizon.
"IDC is keenly focused on the forthcoming tablet device market," said Bob O'Donnell, IDC vice president, Clients and Displays. "However, we don't expect these products -- which do not meet the current IDC definition of a PC -- will stunt the strong growth in PCs we're expecting to see this year."
What's on your PC? It's a fairly innocuous question, one that even the most tired of geeks should be answer without a moment's hesitation. But let's face it -- you sometimes spend a decent amount of time between upgrades. So much so, that you might have very well lost track of the exact names of the parts and pieces inside your system. Do I personally remember the exact model name of my motherboard? Nope! I won't tell you the manufacturer, but I've definitely had to pop off the side of the case and scan around, flashlight in hand, just to find my motherboard's actual model number for a firmware update search.
Don't let that be you. Furthermore, now's as good a time as any to get a solid inventory of not only the parts and pieces attached to your rig, but a full list of your installed software (and running services) as well. Why's that? Suppose your rig crashes tomorrow--I'm talking about the big one. No hard drive. All your data's wiped out. Can you honestly tell me that you'll remember each little freeware app or utility you installed on your system when you go to rebuild your machine? Wouldn't it be nice to have a little checklist to help you along?
And thus enters this week's download of the week--an application that goes above-and-beyond the call of duty to give you a full load-out of every little thing, hardware or software, that's in any way connected to your system. But that's not all...
Till now, Amazon has enjoyed a smooth ride in the e-book reader market. But it is now bracing itself for a series of tight corners and bumps. Its Kindle e-reader is bound to come under pressure from the iPad and a slew of other slates and e-readers. It is said to have acquired a New York-based company named Touchco.
The company it has acquired specializes in touchscreen technology, according to the New York Times. Its flagship technology is something called interpolating force-sensitive resistance, which it uses to produce transparent touch screens for around $10 per square foot – much cheaper than competing technologies. Amazon remains mum on the acquisition.
The internet is becoming increasingly popular with both state and non-state actors as a launchpad for attacks against critical infrastructure belonging to their enemies. A new McAfee report gives a measure of the preparedness and vulnerability of key infrastructure enterprises.
“From public transportation, to energy to telecommunications, these are the systems we depend on every day. An attack on any of these industries could cause widespread economic disruptions, environmental disasters, loss of property and even loss of life,"said McAfee CEO Dave DeWalt.
He fears an attack of the magnitude of the recently discovered Operation Aurora being targeted at critical infrastructure. DeWalt termed Operation Aurora “a watershed moment in cybersecurity.” The attack was recently discovered by Google, which revealed that the attackers used zero-day bugs in Internet Explorer and targeted several other organizations apart from Google. It is said to have emanated from China.
IBM this week reported fourth-quarter 2009 diluted earnings of $3.59 per share compared with diluted earnings of $3.37 per share in the same quarter one year ago. That represents a 10 percent jump, and the first time IBM has seen revenues increase in more than a year.
"We concluded a strong year with a solid performance in the fourth quarter in which we again delivered growth in margins, profit and earnings," said Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer. "IBM continued to benefit from our strategic transformation, offerings that our clients value in this economy, and our commitment to developing countries around the world."
Big blue also attributed its numbers to several investment opportunities, including cloud computing. Based on this, and other factors, IBM said it expects full-year 2010 diluted earnings per share to reach at least $11.00.