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Laptop Heat May Cause 'Toasted Skin Syndrome'

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the protect-your-crotch dept.

Biotech 195

mrvook submitted an item that might affect a lot of you "Working with a laptop on one's lap for extended periods of time has been found to cause heat damage and skin discoloration in a handful of cases, prompting researchers examining the phenomenon to recommend thermal protection for laptop users and warnings labels on laptop device packaging." Only 10 cases have actually been reported, so this might just be a case of media hyping something, or it could be the end of the world with a generation of nerds doomed to sterility and crunchy crotches.

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Really? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33794364)

"...a generation of nerds doomed to sterility..."

Are we really worried about nerds being sterile?

Re:Really? (1)

uncanny (954868) | about 4 years ago | (#33794692)

While direct impregnation may not be likely, they could always donate it, and hopefully help out the gene pool a little. I prefer it when idiots try to imitate certain TV shows and repeatedly nail themselves (some times literally) in the crotch. Maybe a "one laptop per idiot" program should be started?

Re:Really? (4, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | about 4 years ago | (#33795486)

It's not actually the nerds that are getting sterilized.. It's the hot blonds that are. Geeks and Nerds are anal enough to not use the laptop in a un-optimal position, I.E. on the lap. Therefore they seek out a table or other surface. Or they get "clever" and design a lap support platform that lifts the "lap" top to proper typing height.

Dumb blonds and others that really know very little about proper computer use, leave the thing on their lap and don't have the neurons to communicate "Ow this is hot, get it off me" from their groin area to their brain...

Most of the time it's mis-read as "I'm hungry" or "I have to pee"

IT's these creatures, specifically the MBA or Marketing genus line of these creatures we are looking to protect. They are the ones that need the warnings on Toasters that say not to use in the bathtub, or curling irons that say "do not insert into any orifice"... Which is too vague, most of these creatures dont understand the word orifice, and think it's a type of Spanish dessert.

In other news (5, Funny)

dane23 (135106) | about 4 years ago | (#33794382)

Scientists prove that heat makes things hot and should be avoided when you don't want things to be, you know, hot.

Whoever decided to call (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 4 years ago | (#33795242)

them "lap-tops"?

They're portable computers. You don't have to put them on your lap.

Who decided to call the device by the portion of the body that some people choose to (awkwardly) place it on?

Do people call babies "armtops"?
Watches "wristtops"?
Glasses "ear/nose-tops"?

A new feature for the i5 (5, Funny)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 4 years ago | (#33794384)

Only 10 cases have actually been reported, so this might just be a case of media hyping something, or it could be the end of the world with a generation of nerds doomed to sterility and crunchy crotches.

Cool a laptop that is not only powerful, but also eliminates the need for trimming and birth control. Ladies will start looking at the nerd carrying the laptop in a whole new light... ;P

Re:A new feature for the i5 (1)

somersault (912633) | about 4 years ago | (#33794488)

I read stories like this years ago. Some laptops do get uncomfortably warm.. guess what, if it's uncomfortable rather than just nice and toasty, you should probably not be placing it directly on your lap! Taking the pain will just lead to damage.

However if there are issues simply from extended periods of being nicely toasty, that definitely isn't good, and people do need to be warned.

Re:A new feature for the i5 (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33794608)

You're assuming that it's painful. I come from a family with poor pain sensitivity and I've literally broken bones without knowing it.

I'm guessing with numbers that small that it's either not possible or that we're dealing with a group that doesn't really feel the pain. In either case, I'm not sure what can really be done about it.

Re:A new feature for the i5 (2, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | about 4 years ago | (#33795062)

You're assuming that it's painful. I come from a family with poor pain sensitivity and I've literally broken bones without knowing it.

This is probably why there's only 10 cases of it. You need quite the combination of events to get it.

1. A particularly hot laptop
2. Somebody with high pain tolerance or something wrong with their heat senses*.
3. A particular dedication towards working on their laptop, on their lap, for a continous and extended period of time

I've used my computer on my lap a few times, and it does get warm. But I shift around, get up and get a drink or snack, visit the bathroom, etc...

*There's also the boiling frog scenario - toss a frog into boiling water he'll try to jump out. Put a frog in cold water and slowly warm it to boiling he won't. Some research says this is legend, some says it's true as long as you're really, really gradual. Me? I wonder if it also depends on the frog. Anyways - there are probably people less likely to notice being slow cooked than flash burned.

Re:A new feature for the i5 (1)

jorgevillalobos (1044924) | about 4 years ago | (#33795422)

*There's also the boiling frog scenario - toss a frog into boiling water he'll try to jump out. Put a frog in cold water and slowly warm it to boiling he won't. Some research says this is legend, some says it's true as long as you're really, really gradual. Me? I wonder if it also depends on the frog. Anyways - there are probably people less likely to notice being slow cooked than flash burned.

The "boiling frog" meme is just an urban legend [snopes.com] .

I agree with everything else you said, though.

Re:A new feature for the i5 (1)

canajin56 (660655) | about 4 years ago | (#33795444)

However if there are issues simply from extended periods of being nicely toasty, that definitely isn't good, and people do need to be warned.

Yes, that's precisely what TFA says it is:

The condition is sometimes called "toasted skin syndrome," and is commonly seen among elderly patients that use heating pads for prolonged periods. The consequences of the condition have a small chance of being serious.

Prolonged exposure to being "toasty" can cause a blotchy rash, and if exposure continues, it can result in permanent thinning of the skin in those areas, leading to lesions and sores. These sores can become cancerous. This isn't caused by repeated burns, just by being very toasty warm for a long time. You can also get the same thing from overuse of a hot-tub.

Huh? (5, Insightful)

The-Blue-Clown (1261404) | about 4 years ago | (#33794396)

Why is it that we as a society feel we need to put warning labels on things for the dumbest of society? If they can't move a hot laptop off their lap, do we really expect them to read a warning label?

Re:Huh? (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 4 years ago | (#33794420)

Ow! Your stupid warning label reflected sunlight into my eyes! See you in court jerk!

Re:Huh? (4, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 years ago | (#33794466)

Ow! Your stupid warning label reflected sunlight into my eyes! See you in court jerk!

Oh, sorry. The warning label has fine print that says do not look at label in direct sunlight. You're on your own.

And, remember ... do not taunt Happy Fun Ball [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Huh? (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 4 years ago | (#33794742)

>> The warning label has fine print that says do not look at label in direct sunlight.

Argk! I only read Albizanian! See you in court too!

Re:Huh? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 years ago | (#33795222)

Argk! I only read Albizanian! See you in court too!

Sorry, the EULA for the warning label says you agree that all labels are written only in English and that it is your responsibility to find a suitable translation of one is required.

By looking at the warning label, you agreed. ;-)

How else can we give you excellent service today?

Re:Huh? (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 4 years ago | (#33795260)

>> How else can we give you excellent service today?

Do you have any glare warning labels written in braille?

Re:Huh? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 years ago | (#33795332)

Do you have any glare warning labels written in braille?

They're "on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of The Leopard".'" as I understand.

Down the hall, to your left. Mind the steps.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33795154)

Do not look at warning label with remaining eye.

Re:Huh? (1)

The-Blue-Clown (1261404) | about 4 years ago | (#33794630)

LMAO!

TFA! (5, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#33794478)

This concerns CHILDREN. The report was from a pediatrics journal and involved kids. As TFA points out, kids' skin is more sensitive to heat than adults, and parents need to be aware of this.

Re:TFA! (5, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | about 4 years ago | (#33794618)

Oooh, clever, pulling out the "think of the children!"

Screw those pests.

Re:TFA! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#33794956)

But they can be really handy. When my now-grown kids were little and I was in the grocery store with them, every woman in the place would walk up and talk to me. I remember thinking "I wish I'd have had some of these when I was single."

Now that I'm single again I wish my kids would make me a grandpa so I could take the ankle-biting rugrats to the store and get laid by a better class of woman...

Re:TFA! (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 4 years ago | (#33795400)

Get a dog, dirty ole man.

Re:TFA! (1)

houghi (78078) | about 4 years ago | (#33795204)

Wait till they find out terrorists hand out those computers to children with copyrighted material on it.

Re:TFA! (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | about 4 years ago | (#33794706)

Heat makes things hot. Most kids figure this out by the time they're old enough to be using laptops.

Re:TFA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33794806)

Yup, my kid just barely can play on the computer (his games involve pushing the letter g and hearing/seeing something related to 'g, giraffe begins with g') but he will tell me about all sorts of things that are hot, fire, stove, ovens, pizza, water, etc.

This should be a non-issue for pretty much 99.99% of the population (ie those that feel pain with heat).

Re:TFA! (1)

natehoy (1608657) | about 4 years ago | (#33794722)

Should we now install warning labels on bottled water stating that it's wet?

There's a reason most companies that make laptops started renaming them "notebooks", because you shouldn't keep the damned things on your lap. They get hot. People have been burned by them. That doesn't mean we need to add yet another warning label to the sea of ignored little red and yellow stickers already covering every product you buy.

Re:TFA! (1)

TheMidget (512188) | about 4 years ago | (#33794788)

There's a reason most companies that make laptops started renaming them "notebooks", because you shouldn't keep the damned things on your lap.

Do it right. Put them on your lap, but closer to your knees rather than to your crotch.

Oh, and wear long trousers (or pijamas), not shorts. Not (only) because of the heat, but rather because the fan will otherwise suck in the hair you've got on your legs, and this generates a very weird feeling...

That doesn't mean we need to add yet another warning label to the sea of ignored little red and yellow stickers already covering every product you buy.

A, that's what this "Windows" sticker is... a warning label!

Re:TFA! (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about 4 years ago | (#33795270)

What are people doing to get their laptops so hot? Gaming or compiling, yes, but if you're just checking email or something like that, I don't see why a laptop would get warm enough to cause a problem. I have my laptop on my lap right now, and not too warm at all.

And my genes won't get into the gene pool anyway.

Re:TFA! (1)

The-Blue-Clown (1261404) | about 4 years ago | (#33794730)

I see your point, but a warning label? Really? How about if you are old enough to use a laptop then you are old enough to know when something on your lap is too hot. Lets make sure we put labels on shoes saying "left foot" and "right foot" else how will a child know they might be causing damage to their feet? My old man was a product safety engineer for IBM and you simply can't put warning labels on everything to cover the stupidity of others. He told me some whoppers of what people will do and then blame the manufacturer for not putting on a label saying "don't do that you moron!"

Re:TFA! (1)

zero_out (1705074) | about 4 years ago | (#33794922)

Let's not forget that "children" also includes 17-year old drivers, with part-time jobs, who socialize with their friends via Facebook, using a laptop their school provided, while lounging in bed. These children also fall into the category of pediatric medicine.

Re:Huh? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33794654)

It's not a matter of intelligence, it's a matter of sensitivity to pain. There's a lot of warning labels that are there for stupid people, but there's also a lot of them which are there for a small minority that needs them. Take those warnings for people with nut allergies. Most of the things those are on don't have nuts in them officially, they were just processed in the same facility or on the same equipment. You're not going to know that there's possible contamination without the warning.

Likewise, you can't be expected to know when to stop doing something if it doesn't hurt. You're assuming that these people were hurting and that they kept it up, but that might not be true. With the kind of numbers cited, you could very easily be dealing with individuals with pain insensitivity.

Re:Huh? (1)

The-Blue-Clown (1261404) | about 4 years ago | (#33794784)

I see your point also. But is the manufacturer supposed to put labels on everything for every possible cause that might happen. The point I was trying to make, and I seem to have not made it so I apologize. Is we cannot blame the manufacturer if the user does not use common sense. Door pinch fingers, area rugs trip, knives cut, stoves burn, etc. Maybe I'm missing the point. I think of a laptop as a computer that needs a fan to keep cool for a reason and take steps so it doesn't rest on my lap. i don't wait until it burns. Perhaps others can be responsible and be proactive...maybe not.

Re:Huh? (1)

zero_out (1705074) | about 4 years ago | (#33794870)

I think the problems are that the damage can happen at only 120 F, and laptops don't spike from ambient temperature to 120 F instantly. 120 F isn't all that hot, and if you warm it slowly, well, we all know the fable about boiling frogs.

Re:Huh? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 4 years ago | (#33795216)

Why is it that we as a society feel we need to put warning labels on things for the dumbest of society?

"We as a society" generally don't. Most warning labels aren't specifically mandated by social consensus. (Even those that are mandated by government are often mandated by regulatory bodies heavily influenced by the regulated industry as part of a package that includes limits on liability if the rules are complied with.)

The people putting the warning labels do so, because warning labels are very cheap, whereas lawsuits over injury or wrongful death are expensive to fight, and have the risk of very large damage awards, so the minimal cost associated with a warning label is seen as worthwhile by manufacturers if there is an expectation that it will reduce the risk of any of (1) consumers engaging in usage patterns that result in injuries, (2) lawsuits being filed if the injury occurs, and/or (3) large awards if a lawsuit is filed.

Re:Huh? (1)

The-Blue-Clown (1261404) | about 4 years ago | (#33795442)

True. But then isn't this just sad? I mean I understand that companies put labels on their stuff to avoid lawsuits and injury, but I'm commenting on the "need" to do so. The joke I heard that a paparazzi cameraman got hit when he was hounding a celebrity sued not the celebrity or the restaurant but NIKON. I mean, there should have been a label that warned him of upset Hollywood celebrities being violent if they have the strobe go off 500 times a minute.

Re:Huh? (1)

canajin56 (660655) | about 4 years ago | (#33795474)

Did you know that prolonged used of an electric blanket, hot water bottle, or a hot tub could cause a permanent blotchy rash that can become cancerous? No? I guess that makes you "the dumbest of society" then. This isn't about burns from a very hot laptop, it's about a chronic skin condition caused by a comfortably warm laptop. But I guess you can't really expect the dumbest of society to RTFA.

I just look at it as voluntary sterilization (1)

hsmith (818216) | about 4 years ago | (#33794400)

My woman can save $50 a month on birth control thanks to my laptop!

Re:I just look at it as voluntary sterilization (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 years ago | (#33794438)

My woman can save $50 a month on birth control thanks to my laptop!

I think I'd rather get a vasectomy than slowly bake/burn/scorch my parts, thank you.

But, I admire your enthusiasm. :-P

Re:I just look at it as voluntary sterilization (1)

box4831 (1126771) | about 4 years ago | (#33794882)

I dunno, a internet-enabled, programmable crotch oven sounds more enjoyable than waving a knife around down there. But thats just me

Re:I just look at it as voluntary sterilization (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 years ago | (#33795284)

I dunno, a internet-enabled, programmable crotch oven sounds more enjoyable than waving a knife around down there. But thats just me

I trust that the doctor is going to be a little more precise than "waving a knife around down there", and is actually going to know what he's looking for.

I'm betting the results of the vasectomy are a lot more repeatable and precise than the "crotch oven". I'm betting that has fairly inconsistent results and some more side effects than you'd really like -- but, hey, feel free to choose. They're your parts afterall. :-P

Re:I just look at it as voluntary sterilization (1)

somersault (912633) | about 4 years ago | (#33794498)

Except the pill has positive benefits outside of just birth control, so she'd probably want to keep taking it anyway?

Re:I just look at it as voluntary sterilization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33794554)

And quite a truckload of negative effects, too...

Re:I just look at it as voluntary sterilization (1)

somersault (912633) | about 4 years ago | (#33794634)

Yeah, but none so frustrating as a week of debilitating "stomach cramps" every month like my last gf had whenever she was off the pill, she could barely do anything when she was like that.

Warning labels suck (2, Interesting)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 4 years ago | (#33794428)

Please no more warning labels. They are applied in non-removable paint on my car visor, my child's safety seat, and other rather annoying places.

Why the hell do I as a driver need to be warned about the dangers of... well I don't know what dangers they are warning me about anymore because they are so damned ubiquitous. Removable stickers are fine. Resale of the item means they won't have the warning? Make a website http://warnings.gov/ [warnings.gov]

You go there, pull your product type from a dropdown list and it will have every warning you could possibly want to have on your product, all there in a singular location and available in any language you want, updated instantly.

Oddly enough, I think it was Jay Leno (could be wrong) complaining about how car manuals are nothing but 80 pages of warnings rather than content which you could use to operate/repair your vehicle. Please please please, no more warning labels. I've become immune and now only see them as a bright yellow stain on my upholstry.

Re:Warning labels suck (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 4 years ago | (#33794456)

Exactly. We need warning labels on things that are really harmful. There is a difference between something that is harmful if you drink 2 liters of it and something where 5 drops can kill you, but warning labels often lack this important difference. Warning labels don't help society but rather harms them because no one will read the label because they expect it to be all stupid things so people ignore things that are really dangerous.

Re:Warning labels suck (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 4 years ago | (#33795118)

Exactly. We need warning labels on things that are really harmful. There is a difference between something that is harmful if you drink 2 liters of it and something where 5 drops can kill you, but warning labels often lack this important difference. Warning labels don't help society but rather harms them because no one will read the label because they expect it to be all stupid things so people ignore things that are really dangerous.

Someone once said that the sum of human intelligence is a constant, and in general, people are idiots. Whereas most of us go through life knowing that touching a hot stove will burn us and we should never do it, there exists a growing population that sees that as an instant jackpot. Touch stove, get burned, sue! Then do it again and sue! Lather, rinse, repeat.

Alas, the rate these people die out isn't enough to clean the gene pool. Then again, the lure of free money probably just pollutes it again.

And you know the laptop warning sticker (which already exist on some laptops - one of mine says "PC base will beocme hot during use") will lead to lap-detecting devices in laptop tat automatically shut down if they detect the laptop getting too hot and on a lap...

Mobile Internet is not yet ubiquitous (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33794460)

http://warnings.gov/

You go there

If it requires Internet access at the point of warning, then there would still need to be a fallback warning label for people who have dumbphone service for $80/yr instead of smartphone service for $800/yr.

Re:Warning labels suck (1)

natehoy (1608657) | about 4 years ago | (#33794520)

only see them as a bright yellow stain on my upholstery.

"Do you suffer from the horror of WLAS (Warning Label Anxiety Syndrome)? Ask your doctor if Labeloffitall is right for you. Labeloffitall is the first prescription medicine that can actually make excess warning labels invisible to the naked eye! WARNING: Labeloffitall is not right for everyone. If you start seeing bright yellow stains on your upholstery, you may be actually suffering from a urinary tract infection. See your doctor immediately if you suffer from runaway libido, as this may lead to sex and pregnancy, a serious medical condition, especially in men. [pause] Labeloffitall, your label-free future is waiting for you!"

Re:Warning labels suck (1)

somersault (912633) | about 4 years ago | (#33794526)

I don't think it's that odd if it was Jay Leno complaining about car manuals, seeing as he's a massive car nut :)

Re:Warning labels suck (1)

magarity (164372) | about 4 years ago | (#33794744)

Jay Leno complaining about car manuals, seeing as he's a massive car nut
 
Any car he would collect is too old to be full of warning labels. Those are for modern people who can't look after themselves.

Re:Warning labels suck (1)

Brewmeister_Z (1246424) | about 4 years ago | (#33794572)

If you are smart (or at least concerned) enough to read a manual or know how to look up the correct warnings for your product on a website, then you are not the target audience for most warning labels. Also, most warning labels are probably at a reading level too advanced for the people who need it.

Re:Warning labels suck (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | about 4 years ago | (#33794666)

Oddly enough, I think it was Jay Leno (could be wrong) complaining about how car manuals are nothing but 80 pages of warnings rather than content which you could use to operate/repair your vehicle.

I don't see why this would be odd, anybody who has read a car magazine in the last decade or so has probably read an article by or about Jay Leno - he's a huge car buff with a huge car collection, and as far as I know prefers to work on his cars himself. He is exactly the kind of person who would despise warning labels all over his beautiful cars.

Re:Warning labels suck (1)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#33794726)

Why did you get yourself upholstered?

Seems strange to me.

Re:Warning labels suck (1)

natehoy (1608657) | about 4 years ago | (#33794842)

The upholstery company forgot to put the "warning: not for use on humans" label on.

Re:Warning labels suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33794782)

IMHO, we need more government warnings.

GOVERNMENT WARNING: Warning! Left to themselves, governments can become extremely dangerous. Please contact your elected representatives regarding the issues that concern you the most.

Testicular cancer (2, Interesting)

ylikone (589264) | about 4 years ago | (#33794458)

My cousin blames his testicular cancer on a decade of using a laptop resting over his crotch. Even though cancer does not run in his family (or mine) and I don't think I believe the laptop is to blame, it could be that it aggravated it.

Re:Testicular cancer (4, Interesting)

TheMidget (512188) | about 4 years ago | (#33794822)

My cousin blames his testicular cancer on ...

Or maybe, he just didn't jack off enough?

Re:Testicular cancer (1)

AntEater (16627) | about 4 years ago | (#33795208)

I'd be more likely to blame the wi-fi transmitter than heat from the laptop.

Should have called it... (1)

Atrox Canis (1266568) | about 4 years ago | (#33794472)

My nuts are on fire but facebook still won't load syndrome. Really, we're going to have a new medical condition caused by stupid user tricks. If you suffer from this you should remember to remove the laptop when your lap gets hot. That is all.

The real interesting part of this article (5, Informative)

Adkins1984 (1845316) | about 4 years ago | (#33794474)

"He recognized that the laptop got hot on the left side; however, regardless of that, he did not change its position," the report says. I think we found the problem. Why say your kid is dumb when you can blame his laptop that he never puts down?

Re:The real interesting part of this article (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | about 4 years ago | (#33795488)

"He recognized that the laptop got hot on the left side; however, regardless of that, he did not change its position," the report says. I think we found the problem. Why say your kid is dumb when you can blame his laptop that he never puts down?

I think the point is that a laptop can be hot, but not to the point of pain, and still cause damage over time. That's not necessarily intuitive.

Intuitive = If it's not hot enough to cause acute pain, then it's OK to leave there all the time.

Um... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 4 years ago | (#33794482)

Only 10 cases have actually been reported, so this might just be a case of media hyping something, or it could be the end of the world with a generation of nerds doomed to sterility and crunchy crotches.

I'm trying to look for the downside in all of this.

A more accurate headline (2, Insightful)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | about 4 years ago | (#33794484)

More accurate would be "LAPTOP USE ON BARE SKIN MAY CAUSE TEMPORARY BLOTCHY THIGHS", but that wouldn't grab people's attention as much.

Re:A more accurate headline (2, Interesting)

canajin56 (660655) | about 4 years ago | (#33795516)

That's not very accurate. It doesn't require bare skin, it's permanent not temporary, and it's not just a blotchy rash, it's a blotchy rash that can form weeping skin lesions and sores, and can become cancerous.

Barbecue! (1)

Foundling (1856832) | about 4 years ago | (#33794490)

I usually put the sauce on the side. Since these are laptop users we're talking about, I'll assume that the rub is taken care of.

Science? (4, Insightful)

snookerhog (1835110) | about 4 years ago | (#33794530)

I don't think "heat makes things hot" really qualifies this as a Science article.

put it in Idle where it belongs

Re:Science? (1)

Sirusjr (1006183) | about 4 years ago | (#33795398)

Also who uses laptops on their lap for extended periods of time really? I always use my laptop at a desk like it should be.

I'm surprised this is just now getting an article (2, Insightful)

Sedated2000 (1716470) | about 4 years ago | (#33794532)

I often like to sit on my couch to use my laptop at home. It's the most convenient to cross my legs with the laptop sitting on top. I have had burns on my leg from the laptop's heat. It heated up slowly enough that I didn't notice until there was a full burn. I know I am not nearly the first one to have this problem. Isn't this the reason in 2000-2002 they were switching to the name "Notebook" instead of "Laptop"?

Re:I'm surprised this is just now getting an artic (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33794708)

Possibly, I do remember a long time ago, there was talk about laptops being a known risk for sterility in men. Which wasn't really a shock at the time. The reason why the Balzac hangs out there more or less unprotected is that the equipment is heat sensitive. And needs to be a bit below core temperature. Consequently it wasn't terribly shocking that a device that routinely operates above body temperature and sits on the lap might have some impact on male fertility.

Re:I'm surprised this is just now getting an artic (1)

shogun (657) | about 4 years ago | (#33794796)

The reason why the Balzac hangs out there more or less unprotected is that the equipment is heat sensitive.

I thought it hung out half an hour north of Calgary [google.com] .

toasted skin syndrome? (4, Funny)

OglinTatas (710589) | about 4 years ago | (#33794560)

Because "weenie roast" is too gender-specific

Life imitating art (3, Funny)

jr0dy (943553) | about 4 years ago | (#33794592)

I believe this explains the events which transpired in the film "Children of Men". :)

Stoves (1)

rakuen (1230808) | about 4 years ago | (#33794604)

So did these 10 people never learn not to touch the stove while it's on? I mean, that's the measuring stick we use for high heat leading to bad outcomes, right?

Re:Stoves (1)

zero_out (1705074) | about 4 years ago | (#33795010)

So did these 10 people never learn not to touch the stove while it's on? I mean, that's the measuring stick we use for high heat leading to bad outcomes, right?

I guess you've never heard of sensory adaptation? Or perhaps the boiling frog phenomenon [slashdot.org] ?

In other news... (2, Insightful)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about 4 years ago | (#33794616)

...putting your hand in a toaster also causes Toasted Skin Syndrome.

Who woulda thunk it? :(

Extremely old news, maybe 20,000 years old (4, Insightful)

name_already_taken (540581) | about 4 years ago | (#33794650)

My parents said this used to happen to them when they were kids.

They grew up in houses that were heated by coal fireplaces - they would sit too close to the fire for too long and the same thing would happen. The cure - stop putting your skin too close to heat sources.

Seriously, I think people have known about this since the discovery of how to make a fire. We just forgot about it for the last 50 years while we all enjoyed our modern heating systems that distribute heat more evenly.

Re:Extremely old news, maybe 20,000 years old (3, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#33795166)

Actually, fifty year old heating systems distributed heat more evenly than modern systems. Back in the '30s-'40s they had "gravity furnaces". There was no blower; convection distributed the heat, which was controlled by an electrical thermostat that varied the furnace's flame. If the power went out because an ice storm took down the electrical wires, you still had heat, because the furnace wasn't connected to the house's electricity. Its thermostat's electricity was generated by a walnut-sized doohickey called a "power pile" that generated electricity from the flame of the pilot light.

I had one in the old house I raised my kids in in the '90s. I loved it, it was way better tech than we have today. Especially when the power went out.

Bathe the affected area in honey water. (3, Funny)

hey! (33014) | about 4 years ago | (#33794656)

Next, remove the skin, placing it on a mandarin crepe that has been spread with a teaspoon of hoisin sauce. Top with a sprig of green onion, then fold/roll into a burrito style package.

Serve, pairing with a reisling, dry Chardonnay or a white Bordeaux.

Re:Bathe the affected area in honey water. (1)

box4831 (1126771) | about 4 years ago | (#33795058)

Heres an American variation of the recipe for us yanks:
  • Mash skin into nugget shapes and cover in vegetable oil, butter, and mayonnaise.
  • Wrap bacon around each nugget and arrange haphazardly onto a low-quality paper plate.
  • Microwave uncovered for 3.5 minutes. The splattering adds flavor.
  • Serve with leftover hot sauce packets from Taco Bell and enjoy with a lukewarm Diet Coke.

Re:Bathe the affected area in honey water. (1)

rgviza (1303161) | about 4 years ago | (#33795436)

I'd rather just put it on my egg and cheese bagel. I'm a man of simple taste.

i guess there will be less ambiguity then (1)

mapkinase (958129) | about 4 years ago | (#33794670)

...since laptop from now on will be reserved only to one usage.

iPad (1)

cerberusss (660701) | about 4 years ago | (#33794672)

(In hysteric Apple fanboy voice) Another epic win for teh iPad! Apple designed it such that it doesn't roast your balls!

(Your wife may of course decide to roast them after you show her the bill.)

Re:iPad (2, Funny)

TheMidget (512188) | about 4 years ago | (#33794866)

(Your wife may of course decide to roast them after you show her the bill.)

Your husband. It's an Apple product after all...

That's why they don't call them laptops. (4, Interesting)

chemicaldave (1776600) | about 4 years ago | (#33794688)

Specifically referring to my horrendously flawed 1st generation 13" Macbook. Because of the heat generated it was marketed as a "notebook" and even comes with warnings against using it on your lap per the user guide. This has led to many a warm-lap, a melted "mag-safe" power cord, and just recently caused one of the plastic screw holes for the heatsink to actually shatter during use.

Significant that the kid was playing games (1)

catbutt (469582) | about 4 years ago | (#33794694)

They didn't mention this, but laptops can get WAY hotter when doing things like playing games, compared to more general use. Just something to consider.

notebooks, not laptops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33794764)

that's why they are called notebooks, not laptops. However if you choose to use your notebook on your lap, they make many fine products to prevent "toasted skin syndrome" like this one from targus. http://reviews.cnet.com/cooling/targus-awe55us-lap-chill/4505-9990_7-33772538.html

What gets me is Im an uneducated nobody who knows this is just stupid people being stupid and these so called highly educated news reporters actually air this crap on the news like its something important.

"toasted skin syndrome"? (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | about 4 years ago | (#33794826)

Back in the day, we called it a "burn".

Re:"toasted skin syndrome"? (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 4 years ago | (#33795016)

Back in my day, we'd take the hot electronics off our lap as soon as we felt discomfort.

...really? TOASTED?... **Face Palm** (1)

emccann (1915718) | about 4 years ago | (#33794828)

There HAS to be some medical term for the condition too. "toasted skin syndrome" is what reporters get for passing off things they made up as medical terminology... And they make laptop coolers and pads for a reason... Maybe because they're hot? I hear touching hot things is bad.

Software is the real problem (1)

linebackn (131821) | about 4 years ago | (#33794890)

The real problem is people insisting on using bloated inefficient software, which of course requires more electricity to run and produces more heat.

If modern operating systems and software were better optimized most people could get along fine with low power, low heat netbooks.

As it is, people seem to be happy to pump more and more electricity through their desktops and powered laptops until they are just a few watts short of tripping their circuit breaker. Just to write a letter.

Re:Software is the real problem (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 4 years ago | (#33795322)

As it is, people seem to be happy to pump more and more electricity through their desktops and powered laptops until they are just a few watts short of tripping their circuit breaker. Just to write a letter.

How many people write letters anymore? I'd tend to think that the heat increases tend to come more from attempting to make real time rendering more and more realistic.

For just writing a letter, computer energy usage is probably lower than it has been in a decade. Using a 'gaming machine' probably does cost a tad more juice, but if you're not running games on it it's not using nearly as much electricity as it would be otherwise.

Hot things can burn you (1)

Kenoli (934612) | about 4 years ago | (#33794974)

What is this, preschool?

Media hyping, ya think? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 4 years ago | (#33794982)

Only 10 cases have actually been reported, so this might just be a case of media hyping something, or it could be the end of the world with a generation of nerds doomed to sterility and crunchy crotches.

Well the article says 10 cases since 2004. In my estimation, that's easily tens of millions of users. You are more likely win the daily lottery in some states. And this can be avoided by not putting it on your lap for extended periods.

Well, it's not quite as slam-dunk as some believe (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33795134)

I actually suffered from this. My laptop definitely got warm enough to grab my attention, but not so hot that I felt that it was burning. After a few weeks, I noticed a strange red splotchiness on my legs and it really was alarming at first. It's not like you pound yourself with a hammer and wonder why you have bruises, or burn yourself with an iron and wonder why you get blisters, it's much more subtle than that. After a day or so, I figured that it was the laptop and a couple of days of not using the laptop on my lap got rid of the symptoms.

So now, if it's going to be on my lap, I will sit cross-legged and rest only the edges on my legs, leaving an air-gap under most of the bottom.

They're not "laptops" (1)

aclarke (307017) | about 4 years ago | (#33795176)

Back around 2000 I had a Sony VAIO (never again). I had to call tech support for another reason, and while I was on the phone, complained that my new laptop got so hot that it burned my legs when I was wearing shorts.

The person's response was, "They're not laptops, sir. They are notebook computers." Evidently the manufacturers' response too their "laptops" getting to hot was to conveniently rename them.

Re:They're not "laptops" (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about 4 years ago | (#33795394)

I thought "laptops" were the older portable computers which were still somewhat large and heavy, but could fit in your lap? And notebooks were the machines that came later which were lighter and more portable, and they needed a term that fit their smaller size?

For instance, this would be a laptop: http://www.microstar.net/museum/cpqslt286.jpg [microstar.net]

And pretty much *all* of today's computers would classify as notebooks.

Toasty Laptop (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 4 years ago | (#33795374)

Well I have a quite toasty laptop that has a desktop CPU (i7 960) three hard drives and 6 GB of RAM so it's interesting info to me. However I don't put it on my lap because to do so would block the three cooling fans. I use a laptop cooler between my lap and the machine.

Maybe people should start using these to protect their family jewels?

THAT's what that smell is. (1)

rgviza (1303161) | about 4 years ago | (#33795384)

All this time I thought my neighbors cooked a shit-load of bacon every day. Speaking of which, I'm hungry...
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