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Keyboards Are Disgusting

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the my-spacebar-has-spawned-sentient-beings dept.

Input Devices 526

fredr1k writes " A test carried out by Pegasus Lab on account for Swedish magazine PC För alla showed that a normal PC keyboard was infected by more bacteria than a normal toilet seat. More specific it contained 33000 bacteria per square centimeter, compared to 130 on a ordinary toilet seat. The tests also showed occurrence of up to 3100 fungi per square centimeter." Also note that unless you read Swedish, you still have plausible deniability when asked to windex yours.

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A Test to Verify the Numbers (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14498996)

More specific it contained 33,000 bacteria per square centimeter ...
*licks his keyboard*

That's funny, it doesn't taste like McDonalds ...

Re:A Test to Verify the Numbers (1)

mriswith (797850) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499019)

hehe, it don't? *test*

Well seriously, toilet seats are cleaner the most other surfaces(or the top part at least;) in a house.

Re:A Test to Verify the Numbers (4, Interesting)

schtum (166052) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499105)

toilet seats are cleaner the most other surfaces in a house

and in an office (desk, phone, etc). This was a very diggsian story in that it repeats 10-20 year old information as if it were brand new. The mystery isn't that everything else is so dirty, it's that toilet seats are so clean! And would the results be different if they tested the average Slashdotter's toilet that only gets cleaned twice a year?

Re:A Test to Verify the Numbers (1)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499020)

You're right, it doesn't taste like McDonald's... more like Taco Bell... I think their beef has about as much bacteria and fungi per square centimetre.

A Taste Test to Verify the Numbers (2, Insightful)

crovira (10242) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499087)

After a while people tend to suffer from 'statistics burn-out' and become innumerate.

I think a taste test (and a tetanus shot) should be an option.

Re:A Test to Verify the Numbers (1)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499054)

Given most slashdotters lack girlfriends and like heavy amounts of porn I wouldn't be licking a keyboard that isn't yours.

Re:A Test to Verify the Numbers (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499071)

Given most slashdotters lack girlfriends and like heavy amounts of porn I wouldn't be licking a keyboard that isn't yours.
Um, is there something "ok" with licking a keyboard that is yours?

Re:A Test to Verify the Numbers (2, Funny)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499125)

Sure if it's your keyboard you know if its been cleaned or freshly splattered. With someone elses keyboard you are taking a large risk.

Keep it clean will ya (1)

Mattygfunk1 (596840) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499081)

Anyone got any good tips for cleaning a keyboard?

Even better, a laptop keyboard? There must be a better way than holding the whole laptop upside-down to get the crumbs out.

__
My Disgusting Adult Video Clips [laughdaily.com]

Re:Keep it clean will ya (3, Informative)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499217)

Anyone got any good tips for cleaning a keyboard?

Air compressors are very helpful, but ultimately you have to get into the nooks and crannies with a Q-tip or something and that is a time-consuming chore. Of course on laptop keyboards, it's way to easy to knock keys loose and depending on how the little plastic apparatus disconnects from the key cap, you can have all kinds of fun attaching the thing again.

I got one of those silicone roll-up keyboards a few years ago. I actually liked using it. Ergonomically, it worked well for me in terms of layout and feel of the keys. The downside is that it stopped working after a couple of months. I haven't tried another, but a keyboard you can simply wash with soap and water is a great thing.

toilet (5, Funny)

genbitter (928451) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499002)

so who's been wiping their ass with my keyboard?!

YOU SHOULD SEE MY MONITOR! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14499202)

You should see my monitor! Every day there's some nice bunnies in thehun.net my monitor AND keyboard gets a load of sperm.

Yeah (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14499003)

Yet strangely, people who use public keyboards don't die instantly... Could it be, that we humans have an immune system?

(I always love the HOTEL GERM EXPOSE! headlines, too)

You think keyboards are disgusting? (5, Interesting)

SunPin (596554) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499004)

Just wait until everyone puts spittle everywhere from talking to computers.

Oh, my poor hands... (1, Funny)

aphoenix (877085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499005)

While typing this, I contracted no less than 47 different diseases.

Re:Oh, my poor hands... (2, Funny)

DJenk47 (212581) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499132)

Too bad you don't suffer from Three Stooges Syndrome [wikipedia.org] . Then all the diseases would cancel out. Even a few undiscovered ones.

Quick'n'dirty translation (5, Informative)

skurk (78980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499008)

Quick'n'dirty translation:

###

Recent research shows your keyboard is more dirty than a toilet seat

(2006-01-18 09:20) Do you have some dirt between the keys on your keyboard? Spending a few bucks on a new keyboard might be a good idea. The latest issue of Pc för Alla shows that a keyboard can be a major source for contamination.

By Fredrik Agren

A keyboard holds about 33.000 bacteria per square centimeter - 265 times more than a toilet seat.

The computer magazine PC För Alla has examined what exactly is hiding on a keyboard. The task was assigned to Pegasus Lab, which discovered that every square centimeter contained 3.100 fungees.

Not surprisingly, Enter and Space Bar are the most filthy, as they are the keys we use more frequently.

There are many ways to keep your keyboard clean, but those afraid of catching the flu can follow a simple advice from Smittskyddinstitutets Kerstin Mannerquist:

- Wash your hands when you're done with the computer, she says to PC För Alla.

###

Anyway, remember the findings of Mythbusters [discovery.com] ?
In the episode Chinese Invasion Alarm [kwc.org] episode, while busting the 5 second rule myth, they discovered that the toilet seat is one of the cleanest spots in your house.

Re:Quick'n'dirty translation (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499074)

Anyway, remember the findings of Mythbusters?
In the episode Chinese Invasion Alarm episode, while busting the 5 second rule myth, they discovered that the toilet seat is one of the cleanest spots in your house.


Exactly, comparisons to a average countertop would be much more appropriate.
Sadly a quick google doesn't reveal these numbers? Any one know?

Re:Quick'n'dirty translation (1)

Destoo (530123) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499097)

And it's not the first time we see that type of article indeed, but the research is new.

One finding was that out of the millions of bacterias present on the keyboard, next to none have the potential of doing damage to your system. Try to get an e coli or some other bug from a public toilet seat.. You might get a few days off from work, but these might not be "happy days".

The reason most bacterias do not survive on the toilet is that porcelain is not a good environment for them, and in contrast plastic, wood and other porous surfaces are excellent breeding grounds for these buggers. (which is apparently why public toilet seats are U shaped and not round)

This is really... (5, Interesting)

Stachybotris (936861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499120)

not surprising. Fungal spores are nearly omni-present in the environment, and bacteria thrive on your skin at all times. Now, given that the keyboard is open to the surrounding air and has plenty of shielded space, yes, spores will accumulate there. But there's a difference between 3,100 fungal spores/sq. cm and having fungus actually growing there. Also, I have to question that number - 3,100 spores is a lot of spores.

Did the article bother listing precisely what bacteria and fungi they found? I wouldn't be surprised if they mostly found bacterial species from the genera of Bacillus and Staphylococcus with a few gram-negative rods thrown in for good measure. Oh, Propionibacterium acnes is probably pretty common as well. With the fungi it's more of a mixed bag, although most would probably fall into the general category of Ascomycetes.

As for catching the flu from your keyboard... Viruses such as Influenza don't survive on dry, non-porous surfaces for very long. Once the viral envelope has dried out, the virus is pretty much inactivated. You stand a better chance of catching the flu from talking to the person in the next cubicle or on the elevator.

Re:Quick'n'dirty translation (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499196)

Coming to think of a few people I know .. I would be more worried about Touching there R,O,P and N keys.
Not worried about my keyboard though .. The amount of alcohol and coffee that have been spilled on it must make it fairly sterile

What's more disgusting... (3, Interesting)

eurleif (613257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499009)

damn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14499010)

damn!

I knew it... (3, Funny)

soboroff (91667) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499015)

So that's why I always feel better after I get a new computer!

Didst my eyes deceive me? (0, Redundant)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499017)

PC for Allah!?
It is clear that the terrorist have indeed already won...

By the way, I didn't RTFA, does Allah use Mac or Winblows?
I reckon it's a nice Mac, and not a wimpy firewire hating Intel one, but a quad G5.

Re:Didst my eyes deceive me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14499060)

We all know that god uses sparc.

Excellent ... (1)

Pegasus (13291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499018)

Now I'm reading this on slashdot for the third time. New record, perhaps? Or is someone's brain starting to grow fungus as well? :)

Anyway, It's still damn funny. First time I read it it was like a picturebook example of what ROTFL looks like.

Makes sense (4, Insightful)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499021)

The parts that touch the toilet seat are mostly shielded from bacteria by two layers of cloth.

Fingers, on the other hand, frequently stray to the places where bacteria flourish.

Re:Makes sense (1)

onedotzero (926558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499121)

Exactly right. Most common colds are transmitted via door handles and telephones.

--
onedotzero
thedigitalfeed.co.uk [thedigitalfeed.co.uk]

Re:Makes sense (1)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499176)

Two layers?!? *scratches head*

Re:Makes sense (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14499205)

The parts that touch the toilet seat are mostly shielded from bacteria by two layers of cloth.

But doesn't leaving your pants up when using the toilet seat sort of defeat the purpose going to the toilet in the first place?

Shoulda looked at my keyboard (1)

faloi (738831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499022)

It's a hand-me-down from someone who didn't have good eating habits... Either that or he felt obligated to feed his keyboard. I'm no saint, either. I bet we could've beat the keyboards in the study. I'm hoping it works out like the old Simpsons episode, where Mr. Burns can't get sick because all the diseases are trying to get at him at the same time.

assistants (5, Funny)

dlc3007 (570880) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499023)

I've been carefully cultivating the bacteria on my keyboard for years! They've just started on communication. I'm hoping to have them up to written language in the next year. Then, we'll start on logic. With any luck, I should have my own civilization of microscopic coding assistants by 2011!

Obligatory Simpsons Quote (2, Funny)

SiO2 (124860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499157)

Lisa: "I've created Lutherans!"

SiO2

semen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14499025)

there is also lots of semen om my keyboard..

Don't flush, that's the esc key (2, Funny)

somethingprolific (944769) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499027)

Good thing I already modded my keyboard with a toilet seat.

Comment (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499031)

I guess it would make sense to wipe one's keyboard off, just like people wipe their toilet seats off now and then.

Well it makes sense (4, Insightful)

riflemann (190895) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499032)

People often make this comparison: "XXX is dirtier than a toilet seat!"

Very bad comparison. Toilet seats are generally disinfected quite often, so should in fact be pretty clean. Keyboards are not disinfected.

Many things are dirtier than a toilet seat. Especially things that get fingers on them all day long. Engage brain and it all becomes quite obvious.

Re:Well it makes sense (2, Funny)

dmarcoot (96402) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499137)

You obviously haven't used my toliet.

Re:Well it makes sense (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499153)

True.

An average toiletseat is apparently more hygienic than an average kitchencounter.

Comparisons can be deceiving (1)

harris s newman (714436) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499033)

As seen on Mythbusters, toilet seats are known to be quite clean. Perhaps some simular tool would be a better comparison, such as a mouse? Why compare a toilet seat, why not the toilet bowl, which ***does*** come in contact with waste?

Gloves anyone (1)

brabo (409689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499034)

Makes me REALLY want to wear gloves next time I sit down in an Internet Cafe while on holiday.

Hong-Kong anyone ???

Anti-septic environments are dangerous (3, Insightful)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499036)

in the long term.

A recent study showed that kids who lived on the farm in Germany (or some other European country) grew up with stronger immune systems than those who lived in the cities.

That means the study suggests that they're more resistant to viruses and bacteria than the city folk.

WHY THANKYOU captian obvious (1)

xmodem_and_rommon (884879) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499039)

If there was ever a study pointing out the obvious, this is one of them. Ever popped all the key caps off a 3 year old keyboard that's had tens of KG of food eaten over it, and several liters of liquids ranging from water to coffee to vodka spilt into it, not to mention the ammount of nutella that somehow gets in there. The gunk you find below those key caps is probably some of the most disgusting stuff you'll ever see in real life.

And they're (1)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499044)

...so damn hard to clean... take every key cap off, clean it on five sides... for 104 keycaps that's a lot of work.

But I don't know how a lot of people can use their keyboards, especially for hours a day. Whenever I'm in any office I see all these keyboards where the keys have turned various shades of brown and feel rough to the touch. Eeeew.

Re:And they're (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499174)

And while I've run across plenty of used keyboards that look exactly like that, *NONE* of my keyboards have developed that gunk-on-keys layer. (In fact, the most visible think resembling gunk is dust in the grooves that is easily wiped out.) I seriously wonder where it comes from.

My older logitech mouse does sometimes develop something from finger oils, but at least it is easily rubbed off. But whatever those random second-hand keyboards have, it probably requires industrial-strength solvent to clean.

Old News (0, Redundant)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499047)



I heard about this quite a while ago [slashdot.org] .

Besides which, didn't the Mythbusters [discovery.com] find that the toilet seat is one of the cleanest surfaces in the house (Episode 39)?

Re:Old News (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499116)

I heard about this quite a while ago.

Now, now. Leave Taco alone. After all, we haven't heard it in sweedish before!

Myth Busters agrees? (4, Interesting)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499049)

There was a Myth Busters episode testing the '5 second rule'. They found the same oddity, the toilet seat was the cleanest place (according to bacteria counts) in the whole shop.

-Rick

Re:Myth Busters agrees? (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499165)

Yeah - the 'five second rule'...

"Hey, Staphy, that dude's just dropped his sandwish on the floor - I'm on it..."

"Woah, hold on there Campy, remember the rule...hang one...ONE...TWO...THREE...FOUR...FIVE....OK...ALL TOGETHER NOW....JUMP!!!"

Like that's realistic!

Bacteria Hysteria (3, Interesting)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499050)

It seems to me that this just points out the way overblown hype against bacteria. Hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people use keyboards every single day, and anecdotally, it doesn't seem like people are getting infections or having other issues (other than things like carpal) at a higher rate in the computer age due to the amount of bacteria found on keyboards (and believe me, it isn't because of increased personal hygene). Now if they further extrapolate and say that while most of the current bacteria is harmless, that keyboards represent excellent carriers in the future for more harmful bacteria, well, that's a more interesting story. But then again, doesn't that just say that you should keep your kb as grundgy as possible to keep those "good" bacteria in and the "bad" bacteria out?

Re:Bacteria Hysteria (1)

randyflood (183756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499167)

Well, actually quite a lot of people who use keyboards get sick all the time. There is a ton of evidence that when you get a cold or whatever, then you touch something, and then somebody else touches it, that that is the most common way for colds to spread. The thing is, most people probably don't touch other people's keyboards all that often. But I guess they can start a new commercial campaign about how we should always wash our hands before and after using the computer...

Worst IT Moment (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499051)

Starting a new job, when they bring you to your cubicle and lo and behold, the machine you are to use is the usual drab beige color but the keyboard is brownish and stained on all the critical buttons. Always bring a package of anti-bacterial wipes with you on the first day and keep them in your desk.

As an aside, I remember back in college, we had the old VT100 terminals with the clear plastic membranes over the keyboard. I always peeled it off and used the keys, figuring I didn't want to catch anything from the membrane.

Re:Worst IT Moment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14499117)

As an aside, I remember back in college, we had the old VT100 terminals with the clear plastic membranes over the keyboard. I always peeled it off and used the keys, figuring I didn't want to catch anything from the membrane.

But little did you know that that is what EVERYBODY did ;) (and you wondered why that rash wouldn't go away)

what does it mean for me (4, Funny)

ptr2004 (695756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499052)

I use my laptop on my toilet. What does this mean for me ?

Re:what does it mean for me (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499111)

I use my laptop on my toilet. What does this mean for me ?

You get better at crapflooding.

Re:what does it mean for me (1)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499188)

A very warm lap.

Years ago.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14499057)

I worked at this large news organization in Atlanta in the .com newsroom. The newsroom was staffed 24/7 with the stations shared between on-duty webmasters. Our keyboards were covered in coffee stains and what appeared to be dry sneeze droplets. Everyday when my shift started, I spent about 20 minutes wiping down my station with screen wipes (contained alcohol). It seemed that whenever one person was sick, it didn't take long before most of the staff had the same thing. I'm guessing the main vector of infection was the keyboard.

Bacteria (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14499058)

I think it just shows the fact that most bacteria are harmless. Freaks of cleanliness should especially take notice, there's a balance to be struck between chemical agents and bacterial activity. I'd wager that the body is more tolerant to bacteria than it is to Spick&Span.

Toilets are Clean (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499061)

You know, despite opinion to the contrary, modern toilets are probably one of the cleanest surfaces in the average house.

Though used daily, surfaces are usually cleaned regularly by flushing, and potentially by individual users. Powerful disinfectants are also standard far in nearly every bathroom, whereas less toxic, but weaker disinfectants may be used in the kitchen and elsewhere.

To those disgusted by the potential health hazard present on their toilet seat's, my advice is do not google dust mites before you go to bed.

Maybe it is a good thing (5, Informative)

beforewisdom (729725) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499073)

Maybe bacteria laden keyboards are a blessing in disguise.

A few weeks ago I was at a party listening in on some cocktail talk between some doctors and health researchers. They were commenting about how some water borne bacteria was being (they think successfully ) experimented with to boost human immunity. This bacteria is cleaned out water by public sanitation systems.

A few weeks before that my local news had a piece about a girl with a peanut allergy who died after kissing her boyfriend who had eaten a peanut butter sandwich earlier in the day.

The after story commentary mentioned how the number of allergies among teens is on the rise and how some ( only some ) experts were looking at the theory that middle class US life is too clean. Antibacterial this and antibacterial that do not allow young immune systems to get stimulated/strengthened.

I'm not an expert and these things are saw are not hard science.

Just introducing a thought, that as with everything else in life you can have too much of a good thing....even cleanliness.

Re:Maybe it is a good thing (1)

Use Psychology (873643) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499193)

A few weeks ago I was at a party listening in on some cocktail talk between some doctors and health researchers. They were commenting about how some water borne bacteria was being (they think successfully ) experimented with to boost human immunity. This bacteria is cleaned out water by public sanitation systems.

i find this amazing... you were at a party?

Re:Maybe it is a good thing (5, Funny)

NFNNMIDATA (449069) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499197)

obligatory George Carlin:

"in my neighborhood no one ever got polio, no one, ever. you know why? cause we swam in the east river. we swam in raw sewage! it strengthened our immune systems, the polio never had a prayer, we were tempered in raw shit."

Germs vs Risk (5, Interesting)

gvc (167165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499077)

There should be enough epidemiologic data that we don't have to rely on bogus measures like "number of germs" to try to estimate the risk of catching something from a keyboard. I suspect it is minimal.

I have a bottle of cleaning fluid that that purports to kill 99.something% of bacteria. Does that make me safer? Probably not; instead I'm helping the natural selection process to breed super-bugs that are resistant to antiseptic.

The specious "germ" argument is exactly the same as the one used to compute risk of intrusion by the number of reported exposures in a software system. What matters is infection/intrusion, not exposure. And it *can* be measured, so why bother to measure the bogus quantities?

Re:Germs vs Risk (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499199)

How can it be measured when you don't know the actual species of bacteria? The bacterial count would be related to the probability of illness, since it increases the overall probability that, over time, some of the bacteria will be dangerous.

Re:Germs vs Risk (2, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499208)

Use two cups of plain water with a cap of bleach in it to clean your keyboard. No known bug can survive bleach, even at that low level. Ice cream shops generally do this for the water they use for their scoops.

Bleach is the ultimate bug killer. It can even kill the virus which causes AIDS (though the side effects to the patient aren't good).

wondersnack powers, activate. (2, Insightful)

negaluke (893108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499080)

good thing us geeks are protected from the teeming microbial masses by a thin film of antibacterial (aka cool ranch) dorito shavings and cheeto sprinklin's that reside in our keyboards.

Masturbation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14499082)

Consider how many teenage boys masturbate while using their computers as tools to find material to read and look at. Consider the fact their hand is going from, well, you know, to their keyboard, and back and forth again.

Put it in the Dishwasher (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14499084)

I just pop my keyboard in the Dishwasher every few months and it looks like new. As long as it's not to hot and you don't have a keyboard where water can get in between those plastic contact sheets it doesn't seem to cause any damage.

Yep, agreed. (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499089)

I cleaned my (work) keyboard a couple of weeks ago. I got a baby-wipe tissue and ran it over the keys. It was still incredibly dirty.

Step two. Get another tissue, scrub away at those keys for all I'm worth, including the gaps between them. Result? Keycaps more or less fine, keyboard as a whole still filthy - I could see stuff at the bottom of the keys.

Step three - the whole hog. To the astonishment of everyone around me at work, I got a screwdriver, unscrewed the keyboard and dissassembled it. More baby-wipes, more scrubbing away. Got tweezers to pull out bits from round the base of the keys. A shcok and awe campaign against the dirt lurking there, no less.

Result? Even with all that, it's still not sparkling clean. IDrastically better of course, but not perfect by any means. Looking at the state it's in at the moment, I'm guessing it will be time for the same exercise again in about a week or two's time.

The keyboard I use here is an MS 'Internet' keyboard by the way - nice enough. I'm going to have to go through the same sort of thing at home soon with an Apple Bluetooth keyboard, and I suspect that's going to be a pain to dissamble.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Yep, agreed. (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499127)

I suspect that's going to be a pain to dissamble

Or even to disassemble in fact. Gah. Mind you, dissamble sounds enough like a word that I think I'm going to try and bluff it out. Well, apart from posting my correction in front of an audience of thousands that is...

Cheers,
Ian

Don't worry (1)

vurg (639307) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499094)

Don't worry fellow geeksters, by now we have already developed antibodies for those. Soon, pharmaceutical companies will harvest our sweat as a viable alternative to penicillin.

Technicality.... but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14499101)

does sperm count as bacteria ?

MythBusters verified it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14499110)

Toilet seats are quite clean. MythBusters verified it! They found more bacteria just about anywhere than on the seat (didn't check the keyboard, however). I just keep wiping mine down weekly and using a bit of Lysol....

Counting bacteria alone doesn't say much (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499112)

After all, I'd prefer to get into contact with a million normal bacteria than with a few thousand plague bacteria.
No, I'm not claiming there are plague bacteria on the toilet seat :-)

Mythbusters (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499113)

IIRC, they actually did do a test to find fecal coliforms in the house and one of the places where there were less microbes was exactly on the toilet seat. They even found some in the kitchen, even tough it was far away.

Who cares? (5, Insightful)

TomorrowPlusX (571956) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499135)

As far as I'm concerned, the *world* is filthy, and millions of years of evolution have allowed us to live healthily ( mostly ) in it. It's part of being alive. And the more we're exposed, the stronger we are for it.

I'm not surprised that keyboards are filthy, but frankly, when I was a kid wandering around in creeks hunting crawfish, climbing trees, etc etc I never got sick, and I (almost) never get sick as an adult.

We *need* this exposure. I'm worried for children growing up in sterilized environments today.

It's a jungle in there (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499140)

UK News [lse.co.uk] did a story on this last year.

After reading it, I just shook out my keyboard over a garbage can. I think that took care of all the germs ;)

Worse: projecting this on the bathroom floor (1)

hardticket (696737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499148)

Projector Keyboard [iwantoneofthose.com]

Quick & dirty trans (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499150)

A keyboard is a real bacteria core. On the keys there are 33 000 bacteria per cm^2 - 265 times more than on a toilet seat.

It is the computer paper PC för Alla which has had examined what really hides in our keyboards. The labratory Pegasus Lab got the assignment todo the study, which also showed that every cm^2 contained 3100 fungis.

Not unexpectedly is the return and space keys the dirties, the keys we use most often.

There are plenty of ways to keep the keyboard clean, but for the one afraid of catching a cold and flue can follow a simple advice from the Smittskyddsinstitutets (swedish health department) Kersin Mannerquist:
- Everyone must be aware of washing their hands when they get up from the computer, she comments to PC för alla.

So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14499154)

We do have immune systems, you know.

(Cue "I have AIDS, you insensitive clod" replies)

I ****so**** surprised! (1)

Halvard (102061) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499159)

Uh,compare the frequency of keyboard to toilet cleanings. Add disenfectent to toilet cleanings. The compare the frequency of someone looking at porn on a computer and the duration (and side activity) to the frequency and duration and side activity (reading) on the toilet.

Sounds like a recipe for 33000 bacteria / sq cm to me!

Old news!! (1)

yopie (470181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499164)

No problem (1)

RuiFerreira (791654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499169)

No problem, That's why I use my laptop in the bathroom instead of in my room.

Damnit... (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499170)

think how terribly disgusting cheese is. That stuff is MADE OF bacteria. And sometimes purposedly covered with fungi.

Busted! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14499173)

All those nerds trying to grow girlfriends huh?

More practice boys, you'll get there one day...

how many times had this study been done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14499180)

it seems I've been reading this in different forms every few years. How often does this study need to be done?

Apples to Oranges (1)

jinxidoru (743428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499181)

That's a little unfair of a comparison. A toilet seat is actually one of the cleanest places in the average house, in regards to bacteria. It gets cleaned regularly and it's only in use for a very small amount of time each day. So it doesn't surprise me in the least bit that keyboards have more bacteria per square inch than a toilet seat.

Bacteria für alle (1)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499190)

Old news, and it should be noted that this magazine is of the type that loves to hype Microsoft products and have articles like "Become a computer pro - master the hidden features of Word!"

A more Linux/open source friendly publication, which also doesn't dumb it down quite as much (though they have fallen in quality the last couple of years) is Datormagazin [datormagazin.se] .

Not the Bacteria (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499200)

It's not so much the bacteria I worry about on a toilet seat. It's the shit-splatters, urine and ass sweat that keeps me from playing the away game!

Best cleaning practices (2, Interesting)

ami-in-hamburg (917802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499201)

Seriously, I put mine in the dish washer every couple months and have a backup to use while I give it plenty of time to dry out.

It works, although the numbers and letters fade after about 3 times. But then again, I'm not a peeker anyway.

Haven't tried it with a mouse yet.

Fun with Hypochondriacs (1)

Snap E Tom (128447) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499207)

I had a friend/coworker that sat in the cubicle next to me for about three years. She was also a hypochondriac, even to the point where she slipped and fell on the stairs one day at work because she always refused to hold the railings.

I always came in half an hour before her. Occasionally, when she got in, I would say to her, "I sneezed on your phone this morning," or "I licked your keyboard when I came in."

Good times, good times.

Windows much safer than Linux (1)

bre (590722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499209)

Linux even runs on very old hardware. This can't be healthy.

Desk eating (1)

PacketScan (797299) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499211)

Don't eat at your desk.. Wash your hands. Invest in a bottle of purell.
My Keyboards are Supper clean. Well i wipe them down weekly with an anti-bacterial.
I work in a tech department and once per quarter we have what we call the "DKS". We walk around to every office, cube, desk and look at the keyboards and mice. If someone is especially dirty we throw away the keyboard and get them a new one(Yes they have gotten that bad). Last month i found a keyboard so covered in epithelials that you could no longer see the printed letters on the keys. DKS = disgusting keyboard search

Quick solution, also from Sweden (1)

Biotech9 (704202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499212)

I work in a level 2 lab here, and sometimes I bring in my Powerbook for taking down notes during a long day of experiments. While it's not necessary to have it sterile (as it stays out on a desk away from the sterile areas), I do clean it superficially with antiseptic to minimise risks of infecting my cells.

A spray bottle with 70% or 90% alcohol and a bit of tissue paper will kill most germs, and also do a lovely job of removing oils and grime. And if you turn your computer off before starting, there shouldn't be too much risk of electrocuting yourself.

Try these for 10 USD [bestlabdeals.com]

Bacteria eh... (1)

finlan (919465) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499213)

Explains why linux seems to be contagious

Disinfect my keyboard? (1)

poeidon1 (767457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14499220)

So should I spray disinfectants on my keyboard every time I use it.
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