first published at The Manila Times, Aug 19, 2006 | by Uy, Ed

THIS may sound a lot like one of those weird sci-fi movies, but a recent study claims that the dust you’ve left to breed on your PC and other electronics devices could kill you-although not instantly.

OK, so I’m exaggerating. The dust might not kill you, but it may pose a potential health risk that is far more serious than the yaya spanking you deserve for being such a filthy kid. The report published by Clean Production Action and the Computer Take Back Campaign, two groups studying environmental and health issues related to computers. According to their research, potentially dangerous elements of brominated fire retardants are turning up in dust samples swiped from computers. The most commonly found example of these substances widely used by fire-prevention compounds known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, have been found to cause health problems in lab animals.

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This information, which can be found at CNET News.com, says that even more concerning is that “PBDEs remain persistent in the environment and contaminate food supplies, animals and humans. The PBDE threat is greatest in North America, where women were found to have the highest levels of the chemicals present in their breast milk, and that PBDE levels are doubling in the US population every two to five years.”

“The flame retardants are found not only in computers but also in other commonly used electronics devices, including televisions and radios. In addition, although the substances have been linked to health issues in animals, there has been no definitive research proving their danger to humans.” So the next time you plan on wiping that smirk off your opponent’s face, better wipe the dust off your PC first.

Real Pac-Man

Although gaming companies have seemingly contented themselves with releasing ports of classic games like Pong, Joust and Frogger to each and every new gaming platform, a group in New York has thought of a way to revive- or better yet relive the aging classic Pac-Man.

A group from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications graduate program has decided to take gaming to the next level. Dubbed Pac-Manhattan, the group uses the street layout and Washington Square Park in Manhattan to recreate the game layout and monitor each other by using GPS, cell phone and a vast array other technology.

Pac-Manhattan is a large-scale urban game that utilizes the New York City grid to recreate the 1980s videogame sensation Pac-Man. This analog version of Pac-Man is being developed in in order to explore what happens when games are removed from their “little world” of tabletops, televisions and computers and placed in the larger “real world” of street corners, and cities.

Using cell-phone contact, Wi-Fi Internet connections and custom software designed by the Pac-Manhattan team, Pac-Man and the ghosts will be tracked from a central location and their progress will be broadcast over the Internet for viewers from around the world. For more information check out their website at www.pacmanhattan.com.

Send your questions and comments, on anything gaming at (0915) 850-6363 send your e-mails to eduyisgood@gmail.com or gamexads@yahoo.com.

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