Your Laptop’s Wi-Fi Might Cause Male Fertility Problems

Men, beware. The Wi-Fi from your laptop could be hurting the health of your sperm.
A new study, published in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility by researchers from Argentina and the U.S., found that semen samples placed a little more than an inch under a Wi-Fi-connected laptop experienced more DNA damage and mobility issues than regular sperm. The samples were taken from 29 healthy men with an average age of 34.
After just four hours sitting under a Wi-Fi-connected laptop, 25% of the sperm samples were no longer mobile and nine percent showed DNA damage. Meanwhile, only 14% of the samples stored away from the computer were inactive, and they showed minimal DNA damage.
“Our data suggest that the use of a laptop computer wirelessly connected to the Internet and positioned near the male reproductive organs may decrease human sperm quality,” the report said. “At present we do not know whether this effect is induced by all laptop computers connected by Wi-Fi to the Internet, or what use conditions heighten this effect.”

The study also tested the sperm next to laptops that were not connected to Wi-Fi. They showed some damage — though less than the connected laptops. This suggests heat may also be a factor in impacting the health of your swimmers.
This is not the first time a study revealed that laptops might be harmful to sperm. A widely-reported 2010 studyfound that men who keep their laptops on their laps may be hurting the quality of their sperm due to scrotal hyperthermia — that is, elevated temperatures in the testes.
The latest study noted that more research needs to be conducted to learn the true effects of electromagnetic radiation generated by a laptop’s Wi-Fi connection — since it was conducted in an artificial setting.

Male infertility is not uncommon. In fact, about one in six U.S. couples have difficulty conceiving. According to the American Urological Association, a man’s fertility is a factor in 50 percent of these cases.

YouTube’s New Homepage Goes Social With Algorithmic Feed, Emphasis On Google+ And Facebook


YouTube is launching what the company calls the biggest redesign in its history today, including sweeping changes to its homepage and channel pages. The goal is better personalized video discovery and viewing, with a notable emphasis on social features. Think of the changes as the latest example of Google’s campaign to create a unified social layer for all of its products.
The new homepage looks a lot like Facebook, or Google+ for that matter. An activity feed view dominates the middle of the page, while a left-hand navigation bar provides a set of filters for what you see in the feed.
The default Subscriptions feed appears to include algorithmically determined video uploads and activities determined by information like what videos you’ve watched and which channels you’ve subscribed to, although YouTube group product manager Noam Lovinsky wouldn’t tell me exactly how it worked. The previous version of the homepage feed, which launched early this year, doesn’t appear to be algorithmically tuned to the same degree.

G+ and Facebook also get prime-time spots in the navigation bar, listed right beneath the first feed. Click on either and you’ll be able to view videos shared by friends on those networks. G+ videos are automatically in there since YouTube accounts are linked to users Google identities. Facebook requires an opt-in login.
Google is playing up the already social aspects of YouTube to help it bolster Google’s cross-product G+ push. The Facebook integration is a bit more surprising considering that it’s the main social competitor out there. But Lovinksy downplayed that point when I brought it up, noting that only around 10% of YouTube’s views are from embeds, meaning that Facebook is just a part of that percentage.
He went on to explain that the prominent locations for G+ and Facebook are to help with onboarding for newer users. Instead of looking through the entire site for interesting channels, or trying to see what YouTube’s general recommendations tell them, they can get started by seeing what their current friends are already sharing.
The rest of the left-hand bar includes other options for filtering the feed. You can pin any subscribed channel to the top section as well. Click on any of those subscriptions and you’ll see a reverse-chronological feed of all the activity in that channel.
Further down, the bar includes a YouTube-curated section showing Trending, Popular and Music channels, and another section showing recommended channels.
The new homepage has a lot in common with Facebook’s left-hand navigation lists, its algorithmic feed, and its right-hand side recommendations and ads. But that’s a reflection of the design paradigm for all social products, as Lovinksy tells me. Users need a homepage that can help them consume new and interesting content as easily as possible, paired with landing pages that let you add subscriptions. In YouTube’s case, the homepage emphasis on filtering channels is based on users’ desires to watch sets of videos in a single sitting. Like, you know, television, channels.
To that end, YouTube is also adding some new templates for channel pages. Here’s what they include, according to the company:
  • The Blogger template: A featured video, a reverse chronological list of videos from 1 playlist of your choosing, playlists, and other Channels.
  • The Creator template: A featured video, featured playlists, and other Channels.
  • The Network template: A featured video and featured Channels
  • The Everything template: A featured video, featured playlists, and featured Channels
These additions, which are more analogous to template options in Tumblr or MySpace rather than Facebook’s one-size-fits-all style, let producers promote their works in the most natural style for what they offer. These templates come with a Feed tab showing any of the following actions from the channel owner:
  • Liking a video
  • Commenting on a video
  • Subscribing to a Channel
  • Favoriting a video
  • Uploading a video, and
  • Adding a video to a playlist
Importantly, any of these social actions can also potentially appear in users homepages, similar to how activity on a Facebook page appears in users news feeds. The Feed tab includes a section for users to post their comments, another section for the owner to feature other channels, and an About form.
The homepage and channel changes are the two biggest updates today, but the company is also introducing a site-wide design upgrade to all the elements — typography, iconography, etc (like the new logo at the top of this article). It’s separately adding new versions of its Xbox and Google TV applications, that feature magazine-style tile interfaces showing various channels. Finally, the company is touting the success of its advertising platform, saying that it’s seeing strong demand for its new cost-per-click style of video ads.
Going forward, look for YouTube to introduce more social features, Lovinsky said. While he didn’t get into specifics, my impression was there’s going to more fine-tuned discovery options coming, like channels on the homepage that show you content on topics related to videos you like. A “hip hop” video channel for instance. And, of course, look for YouTube to add tighter G+ integrations across the site.

iPhone 4 Burns itself on an Australian Flight (Update: One burns in Brazil as well)

On the 25th of November this year, an iPhone begin to emit a lot of smoke and glowed red hot shortly after Regional Express (Rex) flight ZL319 landed in Sydney from Lismore. After that “Company Standard Safety Procedures” were followed after which the fire was extinguished successfully. Thankfully, nobody was hurt or injured. The said phone was then handed over to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) for Investigation. Looks like someone decided to go too far with Siri, and she decided to end it once and for all.
Update: We’ve just heard news that an iPhone 4 began to burn after being short circuited. The owner, in Brazil had left the phone to charge overnight, and when he woke up, the phone was smoking heavily and sparks were coming out of it. The authenticity of this news is not as yet verified, but if true Apple could be in a real fix.