iPad shmiPad, It’s Germy!

7 04 2011

Don’t you love your iPad? Your Droid? Your iPhone? Whatever touch-screen device you use, isn’t it (sigh) maaaarvelous?

It’s also germier than a subway toilet, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology. Viruses can stay viable on the surface of these devices for awhile. If we share our touch-screen device with others, the germs they leave behind can transfer to our fingertips. Once that happens, it’s easy to become infected.

So, how can we disinfect the device without getting moisture into the inner workings or damaging the surface?

According to Apple’s public relations team, the only way to clean an iPad is to:

…unplug all cables and turn off iPad (press and hold the Sleep/ Wake button, then slide the onscreen slider). Use a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth. Avoid getting moisture in openings. Don’t use window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, alcohol, ammonia, or abrasives to clean iPad. The iPad screen has an oleophobic coating; simply wipe the screen with a soft, lint-free cloth to remove oil left by your hands. The ability of this coating to repel oil will diminish over time with normal usage, and rubbing the screen with an abrasive material will further diminish its effect and may scratch your screen.

Not the greatest advice for disinfecting, since water and wiping do little to kill germs.

One way to keep germs off of our device is to use a case and a screen protector, then clean/disinfect those pieces rather than the actual device.

Another way to curb the transmission of germs from a touch-screen device is good old hand hygiene. Washing our hands or using a hand sanitizer before and after we use a touch-screen device will limit the spread of germs.

Now, we got some Splodin’ to do!

(photo courtesy henke on Flickr)





New Twitter New Functionality?

21 10 2010

Like all social media, it seems Twitter functionality changes almost daily, adding and then removing features, offering a seemingly endless array of ways to make sense of the stream of endless conversation. Here are ways of using Twitter to help you manage your time and resources wisely.

1. Managing Your Twitter Stream

Sometimes the most onerous of all Twitter tasks once you follow and are followed by numerous people, is sorting through the vast streams of incoming content.  Among the newest and niftiest tools, Cadmus holds great promise for the slightly Twitter-whelmed.

It takes a while to upload and sync your account, but once you do, Cadmus has some great features, including ranking tweets by their relevance to pre-selected topics, trending conversations for all of Twitter, and trends within just the groups that you follow. So, for instance, if you’re interested in hepatitis B, you can prioritize those within your Twitter followers who are talking about it.

2. Twitter To Go

iPhones, Androids, and Blackberries, oh my!! As if streaming your Twitter account to your Blackberry weren’t enough, now you can use specialized applications that bring a smarter Twitter to your iPad.  This integration allows Twitter to serve as your intelligence when surfing the web remotely and increasingly allows you to categorize and manage different areas of your life online.

3. New Twitter Functionality

But of course the biggest news is that Twitter is unveiling a brand-new layout with even greater integration with media stars like YouTubeDeviantART, Etsy, and Twitpic.  By adding photos and videos into the Twitter stream, the methods for companies and individuals to use Twitter will expand. Now groups can use pics and videos as well as 140 characters to announce late-breaking news, or promote a new flu-prevention campaign at the state or national levels.  Some argue that Twitter is just becoming Facebook.

While Twitter has always pitched itself as more of an information rather than social network, the integration of multi-media into the streams and additional two-way communication devices (“You both Follow” for example) means Twitter is becoming a major player in the realm of social media destinations.

Whatever happens, one thing is clear, micro-blogging will never be the same.