Standing Desks Are Pointless, Selfies Kill More People Than Sharks… [Tech News Digest]
Standing desks are a waste of time, selfies are more dangerous than sharks, Joshua Cohen writes a novel online, Ed Sheeran is popular on Spotify, and Computer Show is nostalgic nonsense.
Ditch Your Standing Desk
Standing desks have become increasingly popular over the last few years, as scientists and doctors warned of the perils of sitting for long periods of time. However, new research suggests that using a standing desk is pretty much pointless if that’s the only lifestyle change you make in your life.
We have all seen the reports suggesting that sitting is slowly killing us , and while that may still be true, standing desks are probably not the answer. According to The Washington Post, researchers at the University of Exeter and University College London tracked ” 16 years’ worth of health data from 5,132 people” to discover the truth.
The researchers found that, “the overall mortality risk for these participants wasn’t influenced by how long they sat or by the kind of sitting. And the researchers cautioned that too much emphasis on not sitting shouldn’t take the place of promoting physical activity.”
In other words, it’s not about switching from sitting to standing, it’s about doing some physical activity to counter the inactivity caused by our jobs and leisure pursuits. So, someone who sits for eight hours a day but then goes to the gym will be better off than someone who stands at their desk all day and does no exercise.
Selfies Are Bad For Your Health
It turns out that selfies are much more dangerous than previously imagined. In fact, more people now die from taking selfies than by being attacked by sharks. Mashable first noted this shocking statistic in September, and BBC News has now investigated the various ways people have died trying to take the ultimate selfie .
So far in 2015, 12 people are known to have died in selfie-related incidents. And only eight people have died from shark attacks. But ask the average person on the street whether they’re more scared of selfies or sharks and you’ll only ever get one response.
In a funny way these two things come down to the same thing: people are happy to take risks. If you don’t want to get attacked by sharks don’t go swimming in the sea. And if you don’t want to fall from a building, get hit by a train or attacked by a bear, don’t take selfies in these situations. In fact, just stop taking selfies altogether . They’re clearly not worth the risk.
Watch a Guy Write a Novel Online
Whoa. This guy's letting the world watch him write his novel, real-time. Mistakes & horrible word choice and all. http://t.co/ZMv9gte1sG
— The Middle Finger Project (@TMFproject) October 14, 2015
You can now watch a guy write a novel live online, if that’s your kind of thing. The author is Joshua Cohen, who previously wrote Book of Numbers: A Novel, which explores the Internet, technology, and geek culture. The new book is called PCKWCK, and it’s a modern-day adaptation of The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens.
Cohen spends around five hours a day writing PCKWCK, and the whole thing is being streamed live online at pckwck.com. The words appear as he types, edits are revealed in real-time, and viewers can interact with Cohen via a chatroom, a webcam, and the ability to add hearts to the developing story.
This is an odd experiment that will end on Friday, but we suspect this could be the start of a trend. After all, being a writer is a lonely endeavor, so any kind of human interaction is more than welcome.
Ed Sheeran Owns Spotify
Ed Sheeran is the first artist to have racked up 500 million plays for one song on Spotify. The song in question is Thinking Out Loud, which Sheeran released in September 2014. Spotify celebrated by releasing the Sheerio Index showing where in the world Ed is popular, with Denmark, Norway, and Singapore leading the way. They should all be ashamed of themselves.
Sheeran reacted to the news by saying, “Chuffed to hear that ‘Thinking Out Loud’ has had half a billion plays on Spotify. Being the first artist to hit that milestone is amazing. Thanks to all the people who use this as a wedding song, soundtrack to a date, and as a way to woo someone into a netflix-and-chill situation.” Which is no one, obviously.
This news shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone, as Ed Sheeran is insanely popular, and appears to have a worldwide appeal few artists ever manage. I guess soppy pop songs with inane lyrics travel well. Thus proving that bad taste in music is universal .
Computer Show Spoofs the 1980s
And finally, anyone who remembers watching television shows about computers and the Internet in the 1980s and 1990s will appreciate Computer Show. It’s a spoof of Computer Chronicles, a show which aired on PBS from 1983 to 2002, but previous knowledge of that show isn’t a prerequisite for enjoying this show.
The hosts, the set, and the computer are all from the 1980s, but the guests that appear are all from the here and now. So, we get to see the presenters struggling to understand how Reddit works , despite the best efforts of co-founder Alexis Ohanian. It’s a reminder of how much things have changed over the last 30 years.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Do you currently use a standing desk? If so, do you think it has helped? Have you ever taken a selfie in a dangerous situation? Would you ever let people watch you work online? Which artist have you listened to most on Spotify? What do you think of Computer Show?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credits: Orin Zebest via Flickr