Combustible notebook?

There’s no denying the fact that the mercury can get way up there during the summer months. But can hot weather cause a laptop to burst into flames?

According to Dell Computer, the notebook in question – which was seen combusting in photographs posted on the Internet – was “captured” recently and was being examined as part of the company’s probe of the incident.

Now it is known in the industry that Dell hardware is the most repair of any tier one vendor.

The report of an exploding Dell laptop at a conference in Osaka, Japan, accompanied by digital photos, was first published on technology industry news Web site The Inquirer last week.

In December, 2005, Dell issued a battery recall for some of the batteries in its laptops due to overheating issues. But would this cause the machines to spontaneously combust? Just to be on the safe side, remember to keep a fire extinguisher handy when using your Dell. And if things really get out of hand, you can always stop, drop and roll.

The “in” thing

How’s this for a segue: On hot summer days, there’s nothing better than an ice-cold beer. Unless you’re a U.S. college student, in which case there may be one thing that’s better.

Shockingly, Apple Computer’s iconic iPod music player surpassed beer drinking as the most “in” thing among undergraduate college students, according to a recent market-research study by New Jersey-based Student Monitor.

Nearly three quarters of 1,200 students surveyed said iPods were “in,” more than any other item in a list that also included text messaging, bar-hopping and downloading music. In the year-ago study, only 59 per cent of students named the iPod as “in,” putting the gadget well below alcohol-related activities.

This year, drinking beer and, a social-networking Web site, were tied for second most popular, with 71 per cent of the students identifying them as “in.”

The moral of this study: College just isn’t as much fun as it used to be. Rodney Dangerfield is spinning in his grave.

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