The Weekly Round-Up: Daredevils with mobile phones, and naughty techies

And you thought the only hot thing in the IT department was the server...
Written by The Round-Up, Contributor

And you thought the only hot thing in the IT department was the server...

The Round-Up likes to live dangerously. He craves thrills, that high adrenaline rush and the sheer laugh-out-loud joy of risk-taking.

So how has the Round-Up been dialling the excitement up to 11? Snowboarding? Parachuting? Extreme ironing?

Base jumping

Living on the edge: Forget base jumping, the Round-Up takes extreme risks by not backing up his phonePhoto: Shutterstock

Pah. The Round-Up takes living on the edge to a far more extreme level. The Round-Up - wait for it - doesn't back up his mobile phone contacts. Catastrophe is just one phone-related mishap away at any time.

And it seems the Round-Up is not alone in this devil-may-care attitude to the precious contents of his mobile phone.

A survey by mobile security company Lookout found that 75 per cent of UK mobile phone users do not regularly back up their personal contacts, and 85 per cent have no way of locating a lost or stolen phone.

That's even though we are more emotionally attached to our mobile devices than ever before - with those surveyed claiming they would save their phone from a burning house over their passport, wallet, photo album or car keys.

That may well be because your phone is more expensive to replace than all of those things put together, but also because if your house is going up in flames, you might find it handy to have a phone to call the fire brigade.

Still, our phones are an absolutely essential part of our busy modern lives, at once our diary, photo album, contacts book, TV, games console, social media hub and occasionally telephone.

According to the survey, one in three people check their mobile every time they go to the toilet or make a cup of tea, and over half admit to feeling "frustrated" or "anxious" if they lose their phone.

And yet, few of us ever back up the information on our phones or even set a passcode. Perhaps while we recognise that our smartphones have become our digital connection to the world around us, at the same time we are uneasy about the power it exerts over us. Maybe refusing to set a passcode or back up is our little analogue rebellion, our way of getting back at the slabs of glass and aluminium that rule our lives.

That, or we just can't be bothered.

Still, even if you do lose all your contacts it's not the end of the world. Asked what they would do if they lost all their friends' phone numbers, one of the silicon.com team admitted, perhaps too candidly: "I'd just get new friends."

Promiscuous PC department

A long time ago, one of the Round-Up's former colleagues considered writing a bonkbuster, set in an IT department, based on the theory that such places were actually hotbeds of romance. And it now seems they might have had the right idea.

Online dating site OkCupid has come up with a list of which professions are most likely to be using dating sites to find casual sex.

And it looks like we've got plenty of sysadmins looking for a bit on the side. Because, as the CBS News story reveals, a whopping...

...9.8 per cent of people working in the computer industry are looking for casual sex, adding: "Surprise! Nerds are sexy". And there you were thinking the only hot thing in the IT department was an overheated server.

According to the data, techies are just ahead of people in the entertainment industry in the sauciness stakes, while above techies on the list at number six are artists - 10.1 per cent of whom are looking for casual sex.

And the profession that topped the poll? A slight cheat here, but the group most likely to be looking for no-string encounters is... the unemployed. Well, it's certainly one way to fill up all that spare time.

Are you a generous tweeter or a Google+ grinch?

And finally this week - social media is often accused of forcing us apart, rather than bringing us together. And yet, heart-warmingly and slightly unexpectedly, it seems that social media tools are helping us to reach into our pockets to help out good causes.

Tweeters are the most generous charitable givers on social media but people on Facebook are more frequently persuaded to give, according to new research.

According to JustGiving's own data, the value of a donation made by a donor coming from Twitter is on average £30.26. The second most generous social givers come from YouTube, giving on average £28.77 - suggesting that video is key to charities looking to boost the value of donations. This is followed by LinkedIn (£25.21) and Facebook (£18.33), with the recently launched Google+ lagging behind at £17.77.

But that's not quite the full story. Donations driven from Facebook make up over a quarter of all donations made on JustGiving in September 2011. In comparison, Twitter currently drives less than one per cent.

Elsewhere on silicon.com this week: find out what technology is doing to your brain and discover the 10 tech skills you need to make yourself indispensable in the modern workplace.

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