Samsung tested the batteries in its recalled Galaxy Note 7 using a CTIA-certified lab owned by the electronics giant, according to The Wall Street Journal… Lithium ion batteries for cellphones sold in the United States are tested in accordance with IEEE 1725 at […]
Eddie Forouzan, a member of the IEEE committee that developed the battery standard, (said) battery safety failure rates have dropped to parts per billion from the parts-per-million level that accompanied a flood of cheap batteries that proliferated in the early 2000s
A U.S. ban on carrying Note 7 cellphones on commercial aircraft either in cabin or in checked luggage (is in effect)
Source: Samsung tested batteries in house, Note 7 banned from U.S. commercial aircraft – Evaluation Engineering
Tesla said it had reviewed data to confirm the car was in autopilot mode, a system that takes control of steering and braking in certain conditions. The company, which is investigating the crash, also said it was the driver’s responsibility to maintain control of the vehicle. In this case, it said, the driver’s hands were not detected on the steering wheel.
Mr Luo, who filmed the incident with a dashboard camera, said his car hit a vehicle parked half off the road.
Tesla owners all said salespeople described the cars’ function in Chinese as “self-driving”, a term the company generally avoids using in English, and took their hands off the wheel while demonstrating it.
Source: Tesla car on autopilot mode crashes in Beijing – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
There has been a concerning jump in the number of products recalled in Australia in the past year, the ACCC says.
Source: Hoverboard fires, food scares fuel jump in Australia product recalls: ACCC
Ms Rickard said button batteries, which can be lethal to children of swallowed, are a continuing concern across a number of products.
“We’ve been working with industry to get a code in place that’s going to lead to much better containment of button batteries, and major retailers not being able to sell products that don’t have batteries properly screwed in,” she said.
“We most frequently get the recalls around children’s novelty products which flash, things like kids bracelets, flashing rings, drinking cups which are cheaply made so easily break.
“They’re also there in car keys, TV remote controls, kitchen scales, hearing aids, so they’re virtually ubiquitous, so we’re saying to anyone who supplies products that contain button batteries, unless they are securely contained so children can’t access them, they shouldn’t be sold at all.”
The ACCC alleges, based on independent testing it commissioned, that the e-cigarette products sold by Social-Lites and Elusion did in fact contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals found in conventional cigarettes, including formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein.
Source: ACCC takes action against e-cigarette suppliers for alleged misleading “no toxic chemicals” claims
Where does the line fall between an acceptable ‘work experience’ or ‘internship’ arrangement and an actual ‘employment relationship’ requiring payment?
Source: The unpaid internship experience – Ai Group Blog
USB-C is good news for consumers and companies alike because it helps standardize the very different kinds of ports and adaptors that tech firms have traditionally used for their products. But low quality and cheap cables have flooded the market, causing more harm than good by frying laptops and phones so that they can’t be used again. Finally, it seems that major distributors like Amazon are waking up to the issue and clamping down …
Source: Amazon bans the sale of rogue USB-C cables
There are many prank phone calls that can be considered criminal offences: Threatening to kill or cause serious harm to someone – and not just the person on the phone; Making a hoax bomb threat is a crime; Making prank calls to 000 pretending there is an emergency is open to jail time of up to three years. Even if the prankster doesn’t threaten their victim, repeated calls can amount to harassment, stalking or bullying. Under the Criminal Code it is illegal to use “a carriage service” (that includes phones, emails, texts and social media) to menace, harass or be offensive – with a penalty of up to three years jail.
via When pranks break the law: hoax conversations – Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment – Australia.
Silicon and gallium arsenide both begin their progression from raw crystal to electronic device similarly. Both materials are fashioned into what electronics manufacturers call wafers. These are flat, circular platters of purified material. Subsequent manufacturing steps create computer chips, solar cells or other electronic devices on top of these wafers. But it can cost about $5000 to make a wafer of gallium arsenide 8″ in diameter, versus $5 for a silicon wafer … The new Stanford process seeks to lessen this thousand-to-one cost differential by re-using that $5000 wafer.
via Stanford invention could lead to better, cheaper chips :: ElectronicsOnline.
•Product safety is more important to consumers than a well known brand.
•Consumers are willing to pay a 16% price premium for products whose safety has been independently verified by a credible, independent third-party as exceeding applicable government safety standards.
•Unsafe Products: 50% consumers had an experience with an unsafe product in past 5 yrs.
•Product Recalls: More than 2/3rds of consumer electronics companies (73%) had a recall in past 5yrs and 22% had more than 20 recalls.
•There is significant concern for the safety of consumer electronics, more so than food or toys.
•90% of consumers rate third-party testing as important or VERY important.
•84% of management believes product safety issues existing in the consumer electronics industry
see the article at
The key is where the source of the electricity all-electric cars. If it comes from coal, the electric cars produce 3.6 times more soot and smog deaths than gas, because of the pollution made in generating the electricity, according to the study that is published in PNAS. They also are significantly worse at heat-trapping carbon dioxide that worsens global warming, it found.
The study examines environmental costs for cars’ entire lifecycle, including where power comes from and the environmental effects of building batteries.
“Unfortunately, when a wire is connected to an electric vehicle at one end and a coal-fired power plant at the other end, the environmental consequences are worse than driving a normal gasoline-powered car,” said Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science, who wasn’t part of the study but praised it.
But if the power supply comes from natural gas, the all-electric car produces half as many air pollution health problems as gas-powered cars do. And if the power comes from wind, water or wave energy, it produces about one-quarter of the air pollution deaths.
Hybrids and diesel engines are cleaner than gas, causing fewer air pollution deaths and spewing less heat-trapping gas.
But ethanol isn’t, with 80 percent more air pollution mortality, according to the study.
“If we’re using ethanol for environmental benefits, for air quality and climate change, we’re going down the wrong path,” Hill said.
via All-electric cars may be worse for environment.
“This is the highest efficiency ever reported for sunlight conversion into electricity,” UNSW Scientia Professor and Director of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP) Professor Martin Green said.
“We used commercial solar cells, but in a new way, so these efficiency improvements are readily accessible to the solar industry,” added Dr Mark Keevers, the UNSW solar scientist who managed the project.
“The new results are based on the use of focused sunlight and are particularly relevant to photovoltaic power towers being developed in Australia,” Professor Green said.
via UNSW’s solar cell achieves 40% efficiency :: ElectronicsOnline.
A power outage that left part of Silicon Valley in the dark early Saturday was caused by a squirrel, an electric company spokesperson told The San Francisco Chronicle. Nearly 2,000 customers in Cupertino were without power for about two hours. Power was restored around 8:30 a.m., said the paper on its website.
via Squirrel cuts off power to part of Silicon Valley.
The Phoebus cartel engineered a shorter-lived lightbulb and gave birth to planned obsolescence. Phoebus expended considerable technical effort into engineering a shorter-lived lightbulb.
How exactly did the cartel pull off this engineering feat? It wasn’t just a matter of making an inferior or sloppy product; anybody could have done that. But to create one that reliably failed after an agreed-upon 1,000 hours took some doing over a number of years. The household lightbulb in 1924 was already technologically sophisticated: The light yield was considerable; the burning time was easily 2,500 hours or more. By striving for something less, the cartel would systematically reverse decades of progress.
via The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy – IEEE Spectrum.
… proving that it is possible to transfer fully 43 terabits per second with just a single laser in the transmitter. This is an appreciable improvement on the German team’s previous record of 26 terabits per second.
via World data transfer record back in Danish hands – Technical University of Denmark.