safety

Takata to declare 33.8 million cars defective over faulty airbags

Takata to declare 33.8 million cars defective over faulty airbags

The Takata faulty airbag saga has been a long and tragic one, with the defective components resulting in at least half a dozen deaths, dozens of injuries, and numerous recalls. The end is nowhere in sight, however. Today the manufacturer is declaring approximately 33.8 million vehicles defective, and as a result the United States will likely see its largest ever recall — not just automotive recall, mind you, but largest consumer product recall that has ever taken place. And frankly, it's about time.

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Google reprimanded for YouTube Kids app showing inappropriate content

Google reprimanded for YouTube Kids app showing inappropriate content

Google's recent mobile app, YouTube Kids, a version of the popular video service that curates safe content for young children, has come under fire from two child and consumer advocacy groups claiming that the app is deceiving. The Center for Digital Democracy and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood filed a complaint with the FTC, stating that "the app is rife with videos that would not meet anyone’s definition of 'family friendly.'" The complaint included evidence of video clips that had been found on YouTube Kids that were described as disturbing and/or harmful to young children.

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Acura recalls cars after auto-brakes get distracted

Acura recalls cars after auto-brakes get distracted

A glitch in its semi-autonomous driving system is forcing Acura to recall almost 20k cars, because over-zealous safety systems might unexpectedly slam on the brakes. The luxury arm of Honda is promising drivers of the 2014-2015 MDX sedan and RLX SUV a software update that will make the optional Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) a little less zealous, after finding that it could be confused by certain types of road furniture.

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Nissan, Toyota recall 6 million cars over Takata air bags

Nissan, Toyota recall 6 million cars over Takata air bags

The Takata air bags issue is still happening, and as of today both Nissan and Toyota have initiated a massive recall with a combined total of 6.56 million cars globally. The recall is the latest to be initiated over the Takata air bags, which are prone to malfunction due to moisture seeping into the components. More than 10 car manufacturers have recalled about 25 million cars so far because of the problem which has, unfortunately, resulted in at least six deaths.

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Chrome extensions will only be available through web store

Chrome extensions will only be available through web store

As of early last year, and as first announced in late 2013, Chrome extensions had to be on the Chrome Web Store in order to be downloaded — for Windows users, that is. The move was an effort to improve security by preventing malicious extensions from being downloaded from some random web location and installed. Google says that it saw a lot of success with this, and so it will be extending its scope in the near future. In doing so, Chrome may be more secure for all.

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I still trust autonomous cars more than I trust you

I still trust autonomous cars more than I trust you

I told my grandmother about Mercedes-Benz’s self-driving F 015 concept the other week, and she was horrified. “However could you trust it to drive you safely?” she wanted to know, perhaps thinking of how her DVR regularly and unpredictably dumps her favorite recordings and extrapolating that to a crazed silvery space-pod crashing and taking her grandson with it. In fact, I told her, I trust autonomous vehicles far more than I do my fellow human drivers, and recent news of self-driving car crashes in California has done nothing to change that.

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Midsize SUVs may not be as safe as drivers think

Midsize SUVs may not be as safe as drivers think

Many midsize SUVs so popular for their perceived safety higher up than other road users are actually underperforming in key crash conditions, a new batch of IIHS testing concludes. The segment, which borrows the styling cues and elevated cabin of full-size SUVs but with a smaller footprint more suited to urban driving, has become increasingly in-demand, particularly among young families. However, according to IIHS there's no guarantee that they're up to some of the more common collisions.

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Google’s Password Alert Chrome extension foils phishing attempts

Google’s Password Alert Chrome extension foils phishing attempts

Phishing schemes are one of the more popular ways hackers and other nefarious sorts gain access to accounts that are not their own, and despite attempts to educate users on what to look for, these kind of attacks are still largely successful. Google, however, is working to further quash them with the introduction of a new Chrome extension called Password Alert, which points out to users when they attempt to log into their Google account on a website that is not Google’s own.

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Microsoft gives $1 million aid and free Skype in Nepal relief efforts

Microsoft gives $1 million aid and free Skype in Nepal relief efforts

Over the weekend, a strong earthquake struck Nepal with tragic consequences. The death toll continues to rise, with counts currently reported around 4000. Now is a crucial time for relief efforts as the golden window of time to rescue survivors elapses. In response, tech companies are springing into action, offering whatever services they can to help the relief effort. Microsoft is doing its part to provide relief by immediately making Skype calls for mobiles and landlines both to and from Nepal completely free of charge.

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Google Person Finder and Facebook Safety Check provide relief in Nepal Quake

Google Person Finder and Facebook Safety Check provide relief in Nepal Quake

Tragedy struck Nepal as a 7.8-magnitude earthquake caused damage throughout the capital, Kathmandu. The earthquake also triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, endangering climbers. Sadly, Google executive Dan Fredinburg lost his life in the avalanche. To help with the recovery and relief efforts, Google and Facebook are stepping up to the plate, reminding the public of their respective Person Finder and Safety Check features which can be used to check on friends and family from half way around the globe.

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