safety

DOT bans e-cigarettes on commercial flights

DOT bans e-cigarettes on commercial flights

A final ruling has been made about e-cigarette use on commercial flights: they’re banned and you'll get in big trouble for violating the ban. The ruling surprises exactly no one, but had to be made, as some travelers have eschewed common sense to use the 'vaping' devices during their flights. The DOT announced the final rule today, with the agency applying the same rules to e-cigarettes that it has for regular cigarettes.

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US CPSC finally and officially declares hoverboards unsafe

US CPSC finally and officially declares hoverboards unsafe

The writing has been on the wall for quite some time, but now it is on paper too. 2015 ended badly for the self-balancing, two-wheeled board, with many catching fire and harming their riders. Some manufacturers and a few retailers have started pulling what would be considered deathtraps on wheels, and now there is official government weight to those actions. In a letter to manufacturers, importers, and retailers, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission described these hoverboards as posing an unreasonable risk to fire. That is, unless they meet safety standards. Problem is, none of them currently do.

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Self-balancing scooters have caused over $2 million in damage since December

Self-balancing scooters have caused over $2 million in damage since December

We all know that the so-called hoverboards are bad news. In addition to making you look really stupid, they can also cause some serious damage. The US Office of Compliance and Field Operations recently compiled a report on the devices, and sent it to "Manufacturers, Importers, and Retailers of Self-Balancing Scooters."

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Toyota to recall 2.9m cars over seatbelt concerns

Toyota to recall 2.9m cars over seatbelt concerns

Toyota has announced plans to recall 2.87 million vehicles across the globe over a potential safety issue with the seatbelt. The recall will concern the RAV4 and Vanguard SUVs, the latter of which are sold in Japan. The auto maker isn’t sure whether any injuries have resulted from the issue, but is aware of instances where seatbelts were damaged during crashes.

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2016 Volvo S60 T5 Inscription Review: Chinese takeout

2016 Volvo S60 T5 Inscription Review: Chinese takeout

Volvo is on a roll right now, its XC90 SUV named North American Truck of the Year and anticipation levels high for the S90 sedan unveiled in Detroit last month. Even smooth-talking Swedes can't sustain a whole company on two flagships, however, and so the meat of the range remains the leftovers from before Geely's purchase of the brand.

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New software enables drones to search forests for lost hikers

New software enables drones to search forests for lost hikers

Autonomous drones could be the future of finding lost hikers thanks to new software developed by researchers at a few universities. Drones equipped with this software are able to find and follow forest paths on their own, possibly finding someone who has become lost on the path. Once the lost hiker is found, the drone can alert rescuers and provide the location.

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GM to recall 473k SUVs, trucks over loose brake pedal bolt

GM to recall 473k SUVs, trucks over loose brake pedal bolt

General Motors will be recalling 473,000 SUVs and pickup trucks in Canada and the United States due to a potentially faulty bolt and the brake pedal failure it can cause. Most of the recalled vehicles are located in the US, and include the Chevy Tahoe vehicles used by some police departments. When the recall will begin isn't clear at this time.

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NHTSA Safety Probe Involves 856,000 Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep Shifters

NHTSA Safety Probe Involves 856,000 Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep Shifters

Auto designers are always looking for ways to maximize interior space, and that includes thinking outside the box when it comes to reinterpreting the control surfaces we've all become so accustomed to in modern vehicles. At Fiat Chrysler, in recent years this has meant transmuting the traditional transmission shifter stalk into a smaller selector that frees up significant room on the center console by avoiding a direct mechanical linkage with the transmission in favor of an electronic connection.

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Honda recall hits 2.2m cars amid Takata airbag crisis

Honda recall hits 2.2m cars amid Takata airbag crisis

Faulty airbags are forcing Honda to recall in excess of 2.2m cars, the Japanese automaker has confirmed, as the Takata saga rolls on. The recall will cover both models sporting the Honda badge and its Acura premium division, with cars from the smallest Fit through SUVs and to sports sedans like the TL all affected.

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Google’s Safe Browsing now also blocks deceptive ads

Google’s Safe Browsing now also blocks deceptive ads

The Web is a rather dangerous place, not because the technologies that build it up are inherently insecure (thought they do have bugs). It's because of social engineering, the term used to describe techniques that con people into clicking on links or downloading things they normally wouldn't, leading to infected computers and devices. Google launched its Safe Browsing feature for Chrome late last year to combat social engineering scams and now it is expanding it to cover deceptive "embedded content", also known as ads.

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Microsoft recalls 2.25M Surface Pro power adapters over fire risks

Microsoft recalls 2.25M Surface Pro power adapters over fire risks

Microsoft's Surface devices may be some of the best tablet options available, but the company is still issuing a recall in the US over concerns the AC power adapters that shipped with some Surface Pro models pose risks of fire and electric shock. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Tuesday that roughly 2.25 million power cords were involved, all having been sold before March 15th, 2015 with the Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, and Surface Pro 3 models.

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Beware USB-C cables that could seriously fry your device

Beware USB-C cables that could seriously fry your device

As part of the team who worked on the Pixel C, Google engineer Benson Leung took it upon himself to survey the myriad USB Type-C cables being sold, particularly on Amazon, for their compliance with the USB specs and accuracy, not to mention safety. Every test carries a risk but Leung perhaps hoped never to come across one as destructive as this. Now he has the war wounds to show for his crusade and at least three dead devices, including a 2015 Chromebook Pixel because of a poorly and incorrectly made USB-C cable.

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