Monday, July 18, 2016

Recalls from HP, SONY, STIHL, Mayborn

Recalls from HP, SONY, STIHL, Mayborn

HP Recalls Batteries for HP and Compaq Notebook Computers Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

The battery packs can overheat, posing fire and burn hazards.

Immediately stop using the recalled batteries, remove them from the notebook computers and contact HP for a free replacement battery.

Contact: HP toll-free at 888-202-4320 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or online at the HP Battery Recall website directly at www.HP.com/go/batteryprogram2016 or www.hp.com and click “Recalls” at the bottom of the page for more information.

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Sony Recalls VAIO Laptop Computer Battery Packs Due to Burn and Fire Hazards

The Panasonic lithium-ion battery packs can overheat, posing burn and fire hazards.

Immediately stop using the recalled battery packs, power off the laptop, remove the battery and follow instructions to obtain a free replacement. Until a replacement battery pack is received, consumers can use the laptop by plugging in the AC power only.

Consumer Contact: Sony Electronics toll-free at 888-476-6988 from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. ET Monday through Friday or 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday or online at www.sony.com, click on “Support” and then “Support Alerts” for more information.

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STIHL Recalls Battery-Powered Hedge Trimmers Due to Laceration Hazard

The hedge trimmer can operate faster than expected, continue running after the trigger is released or operate by depressing either the trigger or the front handle switch individually, posing a laceration hazard.

Immediately stop using the recalled trimmer and return it to an authorized STIHL dealer for a free replacement battery-powered hedge trimmer.

Consumer Contact: STIHL Inc. at 800-610-6677 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, email stihlrecall@stihl.us or online at www.stihlusa.com and click on Information and then Product Recalls for more information.

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Tommee Tippee Electric Bottle and Food Warmers Recalled by Mayborn USA Due to Fire Hazard

The warmers can overheat and catch on fire, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Immediately unplug and stop using the recalled bottle and food warmers and contact Mayborn for free replacement warmers.

Contact: Mayborn online at www.tommeetippee.us and click on the recall button at the bottom of home page or toll-free at 844-340-3420 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Saturday for more information.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Recalls: Toys With Hot USB cables, Child Backpacks That Break, Hot Water Heaters from Home Depot


Recalls: Toys With Hot USB cables, Child Backpacks That Break, Hot Water Heaters from Home Depot
Remember, recalls are serious business. If you discover you have a recalled item, contact the distributor noted to see if it needs replacing or just fixed. Don't become a statistic.

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Auldey Toys Recalls Sky Rover Toys Due to Fire Hazard

The USB charging cords sold with the toy can overheat, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers.

Contact: Auldey Toys toll-free at 844-303-8936 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, by email at aeroproducts@auldey.us or online at http://www.AuldeyToys.us and click on “Safety Recall” at the bottom of the page banner for more information.

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Thinking of getting something from Amazon?

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Osprey Recalls Child Backpack Carriers Due to Fall Hazard

A cut in the plastic buckle on the shoulder strap can cause the shoulder strap to release, posing a fall hazard to a child in the carrier.

Contact: Osprey at 800-303-1350 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT on Monday through Friday, email pocosupport@ospreypacks.com or online at ospreypacks.com and click on “Poco AG Safety Notice” for more information.

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Rheem Recalls to Repair Water Heaters Due to Fire and Burn Hazards; Sold Exclusively at Home Depot

The control panel on the water heaters can overheat, posing fire and burn hazards.

Contact: Rheem toll-free at 866-369- 4786 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CT on Sunday or online at www.rheem.com and click on Recall Information for more information.

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Southwire Recalls Voltage Detectors Due to Shock and Burn Hazards

The voltage detectors can give a false “no voltage” reading when being used to test live wires for electric current, posing shock, electrocution and burn hazards to consumers.

Contact: Southwire toll-free at 855-798-6657 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.southwire.com and click on Product Recall for more information.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Recalls - Philips Lighting; TJ Maxx, Water Heaters

Recalls - Philips Lighting; TJ Maxx, Water Heaters

Philips Lighting Recalls Metal Halide Lamps Due to Burn and Laceration Hazards

The outer bulbs can shatter, resulting in hot internal pieces of glass falling from the lamps, posing a burn and laceration hazard.

Contact: Philips Lighting toll-free at 866-253-5503 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, via email at ceramicmh@philips.com or online at www.philips.com and click on “For Professionals” and then “Recalls” for more information.

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TJX Recalls Foldable Lounge Chairs Due to Risk of Injury; Sold at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls Stores

The chairs can collapse unexpectedly, posing a fall and injury hazard.

Contact: T.J. Maxx at 800-926-6299 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.tjmaxx.com then click on Product Recalls at the bottom of the page or Marshalls toll-free at 888-627-7425 or online at www.marshallsonline.com and click on Customer Service at the bottom of the page.

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Water Heating Technologies Recalls Gas Water Heaters Due to Fire Hazard

The water heaters have a space between the burner flange and the combustion chamber that allows flammable liquids or gases to contact burning flammable vapors inside the combustion chamber, posing a risk of fire or explosion.

Contact: Water Heating Technologies toll-free at 888-883-0788 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.americanstandardwaterheaters.com and click on “Recall Information” for more information.

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Recalls for Rattles, Helmets, Pacifiers and More

Recalls for Rattles, Helmets, Pacifiers

Today we have clamp meters, infant rattles, pacifiers, infant bicycle helmet recalls and more. The impacted distributors include Hobby Lobby, Pacific Cycle, Target, & Rocky Mountain.

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Black Diamond Recalls Camming Climbing Devices Due to Fall Hazard

The camming devices can come apart during use and fail, posing a fall hazard to the consumer.

Contact: Black Diamond at 877-775-5552 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT Monday through Friday or online at http://blackdiamondequipment.com and click on “Safety Notices” for more information. Consumers can also email the firm at recall@bdell.com.

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Digital Clamp Meters Recalled by Klein Tools Due to Shock and Burn Hazards

The meters can fail to give an accurate voltage reading, resulting in the operator falsely believing the electrical power is off, posing shock, electrocution and burn hazards.

Contact: Klein Tools at 800-527-3099 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, online at www.kleintools.com and click on “Safety Recall Information” at the bottom of the page for more information or email ClampMeterRecall@kleintools.com. 

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Hobby Lobby Recalls Infant Rattles Due to Choking Hazard

The rattle seams can separate, exposing the fiber stuffing and bell rattle, posing a choking hazard.

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Hobby Lobby Recalls Infant Pacifier Holders Due to Choking Hazard

The fin of the whale and the head of the octopus can detach from the pacifier holder, posing a choking hazard.

Contact: Hobby Lobby Stores at 800-326-7931from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.hobbylobby.com and click on the “Recall” tab at the bottom of the page for more information.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

LYFT And Their Shameless Caltrain Marketing

So maybe you've heard or not, but the heated competition between Uber and Lyft sounds pretty crazy. But from what I can tell, Uber has this fight, hands down.

But historically speaking, Uber apparently or allegedly got down and dirty at times when competing with Lyft in the early days. Now I don't know about what went down during those earlier times, but I can tell you this:

As a rider of Caltrain in the Bay Area, some of my Twitter feeds are getting pummeled by Lyft. In a shameless fashion.

One morning I did a search on Twitter for Caltrain tweets and more than half my feed was full of Lyft ads referencing Caltrain. After I had a conversation with the official Caltrain feed, the Caltrainer announced that the various posts from Lyft were spam bots.

So a blocking I will go!

On that day, I blocked two different Lyft Twitter accounts.

Maybe a week later I started getting more Lyft spam in my Twitter feed and saw that they started a few more new spam bot Twitter feeds.

Today, I found my feed besieged by a few more Lyft spam Twitter accounts.

On Twitter, I've marked as spam and blocked the following accounts, so far:

Lyft Dashboard - @LyftDash
Steve ‏- @cheapo7
Free Lyft Rides - @10FreeLyftRides
Lyft ‏- @lyftoffer
the dealzer - @thedealzer
test pageSocial - @testpagesocial1

Then there's what happened today.

We had a suicide take place on the tracks... and within the hour Lyft was spotted at the closest Caltrain station handing out flyers to "Lyft to work and save time," in what seemed to be a shameless moment to take advantage of the obviously sad situation.

If anything, Lyft has convinced me exactly who to not ever use for my ride-sharing needs. Period.

I don't support ghoulish, creepy or spam-riddled marketing ploys.

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Monday, May 23, 2016

CALTRAIN's Communications, The Good and The Sadly Bad


Over the last several months I have noticed an improvement in how Caltrain in the Bay Area communicates with its riders during unscheduled events.

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A few months ago when riding the train, there were times my train would come to a complete stop, or slow to 10mph in a 75mph zone. And the ridership was never told one damn thing.

But as time went on, things seemed to improve as the conductors started to pass out information on why we were crawling. (Broken UP signal intersections.)

And they are getting slightly more chatty in general.

But today a new wrinkle slammed into the communication efforts by Caltrain that just seemed unacceptable.

This morning (Mon, 5-23-16) another person stepped out in front of a Northbound train in Burlingame, forcing the train to stop.

I found this information out because I had learned a long time ago that surfing Twitter for the term "caltrain" brought up more information that was pertinent to my travels than anything else.

And it was on Twitter that I followed the travesty that comes from a suicide on the Caltrain tracks.

Caltrain and a few other Twitter users helped the transition of information flow about nicely, so for those on social media, the information was out there.

But sadly, despite at least 30% of my train's compliment of riders looking to switch trains at Tamien and San Jose to head into San Francisco, not one word was delivered to the passengers via either the conductors on the trains or by the electronic signs at the stations.


Google's PICASA Is Going Away

Google's Picasa is going away and maybe you should be aware of that for when the time comes and you are heavily invested in the process from over the years.

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Add Picasa to the long list of other Google products that have gone by the wayside at the behest of Google itself.

Back in February Google announced the slice and dice of Picasa.

They reported that in March of 2016 the desktop application will no longer be supported. I'm fine with that, I hated how the app tried to categorize all images on your computer and would not give you the option to turn that off.

But what will be happening is that Picasa will be transitioning to a new platform or name, Google Photos.  Or in other words, it's possible that since no one took to Google Photos, this is how they're forcing for folks into it.

Any how, they're retiring Picasa and consolidating into Google Photos.

They do recognize how many folks have kept up their Picasa albums and said they were taking the time to make this change happen in the best way possible, so there's that.

What they have done is mostly already done.  What was in your Picasa Albums is already over under http://photos.google.com/ .

But if you had tags, captions or comments, those didn't go in the transition, at least from what I gather. And that's what Google is working on.

The changes were scheduled to start rolling out on May 1st... so brace yourself.

Though to be honest, since they've transitioned Blogger over to using Picasa images some years ago, I have to wonder how they'll handle those transitions?  We'll see.

Here's the blurb on the transition:

Moving on from picasa

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Recalls From Sam's Club, Walmart And a Deadly One From Polaris


Alltrade Tools Recalls Ratcheting Tie Downs Due to Injury Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Sam’s Club

The ratchet handle can fail during use, releasing the secured load, posing an injury hazard to consumers.

Contact: Alltrade Tools at 800-994-4343 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at www.alltradetools.com and click on Recall for more information.

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Polaris Recalls RZR Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles Due to Fire Hazard; Severe Burn Injuries, One Death Reported.

The recalled ROVs can catch fire while consumers are driving, posing fire and burn hazards to drivers and passengers.

Contact: Polaris at 800-POLARIS or 800-765-2747 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Saturday and Sunday or online at www.polaris.com and click on “Off-Road Safety Recalls” on the main page of the Polaris website.

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YTL International Recalls Drywall Lifts Due to Injury Hazard.

The drywall lifts can fail during use causing the load of drywall to fall onto the lift operator, posing an injury hazard. (Yea, that sounds like no fun.)

Contact: YTL International toll-free at 888-723-6534 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or online at www.ytlinternational.com and click on RECALL for more information.

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Walmart Recalls 1.2 million Rival Electric Water Kettles Due to Burn and Shock Hazards.

The heating element can fail and rupture, posing burn and shock hazards to the user.

Contact: Walmart at 800-925-6278 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. CT Saturday, or noon and 6 p.m. Sunday; or visit the company’s website at www.Walmart.com and click “Product Recalls.” Consumers can also  visit  http://walmartstores.com/contactus/feedback.aspx.

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Monday, May 2, 2016

COLEMAN, FISHER-PRICE, IKEA, TRUMP & STAPLES Recalls

COLEMAN, FISHER-PRICE, IKEA, TRUMP & STAPLES Recalls

Check out these recalls below and see if they impact your day-to-day use!

Coleman Recalls Flashlights Due to Fire Hazard   

Product: Coleman® CTAC Lithium-Ion Flashlights

The lithium-ion batteries can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Contact: Coleman at 800-835-3278 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, email at consumerservice@coleman.com or online at www.coleman.com and click on “Safety Information” under the “Customer Support” tab at the bottom of the page and then click on “CTAC Lithium-Ion Flashlight Recall” for more information. 

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Fisher-Price Recalls Infant Cradle Swings Due to Fall Hazard

When the seat peg is not fully engaged the seat can fall unexpectedly, posing a risk of injury to the child.

Contact: Fisher-Price at 800-432-5437 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.service.mattel.com and click on Recalls & Safety Alerts for more information.

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IKEA Recalls Children’s Bat Cape Costumes Due to Strangulation Hazard

Product: Children’s LATTJO Bat Cape Costumes

The fabric hook and loop fastener at the neck of the bat cape can fail to detach readily during use.

Contact: IKEA toll-free at 888-966-4532 anytime or online at www.ikea-usa.com  and click on Press Room at the bottom of the page, then Product Recalls for more information.

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Ivanka Trump Scarves Recalled by GBG Accessories Group Due to Violation of Federal Flammability Standard.

Contact: GBG Accessories Group toll-free at 888-771-9047 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or via email at IvankaTrumpRecall@globalbrandsgroup.com for more information.


Monday, April 25, 2016

CALTRAIN Pro Tips From A Rider

CALTRAIN Pro Tips From A Rider

Today I thought I'd chat about different ways to interact with Caltrain (On the Peninsula in the Bay Area) and trying to help or improve your Caltrain experience, based off my own in-train experiences.

Here I talk about apps to use for figuring out what train you need, how to figure out how to find live reports about delays, or just how to make the train ride a little more comfortable and safer.

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So you ride the Bay Area's Caltrain system. Whether it be part-time or regularly, there are some things you can do to help your experience.

Now admittedly, if something goes horribly wrong on your transit, like one of a dozen annual suicides, you can expect massive delays in every direction to accommodate the suicide investigation, period. And there's nothing you can do about it.

Aside from that and a train break down here and there, Caltrain can be a pretty consistent performer.
But there are ways to be more willing to accept issues with Caltrain. Or at least be prepared for them!

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Be prepared


Always have something to read. Period.

To be safe, make it something that can be read offline, considering that there are huge blind spots in Verizon's coverage along the tracks. (Looking at coverage maps, it seems T-Mobile has much better coverage than Verizon up and down the Peninsula.)

Also, bring a bottle of water. Just in case.  I've been in two to three hour delays and it is nice to have it instead of wanting it.

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Caltrain Schedules and Apps