Thursday, October 16, 2014

Recalls: HP Laptops, VIZIO TVs, Smoke Detectors

This is a notice of product recalls for smoke detectors, hot power cords, Vizio TVs and deadly bean bag chairs.


First and foremost, see a critically important recall on Bean Bag Chairs that involved two fatalities.

Hewlett-Packard is recalling a whole bunch of laptop power cords that can overheat and pose a burn and fire hazard.

The recall involves HP’s LS-15 AC power cord that are black in color and have an “LS-15” molded mark on the AC adapter end of the power cord.

They have received reports of overheating, melting and minor property damage.

You can contact Hewlett-Packard toll-free at (877) 219-6676 or online at and select “Recalls” at the bottom of the page, then select Power Cord Recall.

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VIZIO Recall

In case you had not seen or heard, Vizio has recently released a voluntary recall of some of their TVs.

Vizio has announced the "Recall to repair" of their 39 and 42-inch E-Series Flat Panel TVs due to the possibility of tip over accidents.

It has been suggested that consumers stop using the product unless otherwise instructed.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fixing My Missing WordPress Comments AND "Cannot modify header information" Error

Fixing My Missing WordPress Comments AND "Cannot modify header information" Error

This piece addresses how I fixed my missing WordPress site Comments AND the remedy for the error message "Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by," under my THESIS 1.8.5 version installation.


All WordPress Comments Are Gone, What To Do?

I have no clue when my website comments went away, but it seemed that this problem started when WordPress updated itself to 4.0 on my website, This update did NOT agree with my Thesis v1.8.5 installation, at all and that, was the problem. At least for me, after much deliberation and research.

So if you're a Thesis user, don't freak out and blame any one plugin, don't reinstall the update. Don't go off deactivating and reactivating every single plugin attached to your site or reinitializing plugin folders.

Nope, that was about a week's worth of my time tinkering with all that noise.  When nothing worked, I focused my attention on looking for the error, in conjunction with my installed Thesis framework, and low and behold, I found an answer.


NOTE: This worked with my Thesis 1.8.5 installation. I do not believe it will work for any other version.

- Using an FTP client, navigate to " /wp-content/themes/thesis_185/lib/classes/ " folder.

- Back up then edit your "comments.php" at line 187 or this exact set of lines, whereever it may occur:

The ORIGINAL looks like this:
$wp_query->comments_by_type = &separate_comments($wp_query->comments);
    $_comments = $wp_query->comments_by_type['comment'];

The NEW VERSION looks like this:

$wp_query->comments_by_type = separate_comments($wp_query->comments);
    $_comments = &$wp_query->comments_by_type['comment'];

If you look carefully, all that actually happened was that the ampersand "&" moved from "&separate_comments" to "&$wp_query->comments_by_type" in the section.

That's it... a simple move of the Ampersand.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WORDPRESS Auto Update Seems To Be Tripping Users

I was leery about an application that automatically updates itself. I've turned it off on my phone and yet here I and many others are, sitting, suffering from an automatic update to Wordpress 4.0.

For me, the problem was multi-fold.  Using the soon-to-be deleted Thesis theme, all my comments seem to be present but can't be seen. After spending a week tooling around with a series of useless but well meaning suggestions, I hit on something that got some of my comments back, but not all.

Then there's the thing about images.

It seems that since Wordpress 4.0 came on the scene people can't upload or see their website images via their managing control panel.

The fixes are typical... cancel, kill or update various plugins.  But to shame the plugin when the update to the core process has an obvious issue seems afoul.

Plus, I have no slider or slide-bar next to a post I'm creating or editing.

Personally, I'm good with getting a version that works and not being forced to the next best thing. But the WordPress development community seems to have another mind about the matter and their decisions are presently impacting this hobby blogger. I just don't have time to be dicking around with turning plugins on and off or toying with editing php files.

WordPress was stable when I had control. Now we're all suffering with greyed out place holders for images, not seeing our uploaded images and what not.  Give us our control back people!

So if you can't see your comments (and you're one of the abandoned Thesis 1.8.5 users), can't see your uploaded pics, or don't have a slider bar in your editing window, thank WordPress.

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Palo Alto's Water Police

The city of Palo Alto is looking to spend an extra $29k from their budget to deploy what they call "Water Police."

So know we know how much they're going to pay the guy.

But what has me confounded isn't what Palo Alto is doing, but the focus on the general public.

If the public was a big user, I'd understand. But I've seen on several different sites where we make up only about ten percent of California's water usage.

That leaves big business, such as agriculture and what not, as the true majority users.

I'm sure "big business" is doing their part, even if we're not hearing about it.  Right?

In the meantime, all the restrictions and focus seem to be on the average Joe as they get pounded over and over about this dire situation. Right now most parks have backed off watering.  Most... some still seem pretty green around town here.

And then there's the bit I heard a few months back when this all started, where here in the Bay Area I heard one news report that said water usage went up versus last year, a small percentage. Way to go Bay Area... 

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Always Remove Your Stuff from Your Bicycle When...

For several years now I've been taking my bicycle to Menlo Velo in Menlo Park, CA. They do a bang up job, no matter what you bring them. They're friendly and always willing to help out if they can. It's a very popular shop, so they sometimes have a week's waiting list to get things done.

That was my "this is an awesome place" disclaimer up front.

But what I want to warn you about today, and I'm sure this can apply to any bike shop, is that if you like your gear on your bike, TAKE IT OFF before leaving it with them.

On two separate visits, I lost an item from my bike during the work process, and they were irreplaceable, in the scheme of things.

Last year they did work on my bike, and they needed to take things off my bike. One of those things was a custom light bracket. I had already pulled the light off it, but left the bracket.  But when I got the bike back, they had replaced all the standard gear and brackets, but because this was the odd man out, so to speak, I guess they didn't think it went on my bike.

Then two weeks ago they were working on my bike, and they removed my two tail lights, but only put one back on. The one they left off was a gift from a friend, from almost 15 years ago. It had more sentimental value then anything... even if it was still working.

And Menlo Velo doesn't keep a box of extras laying around. So I was out one sentimental light.

Suffice it to say, all I'm truly saying is if you value it, don't leave it on your bike when you take it to the shop. If it's just another gadget, who cares. But if not, pay heed and take care.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Product Recalls from IKEA, PetSmart and More

Product Recalls from Consumer Bits

Check out the latest batch of recalls from companies like IKEA, PetSmart, and others.

IKEA Reannounces and Expands Recall of Children’s Wall-Mounted Lamps Due to Strangulation Hazard; Children can get entangled in the electrical cord that hangs from the children’s wall-mounted lamps.

Visit and click on the Recall link at the top of the page for more information.

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PetSmart Recalls Fish Bowls Due to Laceration Hazard : The glass fish bowls can crack, shatter or break during normal handling, posing a laceration hazard to consumers.

Visit and click on About PetSmart at the bottom of the page, then click on Product Notices & Recalls for more information.

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Ariens Recalls Snow Throwers and Power Brushes Due to Amputation and Laceration Hazards, A drive pulley can crack while in use and cause the auger/impeller or brush to continue to rotate after the clutch lever is disengaged.

Visit click on Recall Information for more information.


Big Lots Recalls Ottomans Due to Fall Hazard; The center of the ottoman can collapse during normal use.

Big Lots toll-free at (866) 244-5687 or online at and click on “Recalls” at the bottom for more information.


Bollinger Fitness Recalls Resistance Bands Due to Injury Hazard because A black plastic ball attached to the resistance band’s door anchor can unexpectedly release and strike the user.

Contact Bollinger at (800) 255-6061 or online at and click on Important News at the bottom right corner of the page for more information.


DGL Group Recalls Vibe USB Mobile Power Bars Due to Fire Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Five Below; The power bar can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

Visit online at and click on “Safety Recall” for more information.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Google Disbands Another Service, ORKUT

Google cuts Orkut
Over the last few years Google has been discontinuing services left and right.  Some obscure, some very popular.  They've smite things like Google Answers (2006), Google Page Creator ('08), Google Wave ('10), Labs ('11), Buzz ('11), iGoogle ('13) and most recently and most popular, was Google Reader. That one shocked millions of folks. But some of us suspect its all part of a bigger plan on Google's part.

Many folks are expecting Google to drop other existent services some day, like the popular Blogger platform while they continue to focus on other up and coming technologies, like their Facebook competitor, Google Plus.  (They've pu a lot into getting folks "attracted" to Google Plus, aka, G+)

But be it as it may, you can count one more service out of action.

Google will be turning off the lights to ORKUT on September 30, 2014.  To me that seems to be an obscure service that I've never used and some may not have heard of, but for those who do, this will strike a devastating blow.

Check out the Google press release:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

2014 Fireworks Around the Bay Area

Here's a quick list of where some fireworks shows are being held in and around the Bay Area.

Fireworks near the USS HORNET Museum
Start time: 9:15 p.m.

Contra Costa Fairgrounds. Parking $5.
Fireworks: Start time: 9:15 p.m.

Fireworks: On the waterfront. Start time: 9 p.m.

Fireworks 9:30 p.m. at the end of Berkeley Pier.

Fire works 9 p.m., at Mt. Diablo High School.

Fireworks display shot off a barge anchored off Mandeville Tip on the north side of the Deepwater Channel in the Delta between Stockton and Antioch. 8-10 p.m. .

Fireworks: From the Parking Garage in downtown Livermore (on Railroad Avenue, between Livermore Avenue and Maple). and

Parade: 11:30 a.m. down Santa Cruz Avenue. Food, music and games, Noon-2:30 p.m. Burgess Park.

Entertainment and fireworks: Music begins at 6 p.m. at Morgan Hill Community Park. Fireworks display after sunset.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Product Recalls: Sony, Fireworks, Knobs and more

Product Recalls: Sony, Fireworks, Knobs

Check out these product recalls for a few Sony VAIO batteries, exploding (before launch) fireworks, infant monitor battery issues and more.


Sony Recalls VAIO Flip PC Laptops Due to Fire and Burn Hazards, because the batteries can get pretty hot and pose a hazard.

The recall includes Sony’s VAIO Flip PC laptops with model number (product name) SVF11N13CXS

Sony toll-free at (866)702-7669 anytime or online at and click on the Support tab, then on Electronics and then on Product Support. Once on the Product Support site, click on the Computers & Tablets tab, then on VAIO Laptops & Desktops and scroll down to Product Alerts for more information.


Fireworks Recall

Winco Recalls Contraband 24 Canister Shell Fireworks Kit Due to Impact, Burn Hazards...  most fireworks pose a burn hazard, but this one issue says that the shell can blow up in the tube during firing.

Call Winco toll-free at (888) 697-2217 or go online at then click on the News tab at the top of the page, then click on Contraband 24 Artillery Recall.


Summer Infant Expands Recall to Replace Video Monitor Rechargeable Batteries Due to Burn Hazard because the battery in the handheld video monitor can overheat and rupture.

There have been over 20 reports of the incident.

Contact: Summer Infant at (800) 426-8627 or go online at for information on battery replacement.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

SECURITY Alert For The Peninsula, Bay Area Residents

SECURITY Alert For The Peninsula

When we live in a nice neighborhood, we can sometimes get very comfortable with our environment, and stop doing some simple things, like lock our doors and windows and other things.  But sometimes our comfort levels can lull us and betray us. Case in point, is this San Mateo County alert that was sent out from the Sheriff's Office today in my inbox.  You might want to take heed:

"The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office is alerting the community to a marked increase in the number of burglaries occurring throughout the Peninsula, south of Highway 92. The crimes are occurring in all Cities and Unincorporated areas of San Mateo County. The individuals are entering through unlocked doors, windows and garages. They also use the tactic of knocking on the front door to see if anyone is home, before breaking into the residence. The Sheriff's Office is also asking the community to be vigilant with locking their residences and reporting any suspicious persons, vehicles or circumstances to 911, especially any unknown individuals knocking on their front door. The Sheriff's Office is taking measures to protect the community and ask for its assistance in stopping these crimes."

It's never too late to start practicing good security practices!

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