×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

HP Recalls 6 Million Power Cables Over Fire Hazard

Unknown Lamer posted about 4 months ago | from the what's-that-smell? dept.

HP 137

Via the Consumerist comes news that HP is recalling power cables after about 30 reports that they were melting from regular use. From the article: Hewlett-Packard received 29 reports of the melting or charring power cords, two that included claims of minor burns and 13 claims of minor property damage. The black power cords were distributed with HP and Compaq notebook and mini notebook computers and with AC adapter-powered accessories such as docking stations and have an "LS-15" molded mark on the AC adapter. About 5.6 million power cords were sold in the United States, while 446,700 were sold in Canada from September 2010 to June 2012 at electronic stores and hp.com.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763401)

How do you fuck something like that up?

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (5, Interesting)

Narcocide (102829) | about 4 months ago | (#47763435)

Outsourcing.

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (2)

Monoman (8745) | about 4 months ago | (#47763499)

Outsourcing to the lowest bidder and then not adequately sampling items to verify they were made to spec.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763579)

As long as money saved through outsourcing > cost of recall/lawsuits, HP wins. And the sad thing is, it probably is, considering pakis and chinese work for pennies an hour.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763611)

"Pakis..." I suppose you must be from Great Britain, probably one of those "old school tie" types who think those savages should still be all under the Queen's boot.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (3, Insightful)

asifyoucare (302582) | about 4 months ago | (#47763649)

How is "Pakis" offensive? It is clearly an abbreviation of "Pakistanis", and I assume you don't find the full word offensive. I'm Australian and we're frequently referred to as "Aussies". Nobody is offended by that, of course. Australians often call Englishmen "pommies" and Americans "yanks". Again, nobody gets offended, but there's probably more reason to be offended by those terms than by "pakis".

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1, Insightful)

j235 (734628) | about 4 months ago | (#47763747)

... and Americans "yanks". Again, nobody gets offended, but there's probably more reason to be offended by those terms than by "pakis".

Yes I'm offended by this. I'm an American, but I'm not a Yankee, thank you very much.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

rfengr (910026) | about 4 months ago | (#47763855)

Yeah, considering I was raised in Virginia, I'm offended at Yank too. South gonna rise again!

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47764137)

How long are the losers in the south going to keep saying that.

The south, the original Iraqi Information minister, with as much credibility.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

rfengr (910026) | about 4 months ago | (#47764461)

I don't know, but it's a....joke.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about 4 months ago | (#47764241)

I'm offended by this. I'm an American, but I'm not a Yankee, thank you very much.

OK Reb

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (5, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47763791)

How is "Pakis" offensive? It is clearly an abbreviation of "Pakistanis", and I assume you don't find the full word offensive.

Because, as far as I've ever heard it, it's only ever used as a pejorative term, and definitely not as an endearing shortening of the word.

I have never heard it as anything but derogatory.

It's offensive, because that's how it's used.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 4 months ago | (#47764085)

Different people, different cultures. Maybe it's offensive for some (you) and not for others (australians) ?

It's offensive, because that's how it's used in some parts of the world.

would be a much more appropriate conslusion to your post.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47764157)

Oh, I don't know, how about we ask some Pakistanis how they feel about it instead of Australians?

Just because someone doesn't think their use of the term is offensive, it doesn't mean that it isn't.

The people who use the term about other people are the last people you ask if it is an offensive term.

Like the N-word, if you're not in the group, it's not a term you get to use and say "oh, it's just a word, it's not offensive".

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (0)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | about 4 months ago | (#47764225)

Oh shut the fuck up already.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47764265)

Oh shut the fuck up already.

LOL ... go fuck yourself, asshole.

Oh, wait, was that an offensive term? My bad.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (0)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 4 months ago | (#47764751)

Oh right so now we need to segregate language based on how people react? That's ludicrous and would lead to us not being able to say anything at all.

I saw a comedian today while at a conference. The conference organisers said at the bar tonight that this is the first comedian they've employed in a long time since previously one person wrote a long winded letter that they were deeply offended by the previous one. I asked the comedian what he thought of it and he turned around around and said that he guarantees a percentage of the room thought he was offensive and that there are other people offended by the fact that some people thought that offensive.

You can't please everyone.

Now I live in a country and a culture where we shorten everything. I will call Pakis Pakis, and Kiwis Kiwis. If they want to take offence at it that is entirely their business, and it is entirely their problem as well. If they can't accept language the way it is given (I do not mean to offend by this) then there's really nothing more I can do. An attempt to please everyone is exactly what has resulted in the pussyfooting around political correctness that quite frankly offends me. And I REALLY mean that. I find it offensive that someone thinks I should be restricting what words I can and cannot use.

Do you work for the Chinese government?

(see what I did there? Some people will laugh at the connection between your form of censorship and the government. The government themselves, they'll likely be offended).

Anyway I think you should have a cement pill and harden up.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (3)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47764865)

Oh right so now we need to segregate language based on how people react?

No, you're quite free to continue to be an asshole if it pleases you. I don't give a damn if you do. Just own it if you offend the wrong person.

I don't believe in the right to not be offended. I also don't believe that someone won't respond to you in a way you might not like.

The question was: why is it offensive? You'll note I said nothing at all about censorship.

Do you work for the Chinese government?

Do you still screw your mother?

You seem to think yourself quite clever, I'm sorry to disappoint you.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#47764657)

Because, as far as I've ever heard it, it's only ever used as a pejorative term, and definitely not as an endearing shortening of the word.

Out of curiosity, have you ever heard Pakistan actually mentioned in conversation without it being a negative reference, anyway? The best thing I've ever heard said about the place is that they make cheap knives that will break easily and won't hold an edge. Maybe you've never heard it used any way other than negatively for a reason; maybe every time they were brought up, it was to make a complaint.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47764763)

Out of curiosity, have you ever heard Pakistan actually mentioned in conversation without it being a negative reference, anyway?

Oddly enough, I've known many people from Pakistan over the years.

They're all nice, normal people, with jobs and families and lives. Not a single one has blown themselves up or anything.

Out of curiosity, have you ever heard America referenced in conversation without it being a negative reference? The best thing I've heard is they have lots of guns and shoot one another quite often. Maybe I've never heard it used any way other than negatively for a reason; maybe every time they were brought up, it was to make a complaint.

See what I did there?

not all bad... (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 4 months ago | (#47765103)

They make some decent stainless steel woodworking rasps and other woodworking tools that require some hand-work.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763801)

Yes 'Paki' is short for Pakistani, but 'Paki' is actually a racial slur against Indians and is commonly used in the UK.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm0RqN_1VO8 (NSFW)

It's like calling an Aussie a Kiwi... if their countries were threatening nuclear launches against each other.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763813)

You forgot Abos

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763951)

You forgot Abos

No member of the faculty is to maltreat the "Abos" in any way whatsoever—if there's anyone watching.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 4 months ago | (#47764005)

Because 'Blackies' is such an endearing sweet term for African Americans. I mean colored folk.. oh whatever. It is how the term is used man.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (3, Interesting)

disposable60 (735022) | about 4 months ago | (#47764049)

Pakistan, in at least one of the local languages, translates as Land of the (people called) Paks.
Afghanistan -> Afghans
Turkmenistan -> Turkmen
and so forth.

Paki is a derogation (and a diminutive, besides). Pak would be the proper term, but because of our Latinate collective-nouning habits, it sounds wrong.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47764155)

When you are a hopeless loser you tend to get offended easily.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

quenda (644621) | about 4 months ago | (#47765027)

How is "Pakis" offensive? It is clearly an abbreviation of "Pakistanis",.

Its offensive because they are probably actually Indians. Like calling you a Kiwi. Apparently the pommy bastards ( a term of endearment) don't know the difference.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47765265)

Oh we know the difference, we just don't care enough about it to bother with it.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 4 months ago | (#47763695)

As long as money saved through outsourcing > cost of recall/lawsuits, HP wins.

They win?

Rather screwed-up mentality when and where the end result of faulty hardware is someone's life being taken.

Nothing new. Insurance companies prove it every single day. Life is but a numbers game.

Re: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

Monoman (8745) | about 4 months ago | (#47764083)

Exactly. Even if someone dies it doesn't matter as long as it doesn't hurt the bottom line.

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47763603)

Outsourcing.

Power cables are always outsourced.

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47763777)

Outsourcing and quality control are separate things, unless you are convinced that things can only be built right in your country.

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (2)

idontgno (624372) | about 4 months ago | (#47764891)

Is true. Only great motherland can make correct power wires.

Glory to Arstotzka and its great Patriotic Wire and Cable Harness Factory #4!

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763437)

Too much power! not enough shielding.

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

havana9 (101033) | about 4 months ago | (#47763467)

THe cable manufacturer got a spec, then passed the order to a subcontractor. The subcontractor tried to shave costs buying cheaper cables. Cheaper cable while sold as on spec, actually were made under spec, say with tinned aluminium instead of tinned copper.
The cables pass quality checks, because maybe are lax, and then you have a low quality cable that will work most of the time. Sometimes doesn't work, in other word the last quality inspection is made unknowingly by the buyer...

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763509)

I just read the label on a 90W laptop PSU: It draws less than 2A at 100V mains side. I have thin USB cables which can handle more than 2A. How shitty does a cable have to be to melt from less than 2A?

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (2)

some old guy (674482) | about 4 months ago | (#47763565)

Probably junction resistance (cold solder) or corrosion (shitty base alloy or plating).

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763589)

Mains cable is normally rated for the fuse upstream, to prevent the cable from catching fire during overcurrent. Technically there would be no problems using the USB cable gauge for your laptop power adapter (maybe thicker insulation is needed). I guess here there is a bad connection somewhere that results in a high resistive loss.

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (0)

sjwt (161428) | about 4 months ago | (#47763761)

My guess is induction at the 240/120 into the PSU end.

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

necro81 (917438) | about 4 months ago | (#47763877)

It's likely that there's actually more than 2A going through that cable due to power factor and reactive current. The 2 A on the nameplate is the net current that is drawn by the power supply, but if the power factor is not close to 1.0 (low- to medium-quality switching power supplies have power factor around 0.6), then there could be significant reactive current, well beyond 2 A, flowing through the cable.

USB transfers DC, and so shouldn't have any reactive current.

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47765325)

Nice thinking, but wrong. 1.7A at 100V is 170W. That would be a little much for a 90W PSU. It's certainly not wasting 80W, not even under full load. The effects you describe are the reason why the current is listed, so 1.7A really is the maximum current (power on inrush current aside, probably).

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47763781)

The cables pass quality checks, because maybe are lax

The root problem.

Nothing else you wrote matters if the quality checks are good.

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (4, Informative)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about 4 months ago | (#47763471)

With the limited info I have I would guess either a cheapskate manufacturer that tried to pass the wrong gauge of cable as the correct one or a crappy connection between a plug and the cable.
In both cases the cable can't handle the current in a hot room and that could cause the insulation to melt. Especially when the cable is buried under a stack of nice insulating and flammable paper. Molten insulation doesn't stay in it's place, cables connect, short circuit and with the hot insulation (hot means more easily flammable) a flame is born.

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763529)

Also overheating are Bill and Dave's graves, with all the friction from the spinning.

Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (2)

Cyberdyne (104305) | about 4 months ago | (#47763725)

How do you fuck something like that up?

All too easily it seems; my first MacBook Pro power lead caught fire a few years ago as well. This was the low-voltage (hence high current) end, though: in their quest to make everything thin and light, the cable was thin and flimsy, so one of the braided conductors frayed after a while. More current going down a thinner wire meant more heat - which softened the remaining copper and made the problem worse, until arcing started and I got a micro-firework display on my desk. (One of is successors managed to melt the plastic in the plug, that didn't make me happy either!)

On the mains end, even a hefty (for laptops) 300-odd watt PSU is only 3A from a US outlet, half that on the higher voltages elsewhere - usually easy enough to deal with, but one sloppy connection and you can get a tiny point getting very hot indeed. It's worse on the low voltage end: a single cable possibly carrying 20 or more amps, while getting rolled up, folded and stood on in transit, designed to be very light weight - yet also done on a budget. As soon as you start trying to shave weight and cost, I suspect it's all too easy for a wire to be just slightly too thin for the current, or a connection to be a little bit too weak for long term mobile use.

If you were building a high school or college electronics project and said you planned to run laptop currents and voltages through such thin wires and tiny connectors, you'd probably be told off or marked down - but commercially, thin, light and cheap trump safety margins and robustness.

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763831)

No surprise there, Apple had a recall because the strain relief on the first generation magsafe plugs was insufficient.

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 4 months ago | (#47764177)

No surprise there, Apple had a recall because the strain relief on the first generation magsafe plugs was insufficient.

Oddly, the first generation magsafe plug on my wife's old Macbook (which I've now inherited) is fine after around 4-5 years of use. Conversely the new style one (~2 years old) has already broken due to insufficient strain relief on the computer-end (I chopped open the cable, resoldered it and wrapped the whole thing in amaglam tape... no telling how long it'll last though).

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

rholtzjr (928771) | about 4 months ago | (#47763751)

Made in China. Saving money is the key here, not quality and definitely not safety.

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (2)

dywolf (2673597) | about 4 months ago | (#47763857)

sounds like cutting corners with narrower gage wire and possibly thinner insulation jacket as well.
i don't know the current draw of the devices in question, but if the wire gage is too thin it will get very hot.
another possibilty is the connection point between the wire and the connectors. it also needs to be of sufficient cross section to tranfer the full current load without overheating.

either way the answer is: cutting corners.

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

RobinH (124750) | about 4 months ago | (#47764635)

I had one of those cheap 12V switching power supplies (came with a 3D printer kit actually) and the power cord that came with it was getting very hot. I looked at the cord itself and it had 10A stamped on the plug end. That should have been more than enough current capacity, so something was definitely wrong with the cord. I took an old PC cord out of my junk box and noted that it also said 10A, then cut the PC end off of it and compared the wire gauge between the two. The faulty one's wire was much, much thinner than the one from my junk drawer. I wired it in and voila, the new cord ran cool as a cucumber. I believe the 10A stamped on the plug only referred to the actual 3-prong plug, and not to the wire itself. In the end this is just bad quality control from some knock-off supplier in China, so it's not surprising. I assume this HP mess is a similar problem. Just a bad batch of wires on the market, either because the original manufacturer screwed up in buying the wire, or maybe something more nefarious.

Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 4 months ago | (#47764863)

We get a lot of donated machines where I work and one of the standard desktop power cords actually did burn itself in two. Luckily it didn't cause a fire. Your story about a contractor substituting substandard materials reminds me of a documentary on the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. Turns out one of the contractors was sneaking in substandard steel wires that were woven together for the support cables. I believe that wire is still in there.

Interesting... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 months ago | (#47763443)

It's not just HP that uses the LS-15 style, Acer does too for their laptops. Incoming recall for 4-6 years worth of cables coming from Acer tomorrow then?

Re:Interesting... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47763979)

What LS-15 style? I thought that was just some internal identifier text for HP.

Re:Interesting... (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 4 months ago | (#47764183)

It's not just HP that uses the LS-15 style, Acer does too for their laptops. Incoming recall for 4-6 years worth of cables coming from Acer tomorrow then?

Don't hold your breath - my experience of Acer is that they don't give a damn about their customers once they've got their money

Another nail in the coffin (1)

toygeek (473120) | about 4 months ago | (#47763447)

HP = Horrible Product

Re:Another nail in the coffin (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47763613)

HP = Harry Potter

Re:Another nail in the coffin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763643)

HP = Hairy Pu...

opps sorry wrong site

Re:Another nail in the coffin (2)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 4 months ago | (#47763645)

- Horse Poo
- Honestly Pants
- Hewlett-Pucktard
Buffer[9] = 'F';

whooooo!

Re:Another nail in the coffin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763793)

Obscure self-censorship makes you look like a f%75cktard, fucktard.

Re:Another nail in the coffin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47764111)

It's not self censorhip, it has to start with a P to make sense. "Pucktard" instead of "fucktard" is entirely apt. Unless you somehow thing the company is called Hewlett-Fackard?

What's a PFcktard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47764279)

Hewlett-Pucktard
Buffer[9] = 'F';

whooooo!

So, were you going for Hewlett-PFcktard, or is your array index off by one? Or, do you use one of "those" languages where arrays are indexed starting at 1?

Who is stupid enough to buy HP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763521)

Really, people who buy HP are worse than people who pay for porn. They're a shitty, outsourcing, cost-cutting, printer cartridge filling shell of an engineering company. If you think anything they build is good, legacy products excepted, it's because you're too stupid to see what's wrong with it.

And if you don't know anywhere which can do a better job, cheaper, you're too dull to deserve sufficient resources to allow you to choose a computer.

Re: Who is stupid enough to buy HP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763587)

I have to disagree.

Sure, their cheap products are exactly as you described, but their higher end products are pretty decent. My HP Envy laptop is wonderful and great value for the price.

You get what you pay for, but generally that's true for any company, so no need to single out HP.

Re: Who is stupid enough to buy HP? (1)

EdwardFurlong (3697195) | about 4 months ago | (#47765373)

I have to disagree.

Sure, their cheap products are exactly as you described, but their higher end products are pretty decent. My HP Envy laptop is wonderful and great value for the price.

You get what you pay for, but generally that's true for any company, so no need to single out HP.

I agree, I work with all the major laptop brands, there is much more of a quality range within each brand than there is between brands overall. Each brand has low end crap that is junk. Each has way overpriced expensive laptops that are going for looks over function, or have three folding out touchscreens, which all end up having so many stupid features in the lightest possible setup so they end up breaking.

Re:Who is stupid enough to buy HP? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47763615)

Really, people who buy HP are worse than people who pay for porn. They're a shitty, outsourcing, cost-cutting, printer cartridge filling shell of an engineering company. If you think anything they build is good, legacy products excepted, it's because you're too stupid to see what's wrong with it.

Please tell us what is the good brand then.

Re:Who is stupid enough to buy HP? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763651)

Really, people who buy HP are worse than people who pay for porn. They're a shitty, outsourcing, cost-cutting, printer cartridge filling shell of an engineering company. If you think anything they build is good, legacy products excepted, it's because you're too stupid to see what's wrong with it.

Please tell us what is the good brand then.

X-Art.

Re:Who is stupid enough to buy HP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763889)

+1

Re:Who is stupid enough to buy HP? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47763799)

HP's probook line is OK, other than that:
  * Samsung
  * Asus
  * Lenovo

Re: Who is stupid enough to buy HP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763963)

Lenovo and Dell, as the most Linux friendly brands, rank on top of my list. Even for people who don't run linux, I recommend these brands to reward them for ther support of open source software.

Re:Who is stupid enough to buy HP? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47763807)

Please tell us what is the good brand then.

I'm sure we'd all love to know ... but the quality of the HP consumer products has been in decline for years now.

Their printers used to be absolutely awesome, now I rank them as right around the cheap Kodak printers you buy.

They're simply not a go-to brand any more.

20 failures from 6 million power cords? recall! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763555)

I am actually impressed that 20 failures from 6 million power cords leads to a recall. Seriously, I love the fact that we have building techniques that a failure rate that low is _completely_ unacceptable :)

Humanity really does kick serious arse sometimes.

Re: 20 failures from 6 million power cords? recall (4, Insightful)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47763625)

Do still not forget that 20 is the amount who happened to run into problems and bothered to file a proper complaint. It is a hint that there might be actually thousands of faulty cables.

Re: 20 failures from 6 million power cords? recall (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47763809)

It is a hint that there might be actually thousands of faulty cables.

No, its not, unless you have more info about how representative those 20 are.

Generally the ones who have problems are the "vocal minority": that is, if you have problems, you are more likely to speak up, so if you're only seeing 20 / 13million, it could well indicate that the problem is quite limited.

Re: 20 failures from 6 million power cords? recall (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47763923)

How many users of those power cables have right now them unknowingly slightly warming up somewhere under their desk? How many users just say "darn cable, did I break it already" and just chucked in a new one? How many users have a problem coming up in following months?

Re: 20 failures from 6 million power cords? recall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47764249)

Give the cables were shipped between 2010 and 2012 it would be a damn good coincidence if people are going to have an issue coming up in the following months.

Re: 20 failures from 6 million power cords? recall (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47764333)

Again: Without more information, all of this is wild speculation.

The world needs more facts, not more guessing.

Re: 20 failures from 6 million power cords? recall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763671)

I'm more inclined to think it's financial math [youtube.com] . You can over-engineer a cable to last a thousand years, or make it cheaply enough that the failure rate is 'acceptable'.

Re: 20 failures from 6 million power cords? recall (1)

kiza (80367) | about 4 months ago | (#47763749)

No more details are known. Just that some cables catched fire. Maybe they examined one of the returned ones and found out that they were not manufactured to spec or maybe the contractor reduced safety margins to a point where they become potentially dangerous. I don't think any company wants to be responsible in case someone dies.

Better to collect all the cables before more bad publicity gets generated.

Plus (other comment) most just throw away a cable if it smells funny so actualy numbers are sort of a gray area.

Re: 20 failures from 6 million power cords? recall (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 4 months ago | (#47763873)

the actual number could be much higher, but go undetected because the user isn't drawing enough current to expose the flaw. or maybe the user just says "damn, what a cruddy power cord" and just grabs another out of his collection.

exploitation of cheap labor fruits (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763581)

...poisonous plastics, sub par materials and thus products. i can't blame them really. it's not the workers who really profit from outsourcing all of our production.

Same folks who made my LED flashlight? (0, Offtopic)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about 4 months ago | (#47763637)

A little 8-white-LED key chain flashlight, it's cheap and what a miracle it is. Anyone old enough to remember strapping on 2 lb lantern batteries for a couple of hours' light knows. Really bright, runs cool with and extremely low current draw. All Glory to the Human Race. And Hypnotoad.

1. flickered on the first day when I tapped it against something. Probably shelf life corrosion patina, took out batteries, cleaned them, ok.

2. flickering again. spring on screw end not made of spring steel, weak. stretched out spring.

3. flickering again. top contact in flashlight tube is flat bent strip of copper or brass, no spring behind it. installed tiny ball of foil on top of battery.

4. flickering again. top contact now recessed into soft plastic and contact is unreliable even with foil or spring shim. flashlight goes into drawer.

5. need for tiny always-on light. take hacksaw to cut off aluminum battery tube, to reach and solder wire from 1.5V adapter to top contact. drill small hole to attach screw for wire (cannot solder, too much heat dissipation). Works today. Light always on.

6. flickering again. this time it is failing spring on push button. place small clamp around button squeezing it down tight.

7. flickering again. this time it is two of the eight individual LEDs around the circle going out when tapped. clearly the fabrication method involved little or no solder.

8. at this point 'fixing' this little light would involve rendering it down to part level and rebuilding it. Had enough. I decide to leave the light as it is and change my life instead. I have joined an Amish community.

8. flickering again. this time it is a light murmuring breeze on leaves in a glade of dappled sunlight. tie off branches and sew leaves together with thread.

9. flickering again. this time it is my campfire. A rhinoceros appears and stamps the fire out.

Re:Same folks who made my LED flashlight? (2)

MadKeithV (102058) | about 4 months ago | (#47763657)

9. flickering again. this time it is my campfire. A rhinoceros appears and stamps the fire out.

10. It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

Re:Same folks who made my LED flashlight? (1)

sensei moreh (868829) | about 4 months ago | (#47763787)

10a. Further investigation will reveal more about their nature Those were the days.

What's up with HP URLs? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47763753)

I've been noticing this for several years now ... what the hell is up with URLs at HP?

It's like they've designed their website so nobody could ever actually find anything.

I mean "http://h30434.www3.hp.com/" is one of the most strangely formed URLs I've seen, what is it, the virtual host or something?

Re:What's up with HP URLs? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47764015)

That's a good point actually. :D Their URLs are indeed quite wonky.

Re:What's up with HP URLs? (1)

Nikademus (631739) | about 4 months ago | (#47764201)

I would say, there are probably loadbalancers/web redirectors, which redirect you with to one server which you will contact during that whole session. So your session will be kept on the same server and they don't need to use anycast or sync. Just a guess though...

Re:What's up with HP URLs? (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 4 months ago | (#47764259)

I've been noticing this for several years now ... what the hell is up with URLs at HP?

It's like they've designed their website so nobody could ever actually find anything.

I mean "http://h30434.www3.hp.com/" is one of the most strangely formed URLs I've seen, what is it, the virtual host or something?

I was under the impression that most commercial websites were intentionally designed so no one could actually find anything... At least, that's the only explanation I can find...

Re:What's up with HP URLs? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#47764645)

HP URLs appear to be by-department. Whether this actually represents the structure of HP's web servers or is only a logical arrangement is another question

I use the word "logical" loosely here

US to boost military manhunt capabilities with RFI (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763767)

US to boost military manhunt capabilities with RFID satellites

Published time: May 22, 2013 01:32
Edited time: May 22, 2013 04:26

http://rt.com/usa/advances-mid... [rt.com]

Image: http://img.rt.com/files/news/1... [rt.com]

"A Minotaur 1 rocket, carrying the Operationally Responsive Space 1 (ORS 1) satellite,
lifts off from Wallop Island, Virginia in this undated handout photograph provided June
30, 2011 (REUTERS/Thom Baur/Orbital Sciences/Handout)"

The US military is planning to launch a new, efficient method of sending small satellites into space which will dramatically boost soldiersâ(TM) ability to locate, track and eventually annihilate potential enemies.

The military has spent years quietly developing and implementing radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to track Taliban leaders, suspected terrorists, and other perceived enemies. Tribesmen in the Middle East are paid to âoeplant the electronic devicesâ on the intended targets or the targetsâ(TM) home, according to a 2009 report in The Guardian.

The device can be tracked to within three feet of its location, providing targeting co-ordinates that have become integral in launching drone strikes.

âoeTransmitters make a lot of sense to me,â former CIA case officer Robert Baer told Wired in 2009. âoeIt is simply not possible to train a Pashtun from Waziristan to go to a targeted site, case it, and come back to Peshawar or Islamabad with anything like an accurate report. The best you can hope for it theyâ(TM)re putting the transmitter right on the house.â

The United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) will advance that strategy with the September rocket launch from Wallops, Virginia. Attached to the sides of the rocket will be eight devices that will be dispersed 300 miles above Earth then act as beacons for US intelligence.

Wired noted that each of the eight satellites is roughly the size of a âoewater jug.â

This is not Americaâ(TM)s first foray into using outer space for gaining intelligence. A 2009 test program launched similar location devices to great success, with special operations officials later reporting that the technology was used to help locate Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

But the militaryâ(TM)s reliance on less-than-trustworthy operatives to carry out the most important part of such an expensive mission, locating the original target, has some people very concerned. Recruiting and paying poor people in hostile countries to carry out dangerous tasks could have intended, but serious, consequences.

In a video released in April 2009, 19-year-old Habibur Rehman, reading a script written by the Taliban, who then executed him on film, claimed he was so desperate for money that he took advantage of his US handlers.

âoeI was given $122 to drop chips wrapped in cigarette paper at Al Qaeda and Taliban houses,â Rehman said, before being shot for spying for the US. âoeIf I was successful, I was told, I would be given thousands of dollars.â

A US official told NBC News that the video was nothing more than âoeextremist propaganda,â but it does raise moral questions surrounding drone warfare and targeted killings in the modern era.

âoeI thought this was a very easy job,â Rehman went on. âoeThe money was good so I started throwing chips all over. I knew people were dying because of what I was doing, but I needed the money.â

Tags: Arms, Drones, Gizmos, Information Technology, Middle East, SciTech, Space, Terrorism, USA

animation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763771)

The Cheesy offering like Architectural 3D Flythrough, 3D Flythrough, 3D Bird View, 3D Arial View, 3D Flythrough Service.

Visit Us : http://www.thecheesyanimation.com/3D-Flythrough.html

I thought this was a feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47763869)

I had an HP 17" laptop about 10 years ago. If the unit was plugged into the wall, and I wasn't wearing shoes and the thing was on my lap, my feet would tingle, and not in a good way.

This was unlikely a grounding problem with the mains wiring, as I experienced this at more than one house in different neighborhoods.

I called HP and asked about it. They offered to replace the power supply at the generous price of $149.99 plus shipping. I asked about a guarantee that the replacement would be shock-free and they said they couldn't make any promises, that defects would be warrantied, but what I described was not a defect since the PS did in fact supply power. I declined the offer. Several months later (on the way to an out-of-town job interview no less) the PS died completely and I replaced it with an appropriately-rated off-brand (Belkin?) PS from a big-box store. That replacement didn't shock me, but it buzzed very very loudly.

I suspect that there was something wrong with the internal power system that was causing too much power to be drawn from the PS. Both the laptop and the external brick were always hot enough to cause pain when held for more than a few seconds. Denim pants were required to use the laptop on my actual lap.

When buying my next laptop, I looked for something with a different feature set.

This is a marketing opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47764101)

They can claim they are selling Firewire.

Compaq? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47764287)

Snorted when i saw this post, couple months ago my sisters Compaq laptop power brick randomly caught fire and melted (It was unplugged and very lightly used), Did a quick Google search and found HP owns Compaq, Think this covers that?

As I read this I'm typing on a 2011 HP laptop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47764403)

I actually am. I wish I could see if my power cord had an LS-15 mark on it, but it's kinda melted. Oh well. I'm sure it's fine...

HPSupport transferred me to a car dealership in NY (4, Funny)

coastal984 (847795) | about 4 months ago | (#47764703)

I really wish I was making this up - I called asking about bulk replacement for my organization, and the email address they gave me was not working. So tier 1 said they would "transfer me to the team in charge of the recall." Well, I was connected with Scott, the service manager of a Chevrolet Dealership in upstate New York. Besides a good laugh, he obviously wasn't able to help me very much. *sigh*

So if I did the math correctly (1)

mythix (2589549) | about 4 months ago | (#47764785)

These are 6 million ways to die?

shipping (1)

vipw (228) | about 4 months ago | (#47764833)

From cpsc.gov:

Customers should immediately stop using and unplug the recalled power cords and contact Hewlett-Packard to order a free replacement. Consumers can continue to use the computer on battery power.

I must say that I am very impressed by the fast shipping!

orly? (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 4 months ago | (#47764955)

HP products melt and catch fire ALL THE TIME. How is this news? At my repair shop we have an average of 1 HP every 6 months light on fire.

29 cords out of 6 million (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 4 months ago | (#47764987)

Seems a tad hysterical.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?