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06
Dec

Is Samsung S4 Catching Fire?

Written by Mike Roberts. Posted in Computers

Since its release this spring, approximately 20 million units of Samsung’s new phone have been sold. With so many users, it’s normal that some develop faults. However, the company’s extensive testing ensures that the device poses no threat. Recently, Richard Wygand (Ghostlyrich) reported that he woke up next to his device which had caught fire.

Such incidents are few and occur when a charger or battery are bought on the black market and do not pass the manufacturer’s tests. Even Apple users reported problems with the devices. Apparently, a woman in China was electrocuted when using a third-party iPhone charger. Unlike Samsung, Apple did not choose to pursue means of silencing displeased customers, but instead offered to replace any third-party USB power adapter with an Apple adapter for only $10. The company stated stat customer safety is a top priority and that is why they are offering a takeback program.

Samsung adopted another strategy and moved to suppress YouTube evidence that the Samsung S4 can catch fire. Richard Wygand posted two videos on YouTube that received thousands of views. In the videos, Wygand states that Samsung demanded proof that the new S4 was defective before they replace it, but they didn’t expect him to share the evidence with the world. In the video, he shows a few close-ups of the melted charging port and expresses his concern about the battery that is very close to the charred area. If the battery bad exploded, a much worse fire could have resulted.

After posting the video, Richard Wygand received a settlement proposal from the company and the promise of a new phone. However, there were several conditions. Wygand claims that the Samsung asked him to delete the video and not to upload any similar materials, thus waiving his right to bring a legal complaint. But they never anticipated that Ghostlyrich would post a second video, showing his subscribers the action taken to hide a safety concern. The second video has almost half a million views, viewers who now know that Samsung won’t provide the services enumerated in the warranty certificate unless you sign some more documents.

Lately, more stories about Samsung S4 phones catching fires have emerged. Another Samsung Galaxy S4 owner has reported on Reddit that his 9 month old S4 caught fire after he left it in the charger and that it was covered in some we substance caused by the leaking battery. Another S4 owner, Manolo Rodriguez claims that his S4 started burning in his pocket and then exploded, causing burns on his lips, fingers and chest. Rodriguez filed a lawsuit against Samsung, hoping that something will change. He told that the company needs to recall the S4 for further testing to discover what is causing this problem.

04
Dec

Hyperloop Dream May Become a Reality

Written by Mike Roberts. Posted in Computers

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop concept might become a reality in 2015. A prototype is planned to be released in as little as 18 months, but some are skeptical about this project. A new company, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc emerged from the shadows, led by Marco Villa from SpaceX and executive Patricia Galloway. The company is seeking funding on JumpStartFund, where it published the timeline for the Hyperloop prototype.

Hyperloop is a project you’d expect from an “Iron Man” comic that sounds too good to be true. The former director of mission operations at SpaceX joined the team who will transform Hyperloop into reality. Since August, a handful of talented individuals led by him received permission from Musk to start working on the project. Patricia Galloway is joining Villa on the mission to transform the high-speed travel train into reality. Even if the rail line will take longer, Villa stated that he is optimistic regarding any technical issues and that the team will solve any problem that comes along.

Entrepreneur Elon Musk believes the Hyperloop will be able to transport passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in only 35 minutes due to its giant vacuum tubes and air-bearing suspension system. The project is divided into four sections, named System, Capsule, Tube and Manufacturing and testing. The subsonic air travel machine will provide a shorter travelling time than commercial airplanes. If the technology can be developed at the costs Musk estimated, $6 billion, it will make travel cheaper than with any other mode of transportation.

The Hyperloop system is designed to use a partial vacuum that reduces aerodynamic drag and allows high speed travel on low power. Musk wants the machine to rely only on solar energy. The Hyperloop transportation system will be twice as fast as the fastest train in the world, zipping at almost 700 mph. The  Maglev Train in Shangai has a top speed of 311 mph and an operating speed of 268 mph, making the same trip in one hour and 20 minutes. However, Musk believes that bullet trains are too expensive. Innovations like these can completely change our lives and the way the world moves, so even if they won’t occur too soon, it’s good to know about them and be mentally prepared. More on systems like the Hyperloop you can find on websites like http://www.ageofinnovation.org, which also bring you reviews for gadgets, apps and other mobile news.

Even if Hyperloop transportation could be another nail in the coffin of rural America, many are thrilled by the prospect of a Jetsonian transportation machine. However, the timeline set for the development of a prototype is short, and either the Hyperloop will be limited or the person who established this timeline is wrong. Let’s hope that Villa and Galloway already have millions in funding and some handshake agreements to build the prototype at rare facilities that can accommodate such vehicle.