Pegatron workers say they were ignored after iPad plant explosion

By on March 12, 2012 at 5:00 PM.

Pegatron workers say they were ignored after iPad plant explosion

A report on Monday from NPR has provided new insights into an explosion that injured 59 workers in an iPad plant last December. The incident occurred at a plant run by Pegatron subsidiary Riteng Computer Accessory Company, which manufactures back panel parts for Apple’s iPad tablet, among other products. Last week, NPR met with 25 workers who were hospitalized from the blast, all of whom criticized the plant’s safety and said Apple had inspected it just hours before the explosion. “I saw a fireball coming towards me,” said He Wenwen, an employee who was calibrating his aluminum polishing machine when the explosion hit. “I lost consciousness for a few seconds. Later, when I opened my eyes, I saw dense smoke and fire everywhere. I felt scared, really scared. I could hear people crying and screaming.” Read on for more. More →

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Apple CEO: ‘We care about every worker in our supply chain’

By on January 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM.

Apple CEO: ‘We care about every worker in our supply chain’

The New York Times recently published an article discussing the unsafe working conditions in the factories Apple employs to build its products. It’s no secret that several factories belonging to Apple’s ODM partners have harsh working conditions; there are rumors of anti-suicide pledges that Foxconn workers have to sign, and safety is obviously a concern following multiple preventable explosions at Foxconn plants. While much has reportedly been done to improve working conditions at these plants, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently assured his employees that the Cupertino-based company does care about the workers in each of those factories. Read on for more. More →

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Report: cell phones, portable electronics causing interference on flights

By on June 10, 2011 at 2:17 PM.

Report: cell phones, portable electronics causing interference on flights

A new study obtained by ABC News suggests that cell phones and other personal electronic devices might be causing electronic interference on airplanes. U.S. airlines all require that passengers power off any and all electronic devices, many claiming that “flight mode,” isn’t even allowed. Of course, if you’re like us, you may ignore those warnings and leave your phone on until the last possible second (or entirely with flight mode activated). The report, however, found that there were 75 different incidents between 2003 and 2009 where interference from personal electronics was possible. From ABC News:

Twenty-six of the incidents in the report affected the flight controls, including the autopilot, autothrust and landing gear. Seventeen affected navigation systems, while 15 affected communication systems. Thirteen of the incidents produced electronic warnings, including “engine indications.” The type of personal device most often suspected in the incidents were cell phones, linked to four out of ten.

During one flight, for example, autopilot disengaged at 4,500 feet. When pilots asked flight attendants to search the cabin for electronic devices, they discovered that one phone and three iPods were being used. After those devices were powered down, the flight continued without any incident. ABC News’ aviation expert, John Nance, isn’t convinced the electronics are to blame, however. “If an airplane is properly hardened, in terms of the sheathing of the electronics, there’s no way interference can occur,” he said. For reference, there are over 35,000 flights daily in the United States. More →

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Jabra recommends Bluetooth headsets in lieu of brain tumors

By on June 9, 2011 at 6:30 PM.

Jabra recommends Bluetooth headsets in lieu of brain tumors

Following the World Health Organization’s revelation last week that cell phones are “possibly carcinogenic to humans based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer associated with wireless phone use,” Jabra has issued an easy fix: instead of putting a cell phone to your ear and possibly getting a brain tumor, use one of its Bluetooth headsets. Jabra says its headsets emit 800 times less radiation than cell phones — just 0.0025 watts max output compared to 2 watts max from cell phones. In a Jabra-sponsored survey, 61% said cell phone radiation only concerned them “a little bit” or “to some extent” and 25% said they were not at all concerned. But when informed that using a Bluetooth headset has been scientifically proven to drastically reduce exposure to radiation, more than half of the respondents said they would use a hands-free device. Hit the break for Jabra’s press release. More →

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FCC launches PLAN emergency alert service for mobile devices

By on May 13, 2011 at 2:05 PM.

FCC launches PLAN emergency alert service for mobile devices

The city of New York has teamed up with the FCC and wireless carriers to unveil a new emergency alert system called PLAN. PLAN can notify mobile users in a specific geographic location of a hazardous or potentially life threatening situations. The new system was announced a few days ago at an event at the still-under-construction World Trade Center site, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg commented:

One of the many lessons that were reinforced on 9/11 is the importance of getting clear and accurate information to the public–that’s why we’ve made improving our emergency public communications a top priority. As part of this effort, we’re harnessing tech in innovative new ways, which is something I found to be effective in both business and government for improving service delivery.

The system taps into the existing Emergency Alert System that notifies the public of an emergency by radio or TV, though PLAN (Personalized Localized Alerting Network), takes emergency alerts into the modern age with a pretty smart system. With a compatible phone, your mobile device will be able to receive an emergency alert based on your geographical location. For instance, if there was an alert about an imminent threat to public safety for New Jersey (nobody likes New Jersey) and you were not in New Jersey at the time, you would not get the alert. PLAN consists of three alerts: those issues by the President, alerts warning of imminent threats, and Amber Alerts. The last two can be blocked by an individual but not an alert from the President. The system will be available in New York and Washington, D.C. by the end of the year, and will roll out nationally by April of 2012. More →

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Watch worker climb over 1,700 feet to fix a broadcast TV tower, no safety harness

By on September 23, 2010 at 12:04 PM.

Watch worker climb over 1,700 feet to fix a broadcast TV tower, no safety harness

What’s taller than the Sears tower and lets you watch ESPN, MTV, and CNBC? A 1,700 foot tall broadcast antenna of course. What happens when something needs to be fixed, though? Not only does someone have to climb the tower, but because of some incomprehensible reason — it would slow the worker down — no safety devices are used. Check out this unbelievable video — we had a couple panic attacks just watching it. More →

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