Ever Knocked Down the Wrong House Thanks to Google Maps?

We’ve all used Google maps and then had to guess the last few metres as the marker shows us the wrong location. It’s always a pain but, at least, it wasn’t responsible for knocking down your house. That’s correct, the wrong house was demolished thanks to the google maps marker showing the incorrect house. Whoops.

The address in question is 7601 Calypso Dr., which Google Maps also lists as 7601 Cousteau Dr. only the truth is that the second address is actually a block away. Cousteau Dr. was the address that should have been demolished after it was damaged by a tornado only things didn’t go exactly to plan.

The original Google Maps incorrectly pointing to the wrong address

Lindsey Diaz is the owner of one of the houses (the torn down building was, in fact, a duplex owned by two people) on Calypso Drive that was “mistakenly” taken down, with an employee for Billy L. Nabors Demolition going so far as to send her a screenshot of what Google Maps displays. No apology has been issued yet with the company “investigating” the situation, a mistake they rectified when they went to the next block and tore down the correct house.

The duplex that was torn down was in fact still structurally sound and the owners of the property had filed paperwork to start repairs on the property. I guess that whole in the ceiling can now wait as they wait to see how much support they get in rebuilding their homes. It should be noted that Google now shows the correct location for the building, sadly just a little too late to help the demolition team.

CRYORIG Releases Official Statement Regarding Skylake PCB Concerns

Intel’s Skylake architecture is built on the 14nm manufacturing process and utilizes a thinner structure compared to previous generations which can make the chip flex under high pressure air coolers. When we originally covered this story,  there was some confusion about what high pressure actually refers to. Any flex or damage to Skylake CPUs is caused by hefty mounting hardware which pushes down onto the CPU with high pressure. It does not refer to liquid cooling with a high pressure pump. Nevertheless, this is a worrying development and seems to occur when a system is transported with the CPU cooler attached. As you might expect, manufacturers including Noctua, Rajintek, be quiet and more all conform to Intel’s recommendations. The latest company to clarify their position is CRYORIG, who sent a fairly length statement explaining the root cause and preventative measures they take:

“We at CRYORIG have the following information and statement to make, regarding the recent news and discussion regarding damaged PCB’s on Skylake CPU’s, which many in the industry believe is caused by abnormal heatsink mounting pressure during transportation of the PC system. First of all we want to assure users of CRYORIG products that currently no CRYORIG heatsinks have displayed this problem, either through media reports, third party sales channels or internal testing. CRYORIG heatsinks are fully compatible with socket 1151 processors, and follow specifications set forth by CPU manufacturers. But as a note of precaution we suggest users to lay their PC system flat (with the heatsink in a vertical position) whenever they are transporting their PC system.

Based on the information and testing reports we currently have at hand, although CRYORIG’s own products did not show this problem, we have derived the following suggestions and insight into the Skylake PCB damage problem. From our observation the cause of the bent/damaged PCB is caused by the combination of two factors.

A) High mounting pressure from the CPU heatsink mounting system, with no flexibility in the system.
B) Increased directional force created by the weight of the heatsink and movement of the PC chassis.

In the cases that have been reported by media, it holds true that these issues have only been observed in “Pre-Built” systems. These systems have the heatsink installed before shipping, which are subjective to both point A+B. Thus if a heatsink already has high mounting pressure with no system of flexibility, heavy weight and is tossed around during shipping, then the force of the heatsink is possible to bend at the softest point. In this case the softest point is the Skylake PCB.

What makes CRYORIG heatsinks safe?

In our own product line we have two different mounting systems. First is the MultiSeg on our heavier products, then there is the X-Bar and MultiSeg Light. The MultiSeg Quick Mount System uses a sturdy Medium Carbon Steel backplate. We chose the Medium Carbon Steel for it’s high tensile strength, which protects the mainboard from bending when using heavier heatsinks like the R1 or H5. In combination with a highly rigid backplate, the spring screw system is what provides the downwards-clamping mounting force. This combination of a tough frame and a relatively softer point of flexibility is the key to why CRYORIG products are not seen damaging the CPU PCB. When extra vector/directional force is exhibited on the heatsink (such as during transport), the softest point in the system always gives. In this case the spring screws will deform to absorb the extra external force, much like a suspension system.

In our lighter products, the X-Bar and MultiSeg Light mounting systems omit the rigid steel backplate for a 30% Fiber Glass PBT. The lighter weight of our H7/M9 and C7 heatsinks creates less stress on the mainboard, which is why the steel backplate is not needed. Also, using a Fiber Glass filled PBT has multiple benefits.

Material Modulus of Elasticity (The Higher the more Rigid)

  • 30% Fiber Glass PBT 15.0 GPa Max
  • Medium Carbon Steel 213.0 GPa Max

The Modulus of Elasticity for 30% Fiber Glass PBT is 15.0 GPa, while Medium Carbon Steel is 213 GPa. The combination of structural support and elasticity, allows these backplate system to still have a point of flexibility when extra force is exerted. The lighter weight of the product itself also makes it safer when directional force is exhibited.

In all, although caution should always be exhibited when transporting delicate electronics, we want our consumers to feel safe about their CRYORIG product. Our finely tuned mounting kits are safe to use. Moreover, stationary PC’s do not have anything to worry about either.”

This is a very detailed and reassuring statement which helps to understand how the flexing process can occur. According to the research so far, all failures have occurred during transportation. As a result, it is recommend to remove the CPU cooler, or lay the system flat when moving the system.

Report Suggests High Pressure CPU Coolers Can Damage Skylake Processors

Intel’s latest architecture requires a new LGA 1151 socket and features an enhanced pin count. Additionally, the CPUs are built on a 14nm manufacturing process. Some of you might remember that Skylake retail samples do not ship with a stock heatsink which raised concerns about temperatures. Thankfully, Skylake is very efficient with improved thermal dissipation. Here we can see the difference in size between Intel’s official Skylake heatsink and the previous generation.

However, according to PCGamesHardware.de, CPU coolers exhibiting high pressure mounts could damage the 1151 socket and Skylake CPUs. One theory suggests this is due to Skylake’s reduced thickness which makes the CPU flex under pressure due to a lack of mechanical stability. Therefore, any cooler which adopts a hefty clamping force is capable of pushing the CPU into the socket and damaging both the motherboard and CPU pins.

This is clearly a very worrying turn of events, and PCGamesHardware contacted a number of cooler manufacturers to see clarification. Here’s is a complete rundown of the replies:

Scythe:

“The company Scythe EU GmbH announces that on several coolers from its portfolio, a change of the mounting system for Skylake / plinth is made ​​1151stAll coolers are in fact generally compatible with Skylake sockets, but it can in some cases result in damage to CPU and motherboard when the PC is exposed to stronger shocks (eg shipping or relocation). To prevent this, the pressure was reduced by an adjustment of the screw set. We will send the new set of screws you also like to charge. Please send your request via email tosupport@scythe.com or use the contact form on our website(http://www.scythe-eu.com/support/technische-anfragen.html).”

Noctua:

“Our SecuFirm2 mounting systems are subjected to prior to the release of new platforms an extensive compatibility testing. It could be determined with reference to the Intel LGA1151 platform (“Skylake”) no problems. Also on the part of our customers and our specialist resellers and system integration partners we have no reports of any problems. Our SecuFirm2 mounting systems access (with the exception of some more compact models of the L-series) for generating the necessary contact pressure on coil springs back, which allow a certain degree of flexibility both in terms of tolerances in the height as well as the case of vibrations or other forces. Compared with conventional spring-less installation systems where pressure is produced exclusively by the deformation of the mounting brackets, so can reduce the mechanical load on the CPU, and motherboard socket and any damage can be prevented by excessive force.”

EKWB:

“All EK Water Blocks EK-Supremacy Series CPU Water Blocks – Including the latest -MX and -EVO variants – are fully Complying with Intel Socket imposed H3 (LGA-1151) Mechanical force limitation. The clamping force, created by our PreciseMount spring loaded mounting mechanism, is well within the allowed mechanical limitations. The design of PreciseMount itself Prevents over-tightening and damage to mechnical Possible Either socket or the CPU packaging.

Older generation of (physically) compatible LGA-1151 Water Blocks with classic, undefined clamping ForceType mouting mechanism such as Supreme LTX – requires special attention When attaching the water block. As a result the use of search Waterblocks is not recommended with the LGA-1151 socket CPUs.”

Today, we received a statement from ARCTIC about their CPU cooler range and the effect it has on Skylake CPUs and 1151 motherboards:

ARCTIC:

“With this official statement we would like to assure that ARCTIC coolers are not affected by these problems and thus fully Skylake compatible. All ARCTIC CPU Coolers complies concerning the released sockets with the mechanical specification from Intel. With our coolers there are no problems on Intel CPUs of the 6th generation (Skylake) for LGA 1151. Depending on the parcel service drop heights of over 2 m can not be excluded. Therefore we recommend regardless of the CPU used to carefully evaluate the dispatch and the packaging used and to possibly mount larger and heavier CPU coolers by the end user.”

While this is far from ideal and illustrates a major flaw in Intel’s production, cooler manufacturers should be able to complete thorough testing and judge the probability of damage occurring. Thankfully, many have released statements pretty quickly, and it remains to be seen how much force is actually needed to cause damage. Currently, it seems like the issue is only effecting coolers with a very heavy mount point. As a result, there’s no need to panic but this is something which needs clarification from Intel and further research.

Do you use a hefty air cooler or water cooling setup?

LG’s Executive Might Not Be Allowed to Fly to CES

You might remember the incident around the time of IFA 2014 where several LG employees were accused of purposely damaging competitions washing machines in Berlin’s retail stores, one of them Jo Seong-jun, the head of LG’s Home Appliance and Air Solution Company. What sounded like something out of the schoolyard at first and also seemed settled after the people involved agreed to pay for the damage, might now come back to bite LG in the rear.

Samsung, whose machines were damaged, didn’t think that this was funny and reported it to the South Korean authorities who now apparently banned the executing from traveling to CES in a couple of days. LG is still denying all claims that it was done on purpose and is trying to get the flight ban lifted for the Consumer Electronics Show. On the other hand, Samsung maintains that the flight block indicates the severity of the incident.

Thanks to CNET for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Engadget

Corning Announces Gorilla Glass 4

Corning has announced its next ‘version’ of Gorilla Glass that supposedly “survives up to 80 percent of the time”.

The new glass is touted to be 2 times stronger than any other competing glass product, and has been designed with intention of saving your screen from a big drop. They say it uses their “proprietary fusion draw process” to keep the glass thin, while ensuring its strength.

Gorilla Glass is undoubtedly the most popular type of strengthened glass used on our smart devices, they say that “over 40 manufacturers have designed Gorilla Glass into a total of 1,395 product models”.

Those manufacturers include Apple, who is notable for recently making attempts to move away from the product to sapphire. Its believed that project fell apart after its sapphire supplier, GT Advanced, failed to produce enough of the material to be usable in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Source: PC World

LG Executives Accused of Damaging Samsung Washing Machines

In what sounds like a very bizarre story, Samsung has accused several LG Electronics employees, one of them a senior executive, of deliberately sabotaging and damaging washing machines in German retail stores. According to Samsung, the vandalism took place earlier this month, ahead of the major electronics trade fair, IFA 2014, in Berlin.

“It is very unfortunate that Samsung had to request that a high-ranking executive be investigated by the nation’s legal authorities, but this was inevitable, as we concluded that we had to get to the bottom of this incident,” Samsung said.

LG of course denies all accusation of deliberate sabotage and said the damage happened due to weak hinges. While the employees were checking out the competition models in a retail store, the hinges simply broke. After the German police were involved to mediate, LG announced that its employees were going to pay for the four damaged washing machines, though they only agreed responsibility to the damage on two of them.

“If our company had an intention to destroy products of a certain company to tarnish the image of the product, it would be common sense to not have our executives directly carry out such acts,” LG said in a statement. “We hope that this is not an attempt to damage our reputation.”

This is far from the first dispute between the two companies who compete against each other in most fields where electronics are involved, and it’s doubtful it will be the last. LG claim to be the world’s largest manufacturer of washing machines with Samsung coming in second.

Thank you The Telegraph for proving us with this information

Image courtesy of Samsung

HP Recalls over 6 Million AC Power Cords

Hewlett-Packard is recalling about 6 million notebook and laptop AC power because of possible overheating, which again can pose a burn and fire risk. HP has received 29 reports of power cords overheating and melting or charring, resulting in two claims of minor burns and 13 claims of minor property damage.

The Hewlett-Packard LS-15 AC power cords were distributed with HP and Compaq notebook and mini notebook computers as well as AC adapter-powered accessories including docking stations. The power cords are black and have an “LS-15” molded on the AC adapter end of the cord and were manufactured in China.

The notebook and mini-notebook computers and accessories were sold with the AC power cords at computer and electronics stores, authorized dealers and online at www.hp.com from September 2010 to June 2012. Consumers are advised to immediately stop using and unplug the recalled power cords and contact Hewlett-Packard to order a free replacement. There is no risk in continuing to use any other parts.

Hewlett-Packard can be reached by phone during business hours or online at www.hp.com and then click “Recalls” at the bottom of the page.

Thank you laptopmag for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of HP.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 Turns Out To Be Far From Repair & Upgrade Friendly

 

iFixit, a site dedicated to tearing mobiles, tablets, notebooks and other bits of hardware to bits in order to provide users with repair guides has wasted no time in getting their hands on the latest Surface Pro 3 from Microsoft. During the teardown, or breakdown as the case may be, it has been discovered that under the shiny surface, Microsoft have not really taken repair and upgrading into account as part of the build process.

During the tear-down, iFixit stumbled across a number of issues including ultra-strong adhesives that hold the tablet together in a unarguably over-the-top fashion, along with a screen that cracks as soon as you try to pry it up from the main body and finally a battery that deforms like hell as you try to pry it away from its footings which includes more super-strong adhesive. Now considering Microsoft have built the Surface Pro 3 to be rugged, the strong adhesive in-between the ultra-thin components is understandable, but what this means for the end users is that if they want to upgrade or have parts of their tablet replaced, there is a strong chance that the cost of replacing the battery in a few years time will also incur the cost of a new display. That said though, if you do manage to get everything apart without breaking anything (a point at which you must celebrate your achievement) there is the option to upgrade the mSATA SSD, but let’s be honest, the chance of this involving just the cost of an SSD is unlikely so personally I wouldn’t even bother considering it if I owned one myself.

Topping off the fragile built are a numerous connectors that don’t follow any market trends, but these are a minor thing aside the mass of different adhesives which Microsoft have poured into the chassis. As iFixit clearly described in their tear-down, this tablet is very much like the previous models of the Surface Pro so even though it is a powerful bit of kit, it is certainly not for anyone who wants to get their fingers inside its outer skin.

Source & images courtesy: iFixit

Sony Reporting That The ‘Blue Light of Death’ Affects Less Than 1% of PS4’s

Just a little while ago I was talking about how Microsoft’s latest console – the Xbox One was not going to offer more than 2ch audio through its optical output and how this may put some people off buying the latest console for the moment. There is however news starting to crop us that there is more worrying prospects for the owners of Sony’s latest offering – the PS4. Even though the PS4 is not going on sale in the UK and the rest of Europe for another week – till the 29th of November, the US has had the rival to the Xbox One on sale for over a week already.

Since its launch last week, there have been posts and threads popping up on the internet from a significant number of owners as they show their frustration over what is know being referred to as the ‘Blue Light of Death’. Whilst the cause of the blue light is not exactly know yet, the reason for the problems appears to be down to damage made to the units during the shipping process. A spokesman from Sony has made a statement saying that there doesn’t appear to be a singular problem across all those consoles that are affected and customers are reporting problems such as failure to turn on, a pulsing blue light or more worryingly a console that is totally bricked.

One unlucky user has posted a video on YouTube showing their console as it came out of the box with a pulsing blue light and nothing appearing on-screen. Other users have taken to Amazon’s US site where over 800 one-star reviews have been left on the product page for the PS4 stating that consoles are not working in one way or another.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/_CG3Wso7UpE[/youtube]

Even though this problem is only said to be affecting less than 1% of users, with the UK launch just a matter of days away now, there is a strong possibility that some people may be thinking twice about going for the cheaper rival to the Xbox One. With troubleshooting in mind, a thread has cropped up on the Playstation forums for users to run through if their consoles appear to not be working properly.

If you’re looking to buy or awaiting for your order of the new PS4 to be ready, what are your views on this matter? Has it affected your choice of console? Let us know.

Source and Image courtesy of Nerdacy & CNET