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Samsung urges Galaxy Note 7 phone exchange urgently

Posted on 15 September 2016 by admin

Samsung has urged owners of its Galaxy Note 7 phones to stop using or exchange the devices as they risk exploding.

Samsung recalled 2.5 million phones last week after reports emerged of the device exploding during or after charging.

And airline passengers were warned by US authorities not to switch on or charge the phones while on board.

The South Korean company said it would replace all devices that were handed in from 19 September.

A statement by Samsung, the world’s biggest mobile phone maker, said “our customers’ safety is an absolute priority”.

“Until a replacement device is provided, Samsung asks all customers with a Galaxy Note 7 smartphone to power down your device and return it to its place of purchase at your earliest opportunity,” the statement added.

Earlier on Saturday, aviation authorities in the United Arab Emirates banned use of the devices on the Emirates and Etihad airlines.

What makes lithium batteries catch fire? Similar bans had already been put in place by Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Virgin Australia.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also advised against packing the phones into any checked-in luggage.

Samsung recalled the phone last week after reports emerged of the device exploding during or after charging.

US TV channel Fox 10 reported claims that a faulty Galaxy Note 7 had set fire to a family’s Jeep.

Samsung has said that battery problems were behind the phones catching fire, but that it was difficult to work out which phones were affected among those sold.

The phone was launched last month and has been otherwise generally well-received by consumers and critics.

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Pokémon Go’s reality is virtual, the consequences not

Posted on 14 July 2016 by admin

When Pokémon Go officially arrives in Canada, we will all see the future and find it hard to remember a time when fellow citizens were not hunting for imaginary creatures in public places.

You think the streets are teeming with distracted texters right now?

Just wait until people are also chasing cartoon characters only they can see.

There are cultural crazes and then there is the next-level hysteria that is Pokémon Go. In less than a week after it was released for iOS and Android devices in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, the mobile game is generating more news than the Kardashians, Rio, Ghostbusters, the UFC and Mr. Trump combined.

Even in countries like Canada, where the official release date is basically set at “any day now,” an early wave of Pokémania is storming towns and cities. Enthusiasts are finding ways to get around the current geo-restrictions and downloading the game. Then they are flocking to landmarks in search of elusive Pokémon.

On Monday night in Toronto, according to Reddit discussion threads, there were two planned Pokémon Go meet-ups, one at the CN Tower and another at Yonge-Dundas Square. Across the country, Canadians are trading tips and building new communities as a wave of ’90s-era nostalgia runs headfirst into augmented reality and people ditch their game consoles for the great outdoors.

Nintendo, which partnered with Niantic Labs and The Pokémon Company, is even riding Pokémon Go into territory it nearly forfeited: the business pages. When the Tokyo Stock Exchange closed on Monday, Nintendo’s share price had surged by 25 per cent. In three days of trading, the free app added $9 billion to the company’s market value. It’s like watching Pikachu turn rubber nickels into gold bullion.

But leaving aside the money and stratospheric popularity — there are reports Pokémon Go already has more Android users than Tinder and Twitter — what we have here is the first real glimpse of augmented reality as a mass phenomenon.

And if nothing else, we should at least consider the implications.

Pokémon Go uses GPS and the cameras on smartphones to blur the line between what is real and what is simulated. Pokémon are superimposed on the real world through your phone screen. They can appear anywhere. Or as the good people at Niantic explained: “We’re excited that Pokémon fans and gamers can now start exploring their very own neighbourhoods and cities to capture Pokémon using the Pokémon GO app. Players can discover and catch more than 100 Pokémon from the original Red and Blue games, take Pokémon into battle against other Pokémon at Gyms, uncover items including a variety of types of Poké Balls and eggs at PokéStops, hatch and train new Pokémon, and more.”

To the uninitiated, this might sound a bit PokéCrazy.

Especially when you realize the “and more” includes the possibility of armed robbery, stumbling upon dead bodies, walking into traffic, bumping into lampposts, falling down holes, meandering in concentric circles or loitering in public places for so long someone eventually calls 911 in a panic.

On Monday, CNN did a great job itemizing recent Pokémon snafus.

Dateline Wyoming: a 19-year-old wanders out looking for Pokémon along the banks of the Big Wind River on Friday and instead discovers a human corpse.

Dateline Massachusetts: a private home is accidentally listed as a Pokémon Gym and is overrun on the weekend by people wanting to “train their fictional characters.”

Dateline Missouri: police arrest four teens on Sunday morning and accuse them of robbery by using the game’s geolocation feature to “anticipate the location and level of seclusion of unwitting victims.”

Dateline Australia: after dozens stroll into the Darwin Police Station with their retinas glued to their phones, authorities issue a plea: “For those budding Pokemon Trainers out there using Pokemon Go — whilst the Darwin Police Station may feature as a Pokestop, please be advised that you don’t actually have to step inside in order to gain the pokeballs. It’s also a good idea to look up, away from your phone and both ways before crossing the street. That Sandshrew isn’t going anywhere fast.”

Does all of this amount to early hiccups as augmented reality — this blending of what’s really there and the illusion of what’s layered in via technology — finally blows up real big? And what might happen when the game rolls out in more countries this month and millions more rush out to capture Pokémon? What happens when every corner of Toronto — from the Distillery District to the CNE — is crawling with players staring at their phones in a state of oblivious concentration?

The upside is simple: this is a video game built upon the idea of real-life exploration. Getting people out and about, getting them active by flinging them off their couches and into their communities, all of this should be encouraged.

Now we just need to make sure nobody gets hurt as the second Pokémon craze in two decades takes cultural flight this summer.

“We encourage all people playing Pokémon GO to be aware of their surroundings and to play with friends when going to new or unfamiliar places,” said Niantic in a statement. “Please remember to be safe and alert at all times.”

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