HP Expands Recall of Notebook Computer Batteries Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.Name of Product: Lithium-Ion batteries used in Hewlett-Packard and Compaq notebook computersUnits: About 54,000 70,000 units were previously recalled in May 2009Importer: Hewlett-Packard Co., of Palo Alto, Calif.Hazard: The recalled lithium-ion batteries can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.Incidents/Injuries: Since the May 2009 recall, HP has received 38 additional reports of batteries that overheated and ruptured resulting in 11 instances of minor personal injury and 31 instances of minor property damage.Description: The recalled lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are used with various model series of HP and Compaq notebook computers. The chart below includes all notebook model numbers associated with batteries recalled to date. The computer model number is located at the top of the service label on the bottom of the notebook computer. Not all batteries matching the bar codes are being recalled.

via HP Expands Recall of Notebook Computer Batteries Due to Fire Hazard.


Legal experts: LimeWire likely doomed | Media Maverick – CNET News

A federal court judge has likely dealt a death blow to LimeWire, one of the most popular and oldest file-sharing systems, according to legal experts.

Mark Gorton, LimeWire’s founder, could see a federal court decision force his company to shut down operations possibly very soon.

On Wednesday, CNET broke the news that U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood granted summary judgment in favor of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which filed a copyright lawsuit against LimeWire in 2006. In her decision, Wood ruled Lime Group, parent of LimeWire software maker Lime Wire, and founder Mark Gorton committed copyright infringement, induced copyright infringement, and engaged in unfair competition.

“It is obviously a fairly fatal decision for them,” said Michael Page, the San Francisco lawyer who represented file sharing service Grokster in the landmark case, MGM Studios, vs. Grokster and also represented Lime Wire’s former CTO in the company’s most recent copyright case. “If they don’t shut down, the other side will likely make a request for an injunction and there’s nothing left but to go on to calculating damages.”

With an injunction, the RIAA can force LimeWire to cease file-sharing operations.

via Legal experts: LimeWire likely doomed | Media Maverick – CNET News.

Laptop Scandal School’s Own Law Firm: Aside From Those 58,000 Spy Photos, There’s No Evidence Of Spying | Techdirt

A law firm employed by the Pennsylvania school district caught using student laptop webcams to spy on students at home has released a 72-page report pdf on the incident after a 10-week investigation. Most of the report’s findings aren’t too surprising; it exonerates most higher-level school officials like any wealthy school district’s in-house investigation should, concluding that there’s no evidence indicating that anybody above the IT level “knew how TheftTrack worked or understood that it could collect large quantities of webcam photographs or screenshots.” The report also confirms reports that the system took some 58,000 images — a far cry from the 42 images the school originally claimed.Aside from those 57,958 extra photos and screenshots, e-mails alleging that school administrators found the spy technology entertaining — and the fact the system was only unearthed in the first place because a student’s at-home behavior was spied on — the study concludes that “we found no evidence that District personnel used TheftTrack to “spy” on students.” Still, at least the report slams the school district for being “overzealous” in their use of the technology, and for having a complete disregard for student privacy:

Although there is no forensic method to determine with certainty how often images stored on the LANrev server were viewed, we found no evidence that any District 3 personnel surreptitiously downloaded images from the LANrev server. Rather, the collection of images from laptops while they were in the possession of students resulted from the district’s failure to implement policies, procedures and recordkeeping requirements, and the overzealous and questionable use of technology by IS personnel without any apparent regard for privacy considerations or sufficient consultation with administrators.

By and large the study places the lion’s share of the blame on school IT folks, most of whom were already forced to retire. It does seem rather convenient that the district was allowed to hire their own law firm to investigate (at least when lawyers weren’t working with plaintiffs to allegedly help keep evidence out of the hands of federal investigators). That’s of course the first thing the lawyer for the district’s former IS director Virginia DiMedio complained about. While the IT folks certainly appear oblivious and culpable, there seems to be plenty of incompetence to go around. Hopefully higher level administrators aren’t entirely immune to the ultimate fallout, given they failed to pay any attention to the fact their district was busily building a little Macbook surveillance state with little to no accountability.

via Laptop Scandal School’s Own Law Firm: Aside From Those 58,000 Spy Photos, There’s No Evidence Of Spying | Techdirt.