No way to distinguish which hoverboards are fire prone … yet

red hoverboard
Source: Wikipedia
Wired tells us: the strangest thing about hoverboards is that, “this year’s most popular holiday gift keeps catching on fire.”

Jay Whitacre, Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, says that the problem doesn’t have to do with these self-balancing scooters themselves, but with the quality of the batteries being used (in some)…

“There are a lot of factories in China that now make Li-ion batteries, and the reality is that the quality and consistency of these batteries is typically not as good as what is found in top tier producers such as LG or Samsung,” Whitacre says. “These are known as ‘low cost li-ion batteries’ by most in the industry—they are not knockoffs or copies, but are instead just mass-manufactured cells.”

With these cheap batteries, a lot of things can cause fires.

The solution is to buy a better quality hoverboard, right? but according to Prof. Whitacre, there isn’t any way yet, to know which are the better boards. Ooops. Maybe buy your loved one something else for the 2015 holidays.

Android’s battery drain issue won’t be fixed until next major upgrade

red riding hood & the wolf
Art Courtesy: Vintageprintable1 Brothers Grimm, Red Riding Hood and Wolf stamp art
Android’s KitKat operating system ended its data connection once an app completed its transaction but Lollipop (5.x) doesn’t do that. Data access remains enabled long after an app has finished doing whatever it needs to do … and this is why Lollipop users get so much battery drain.

As this issue has been reported over 3000 times to Google, it will be fixed in Marshmallow (6.0). But this means we’re going to wait a while.

My theory is: Google keeps the connection open the better to track us with, my dear. By the time Google rolls out a new OS, I guess the company will have all the data it needs to successfully intrude in just about every aspect of our lives, God help us.

If internet privacy’s important to you, check out EPIC and EFF.