This is a McDonald’s happy meal toy alert. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 29 million McDonald’s fitness tracker toys are up for recall. This comes after 70 complaints of child skin irritation, from rashes to blisters.
The CPSC recommends parents return this toy to McDonald’s and ask for a replacement toy and a desert, such as apple slices or yogurt tube. The toy was an attempt to teach kids about physical fitness. It was supposed to get them interested in fitness and technology at the same time, and do so at an early age. The plan backfired. One mother in Arkansas named Casey Collyar?complained her son suffered burns. The son had the watch on for ten minutes. She thought the battery was the culprit. Through social media, Collyar urged parents not to get this dangerous fitness tracker. According to a McDonald’s leading spokesperson, the toys have been discontinued. A full investigation is being conducted. It’s also speculated certain skin allergies and sensitivities could be the cause. The Good Housekeeping Institute, ?a popular consumer rights’ organization, suggested parents check the watch’s materials. They should be soft, durable plastics. Consumers should also switch up wrists.
You can’t fault McDonald’s for trying. This fast food franchise has been under the gun for making our kids and our nation obese. Is that true? Well, it’s debatable. I grew up on happy meals back in the day, and got toys too. We weren’t worried about obesity. But I believe McDonald’s was sincere in releasing this smart wrists toy. They wanted kids to be tech savvy at an early age. They should be. McDonald’s is sincere in trying to get kids healthy again. This toy was meant to get kids active and teach them the value of good health. There is an old saying: The road to (destruction) is paved with good intentions. Does this saying explain the McDonald’s toy fiasco?
Google is the leading tech/online based company in the world. But earlier this week, they dropped the ball big time on social sensitivity, and was quick to correct it.
On it’s photo app, Google accidentally tagged two African-Americans as gorillas. A web programmer named Jacky Alcine quickly called out Google in colorful language. The Google Photos app just started a few weeks ago. The user starts a search. Google suggests categories from a machine trying to adapt human traits like labeling. The company removed the gorilla category all together, and that picture no longer exists. The machine, depending on artificial intelligence, made a huge mistake in labeling people as animals. Google vows this machine will do better labeling people in the photos. This isn’t the first time Google released an app while there were obvious bugs in the system. Even they acknowledged the system was imperfect when it was released. But I doubt anybody was expecting this. Some time ago, they found themselves in hot water with You Tube Kids when adult content was discovered on the child friendly app. Both incidents go to show that robots aren’t sympathetic when it comes to sensitive issues. But human beings are.
There are two lessons to this story. Don’t release your product until you checked, double checked, and triple checked to make sure it’s ready for market. Google said it had bugs in system at the time of photo app release. That should have been a warning sign right there. The second lesson is, let’s stop putting so much trust in robots! In Germany, an auto worker was accidentally killed by a robot on the job. If Google hired human beings to do the machine’s work, they would have caught such mistakes and prevented them from even making it online. Wouldn’t Google Photos be better off if it just hired human hands instead of letting a machine do the work for them?
Computer users have been on the hunt for the most secure and stable apps and operating systems out there, and the shocking truth about which Apps and Operating Systems are actually the most stable may surprise you.
As far as operating systems go, sorry all you MAC lovers, the award for the most vulnerabilities no longer goes to Microsoft, but to Apple Mac OS X, followed by Apple iOS and then Linux kernel. The numbers to date show Mac OS X had 147 vulnerabilities - 64 being rated as high severity. Numbers also show there were 127 in iOS - 32 of those rated as high. And lastly, Linux kernel had 119 security vulnerabilities - 24 being rated as high severity.
As far as Apps go, Microsoft cannot gloat too much about being the most secure, as Internet Explorer had nearly twice as many flaws as the second most flawed app on the list ? which was Chrome. This comes as a shocking truth, as many people have viewed Chrome as the most stable and secure App. Internet explorer had 242 security flaws - 220 of those being high severity. Chrome had 124 total bugs with 86 of those rated as high.
So, as you can see users need to be aware, and choose carefully when installing Apps and Operating Systems on their computers. There are always going to be bugs out there, because nothing out there will ever be ?perfect?, but if you run into some trouble with your computer, know Computer Geeks is always there to help. Some good news is that that the percentage of vulnerabilities rated as ?high severity? dropped to 24% in 2014. So at least there is some hope going forward!
New Years Resolutions are everywhere this time of year. Everyone else makes them, but when it comes down to actually doing it, people rarely follow through. Those of us that frequent our local gym, will have it inundated with people for the first month, maybe two,? and then like magic, everyone is gone. So why don’t people just make New Years Resolutions that they can stick to? Things that are easy, and that don’t take a ton of your valuable time. Well, here at Computer Geeks we have compiled a list of New Years Resolutions for all of you to help your PC thrive in 2015! And if your computer and everything on it is fast and safe, then it will save you time, and potentially a lot of money. Without further ado, here is the list
7. Viruses, spyware, malware, adware protection
Listen, most people have anti-virus software because it comes with virtually every computer out there. But do you have Anti-Malware on your PC? How about Anti-spyware? Probably not. Computer Geeks has several solutions to this problem that we can put on your computer, and the best part is that the software is free!
6. Maintenance Checkups
I know, I know, nobody likes to schedule to fix their computer. But checkups are important. So many people who call me up with a dead computer that they haven’t had serviced in 5 years. What if you didn’t take your child to get a check up for 5 years? Sounds outrageous right? Same thing with your computer. That could be all of your family memories on that computer, or your entire business database, gone because you didn’t see a problem coming. A computer should get a thorough cleaning and tune up every 3 months to keep performance optimal. Simple checkups can increase the average computer life span by up to 4 years. Computer Geeks can set you up on scheduled maintenance calls for the entire year, all at once! And you can always reschedule at no cost if something comes up!
5. Use Better Passwords on your computer
I’m sure your dog is cute, and is a great companion, but he’s a BAD password. Most hackers who get into your computer can find personal information, like your pets name. And when they go to steal your email address, or your bank account info, you might as well have not even set a password. You want there to be 3 variables to your password, a capital letter, lowercase letter, and numbers, but please don’t just do R4m35eS, they’ll try that too. Combine two things to make your password unguessable, like your dog and your birth year backwards. My birth year is 1982 so my password could be this: S2e8se9ma1R, now that’s a password! (FYI that’s not my password)
4. Archive your old emails
For you outlook users, your inbox/outbox for your email can look like the warehouse from Indiana Jones. Filled with so many items that you’ll never find anything. Outlook has an auto-archive function that will archive anything that is older than a certain amount of time, that you can dictate. Set it once, and then forget about it! The best part is that if you need to view the archive emails, they will still show up when you use the Outlook Search feature.
3. Watch what you post on social media
Listen, we’ve all done it, had a bad day at work and then go home and blow up Facebook about how much your boss’ management style reflects that of Adolf Hitler. The problem is, when you go to leave Hitler’s company, your new potential employer is more than likely going to find you on Facebook before he hires you, so he can see what he may be getting himself into. Be careful what you post online, there is no escaping something once its on there…
2. Be careful where you surf on the web
Seriously, this should be self explanatory. Don’t go to a site that you don’ t know what it is. And if you do go to a bad site and pop-ups and people saying you have viruses comes up, CALL GEEK CHOICE FAST!? Once a virus is on a computer the longer it sits there the more damage it can do. Turn the PC off, and give us a call 800-433-5435.
1. BACKUP ALL YOUR FILES
This last one is so simple, so important, but almost always not done. People think backups take up a lot of their time, or that they are expensive. But Computer Geeks is here to tell you they are neither, they are just lifesavers. 10 times a week some poor soul wanders into my office telling me their hard drive is dead, and they’re whole life was on it. I ask if they have a backup, and they give me the frowney face. Backups are really cheap, and for the most part can be set up 1 time, to perform backup either daily, weekly, monthly or ever quarterly. And you can set the backup to occur at 3AM while you sleep, so you never have to deal with it! Computer Geeks can get you on a yearly backup plan for UNLIMITED DATA at only 59.95! Just give us a buzz and Computer Geeks can help
We hope you have enjoyed our New Years resolution blog, feel free to follow us on Twitter @geekchoice, and like us on Facebook Here to get all of our daily blogs to keep you updated with everything technology from cell phones, gaming systems, to computer tips and hints!
Computer Geeks would like to take this time to wish all of you and your families a Merry Christmas! We hope all is well and everyone stays safe this holiday. Lets hope that Santa was nice and got you a fancy new tech gadget, or a new computer! If you are having any issues with your new technology device feel free to call us. Our call center is open all day today and we are available for service calls starting Friday the 26th!
We’d also like to thank all of you out there that have supported our business and our staff throughout the years that you have been great, loyal customers. It has been an honor and a privilege servicing the Beacon Hill and Boston community every day for the last 18 years! We look forward to a great new year in 2015, but for now, let me summarize some of the new, and old services Computer Geeks can provide for you
So I wanted to do something funny for you guys on Xmas and give you the 12 Days of Geek Christmas. This is an assortment of “gifts” our customers give to us throughout the year. I’m going to fill it with lovely pictures, and memes, and just overall fun things that should put a smile on your faces for the Holidays!