Wednesday, October 12, 2016

MacBook Pro Recall (Extended Warranty)

My trusty MacBook Pro is 5 years old!  I can't even believe it.  Up until a few months ago, I never experienced an issue with my 'Book.  I mean.. NEVER!!  And that's one of the things I've come to take for granted.

Until around 2008, when I purchased my first, (white--y'all remember those?), MacBook, I'd been using PCs/laptops and boy! are they some faulty pieces of machinery!! Viruses here, there and every damn where!  I guess that is largely due to Windows and those antivirus (McAfee) software, though.  At least that was my conclusion with the last laptop I'd owned, which was around about 10 years ago.  Possibly, things have changed by now.  (For all you Windows people, I truly hope they have.  Talk about a PAIN!)

But, until my Pro failed on me YEARS after it's purchase, I had never before even given thought to the fact that I hadn't experienced (not) a single issue with this machine.  Not one!  And that is why I will most likely always splurge for an Apple computer.  Hopefully, I won't have to make that splurge for many more years to come, but believe me.. When the day comes, I will be replacing with an Apple product.

Plus, as I am about to tell you all about, when something goes wrong, Apple usually acknowledges their fault (if that is the case) and they make it right!  And in a speedy fashion.  I've let you all know about one recall with the iPhone 6 Plus camera's focus mechanism in the Summer of 2015.  Now, let me tell ya about a recall I came across with the 2011/2012 MacBook Pro:

One night I was in bed scrolling through the 'net, per usual, and decided to throw some music in the mix.  A few songs into my Apple Music 90's R&B and Hip Hop Playlist, the screen went funky on me and the music began skipping then froze.  I lost my cursor and just decided to do a Force shut down of the computer.  Upon restart, my MacBook entered into a continuos, non-stop loop of rebooting.  I forced a shut down again and tried to get to the point where I could log in several times, to no avail.

Ultimately, I was able to back up my computer successfully after many days of toying around with machine.  Once that was done, I did a factory reset of the machine.  Wiped it completely bare!  And surprise, freakin' SURPRISE!!.. The rebooting loop persisted.  I was at my wit's end!  I did not want to get rid of my 'Book, but what was I gonna do with a non-working machine?!  I could have sold it, but not nearly for as much money as I would have liked, (which, for me, would have been an amount close to enough for me to purchase a new model).  And otherwise, I'd have to pay a pretty penny to get it fixed... I had a couple hundred for the cause.  Giving up my extra cash to fix a computer wouldn't have been my first choice on how to spend it, but.. You know..

I made an appointment for the Genius Bar; praying they could work some magic within my budget.  And I got quite the surprise!!  The $600+ fix was gonna be on them!  Apparently, some MacBooks manufactured around the year mine was made have an issue with a smoldered part that eventually overheats and causes this malfunction my computer experienced.  I left my computer at Apple on a Saturday morning and it was shipped back to my front door by mid-week.  I think it was a Wednesday.  It arrived before the estimated date; I do know that.

This all happened about 3 months ago.  And I haven't had an issue out of my computer since.

And because I am not that good with all the technicalities, here's info from Mac Rumors regarding the recall:

Apple has extended its MacBook Pro Repair Extension Program for Video Issues until December 31, 2016, or four years from its original date of sale, according to a recently updated support document on its website. The program was previously set to expire next week, on February 27, 2016, or three years from the original date of sale. 

Apple launched the repair program exactly one year ago today to address select 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models, sold between February 2011 and February 2013, that have problems with distorted video, no video, or unexpected system restarts. Customers can look up their MacBook Pro model using Apple's "Check Coverage" online tool. 

Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will continue to repair affected MacBook Pro models at no charge, and customers who already paid for an authorized repair can contact Apple to arrange reimbursement. Customers can bring their MacBook Pro to an Apple Store or AASP, or mail the notebook to a local Apple Repair Center. 

MacBook Pro video issues impacted a significant number of customers, prompting a class-action lawsuit against against Apple and an online petition with over 40,000 signatures. Affected MacBook Pro models often have visual banding or malfunctions on the screen, particularly when users are watching HD videos or using CPU-intensive software like the Adobe Creative Suite or Final Cut Pro. 

The issues stem from defective Nvidia and AMD GPUs that do not function correctly because of lead-free soldering that causes short circuiting and other problems, according to legal documents. Apple has since launched a similar repair program for late 2013 Mac Pro video issues, which are also related to AMD GPUs. The symptoms are nearly identical, including distorted video and system instability.

I understand that it took a class action lawsuit and all to get the ball rolling for Apple to acknowledge and correct, but y'all know your fave Windows device WOULD NEV'AH!!

Honestly.  How many laptops and PC's have y'all trashed in the last 5 years?  When them things go up.. That's it.  And never mind the price point.  Yeah, you can buy 2-3 laptops over the course of 5-6 years and maybe still not be at the cost of a MacBook, but why sacrifice the headache of an inconsistent experience (or just a constant horrible experience with every use) and regular repairs and replacements on your dime??

I recommend MacBook all day long.

If your 'Book has been acting weird on you, Check Coverage with this link and/or visit your local Apple store to see if your issue falls under this particular free repair.

Galaxy Note 7 Replacement Phones Catch Fire (As Well). Samsung Decides to Scrap Phone.

Shortly before the public release of Apple's latest mobile phone rollout of the 7 and 7 Plus, Samsung released a much anticipated Note 7.  At that time, I personally know a couple of iPhone owners that was actually considering ditching Apple for Samsung with the release of their new handset... until reports of Samsung's Note 7 spontaneously combusting began to take over the news.

When the story first hit several weeks ago, I thought, "That's rather unfortunate." For both the consumer as well as Samsung, but definitely something the company can recover from.  

Unfortunately, it looks as though my latter thought holds little truth; as Samsung has decided to scrap the Note 7 completely following reports of replacement phones also catching fire.  Immediately, what will those that had either already purchased or was thinking about purchasing the Samsung Note 7 do?  I'm guessing that trust in the brand (in the cell phone arena) will plummet.  As a result consumers (both loyal as well as new) will likely decide to seek the latest handsets elsewhere.

According to Bloomberg:

Samsung Electronics Co. is ending production of its problematic Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, taking the drastic step of killing off a device that became a major headache for South Korea’s largest company.
Samsung had already recalled the Note 7 once last month after early models exploded and the latest move comes after customers reported that replacement phones were also catching fire. Samsung will be without its highest-end smartphone that was supposed to compete against Apple Inc.’s iPhones and other premium devices during the holiday shopping season.
“Samsung needs to act swiftly and move on to protect their brand image,” said Mark Newman, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein in Hong Kong.
Samsung Electronics shares fell 8 percent in Seoul Tuesday, wiping out about $17 billion of market value, before the Note 7 termination was announced. The stock dropped further in London trading after the news, sliding as much as 9.9 percent.
The company has not said how many new or replacement phones will be affected by the latest announcement. Analysts estimated the original recall would cost between $1 billion and $2 billion, but that figure will now certainly rise. Chung Chang Won, an analyst at Nomura Holdings Inc., estimated in a research note before the company’s announcement the worst-case scenario of Samsung terminating the Note 7 would cost the company about $5 billion in operating profit through 2017.
Samsung had asked for a halt to Note 7 sales earlier on Tuesday under pressure from regulators and wireless operators that sell its phones. Consumers had reported problems with supposedly safe phones in the U.S. and China, and carriers such as AT&T Inc. and Australia’s Telstra Corp. halted sales. In one case, a Southwest Airlines Co. flight from Louisville, Kentucky, was evacuated because a replacement Note 7 began dispersing smoke and burned carpet flooring.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warned users not to use the Note 7 due to concerns over more incidents of overheating. The Korea Agency for Technology and Standards also asked Samsung to stop selling or exchanging the Note 7 after the regulator confirmed possible defects in the new phones.
The Note 7 debuted to rave reviews in August, but the plaudits turned to criticism within weeks as phones exploded and images of charred handsets began appearing on social media. Samsung announced the first recall in Korea on Sept. 2, calling back the initial shipment of 2.5 million phones and then replacing them with what it said were safe devices. The flaw, it explained, was with the primary battery supplier, which a person familiar with the matter identified as affiliate Samsung SDI Co. All new phones would have batteries from another manufacturer.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Two American Sisters Found Dead in Seychelles

Facebook pictures posted just days before the bodies of Annie and Robin Korkki were found in their hotel room show the sisters, ages 37 and 42, respectively, enjoying life, surrounded by paradisiacal scenery.

According to the Seychelles Nation newspaper, the two women were found unresponsive in their room at the Maia Luxury Resort on September 22, 2016.  Local authorities found no indications of trauma on their bodies.  And the cause of the deaths has been determined to be acute pulmonary edema.

Those that suffer pulmonary edema find it difficult to breathe due to excess fluid in the lungs.  Mayo Clinic suggests that issues with the heart is the primary cause for this condition, though pneumonia, exposure to toxins, medication, trauma, and even exercise could be culprits as well.

Acute pulmonary edema strikes suddenly and must be treated immediately with supplemental oxygen and medication to avoid succumbing to the condition.

This is quite a tragic story with seemingly no concrete answers as of yet.

From The Epoch Times:

Items of interest found in the Korkkis’ room includes alcohol and different types of medications,” Toussaint told the news outlet. “No illegal drugs were found in the sisters’ room.”
Annie, 37, and her sister Robin, 42, traveled to Seychelles, an island located more than 900 miles off Africa’s east coast in the Indian Ocean on Sept. 15 and were scheduled to leave on Sept. 24, they had extended their trip. 
The pair were found unresponsive in their villa at the Maia Luxury Resort and Spa on Sept. 22. A butler assigned to their room contacted authorities after he noticed no movement in their room during the entire day. The sisters had been drinking on Wednesday—and it would be the last time anyone would see them alive.
Autopsies determined that the two Minnesota natives died from acute pulmonary edema. Their bodies showed no visible signs of trauma. Dr. Patrick Lank, a Northwestern Medicine assistant professor of emergency medicine in Chicago said many factors can contribute to an acute pulmonary edema.
“Two people at the same time is odd,” Lank said. “It suggests more of a toxicologic or environmental cause, or a potential infection if they’re traveling together.”
The sudden deaths of the sisters have shocked the Korkki family who have said they haven’t been given many details about the deaths of their loved ones. 
“At this point, the only details we know are the articles flying around online,” brother Chris Korkki told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “My mom has been talking with people from the U.S. Embassy. I don’t think they’ve provided her with any information.”
He added, “Two things keep going through my mind: This isn’t happening, and we just want answers.”

Mother Charged $39.95 to Hold Her Newborn After Delivery

When the parents of a precious little newborn child received their hospital bill for the baby's delivery they noticed a small, but odd fee of $39.95 for a service labeled "Skin to Skin After Sec[tion]" aka "Mother holding her child after delivery".

Picture of the bill posted on

It's a known fact that any service at a hospital comes with extreme, and oftentimes unnecessary costs. 2 Ibuprofens can run you 50X the cost that it would from a drugstore.  And I get it; hospitals have huge overhead costs and profits must be made (especially when your talking about the American Healthcare system, right?), but a charge to hold your child?!!  Your baby.  The tiny, little person that  you and your partner created and that lived inside of you for the better part of a year.  There is a charge for you to hold that person??  

This is too ridiculous.