Amazon issues recall for 260,000 power banks due to overheating concerns

Most retail stores have their own off-brand versions of popular products. Amazon is no different with its own Amazon Basics initiative, which is basically the retail giant’s equivalent of a store brand.

Well if you purchased one of the power banks sold by Amazon Basics, then you should know the company this week issued a recall for these products due to overheating risks.

These power banks are affordable options that many users may have purchased to charge their Android smartphones and tablets on the go.

Amazon’s power banks might not be safe to use

Amazon is targeting 260,000 units including the 16,100 mAh, 10,000 mAh, 5,600 mAh, 3,000 mAh and 2,000 mAh capacity models. So far Amazon received to 53 reports of defective power banks, that in some unfortunate cases, even led to chemical burns and property damage.

One of the affected units

Some units are apparently leaking liquid. If this is happening to your battery you shouldn’t touch it because the battery acid could easily lead to skin burns.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission already set up a page for the recall. So we can see the batteries were made in China by Guoguang Electric Company Ltd.

If the product ID number printed on the back is one of the following, you should unplug the power bank immediately and contact Amazon to get a full refund.

  • B00LRK8EVO,
  • B00LRK8HJ8,
  • B00LRK8I7O
  • B00LRK8IV0
  • B00LRK8JDC
  • B00ZQ4JQAA

Amazon is also sending out emails to customers who might have purchased these faulty units.

Amazon has been selling these products on Amazon.com, Amazon Bookstore and Amazon Pop-Up Stores from December 2014 through July 2017 for between $9 to $40.

Another affected unit

In case you’ve purchased one of these batteries, but you haven’t been contacted by Amazon yet, you can follow this link to Amazon’s recall site and register to get a refund for your purchase. And remember, unplug the product as soon as possible, to avoid any inconveniences!

US Consumer Product Safety Commission

Amazon’s Alexa has been randomly laughing and it’s creeping everyone out

The future is here and smart home assistants are taking over homes everywhere. While many of them can be quite useful, we are starting to see some sketchiness arise from the depths.

A few users have reported, and shared, their Alexa-connected devices randomly laughing. The above tweet was shared and shows that no prompt was given, but Alexa decided to creepily laugh out of the blue.

For a few days, there was no word from Amazon about why this could possibly be happening. Then, the company finally responded, issuing the following statement:

“In rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase ‘Alexa, laugh.’ We are changing that phrase to be ‘Alexa, can you laugh?’ which is less likely to have false positives, and we are disabling the short utterance ‘Alexa, laugh.’ We are also changing Alexa’s response from simply laughter to ‘sure, I can laugh’ followed by laughter.”

What makes this even more creepy is the fact that Alexa was found laughing, without the Blue ring on Echo devices ever showing up. I don’t know about you, but if my Echo started randomly laughing, you can bet that my Echo would be unplugged immediately and tossed in a bin.

Nonetheless, at least Amazon has finally responded and has given everyone a reason as to why this has been happening. The company also stated that the current phrase ‘Alexa, laugh’ is being removed completely, which should get rid of any of the possibilities of Alexa just randomly laughing.

Let us know whether you have run into this creepiness and if you were so freaked out that you decided to unplug your Echo.

Google Home Max and Apple HomePod duke it out in a blind test

In case you haven’t heard, the Apple HomePod recently launched to much excitement, but does it deserve the overwhelming amount of hype it’s getting? We can’t answer that question ourselves just yet, but Yahoo conducted a blind test survey to see which smart home speakers sounded the best to common ears.

The results may surprise you. The Apple HomePod, Google Home Max, Amazon Echo, and Sonos One were pit against each other. Panelists were asked to rank each one on the merit of sheer sound quality. The Sonos One walked away with three of the panelists’ best votes. Google’s Home Max took 2 votes. The HomePod and Amazon Echo were left in the dust.

It’s a fair knock on the Amazon Echo, which isn’t priced quite the same ($150) as the others ($350-$400 for both the HomePod and Google Home Max).


Read More: Apple HomePod vs Google Home vs Amazon Echo

Most surprising of all, though, is that the $200 Sonos One might actually trounce them all, and considering you can get 2 of those for the price of one of the other beasts, it may well be the best value in home speakers. Of course, no one has Google or Amazon beat in the smarts department just yet, so you’ll have to decide what’s more important to you in the long run.