7/6/2001; 2:38:19 PM

CNN: Aunt: Missing ex-intern described Condit affair. “The aunt of missing 24-year-old former intern Chandra Levy says her niece told her she was ‘involved in an intimate relationship’ with Congressman Gary Condit… The aunt also said the Levy family was ‘frustrated and outraged’ that Condit would mischaracterize the relationship and that they felt his ‘lack of candor is hindering efforts to find Chandra.'”
3:23:01 PM  

CNET: Apple recalls power adapters. Apple is recalling the PowerBook G3 ‘brick’ adaptors due to a potential fire hazard, based on only six reports of them overheating.

I can personally attest to the fact that these things can get really hot. While I’m not dumb enough to stuff one of these things between my couch cushions, which might actually start a fire, I have two other design complaints:

First, the wire they chose to run from the power brick to the plug that goes in the back of your PowerBook gets frayed really easily, with average daily use, and then the $90 brick becomes essentially useless. In the 1 1/2 years I’ve had my PowerBook, I’ve repaired one brick only to have it fail again. I replaced it, and then had to replace the replacement. Yeesch.

My other complaint is actually about the jack on the back of the computer itself. It’s mounted onto a small circuit board, held on by nothing but a bit of flow-solder. It’s not attached to any other part of the computer in any way, and doesn’t even have little twisty-tabs to hold it firmly in place on the circuit board. The arrangement is such that if the plug gets even a small jolt, while connected to the computer, the jack comes right off of the circuit board, and then you’ve got until your batteries die, before having to replace the board itself. I’ve repaired one of these things myself, but it’s a pain in the ass to do because you have to take the whole computer apart to even get to the stupid thing. It’s definitely not an activity for the novice.

Most people would have to get an authorized dealer to do the work. Estimated cost of that design error for the average user: $275 per occurrence.

Now, having said all that, at least I’m not working with the 8100/8500/9500 desktop machines anymore. Taking one of those apart to do something as simple as install some RAM, is likely to precipitate a visit to the emergency room, to get your knuckles stitched up. Boy would I love to give the guy who designed those form factors a piece of my mind…
3:20:08 PM  

Robert Pear: Bush Plan Allows States to Give ‘Unborn Child’ Medical Coverage. “Federal officials said the change would [allow] states to cover pregnant women who are not eligible for Medicaid or the children’s health program… But critics said the change was a backdoor effort to advance the administration’s anti-abortion agenda and to establish a legal precedent for recognizing the fetus as a person.”
2:42:50 PM  

CNET: Amazon ends free-shipping deal. “The e-tailer halts free shipping for multiple orders of books, CDs, videos and DVDs after a two-week promotion that the company said was a test run.”
2:40:21 PM  

BBC: China ‘outstrips world’ on executions. “China executed more people in the last three months than the rest of the world did in the past three years, the human rights group Amnesty International says.”
2:38:19 PM  

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