General Motors announces another big ignition-related recall

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General Motors CEO Mary Barra finishes her testimony before a Congressional subcommittee last week.

The company is recalling 2.19 million of the same models to fix a problem that allows keys to be removed from ignitions that are not in the "off" position.

Replacement parts for cars at the center of a massive General Motors recall for defective ignition switches began arriving at dealerships across this country just this week. If car owners have already gotten repairs made, they’ll need to make an additional trip to their dealerships. On Thursday, General Motors said there’s another safety problem plaguing the same vehicles.

The company is recalling 2.19 million of the same Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR, Saturn Ion, Sky, Pontiac G5 and Solstice models to fix a problem that allows keys to be removed from ignitions that are not in the "off" position.

In at least one case, a vehicle rolled away in a parking lot and resulted in a crash and injury, according to GM, which said it is aware of "several hundred" complaints about keys coming out of ignitions. The company will fix the ignition lock cylinders to prevent the problem.

This is a separate problem than the one allowing ignition switches in the same models to inadvertently move from the "run" to "accessory" positions, which can turn off both the engine and airbag systems. That defect has led to 13 deaths, and subsequently, Congressional inquiries into why the company didn’t recall affected vehicles sooner.

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4 Amazing Things NASA Invented, and 4 You Think It Did

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In a two-story building in an industrial district of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ara Knaian shows off prototypes of what could be the industry’s first completely modular smartphone.

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Build A Lightweight Tent For A Pittance

Graham Murdoch

Ultralight tents don’t have to lighten your wallet.Save a bundle of cash by making one from Tyvek. The breathable, water-resistant material, a favorite of home contractors, weighs less than two ounces and costs about $2 per square yard. Here’s how to fashion a featherweight bivouac from the stuff. 


Two 6-foot by 9-foot sheets of Tyvek HomeWrap, hammer, ½-inch grommet kit, 8 lengths of 12-foot-long parachute cord (or thin rope)


1) Lay one Tyvek sheet on the ground, and fold over three inches of each edge.

2) Hammer a grommet into each corner and the center of each folded edge.

3) Tie a parachute cord to each grommet.

4) Push a tall stick into the center grommet of one short side. Stake or tie the other end. 

5) Fasten the ends of the parachute cords to trees, rocks, or stakes to pull the Tyvek taut.

6) Use the other sheet as a ground cloth, roll out a sleeping bag, and catch some z’s.

Approximate time: 1 hour

Cost: About $25

Difficulty: 1/5

WARNING: Bad weather could send this temporary shelter sailing. Build and use at your own risk. 


This article originally appeard in the April 2014 issue of Popular Science. 

from Popular Science

Watch This Charger Fully Juice A Smartphone In 30 Seconds

I still remember flipping through paper magazines while waiting for webpages to load on my family’s PC, in the 1990s. Maybe one day waiting for your phone to charge will seem as antiquated.

An Israeli startup recently demonstrated a prototype charger that fully charges a smartphone in 30 seconds. You can watch it above, oooh.

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StoreDot’s technology depends on nano-size crystals, called quantum dots, that are made of biological materials. Researchers have studied quantum dots intensely because they have cool electrical and optical properties that could improve electronic displays and data storage. Usually, however, researchers make quantum dots out of non-biological minerals such as silicon or cadmium selenide. In November, The Wall Street Journal reported that by putting its biological crystals in the electrolyte of a power cell, StoreDot made the power cell hold five times as much charge.

[The Wall Street Journal, Gizmag]

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