THE INTERNET OF (BAD) THINGS: IS IT SMART TO HAVE A SMART HOME?
| 8/19/2020One of the most popular innovations of recent years has been the arrival of “smart” speakers, coupled with voice-controlled, digital assistant software, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri from Apple. While these devices make it easier to, say, bake a pie while cueing up your favorite pie song, or look up an obscure reference in The Sopranos without interrupting the show, they’ve also been at the center of privacy debates.
TALCUM POWDER LAWSUIT, OVARIAN CANCER AND ASBESTOS: THE LEGAL BATTLE RAGES
| May 22, 2018Thousands of women and their families have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and other talcum powder makers, claiming that using the product led to the development of ovarian cancer. Although the industry has strongly contested such claims, some researchers believe there’s a strong scientific basis for such a link. Questions about the purity of the talc, the possibility of contamination with asbestos, and other concerns have also played a part in the litigation, which has resulted in some sizable plaintiff verdicts — and more questions about just how “healing” consumers’ experience with talc has been...
SELF-DRIVING CARS: ARE WE THERE YET?
| April 27, 2018Some day, and perhaps sooner than we realize, the software in our cars may become so sophisticated, flawless, and easy to use that the morning commute to work will be truly stress-free, accident-free, and even hands-free. But recent reports of setbacks for cars that “drive themselves,” to one degree or another, indicate that motorists still have a long way to go before they can turn over the wheel to a truly autonomous driving system...
PATIENT BEWARE: THE DANGERS OF OFF-LABEL DRUG USE
| April 19, 2018In the megahit movie Black Panther, much of the plot revolves around the struggle to control the world’s supply of vibranium, an incredibly rare and versatile substance that’s the secret to the Black Panther’s powers. Vibranium is strong enough to cut through any metal, yet also can absorb sound and serve as body armor; in herb form, it can heal the mortally wounded and endow the user with superhuman strength and agility...
TAKATA AIRBAGS: THE SCANDAL BEHIND THE BIGGEST AUTO RECALL EVER
| March 30, 2018In the annals of corporate misconduct, few schemes can compare in sheer magnitude to the one that led to the downfall of the Japanese auto parts supplier Takata. Over more than a decade, the company sold a dangerously defective product to auto makers around the world. And when reports of the problem began to surface, Takata executives engaged in a lengthy cover-up, despite increasing reports of injuries and deaths linked to malfunctioning Takata airbags...
ST. JUDE DEFIBRILLATOR: BATTERY DEFECT LEADS TO MASSIVE RECALL
| March 7, 2018As a digital society, we take a lot for granted in the technology that we use every day. We expect the local power company to provide us with heat and light without interruption; we expect our cars, our computers and our cell phones to work flawlessly — until the day they don’t. But certain system failures are a lot more serious than others. In some cases, the premature failure of a power source can be literally a matter of life and death. Hundreds of thousands of people who rely on medical devices implanted in their chests to help regulate their...