Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Toshiba sends firmware update to check for lithium battery recall status

Today, a curious update was offered to me by the Toshiba Service Center, a firmware app to see if my Panasonic battery pack, dating to 2011, was subject to a recall.

I guess it wasn’t.  The app did not create an icon (even on system restart) and did not warn me of anything after install and download.

But the underlying issue is possibly serious.  I generally don’t leave laptops plugged in when unattended or in use.  The concern is that someday even personal laptops (and cell phones) could be seen as a hazard for air travel (right now, the rules concern shipping of groups of lithium products in cargo).  We don’t have a particularly effective industry for renting securable products when “on the road”, because the expectation has developed that you carry your digital life with you when you travel (even for job interviews, or book fairs).  That was quite acceptable in 2000 when I depended on Kinkos while spending a week in Arizona and New Mexico.

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