Safety Steps“Each one of these deaths is a tragedy, which serves as a sobering reminder of how dangerous water can be for young children,” said acting CPSC Chair Ann Marie Buerkle. Although summer is quickly coming to an end, and time in pools is running out, the CPSC reminds consumers to take steps to protect children and others around water. For instance, the CPSC’s Pool Safely campaign encourages consumers to install four-sided fences around pools and spas; teach their children to swim; learn CPR; and ensure pool or spa drains are covered and comply with federal safety standards.
Massachusetts-based Analogic Corp. revealed this week that its ConneCT scanner had received a stamp of approval from the TSA by meeting the agency’s Advanced Technology (AT) detection standards. Like the speedier machine currently being tested by American Airlines at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport, the Analogic scanner users computed tomography (CT) to generate a fuller, three-dimensional image of bags and their content. As the L.A. Times points out, the TSA approval of ConneCT means that additional airports will be able to test this next generation of scanners, hopefully expediting their deployment in the long run.
The TechnologyThe newly approved ConneCT scanners, manufactured by Analogic Corp, uses the same imaging technology one would find in a hospital CT machine. But instead of looking at your insides, the scanners will generate a 3D image of carry-on baggage. The image is then analyzed by security officers, who can manipulate the image, spinning 360 degrees to show the contents from several angles. Additionally, the machines use an algorithm to automatically identify weapons, Analogic says in a statement. If an item in the bag appears suspicious, a security worker will check the bag. “With record-breaking air travel numbers and new threats to the public, it is ever more important to deploy cutting-edge technology that can evolve with the security landscape,” Jim Ryan, senior vice president and general manager of security detection and power technologies at Analogic, said in a statement.
Moving FasterTSA has previously noted that CT screening technology could decrease time spend in security screening by about 30%. Travelers would be able to speed through the lines, as the technology would allow them to keep liquids and personal electronics in their bags. The L.A. Times reports that Analogic estimates the number of passengers going through security in one hour would increase from 180 to 500 if its scanners were in use. While its unclear just where the scanners will turn up, Analogic already has one customers: American Airlines. The carrier announced in June that it would purchase several ConneCT scanners for use in the future.
What Is ADA?The ADA is a civil rights law — enacted in 1990 — that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, school, transportation, and public or private venues open to the general public. Title III of ADA specifically addresses an individual’s access to public accommodations even when privately owned, such as retail stores, movie theaters, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses. While the title sets the minimum standard for accessibility when it comes to remodels and new construction of these venues, it also requires businesses to remove barriers in existing buildings where it is easy to do so without much difficulty or expense. Businesses are directed to make “reasonable modifications” to their usual ways of doing things when serving people with disabilities. If a business does not abide by these rules, an individual can enforce their right to access by addressing the issue with the business, filing a complaint with the Dept. of Justice, or take the company to court.
What Would Change?The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 would essentially shift the burden of compliance. Instead of businesses proactively complying with ADA, the bill would place the burden on the individual while providing the offending business with weeks, months, or even years to address the issue. Instead of simply being able to file a lawsuit against a business, individuals would have to take numerous steps before they are able to take legal action. Here’s how it would work: When an person encounters an obstacle or barrier preventing them access to a business, they are required to provide that business with written notice of the issue. The business then has 60 days — about two months — to provide its own written response to the customer. This response must provide a description of what the company is doing to improve access and remove the offending barrier. Once this letter is sent, the business receives another 120 days — about four months — to either remove the barrier or make “substantial progress” in removing the barrier. Only if the business fails to provide written notice, or make progress after 120 days, can the consumer file legal action against the company forcing it to comply with ADA.
That’s A ProblemHR 620 incentivizes business to drag their feet in complying with ADA’s accessibility obligations and acts as a deterrent to people looking to enforce their rights, consumer advocates argue.
“The so-called ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 is not what its proponents claim and will not achieve its stated goals,” the ACLU contends. “Instead, this bill undermines the very purpose of the landmark civil rights law and harms people with disabilities.” If the legislation is enacted, compliance under the ADA will suffer and people with disabilities will be denied the access to which they are entitled to under the law, the group notes. By requiring individuals to jump through numerous “procedural hoops” before filing a lawsuit, the ACLU believes that business will likely wait until they are confronted by a customer to take action to comply with ADA. But even then, the business only has to show that it has made “substantial progress” in removing the barrier. However, the legislation does not specify what constitutes as substantial progress. To that end, the ACLU argues that businesses could wait years without removing the barrier and face no penalty, as long as they can show substantial progress is made. “By allowing a business an endless amount of time to become compliant with the ADA’s reasonable requirements, H.R. 620 removes any incentive for a business to proactively ensure that people with disabilities have access,” the group states. “Instead, the bill encourages businesses to just wait until an individual’s civil rights are violated before making any changes.” Human Rights Watch argues that if the legislation is enacted many would likely give up on their plight to ensure access, rather than put themselves through so many hurdles and delays in complying with the ADA. “The United States has the obligation to ensure businesses do not discriminate against people with disabilities,” Carlos Ríos Espinosa, Senior Researcher and Advocate of Disability Rights Division for HRW, wrote in a blog post on the issue.
All together nowFollowing an earlier update that expanded Safety Check to allow users to offer and get help in a crisis, Facebook is now moving Community Help and Safety Check to its new Crisis Response feature. In that area, users will also be able to create fundraisers and donate to support those affected by the crisis, as well as nonprofit organizations helping with relief efforts. And in an effort to provide more information about crises, Facebook will show folks links, articles, photos, and videos of crisis-related content from public posts.
Making money on FacebookPerhaps to prepare for the likelihood that some bad actors may try to take advantage of this new feature to make money off such crises, Facebook also introduced monetiziation eligibility standards this week. “These standards provide clearer guidance around the types of publishers and creators that are eligible to earn money on Facebook, along with guidelines on the kind of content that can be monetized,” the company says. With these new standards, content must meet certain guidelines. If users don’t comply with the standards, Facebook will notify them that it has removed the ads. Users can challenge the eligibility of their content through the appeals channel. For example, tragedy and conflict content — focusing on real world tragedies, like natural disasters, crime, or medical conditions — may be ineligible, Facebook says, “even if the intention is to promote awareness or education.” Other kinds of content that may get vetoed for monetization include misappropriation of children’s characters, debated social issues, violent content, adult content, prohibited activity (sale or use of illegal products, for example), explicit content, drug or alcohol use, and inappropriate language.
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• 49-05-0109 (maple) Consumerist has reached out to Target for details on how to determine if a dressers is recalled if the packaging has been thrown away. We’ll update this post with more information. Consumers who have the furniture in their homes are urged to stop using dressers that are not properly anchored to the wall and place it into an area that children cannot access. The dressers should be returned to Target for a full refund. Owners should return the recalled dresser to any Target store for a full refund. Customers with questions can contact Target at 800-440-0680 or online at www.target.com.