Safety And Reliability


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safety and reliability Airbags




Airbags have been known not only for their saving lives but also for taking them. Airbags were an option in the mid 1970s and now airbags are standard in every car. (Automobile) Airbags are built into steering columns, dashboards and in newer cars also the side panels, to cushion passengers and drivers in an event of a wreck. Airbags are made from nylon and inflated with sodium oxide and nitrogen. Now that airbags are so common and expensive, thieves are known to steal and sell them.  
During the rainstorm, its hard to see anything especially when the downpour makes the windshield wipers work constantly. On this cold, dreary February night Tracy was driving her 1996 Ford Explorer with her husband in the passenger seat and her 16-month-old daughter, Alix, in her car seat in the back. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a tall, 12 point buck is caught by the vehicles' headlights. Both the buck and Tracy freeze. A second later, a powerful explosion occurs inside the cabin of the car. The airbags deflate nearly as quickly as they inflate. An hour later a car sees the wreck and stops to help. At that point, Tracy had no pulse, her husband is unconscious, and Alix was screaming in the back seat. (Mellon, Webster & Mellon)
At last count, this scenario has happened 135 times. (Strong) How many more times does it have to happen before the automotive industry does something about it? Drivers are not the only victims, though. Small women, children, and the elderly have also been killed as a result of airbags. The time has come to ask ourselves, "Do airbags really work?" First off, most people feel that airbags are a great safety device. They let people walk away from an accident without a scratch, right? They protect everybody, right? People dont need seatbelts if their car has an airbag, right? Wrong. Airbags cause injuries, airbags kill, and airbags dont work unless seatbelts are worn. In a rollover accident, people still have a chance of being thrown from the car even if their car has airbags.
When looking at the airbag issue, we must first look at the issue of safety. When the idea of installing airbags was first introduced, it seemed to be a good, life-saving idea. However, airbags have snapped the necks of 135 children and short women. (Strong) Smaller women might survive their accidents if airbags werent installed in their vehicles. True, airbags have had some success. Airbags have been credited with saving 3,800 lives since they have been introduced. (Akre) The airbags may be saving some lives. However, in other cases, they are doing more damage than good.
USA Today broke the story on airbag performance. The news report told us that airbags deliver enough non-lethal injuries to the passengers that it offsets their performance on overall injuries. The net result is that airbags have been found to cause injuries in so many accidents that the little good they do is overshadowed by the injuries they cause.
Now that you understand some of the problems with the performance of airbags, lets look at another problem, why they are unreliable. The reliability of airbags is questioned since they do not protect all sizes of bodies. When the first airbags were tested, the engineers didnt take into account the different sizes of people the bags would have to protect. They used a one-sized dummy. The engineers didnt think about the possibility of babies in the front seat or smaller-framed people being hurt by the bags.
The airbag deploys at speeds of 200 miles an hour. (Air bag) The bags explode when a sensor sets them off, whether the car is involved in a fender bender or a head on collision. If the cars sensors could sense the severity of the crash, the airbag could deploy with more or less force, resulting in less overall injuries. These "smart sensors" are still on the drawing board. It will be years before they are being put into full effect. According to Ford and General Motors, the advent of "smart sensors" will accompany "smarter airbags." These airbags will not only be located in the steering wheel and the glove box, but on ... more

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Security On The Internet

Security on the Internet
Internet has become an essential tool for daily tasks. The options people have nowadays are limitless: banking, shopping, booking reservations, chatting, and so on. However, several drawbacks have arisen that are of concern to all of the internet users. Unfortunately, incidents of auction fraud, the sale of illegal items, and criminal trespassing are booming in the e-commerce market. The nature of the Internet and the ease of gaining anonymity on it, has made crime easy and catching criminals much more difficult.
Many cases of fraud have occurred: people who collect payments from buyers and never ship the goods to them. Earlier in the summer, for example, former eBay seller Robert Guest pleaded guilty to mail fraud. Prosecutors had accused Guest of collecting approximately $37,000 from bidders for items he never shipped. 1 Cases like these are a real drawback for e-commerce. The lack of tangibility has been a major obstacle in doing transactions online and these cases only serve to destroy the little confidence that consumers have gained so far. Many people are hesitant to shop online, for example, and when they hear of fraud cases it only serves to confirm their initial fears. That is why organizations such as The Better Business Bureau (BBB) and The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are educating consumers to protect themselves. These agencies know that thousands of consumers are taking advantage of the opportunity to shop from the comfort of their homes via personal computers. A person can buy anything and avoid crowded malls, long lines and busy parking lots. Furthermore, the Internet is always open: 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. In order to actually benefit from online shopping, certain things must be taken into consideration. The BBBs Web site contains a section that offers tips on What You Need to Know About Cybershopping. 2 The tips are the following:
When dealing with a new merchant, ask for its physical location in order to check its reliability with consumer agencies (i.e. The BBB).
Determine the companys refund and return policy before you place an order.
Never give out your Internet password. When creating a password avoid using established numbers, such as your house number, birth date, telephone number or Social Security number. If you are asked to create a new account, never use the same password you use for other accounts.
Be cautious if you are asked to provide personal information (i.e. Social Security number or bank account information).
Look at the address of the site, the URL ensures that you are dealing with the right company. It is good to print out a copy of your order and confirmation number for your records.
Know your rights. The same laws that protect you when you shop by phone or mail apply when you shop online. Under the law, a company must ship your order within the time stated in its ads. If no time is promised, the company should ship your order within 30 days after receiving it, or give you an option notice.
If you decide to pay by credit card or charge card, your transaction will be protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act. Under this law, consumers have the right to dispute charges under certain circumstances and temporarily withhold payment while the creditor is investigating them. In the case of unauthorized use of a consumers credit card or charge card, consumers are generally held liable only for the first $50 in charges. 3 If you are not comfortable entering your credit card or charge account number online, call it in to the companys 800 number or fax it.
The FTC also contains a section which offers consumers tips on online safety. In addition to the ones made by the BBB, The FTC also suggests that:
Use a secure browser. This is the software that you use to navigate the Internet. Your browser should comply with industry security standards, such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Secure Electronic Transaction (SET). These standards scramble the purchase information you send over the Internet, ensuring the security of your transactions. Most computers come with a browser already installed or you can download one over the Internet for free.
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