HP Recalls 6 Million Computer Cords

If you purchased an HP or Compaq laptop between September 2010 and June 2012, you may have a faulty power cord that could cause a fire or skin burns. Because of this, Hewlett-Packard recalled about 6 million power leads.

The power lead is the portion of an AC adapter that extends from the power brick to the wall outlet. The recall specifically targets the LS-15 AC power cord (see photo) that was distributed globally with HP and Compaq notebooks, mini-notebooks and certain AC adapter-powered accessories (e.g., docking stations). To be sure, look for the “LS-15” marking on the cord itself.


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Sample of Portfolio Expected Value screen. PHOTO COURTESY ACORN

HP stated it received 29 reports of power cords overheating, melting or charring, resulting in two claims of minor burns and 13 claims of minor property damage. About 5.5 million of these cords are in the U.S. and 446,000 in Canada. HP recommends customers immediately stop using devices with the LS-15 and request a free replacement. Do this by going to HP.com, navigate to the bottom of the page and click Recalls/Power Cord Recall, or call customer service at 877-219-6676.

While only a portion of these cords are affected, if you have an LS-15, I highly recommend requesting a new cord — don’t take a chance.

Click Chick’s Mobile App of the Week: Acorns

I don’t enjoy getting coins back in change because they make my wallet heavy. Usually I’ll save the quarters for parking meters, but the rest of it goes straight into my daughter’s piggy bank, if it doesn’t get lost in the nooks and crannies of my car. Eventually, all this extra money ends up in the bank, as my daughter has loads of fun dumping it into the coin-counting machine.

A recently released free app called Acorns doesn’t really solve the problem of a ton of loose physical coins, but it’s a digital piggy bank for what you spend on your credit or debit card. The app links to your cards and rounds up purchases to the fullest dollar you spend, then your rounded-up cents get placed into a portfolio of index funds.

You always can add larger amounts to your account, but the small, spare-change approach is meant to gently nudge you toward regular contributions that you won’t really notice. The concept of this is supposed to take a complex (and usually expensive) process of putting your savings to good use with a simple mobile app with minimal fees.

Acorns invests in index funds from Blackrock and Vanguard. Unlike going with a big name, there are no commissions, no minimum account balance and no penalties on withdrawals. The charge is a flat minimal $1 per month and a 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent management fee on the moola invested. I just started Acorn with one credit card, so I’ll see where it takes me. It’s available for your iOS or Android device.