Man dies after bathtub phone charger shock

Phone chargers usually only deliver a few volts of juice at a feeble amperage, but they'll deliver a lot more if you give them the chance. The BBC writes that a UK man died in the bathtub after being shocked by a charger connected to an extension cord.

Richard Bull, 32, died when his iPhone charger made contact with the water at his home in Ealing, west London. A coroner ruled his death was accidental and plans to send a report to Apple about taking action to prevent future deaths. Safety campaigners have warned about the dangers of charging mobiles near water following the inquest. Mr Bull is believed to have plugged his charger into an extension cord from the hallway and rested it on his chest while using the phone, the Sun reports.

Those little switching power supplies won't save you when wet. The bottom line, from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents: "any appliance attached to the mains electricity circuit is dangerous near water." Read the rest

Anker's 10-port USB charger on sale for $33.59

Anker makes good stuff. Their 60-Watt 10-port USB charger can charge up to 2.4 amps per port (12 amps maximum). If you live with more than a few people, this can come in handy. It's on sale at Amazon for $33.59. Read the rest

Anker’s PowerCore USB 15600 battery pack for $24

I have quite a few different battery packs, but I think Anker's are the most attractive. The Anker battery I have had for years is still going strong. Amazon has a good sale on the PowerCore 15600 USB battery pack: it's $24 when you use the code SPRING80 at checkout. Read the rest

Surge protector has 3 AC outlets and 4 USB outlets for $12

Amazon has a good deal on the iClever BoostStrip Surge Protector With 4 USB Ports. It's $12 with code SURGEPOW. I just bought one for the kitchen, which is where family and visitors seem to want to charge their phones. Read the rest

Apple: more than 90% of "official" accessories on Amazon are fake (UPDATE: Amazon response)

In a trademark infringement case filed against Mobile Star LLC, which it claims is a prolific counterfeiter, Apple says that more than 90% of the "official" gadgets sold in its name at Amazon are fake. [via]

Moreover, they're mostly garbage, and potentially dangerous.

Consumers, relying on Amazon.com's reputation, have no reason to suspect the power products they purchased from Amazon.com are anything but genuine. This is particularly true where, as here, the products are sold directly "by Amazon.com" as genuine Apple products using Apple's own product marketing images. Consumers are likewise unaware that the counterfeit Apple products that Amazon.com sourced from Mobile Star have not been safety certified or properly constructed, lack adequate insulation and/or have inadequate spacing between low voltage and high voltage circuits, and pose a significant risk of overheating, fire, and electrical shock. Indeed, consumer reviews of counterfeit Apple power adapters purchased from Amazon.com and from the above ASIN report that the counterfeit products overheat, smolder, and in some cases catch fire:

Amazon seems to have gone well shady lately—something's got to give. Lukewarm take: the vast majority of users will think the fakes are genuine even with the media fuss over it, Apple's reputation is what gets quietly burned at the weekend barbecues of America, and Amazon is monolithically indifferent to counterfeiting. Apple might then consider the unquantifiable value of not charging $29 for Lightning cables.

UPDATE: Amazon spokesperson Aaron Toso responds:

“Amazon has zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeits on our site.
Read the rest

Great short flexible USB-to-Lightning cable

The Mophie Sync/Charge Lightning/USB cable ($10 on Amazon) is the perfect short cable for charging an iPhone from a portable charging battery. It twists and bends and holds its shape. It's now part of my travel kit. Read the rest

Dual USB car charger doesn't dangle from cigarette lighter port

The tiny Aukey CC-S1 4.8A Dual USB Car Charger doesn't protrude from your car's 9-volt adapter port. It's regularly $12, but if you use code JZMYBJHC on Amazon you can get it for $6. Read the rest

5-port Quick Charge 2.0 USB station for $24

The highly-rated Tronsmart Titan 10A/90W 5-Port USB Charger Charging Station with Quick Charge 2.0 Technology sells on Amazon for $38, but if you use code USBTITAN you can get it for $24. Read the rest

20000mAh portable charger for $18

This is the best price I've seen on a 20000mAh USB portable charger. It's $36, but if you use the promotion code Y4DFT2KK at checkout you can buy it for $18 (at least it was $18 the last time I checked.) I bring a 20000mAh charger when I travel and it keeps my iPhone 6 Plus fully charged for a few days with heavy use. Read the rest

Deal: Mpow 3-Port Intelligent Car Charger

When it comes to cars, the faster the better. That’s why the Mpow 3-Port Intelligent Car Charger ($13.99) is an essential gadget for every car on the road. It’s packed with 6.6 amps of power, three versatile ports, and a sleek metallic design.

Supports both 12V &18V input for optimized charging for smartphones & tablets Identifies connected devices & charges at full speed Fits snuggly into most cars’ sockets Crafted in a compact .5" design Charge 2 tablets & 1 smartphone at the same time Read the rest