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"Do Not Eat iPod Shuffle": 30 Dumb Warning Labels

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the do-not-taunt dept.

Idle 143

jfruhlinger writes "You'd think that people would know electronic equipment isn't for eating, but apparently you'd be wrong. Find out what dumb things companies felt compelled to warn their customers not to do in this list compiled by JR Raphael. Some of the best include: Don't throw your mouse at a co-worker, do not attempt to stop with hands or genitals, and do not put lit candles on phone."

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143 comments

Not for use in.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36558348)

Somewhere in the iTunes license agreement, it used to have language prohibiting use in nuclear power plants, air craft control computers, and life support facilities. I read that and thought, "good to know". Here's to lawyers, keeping us safe from ourselves! -- www.awkwardengineer.com [awkwardengineer.com]

Label works (5, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | about 2 years ago | (#36558418)

That label works. I haven't eaten a single iPod Shuffle. At least, none that I've noticed.

Re:Label works (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36559274)

But how can you be sure?

Re:Label works (4, Insightful)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | about 2 years ago | (#36559276)

The best part about that label was that it was slightly different in the UK: there, it said, "Do not chew iPod shuffle" instead

Just goes to show you what Apple thinks about our intelligence: us dumb Americans would actually swallow the iPod, whereas the rest of the world is much smarter and would only munch on it.

Re:Label works (1)

operagost (62405) | about 2 years ago | (#36559524)

This was a "lesson learned" from a customer's complaint of an awkward situation where he had already chewed the Shuffle to a point sufficient for ingestion, but at that moment realized that actually swallowing it is prohibited.

Re:Label works (1)

hey! (33014) | about 2 years ago | (#36560490)

Chewing on an iPod touch isn't so far-fetched. Some people have the habit of absent-mindedly putting small stuff they're carrying into their mouth.

How many pencils have you seen with teeth marks all over them? I suppose in ancient times these folks would walk around with twig in their mouth, but you can see their modern counterparts chewing all kinds of random stuff: writing instruments, notebooks, fingernails and so on. I've seen people absent-mindedly chewing the end of their hair. Would it be so far-fetched to imagine them chewing on their earbud cords, or in the case of the iPod shuffle, the device itself? Some of the models even look like a pack of gum.

Re:Label works (1)

modi123 (750470) | about 2 years ago | (#36559556)

I was going to comment that you are looking slim and very healthy the other day, but you were busy on the phone. Kudos to the new iPod Shuffle free diet! Jumping high five!

I dropped one in coffee once (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 2 years ago | (#36559996)

It was not on purpose, and it was really annoying, especially since the iPod Shuffle is a no-user-serviceable-parts design. Once it dried out and I got the switch unstuck, I found that the electronics were mostly ok, but the battery or its charging system was toast, so it only works when plugged into a USB power source. Since then I've mostly used it as a memory stick, but 1GB is becoming less useful than it used to be.

Re:Label works (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36560460)

That is a bad thing. It prevents natural selection.
I personally don't want someone even close to me, who would eat a electronics device otherwise! Would you?

I say: ( http://bash.org/?4753 [bash.org] )

I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?

Re:Label works (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36560646)

When Steve Jobs announced the iPod Shuffe, he said it was the size of a pack of chewing gum. The "do not eat iPod Shuffle" was a joke. This warning is not present on the new model, which is much smaller and not shaped like a stick of gum.

Geez... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36558438)

Someone needs to get a sense of humor.

Re:Geez... (2)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#36559842)

Actually, I suspect lots of these are snuck into the manuals by tech support staff as jokes.

True some probably did happen, and they couldn't resist putting them in there.

Not all are dumb, suggesting the author's experience from the actual field work, such as:

Seen on materials for a Sony Vaio computer: "Warning! Disconnect telephone lines before opening!"

There is 100 volts pulsed DC on a telephone ring signal, and if you are pawing around inside your computer
connected to a dial up modem when someone calls you it can lead to expletives and the possibility that
your co-workers will spill hot coffee while laughing at your dance.

That was a joke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36558454)

"Do Not Eat iPod Shuffle" was a joke, directly referencing Happy Fun Ball.

The next article: 30 Dumb Readers

Re:That was a joke... (1)

jnik (1733) | about 2 years ago | (#36558526)

And the Pentium one was obviously a joke on the FDIV bug...

Re:That was a joke... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 2 years ago | (#36558858)

Yeah, some of these are really "top brilliant tech writer jokes". The SGI mouse warning was obviously a joke (and funnier than the author's lame comment about it). Same with the TV antenna (which I think was my personal favorite).

As far as the 3D TV... reminds me of a subtly different message/grammatical error I saw on an LG TV:

"Prevent women, the elderly, children, or sufferers of serious medical conditions should not use the 3D functions of this device."

Healthy young men, only, please!

Re:That was a joke... (4, Insightful)

cp.tar (871488) | about 2 years ago | (#36559042)

Do not look into laser with remaining eye is such an obvious joke that I really, really feel bad for the author. Someone replaced his sense of humor with Folgers and he still hasn’t noticed.

Re:That was a joke... (2)

HAKdragon (193605) | about 2 years ago | (#36558578)

I thought it was a refrence to the fact that the original shuffle was the size of a pack of gum.

Re:That was a joke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36558598)

But I don't eat gum either...

I'm calling BS on this list (4, Insightful)

sean.peters (568334) | about 2 years ago | (#36558970)

Lots of these are jokes, and I'd like to see some evidence that they ever actually appeared in manuals. The "do not look at laser with remaining eye" thing is a standard laser safety joke that's been going around for years. This whole thing is pretty lame.

Re:I'm calling BS on this list (1)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | about 2 years ago | (#36559160)

Sadly, this is pretty much par for itworld.com; they seem to have no concept of fact-checking or, hell, common-sense-checking.

the shuffle is not actually gum (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36558474)

hrmph- i remember those ads. They showed the shuffle next to a pack of gum. The "warning" was a joke.

whoosh.

Do not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36558476)

Do not taunt super happy fun ball

Re:Do not... (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#36558620)

I saw one of those labels on a dessicant inside a computer I was building that said "do not eat". Two weeks later I was hospitalized for malnutrition! "No, doctor, I'm not anorexic, I was just following the directions on the warning label!"

Re:Do not... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#36558818)

When I was a little kid I was confused about the meaning of "don't drink and drive" as seen in TV ads. I drank orange juice before driving my Power Wheels jeep all the time, was I doing something wrong!? O_O

Also, this is so bizarre that it perplexes me to this day, but I remember watching some safety cartoon (I think it was at school?) that showed kids in dangerous situations, and then indicated that you shouldn't do them by showing a big lightning bolt through the picture. The usual obvious stuff, don't cross the road between parked cars, etc...

And then one of the scenes showed a kid drinking a glass of water in front of a funhouse mirror.

I don't think I took in any of the rest of it because I was trying to figure out how that was dangerous. I still don't know to this day.

Horrible Lines (0)

Eulogistics (905277) | about 2 years ago | (#36558490)

This Raphael guy is a HORRIBLE comedian. Most of his "witty" responses to the warnings are just stupid. From TFA: " 'Seen on a TV manual: "Do not pour liquids into your television set.' Uh, hello? I'm pretty thirsty after eating that iPod, and it'd be rude not to share."

Re:Horrible Lines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36558792)

I actually thought they were better than most of the similar attempts I've seen.

booooring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36558500)

some of these were obviously tongue-in-cheek, a statement against the very absurd warnings that this article purports to display.
some of them looked legitimate, those are the ones i'd like to see more of.

and while i'm at it, why do all car commercials say "professional driver, closed course" even if the car is doing nothing but driving down the street in a completely normal fashion?
wouldn't want people to try and imitate THAT.

Re:booooring (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#36558604)

Standard boilerplate warnings even if the car does something routine like stopping suddenly because of inattentive pedestrians. Somewhere someone may claim they tried to replicate the sudden stops and injured a pedestrian thus it was the car makers fault.

ipod shuffle and pack of gum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36558528)

Apple compared the size original shuffle with a pack of gum (Trident) in the original page.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050112043302/http://www.apple.com/ipodshuffle/

Why either were considered edible is another question.

-AC

The Entire Front Page: 30 Dumb Slashdot Stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36558530)

This is what we've been reduced to.

It's all about the Pentiums baby (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36558540)

Seen on materials for a Pentium processing chip: "If this product exhibits errors, the manufacturer will replace it for a $2-shipping and a $3-handling charge, for a total of $4.97."

calculated on a P5 most likely

External Use Only (1)

imlepid (214300) | about 2 years ago | (#36558562)

I've often marveled at the number of things which come with the warning "For External Use Only". I've seen it posted on things ranging from sunblock to various topical creams. Though I never have, I hope to see it on a box of ear plugs. That would quickly make it to the top of the list of dumb labels.

Re:External Use Only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36559858)

Creams say "for external use only" because a large number of healthcare workers can tell stories of patients eating the athlete's foot or thrush cream they've been given.

Seen in the manual for a T-Mobile G2 smartphone: (1)

meldroc (21783) | about 2 years ago | (#36558566)

"If your phone rings and you discover it's in the back seat, do NOT crawl over the seat to answer it while driving."

Re:Seen in the manual for a T-Mobile G2 smartphone (1)

Israfels (730298) | about 2 years ago | (#36559192)

We at T-Mobile would like to apologize for accidentally giving you the wrong phone. We sent you the "G2 smartass phone" instead of the "G2 smartphone".

News for non-nerds, stuff that doesn't matter. (1)

Bongoots (795869) | about 2 years ago | (#36558570)

Yes, it's on idle.slashdot.org - but this isn't news in any sense of the word.

Just because it's from another computing website and the submitter has put other (dubious) articles through, it shouldn't mean that more drivel is allowed in as well.

See also: "Decoding the Inscrutable Logos On Your Electronics"

Re:News for non-nerds, stuff that doesn't matter. (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | about 2 years ago | (#36559068)

You may want to try blocking everything from Idle then as that is what Idle is...

Re:News for non-nerds, stuff that doesn't matter. (1)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | about 2 years ago | (#36559184)

My work internet filter lets through all of Slashdot—it just filters idle. Clearly, I have a wise IT department.

Jokes and bad translations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36558622)

There are generally two categories of these: Jokes, and bad translations.

The question is, can IT World tell them apart? I bet "no."

Uneccesary and stupid (0)

Beavertank (1178717) | about 2 years ago | (#36558628)

These sorts of stories always blame our "litigious society" for these stupid labels, but the reality of the situation is none of them are necessary even in our "lawsuit prone" world. There is no duty to warn of open and obvious dangers (i.e. "Don't eat this iPod" or "Do not use electrical generator in the bath tub"). Companies slap them on there because it MAY make any eventual products liability cases easier to get dismissed more quickly, but honestly, most of the warnings are so dumb there's no reason for them, legal or otherwise. It is, at best, corporate paranoia imagining what sorts of things that seem "open and obvious" aren't. Except they are. And in putting them on their products they only succeed in making themselves look bad and perpetuate stupid lawyer jokes. And stories like this, which seem to presuppose that these warnings ARE necessary for some lawsuit based reason, only make it worse.

Re:Uneccesary and stupid (2)

DriedClexler (814907) | about 2 years ago | (#36559014)

Yeah, good point, every single business, which actually has to earn a profit rather than spit out cheap talk, and which has extensively analyzed court precedent and consulted with lawyers, is just being completely stupid and enjoys having to water down real warnings with tons fake ones.

It's can't possibly have anything to do with the non-trivial risk of dumb-shit juries, charming lawyers, or a court system that tolerates them. It's good we have you around to save everyone the problem of actually *looking* at the real world.

*jerk-off gesture*

Re:Uneccesary and stupid (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#36559402)

I world with lawyers. As a rule, they will take the most safest and conservative way. If you said "Do you think we shoudl put a do not eat on this item?" they would say yes, not matter what it is.
Also, management will put warning stickers/signs that they think they might need, as well consultants, and so on

Your fallacy is that you think corporation are all group think like minded pursuit to complete optimization and efficiency. They are not.

The 'litigation society' is pretty much bullshit.

Re:Uneccesary and stupid (1)

Beavertank (1178717) | about 2 years ago | (#36560142)

Right, because it's a question of fact for a jury (not a question of law for a judge) if the case passes the threshold for viability in terms of whether or not the injury was the result of an open and obvious risk. Oh wait, it's not? Your theory went up in smoke? Oh I'm sorry! How insensitive of me to poke holes in your well thought out completely baseless assertion!

Re:Uneccesary and stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36559144)

Yeah you're right, lawyers haven't f***ed up everything they touch.

Seen on an airplane emergency exit door... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36558636)

"Emergency Exit" - then the same thing in Braille right below it....

Re:Seen on an airplane emergency exit door... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36559150)

My favorite is "DANGER: Stay behind yellow line" with Braille below it. Seen frequently at train and bus stations.

Harbor Freight (1)

iroll (717924) | about 2 years ago | (#36558642)

Everything you buy from Harbor Freight has the same boilerplate on it:

"Always wear ANSI approved safety goggles etc etc"

I found the warning on an apple slicer [hfreviews.com] , and all kinds of other silly things.

I BROKE IT (1)

Marurun (1938210) | about 2 years ago | (#36558654)

I've actually read a lot of these labels mentioned before and always laugh at how stupid every warning can be. The funniest ones to me are when the warning label is placed in such a way that you break the warning it says not to do. Such as when a product says "DO NOT TURN UPSIDE DOWN" yet the warning is on the bottom. Supreme logic at work, or poor warning placement.

The 30 Labels - because clickthroughs be damned. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36558678)

If you would like the full article and marginally funny commentary, feel free to click through to the article.

For just the 30 labels:

  1. Seen in the manual for an SGI computer: "Do not dangle the mouse by its cable or throw the mouse at co-workers."
  2. Seen on a Terrestrial Digital outdoor antenna: "Do not attempt to install if drunk, pregnant, or both."
  3. Seen on a Samsung 3D TV disclaimer: "Pregnant women, the elderly, sufferers of serious medical conditions, those who are sleep deprived or under the influence of alcohol should avoid utilizing the unit's 3D functionality."
  4. Seen on a computer software package: "Optional modem required."
  5. Seen on a microwave oven manual: "Do not use for drying pets."
  6. Seen on Apple's iPod Shuffle marketing materials in 2005: âoeDo not eat iPod Shuffle.â
  7. Seen on a TV manual: "Do not pour liquids into your television set."
  8. Seen on a laser pointer user manual: "Do not look into laser with remaining eye."
  9. Seen on the case for Jabra's Drive 'N' Talk car Bluetooth speakerphone: "Never operate your speakerphone while driving."
  10. Seen on the packaging for a wristwatch: "Warning! This is not underwear! Do not attempt to put in pants."
  11. Seen on a chainsaw: "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals."
  12. Seen on a Nintendo GameCube instruction booklet: "Do not attempt to stick head inside deck, which may result in injury."
  13. Seen on a Sony Ericsson cell phone: "Be careful of bad language on this mobile phone, because a partnerâ(TM)s feeling is going to be bad." ("Let's keep mobile manners." - from one of the few images image of the actual labels, but strangely not quoted in the article. This is just Engrish, of course.)
  14. Seen on an electric thermometer's instruction sheet: "Do not use orally after using rectally."
  15. Seen on the instructions for a cordless phone: "Do not put lit candles on phone."
  16. Seen on a Boeing 757 plane: "Fragile. Do not drop."
  17. Seen on the Styrofoam packaging inside a stereo box: "Do not eat."
  18. Seen on materials for a Sony Vaio computer: "Warning! Disconnect telephone lines before opening!"
  19. Seen on materials for a Pentium processing chip: "If this product exhibits errors, the manufacturer will replace it for a $2-shipping and a $3-handling charge, for a total of $4.97."
  20. Seen on a TV remote control: "Not dishwasher safe."
  21. Seen on an electric rotary tool: "This product not intended for use as a dental drill or in medical applications."
  22. Seen on a CD player: "Do not use the Ultradisc2000 as a projectile in a catapult."
  23. Seen on a microscope: "Objects are smaller and less alarming than they appear."
  24. Seen on materials for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000: "Warning! This program should not be used in flight training! Death or serious injury could result!"
  25. Seen on a New Holland tractor: "Avoid death."
  26. Seen on a washing machine: "DO NOT put any person in this washer."
  27. Seen on the packaging for a Rowenta-brand iron: âoeDo not iron clothes on body.â
  28. Seen on a laser printer toner cartridge: "Do not eat toner."
  29. Seen in a product's information booklet: "Do not use if you cannot see clearly to read the information in the information booklet."
  30. Seen on a Japanese food processor: "Not to be used for the other use."

anon - because karma be damned, too.

Re:The 30 Labels - because clickthroughs be damned (1)

sfm (195458) | about 2 years ago | (#36560206)

Okay, some of these are funny, just because they are so absurd.

Where I have trouble is in the realization that there are far too many of the pointless labels, which are generally ignored. So people get in the habit of ignoring ALL labels, even the important ones.

Thats when it gets dangerous.

the Duke's got other ideas (1)

blakecraw (1235302) | about 2 years ago | (#36558682)

Seen on chainsaw: Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals.

But I've got balls of steel.

Re:the Duke's got other ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36559016)

Seen on chainsaw: Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals.

But I've got balls of steel.

The other way to get pants on fire -- try stopping a chainsaw with steel balls.

The Shuffle warning was JOKE (3, Interesting)

sootman (158191) | about 2 years ago | (#36558690)

See here. [archive.org] The page (the article only shows a bit of it in the screenshot) said "iPod shuffle: Smaller than a pack of gum and much more fun.* ". The "warning" was a joke.

* actually, it was a [2] footnote, but Slashdot doesn't allow <sup> tags.

Re:The Shuffle warning was JOKE (1)

sootman (158191) | about 2 years ago | (#36558796)

What's really funny is that the first page for the Mac mini [archive.org] showed a bunch of them in a stack next to a PC (animated .gif that grows and shrinks) but the instructions that came with the Mini said "do not put things on top of the Mini" so they quickly took down that graphic.

Re:The Shuffle warning was JOKE (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | about 2 years ago | (#36558806)

I think at least half of the warnings were jokes. A few Engrish translation errors and the remaining were just dumb.

Most of These Have to Be Jokes (1)

Hardhead_7 (987030) | about 2 years ago | (#36558692)

The author thinks they're the result of an overly litigious society, but a lot of these have to be firmly tongue-in-cheek. I mean, "Do not look into laser with remaining eye?" Someone threw that in as a joke, and kept on laughing after it got past editing.

Re:Most of These Have to Be Jokes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36559070)

Maybe but I've seen a few on multiple products. Main one I can remember is the thermometer: "do not use orally after using rectally" though I think the intent there was "if you ever use this as a rectal thermometer, no amount of cleaning in the world will guarantee that it's safe for oral use." Plus, I'm sure some people do it without thinking fairly often - it seems like something people would mess up.

Re:Most of These Have to Be Jokes (1)

jfengel (409917) | about 2 years ago | (#36559500)

In the case of the iPod, the joke was part of the marketing. They compared it to a packet of gum, to impress you with how small it was. Nobody expected you to try to eat it; the fake warning was a bit of humor.

I have no idea how many of the others are jokes, or how many of them have other stories that make them less than they might appear. I do know that the authors of the article didn't try to find out.

Do not eat iPod Shuffle? But it looks like candy-- (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36558776)

I used to have a candle in a jar with a clear plastic lid emblazoned with a warning to "Remove lid before lighting".

tort and liability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36558790)

Anything that is not warned about can be sued over a "failure to warn". Negligence also comes to play "knew or should have known."

Lawsuit (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | about 2 years ago | (#36558902)

You realize that there is probably a story behind each of the warning labels. And an expensive lawsuit.

Re:Lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36559078)

In many cases, it is fear of a lawsuit. One claim turns into a class action and BAM, you are talking about millions of dollars. A third goes to the lawyer and everyone else gets a check for a few dollars if they fill out reams of paper work. In a lot of these cases, the only winners are the lawyers.

Mercedes Warning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36559002)

Some of the 'dumb' warning labels are because the writer's first language is not English. Others are because of prior law suits. Two examples: I once owned a Mercedes 450 SEL. The manual had this warning in the section on driving: "It is inadvisable to exceed 120 km/hour while driving on twisty, mountainous roads during rain storms." In five years, I never exactly duplicated those conditions. Or, in a past job, I wrote ad copy for the Sears (Big Book) catalog. A little girl had hear scalp torn off while riding a Sears riding lawnmower. The family sued Sears and won. The girl had 4-foot long braided hair at the time of the accident. The plaintiff's lawyer argued that Sears had not place labels on the mower warning against operation with long braided hair. We were required to add "Do not operate with long (length sufficient to reach from head area to engine area) braided hair" in the advertising copy. We were told that same line was added to the Operator's Manual as well.

Re:Mercedes Warning (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 2 years ago | (#36559316)

It is not even necessary for the suit to be won for this kind of ridiculous stuff. They could settle with no fault admitted. A pharmacy whose owner I know once received a prescription for codeine that looked suspicious. They called the doctor who supposedly had filled the prescription and he said no, he hadn't written a prescription to that person. The police were called and the woman hauled off. She sued the pharmacy for embarassing her and causing her mental trauma. The pharmacy consulted a lawyer and said that they would certainly win the case, but it would probably cost upwards of $50,000 in legal and court fess and advised them to settle for $30,000. Which they did.
As a side note, this is also the pharmacy where an employee shot and killed a robber, saving the lives of three people, and his reward for this heroic act is life in prison and the loss of everything he had acquired in his life which was all put toward his legal defense.
This is the same pharmacy that had been robbed twice before and one time the employees had been tied up in the back room, pistol whipped, and left with not a care whether they lived or died by the criminals.

Re:Mercedes Warning (1)

operagost (62405) | about 2 years ago | (#36559718)

Well, I can safely say in the case of the pharmacy that it is the citizens, through the jury, who FAILED MISERABLY.

Ring ring ring (4, Interesting)

mmontour (2208) | about 2 years ago | (#36559034)

"Warning! Disconnect telephone lines before opening!"

As someone who was once zapped when removing a PCI modem, I can understand this one. Phone lines carry a moderate DC voltage, plus a higher AC voltage when ringing. It is a good idea to disconnect those lines before handling the circuit boards they connect to. It wouldn't be lethal, but it's unpleasant and could cause you to yank your hand away suddenly (right into a pointy heat-sink or razor-sharp edge of sheet metal).

Re:Ring ring ring (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 2 years ago | (#36559538)

I think it is liek 40v so it is a decent jolt.

Re:Ring ring ring (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | about 2 years ago | (#36559832)

5 VDC on the hook
40 VDC while talking
90 VDC while ringing

the last 2 can kill you.

Telephone power (1)

DragonHawk (21256) | about 2 years ago | (#36560602)

Talk battery is nominally -48 VDC, on hook or off. It usually measures a bit lower in practice, due to line losses and the like. It really is a battery, for POTS: Telco COs run everything off batteries, and the phones are powered from them, more-or-less directly.

Ring voltage is AC, not DC. 90 VAC, 20 Hz.

At least, that's what the numbers are in the US. Prolly some other countries are different, I'm guessing.

Re:Ring ring ring (1)

publiclurker (952615) | about 2 years ago | (#36559864)

I was working on a phone line under a desk once when it rang. I don't know what hurt worse, the shock or my head hitting the desk. I had actually disconnected the line before I started working on it, but someone came into the office, noticed it was disconnected and plugged it back in.

Re:Ring ring ring (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 2 years ago | (#36560060)

Thank you for explaining that. That was the only one I didn't understand, so I figured it must have been part of a marketing campaign that I'd never seen.

And they warn in 50 languages.. (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | about 2 years ago | (#36559040)

EN: Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

ES: Tu gato tiene una piruleta apestoso.

FR: Aprenda a leer las instrucciones de shampoo en Inglés!

Number 18 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36559092)

Number 18 is actually good advice. Telephone lines can produce 48v during ring down. If you have the computer open and your hand in there, you are going to feel it! Not to mention possibly damaging the components. As someone who works on PC's often this is good advice for the lay person.

Re:Number 18 (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 years ago | (#36559778)

Yes, but the warning doesn't say what you're opening (opening a laptop usually refers to tipping up the display) and the warning is something you'd see before connecting a phone line to the laptop... this one actually made me laugh the first time I saw it on Vaio packaging (it would make sense in the dis-assembly part of the manual).

pics or it didn't happen (2)

callmebill (1917294) | about 2 years ago | (#36559122)

I think I'll write an article with silly warnings and write, "Seen on product X! For real! No lie!"

MP3 player - only insert CDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36559590)

One of the warnings that came with my MP3 player (early Sansa model) specified that the device was to only be used with CDs.....

Now if I could fit a CD in there...

My personal favorite (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 2 years ago | (#36559622)

Early on when we were becoming a litigious society (mid 80's) my dad purchased a new fan belt for his car. It didn't have a warning but instruction #1 was:
"Shut off engine before removing old belt"
Given the time it may have been an early C.Y.A. thing or maybe someone lost a few fingers.

Another personal favorite one I have seen a few times, most recently in the instruction manual for my Lawn Boy mower I bought last year:
"Do not use mower to trim hedges"

The iron one is common (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#36559652)

My iron has the warning "Do not iron clothes while wearing them." then adds "No, don't laugh. I've seen it done"

I like to think that the instruction writer who wrote these instructions fought for that addendum and insisted that if they have to treat some customers as idiots, at least assume some of them have a sense of humour.

While not exactly a consumer product.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36559812)

...my favorite warning label is

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Shuttle_mounting_point.JPG

That's from the shuttle carrier aircraft NASA uses to haul the orbiters around.

Obviously a joke, but nevertheless amusing.

Last gen's iPod Shuffle was almost edible (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#36559976)

Considering it had no buttons and was just a metal stick, I could see how someone might eat it. I wonder if that iPod Shuffle actually carried the warning for real. (I suspect it's small enough to actually be eaten without much difficulty.)

And yes, I know it referred to the first iPod Shuffle.

Not sure if the iPod Shuffle warning was serious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36560040)

If you get a chance to look at old Apple ads through the 80s and 90s they often put little jokes in the fine print. While the Shuffle's ads did compare its size to a pack of gum, I always thought the cautionary note was a nod to those past days, given the opportunity.

Here's another one: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36560618)

From my shaving machine's instruction booklet:
Do not use extremely hot water to clean your shaving machine. This may burn your hands.

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