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Gadgets

Electricity wants me dead

Last week CNET got a little visit from a man who had come to test the electronics in our building. This largely involves walking around with a machine that drives grown men mad with its beeping

Last week CNET got a little visit from a man who had come to test the electronics in our building. This largely involves walking around with a machine that drives grown men mad with its beeping, making sure that every cable and appliance isn't going to suddenly go all sadistic and kill us with mains electricity. Everything that passes gets a little sticker, and everything that fails gets a slightly different sticker. I'm pretty sure the 'fail' sticker is red, but you don't see many of those.

I can tell you, however, that the sticker for 'pass' is green, because these bloody things are everywhere. I mean, we work with items that need to be plugged in -- so can you imagine how many kettle leads and figure-of-eight cables we've got knocking around? I'm pretty sure the electrical safety testing man must go home and cry himself into a nightmarish dream-state where he's pursued by a beeping collection of unsafe cables and satanic red stickers, while geek-clutter overlord Rupert Goodwins cackles maniacally.

Anyway, I'm told this testing is essential -- you know, to stop us from getting blown across the room. But if I'm honest, I'm still slightly worried. I mean, it's all very well a sleep-deprived electrician coming and testing our cables at one fixed point in time, but what happens when he's gone home? What happens if a cable gets pulled too hard and spontaneously transforms into a murderous serpent of electrical venom?

And what happens to all the cables that arrive in the building on any one of the 363.242199 days he isn't in the office? Seriously, I'm really worried about this. I deal with mains power more than most people, so I'm much more likely to be struck down by its cruel hand. Personally, I think we should employ this man full time. Then he can test absolutely everything, every day. That's quite a lot of beeping for one man, though. Perhaps we should employ a whole team of them to constantly test everything.

Yes, that sounds safer.