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HP ships laptop containing footage from the assembly line

One gadget buyer got a surprise when he started up his new HP laptop and found some video footage on the hard drive.

Say cheese! This Chinese factory worker was caught looking directly into the webcam on an HP laptop while he finished putting said device together. Nothing too extraordinary in that, you might think. Except that the footage was still on the laptop when someone bought it. Whoops!

The laptop's buyer posted about his findings on Reddit. He brought his new HP notebook home, started it up, and found the footage in the My Documents folder. The whole clip is embedded below. It's not all that exciting, I have to warn you, but it does provide a rare glimpse into factory life unlike any seen before. (Usually any visits are carefully stage-managed, with photo opportunities aplenty, as when Tim Cook paid a visit to the Foxconn factory to show how humane the working conditions were.)

A couple of minutes in, the uploader starts messing around trying to liven things up, superimposing the video onto a Polaroid snap and a cinema screen. So while the footage is raw, you couldn't say the clip is unedited. And close to the three-minute mark, someone walks past. But that's about as thrilling as it gets.

Hit play on the video below to take a look.

You can see the conveyor belt in the background, as workers chat and go about piecing together the gadgets. It doesn't look like the most exciting place to work, but then that's the nature of the assembly line, I suppose.

The location is said to be the Chongqing Manufacturing City.

I'd guess this is pretty standard practice in order to test the webcam -- it's just that someone forgot to delete the footage, which could be done all too easily. Still, it's a rare glimpse into factory life, and the clip is free of the interference of any big, controlling corporation.

Have you ever bought a gadget that contained something it shouldn't? What do you think of the factory conditions? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.