30 ridiculously dumb tech warning labels
Tech products have some really stupid disclaimers. Here are 30 of the worst we've seen.
Warning: Reading this story may result in slight visual fatigue. In some cases, the contents of the text could cause gentle convulsing of the abdomen accompanied by a coarse "hah" sound, or possibly a high-pitched "tee-hee." If you read this story while at the office, you may receive a reprimand from your boss who expects you to, you know, be doing actual work during the day. Unless you're an insurance agent. Best I can tell, those guys never really do much of anything.
Whew -- sorry about that. After spending the last several days reading ridiculous product disclaimers, I figured I'd better cover my bases.
Our lawsuit-happy culture, you see, has resulted in companies going to extreme lengths to make sure they're protected. It's hard to blame 'em: Truth is, they never know who's going to do something dumb with their products and then sue them for the damage. The whole thing has really gotten out of hand -- and the realm of tech is no exception.
Case in point: Researchers in the U.K. are now suggesting smartphones and other mobile devices come with health warnings -- not about potential radiation, mind you, but about the fact that you could become "addicted" to the device.
I decided to dig around to find the world's most absurd tech warning labels. I can say with confidence that the 30 warnings listed below are among the most stupid, unnecessary disclaimers I've ever encountered. I suspect you'll agree.
Disclaimer: Absurdity of warnings is subjective and may not be apparent to lawyers, consultants, or people who regularly use the word "synergy." If you don't find any of the following items even remotely amusing, please turn off your computer and smack yourself in the head with the nearest rubber mallet.
Warning #1: Danger Mouse
Seen in the manual for an SGI computer: "Do not dangle the mouse by its cable or throw the mouse at co-workers."
Smacking them with the keyboard, however, is perfectly permissible.
Warning #2: Booze Blues
Seen on a Terrestrial Digital outdoor antenna: "Do not attempt to install if drunk, pregnant, or both."
Of course, if you're drunk and pregnant, you probably have bigger problems.
Warning #3: Three-Dimensional Danger
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."
Man, those drunk moms-to-be just can't catch a break!
Warning #4: Options, Options
Seen on a computer software package: "Optional modem required."
The writer's mandatory English language class, incidentally, was not completed.
Warning #5: Microwave Madness
Seen on a microwave oven manual: "Do not use for drying pets."
To be fair, some people totally misunderstand that "hot dog" button.
Warning #6: iPod, iEat
Seen on Apple's iPod Shuffle marketing materials in 2005: “Do not eat iPod Shuffle.”
Wait -- does that apply even if you're drunk and pregnant?
Warning #7: Wet Set
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.
Warning #8: Laser Loser
Seen on a laser pointer user manual: "Do not look into laser with remaining eye."
And sorry about that missing eye, by the way; we really should have warned you not to stare into the laser.
Warning #9: Warning Overdrive
Seen on the case for Jabra's Drive 'N' Talk car Bluetooth speakerphone: "Never operate your speakerphone while driving."
Also, never read warning labels with your eyes open. It's dangerous.
Warning #10: Watch This
Seen on the packaging for a wristwatch: "Warning! This is not underwear! Do not attempt to put in pants."
I guess some dudes really are desperate to get a couple of hands down there.
Warning #11: Penal Code
Seen on a chainsaw: "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals."
And you thought the wristwatch was bad.
Warning #12: Head Case
Seen on a Nintendo GameCube instruction booklet: "Do not attempt to stick head inside deck, which may result in injury."
Potential injury be damned -- that Princess Zelda looks fine from up close.
Warning #13: Mobile Manners
Seen on a Sony Ericsson cell phone: "Be careful of bad language on this mobile phone, because a partner’s feeling is going to be bad."
Also watch for inappropriate gestures. Seriously, that phone is a jerk.
Warning #14: Oral Warning
Seen on an electric thermometer's instruction sheet: "Do not use orally after using rectally."
Unless, you know, you're just into that sort of thing.
Warning #15: Flame Game
Seen on the instructions for a cordless phone: "Do not put lit candles on phone."
Especially if you're planning to put said phone down your pants.
Warning #16: Plane Stupidity
Seen on a Boeing 757 plane: "Fragile. Do not drop."
That means you, Ah-nold.
Warning #17: Stereo Snack
Seen on the Styrofoam packaging inside a stereo box: "Do not eat."
What do you think this is, an iPod or something?
Warning #18: Private PC
Seen on materials for a Sony Vaio computer: "Warning! Disconnect telephone lines before opening!"
Shut the blinds, too! And if anyone knocks on the front door, run, damn it! RUN!
Warning #19: Calculation Confusion
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."
Total shipping costs may vary based upon manufacturer stupidity.
Warning #20: Wish-Wash
Seen on a TV remote control: "Not dishwasher safe."
Well, duh -- everyone knows you have to bring those things in the tub with you to wash them.
Warning #21: Not a Drill
Seen on an electric rotary tool: "This product not intended for use as a dental drill or in medical applications."
I am so reporting my endodontist.
Warning #22: Disc, No Discus
Seen on a CD player: "Do not use the Ultradisc2000 as a projectile in a catapult."
And don't even think about throwing it at your dentist.
Warning #23: Size Surprise
Seen on a microscope: "Objects are smaller and less alarming than they appear."
Also a popular mantra with women around the world.
Warning #24: No Fly Zone
Seen on materials for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000: "Warning! This program should not be used in flight training! Death or serious injury could result!"
Silly airlines. Now put down that box and get back to making passengers' lives miserable.
Warning #25: Obvious Advice
Seen on a New Holland tractor: "Avoid death."
To their credit, I think that does pretty much cover everything.
Warning #26: Washing Warning
Seen on a washing machine: "DO NOT put any person in this washer."
Not even for a quick swim. Got it?
Warning #27: That's Hot
Seen on the packaging for a Rowenta-brand iron: “Do not iron clothes on body.”
If you do, you might be tempted to get in the washer afterward.
Warning #28: Printing Error
Seen on a laser printer toner cartridge: "Do not eat toner."
Advertising it as "licorice-flavored" might have been a mistake.
Warning #29: Read Me
Seen in a product's information booklet: "Do not use if you cannot see clearly to read the information in the information booklet."
Furthermore, if you cannot read this sentence, please call for help immediately.
Warning #30: Strange Process
Seen on a Japanese food processor: "Not to be used for the other use."
Believe me, you don't want to know.
Author JR Raphael takes no responsibility for the funniness of this story (unless you thought it was hilarious, in which case he remains fully accountable). For more geek humor, join JR on Facebook, on Twitter, or at his giggle-filled getaway: eSarcasm.com.