June 23, 2011, 4:28 PM —
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.