Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I'm charged up...don't put me down...

No, the boys aren't making a big mess, but Tom Kyte's son's battery pack certainly was:

I heard this loud POP and sizzle noise. Then, the smell wafted in - the smell of electricity and burning. I'm walking around trying to figure out what it is - when I spy a battery pack my son left plugged in to charge while he is at school, well, what was left of it anyway....

It was smoking, it was hot, it was sizzling. I unplugged it and threw it outside on the concrete porch to cool off....

It was only plugged in for 30 minutes!

An anonymous poster then made the following comment:

I was going to ask who sold you that smoking monstrosity, so I can boycott the company, but it's probably futile. Everything is made in China nowadays, and if we've learned anything from the headlines the past six months, it's that Chinese manufacturers are more interested in taking our money than in our health and safety, or our pets' health.

Economists claim that the market "decides" what will sell and what will not. So, what can we do to help the market "decide" to sell us stuff made in, say, North America or Europe? When I go to the store, any store, all I see is "made in China" on label after label.

In a separate comment, I maintained that you can get good stuff in China, and shoddy stuff from the First World, but even I was forced to admit:

[W]hen we seek "low-cost" suppliers, we often get what we pay for.

You'll recall that exploding electronics has popped up in my blog posts before, most notably in my continuing coverage of Carmi Levy's reports on exploding laptop batteries. And even before that, there was a butt-burning cell phone story that hit close to home.

It's probably not necessary to mention that one of my MySpace friends is Beavis and Butt-Head.

Not that either of them would ever own a laptop, or a cell phone.

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