Wednesday, December 17, 2003

First, kill all the lawyers

The instruction book for my computer contains the following paragraph

California Residents

WARNING: Handling the cord on this product, or cords associated with accessories sold with this product, will expose you to lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Wash your hands after handling the cord.

Does this mean that cords only have lead residue in the state of California? (Is it the weather?) Does it mean that they do, but that the State of California doesn't care about non-Californians? Does it mean that lead isn't harmful to the rest of us? Does it mean that the State of California cares, but Dell doesn't? Callous bastards.

Actually what it means is that the State of California feels the need to mandate that computer manufacturers put stupid disclaimers in computer manuals, probably without their being any reputable scientific evidence, and computer manufacturers just go along with it. (Are those various combinations of bold and italics mandated by law?) It's probably Erin Brockovich's fault.

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