iPod earbud revelation is shocking

Dan Moren
20 May, 2009
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With a troubled economy and a lingering concerns about the spread of swine flu, you’d think we have enough to worry about without our consumer electronics rebelling against us. But what you don’t know about your iPod headphones might shock you.

No, seriously. They might shock you. Electrically. Apple knowledge base article TS2729 warns users about that ever so dangerous intersection between your earbuds and static electricity, though the company is also quick to point out that this could happen with any earbuds.

This condition is very similar to dragging your feet across a carpet and receiving a static shock by touching a door knob. However, instead of the static charge building up on your body, the charge builds up on the device that the earbuds are connected to. Likewise, instead of the static buildup discharging through your finger when you touch a door knob, it discharges through the earbuds.

Don’t fret, though. Apple’s got a number of suggestions for how you can deal with this kind of problem. For example, since static electricity commonly occurs in dry environments, you could buy a humidifier—wait, could this mean Apple’s going into the humidifier business? Quick, buy up all the humidifier stock you can find!

The company also suggests anti-static hand lotion, which I thought was made up, but apparently it’s a real thing. Oh, and Apple also says that you should consider wearing different clothes.

To be fair, though, that has little to do with static electricity. The folks from Cupertino just think your wardrobe could use an update.

Also, don’t rub your iPod on materials which could cause a build-up of static electricity. Strike that—please don’t rub your iPod on anything, alright? We don’t have the money to bail you out again.

In related news, Microsoft has published a similar article on their site, tentatively titled “How Not To Get Made Fun of for Having a Zune.” Unfortunately, it’s not really all that helpful, as it just contains sad emoticons and a link to the Apple Store.

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