Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I like tech toys -- no secret there.
A glowing blue light just makes me happy for some reason. I've asked around and I'm not alone. Five out of five geeks participating in my informal interview would pay up to $20 extra for a blue-glowing LED somewhere on an electronic device.
This is marketing genius.
Any electronics company can exploit the bug zapper-like draw of a $.19 LED to jack up the price $20. Even I can do that math.
As I've documented here on numerous occasions, I've been in the market for a certain device for use in meetings and family gatherings.
My brother-in-law is a police officer, so naturally I went to him for advice.
He said I don't actually want a "Taser". Tasers, he advised, shoot the electrodes out and cause pain, convulsions, loss of control of bodily function and unconsciousness. None of this is bad, but the electrodes need to be replaced every time -- at a cost of $50 a zap.
What I needed, he further schooled, is a stun gun. You have to get close, but since most of my targets aren't meth heads holding broken beer bottles that should work out alright. The effect is the same, with no costly hardware replacement.
Then we got our electric bill. With fuel prices what they are, I knew I could never afford the constant meter spin of charging the stun gun over and over and over for the countless times I'd be tempted to use it. Every day.
Part of me (the logical part) knows that once I've stunned someone in a meeting the threat of stunning should keep most people in line, but another part (the much more powerful non-logical part) knows I'd still want to keep it constantly charged. I'd be looking for an excuse, not using the device, and still paying the electrical bills.
My indecision has left me out of the "early adopter" phase for electronic stunning devices in office environments, but it has left me eligible for participation in what I like to think of as "round two".
Just as no Microsoft product is ready for use before the first service pack, the latest Tasers are finally up to the task. As far as I understand it, a person still has to replace the electrodes. However, the new functionality makes $50 a little easier to spend.
So, winter is about to happen in much of the US. Right now, it is a blustery 70+ degrees in the winter wonderland of Houston.
As a result, criminals (perps, as we like to call them) are starting to wear thicker clothing. How can two tiny electrodes hope to penetrate a Starter jacket AND a Dallas Cowboys practice jersey to sufficiently shock the delicate flesh underneath?
Thank you Taser! Here is how:

1. Officer/annoyed tech fires the Taser at the suspect/co-worker
2. Electrodes penetrate enough to cause a slight shock, but no incapacitation/urination because of the multiple "Thug Life" long-sleeve T-shirts/business casual attire
3. Reflexively, the pimp/marketing guy swats at the hanging electrodes
4. The full-power back end of the electrode sends current through his/her unprotected hand
5. Pure, undiluted awesome ensues, my friends

Now, if they can equip them with blue-glowing LEDs, I'd buy stock in the company. And extra electrodes. You can never have too many.

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