back to article Alabama man gets electrocuted after sleeping with iPhone

An iPhone user is trying to raise awareness about the dangers of sleeping with your electronics after nearly getting electrocuted in the night. Wiley Day, 32, from Huntsville, Alabama, fell asleep with his iPhone charging on the sheet beside him. A few hours later he woke up in agony with bands of pain around his neck and the …

  1. patrickstar

    This, of course, does only happen with US style outlets. Although I guess it's theoretically possible with the European plugs that have all-metal prongs as well, though it's much rarer - and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

      In what alternate universe do chargers have plastic prongs?

      I have at this moment five "wall wart" chargers, including an official Apple iPad charger, right in front of me and not one of them follows this "plastic prong" design you cite.

      I'm not sure why you feel that sleeping on a charger plugged into a live extension cord could only end in sadness in America but I question your logic process in arriving at that conclusion.

      Before you wade in: Lived the first 30 years of my life in the UK, father was a chartered electrical engineer and so we did all our own rewiring, and plug installation was taught to me at school since (and American readers will find this hysterically funny) things like hair dryers, washing machines and soldering irons didn't come with a plug fitted out of the box - nominally because in the 1970s you could find upwards of three different plug standards in the same house but actually because UK manufacturers were tight as a crab.

      Yes, every purchase mandated a trip to the local hardware store to buy a plug (almost always left fused at 13 amps no matter what the application was to be - so much for the much-vaunted safety) or the removal of a plug from something else.

      When I was a teenager, every home had at least one small electric appliance with a cord ending in two pathetic dangling leads because its plug had been scavenged for another device. In summer you would steal the plug from an electric fire to equip, say, a reading lamp, then in the autumn you'd disable your sister's curling tongs so you could have warm feet *and* be able to see to read.

      Eventually someone would break down and go and buy a plug, at which point a new appliance would appear in-theater.

      And there are some classic pix out there of how people could subvert the "safety" of British sockets to extract juice without the need of a plug or perhaps only needing the pins from a plug shattered in some accident because, despite the charming belief of clever young things, UK plugs are nowhere near indestructible and the people who want to use the magic wall juice are just as cunning and just as unintelligent was those who do the same sort of thing Stateside when they have a shortage of the proper equipment needed.

      1. Jon 37

        Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

        > In what alternate universe do chargers have plastic prongs?

        In the UK. Nowadays, it's mandatory for all new appliances in the UK to come with a UK plug. And you usually get one that's moulded onto the wire and can't be removed. And the plug always has half-plastic half-metal live & neutral pins, so if it's less than half out the socket you can't see the metal, and if it's more than half out the socket then it's not live anyway because the pins won't be touching the contacts in the socket. The earth pin is always solid metal - it doesn't hurt if you touch that one.

        I believe continental Europe has very similar rules, but their plugs are obviously different. At least my Apple travel charger has half-plastic half-metal live & neutral pins on its EU plug.

        Yes, in the 1970s there may have been more dodgy stuff going on, but everything's a lot better nowadays.

        1. Oh Homer

          Re: everything's a lot better nowadays

          Yes, apparently some countries believe in learning from their mistakes.

          1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
            Alert

            Re: everything's a lot better nowadays

            Think of it as evolution in action.

            The early years of electrical use in the home are a catalogue of interesting ways to die, often because the original installers had no idea that there would be any use beyond lighting.

            1. hplasm Silver badge
              Holmes

              Re: everything's a lot better nowadays

              "Think of it as evolution in action."

              Which explains a lot...

        2. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

          "And the plug always has half-plastic half-metal live & neutral pins, so if it's less than half out the socket you can't see the metal,"

          Since 1984 anyway. Before that they were all uninsulated, and by nice coincidence a UK copper 1 Pence coin fits tightly between the 3 prongs....

          Much fun was had in school science labs, etc until they fixed that!

          1. Mr Dogshit
            Headmaster

            A "1 Pence coin"

            ... or a penny as we call it.

        3. AndrueC Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

          One thing I will say about us as a nation - we sure knew how to design a safe and sturdy mains socket and plug.

          And for those wondering about the plastic legs.

          1. Carrot007

            Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

            Your linked picture is not of a BS standard plug.

            The eath pin is required to be metal. Even if it is not used. Not that anyone seems to care these days.

        4. Uffish

          Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

          Standard EU two round pin chargers are all plastic prongs with metal tops, at least going by the five different chargers I have in active service. I can't vouch for all the old wall warts in a box in the garage but the changeover to the current form started about twenty years ago (but still later than in UK).

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

        Here's some catching up for you...

        British Plugs Are Better Than All Other Plugs, And Here's Why

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

          British Plugs Are Better Than All Other Plugs, And Here's Why

          He actually forgot one: forced polarity, but there's a small debate about that one. A UK plug will always get the live feed through the prong with the fuse because there's no other way of plugging it in. This means that a socket switch is certain to kill the live (dangerous) feed and an appliance switch in the brown wire will indeed switch off the right line if wired correctly.

          The debate is that some argue that the EU design is safer because it forces double-pole switches and is thus safer in case of wiring mistakes.

          My personal preference is the UK approach because that it puts the fuse where it matters: in the circuit of the appliance cable. The EU style approach means that a thin lead has as much access to the maximum load of the circuit as a cable designed for that power, so you get people plugging in electric heaters through cables that will soon be as hot as the heater - the UK approach prevents that, provided you fuse it as you should: rated to the cable in use.

          Some decades ago we had mandatory electricity safety training at work (CWC), and that was somewhat of an eye opener. You never quite believe that a reel of cable can heat up as much as alleged until you are handed the actual result, and it's quite a chilling sight (hence the need to unreel if you run a lot of power through it). I'm not sure it's still mandatory in companies, but from what I've seen in places it ought to be mandatory already at school..

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

            "You never quite believe that a reel of cable can heat up as much as alleged until you are handed the actual result, and it's quite a chilling sight "

            I'm not sure "chilling" is the right word here.

        2. Glenturret Single Malt

          Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

          The video that you link to shows a plug being inserted upside down into the earth socket so that the shutters on the the other two sockets are opened. If the earth pin on the plug was triangular in cross section (or any other shape where the two sides are not parallel), this would not be possible.

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

            The video that you link to shows a plug being inserted upside down into the earth socket so that the shutters on the the other two sockets are opened. If the earth pin on the plug was triangular in cross section (or any other shape where the two sides are not parallel), this would not be possible.

            Few socket strips actually fully comply with the BS. If they did, the amount of plastic "above" the earth socket would be sufficient to stop the L&N pins slipping down the side of the socket. This also makes it impossible to insert a plug upside-down, far enough to open the shutters.

            M.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

        "In what alternate universe do chargers have plastic prongs?"

        Most places which don't follow the US model. The tops of the prongs are plastic coated so the incident as described can't happen. Although the standard US mains plug is pretty shitty with fairly thin prongs, I'm sure it's not beyond the wit of man to come up with a safer design that's partially insulated to avoid this problem without having to invent a new wall socket.

        But then I see all sorts of various odd anomalies in the US that seem to be bound by "tradition" rather then modern technology or safety concerns. I sometimes wonder if this is due a to a lack of "history" from the POV of the USA as it is today. (the continent has a lot of history, but the majority of current citizens don't seem to be aware of it) so cling to certain "traditions" so as to actually have some.

        1. Kernel

          Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

          " Although the standard US mains plug is pretty shitty with fairly thin prongs, I'm sure it's not beyond the wit of man to come up with a safer design that's partially insulated to avoid this problem without having to invent a new wall socket."

          True - but for the federal government to mandate the use of such an improved plug would be unconstitutional interference in the people's right to freely express their stupidity by taking an extension lead to bed with them. Once started down this slippery slope some of them will then be wanting affordable health care for all and a limit to how many arms a bear can have.

          1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

            Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

            "True - but for the federal government to mandate the use of such an improved plug would be unconstitutional interference"

            We did discuss various possible improvements with UL back in the day. It isn't the public - they have been somewhat brainwashed into thinking that 120V is much safer than the 230V or so used in much of the rest of the world - it's the product specifiers who don't want to spend a few extra cents on a mere mains plug.

            UL itself supports improved safety - it's their job - but the committees they are involved in tend to be manufacturer dominated.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

              It isn't the public - they have been somewhat brainwashed into thinking that 120V is much safer than the 230V or so used in much of the rest of the world

              Given that you need to put a bit more effort in getting up the required current to cause health problems I'd say it is indeed a bit safer, the problem lies more in the fact that the public tends to translate safer as safe, which it is not.

        2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

          Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

          I see all sorts of various odd anomalies in the US that seem to be bound by "tradition" rather then modern technology or safety

          Safety standards are Commie gummint overreach. We prefer to die as free men and women.

          1. the Jim bloke Silver badge

            Re: die as free men and women.

            when you find a country that will let you do that, form an orderly queue and apply to emigrate there.

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

        "nominally because in the 1970s you could find upwards of three different plug standards in the same house but actually because UK manufacturers were tight as a crab."

        Possibly in old house, not recently rewired (for the time period), but my memories of the 70's in the UK was that everything was a standard "13A" plug. Yeah, people sometimes used the wrong fuses, but at least they had fuses! I do remember dad had a home-made extension unit in the garage that included one each of 5A and 15A round pin sockets and there was even some plugs in the box to fit, but I don't ever recall them being used. I suspect it either pre-dated me or, as an electrical fitter, he was just covering all the bases. There were even plugs in the spares box to plug appliances into a lamp socket which, again, I never saw in use.

        Then again, the 70's was 40+ years ago and things have move on since then.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

          "Instead, the dogtags he had been wearing had fallen into a gap between the charger plug and an extension cable, touched the metal prongs, and sent 110 volts through his neck."

          When we used to go exhibitions in the 80-'s, we were supplied with all types of extension leads, nearly all had recessed 2 pin (us and Euro) sockets so the plug had to be out 60+% before you even saw a gap of a gnat's cock

        2. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: the memories of John Brown (no body)

          Possibly in old house, not recently rewired (for the time period), but my memories of the 70's in the UK was that everything was a standard "13A" plug.

          Oh there were ubiquitous 13 amp sockets, I'll grant you. I remember the standard being introduced. Everyone stampeded to fit those nice shiny square pin sockets.

          But I know for a fact that very few people understodd the need to properly assess the wiring and replace it where necessary. The comment I made about underfloor heating was not a joke. actual experience at a friend's house when we pulled floorboards and stuck a mirror down there for a new cable pull. No torch needed. wiring proividing nice orange glow. No smell on account of the insulation having slagged off years before they bought the house.

          No, I don't know how the house didn't burn down or the wires short out. Just dumb luck.

      5. big_D Silver badge

        Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

        In what alternate universe do chargers have plastic prongs?

        In Europe it is pretty much standard with all new plugs, that they either have plastic prongs with metal tips or they are plastic sheathed.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europlug

        Design considerations[edit]

        The dimensions of the Europlug were chosen for compatibility and safe use, such that with continental European domestic power sockets

        reliable contact is established when the plug is fully inserted;

        no live conductive parts are accessible while the plug is inserted into each type of socket;

        it is not possible to establish a connection between one pin and a live socket contact while the other pin is accessible.

      6. patrickstar

        Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

        I have here a true el cheapo Made In China charger. Even that one has plastic prongs.

        Besides, even with metal prongs, American plugs are much more likely to end up in that half-plugged-in but still live state.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Instead, the dogtags he had been wearing had fallen into a gap between the charger plug and an extension cable, touched the metal prongs, and sent 110 volts through his neck."

      So nothing whatsoever to do with an iPhone, and everything to do with crappy US designs...

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        But... Apple gets the clicks

        and adverts.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So nothing whatsoever to do with an iPhone, and everything to do with crappy US designs...

        Yes, but the mention of an iPhone made you read the article. Military magazines would focus on his dog tags, and fashion mags would probably headline it as "man in CK underwear"..

        That said, for El Reg this is a tad disappointing. Headlines are supposed to be summaries, not traps.

      3. GotThumbs
        Megaphone

        Come on now. Blaming an inanimate object for stupid human choice/decision???

        "crappy US designs"

        Really?

        Lets all address the elephant in the room.

        Darwin award eventually will go to any idiots who sleep with anything plugged into 110 or 220.

        I don't even like the idea of an electric blanket.

        It's not like the plug jumped out towards the guy.

        Respect the power and THINK McFly, Think.

    3. Andrew Moore Silver badge

      I had an incident once where an America company installed kit and rather than putting a proper 3 pin UK plug on all the gear, took an American extension strip, stuck a UK plug on that and then plugged their standard US plugs into the strip. While unplugging one of these, my fingers managed to slip under the plug and touch the two pins...

    4. Adrian Tawse

      All metal prongs

      These have been illegal for a number of decades, at least four. If you have any then your stuff is truly anchient. The plastic collars, together with wall sockets are specifed so that no electrical contact is made while any mtal part of the prongs are contactable. This regulation came about after an old lady was electorcuted trying to insert a plug. She was trying to guide the plug in by feeling the prongs.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      To get electrocuted with UK plugs requires a special kind of stupid: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39333424

      Though the coroner who thinks Apple should put warnings on their chargers strikes me as pretty stupid too.

      Yay for Darwinism! The gene pool needs a bit more chlorine in it.

  2. Grunchy

    My dog doesn't wear dog tags, because they jingle too much and damage his sensitive hearing and make him mentally oblong.

    Also, they could short out his iphone (duh).

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      ...make him mentally oblong.

      What shape does he normally think he is?

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: ...make him mentally oblong.

        What shape does he normally think he is?

        Ruff.

      2. Solarflare

        Re: ...make him mentally oblong.

        Overall, more of a rectangle, I'd assume.

      3. 2+2=5 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: ...make him mentally oblong.

        > What shape does he normally think he is?

        Sausage

  3. L05ER
    FAIL

    so much wrong here...

    don't sleep with chains/necklaces on...

    don't charge things with extension cables...

    make sure plugs are fully inserted...

    don't ignore all of the above at the same freaking time!

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: so much wrong here...

      US "Edison" plugs fall out of the socket if you turn your back on them, or look at them too hard.

      Also, nearly all of the earthed/grounded variety get installed upside down because it makes them look like a face.

      1. Lee Mulcahy

        Re: so much wrong here...

        Jeez Louise.

        Is it a rule that folks in Britain and Europe MUST find fault in everything American?

        You must have one hell of a 'back', cause unless the receptacle is 60 years old (like in my house) and only has two prongs (like in my house), they DON'T fall out easily.

        Yes they are technically upside down according to code, but do you really think they are less secure with the ground pin on the bottom rather than the top?

        Actually, I feel the same about European plugs - I don't have a lot of experience with them, but they scare me. They usually stand really far out from the receptacle, and I've always been afraid I was going to touch the conductors when I pull them out. And the ones I've used seem prone to slipping out of the receptacle - they are just smooth round pins, with no tension.

        Granted, my experience is limited to European to U.S. adapter plugs, so maybe that makes it worse.

        1. Michael B.

          Re: so much wrong here...

          When you're use to properly designed BS 1363 plugs everything else just seems a bit Jury Rigged.

        2. dbannon

          Re: so much wrong here...

          "Is it a rule that folks in Britain and Europe MUST find fault in everything American?"

          And Australians too, we like to get stuck into the yanks as well !

          1. Youngone Silver badge

            Re: so much wrong here...

            And Australians too, we like to get stuck into the yanks as well !

            Don't forget us Kiwis, although I believe the technical term is Septics.

          2. Hero Protagonist

            Re: so much wrong here...

            "And Australians too, we like to get stuck into the yanks as well"

            We Yanks, on the other hand, don't much care for Australians getting stuck into us. I mean, I've never had it happen to me but I don't imagine it would be pleasant.

        3. Dwarf Silver badge

          Re: so much wrong here...

          The reason the earth pin goes at the top is because if it's not plugged in fully and something falls on it, you get nice, safe earth. Even if a live conductor falls on it you get a pop and the breaker saves the day, so, yes it is safer when fitted as designed. Swap the socket upside down to make it look cute and you have a 50% chance of live mains instead when something falls on it, so, the falling thing ends up live. Many non metallic things conduct, such as wet string.

          As to the UK plugs, they have rectangular pins and insulated bands on the conductors to stop people wrapping their hands around to and getting shocked, the earth pin is longer so it connects first and sisconnects last, plus it's gotgrips on the side to make removal safer and a fuse in the plug to further reduce the risk when an appliance fails. Properly installed and working sockets are not loose.

          The IEEE regulations define the safe installation and testing of electrical circuits, there are many good safety features in the standards.

          1. gtallan

            Re: so much wrong here...

            You know, I always believed the thing about which way up US receptacles should be installed (ground on top); it makes so much sense, and I religiously installed them as such. Then you find that 99% of devices which plug directly into the wall are now upside down, right-angle plugs have the cable exiting upwards instead of downwards, etc... it's a fiasco. Whatever logic dictates, it's a lost cause - in the real world no-one installs them with ground at the top, they really *have* to be installed "upside down".

          2. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: so much wrong here...

            Many non metallic things conduct, such as wet string.

            The principal reason why most landline phone systems happen to work.

        4. Your alien overlord - fear me

          Re: so much wrong here...

          I think you'll find a lot of tension in Europe at the moment. Might be why it's left the electrical sockets :-)

        5. Number6

          Re: so much wrong here...

          Is it a rule that folks in Britain and Europe MUST find fault in everything American?

          US electrics are scary. It helps a bit that they're only 110V so less likely to be lethal, but having grown up with UK stuff, the US is way behind the curve on safety. On the other hand, I do like the US scheme of numbering road junctions on freeways as miles from the start.

          Yes they are technically upside down according to code, but do you really think they are less secure with the ground pin on the bottom rather than the top?

          In this case it's not about how secure, but would probably have specifically saved this guy. If the earth pin is on top then chances are anything falling down a gap between plug and socket is going to contact the earth pin first and then stands a good chance of shorting live to earth and taking out the breaker, thus rendering the socket safe.

          Granted, my experience is limited to European to U.S. adapter plugs, so maybe that makes it worse.

          A lot of adapter plugs are inherently unsafe, especially when one side of it is intended to interface to a proper UK plug (not the same as a European one).

          1. Lotaresco

            Re: so much wrong here...

            "US electrics are scary. It helps a bit that they're only 110V so less likely to be lethal,"

            Au contraire. The decision to use 110V electrics in the US makes them more rather then less dangerous. The reason for this is because apparently US electrical engineers didn't realise that the heating effect in a wire is proportional to I^2*R. To run the same power appliance at half the voltage means that the current must be double but the heating effect in the conductors is four times greater at 110V than at 220V. Also conductors need to be massive to supply enough current.

            The end result is under-specced electrical distribution systems within domestic premises with a propensity to overheat and cause fires.

            USA 160 fixed wiring fires per million residents

            UK 43 fixed wiring fires per million residents

            Sources:

            USA - ESFI Home Electrical Fires report

            UK - ONS Fire Statistics England

        6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: so much wrong here...

          "Actually, I feel the same about European plugs "

          First of all, don't confuse "European" plugs with UK plugs. Next, not all of Europe use the exact same plugs. Unlike the US, the states of Europe or still separate sovereign entities. "Europe" is not a country. For that matter, the countries included in the term "Europe" can vary wildly depending on context.

          Most "European" mains plugs look similar, being basically a 2-pin live/neutral round pin device, but then some use a protruding earth pin in the wall socket into a hole in the plug, others do it the opposite way with 3 pins in the plug, most will work with any 2-pin plug, except those that have a different separation between the primary two power pins. Like I said above, "Europe" isn't a homogeneous country and not everything is standardised across whatever definition you are using for Europe.

          1. Lotaresco

            Re: so much wrong here...

            "Most "European" mains plugs look similar, being basically a 2-pin live/neutral round pin device"

            Sort of. The thing you are describing is the one I'm used to referring to as a "Tedesco" or Schuco plug. The earth can either be a pin in the sicket or a sliding contact on the top and bottom of the socket that mates with a contact on the outer edge of the plug. Then there are the b-Ticino range of three pin plugs that are rated as 10A or 16A. No polarity, these can go in either way up. Then there are the double sockets that can take either a 10A or a 16A plug despite the pin spacing being different. There are two-pin versions of the 10A plug which IIRC are rated 5A but fit a 10A three pin socket. And finally the "universal" socket which mates with the Schuco, 10A, 16A and shaver plugs despite these all having slightly different pin spacing and diameter.

            To make the entire mess slightly less safe the sockets are often moulded from the sort of plastic used to make the trays for a box of chocolate. Also the pins on plugs are rarely properly aligned, the plastic part of the pin is easily deformed so that the pins are too close together, too far apart of even skewed left/right. The conductive part of the pin is wider than the plastic shroud which means that plugs often get stuck in the socket as the bent pins catch on the edges of the socket when they are withdrawn and shatter the socket leaving exposed conductors.

            The great thing about standards in Europe is that there are so many of them.

        7. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: so much wrong here...

          Not just American. Australian plugs are shite too.

          Get a device with a plug built into the power brick and no earth pin, then try plugging it into a wall socket. 50/50 chance the damn thing will fall out.

          Never had that happen in the UK.

        8. Oh Homer

          Re: Is it a rule that folks in Britain and Europe MUST find fault in everything American?

          Yes.

          Well, not so much "find" as trip over.

        9. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: so much wrong here...

          Actually, I feel the same about European plugs - I don't have a lot of experience with them, but they scare me.

          So much wrong there, indeed.

          First, there's no such thing as 'an' European plug. There are Europlugs, a two-prong non-grounded plug that fits most continental wall sockets, despite their differing configurations regarding grounding. Nearly all of these plugs have plastic prongs with metal tips, even the DIY ones. Then, for grounded appliances there's Schuko, recessed, with cutouts and two earthing clips, French, also recessed with a protruding earth pin, Danish, Swiss and Italian (additional ground via third pin on plug, different configurations). Non-Europlug two-pin plugs tend not to fit Schuko and French, because theu lack the appropriate cutouts and are unable to accommodate the ground pin. They also have a sufficiently large plug body that it's hard (though not impossible) to touch the pins on a half-inserted plug. Ungrounded wall sockets tend to be recessed to make touching even harder.

          And if you're using travel conversion plugs: those are the ones that tend to go from 'iffy' via 'downright dangerous' to 'the designer should have used the prototype before submitting it for production (see icon)'.

        10. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: so much wrong here...

          "Is it a rule that folks in Britain and Europe MUST find fault in everything American?"

          Well you guys do tend to choose really crappy standards - generally to support some lame US company. For instance NTSC TV (or Never Twice the Same Colour as we call it) whilst most of the world went PAL, CDMA mobile phones when most of the world went for GSM, imperial measurements that most of the world stopped teaching 50 years ago, etc. etc....

          1. AndrueC Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: so much wrong here...

            I hear they still like using cheques as well. They can't even spell properly and refer to them as 'checks'. Weird people. Nice and friendly in small groups though :)

            1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

              Re: so much wrong here...

              Another advantage of UK plugs is that they're so much easier to find barefoot in the dark.

              1. Simon Harris Silver badge

                Re: so much wrong here...

                "First of all, don't confuse "European" plugs with UK plugs. Next, not all of Europe use the exact same plugs."

                Malta, Ireland, Cyprus and Gibraltar use UK plugs.

                1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

                  Re: so much wrong here...

                  "Malta, Ireland, Cyprus and Gibraltar use UK plugs."

                  So does Hong Kong

          2. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

            Re: so much wrong here...

            You forgot stupid, illogical paper sizes

        11. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: so much wrong here...

          Yes they are technically upside down according to code, but do you really think they are less secure with the ground pin on the bottom rather than the top?

          Yes. This makes it easier for the electricity to leak out if you haven't tightened the stopcock properly.

        12. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: so much wrong here...

          Is it a rule that folks in Britain and Europe MUST find fault in everything American?

          Yes, but you're not supposed to know that so you didn't hear it from us.

          You must have one hell of a 'back', cause unless the receptacle is 60 years old (like in my house) and only has two prongs (like in my house), they DON'T fall out easily.

          Well, it gets kinda worse because you also managed to force that system on Thailand where they use 240V for which this system is REALLY not suited (not to mention the usual challenges for insulation in the tropics, heat deterioration and moisture). The design leaves a lot of scope for dangerous cost cutting so it would be good if someone has tightened the rules since. I do like the idea that 110V is less likely to be instantly lethal, though, but it makes supplying a lot of power a rather demanding exercise for a plug and a cable.

          Yes they are technically upside down according to code, but do you really think they are less secure with the ground pin on the bottom rather than the top?

          Yes, because gravity works towards earth, not away from it. If something falls on the plug it will first bounce off the earth pin and hopefully shunt aside or at least short to earth (and a properly engineered system ought to have at least an overall RCD on the supply line), the US model creates a short by default. That's more Hollywood compatible in the consequences, though :).

          Actually, I feel the same about European plugs - I don't have a lot of experience with them, but they scare me. They usually stand really far out from the receptacle

          Well, yes, we do indeed need to do something special when there's furniture in front of it, but even that flat design offers a separate handle to unplug safely. Small plugs lead too often to people using the cable to unplug, which is not really a good idea.

          and I've always been afraid I was going to touch the conductors when I pull them out. And the ones I've used seem prone to slipping out of the receptacle - they are just smooth round pins, with no tension.

          The design is such that even child fingers can't reach the prongs before they lose connection, but you do point out an issue that is as prevalent here as it is with US sockets: bad design. EU sockets have to accommodate two thicknesses: the thin ones you are probably familiar with from chargers, and the thick solid ones you will find on appliances that draw a lot of power such as electric heaters. Cheap sockets that fully depend on the internal parts bending to accommodate the thicker prongs can be permanently bent open by a thick prong which is where you'll get loose connections with the thin prong plugs.

          Granted, my experience is limited to European to U.S. adapter plugs, so maybe that makes it worse.

          Oh yes, a lot. Few of those universal plugs are engineered to last which is why I have created my own conversion sockets (I sort of travel between 4 main countries, and they all have entirely different sockets - yay for ^%$# market protection rackets). I have one style of sockets and just have an extension block with a lead that either has the right plug on it, or I buy one locally as soon as I arrive and fit it myself (when the lead runs out I'll just buy a new multi socket :) ).

          1. Triggerfish

            Re: so much wrong here...

            Well, it gets kinda worse because you also managed to force that system on Thailand where they use 240V for which this system is REALLY not suited (not to mention the usual challenges for insulation in the tropics, heat deterioration and moisture).

            There's nothing quite like a cheap plug socket in a cheap guesthouse in Asia to really make you worried about electricity. They fall out, you turn round and they have half exposed their pins seemingly at random for no reason (well I assume no reason, they may actually be out to get you), the wiring looks like they have decided to use doorbell wire, the incoming power lines were installed by Heath Robinson, shonky would be a complimentary standard.

            I've felt less wary facing venomous snakes than the electrics in some places I have stayed.

            1. DiViDeD Silver badge

              Re: so much wrong here...

              On Koh Samui, when you get out into the country, it seems the standard method of connecting a house to the electrical grid is as follows:

              1 Strip back a section of the (overhead!) transmission cables

              2 Apply crocodile clips to bared section, connected to your house wiring

              3 Wrap copious amounts of electrical insulating tape over new connection

              4 Add more tape whenever winter rains short out the lines and black out entire region

              I honestly thought it was made up until I saw a Thai electrician wiring up a house this way. Oh, and since they have learned (by experience, one assumes) that power transmission lines don't support ladders, support for the trade's ladder is provided by 2 locals putting their shoulders to it.

          2. Soruk

            Re: so much wrong here...

            I've made a variant of that - a 4-way connected to an IEC male attachment. (Only intended for powering things like laptops and phone chargers). From server deliveries where I work I've collected a few local plugs to IEC "kettle-lead" cables, including USA, France/Germany (plug that works with either configuration) and China. Works great.

        13. LDS Silver badge

          "And the ones I've used seem prone to slipping out of the receptacle"

          Uhm, no. Modern receptacles have safety shutters (which require some force to be opened when a plug is inserted), and also they hold the plug within, some force is required to remove it also. Shuko are also held in place by the grounding clips.

          Adapters plugs are often engineered to be very simple and cheap (and they should really be used for small travel devices only) , and doesn't really represent the real standards.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: "And the ones I've used seem prone to slipping out of the receptacle"

            safety shutters (which require some force to be opened when a plug is inserted),

            The shutters are designed to open only when you stick two roughly prong-shaped items into both holes simultaneously; they need to slide or rotate, and jam when you only press against one.

        14. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is it a rule that folks in Britain and Europe MUST find fault in everything American?

          You elected the Trump, so pretty much, yeah, it is...

        15. Triggerfish

          Re: so much wrong here...

          Is it a rule that folks in Britain and Europe MUST find fault in everything American?

          More of a hobby really.

        16. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: so much wrong here...

          Is it a rule that folks in Britain and Europe MUST find fault in everything American?

          Well, one more fault: Britain is part of Europe. And it will be even after Brexit finalises, because Europe refers to the continent, not the economic and political union.

      2. Stevie Silver badge

        Re:US "Edison" plugs fall out of the socket

        First of all, no they don't. They fall out of superannuated pre WWII sockets that should be replaced as a fire hazard anyway, just like those 5 amp sockets in old English houses should (and how many have been without the extra expense of pulling 13 amp wire? I know of at least one house which ended up with underfloor and in-wall heating thanks to a few new sockets being fitted).

        Secondly, that isn't what happened here. Chargy McPhonetard plugged his apple charger into an extension cord, but obviously either not properly or he rolled on the charger so many times in the night its plug pins got seesawed out of the end of the extension cord far enough to become exposed enough for his neckchain to contact the pins. I'll wait while you go back and read for yourself.

        Years ago I plugged a lamp into an extension cord but didn't do it right and later that night my gold chain fell off the nightstand and across the pins. When Mrs Stevie turned on the light, there was a bang and a flash and there went my nice serpentine link chain which has proved impossible to get soldered competently. Had I simply checked the cord the whole sad affair could have been avoided.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Re:US "Edison" plugs fall out of the socket

          ", just like those 5 amp sockets in old English houses should (and how many have been without the extra expense of pulling 13 amp wire? I know of at least one house which ended up with underfloor and in-wall heating thanks to a few new sockets being fitted)."

          That would be houses that havn't been rewired since 1947....

        2. cd / && rm -rf *
          Thumb Up

          Re: Re:US "Edison" plugs fall out of the socket

          Chargy McPhonetard

          Upvoted just for that.

      3. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: so much wrong here...

        Australian plugs also have the earth pin at the bottom, and there's method in this. Since the earth pin is longer than the others, if the plug starts to fall out (not unlikely since, unlike UK plugs, the prongs are thin ad do not lock in place), the earth pin stays connected until the other pins have become disconnected, thus avoiding whatever would happen if it weren't (do I LOOK like an electrical expert to you?)

        Australia also has a curious habit of switching lights on the live core, with an additional live spur at the switch to avoid switching off all the lights in one go. By the time you get to the point furthest away from the consumer unit, you usually have a loom of live cables the size of your thigh coming into one switch.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: so much wrong here...

          Australian plugs also have the earth pin at the bottom, and there's method in this.

          Because you live on the other side of the planet and electricity wouldn't flow so well if it was upside down?

          :D

      4. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: so much wrong here...

        "US "Edison" plugs fall out of the socket if you turn your back on them, or look at them too hard."

        Not to mention leaving fugly holes every where...

        Also UK 32A Ring circuits are far better tested and far safer than the crappy fused spur model used in the US and elsewhere...

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: so much wrong here...

          Also UK 32A Ring circuits are far better tested and far safer than the crappy fused spur model

          As someone who used to be Part-P registered, firstly they are not "fused spurs", they are radial circuits, secondly, there is nothing wrong with a radial circuit - the fuse is sized for the cable and it is every bit as safe as (and under certain - usually incompetent DIY circumstances - safer than) a 30A/32A ring final circuit, thirdly they are perfectly acceptable in the UK and there is nothing in "the regs" to insist that you can only install sockets on a 32A ring.

          Someone else also moaned about 5A plugs. These are also still acceptable, when installed correctly (i.e. on a 5A/6A radial circuit) and are often used for (for example) table lamps and arranged with a wall switch so that table lamps can be turned on and off with wall and ceiling lights.

          But the UK wiring system, when correctly installed, is absolutely the best domestic system in the world, can't argue there.

          Edit to add Should also have mentioned the Fatally Flawed website.

          M.

          1. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: so much wrong here...

            " and it is every bit as safe as (and under certain - usually incompetent DIY circumstances - safer than) a 30A/32A ring final circuit"

            Nope. A earth break in a ring main will still leave everything earthed. And a ring main has a MUCH higher tolerance for overloads.

            1. Martin an gof Silver badge

              Re: so much wrong here...

              A earth break in a ring main will still leave everything earthed. And a ring main has a MUCH higher tolerance for overloads.

              While the first part is correct, the second is absolutely not. Unfortunately this computer really doesn't like posting to El Reg and barfs if I try to write too much, but consider the case of a ring final in 2.5mm2 / 1.5mm2 protected by a 32A MCB with a break in any one of the conductors anywhere around the ring, and a radial in exactly the same cable but protected by a 16A MCB. 2.5mm2 cable is good for up to 21A, and the power "let through" by a 32A MCB in many fault conditions will damage the cable - possibly invisibly.

              M.

              1. TheVogon Silver badge

                Re: so much wrong here...

                " the second is absolutely not. "

                It is. 2 x 2.5mm cables in a ring main significantly exceeds the tolerance for overloads of a 2.5mm or 4mm radial circuit.

                "2.5mm2 cable is good for up to 21A"

                No, they are good for up to 27A. And if you did get a break in a ring main, then the load will effectively be split across 2 x radial circuits, so the chances of it then exceeding that rating are relatively minimal. So if the current did exceed 27A then likely it will be a short circuit - which would almost certainly trip the breaker before the cable was damaged...

                1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                  Re: so much wrong here...

                  Zombie topic? Going to reply anyway.

                  2 x 2.5mm cables in a ring main significantly exceeds the tolerance for overloads of a 2.5mm or 4mm radial circuit.

                  Yes. No.

                  2x 2.5mm does "greatly exceed" 1x 2.5mm, but the former is protected at 32A while the latter is protected at 16A or 20A.

                  2.5mm cable is only "good for up to 27A" if installed effectively in free air, or with one side open to the air and the other clipped to a heat-conducting surface. Practical cables run in, on or through insulating material for at least some parts of their route and so must usually be rated at their lowest capacity. 2.5mm cable is good for 21A under (nearly) all circumstances, and this is why radials in 2.5mm are protected at no more than 20A.

                  Note that even a 20A breaker will not trip for small amounts of overload and could actually take several minutes to trip for moderate overloads.

                  You have two fault modes - moderate overloads (i.e. just too many things plugged in) and short circuits - but the critical information is the amount of power "let through" before the fault is cleared. Too much "let through" can damage a cable by overheating, and such damage may not be immediately obvious, and almost definitely not visible. Typically the conductors will begin to migrate through the PVC insulation.

                  I suggest you get hold of a copy of the regulations and look the appropriate figures up in the tables but very, very simply, 2.5mm cable is usually fine behind a 20A MCB for both moderate overloads and short circuits, but it is emphatically not fine behind a 32A MCB unless it is in an intact ring when you are essentially correct, it's similar to having two lots of cable in parallel. That's only really true if the load is evenly distributed - i.e. the fault is at the centre point of the ring - but most rings aren't large enough to cause too many problems.

                  There are two key points to make. Firstly, a broken conductor in a ring circuit will not be obvious at all, unless someone does a proper inspection on the circuit (every 10 years is recommended for domestic circuits I think). Other than a break in the earth, a radial circuit will stop working beyond the break and so your typical householder will probably investigate. A cheap plug-in tester will detect a broken earth in a radial circuit, but it will not detect any problems in a ring circuit.

                  Secondly, the earth conductor in most "Twin and Earth" cables is smaller than the live conductors. In a "2.5mm2" cable, the earth is actually 1.5mm2 and protection has to take this into account, because the most critical type of fault is a short circuit to earth through this conductor.

                  Lots of caveats, of course, and you might like to consider that pretty much all circuits are now required to be protected by an RCD, which has two key safety effects. Firstly, the RCD will still trip if there's a fault to earth, typically through a person, even if the cable's earth is broken, and secondly the RCD is usually much more sensitive and faster-acting than an MCB and even in the case of a fault to "normal" earth, will probably cut off the power well before an MCB would.

                  I'll say it again, I believe the way electricity is installed domestically in the UK is probably the safest in the world, and I certainly believe that our plugs are the best (unless you happen to stand on one in bare feet) but it is not perfect, it is not infallible, and there are many misconceptions that need correcting :-)

                  M.

      5. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: so much wrong here...

        Also, nearly all of the earthed/grounded variety get installed upside down because it makes them look like a face.

        Actually there was no standard, hence no "upside down", prior to NECA 130-2010 and with many cords outfitted like this and wall warts like this one it made sense to have the ground pin on the bottom if for no other reason than gravity. Of course such items still exist and it isn't like anyone is going to cough up funds to mandate and inspect houses to ensure that all the electrical sockets are installed so that polarized wall warts actively work to remove themselves from the socket and have the earthing pin on top, note that few actually have a screw to retain them.

        It was likely easier in the UK to switch since many appliances were delivered with bare wires and no plug and being just after WWII there was probably quite a bit of remodeling to be done anyway. Trying to convert all the appliances in the US would be near impossible on a cost basis alone as many folks can't plug things in right much less swap a plug on a power cord even if we could mandate a socket change.

        I grant the UK plug is a better design albeit imperfect but then I'm dissatisfied with most electrical connectors. Don't get me started on the fact that the car cigar lighter has somehow managed to become a standard for 12V DC power. The horror, the horror.

  4. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Zombie! Help! It speaks!

    Electrocution means dead. Dead dead dead.

    I think you mean "shocked" or suffered an electric shock.

    110V-120V is certainly sufficient to kill, so he's quite lucky.

    Fortunately this is an impossible occurrence in the civilised world, as the UK electrical standards used in much of the globe were designed for safety of the user, not just reduced chance of fire.

    EU plugs and sockets vary rather a lot. They just aren't standardised.

    1. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

      e·lec·tro·cu·tion

      əˌlektrəˈkyo͞oSH(ə)n/

      noun

      noun: electrocution; plural noun: electrocutions

      the injury or killing of someone by electric shock.

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

        You did't cite your source.

        Here's one with citation:

        Definition of electrocute

        electrocuted; electrocuting

        transitive verb

        1

        : to execute (a criminal) by electricity

        2

        : to kill by electric shock

        electrocutionplay \i-ˌlek-trə-ˈkyü-shən\ noun

        ( https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/electrocute )

        1. Tom 64
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

          ( https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/electrocute )

          Your going to cite merrian-webster?! really?!?

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

            "Your going to cite merrian-webster?! really?!?"

            If we're going to get pedantic:

            Your're

            Merriam-Webster

        2. DropBear Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

          "electrocutionplay \i-ˌlek-trə-ˈkyü-shən\ noun"

          Good grief, I've seen some weird stuff - but really? What do they do with the bodies afterwards...?

      2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

        Death. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/electrocute?s=t

      3. Oh Homer
        Headmaster

        Re: "e·lec·tro·cu·tion"

        You need a better dictionary.

        electrocute (v.)

        "execute by electricity," 1889, American English, from electro- + back half of execute.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

      "110V-120V is certainly sufficient to kill, so he's quite lucky."

      Voltage doesn't kill, current kills. In theory, 110V is more dangerous than 230V since for a given resistance, at a lower voltage, a higher current will flow.

      1. Kernel

        Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

        " In theory, 110V is more dangerous than 230V since for a given resistance, at a lower voltage, a higher current will flow."

        Let me guess - in real life your name is Mho.

        Based on your theory we should all be able to play around with high voltage stuff to our heart's content - the higher the better in fact, while 1.5V torch batteries should be restricted to qualified professionals only.

        V=IR, hence I=V/R - for a fixed resistance, lower voltage means lower current.

        1. kain preacher Silver badge

          Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

          From a sparky. 120-280 is more dangerous the 480v. THe reason being is 480 tends throw you were as 120-280 your muscle lock.

      2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

        Homeopathic electrocution? Keep lowering the voltage to make it increasingly deadly? Huh?

      3. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

        "for a given resistance, at a lower voltage, a higher current will flow."

        I think you're getting confused about power transmission. Power=V*I so yes, if the power is the same, a lower voltage means a higher current, but in this case we are talking about the current drawn by a given load (ie. the guy's neck) which depends on Ohm's law, I=V/R therefore directly proportional to the voltage, while the resistance stays the same and the power will not be the same.

        1. Stuart21551

          Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

          Dog tag chain will be almost a direct short

    3. LDS Silver badge

      "EU plugs and sockets vary rather a lot. They just aren't standardised."

      They are standardised - in each country. Those standards predates the EU by decades, and coalescing them into a single one would be a big effort. But plug models able to accept more than one standard (usually the continental ones) are becoming common.

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: "EU plugs and sockets vary rather a lot. They just aren't standardised."

        But plug models able to accept more than one standard (usually the continental ones) are becoming common.

        I believe the word you're looking for is 'butt'. The one with the other dictionary in the pocket.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

      Electrocution means dead. Dead dead dead.

      FFS, now look what you made me remember..

      :)

    5. Vinyl-Junkie
      FAIL

      Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

      From the Oxford English Dictionary (you, or your local library need to be a subscriber) which is the standard by which all other English dictionaries are judged.

      electrocution, n.

      Pronunciation:

      Brit. /ᵻˌlɛktrəˈkjuːʃn/

      ,

      U.S. /əˌlɛktrəˈkjuʃ(ə)n/

      ,

      /ilɛktrəˈkjuʃ(ə)n/

      Forms: 18– electricution (now nonstandard), 18– electrocution.

      Frequency (in current use):

      Origin: Formed within English, by compounding. Etymons: electro- comb. form, execution n.

      Etymology: < electro- comb. form + -cution (in execution n.). Compare electrocute v.

      orig. U.S.

      1. Execution by means of a powerful electric current; an instance of this.

      2. Death or injury caused by electric shock.

      http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/60282?redirectedFrom=electrocution#eid for those who do have access.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

        "From the Oxford English Dictionary (you, or your local library need to be a subscriber) which is the standard by which all other English dictionaries are judged."
        No, you don't need to be a subscriber; you can purchase it. I purchased the computer version ages ago and more recently Mrs Git purchased the dead tree version for my birthday. Otherwise concur...

        1. Vinyl-Junkie
          Pint

          Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

          I concede your point (for which you may treat yourself to an icon), although I must admit I was thinking of people being able to reach it immediately from their PC rather than have to buy the program or reach for the dead tree!

          I have a copy of the full OED in two volumes with magnifying glass. Sadly getting dated with the constant evolution of our language but still a thing of beauty.

  5. DNTP

    We'll add it to the list of things not to sleep next to

    1. Babies

    2. Live, armed land mines

    3. Durians (opened/whole)

    4. Porcupines on amphetamines

    5. If 'Pokemon' were real, most of them

    6. Charging electronics with exposed contacts next to conductive metal things wrapped around your headstem

    1. harmjschoonhoven

      Re: We'll add it to the list of things not to sleep next to

      7. Palestine yellow scorpions

      1. DNTP

        Re: Palestine yellow scorpions

        That's not really a thing you have a choice about sleeping next to, it's more the outcome of a series of bad decisions such as "Why am I living here at all?" and "I wonder why they told me to check the bedsheets first?"

  6. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Trollface

    I was hoping for more snarky comedy

    maybe I should just come back tomorrow...

    phone != teddy bear (don't sleep with it)

    /me imagines some lawsuit because the instructions did not say that

    1. Ole Juul Silver badge

      Re: I was hoping for more snarky comedy

      "/me imagines some lawsuit because the instructions did not say that"

      Don't give lawyers ideas. I don't want to start seeing stickers on everything (like ladders) saying not to sleep with them.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I was hoping for more snarky comedy

        "Don't give lawyers ideas. I don't want to start seeing stickers on everything (like ladders) saying not to sleep with them."

        With ladders it's also advisable not to sleep on them.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: I was hoping for more snarky comedy

          "With ladders it's also advisable not to sleep on them."
          Or clothes lines...

    2. NightFox

      Re: I was hoping for more snarky comedy

      Don't forget there's a considerable amount of sleep monitoring apps out there that do instruct you to sleep with your phone on your bed or even under your pillow

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: I was hoping for more snarky comedy

        "Sleep with your phone"

        I suspect they don't suggest "sleep with your phone charger and a cheap mains extension cable".

        My iPhone charging cable is 1.5 metres long - there's no reason why I'd need to share the bed with the charger.

  7. Stevie Silver badge
    FAIL

    Bah!

    Disbelieve. Poor science!

    "and sent 110 volts through his neck"

    Amps go through. Volts stay across.

    Fake physics. Sad.

    1. Robert Moore
      Joke

      Re: Bah!

      Disbelieve. Poor science!

      "and sent 110 volts through his neck"

      Amps go through. Volts stay across.

      Fake physics. Sad.

      .

      Is that you Comrade Trump?

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        That's President Comrade Trump!

        1. Number6

          Re: Bah!

          No, I don't use the P word with the T word.

        2. hplasm Silver badge

          Re: Bah!

          President Biff!

          1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Bah!

            If only he'd make like a tree and get out of the White House!

    2. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      "Fake physics. Sad."
      Have an upvote...

  8. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Headline contest

    El Reg mailed in this headline. We can do better.

    Shocking Darwin Award near-miss

    Chap zapped in neck wrap charge flap

    Anyone else?

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Headline contest

      Could go for the buzzfeed angle -

      You won't believe what this man sleeps with. Shocking.

      1. Solarflare

        Re: Headline contest

        Going even more Buzzfeed...

        "This man slept with his phone charger. What happened next will shock you"

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Headline contest

      Chap zapped in neck wrap gap flap

  9. baynesa

    The doctor's name does at least appear to be apposite to the situation...

  10. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    State Rankings

    In Alabama they are so hard up they thank God for Mississippi. A welcome site in Georgia and Tennessee is an empty bus coming out of Alabama.

  11. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I daresay that instead of wining a Darwin Award, someone had a "no shit Sherlock" moment.

  12. Robin Bradshaw

    I think the real news here is US plugs are horrible flimsy badly designed shit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think the real news here is US plugs are horrible flimsy badly designed shit.

      That's not actually news

      :)

  13. Potemkine Silver badge

    Too bad

    He was that close to get the Darwin award, what a pity

  14. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    What's it got to do with charging electronics? His "dog tags" touched 110V from a plug. It could have been anything.... a bedside light, an electric fire, a clock radio etc. The point is that somehow is metal neck decorations fell into the gap between something plugged into an extension socket and the socket, thus touching the live electrics. The general rule of thumb should be that one shouldn't have mains sockets so near you, especially when you sleep with dangly metal jewellery round your neck.

    No doubt someone is going to blame Apple for this...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Literally nobody here is blaming Apple.

      It's those damn colonials and their crappy plugs.

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        "It's those damn colonials and their crappy plugs."

        Actually Apple could possibly do the US a favour and put partial sleeves on genuine Apple adaptor prongs. They could claim credit for safety improvements and encourage the changeover. They could easily afford to do it out of their margins, too.This is one case where a non-standard connector could get some favourable publicity.

        (I know that Apple wasn't responsible in any way for this fiasco, just suggesting a way in which they could perhaps turn it to their advantage.)

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Yes, but before smartphones it was hard to find someone sleeping with a lamp, an electric fire or any other electric device...

      And I'm afraid about what will happen with robots, if you're recharging while sleeping with it...

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        "Yes, but before smartphones it was hard to find someone sleeping with a lamp, an electric fire or any other electric device..."
        Don't get out much then?

        If you're looking for a powerful sex toy which doesn't lose oomph mid-play, why not check out our mains-powered vibrators?

        1. DropBear Silver badge
          Trollface

          Actually, those seem to me a lot safer than, say, mains-powered curling irons: normally a lot less conductive, a lot less hot, and a lot further away from your noggin...

    3. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Dangly metal around your neck...

      "Jingle Jangle Jewellery..." - there have been more deserving causes it could have happened to!

  15. Stuart21551

    Unless El can show iPhone is in any way responsible, headline should be 'man_electrocuted_sleeping_with_extension cord'

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Hopefully he'll decide not to breed

    Because the world doesn't need to be any more stupid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hopefully he'll decide not to breed

      Hopefully he'll decide not to breed

      Because the world doesn't need to be any more stupid.

      And who would we use for testing electric safety then?

      :)

  17. Lotaresco

    And the moral of the story is...

    "Instead, the dogtags he had been wearing had fallen into a gap between the charger plug and an extension cable, touched the metal prongs, and sent 110 volts through his neck."

    That only a bell end wears dog tags. Still, at least he can prop up his paintball warrior credentials by pointing to the scars on his neck that he "Like got in Nam, like. Y'all don't know what hell that was... only the bravest of us came through it. Like I killed like five Charley with my dog tags d00d then this like Ninja got behind me and strangled me with his electric fingers... Whaddaya mean I'm too young?"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And the moral of the story is...

      YOU WEREN'T THERE, MAAAN *

      * Note for the humour impaired and outragists: this is in spirit of the joke, not disrespectful of the people who do risked their lives who you tend to recognise exactly by the fact that they do NOT talk about it. A salute to those.

  18. Louis Schreurs BEng
    Devil

    The case is...

    the guy was just stupid.

    As for British plugs, they are over-engineered, because......

    there was a tradition to do things traditionally, rendering into a situation that there were safety hazards all over the country thus forcing an overly safety-minded approach to legislation for the outlets, plugs and general installation.

    and also people as a country were that retarded that they lived in houses totally unsafe, rendering in legislation to overly safety minded anti-fire (fire-fighting) regulations all over the UK buildings.

    1. Solarflare

      Re: The case is...

      "thus forcing an overly safety-minded approach to legislation for the outlets, plugs and general installation."

      Personally I quite like that if there is a fault with an appliance or if by user error (for example with a small child), odds are that the accident won't be fatal. Having a plug that takes up a few more mm3 as a result is a price gladly paid, in my opinion.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The case is...

      Now listen here old chap. I shan't hear a word against our finely engineered plugs.

      *Wallops yankee over the head with bulldog cane*

  19. MJI Silver badge

    Not happen here

    BS1363 FTW

    As to dog tags, for fashion?

    Wasn't it a dodgy fashion years ago?

  20. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    A long time ago

    US wall plugs have holes in the tips that mate with clips in the outlet so that plugs can not wiggle loose. They snap in and out. Properly made outlets that clip onto properly made plugs cost a few dollars extra so nobody has them anymore.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: A long time ago

      Unfortunately such sockets also wear out very quickly and rarely get replaced, leading to the same end result.

      It's a shame the US doesn't have any decent sockets. Twistlock is fragile and jams, Stagepin is OMG dangerous, Edison is fragile and falls out...

      Most US electrical regulations are about preventing fire, very few states have regulations intended to prevent electric shock.

  21. kain preacher Silver badge

    Um in 2008 tamper resistant plugs were added to the US electrical code.

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