You'd have to be hiding under a rock to miss the press of the famous Dell exploding laptop. The basic thing is this, lithium ion batteries are inherently dangerous but they bring so many advantages in terms of power density for the weight and low self discharge rates that the industry has adopted them anyway and chosen to deal with the complicated charging regime and safety features required to use them. Dell, being a pretty large provider of laptops, ends up being the unlucky bastards that had one of their products at an IT press event that suffered a catestrophic battery failure leading to the above linked press.
Now this story has been simmering on for awhile now and a number of laptop battery safety exposÃ©s have appeared. Americans being quite absurdly litigious have by and large forced their corporations to behave in an ultra conservative manner. Eg. the remarkable ass covering moves you see them engage in day to day for fear of something coming to bite them on said ass down the road. A direct result of that situation and the simmering press, lead Dell to recall 4.4 million batteries in the most widespread and, dare I say, expensive recall in IT history.
The thing is, it's all batteries made by Sony which Dell is pointing the finger at. Now if you're read this far, I want to reward you in some sense for reading an otherwise tedious blog. While Dell has obviously carefully considered this entire move and is plotting it's PR efforts with considerable calculation, Rick Clancy, senior vice president of corporate communications at Sony Electronics, found himself put on the spot by what amounts to Dell finger pointing at his products. He quite reasonably started out:
"You try to eliminate that in the manufacturing process, but to eliminate them 100 percent is very difficult. Usually when you have a short circuit, it might lead to a battery powering down so youâd have a dead battery, but other times it could lead to incidents including flaming," Clancy said.
... and then of course issues some diversionary tactics to try explain that the problem with the batteries could be a design flaw in the laptops. Then, amazingly, he uses a fresh analogy.
"The chances of a short circuit depend on the design of each PC, such as whether the battery cells are aligned in parallel or perpendicular, and their proximity to heat sources like the processor and power supply. But ultimately, the odds are against the engineers, since any given particle can create a short, just as any given sperm can make a baby."
Yes, that's right Mr Clancy, it's exactly like fucking! But wait, there's more!
"Itâs kind of like impregnating someone. It only takes one, so the more of them there are, the more likely that youâll impregnate someone."
Haha! At this point it becomes unclear if he's still talking about sperm or lots of men fucking the same woman. For those who are having difficulty understanding the entire story, I'll paraphrase for you.
Dell says "Sony batteries are dodgy, they explode". Sony says "No no, our laptop batteries are like several men fucking the same woman. It takes only one to get her pregnant and explode!"