Monday, November 09, 2009

Lamp hijacks electricity from unused telephone jack

Lamp hijacks electricity from unused telephone jack

Bright idea or a TOS violation?

By Paul McNamara

phone jack lampWe've all seen lamps with phone jacks in hotel rooms. Well, here's a lamp that plugs into a phone jack in your home and operates by filching the trickle of electricity found there.

Clever?

Bound to upset phone companies?

Both?

The lamp is sold by an outfit called UxSight, which lists addresses in Hong Kong and San Mateo, Calif.

Here are some of the specs:

  • Environment friendly 8 LED RJ11 Lamp is powered by any available RJ11 socket only;
  • Made of durable plastic and alloy material, it features 8 white LEDs and ON/OFF button;
  • Life of LEDs last up to 100,000 hours;
  • Goose neck makes you adjust the illuminating angle you desire.
  • This 8 LED Table Lamp can be used in nursery, child's bedroom, as a desk light or bedside lamp;

At the princely sum of $4.69 -- less than the shipping fee -- we'll have to be forgiven for presuming this is a piece of crap.

UxSight describes itself as being "about lifestyle improvement at a reasonable cost. We provide the largest selection of consumer goodies at bargain prices."

OK, it's a reasonably priced piece of crap. Still interesting, though.

I'm going to guess that phone companies will frown on this type of thing and that somewhere buried deep inside of your phone bill and/or user agreement will be language making that clear. I'll ping some PR types to see if I can find out for sure.

In the meantime, caveat emptor.

(Update: An incredulous Verizon public relations professional says he'll track down an answer for me; I could practically see his eyes rolling in the e-mail.)

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