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May 22, 2003

Caveat Emptor

The website for the No-Contact jacket claims that "According to the Bureau of Justice three out of four women in the United States will be victims of one violent crime during their lifetime.".

Shocking statistics indeed, except that the only place one can find this particular information on the web is at the website for the No-Contact Jacket, or at sites linking to it. One would think that such a horrific level of violence would be a bit more thoroughly documented, especially at, say the Bureau of Justice's Violent crime rates by gender of victim page.

But let's give the fine people at No-Contact Jackets a break. After all, they're in the business of selling electric shock jackets to protect women from the numberless hordes, not statistics, even if one of them does go to MIT.

Put simply, if you were to grab a woman wearing a No-Contact jacket, you would get the shock of your life. There's a story and associated video on the jacket here. What the story doesn't talk about, and what the No-Contact site conveniently leaves out of its description of the jacket, is the recharge time on a electrical jacket powered by a 9-volt battery. As the video makes clear, the shock delivered to a potential attacker is annoying rather than incapacitating. What's going to stop him from coming right back for more?

Or, worse, what if the attacker is already prepared for the jacket? Is it possible to drain the charge, say with an insulated screwdriver? What if he's wearing rubber gloves?

I don't know enough about modern ammunition to be sure, but what if instead of grabbing a woman the attacker just sticks a gun in her back? Is the charge enough to set off the powder in a cartridge, thus firing the gun? What happens if it's raining? Can the jacket even be worn in the rain? Could the charge be transferred back to the woman if both she and an attacker were standing in the same puddle of water? Certainly weather-related enquiries are logical when it comes to electrical jackets, yet the answers to them are not to be found.

To be fair to the No-Contact site, it does specify that the jacket is only meant to "provide a critical life saving option for escape.", not to protect a woman from all the vagaries and vagrants of life. You'd think something as simple as whether or not the jacket could be worn in the rain would be somewhere on the site. It is critical information, after all.

And that's where the site falls short again. Not only is there no critical information, there's not really that much useful information at all. How many people do you think will buy a No-Contact based on the conductive path diagram?

That's failing grades in statistics, logic and marketing for the No-Contact people. Nice idea, crappy execution. I think I'll wait a few developmental generations before buying one for the women in my life.

Posted by Bigwig at May 22, 2003 03:08 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
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