Most consumers unassumingly trust the technicians that a cable company or any other kind of service provider sends to their door, but this incident is a flametastic reminder that just because they're wearing a badge doesn't mean they know what they're doing. A tech for Comcast showed up at this woman's house to install her cable modem, but wound up detonating her Powerbook after plugging the coaxial cable from the modem into a "similar-appearing" electrical cable while the Powerbook was still connected to it. Results?
Everything on the desk was blackened with soot and burned either partially or completely. Three external hard drives, a digital camera, videotapes, papers, CD's, etc. The floor, wall, and radiator cover were burned, along with the tabletop.
Every cable that was connected to the laptop, Ethernet, Firewire, Power, and USB, was forcibly shot out of each portal, and each portal covered with the black soot. Metal bits and electronic debris from the power cable hub and other cables was scattered around the room and some wires had split apart into copper shreds. Molten silver metal flecks are still lodged in the windowsill.
Ouch. While Comcast took responsibility
and paid for the damages as well as data recovery services for the hard drive and is in the slow process of paying for the damages, it's a harsh way to learn that techs don't know everything. Though Gizmodo does.