Baby gender prediction scam

Rebecca at the Memoirs of a Skepchick blog posted this great entry So you want to be a con artist!.

It refers to a new internet scam of baby gender prediction. Rebecca points out the clever first FAQ but I also noticed a very clever third question and answer.

“Question: How does the 100 % Money-Back-Guaranty work?
Answer: Should our results be not conform to the actual gender of your child, you will only need to send us the original birth certificate and the invoice and you will receive your money back immediately.”

They require “the original birth certificate” to get your refund. Assuming they are good to their word and don’t want a copy, then they can greatly enhance how much they keep. Normally the parents get one copy of the birth certificate when the child is born. Depending on where you live, getting an extra official birth certificate can cost more than the refund from the con artists. Even if you can get a cheap birth certificate where you live, it is likely more time consuming than the refund is worth. So, probably very few victims ever get their money back, letting the scammer’s keep closer to 100% of what they take in. Boy, con artists are so clever, it is really too bad that this kind of activity is legal in the U.S.A.

Lithium Ion Battery saftey being evaluated by the CPSC

This article in Conformity Magazine summarizes recent safety testing of Lithium Ion batteries, it also has a link to the full report.

As embedded systems designers we have a responsibility to pay careful attention when we use newer technologies like LI batteries in our products. There have been many very safe designs with LI batteries but due to their nature a totally safe design is not an easy task. So please resist the temptation to cut corners when you design a potentially dangerous device into your latest gadget.