As anybody who's seen a Terminator movie knows, technology and humans don't always get on.
If we're not doing dumb things with technology or putting electronics in stupid places it's burning our bits and our beds - and in some cases, hardware turns out to be truly homicidal.
From the silly to the serious, we discover 13 ways technology can be downright dangerous.
1. The crashing laptop
In 2007, Californian traffic cops were called to a fatal accident. Oscar, a 29-year-old computer tutor, crashed his Honda into a Hummer with predictable consequences - and when the cops arrived on the scene, they found his laptop still running and plugged into the car's cigarette lighter. In a typical year, more than 500 Californians are charged with reckless driving after being caught using TVs, video players or computers at the wheel.
2. Burn, baby, burn
In January, Arkansas man Keith Price discovered a little problem with his Compaq Presario: it caught on fire, burning down his house and injuring his daughter, who had to leap from a second-floor window.
3. Plane Crazy
Last month, 46 passengers were seriously injured when the computers inside a Quantas Airbus A 330-300 decided to act like HAL from 2001. The plane shot up 300 feet in the air and then pitched earthwards for no reason, and according to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau "the aircraft performed of its own accord". "Death to humans!" said the computer. Probably.
4. Rivers of fire
In 1999, a ruptured pipe in Washington poured nearly 250,000 gallons of petrol into local rivers. The petrol ignited, creating a river of fire that killed two ten-year-old boys and an eighteen-year-old man, and eight other people were seriously injured. After a three-year investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board found that a key cause of the accident was a mysterious computer failure that paralysed the pipeline control room, preventing engineers from opening valves to reduce pressure in the pipe. According to Wired, security experts say the victims were "the first verified human casualties of a control-system computer incident."
5. Armed and dangerous
In August, a stone company worker was seriously injured when a granite-cutting computer reset itself. According to Waco fire marshals the machine's robot arm swung round, trapping the unfortunate worker in the cutting machinery. The man is expected to make a full recovery.
6. Over exposure
Therac-25 radiotherapy machines are famous in the medical world for all the wrong reasons. In the mid-eighties, at least six cancer patients were given massive overdoses of radiation by the machines, causing three deaths; subsequent investigations discovered that the overdoses were caused by a rare but serious software malfunction. The US FDA banned all medical equipment from the Therac-25's manufacturer and brought in new rules covering medical control software, but of course that was too late to help the Therac-25's six victims.
7. Phone sex
A 20-year-old Taiwanese woman had to make an unexpected surgical appointment in 2001 when a Nokia 8850 became stuck in her back passage. Was she the victim of overzealous mobile phone sales reps? Nope: according to doctors at Taipei Medical University, she had been playing "sex games" with her boyfriend. Insert your own "vibrate mode" joke here.
8. Game over
In 2006, 37-year-old Taiwanese man Hsu Tai-yang dropped dead in a cybercafe after a marathon gaming session. Doctors say he died of heart failure caused by a combination of "fatigue, lack of sleep and inhaling the smoke-filled air." The following year, the same thing happened in China when an unnamed 30-year-old died of exhaustion after a three-day gaming binge.
9. PC kills "sweaty" man
A 20-year-old Shanghai student was killed by his overheating PC - but not by fire. According to Fox News, he didn't want to turn on the air conditioning and decided to open the PC's case instead; when "his sweaty legs came into contact with the computer's internal wiring" he was electrocuted.
10. Rogue robots
In 2006, a South African army exercise went badly wrong when an anti-aircraft cannon malfunctioned, killing nine soldiers and seriously injuring 14 others. Human error was quickly ruled out, with investigators trying to discover whether the fault was a physical problem or a software malfunction. According to Brigadier General Kwena Mangope, "it appears as though the gun, which is computerised, jammed before there was some sort of explosion, and then it opened fire uncontrollably, killing and injuring the soldiers." One pundit told the Weekend Argus paper that "if the cause lay in computer error, the reason for the tragedy might never be found."
11. PlayStations versus pets
Pugsley, a Jack Russell cross belonging to 22-year-old Jemma Scott, has been repeatedly smacked with a PlayStation. As soon as he spots dogs on the TV he hurls himself at them, getting entangled in the console's cables and bringing it down on his stupid doggy head. According to a survey by pet insurer PetPlan, who brought Pugsley's plight to public attention, iPods are most likely to injure cats, rabbits should fear PlayStations and guinea pigs are frequently injured by DVD players and remote controls.
In 2005, a Vancouver man was hurled nearly three metres when he was struck by lightning - and because he was listening to his iPod at the time, "the combination of sweat and metal earphones directed the current to, and through, the patient's head." iPods have also been blamed for cyclists crashing into buses and pedestrians being hit by cars.
13. Hot pants
In 2002, a 50-year-old scientist suffered serious burns to his penis after using his laptop for an hour. No, he hadn't been sitting naked at the keyboard. His laptop's battery became so hot that it burned him through his trousers and underpants, causing "irritation and oedema of his penile prepuce" and a "blister with a diameter of about 2cm". Are you sitting comfortably? "After the first 2 days, the penile and scrotal blisters broke and developed into infected wounds that caused extensive suppuration." OUCH!