Weird Tech: How not to cool down your Xbox

Soviet anti-tank landmines should not be used as frisbees. Especially when they're still live

A more accurate title for this week's Weird Tech might be: Bad Things that Happen When Tech is Used Carelessly. America in particular, it seems, was a dangerous place for Generation X over the last seven days.

What's the last thing you'd ever do to cool down your Xbox power supply if you suspected it to be overheating? Stick it a bowl of water while it's still plugged in?

That's exactly what a North Carolina teenager did after following some tips he "found online". Unsurprisingly, the teenager received an electric shock, burns and a trip to hospital shortly afterwards for his troubles. (We'd suggest he stick to wooden appliances in the future, like this giant Creative ZEN Stone replica.)

It's a bit like the other American teenager in the news this week, who was too busy texting to check whether a train was coming before crossing the tracks. According to reports, the 18-year-old waited for one train to pass before stepping out blindly onto the line, unaware that a second train was coming in the opposite direction. He was thrown 50 feet and knocked unconscious by the collision.

When satnav turns bad

Don't leave your journey home programmed into your satnav system. That was the message coming from police this week following the theft of a device from a car at Alton Towers theme park. The thieves were led right to the door of the owner's empty Shropshire home where they found his £20k Saab convertible waiting in the driveway with their names on it.

Bizarre gadgets

We've seen a number of alternative uses for GPS in recent weeks, but we'd be lying if we said we foresaw the GPS Safety Shoes for Prostitutes. Not only do the shoes offer the lady of the night a "high heel and personal protection", they also have a GPS receiver with an emergency help button built in.

On a more wholesome note, the USB Heating Slippers caught our eye this week, as did Jonas Samson's Light Emitting Wallpaper and the ' ZunePhone'. One thing we certainly won't be wasting our hard earned cash on though is a gold iPod shuffle studded with diamonds. Or the similarly decorated hearing aid.

And finally...

When two Swiss students on holiday in Budapest unknowingly spotted a landmine in the Danube, they did what any right-minded person would do upon finding a 6kg circular metal object in a former Soviet bloc country. They played frisbee with it. Unaware that their new toy was in fact a live Soviet anti-tank landmine, the students would have happily continued playing to their death had it not been for a nearby lifeguard who helpfully alerted the police.

Julia Sagar
Content director, special projects

Julia specialises in ecommerce at Future. For the last four years, she’s split her time between leading TechRadar’s crack team of deal editors - covering all the biggest sales of the year including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day - and helping the audiences of Future’s consumer tech and lifestyle brands (TechRadar, Tom's Guide, T3, Marie Claire, Woman & Home and more) find the best products and services for their needs and budget.

A former editor of global design website Creative Bloq, she has over 15 years’ experience in online and print journalism, and was part of the team that launched TechRadar way back in the day. When she isn't reviewing mattresses (she’s tested more than she cares to remember), or sharing tips on how to save money in the latest sales, she can usually be found writing about anything from green energy to graphic design.