You Must Obey: The Unwritten Laws of Technology

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Precepts of Mobile Tech

Desktop technology isn't the only source of inevitable woe in your life. All those shiny mobile devices can cause pain, too, since the freedom of untethered technology doesn't extend to immunity from rank on rank of frustrating unalterable laws. We report 10 master Mobile Laws here.

Law 1: The charger for your current cell phone will not work with the next cell phone you buy. --Kimberly Brinson, PC World

Law 2: Your laptop's charger weighs half of what your laptop weighs. --Darren Gladstone, PC World

Battery life ebbing.

Law 3: A laptop battery will drain at twice its normal rate whenever you leave home without your power cord. --Kimberly Brinson, PC World

Corollary: Your laptop's battery life is inversely proportional to the amount of work you need to get done on a single charge. --Blair Hanley Frank, Macworld

Law 4: Your iPod or iPhone will be on its last burst of power just as the plane door shuts. --Anne B. McDonald, PC World

Law 5: A replacement battery charger will cost 70 percent of the original purchase price of the device. For phones, the figure is 140 percent! --Robert Strohmeyer, PC World

Law 6: Your cell phone will inevitably break before your two-year contract is up, forcing you to overpay for a new, less-cool model. --Lauren Barnard, PC World

Law 7: The proprietary charging plug (cost to produce: 50 cents) for your device will disappear within two weeks and will cost you $40 to replace. --Darren Gladstone, PC World

Law 8: On any vacation, the memory card for your digital camera will be safely lodged in the card reader on your desk at home. (And the camera's proprietary battery will be dead, with the charger sitting next to the card reader.) --Anne B. McDonald, PC World

Soft drinks are also bad for PCs.
Soft drinks are also bad for PCs.
Law 9: A cup of coffee on your desk is guaranteed to render your laptop utterly useless. --Nick Mediati, PC World

Law 10: Your MagSafe adapter will always come unplugged precisely when you need to charge your Mac laptop's battery. --Nick Mediati, PC World

Software Statutes

Finally, if entanglements with hardware principles don't leave you bound and gagged, there are always software standards to render you helpless.

Law 1: Your software provider's online support pages contain explicit instructions for troubleshooting every conceivable problem--except yours. --Mark Sullivan, PC World

Law 2: Nine times out of ten, tinkering with your Registry to fix a system issue will create a new problem that's more severe than the original. --Travis Van, ITDatabase via HARO

Law 3: Ten times out of ten, downloading a spyware product will create hidden processes/services more insidious than the original malware/adware encroachment you set out to stop. --Travis Van, ITDatabase via HARO

Do Not Enter!
Graphic: Diego Aguirre
Law 4: The performance increase you can expect from running a Registry cleaner can be calculated as z(n + y), where n is the number of Registry entries cleaned, y is your system CPU's clock speed in gigahertz, and z = 0. --Robert Strohmeyer, PC World

Law 5: The larger the number of people who want your iPhone app, the likelier Apple is to reject it. --Nick Mediati, PC World

Law 6: iTunes will crash. That's it. No, really. --Darren Gladstone, PC World

If you don't do it right, it may go on your permanent record!
We here at the (unofficial) Tech Law Brain Trust are always happy to consider additional axioms, postulates, propositions, theorems, and conjectures to supplement these basic rules of tech use.

Please feel free to submit your entries in triplicate using a No. 2 pencil only to the Comments section below or on the PC World Facebook page .

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