Monday, October 25, 2004

Kryptonite locks

This article is about one of the less serious topics.

One of the things that I had to buy when I came to Cambridge was a bike. Of course, one also needs a lock. The clerk immediately offered me a Kryptonite U-lock.
  • "It's the best product on the market, and most Americans are buying exactly this lock."
You know, this lock just looks too big (and expensive) to us, the Europeans - it is a pound of metal or so. But you know, Americans love everything big. He did not have to convince me that the physique of that lock was robust enough so that you can only break it with some very powerful tools. But the tubular key just seemed suspicious. It did not seem to have too much structure on it, and I was asking questions like

  • May I open all the Kryptonite locks with the same Kryptonite key?
  • Do the keys differ?
Well, that sounds as a ridiculous question, but two years later, it was explained how you can hack this lock with a Bic pen. Half of America is suddenly threatened by a pen. Well, my temporary solution was simple: I added several more "police" stickers to the lock. I received these stickers for sponsoring the Police Activity League, and I believe that all criminals will understand that they will be shot as soon as they touch my bike.

Incidentally, it may be a good investment for all car drivers to have these stickers, especially if you're afraid that the policemen will ever bother you.

We should also emphasize that sponsoring the Police Activity League is not corruption because they often play soccer with the kids from the inner cities. ;-)

OK, Kryptonite is a very bold company, and therefore they plan to offer you the "thick cylinder" part of the lock with a non-tubular lock and key, for free.
I admire them for doing something like that, and I wish that company that it won't lead them to bankruptcy.

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