Microsoft got a little egg on its face recently when it had to admit that Xbox owners around the world possibly had been in danger from their consoles' power cables. There have been 30 or so reports of users suffering minor burns, singed upholstery or scorched carpets as a result of power lead malfunctions. Microsoft has accordingly asked Xbox owners to return their consoles' power cables. Tests have indicated that only one in 10,000 cables have such a risk.

The recall takes in some 14.1m power cables shipped into Europe before 13 January, 2004 and in other territories before 23 October, 2003. The Xbox debuted in the US in November 2001, and to date more than 20m of the consoles have shipped. The recall covers over 70 per cent of that installed base.

If you own an Xbox, you should go to (with your console serial number in hand) to arrange getting a replacement cable.