I recently wrote a popular article on the history of computer power supplies, which led to speculation on what’s inside those amazingly small one-inch cube USB chargers sold by Apple, Samsung, RIM, and other companies. In the interest of science, I bought a cheap no-name cube charger off eBay for $2.79, and took it apart. It’s amazing that manufacturers can build and sell a complex charger for just a few dollars. It looks a lot like a genuine Apple charger and cost a lot less. But looking inside, I found that important safety corners were cut, which could lead to a 340 volt surprise. In addition, the interference from a cheap charger like this can cause touchscreen malfunctions. Thus, I recommend spending a few dollars more to get a brand-name charger.