We've been having a lot of problems in my office with ESD. People touch cubicle frames and monitors shut off momentarily, painful shocks through laptops, etc. I'm worried about equipment getting damaged and I'm fed up with getting shocked by furniture.
As the EE in the office, I went and bought a bunch of wrist straps, table mats, and staticide carpet spray. While shopping, I discovered this Desco 09839 USB Ground Adapter, which is a USB port on one end with a banana jack on the other end of the cable. Checking it with a multimeter, the signal ground pin is connected directly to the banana plug. The shield is not.
This smells like a good way to damage a laptop, particularly if it's shorted to the wrist strap. Under what circumstances would I want to use this as part of an ESD protection strategy? My first thought is to connect it to earth through a separate 1M resistor from my wrist strap to help prevent discharges to the laptop chassis.
The AC-DC adapters for our laptops are Class II with functional earthing. They have a third prong on the AC but I assume it only goes to a line filter.