About a year ago, we saw UK politicians complaining that the iPod's white earbuds made it an attractive target for criminals. They even went so far as to suggest that gadget makers should design their products in a way that would not encourage such crime. We may start to see similar suggestions after a DC think tank has started claiming that the rise in crime over the last few years can be attributed to iPods. It makes for a compelling headline, but there seems to be little evidence to support it -- other than the fact that violent crime has increased over the same period that iPods have grown in popularity. Other than that, the actual evidence put forth by the think tank seems rather weak. At best there's a correlation, but that's hardly proof that the iPod is to blame. As the AP reporter notes, while there certainly have been more reports of iPod theft, that may often be larceny rather than violent crime. Also, while most of the reports of iPod theft shows up in urban areas in places like crowded subways, the increase in violent crime appears to be coming from small and mid-sized cities. In other words, there's nothing to see here, other than a catchy headline.
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