Who hasn't sampled some grapes at the grocery store before buying a bunch? That's a pretty minor theft, and presumably one that stores take into account when they're pricing grapes. The really big problems are when huge amounts of food go missing. Recently, there have been a few bizarre food-related heists, and in case you missed them, here they are.
from the time-to-institute-some-PRM,-perhaps? dept
In this day and age of digital goods, where the waters are constantly muddied by the use of phrases like "stealing" or "content theft" in place of "copying" or "infringement," it's refreshing to see a youthful group of go-getters shaming their basement-dwelling peers by leaving the house and, you know, actually stealing something.
This time the bad guys, three hooded people, used a weapon to commandeer the vehicle after having blocked the road. They quickly escape the wheel of the delivery van containing the same game.
While stealing physical product would seem to be completely redundant in this age of "epidemic level" piracy, there's something to be said about putting in a dishonest day's work. Of course, these stolen goods will likely be useless, considering Activision will likely have already pinned down the serial numbers affected by the time Jean Q. Publique has purchased his copy via LeBay or whatever. While pirating in the physical realm allows you to wear kickass hoods and toss around tear gas, the pirated digital equivalent will contain none of the damning evidence (invalid serial numbers, tear gas residue) and all of the fun of the original. I mean, this is a Call of Duty game and you're going to want to get online, right? Nobody buys/steals CoD for the single player.
On the other hand, maybe there's another lesson to be learned from this. Perhaps the "new" piracy will start to resemble the "old" piracy again. After all, the content industries would much rather have you stealing their physical product than downloading the hell out of it, as is evidenced by CreativeAccountingAmerica's nifty new coffee mug, which blatantly invites passersby to make off with this beautifully photoshopped item, rather than their non-rivalrous goods. (Hood and tear gas optional.)
A whole bunch of folks have been sending in random versions of the story of how author Sean Power recovered his stolen laptop despite being in another country, thanks to the power of social media, some open source software and some good samaritans. The "short" version is that Sean had his laptop stolen a few days ago in New York City, just a day before he had to go to Canada for a few days. He had some open source anti-theft software on there, called Prey. I'd never heard of it, but it gets excellent reviews. Anyway, after not being alerted to anything for a few days, Sean suddenly was notified that someone was using his laptop -- and he mentioned it on Twitter. From there, it helps to follow the story on Twitter, and thankfully Ryan Ozawa used Storify to post the relevant tweets:
You really should read the story as it happens, but basically some girl got wind of the story (it's still not entirely clear how... since she's not on Twitter), and went to the bar where the guy with the laptop was. She befriended some of the bartenders and others at the bar and found out that the guy with the laptop had some sort of connection with the bar. Reading through the various tweets, there is some confusion over who's who in this story, but the nameless girl in the purple sarong was soon backed up by another guy, Nick Reese, who just saw the story unfolding on Twitter and (as a brand new NYC resident) decided to jump in. The girl in the purple sarong apparently flirted with one of the two guys (Max) with the laptop, and got his business card. Sean had called the police, but they refused to go, since Sean hadn't filed a police report (he claims he didn't have time before leaving for Canada). Eventually, Sean called the phone number on the card, leading Max to call the other guy at the bar (Paulo) just as Nick and Purple Sarong Girl (PSG?) were confronting him. After some back and forth, Nick pulled out his phone and showed Paulo the photo of Paulo on the laptop from the webcam that Sean had gotten from Prey and posted to Twitter. Not surprisingly, that quickly led to the laptop (and the laptop bag) being handed over...
Nick and the girl in the purple sarong then put up a video of what happened which is both mildly entertaining and mildly frustrating (and it's not hard to assume that the girl has consumed a fair bit of alcohol by this point -- and I think I have to agree with the Village Voice that she may be the most annoying woman in the world) Update: The video has been set to private. Reese is claiming it's to "protect the identity" of the girl -- which seems odd...
All in all it's quite a story. There have been a few people suggesting this is just a publicity stunt for Prey, but plenty of folks are insisting that's not the case. To be honest, even if it is a publicity stunt for Prey, I gotta say that it's fantastically well-done, and amazingly compelling. I wouldn't care if it were a publicity stunt, because then the story would be about how to make brilliantly compelling marketing... But, again, most people are insisting that this was all real, and then the story is just about the wonders of modern technology combined with good people. A story of our times...
This one fall into the stupid criminal files. A guy who attacked a woman and ended up stealing her purse and mobile phone later tried to ransom the phone back to her for $185,000, a number he seemed to have picked out of thin air (found via The Raw Feed). Apparently, the ridiculousness of the request soon became apparent, as he was quickly negotiated down to $200 ransom. Of course the whole negotiation was taken place with police listening, and so it was the police who greeted him at the transaction location, rather than a woman with $200. The guy's now in jail. If the judge had a sense of humor, he would have set bail at $185,000, rather than $100,000, while also pointing out that he wouldn't negotiate down to $200.