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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

buying Apple [phone]..... and 16GB thumb drive at throw-away price......

In olden days there used to competitions advertised in newspapers / leaflets – you complete a small puzzle and send them to the address given.  Most likely you would be selected for the prize and they would  send a parcel by VPP [value payable post] ….. and sometimes people found that there was nothing valuable inside.  In the market place, there are Sellers and Buyers – there is the maxim ‘let the buyer beware’……… but you expect that people are honest… there are notorious markets… in Delhi there are places where they sell electronic goods and others goods at ‘unbelievably low prices’ ~ there are many other cities where you have such markets selling prices at rockbottom prices. 

Life has moved in the fast lane and from computers with capacity in MB – now we have pen drives in higher GB capacities….. Pen drive – Zip drive – thumb drive – flash drive …… variously called is a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integrated Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface. USB flash drives are typically removable and rewritable, and physically much smaller than an optical disc.  Though they come in various capacities – now a days 4GB / 8GB sell like hot cakes – while 16GB are also common….

The name is a misnomer in some ways as there is no drive in pen / flash drive. USB flash drives use the USB mass storage standard, supported by modern operating systems such as Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, and other Unix-like systems, as well as many BIOS boot ROMs.  A flash drive has no moving parts to be driven; therefore, it's not a true drive. The term drive persists because computers read and write flash drive data using the same system commands as for a mechanical disk drive, with the storage appearing to the computer operating system and user interface as just another drive.

The other day in a Delhi market – a person was accosted by a stranger trying to sell a flash drive – when no interest was shown, the price fell by 50% - the man would not move away and finally, the person got lured by the low price and paid Rs.350/- for a 16GB drive…. a few minutes later another person sold another 16GB, this time even lower at Rs.300/- then came the prize-catch ~ a 64GB pen drive @ Rs.600/- ; they were neatly packed and looked great…. [jump to the last para or scroll reading the rest of this post !]

Not sure whether the adage ‘an apple a day’ would still keep the Doctor away………… this Brisbane woman who got 2 apples would perhaps know that better ~ only trouble is she ended up paying £900 for two of them by making an online purchase.  In any agreement – there has to be ‘consensus ad idem’ …….which was not to be for the Australian woman. 

Daily Mail UK reports of a 21-year-old Brisbane woman who placed an advertisement in an online buy-and-sell site [Gumtree] saying she was looking to purchase a number of iPhones. Another woman called and said she has two Apples for sale.  The buyer was scouting for Apple i-phones.  Senior Constable Jess Hopkin of the Upper Mt Gravatt Crime Prevention Unit said the two women arranged to meet at a McDonald's outlet, where the transaction took place. The purchaser handed over $1500, the equivalent of £800, and was given two new iPhone boxes in return, the Quest community newspaper of Queensland reported today. Her mistake was to not look inside. On returning home the young woman opened the boxes and found to her horror that they contained real apples.
photo collaged from Daily Mail

Senior Constable Hopkin warned people to be wary when they buy anything online. 'Don't stay away because most people are doing the right thing - but be smart about what you buy,' she said.  Commentators writing on an online site weren't letting the buyer off the hook with their criticism. 'I don't know anyone that would hand over $1500 to a stranger without checking the item,' wrote one man.'Besides, you can buy a brand new iPhone5 for $700. So if this is a true story then I'm sorry but she deserved it!'  A woman asked: 'And she went to the police?? Seriously, I'd be too embarrassed to go to the police if I'd been that stupid.'  ~ Apple iphone 4S costs around Rs.42000/- in India.

Moral : as long as there are gullible people, there will be cheats…..  Back home when the pen drives  were put on the system – there was no response at all  from the computer  - later the buyer learnt to appreciate the workmanship …. So beautifully made, neatly packed and presented – with nothing inside !!!!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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