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Man Finds Divorce Papers, Tax Docs On "New" Laptop

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the a-little-something-extra dept.

Privacy 218

An anonymous reader writes "25-year-old Hidayat Sudirman found that his new laptop came loaded with more than just the usual software, it also contained 10GB of someone else's documents. From the article: "A buyer on the lookout for a new laptop got more than he bargained for at his local computer fair when the 'new' device came loaded with over 10GB of personal documents — including divorce papers and tax returns."

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Bundled Software (5, Funny)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 2 years ago | (#35586738)

I think I saw an article a while back that IBM was going to add even more bloatware and start including "starter docs" to take the guess work out of creating day-to-day files and records. That's not personal data, those are "templates".

Re:Bundled Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35586796)

On mainframes or where?

Re:Bundled Software (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#35586828)

It's a step up at least from the malware-ridden thumb drives [slashdot.org] they have previously given out.

Re:Bundled Software (5, Funny)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#35586856)

As complicated as that process can get, I'm surprised we don't see an MS Divorce 2011 suite available. They can even have a Professional and Ultimate edition depending on if you have kids and/or wealthy.

 

Re:Bundled Software (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587132)

And an academic version that helps you prepare to not pay child support.

Re:Bundled Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35588562)

More like "Merger Pro" added to the Office Suite. These days merger documents are more common in corporate Americana than spread sheets.

Re:Bundled Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35587738)

It might not be "bundled software". It could be a returned unit. I worked for a big box company and we accepted returns upto 14days on laptops. We were supposed to wipe the machines down and put back to factory fresh (which I always did). But my co-workers sometimes thought "it looks fine" and didn't bother. Low and behold one of our units went out and came back with porn on it. Try to explain to a parent who bought their child a laptop that came with porn.

Re:Bundled Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35588134)

You must have seen that article a very long while back, because IBM hasn't sold PCs in 6 years.

An IT fair in Singapore? This really concerns me! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35586802)

It could have been any one of us who sold their laptop to some guy who sells laptops at an IT fair in Singapore!

Let

Re:An IT fair in Singapore? This really concerns m (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#35586834)

Hopefully most Slashdotters would at least make a minimal effort at wiping personal data off of any computer before selling it on.

Re:An IT fair in Singapore? This really concerns m (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35587084)

Hopefully most Slashdotters would at least make a minimal effort at wiping personal data off of any computer before selling it on.

Probably not. The more likely situation is to discover it post facto and blame the government and/or RMS somehow.

Re:An IT fair in Singapore? This really concerns m (2)

ddd0004 (1984672) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587654)

Yeah no kidding. This is like me buying a car stereo from a guy who walked up to me a gas station and then recoiling in shock when it already has a cd in it. A better title for this article should be "Newsflash: Sometimes People Steal Things"

I probably wouldn't have noticed this... (0, Offtopic)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#35586806)

I probably wouldn't have noticed the documents, because the first thing I do with a new computer is make an image of it, toss the image into an archive bin, then whip out the DBAN or HDDErase media and zorch the drives.

This does three things -- ensures that any data previous to me is gone (because there are stories of even new devices having dubious content on them), checks to see if all sectors are readable/writable, and randomizes the data stored, so when I encrypt the drive using TrueCrypt or BitLocker, data that might have survived being written over will just be random numbers and useless for decryption attempts.

It is always a good habit to zero out media before using it, be it a USB flash drive, a MicroSD card, or a hard disk, just for the reasons above. It also is a good habit to do another thorough zeroing out before letting someone else have the media as well, for obvious reasons.

Re:I probably wouldn't have noticed this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35587642)

im guessing that you're aware that DBAN always does a last-pass zero?

Re:I probably wouldn't have noticed this... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587886)

From what I've gathered most full disk encryption will overwrite the disk with random data anyway (unless you specifically ask it not to) so you can't tell what's encrypted data and what is random junk. If it was encrypted data and the rest all zeros, that would be stupid.

Re:I probably wouldn't have noticed this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35588152)

Or a brilliant way to hide my documents encrypted with my proprietary "all zeros" encryption method.

Re:I probably wouldn't have noticed this... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35588490)

I do this - what you do is take your data, and make a copy of it. The second copy is your key. Then you XOR the plain text and the key together, just like a one-time-pad encryption method. This leaves you with a giant file that's all 0s. You can then compress down to almost nothing and save it to disk. The last step is to store your key somewhere. If someone gets that compressed, encrypted file, I can guarantee that as long as you keep your key safe, they won't be able to decrypt it.

Better solution for Mac than TrueCrypt- File Vault (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#35586810)

The article pushes the use of TrueCrypt rather heavily, but while it is nice for most people on a Mac it's a lot easier to just turn on FileVault (which stores your whole home directory in an encrypted disk image) and then make sure you require a login when you wake the computer.

I believe there's also a similar solution for Windows. In general it's better to promote the solution that works and is most likely to get used.

Re:Better solution for Mac than TrueCrypt- File Va (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#35586966)

If we're going to mention specific OSes that have encryption built in, then I'll add Ubuntu and Windows Vista/7* to your list.

* probably just the more expensive versions, I'm not sure though

Re:Better solution for Mac than TrueCrypt- File Va (2)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587384)

In Vista and 7, yes, it is in the ultimate version and is called bitlocker.

Windows Vista
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/products/compare [microsoft.com]
Windows 7
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/compare/default.aspx [microsoft.com]

Re:Better solution for Mac than TrueCrypt- File Va (1)

St.Creed (853824) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587602)

Also in the enterprise versions.

It really irritates the heck out of me - as freelancer I don't use most of the specific Enterprise features, nor the Ultimate features (for Vista at least) but whoever thought Bitlocker should be left out of the business edition is an idiot. All freelancers who tote around their laptop all day to customers could use it.

Re:Better solution for Mac than TrueCrypt- File Va (1)

egamma (572162) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587998)

Also in the enterprise versions.

It really irritates the heck out of me - as freelancer I don't use most of the specific Enterprise features, nor the Ultimate features (for Vista at least) but whoever thought Bitlocker should be left out of the business edition is an idiot. All freelancers who tote around their laptop all day to customers could use it.

I agree that it would be nice to include bitlocker, but you can still use EFS to encrypt your documents in Win 7 Pro. just be sure to back up your personal cert.

Re:Better solution for Mac than TrueCrypt- File Va (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588286)

Isn't EFS just using your password hash as the key, or at least using that hash as the key to encrypt the actual certificate... In any case, it's supposed to be pretty weak and quite easy to retrieve data from.

Also, the reason most windows users go for full disk encryption instead of user level encryption is because of just how many places on disk windows could store personal information, whereas on a unix system it pretty much only goes in $HOME, /tmp (which you can put in ram) and swap (which you can encrypt using a random key at bootup)

Re:Better solution for Mac than TrueCrypt- File Va (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588450)

If we're going to mention specific OSes that have encryption built in, then I'll add Ubuntu and Windows Vista/7* to your list.

I already added Windows in my original post (just forgot the name of Bitlocker) and it goes without saying that Linux includes the same because anyone who knows what Linux is would know that. But someone running Linux would also know enough to evaluate the full range of choices rather than needing a simple switch.

Re:Better solution for Mac than TrueCrypt- File Va (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35586976)

Both of these implementations have serious flaws so are not recommended by anyone who wants to actually have some form of security.

Re:Better solution for Mac than TrueCrypt- File Va (2)

ItsLenny (1132387) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587074)

My fear with using BitLocker (win) or FileVault (mac) is that if for whatever reason my computer stops booting I won't be able to get in and get my files back. If you leave your files unencrypted you can usually just use a boot cd or worst case plug the drive in to another computer to save your files. Before anyone says it yes I do back up regularly, but you never know

However, with TrueCrypt you get a file which is a disc image that can be opened on any system as long as you have the TrueCrypt software and the password. So I throw all my general stuff on the drive unencrypted and sensitive stuff (passwords, financial data, etc) in a TrueCrypt file.

Re:Better solution for Mac than TrueCrypt- File Va (2)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587230)

With FileVault, you can recover your files on any Macintosh system. (You could technically recover your files on any system, but I don't know if anyone's written a sparsebundle reader for other OSes.)

Your home directory is, in fact, stored as a OS-X-specific disk image (sparsebundle) encrypted with your passphrase. It's not tightly bound to your particular computer or user account, except that the passphrase is required to be the same as your login password.

Re:Better solution for Mac than TrueCrypt- File Va (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587932)

So ... to recover, you put the disk in a new / different Mac, create an account with the same passphrase, and then log in?

Re:Better solution for Mac than TrueCrypt- File Va (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588388)

Yes, exactly, as long as you have the right passphrase you can get in the sparsebundle.

That's the rub of course, if you lose that passphrase it's all gone. But that's true of TrueCrypt as well.

This is all made transparent by Apple's Time Machine backup, from which you just restore the whole system in the event of dramatic failure or machine replacement. If you are using a Mac and not using Time Machine, you are insane at it's the best way to maintain backups and fully recover a system.

Re:Better solution for Mac than TrueCrypt- File Va (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588524)

FileVault actually also uses a backup key stored in the recovery keychain, so that you can decrypt your home directory in the event you lose your passphrase. I'm not familiar with using the recovery keychain on a foreign system, though.

Re:Better solution for Mac than TrueCrypt- File Va (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588484)

No. To recover, you simply open the .sparsebundle file on any Macintosh. It will prompt for your passphrase and mount the disk image.

If you use FileVault home directory encryption, the only thing your real home directory on disk contains is a single .sparsebundle file. Whenever you log in, that .sparsebundle is mounted (on top of your home directory's location). However, the entire login process is not necessary. A .sparsebundle is simple a disk image file, and a FileVault .sparsebundle is simply an encrypted disk image file. They can be opened and manipulated like a .dmg file.

Re:Better solution for Mac than TrueCrypt- File Va (1)

PReDiToR (687141) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587878)

The problem, THE problem with encrypting your hard drive is that you add another set of complications in case of filesystem corruption.

I know we all use Linux here and that it never crashes, but you just try and fsck a filesystem after typing candlejack, it can't be

Re:Better solution for Mac than TrueCrypt- File Va (1)

grahamlord86 (1603545) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588196)

This is why I use TrueCrypt instead of Fire Vault...

Most of my home directory isn't sensitive, I don't want to slow-down and hassle that comes with encryption on it.

So all my stuff is unencrypted, and then I have a few TrueCrypt volumes with stuff that I DO want encrypted.

FRIST!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35586838)

FRIST!!!!!!

why does my comment look too much like ascii art?

Re:FRIST!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35587440)

FRIST!!!!!!

why does my comment look too much like ascii art?

Oh that's easy, you suck cocks!

Re:FRIST!!! (1)

mace9984 (1406805) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587608)

You owe me a keyboard Sir.

You gets what you pays for . . . (4, Insightful)

mmell (832646) | more than 2 years ago | (#35586864)

I see two possibilities, in order of decreasing likelihood...

1 - The seller got his hand on a bunch of identical, lightly-used machines and decided to resell 'em as "new". Creep.

---or

2 - The seller imaged a bunch of boxes from a used machine (with the end in view of not having to register/activate multiple copies of Windows) - i.e., the seller is pushing a pirated version of Windows with his new machines. Creep.

Re:You gets what you pays for . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35587138)

Or you could just read the article and find out the REAL reason...

Re:You gets what you pays for . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35587300)

So careless retailer sells someone ELSES machine as new that they will want back. Careless creep.

Re:You gets what you pays for . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35587362)

You must be new here.

Re:You gets what you pays for . . . (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587972)

Technically, that's just the stated reason...

It could also be the real reason but we can't be totally certain.

Re:You gets what you pays for . . . (2)

MORB (793798) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587520)

Or

3 - someone brought the computer, returned it and got a refund for whatever reason, and they omitted to wipe the drive when they repackaged it.

People often don't realize that as a downside of the ability to return items, the stuff they purchase might actually have been previously sold and then returned.

Re:You gets what you pays for . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35587772)

That's fine, but what sane person would return a machine for refund, and NOT take the time to wipe their divorce papers and tax forms off the machine before doing so?

Re:You gets what you pays for . . . (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587900)

That's fine, but what sane person would return a machine for refund, and NOT take the time to wipe their divorce papers and tax forms off the machine before doing so?

Maybe the spouse got the laptop as part of the divorce and returned it, not knowing its contents.

Re:You gets what you pays for . . . (2)

Minwee (522556) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588048)

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but sometimes stupid people are allowed to use computers too.

Re:You gets what you pays for . . . (1)

rollingcalf (605357) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587790)

"People often don't realize that as a downside of the ability to return items, the stuff they purchase might actually have been previously sold and then returned."

That should never happen. Returned items should always be labeled USED when resold, except maybe for those where it's clear that the prior customer didn't open it.

Re:You gets what you pays for . . . (1)

MORB (793798) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588276)

So merely opening the box should turn a brand new item into a used one? It doesn't really make sense, because for all intent and purpose it is still brand new when the store sells it to another customer.

It's covered by warranty just the same, and they make sure it's in pristine condition (except occasional mishaps like what might have happened in TFA) before repackaging it and putting it back on the shelves.

If they had to sell returned items as used, then they wouldn't bother having a return policy in the first place. This is the "price" you pay for being able to return items.

Re:You gets what you pays for . . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35588468)

"So merely opening the box should turn a brand new item into a used one?"

Yes. It has been used.

"It doesn't really make sense, because for all intent and purpose it is still brand new when the store sells it to another customer."

No. For all intents and purposes, it has been unpackaged, opened, used, and repackaged.

"It's covered by warranty just the same"

Good for it. This has no effect on it being sold as "used" or "new".

"and they make sure it's in pristine condition (except occasional mishaps like what might have happened in TFA) before repackaging it and putting it back on the shelves."

Keywords: repackaged...."put back on shelf". The point of buying new is that you don't have to "avoid mishaps"....because it's *new*...

"If they had to sell returned items as used, then they wouldn't bother having a return policy in the first place. This is the "price" you pay for being able to return items."

Never actually worked in retail, have you? Returned items almost always sell as used...if they sell at all. Most end up going back to the manufacturer or to another reseller (depending on the product).

Re:You gets what you pays for . . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35588556)

So merely opening the box should turn a brand new item into a used one? It doesn't really make sense, because for all intent and purpose it is still brand new when the store sells it to another customer.

In many other circumstance the answer is yes. There's no guarantee that the item was not used in any way, and its hard to determine if it was or not. That's why many stores you see a "previously opened box" section. You are taking a risk that the item was used, damaged, missing parts etc. In return you get a hefty discount.

In this case, the seller should have determined if the user "used" the computer....I.e. even the process of powering it on should be considered used.

best buy some times does stuff like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35587766)

best buy some times does stuff like this

Re:You gets what you pays for . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35588338)

OR since it was a computer fair he bought a stolen laptop....

I bought a "new" hard drive at Fry's (1)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 2 years ago | (#35586898)

Years and years ago. Stuck it in my machine and it booted Win98se. Such a bargain.

Re:I bought a "new" hard drive at Fry's (1)

Kosi (589267) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587238)

How much did you get out of suing them?

Re:I bought a "new" hard drive at Fry's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35588374)

I've worked at two startups where, in order to meet a deadline, PCs were purchased, used for the project, and then returned to Fry's for a refund within the limits of their (formerly) generous and inattentive return policies.

Used == 50% discount (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#35586932)

At least in my view. I negotiate with the seller in order to get myself a bargain (50% off ideally; or 30% off if he's resistant).

If seller refuses to provide a partial discount, then I ship back the item at THEIR expense, not mine, because they made the error of sending a "new" laptop that is actually used.

One advantage of how laws and credit card contracts are written: The buyer holds almost-all the power, so it's rare for a seller to succeed in ripping you off.

10GB documents??? (1)

tehniobium (1042240) | more than 2 years ago | (#35586964)

Is it only me who finds this a bit insane? 10GB - that enough to store an entire library!

Re:10GB documents??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35586992)

Is it only me who finds this a bit insane? 10GB - that enough to store an entire library!

Or every episode of Mama's Family. Ever.

Re:10GB documents??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35587078)

Is it only me who finds this a bit insane? 10GB - that enough to store an entire library!

I assume it mans the entire "My Documents" folder, not just literal "documents". So, videos, music, images, etc...included in the 10G.

Re:10GB documents??? (0)

tehniobium (1042240) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587210)

It does say "10GB of personal documents". But yea, i guess they mean 10GB of files in my documents...

Re:10GB documents??? (2)

rwade (131726) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587420)

Sure -- a library. But how many libraries of congress [wikimedia.org] would it hold?

Re:10GB documents??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35587758)

No, that would be about five MS Word two page documents.

Re:10GB documents??? (1)

tehniobium (1042240) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587904)

or 4 if they are in the docx format..

Re:10GB documents??? (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588150)

Or just a few home made sex films with various women that were found by your wife and result in divorce.

Re:10GB documents??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35588182)

Well, my "documents" folder is bigger than that - because VMWare decided Documents was a good place to keep virtual machine files.

Re:10GB documents??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35588312)

Meet my users: "Oh, Word files are actually just convenient containers for whatever crud I happen have on my clipboard." and "I'm trying to send a Word file through e-mail and it won't let me". Sure enough, 50MB "documents" are pretty common around here, and that's not to mention the creeping horror that gets invoked when a screenshot is needed.

duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35586968)

the black hats would have a field day with that kind of personal info....

Used is the new new (5, Interesting)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 2 years ago | (#35586970)

I just got a "new" Boxee Box from Amazon that had some one's name in the accounts. To bad he didn't subscribe to Netflix. How come big business can sell used things as new?

If I return something. It should never be able to be sold as new again!

Re:Used is the new new (1)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587136)

My Netflix enabled HD player had someone else's account in it already (open box sale). You can't add movies through the box, but you can delete them from the queue. :)

Re:Used is the new new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35587186)

Then you will never be able to return anything again.
Do you think stores want to basically throw stuff away because some idiot decided he didn't like it or some asshole "bought" it just to try it out?

Re:Used is the new new (1)

piripiri (1476949) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587364)

They shouldn't have a return policy then.

Re:Used is the new new (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587596)

It should then be sold as USED. For like 1/2 price.

Re:Used is the new new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35587960)

Yes! That way I can buy something, return it, then buy it again and save myself a lot of money!

What?

Re:Used is the new new (2)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588154)

It should then be sold as USED. For like 1/2 price.

Then you would never be able to return anything for more than 1/2 of what you paid for it.

Re:Used is the new new (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588194)

Do you think stores want to basically throw stuff away because some idiot decided he didn't like it or some asshole "bought" it just to try it out?

Yes. Their sales go up when people feel that big purchases are less risky.

Re:Used is the new new (2)

sribe (304414) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587276)

If I return something. It should never be able to be sold as new again!

I think most states have laws on the books that in order to be sold as new an item has to be really new, never used. You would probably agree, however, that if you don't even open the item it could sold as new? If not, that would certainly complicate return policies...

I just got a "new" Boxee Box from Amazon that had some one's name in the accounts. To bad he didn't subscribe to Netflix. How come big business can sell used things as new?

Sometimes the creep is the original purchaser. Sometimes a purchaser will go to great lengths to make it look as though the box was never opened. It has happened to me--get box that looks new, open it, find disheveled obviously used equipment inside (which was DOA), reinspect box and see that someone spent at least several minutes perfectly re-aligning the flaps and tape tears and applying new tape perfectly over the original so that a casual look would never reveal that the box had been opened. That was from a good reputable company, so I had no problem returning it and getting my money back, but still, sheesh...

Law suites? (1)

netdigger (847764) | more than 2 years ago | (#35586974)

You have to think about all of the law suits that the computer store is going to have.

Re:Law suites? (1)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587026)

It's a computer swap meet in Singapore. Good luck finding the guy who sold it to you.

Re:Law suites? (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587104)

Did you miss the part where it said he bought it at a "local computer fair". That's basically the equivalent of buying something at a flea market. Most of those sellers travel around and you'll probably never hear from or see that seller again.

Best Buy (1)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587024)

This happened to me on a new laptop at Best Buy, and as if that wasn't bad enough, they tried to charge me a restocking fee when I returned it!!

Re:Best Buy (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587294)

This happened to me on a new laptop at Best Buy, and as if that wasn't bad enough, they tried to charge me a restocking fee when I returned it!!

Well of course they wanted a re-stocking fee! After all, they couldn't sell it as new after you'd opened it!

;-) ;-) ;-)

Re:Best Buy (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588008)

I've read several accounts of this happening at stores like Best Buy - things are either incorrectly re-boxed, or the like. When you buy any electronic equipment, insist at the door that they open the box and verify that what is inside is what you bought -- instead of, say, floor tiles or an old stapler. This protects you from the nightmare of trying to return it, because they will never believe you when you say, "yes, but the box never had the product in it".

Someone gets shafted at a computer fair (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587118)

... Film at eleven.

FTFA:

> (a used device) on the understanding that it was a brand-new device

>China

This is news? In China? Really?

For anyone who's ever been to one, you know that there are good dealers and bad dealers. You need to know which is which. You can get a steal (haha) or you can be shafted. Being shafted doesn't happen often, but it does. You can't just walk in knowing nothing. Caveat emptor.

That said, computer fairs are good for people looking for specialized used equipment without having to go to an auction and buy an entire pallet of stuff and have 20 percent of it usable (and then you have to dispose of the rest yourself).

I'm also willing to bet that the guy completely misunderstood what the seller said.

--
BMO

Re:Someone gets shafted at a computer fair (1)

SingTrav (1153303) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587670)

Just to clarify, this was in Singapore, not China. The article was from a China newspaper, but that's the only tie to China as far as I can tell. However, having been to an IT fair in Singapore I know that there are some shady vendors there. The vendor claimed that his employee had mixed up boxes, but without having all of the facts I have a hard time believing that story. Did the guy check for any kind of factory seal on a box? Was it a demo model that they repacked in front of him? Frankly, I don't see how this is even news other than the fact that Singapore's gov't wants to plant a story so that other stores will read it and maybe stop trying to scam customers so much.

Re:Someone gets shafted at a computer fair (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588028)

For anyone who's ever been to one, you know that there are good dealers and bad dealers. You need to know which is which.

How does one (especially someone new to a computer fair) discriminate the good dealers from the bad ones? What precautions do you suggest taking?

Re:Someone gets shafted at a computer fair (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588060)

Just like with any other business.

Ask around.

--
BMO

spy vs. spy (vs.us) originally a fiction/comedy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35587288)

play-dates anyone?

Clever solution (0)

Kosi (589267) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587328)

1. Buy "new" computer
2. Discover said documents
3. Return computer for full refund
4. Claim the tax returns for you and sue the seller for attempted fraud
Profit!

Sudirman found it hard to believe... (5, Funny)

gwolf (26339) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587334)

The divorce papers spelt his own name. That futuristic laptop, top-spec and top-notch in every possible detail, was actually a gift from the future. And after reading through some pages of the divorce settlement, he called his fiancée and cancelled the marriage.

As if by magic, the laptop was now empty. He would not be able to show the nifty features of Office 2018 to his office mates.

Re:Sudirman found it hard to believe... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587628)

A week later, his fiancée rang his doorbell and then axe murdered him. The hard drive had a folder appear, full of news items: her hateful rantings on twitter and facebook the grisly discovery of the remains in her freezer, her subsequent altercation with police officers leaving two to bleed to death, her arrest, and suicide while awaiting trial.

Re:Sudirman found it hard to believe... (1)

Chowderbags (847952) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588228)

If it's from the future, any word on if Duke Nukem Forever actually ended up coming out?

His local computer fair, what did he expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35587374)

Local computer fairs are basically the "Grey Ware" market of the world. I always assume when buying something from there I'll be getting something along the refurbished quality anyway. Not that that is a bad thing.... I just expect it, no matter what the sales people say.

Re:His local computer fair, what did he expect? (1)

herojig (1625143) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587974)

All over Asia you can find these "fairs" which are more akin to a swap meet (but with all "new" stuff) then anything else in the west. It's not like your at a Las Vegas or Orlando computer fair after all. It's just Prantip Plaza Bangkok, but set up in a temporary space. Returns there always get thrown back into stock, and I doubt any "merchant" looks at the content - r u kidding - why, it if boots it's fine!

Purchased from local computer fair (1)

kdsible (2019794) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587404)

Does not surprise me - since everything they sell is NEW.

Similar thing from CDW (4, Informative)

DarthBart (640519) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587558)

I worked in the IT department for a company, and we ordered a couple of laptops for evaluation from CDW. One of the laptops was defective (the lid closure switch didn't work). So I sent it back and got a replacement. A week later, we ordered a dozen laptops. In that shipment was the defective one I had sent back, still in the same box I shipped back in (I had torn the box trying to get the box open). Needless to say, a nasty phone call was made to our sales rep and he overnighted a replacement and they never asked for the defective unit back. I kept the defective unit as my desktop.

Oh no! They really *did* steal the laptop! (2)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587712)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8D1e3kD4W8 [youtube.com]

Although my main issue with this ad is you'd really give some flunkies at Staples access to your tax files? REALLY??!?

.

Not a story.... (4, Informative)

m509272 (1286764) | more than 2 years ago | (#35587744)

This was bought at a computer fair give me a break. Retailers selling returned stuff as new, not a surprise, definitely illegal. Manufacturers pulling it, extremely illegal. I had a friend that bought a "new" external hard drive only to find that it was loaded with someone else's photos, tax returns, etc. We believe that was the manufacturer buying refurb drives to install in the external case. Does that constitute a "new" product?

Now I know (1)

jitterman (987991) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588240)

At least now I know where my stolen laptop ended up!

Please return my data (1)

Sentrion (964745) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588248)

Due to the current economic environment I could not afford to buy a new laptop, so every day I went to the local computer shop to "evaluate" their systems. The salesman said he didn't mind if I used the machine to "test its capabilities". I had my divorce papers almost completed when the next day the salesman told me that someone bought the machine I was using. Can you please post the divorce papers so I can print them out?

Thanks.

Duh... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#35588316)

If you buy a laptop at a "computer faire" you will get lied to and sold used hardware. Nobody in those arenas are telling the truth and selling used stuff as new.

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