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The “Weekly Rant” column was featured in the PC Mechanic Newsletter since 2005. Topics relate to some aspect of technology, which include opinions on hardware, software, new technology, technology companies, and computing standards.

There have been two interesting incidents publicized this past week about Christmas gifts.  In one incident, a PS3 box was opened Christmas morning and instead of a console inside, a phonebook was in its place.  Oops.  Looks like somebody stole the console, replaced it with something that had a similar weight, then returned the box to the store.  Why the store didn’t check the returned box, I have no idea.  Then again, it was reported that the box was factory sealed, so who knows where the switch actually happened.

The second incident involved the opening of a new iPod box.  However, instead of an iPod, there was a nasty note saying “read a book instead”, with a book graciously included with the note.  Again, like the PS3, this box appeared to be factory sealed.  According to the report, there was at least one other incident of a note and a book instead of an iPod at the same store.

While both stories were reported by the same news outlet, the incidents occurred at different stores.  The PS3 came from an EB Games in Thousand Oaks, CA, while the iPod came from a Wal-Mart in Germantown, MD.  It kind of stinks that Christmas for these people was tarnished because somebody wanted to steal an expensive piece of electronics.

Although some stores have learned to keep the more expensive stuff behind the counter, where there’s a will to steal, there’s always a way.  Boos to whoever stole these items. Moral of the story?  Always check the box before you leave the store in the unlikely event that there’s something awry with your new purchase.

(Originally published in the newsletter)