Phone crime and DVD rental

August 11, 2005, [MD]

Just two small things I picked up on the bus trip from Tucson to Albuquerque.

Phone crime in Mexico\ In Hermosillo, Mexico, criminals called several pharmacies in town, threatening the employees’ lives, and demanding that the employees scratch phonecards and read the codes over the phone (as you know, you don’t need to own the actual phonecards, as long as you have the access number and the code). They told the employees’ that they were just around the corner, and described several people who entered the store at that time. They ended up with substantial amounts of codes worth a lot of money. However, the police said they will catch them when they try to add these codes to any phone number. (In Mexico, most people are not billed for the fixed-lined phones in their homes, but use pay-as-you-go, buying phone cards to add to their credit.)\ From the Spanish weekly in Tucson.

DVD rental on the go\ In a rest stop on the Greyhound trip to Albuquerque I noticed something interesting. The store (which was apparently a chain-store, or at least there would have to be other stores participating in this program) rented out DVDs that you could hand in to any other participating store. Ie, if you had portable DVD-players in the car (hopefully not on the driver’s side) you could rent a movie, and hand it back in two hours later in a different location. Interesting. (I know they do something similar on the TGV trains in France - you can rent a portable DVD-player and a movie in Paris, and then you hand it back in in Lille, or Marseille or where you might end up. Smart stuff.


Stian Håklev August 11, 2005 Toronto, Canada
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