Society Made Us Do It! (11/6/00)
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Oh, these damn mixed-up kids today-- using their powers for evil instead of good. Have they learned nothing from such modern moral compasses as Xena: Warrior Princess? Granted, the attention span of the average high schooler in this day and age almost makes the AtAT staff appear alert and focused by comparison (naaahhh), but surely if teens today never figure out that walking the Dark Side only leads to heartache, they're actively trying to steer clear of any sort of moral education. What else could possibly explain the story of the two students who stole ten iBooks from their own school's computer lab? Evil, we say, eeeevillll!!

See, faithful viewer Jeffrey Czerniak forwarded us the sad news via a Houston Chronicle article about the unfortunate incident. The angle that the article tries to play up is that these kids are smart, being "straight-A students" in the National Honor Society and "orchestra geeks" on top of that. Apparently we're all supposed to feel shocked that even the school brains are morally bankrupt enough to rip off their own school to the tune of $30,000 in high-tech gear. We, on the other hand, aren't bothered nearly so much by the unexpected nature of the culprits as we are by the fact that these miscreants actually stole Macs. Depriving others of one of life's few true remaining joys? It's a heinous, heinous crime and we hope they get the chair.

Then again, perhaps we're being too hard on the little reprobates. Maybe we should be looking at the whole thing from a Robin Hood sort of angle-- they "liberated" the iBooks from the greasy paws of the fatcat establishment and helped out the Macless by selling some of the units for twenty bucks. Yes, twenty bucks. How's that for a bargain? (Kinda makes the 25%-off deal we were so proud of getting last year sound like a chump's price, doesn't it?) So it's entirely likely that the two thieves were simply doing their part to make sure that people of all financial situations can afford their own Macs. Maybe these two "smart" kids are striking some sort of political blow, bringing the power to the people.

Or maybe they just aren't that bright after all. Straight-A students they may be, but that would appear to say more about grade inflation than the mental acuity of our budding cat burglars. For one thing, they can't be all that good at math if they were willing to sell an iBook for $20. For another, considering that the theft was described by the fuzz as "a very well thought-out burglary," the motive could probably have used a bit more brainwork: they just "wanted to see if [they] could get away with it." Well, guess what, guys? The answer would appear to be a big fat no. Go figure. Oh, and for those of you who are worried about the poor Mac-deprived kids at the burglarized school, fear not-- seven of the ten iBooks have already been recovered. And remember, kids: crime doesn't pay. Especially when you only fence your booty for an eightieth of list price.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 11/6/00 episode:

November 6, 2000: Whatever possessed two honor students to steal $30,000 worth of Macs and then sell hot iBooks for $20 apiece? Meanwhile, Microsoft faces heat in Germany for its tenuous ties to Scientology-- is Apple in for trouble, too? And the Redmond Giant need to get better about installing patches; someone compromises one of its web sites by exploiting a known security hole...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2659: Intolerance Can Be Fun (11/6/00)   Well, here's something we never thought we'd see: a whole country rejecting Microsoft software. Hang on, that's not the surprising bit; what has us scratching our heads in wonder is the fact that the country in question rejected the software for a reason other than the inherent suckiness of the product itself...

  • 2660: The Break-In Of The Week (11/6/00)   Okay, settle down-- everybody quit pushing. If you all relax and wait your turn like civilized human beings, sooner or later everyone will get a chance to compromise Microsoft's corporate data...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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