The 404: Ep. 1259: Where we blow smoke up your tower
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The 404: Ep. 1259: Where we blow smoke up your tower

38:44 /

San Francisco has a big problem with iPhone theft, which is why the SFPD have taken to undercover sting operations to get to the source of the racket. Some say their tactics entrap law-abiding citizens into a transaction, others applaud its ingenuity. This story and more on today's 404!

-It's Monday, April 29, 2013. This is the 404 Show. I'm Jeff Bakalar. -I'm Justin Yu. -I'm Ariel Nuñez. -Welcome back, dude. -Thank you. -Thanks for coming back. -Oh yes. I didn't wanna come back. -I know. I got scared. I was like oh man. Once he gets a taste of San Francisco again, he ain't wanna come back. -Actually, you know, New York feeling like home to me now. -Nice. -I was ready to come back to be honest. -Tell me everything you did in San Francisco, is like you live vicarious-- -It's not. This trip was not exciting. -No? -It was all wedding planning. -Okay. That sounds horrible. -Yes. Totally. -That sounds super boring. -Yes. It was fun at the same time, but I didn't get to hang out with friends as much as I wanted to. -Okay. Okay. -How was the wedding planning going by the way? -He doesn't wanna talk. -It's good. It's good. Look, it's good. I mean it's good. It's cool. Everything is done pretty much. -It's still happening, right? That's all that matters. -Yes, it's still happening. Yes. -it's as good as it's gonna get. -I haven't changed my mind yet. -There's still time though, dude. -Yes. We still got some. -There's always time. -Yes. -There is always time. -Yes. -Don't forget that even like the morning up, there's time. -Definitely. -You gotta still get to the place. -Yes. -There's time. I'm not saying you should throw it all away, but there's time. -I'll be leaving my options open. -Yes. That's all. -She's now listening to the show right now. -Yes. -Does she listen? Oh, crap. -She does every once in a while. -Oh, I got it. -We didn't have a show today. -Yes, yes. -I hope everyone had a great weekend. I did some stuff over the weekend. What did you do? -Oh, man, I was telling Ariel earlier that I found the closest thing to a San Francisco burrito in New York, and I know that we've like beaten this topic to the ground already, but I wanna pimp this one restaurant because I really loved it. It's called Zaragoza and it's in the East Village. I probably shouldn't even be talking about it right now. -No. You like-- -Because I don't wanna blow it up. -You whispered it to him 10 minutes ago. -Locals is always alive especially because last one I found you blew up and then I couldn't go there anymore because it's too busy and they had to move. -Well, at least I have that power. -Anyways, so I love places like this. It's called Zaragoza. It's on 13th and Avenue A in the East Village in New York, and it looks like a normal Mexican bodega in the front. It's really tiny. They have like you know shelves for groceries and things like that, but if you walk to the very back of this bodega, they have a couple of tables and a restaurant area where you can order food and it has a rotating menu. I got a goat burrito. -The goat burrito. -Which sounds crazy but it's you know goat basically just taste like any other meat like a steak burrito, but little more tender. Don't give me that face. -I just-- I don't know if I can eat a goat-- if I ever eaten goat. I don't know if I have. -Yes. -I have? -I don't know. Have you? -I don't know. I don't think so. -Yes. Well, you should. You should go and try it here. -Oh, you should eat a goat, Jeff. -Yes. -Actually I wanna go with you, Ariel, just to like see your face-- -Yes, I wanna try it. -As you eat it. I decided I'm gonna tell all my SF friends. -Yes. -That to go to this place. -I have some messed up friends here too that just moved here and then they're looking for a good burrito. -Yes. -So I wanna take them too. -Please do. I wanna hear the report back. -Okay. Make it happen. -Yes. -Yes. Go get that burrito. -I'm not gonna say how important these things are, dude. -They are and there's good stuff and I've shown you good stuff-- -Taste like home. -And I've been getting into it. -Yes. -You're a freaking-- -It's very good. -Burrito elitist scumbag. All right. -Bulitist. -Bulitist. You better bulitist. So I was at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday night. -Yes. -Which is something that is too fancy for me. I had no business being there. -Yes. -But I got invited by Sony to go see a preview, a screening if you will about 40 minutes of gameplay from the upcoming game Beyond Two Souls. -What kind of Chinatown bootleg game is that? Where's the rest of it? -Well, so everyone remembers you know we got that 2,000 paper ream. -Yes, it's right behind you there. -So-- -Holding up the desk. -It's yes. It's now the foundation of this entire building. So you know they sent this along with it and they're like hey in typical bootleg New York fashion, you don't wanna endorse bootlegging. I don't know why they're doing that, but anyway you know they sent you know like a little preview of the game. -Yes. -And then with that to complement the whole sort of promotion, they invited me to a screening because Beyond Two Souls is the only game at the Tribeca Film Festival this year. It's the second ever. 2 years ago they did L.A. Noire. Remember that game? -Yes. I remember that. -Okay. Surprising. And now they're doing it with this and then they had a Q&A after because Ellen Page is in it. -Oh, cool. -She's the main character. Willem Dafoe is in it. He wasn't there. I forget the dude's name, but he's from Another World and he's from, he was in White Men Can't Jump. Do you know who I'm talking about? I'm gonna-- it's. -Wesley Snipes? -No. It's not Wesley Snipes, you son of a-- -Is he in that movie? I don't know. -His name is Kadeem, I think. I'm gonna totally screw it up, but here, let me look this up because I don't wanna screw up his name here. -Did you get to play the game while you were there? -No. Kadeem Hardison. Remember you know what I'm talking about from White Men Can't Jump the guy is like we're going sis like, you know what I'm talking about? -Yes. I know that guy. -He's like you know already he's wearing a Michael Jordan jersey and White Men Can't-- you've never seen White Men Can't Jump? -I've seen it. I don't remember that one character. -What about Another World? Do you know Another World? -I don't know that either. -Anyway, you're really up on the-- -Yes. I'm sorry. -So-- -Zero for two. -Yes, and Eric Winters also in it. He was at the Q&A as well. So we've got to watch 40 minutes so they basically played the game for 40 minutes and you watch game play, but this is a game that's very, very narrative and cinematic. -Yes. -And we have some video if you wanna pop it up while we're talking about this. It's kind of amazing because no other games are really like this. You're basically playing a movie, is how this works. -Yes. -You are in control of the character. -Wow. That looks just like her. -Ellen Page, it's crazy how much it looks like her. And during the panel, they kept showing all of these, you know, all of these like parts where you know they were filming on this sound stage and it's only in this little 20 x 20 area and they got all you know the Ping-Pong balls on them, but because they do something really amazing in this game, they mark up their faces too with these even tinier dots. -Oh, like expressions. -And it's able to sense all these endless amounts of expressions and what-not and it's really, just really well done and you kind of lose yourself in watching it and you know I think that games like this are, they're just on like a different level and you know there's lot of controversy like is this really a game because you're essentially just playing a movie. -Yes. -But you do make choices and you know the director, this guy David Cage who was-- remember that game Heavy Rain? -Yes. I was gonna say-- -Same guy. That's not Japanese but it's the same guy. He's French. -Yes. Same thing. -Same thing. French, Japanese, whatever. And you know it was just a really sort of insightful 2 hours where you know you'll learn a lot about what kind of process it takes to make something like this, the amount of man hours and the amount of directing and acting that is really hard to do when you're not on set that you know takes you away from probably a normal acting job. So the whole thing is yes, it's 2,000 pages, it's a very long script. They said the game is gonna be about 10 hours long. -Yes. -So I'm just you know, I think it's amazing like what they're trying to do with this sort of stuff. -So what's the story line here? I'm seeing like telepathic? -Yes. So basically Ellen Page plays a girl named Jodie who from birth is sort of given this power. She has this entity that she calls Aiden. -Yes. -It's this entity, it's this sort of abstract spirit that follows her and lets her have superhuman abilities, and she can also sort of possess things a little bit. She can survive stuff. She has really good fighting skills and you know that's what the game is all about, and I guess what you learn in the game is her history, where she goes, why is she has been given this power and stuff like that. It's definitely you know compelling to say the least. -Oh. -And it screened really well. People seemed to dig it and they were like movie reviewers there too, like I notice a few people from the, you know, what you seen on TV who review movies and stuff like that. So it was a very interesting sort of coalition of film and game coming together at the Tribeca Film Festival. I dug it. Stacy was with me. She really enjoyed it as well and yes it was kind of awesome. -Do you think there's gonna be like the next evolution of games where it's your basically just controlling a movie? Is there a lot of action in it? Do you fight? -There's a lot of action in it. There was a fight scene that we saw. You know it's the big thing is like someone came on someone in the Q&A said, "Hey you know how do you really justify this as a game because you're not really you know, you sort of just puppeteering the characters as they walk along this linear narrative path." And David Cage he clearly held like a canned response to this. He was like, "Well, I don't think a game is defined by shooting someone." -Yes. -Right? Meanwhile Ellen Page literally beats the crap out of 7 dudes with a baseball bat and I see myself. But regardless, you know he sort of gave a jab to the first person shooters because there are too many of those games. -Right. -And you know it's silly to just classify a game as something that where you have to beat someone up or you have to shoot somebody. -Right. -This you know he was trying to define games and game play as a level of interactivity. -Yes. -That you can't have with a regular movie, that you can't have with a TV show, that you can't have with anything else besides a video game. So it's very interactive, the web, the narrative web that you can go down is seemingly endless because you can make choices that impact the way the game plays, impact the characters, impact the story. So it's a lot. It's a lot to really digest in such a short time, but you know I think they did a great job and sort of doing it and it sounds like the Tribeca Film Festival is into this. I mean this is Robert De Niro's thing like at some point, you had to go across his desk and he had to give it you know his blessing, which is kind of amazing when you think about it. -Yes. I wonder if he plays video games. -I don't know if De Niro is a video game player, but I think he can appreciate where the medium is going. -Yes. -And probably because it's making a little more money than movies are. -Yes. -So you know you gotta respect that, you gotta go where the business is at, where all the kiddies are interested and what-not and yes. -So when does that come out? -So Beyond is I think it's October 8th exclusively for PlayStation 3. I've heard that it's gonna be a PlayStation 4 game as well, but massive, massive game. You should. Heavy Rain is very good too, the story they tell on that game is really good. I'm interested to see what you would do in a game like that. -Yes. I'm curious and all-- -Because it's easy to play. -How many games nowadays don't offer any kind of multiplayer option like this? I imagine it's only a single player now. -A lot though, a decent amount. I'd say like maybe 30 percent of games-- -Oh, really. -Have no multiplayer. -Oh, okay. -So I don't think every game needs it. -Right like this would be weird. -There's absolutely no room for it in this but yes, you know. It sounds like and the acting is really good. -Yes. -And you kind of lose yourself after and all the MoCap is done so well that you believe it, especially when it's projected on a movie screen. You believe everything you're seeing. -Yes. -Things and the faces, the detail and the faces, it's mindblowing. -Yes. -And considering this is s 6, 7-year-old console and it's coming out and it's looking this good. -It's awesome. -You know. You'll learn a lot. -So it sounds like a game that I would prefer to watch you play. -It's total-- -Right like-- -Totally watchable game. -Yes. -It's one of those totally watchable games for sure, and it's fun because even when I played Heavy Rain, you know, you're given these choices almost every 30 seconds, every 15 seconds and it says like do you wanna be vague, do you wanna be truthful, do you wanna lie, do you wanna do this. -Yes. -And you know it's far more especially when you play with other people like when I was playing with Stacy she'd be like, "Oh lie to that guy. You can't trust him. Lie to him." -Yes. So there's gotta be like so many different storylines you could take based on those decisions. -And they said what was really interesting which I had not considered why this is such a hard thing to act through-- -Yes. -So when they're recording, you basically have to record 4 different responses to everything you do. -Yes. -So let's say Ellen Page has to lie in a scene, right? -Right. -So she gotta be coy and deceptive and then she's gotta cry, you know, all of a sudden. -Yes. -And it's just all over the place and the range of stuff that you have to do seems like it's very-- takes a big toll on your body. -Yes. -I would imagine and your mind. -Yes. It's like you're playing 4 movies at once. -Yes. And she kind of also hinted that she was currently making the new X-Men movie. -What? -Yes. She's gonna be-- -As what character? -Kitty Pryde. -Oh. -Oh, yes. -She didn't say that. -Is she reprising that role? -Yes. -Wasn't she already in that-- -Wasn't she in-- -I think so. -Like the third, the terrible one? -Yes. -She was in the terrible one. -I try to forget that movie. -Man, they should just in the beginning of this one they should just be like to all the X-Men fans around the world, we apologize for the Last Stand. It was trash and we know it. -Yes. -And then just like you know what's to say as Magneto comes out and everyone would pause. -All right. Let's get in to some of the stories we got lined up for today. -Okay. -I wanna talk about this first one because I think I have something to say about that as well. -Okay. -According to the Consumerist, this is actually going back a little bit, isn't it? This is like an older story. -It's a little bit of an older story. Well, so basically the Consumerist is collecting stories from around the internet including their own website about folks that have taken their Apple computers in to get fixed from Apple Care at the Genius Bar and then the Genius is telling them that their warranty is voided because of secondhand smoke. So these are people that use their computers and smoke around them on a day-to-day basis and apparently there are trace levels of tar that gets into the hard drive and the processor and all the different internal components. -Yes. -That then voids your warranty-- -Right. -Even though you might have only had the computer for a few months and would've otherwise been covered, so this is sort of like a phenomenon and they don't announce this in the warranties. So the Consumerist is sort of pointing out a flaw in the text that Apple gives out-- -Right, but it also says like yes, if you put your, you know, tower in a swimming pool-- -Yes. -It'll be voided as well. -I had no idea though. I'm like wondering about what other appliances could possibly be affected by this obviously like-- -Anything where airflow-- -Computer chips are exposed, yes. -Or airflow. -Right, right and not all the towers are air-proof either. So-- -What's very stupid about this is-- I mean I guess that you can side with the Consumerist because they're looking out for the customer and, you know, the customer is I guess you always imagine okay. So the customer is an idiot, right, and like they need to be protected because they're so stupid and part of that is like oh, but can't blow cigarette smoke into my Mac Pro. -Right. -When I was living at home I got my first computer. It was like 3 years after I got it that needed a huge upgrade. -Yes. -So I was like you know 13, 14 at the time. I didn't know what the hell I was doing. So we brought it to this local repair guy. -Yes. -And it was like just totally shady operation. He had a store front but it was very suspect. You know I didn't know what to think anything. I was like oh, all computer repairmen are super shady people and this is how it works. I get the computer back and it just smells like an ashtray. -Yes. -Because this guy must have been like just smoking on top of it all day-- -Right. -While he was fixing it. Like if I ever opened it up there'd be like butts in there and stuff. It was disgusting. -Yes. -And you know it's just how does that not register with someone? -Yes. I think a lot of the problems that people at least the technicians have with it is that when they open it up, it creates a health hazard for them. -Yes. -Because they don't have to wear a mask in order to shield themselves from the fumes, but I'd imagine all computer technicians deal with stuff like this, right? Like smoking, it can't be the only harmful substance that you find inside of a computer, right? -Of course not. Food and dust and liquids and stuff like that, yes. -Yes. This article actually details another story where a technician smelled B.O. coming out of a computer. -No way. -Because it had been inside someone's apartment who suffered from really bad odor. -How was that possible? -And that could be toxic to someone's nose too. -Yes, but that's-- -Does that void their warranty? I mean you know it's kind of a funny thing to talk about but-- -Oh, I've had some smelly ones in my closet. -Yes, but for Apple where are you gonna stop with that? And so many people smoke too. -I think it stops with you know with air quality. -Yes. -I don't know about B.O. -Yes. -Cigarette smoke leaves an actual residue. -Right. -That you can wipe with your finger after a long period of time. -Right. -B.O. I'm not so sure about that. -That'll blast you in the face. -Yes. -Or other bodily fluids I'm sure end up in there too. -That's not-- -I wanna hear from IT professionals. We've gotta have a lot of-- -Of course. -IT guys as our audience. -Yes. I'd love to hear about that. Tell us about-- -The grossest thing you found inside of a computer, I wanna hear it right before lunch. -Oh. I just remember cleaning my towers out and just the amount of dust-- -Yes. -That you find in this thing. -There's also very few things more gratifying than cleaning the dust out of an old mouse with a scroll wheel inside? -Oh, that's-- you're speaking to a generation that just doesn't know what that is. -But you know what I'm talking about, right? -Of course. -Oh, I can't even do with this mouse. It's a laser. Well, before lasers were around, there were actual trackball mice and there's that ball inside with like I don't even know how to describe it. -Like 2, so it was a horizontal and a vertical pin roller. -Right, right. -Inside there. -That overtime the ball would collect dust from what's on your desk and there'd be this tiny little strip of dust that you could like kind of like take out with your fingernails. -Because it would've been hardened overall, the miles that you traveled with your mouse. -Oh, it's beautiful. Yes. It was like a bellybutton lint but for your mouse. -Yes. -You can pick that out and they had a whole mason jar full of it. -You just kept it. -Yes. I love it. -You just kept it and sold it on eBay. -Yes. I'm sure someone actually dig that. -Mouse trackball lint. -Yes. -No, I don't wanna hear about that. That's-- -Oh, so gratifying, but you did it though, right? Like you would-- -You scraped it away with your fingernails. -Yes. I like mark the days on my calendar the first Sunday of every month was mouse cleaning day and I couldn't get enough of it. -You wake up, you're like you jump out of bed, you're like it's here, it's here. It's time to clean my mouse. You just do a little dance. It's disgusting. -Love it. -This is so wacky. This is a strange story. Inmates have begun to review prisons on Yelp. -Yes. -So how does this happen? Is this like obviously after they get out? -Right or a lot of computers inside like computer labs inside prisons allow them to go to Yelp and write it themselves, which is funny but you know this all started with a private defense lawyer according to this Washington Post article. He lives in Southern California. He's been using Yelp for different purposes, but mostly just reviewing prisons. In his 18-year career, he's visited 5 prisons and so far he's reviewed 3 of them which kind of started a trend for the inmates too to review it as well. So this is useful for like bondsmen, attorneys, criminals themselves if they wanna you know decide which crimes they wanna commit based on where they wanna go afterward. So BuzzFeed a couple of weeks ago actually collected a few of the best prison Yelp reviews and maybe we can go through a few of these. I really like this one. He says you get 3 meals a day, a bed to sleep in. You can lose weight. It's fast, it's great. All in all, very positive experience. -5 stars. -Some of them are more than sarcastic. Other ones are kind of interesting like one reviewer claims a Seattle jail, they actually didn't return the money that he had with him when he was checked in. -Oh. -Right, so you have to give them all your valuables and things that are on your body. -I mean you should really think twice about-- -Then they give those back. -You should really think twice about where you're gonna commit a crime. -Yes. -Because you wanna get yourself into a highly rated jail. -Right, of course. -Obviously. -So there's like you know problems that exist on all different kinds of Yelp pages too, not just prisons. So there's like you know the apps are bad and like yes. People are just complaining a lot about like the facilities, obviously the bathrooms are the hot topic on these Yelp reviews, you know. Use your imagination. -So strange. -Yes. It's very bizarre. What are your guys' biggest Yelp complaints because I feel like everybody has them, but everyone uses Yelp so much that I feel like they don't even have to update the app or anything. My thing is that I feel like Yelp just doesn't do good enough job of suggesting restaurants. Right? It's good if you know the exact place where you wanna go like I wanna go to Zaragoza, wonder what people have to say about it. But if you're just in the mood for Mexican food, there's really no way to filter aside from like you know filter by ratings. There's no discoveries part of the app, you know what i mean? -Yes. I don't-- -I also feel like the website hasn't like the desktop version of the website, it hasn't been updated since Yelp.com was registered back in 2003 or whenever it came out. -Yes, that's true. -I don't really use Yelp for recommendations. -You don't? -I use it to vet possible choices to go. -Right. -Possible places to go. -Yes. -I'm never like oh, why don't you recommend something? I'm not gonna take an algorithm. I want-- -Yes. -Word of mouth. -Yes, but that's what Yelp is, right? Like people go on there as a community and review stuff. -I don't know. I'm still not a big enough believer that you can organically do this. -Yes. -Because the people who go out of their way to do that, I don't know if I like those people. -Yes. -Yes? I don't know if I can identify with those people. -Yes. -If you're that kind of person, that's gonna take whoever knows how long the time it is to either give a place a good or bad review. -Right. -Look. I'm gonna take your opinion when it comes to choosing where to go, but not you know as a recommendation outside of the places that I've narrowed it down to. -Yes. -Is that too picky? -No, that's not picky at all. I feel like there also needs to be more categories within the actual reviews themselves. -Yes. -You know what i mean like you can't just have 1 overarching rating because some people based their review on like customer service. -Right. -Some other people based it on the food that they eat there or the ambience or whatever. -Right. -You know the wait times. There may be should be like segmented categories where you can give ratings. -I agree. -Yes. -Yes. It's I don't know. I mean whenever I'm in a town that I've never been in before, Yelp is like a saving grace because you know you just filter by rating and then you're like wow. If this has 5 stars, they can't be terrible. -Right. -I'm again like I'm never expecting you know amazing dining. -Yes. -Even if a place has like nothing but great rating. -Yes. -Just because you just can't trust anyone just yet. That's the thing. It's still not 100 percent trustworthy. -No. I would trust one friend's recommendation over 500 people's Yelp reviews on one- -How do you streamline this? How do you make it so that you almost give every like everyone who goes there gives a review without them really taking the time to do it? -Yes. -You know what I mean? -Sure. -I wish there was a way to. I don't know. This is like science fiction. I have no idea how you do it. -I also feel-- I don't know if this exist but I feel like Yelp needs to be more like personal community oriented, you know what I mean, like i would trust the reviews of my friends, you know what I mean, but not of these random strangers who I don't know what they're taste is in food or whatever else you're reviewing. -Yes. -There's a lot of problems with it. -That's hard. -A buddy of mine was telling me about this interesting story about his car repair. He has like a business where he you know it's like an auto part store repair place. Anyways, so he recently like moved to a different building on the same block, and so you know it's the same name and everything like that. -Yes. -But he called Yelp because he wanted to basically transfer the reviews over. It turns out Yelp's policy is that if you move to a different address, all the Yelp reviews still exist on the old page and they won't move them. So isn't that weird? -That is weird. -Why is that? -Yes. They should transfer over just change the address, but they don't let you do that. -Well, it's a new location so maybe the counter gets reset to 0. -Yes. -In those instances, I don't know. -Small complaints like that. -Weird. -Yes. We really don't have too many bad things to say about Yelp. -Yes. -Just minor, minor issues, I guess. -Yes. -What are cops doing in San Francisco to thwart iPhone theft? -Yes. I wanted to ask you about this, Ariel. -Okay. -So everyone I feel like in San Francisco knows about 7th and Market. -Yes. -Right in front of Carl's Jr. -I live right over there for years. -Right in front of the fountain. -Yes. -Right? -Yes. -Tell me about what happens there because it seems like there's a lot of shady activity going on and every time you pass by it, there's like you know covered tents and there's like shopping carts that are filled with unnamed products that you know it's like totally nebulous face-- -For sure. -But what happens there? Is it kind of a hot end for criminal activity? -Well, there's a lot of stolen items sold, bought and sold there. Every morning when I would walk to a bar, I would see people just making transactions. -Yes. -Stolen goods. -Yes. There's always like crackheads talking to each other and there's cash being exchanged, but no one ever does anything about it. -Yes. -It's like yes. It's crazy. It's like Calcutta in San Francisco. -That's so weird. -It's very bizarre. -Very out in the open too. -Yes. -Just selling whatever, yes. -Yes. -I mean it's bizarre because-- -Free market, man. -That area is not so bad. I mean Civic Center is okay. It's not the best part of town. -Right. -It's also not the worst because you got the Tenderloin up there too. -Yes. -So there are plenty of worse places for the stuff to go down but for some reason it all happens downtown. -Yes. -On Market Street which is kind of the epicenter of the city. -Yes, totally. -Yes, it's really weird. -Is this a problem though because it sounds like it's one of those like you know look the other way sort of thing. -I think that's what cops use to do, but according to a recent article and this is the story that we're talking about today, the products that are being stolen and bought are shifting from you know like clothes and CD players and things like that. -Yes. -To more expensive goods like iPhones. I didn't know this but according to this statistic, apparently about 50 percent of people in San Francisco actually own a smartphone and which includes you know obviously the iPhone. -That's it? It's only 50. -That's it? -I don't know. 50 percent. -Half of the city owns a smartphone? -I thought there'd be less. I thought there'd be probably more. -Yes, because it's freaking San Francisco, you know. It's tech land. -Yes. I guess so. All right. It's closed to the Cupertino campus and everything. So nearly half of residents in SF own an iPhone, but also nearly half of the robberies in SF last year involved smartphones as well. -Yes. -So it's obviously a really big problem and it makes sense that a lot of the smartphones that are stolen end up being sold at 7th and Market. -I've seen it happen. I've seen tons of iPhones stolen. -That's so-- -Yes. -Yes. -That's right. -That's where I got my last 3 iPhones. -You just go there right after the [unk] at Moscone Center, they're already there. -Yes. -They got the first ones. -There was Apple Care and everything. -Full business. -It's funny. So yes. Cops in San Francisco are actually going undercover now and there's a whole task force under the police headquarters that are dedicated to stopping the sale of stolen iPhones. So this is what they're doing right? First, undercover cops, the first plan was to board BART, right, and they would dress a cop up in plain clothes and they'd be kind of playing with an iPhone on the BART train. That's like public transit in the Bay Area. -Okay. -They would play with an iPhone kind of like you know casually hoping that maybe someone would come and actually try to steal it off their person, you know, maybe grab it and run out just before the doors close. -That's entrapment, man. -Which actually happens. -No. It's not entrapment. -That actually happens. -Is that entrapment? -I don't think so. I mean if someone-- -If you're gonna steal the phone, you're gonna steal that's not cool. You can't steal a phone. -Yes, but no one that wasn't planning on like stealing something would do it just because they saw someone playing with an iPhone. -Right. They're like you know what, I have lived my life very honestly all these years-- -Yes, but it's so easy. -But this guy is just begging for it. -Yes. -I'm just gonna jack him up right now. -Yes. You're tempting people. -It's not Dateline To Catch a Predator. -No. -To catch an iPhone. -To catch an iPhone. -That didn't work unsurprisingly because no one ended up stealing it. It was like a little bit too difficult. It's a big risk for a criminal to-- -Oh, the poor SFPD. Oh, we couldn't get anyone to steal this from me. -Yes. Not enough crime in San Francisco. -Oh, damn it. -Right, right. -We need to do something. Raise taxes. Make it harder to live here. -So instead this is what they're now doing. It sounds kind of crazy. I wanna hear what you guys think about this. They're filling backpacks with stolen iPhones and walking around the 7th and Market area. -With an open backpack filled with-- -With the open backpack filled with sealed iPhones. Well, with a backpack. They'll approach someone and say hey I got these. -I got these. -I got these iPhones, man, right? And they'll open up their backpack and show them the sealed iPhones and then they won't ask for a price. They won't say like I'm selling it for a set amount. They'll ask someone oh you know how much do you wanna pay for this. They're stolen, right? That's like-- -They say that? -They have to say that. Otherwise, they won't be able to catch them afterwards. -Otherwise, the jig us up. -Right, exactly. They say like oh I got these stolen iPhones. How much do you wanna pay me for these? Make me an offer-- -What the-- -The thing is a lot of people are doing that. -People who are criminal would be like this is stolen. You want it? No one ever says-- -That happens all the time. -They don't say it's stolen. -Yes, that's right. Yes. -That's the big caveat. -Yes, right. -Come on. -You're basically entrapping yourself. -Like when you buy something in the, you know, off the truck, the guys down like, "Hi there, I'm a professional criminal." -Yes. -"Stolen this truck of cigarettes and I'd love to offer you them at a price that we negotiate on." -Don't forget. I didn't purchase them legally. -Yes. -Okay. -Yes, dude. Definitely stolen. -"And if you could just sign right here where it says you're aware that this is stolen. -Yes. -We can move on with this transaction and have a great day." -Right. -Yes, it doesn't work like that. -But it is working though which is strange because once they say it's stolen and they ask for an offer, people will offer them and give them up to 100 dollars for it and right after they do that, of course the undercover cop signals to other cops that are close by-- -Why is it-- -For them to come and grab them. -So the fact. See, that's so messed up. -That is entrapment. -That is well-- it's-- -That is entrapment because then people walking on Market Street are tourists, right? They're not people that would normally engage in criminal activity. -But it's-- -But when presented with an opportunity that's too good to pass up, everyone might buy an iPhone for 10 dollars. -No, but the thing is, is you are then classified as an idiot because you heard the guy say it's stolen. -Yes. -You don't like anyone who comes out and says this is stolen. That's the-- -Do you think it's a-- -That's a red flag. -Big red flag that is huge. -Definitely a cop or that it's definitely stolen. -All right. I'm not saying I've never bought anything that's been stolen. -That's what I'm saying. -But I was also never told it was stolen. -Right. -Before I actually gave the guy money. -Right. -Because it's like think. I don't know. Maybe we're just much more street savvy than the average, you know, person. -Maybe. -But the fact that someone saying it's stolen-- -Yes. -Like what and is it counted if they say like it's hot if they it's hot? -Yes. Whatever-- -You can-- -I don't know about the slang but I'm sure if they understand that hot means stolen-- -Like this, like oh, like you know what I mean like obviously you know bootlegs are illegal. -Yes. -I don't know. I just feel like the second someone will be like-- -You gotta be pretty dumb. -By the way, this is stolen. -But do you deserve to go to jail for being stupid? -Yes. I think sometimes yes. -Here's the other thing. Let me tell you about something else that's even funnier. So apparently these undercover cops are getting to be too good of a salesman. So they're actually starting to pressure people to buy them, all right? So-- -That's-- -People who would walk by. There's one guy that talked about undercover coppers, not coppers, cops being relentless, right? So even after the guy refused to buy it, the guy said no. Come on like just make me an offer. -That's the end. -And then he said the officer said that he claimed that he needed the money to buy his young daughter a birthday present-- -Oh, that's messed up. -And that he would accept any offer. -That's messed up. -And so the guy took pity on him, right? And basically gave him a donation. He said fine. I'll just give you 20 bucks. Just give me the iPhone. -Yes. -Right? -Yes. -Maybe intending on like returning to someone. -And then he arrested him. -And then he got arrested. -That sucks. -That is entrapment. -That's messed up. -Yes. -Right? Like when you're pressuring people to buy stolen stuff-- -Yes. That ain't right. -Yes and then giving up sob story like that-- -He's just trying to meet his quota there. -Of course. -Right. -That's screwed up. That's almost basically saying like hey you know what, here's 20 dollars. Just give it back to me. -Yes. -Just give it back to me. That's what basically that is. -Right. Just like around the holidays, my daughter needs a Christmas present. Of course. -Oh, that such-- -You're gonna give in to that. -Oh, is that. -Daddy is not being a fool. He's being nice. -Right. -You know when you're punishing people for doing that. -In those unique circumstances-- -Right. -That's bad. -And who's to say that he wasn't just gonna donate the iPhone to a charity. -Right. -Or maybe give it back to the Apple store. -So this is-- let's just stop doing this. -Yes. They need to stop doing that. -Look, if you wanna arrest people for buying stolen stuff-- -Yes. -Arrest people who are stealing it. -Yes. -Don't arrest people who don't know any better. -You know what's really crazy is that-- -Especially after the sob stories. -That 7th and Market area is steps away from the Tenderloin where you literally have to walk over crackheads and like kick aside syringe needles in order to get into your apartment building. -It's not illegal to be homeless. -No, but it is to be shooting up heroin in front of a doorway. -Yes. -Right? And like that exist all over the Tenderloin. -For sure. -Right? -For sure. -So why aren't they doing something about this? -Because that doesn't sound nearly as fun as entrapping people on the bar. I mean come on. You know and I bet they're on their way back to the station. How many did you nab today? 58. -Yes. -Oh, yes? What? Did you use the poor daughter story? Yes. -And who's paying for the iPhones in the first place? -I don't know. They're actually stealing them. -Yes, probably-- -These are all actually stolen. -Didn't Twitter just move over there in that area to San Francisco? -Yes. -Yes. They recently bought a building in downtown I think. -Yes. -Like kind of by CNET, I think. -Yes. A little further down. I think it was like 8th and Market? -Yes. Something like that. -That old bowling alley area, you know? -Yes. -Yes. I think right over there. So that's probably why they're trying to clean it up. -Yes. -It is devious. -I wouldn't be surprised they start doing this in Union Square in New York, right? -Yes, that's another big hot spot for activities. -Yes. -Nefarious nature. -Yes. -All right. We gotta get going here. I'm gonna read an email and we'll get to some of the voicemails in the cue for tomorrow. Here's an email guy calling himself Mick Lovin from Hawaii. I don't know where he got that name. -Okay. -Oh, wait a minute. -Yes. -This is Mick Lovin from Hawaii. I've listened with a great interest to the stories your listener had regarding texting the wrong person. I had a much worse thing happened to me. -Oh no. -It was a Saturday early morning my phone woke me up. I had a long night behind me, beer, doing drugs. I mean he says smoking some stuff. I'm imagining that as drugs. -The guy's a cop. -After I picked up my phone there was my mom on the other side. There's a WordSmith here. She was quite upset and asked me why did I change her wallpaper to such a terrible thing. It took me some seconds to understand what happened. She continued I have a picture of some people having sex on my screen. Okay. Now I knew exactly what was going on. I pictured her staring at this screen featuring several people engaging in various activities at the same time. I immediately created a scenario, anti-virus stopped working and some malware did some terrible things to her computer. Right? That's what he-- I guess that was like the lie he was crafting in his head. -Okay. -He navigated her to the wallpaper section dialogues so she can change the default paper back on. She said it was very stressful and after hanging up, he went back to bed. So what actually did happen, right? So he was able to like just talk his mom and oh there must be some like you know virus on your computer that's doing that. So here's what really happened and he's admitting the truth here. He said he was browsing some pictures on her PC while she was away. -Oh no. -And he clicked on set wallpaper in ACDSee which is a photo viewing app. -Oh. -He noticed what happened so he checked the desktop and nothing was there. So he thinks that something might have happened by accident, because when you-- so he says he deleted all the nasty photos, but what happens is when you say set as wallpaper in ACDSee-- -Yes. -It makes a copy of that. -Yes. -Okay. -So he can display it. So he thought he was gonna be okay. -Oh. -Deleted all the photos and then the cached one that-- -So you could still delete the original photo and they copy which is still-- -It'll just you know linger in the guts of Windows. -I think we can all agree here that looking at porn on your mom's computer is probably this guy's first problem. -It's just like what are you thinking, bro? -Just use your imagination. -What were you thinking? What were you thinking? -Why is he saving photos like why is he saving porn photos to his mom's computer in the first place? -Amateur. This is amateur. -You should never right click on a porn photo. -Amateur hour, brother. -Yes. Geez. Attend my workshop. You'll learn. -Yes. Too laid back in Hawaii. -Yes. -Too laid back. No sense of urgency. No sense of-- -Yes. -Of covering your tracks. -Yes. -Oh, I live in paradise. I don't have to worry about anything. -Yes. -NetFlix and stuff like that. -NetFlix. -NetFlix. -Just broke out a drunk uncle right there. Anyway, send us your terribly embarrassing story. We had a good voicemail about it, but we'll play that tomorrow when we have more time, 866-404-CNET or you can email us the404@CNET.com. Thank you to everyone who's been sending in stuff. We really appreciate it and that's gonna do it for us. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and all that junk. We're almost out of thousand readers on Reddit. -Nice. -So that's-- I don't know what's gonna happen when we hit a thousand. I think like confetti and balloons will drop from the ceiling or something like that. So help us out. Let's get to a thousand and that's gonna do it for us today. Back here tomorrow, I'm Jeff Bakalar. -I'm Justin Yu. -I'm Ariel Nuñez. -This has been the 404 Show. High Tech, Low Brow. Enjoy your Monday. We'll see you tomorrow.

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