Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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stuff that gets sad when stolen

make all theft unpopular like kidnapping!
  (+80, -14)(+80, -14)(+80, -14)
(+80, -14)
  [vote for,

Let's say you have a walkman or a bike or any other thing-that-tends-to-get-stolen. The longer you own the thing the more it gets to know you. It's hard wired and can't be changed (like the boy in AI!) When stolen the item starts talking "I miss susan, she was such a good walkman owner ... where is she?" If it can move it keeps trying to get away and look for you. It would make thieves feel guilty-- I should take this walkman back to it's mother ....
futurebird, Jul 29 2001

(??) A Mood-Sharing, Tail-Wagging Car http://news.excite....11018/07/odd-pod-dc
Will wonders never cease? [phoenix, Jul 29 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) Stuff that shuts down when stolen http://www.geek.com...e20030528020151.htm
[DrCurry, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

stuff that gets even when stolen http://www.halfbake...ven_20when_20stolen
like it says [goff, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) Working link for Pod concept car http://www.supercar...POD%20Conceptb.html
[theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) SendMeHome Service http://www.sendmehome.com/
[theircompetitor, Mar 27 2009]

The practice effect http://www.amazon.c...-Book/dp/055326981X
A bit of a strech, but about stuff that gains amazing attributes the more it is used: reverse entropy. [bonkers777, Mar 28 2009]


       Another good one, futurebird. The only downside is the expense of building speakers into non-audio appliances...but then again they don't have to be high-quality, just good enough to sound pathetic and weepy. Imagine a whole pawnshop full of stolen items murmuring sadly amongst themselves!
Dog Ed, Jul 29 2001

       This gets a +1 on the strength of its title. Pretty f'n funny futurebird.
iuvare, Jul 30 2001

       Then I suppose a yard sale would be sort of like a slave auction...
mwburden, Jul 30 2001

       Just rescued a Bassett Hound with New Jersey! tags from along side a road. Called her mom in NJ and told her Cleo was here. Cleo was sent home last night. We all believe she had been dog-napped to end up here in Indiana.....but, she was not *unhappy* here (maybe she was unhappy with her dognappers). She really seemed to enjoy her stay on the farm.   

       I had a dog disappear once and come home two months later....I'm pretty sure it had been stolen. Shame other stolen items can't make their way home also. I like this idea....so, from Susen to Susan....here's a croissant.
Susen, Jul 30 2001

       "'ere, who're you?"
centauri, Jul 30 2001

       A clever idea and a great title. With that said, I'm sorry to be the one to bring the real world into this, but speakers could easily be disconnected or broken.
PotatoStew, Jul 31 2001

       Kind of reminds me of some small critter in some LeGuin book I read years ago. I think they were called 'wotsits' or something. It seems they have a policy of not surviving captivity. We'd be long extinct if we had such a policy.
LoriZ, Jul 31 2001

       Even if this stuff doesn't talk, it could go all mopey, and not work properly. A stolen radio would keep retuning to its real owner's favourite station.
angel, Jul 31 2001

       Croissants - of course, the Red Dwarf toaster! Half-inching such a device would certainly raise your stress levels!
True Brit, Jul 31 2001

       It would also have to be happy when it's rightful owner has it and do things like chat to other people's appliances - especially those owned by people that it's owner thinks would be fun to talk to.
Aristotle, Jul 31 2001

       It would give one pause when they see a 'sad' or 'sorry' looking device.
thumbwax, Jul 31 2001

       Or Vlad.   

       How would these devices differentiate between theft and disposal (as suggested by mwburden)? Wouldn't this spawn a whole new activist movement to defend the rights of these new sentient creatures?
beauxeault, Jul 31 2001

       beauxeault: Prehaps the Society for the Protection of Appliances that Display Emotions (SPADE)?
Aristotle, Jul 31 2001

       You'd have to have something in case you sell your stuff, or give it away, or something. I wouldn't buy a CD player second-hand if it was sad all the time.
zhinz, Aug 07 2001

       Terrible idea and self defeating: most thieves like to hear people being sad, this feature would only give added incentive.
sh4linux, Aug 21 2001

       sh4linux: Wrong demo. Your comment applies to torturers, rapists, serial killers and others who get off on control and submission.   

       On the contrary, most thieves are solely interested in the goods and would prefer that no one be around when they're in the act.
iuvare, Aug 21 2001

       [Truebrit] the talkie toaster wouldn't care if he got nicked from lister so long as his theif wanted something of the toasted variety or a song.
kaz, Aug 23 2001

       Regarding PotatoStew's comment: a device containing a Speaker can easily be engineered to stop working if the speaker is broken/disconnected/otherwise rendered silent, as these events would change the electric properties (impendance, capacitance, etc.) of the speaker terminals. Or, a microphone (miniature) could be included to verify the speaker's output.
dsm, Aug 23 2001

       That stuff would need to have AI build in I understand. It learns the behaviour of the owner after it is bought from the shop I assume. There should first some way for the owner to 'give birth' to the item, otherwise it thinks that the shop is the place it belongs to. After it's birth it is then learning the behaviour of the new owner. When it is stolen, it malfunctions and has difficulties adapting to the habits of the new owner. That could be feasible because a professional thief is not interested in actually using the walkman but reselling it ASAP. But how to sell a walkman that refuses to work at 3AM simply because it is used to play when the owner takes the subway to work on weekdays at 7:30AM? I think my iBook can tell it is me typing, who else types like this, this frequent, so much? With computers it should be feasible to start with. Simple devices might become too expensive. Selling the items to someone else second hand is still possible. The new owner should just have a few weeks patience before it is adapted to the new environment. The question is, do people want to buy technology that limits to freedom to use at anytime in any which way you want? People want to keep the freedom of breaking out of their habits (while they in practise never do). Just the thought that they *only* use their walkman while commuting is a depressing thought. Or imagine taking it on holidays and you want to listen to your walkman at 3PM besides the pool. Your walkman refuses, but you are still supposed to be at work. Maybe fingerprints and taste in music would be a better way for the walkman to know the owner? Anyway, a croissant for the idea.
rrr, Aug 23 2001

       There was an episode of "Kids in the Hall" where someone tried to steal a car. The car was sentient and chased the erstwhile carjacker off. Then the car took the next step and decided to follow the thief home and harass him. Very funny stuff.
barnzenen, Aug 23 2001

       Great idea. You could solve the speaker problem by using piezo elements and then you could also make the system deprogrammable only by the origianal owner thereby removing any resale problems
bob2001, Sep 18 2001

       Added link for a car headed in this direction (though right now it only gets happy).
phoenix, Oct 18 2001

       What about stuff that's happy when it's given away? That'd be nice.
pottedstu, Oct 18 2001

       The coffee table obviously being female. A male coffee table wouldn't ask directions, but rather get them from MapQuest.
phoenix, Oct 18 2001

       No, a male coffee table would just wander around aimlessly until it ran out of gas.....
Susen, Oct 18 2001

       Only if it's drunk. And it would only be drunk if someone was spiking its coffee...
phoenix, Oct 18 2001

       <giggles at both Ravenswood's last annotations...>
StarChaser, Oct 18 2001

       RW, that may be the funniest bits of dialogue I've ever read, anywhere....Thanks for lighting up my evening!
jurist, Jan 31 2002

       I think ravenswood has got this idea perfected, not only does the stuff get sad when stolen, its got personality, and skepticsim.
kaz, Feb 21 2002

       Personally, I think this is a great idea. However, I'm not going to give it a croissant, because of the huge cost of wiring A.I. into every random everyday appliance. Also, I personally don't think I could live with a bunch of devices that were constantly chatting and displaying habits of their own. It would make me feel like I was surrounded by thousands of furbies.
Pseudonym #3, Feb 21 2002

       On the other hand, it could call home if it was nicked. People have already tracked down stolen computers because the thieves plugged the machine into the Internet... with chips for doing wireless communications set to drop to under $2 in the next year or two, your stuff could radio for help...
Cheradenine, Aug 08 2002

       Sure as shit, the Grinch struck early 12-26. I'm minus a car CD/AM-FM Stereo as well as a front passenger window on a Saab Convertible. When I lived in Los Feliz - just East of my present domicile, 3 of 6 26th of 12's were marked by seeing broken glass in, on, and around neighbo(u)rs cars which were also newly short of a car stereo. Here's to my former Stereo playing *Hellhound On My Trail* forever and ever...
thumbwax, Dec 26 2002

       Damn, that's funny...   

       Croissants for everyone!
Crazy Bastard, Jan 15 2003

       RW, that's the funniest thing i've seen in a long while. Kudos! and kudos to this idea as well...ever since i saw Toy Story i've liked to think about my belongings talking amongst themselves.
igirl, May 28 2003

       "... and then of course I've got this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left hand side..." - Marvin the Paranoid Android in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (By Douglas Adams)
riskyrisk, Sep 12 2003


My friend Charlene had an experience like that. She lives way in the future after such products became common. After the empathic-products revolution.
“You know,” says Charlene, smacking on her IQ booster gum, “Charley bought me this watch for my birthday.” She held out her wrist like it had a leech on it.
“Yeah, nice,” I said, not really knowing what she wanted me to say.
“Just look at it!”
So I looked again, the watch was dripping wet.
“You got it wet, so?” All watches are waterproof in the future, since everyone lives underwater.
“I didn’t get it wet, it’s crying. And sometimes at night it sniffles.”
“Oh, jeez," I said, "Charley bought you a hot watch.”
“I’m going to cream his butt as soon as he gets home.”
I didn’t stick around to see if Charley’s butt got creamed, because I had to zip back to the past, ah, to the present, to save the world.

pluterday, Sep 12 2003

       Oh, thanks for that by the way.
Worldgineer, Sep 12 2003

       Cute, [pluter]. Tell Charlene the gum's not working!   

       Nice, [ravenswood]!
k_sra, Sep 12 2003

nomadic_wonderer, Feb 03 2004

       The idea is good in theory, but I'm not sure I'd dig something that might not be able to tell if it's been stolen or just thrown away. And I agree with other's contentions that it could lock someone into a routine. What would you do if you did change your routine? Throw away the old one because it couldn't adapt? "I'm sorry, iPod, it's not you, it's me. I've changed."   

       I'm tempted to give a croissant for ravenswood's annos. But I won't. Thoroughly awesome annos, though.
disbomber, Apr 05 2005

       Perhaps when the inlaws show up & fail to notice odd thing the sadness might etch away on the hard exterior of electric being.
Zimmy, Apr 07 2005

       But then the accounts of those who attain it always mention their laughter & no further records of their actions. It seems Odd to me.
Zimmy, Apr 07 2005

       Man, that's hard to stomach. Is it Marx & Engles?
I'd understand that. Please don't tell me it's Shakespeare or Kropotkin.
Oh dunces In Caps and Me too. I've had a minor painful accident on my way to look up references.
'Everybody plays the fool, there's no exception to the rule.'
Zimmy, Apr 07 2005

       what if the device that's been stolen was mistreated by it's rightfull owner. Would it try to get itself stolen to get away from an abusive situation or would it be loyal at the expense of its well being?
redsimple, Jan 31 2006

       Maybe it would just be sad.
hidden truths, Jan 31 2006

       The uselessness of any stolen device should be immediately obvious. Imagine an innocent third party with a stolen parachute.
hangingchad, Jan 31 2006

       Check out the idea above this in the category list. "Stuff that gets even when stolen".
hidden truths, Jan 31 2006

       What about devices that just hate thieves in general? And, giving devices the ability to talk to one another? Like, say a thief purchases a CD player legitimately, but steals a DVD player. The stolen device could not only stop functioning, but also "rat out" the actions of its new owner to the CD player, which then, out of disappointment, rendered itself unusable as well. Hehehe.
pigonthewing, Jan 31 2006

       Could definantly use one this on my TI-89 Titanium. It would say stuff like:   

       "[Q_F] is such a good student" when I'm taking a test, and "[Q_F] really knows my syntax" when it's been kidnapped, etc. [+]
quantum_flux, Nov 27 2007

       "Things that explode when stolen"
xxobot, Mar 31 2010


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