Friday, 17 October 2008

Insecurity devices

Of course, we all deplore shoplifters, but a couple of times lately I've fallen foul of some of the measures intended to confound them, rather than legitimate consumers.

A couple of months back, I found that an unwatched DVD I'd bought a few weeks beforehand still had the security device in place. This is the thing that slots into the side of a standard Amaray case, locking it closed, usually with a security tag inside. Feeling I couldn't be arsed hunting out the receipt and taking it back, I thought to see if I could get the thing out, first with a pair of long-nosed pliers, in the unsuccessful course of which I inflicted a huge blood-blister on my right forefinger.

By then more than a little annoyed, and because I had a supply of spare Amaray cases "in stock," I destroyed the offending case in order to extract the disc. It was only then (D'oh!) – upon finally extracting the device – that I worked out how it worked, and in retrospect determined how it could be taken out with a couple of strong magnets, no pliers, and definitely no blood-blisters. The latter actually got so bad that I had to lance it before we went out clubbing the following evening; after dancing all night in a hot and sweaty club, it's a wonder I didn't get blood poisoning....

Fast forward to last week, when a late birthday present from a friend was the Blu-Ray disc of Aliens Versus Predator, which I was dismayed to see also had what seemed to be the same sort of security device still in place. This one, however, proved imperious to the magnets that had worked on the first one, and Claire was adamant about not letting me injure myself again. When she took the disc back to the shop, however, the staff - even up to the level of the duty manager - refused to remove the device because, it being a present, she didn't have the receipt! When she got home, I had another crack at it with even stronger magnets than I'd used before, and luckily this time it worked. Obviously the manufacturers had beefed up the mechanism, no doubt because it probably didn't take the real shoplifters long to work out how to get round them.

Of course, all this is really a bit academic as regards the Blu-Ray disc, since at the moment we don't actually have anything to play it on. Our half-joke of putting a Sony PS3 on our wedding list did actually pay off (thanks Dad, Louise, Sara, Barny & Hannah!), but it and all the rest of the gifts were only delivered last week, and then only to Claire's parents' place in Tunbridge Wells, as most of it is going into storage, pending up moving somewhere bigger. We're going over there the day before we depart for our belated honeymoon in Malta, and will be retrieving the PS3 then, but I doubt we'll get much use out of it before we leave the country. Bah!

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Blogger Torie said...

Nick, I'm sorry to comment on this entry because what I wanted to ask you about is nothing whatsoever to do with it, but.....I absolutely loved your Underground at War page, it was fascinating and (tragically) I have a boyfriend who I know would be equally enthused, particularly by the prospect of exploring somewhere like the Clapham South shelter. You're clearly an expert so I hope you don't mind me trying to pick your brains, but do you have any idea how I could go about trying to organise a visit? The boy's turning 30 in early December and I have a feeling this would go down well (and cost me nothing - genius).

Again, sorry to use this mode of contact, was short of options!


29 October 2008 at 15:37  
Blogger Nick Cooper said...

Unfortunately I was away on my honeymoon when you posted your comment, and I've just spotted it today. As far as I know, at the moment the Deep Level Shelters are either empty or are being used by secure archive storage firms, such as Iron Mountain, which I understand holds the lease on at least one of the Clapham sites. Chancery Lane has been put up for sale, but unless you could convincing act as potential buyers, I wouldn't expect a viewing!

24 November 2008 at 16:38  

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