I honestly believe that my circle of friends are smart enough to recognize a bad thing when it comes up. That being said, I have always had my doubts about the average person. Luckily my faith has been somewhat restored based on this article stating that someone has been sending unsolicited laptops around to to United States Governors whose offices, as detailed in the article, have promptly contacted the FBI to investigate. As I’m sure you would expect the FBI isn’t too happy about it. From the article:
The mystery began in West Virginia earlier this month when Gov. Joe Manchin’s office received five Compaq computers on Aug. 5. A week later, Manchin’s office received a sixth notebook, a Hewlett-Packard model.
The Charleston Gazette, which first reported the story, said Manchin’s office didn’t turn on the machines for security reasons. West Virginia state police said HP confirmed the notebooks were ordered online for delivery to the governor’s office, but didn’t reveal who made the purchase.
Wyoming and Vermont have also reported similar incidents, which has led to the FBI investigation.
If opened up your mail box and noticed a package, addressed to you, containing a laptop…would you use it or would you first ask yourself “I wonder who sent me this?” or would you treat it as the “bank error in your favor, collect a new laptop” card a la monopoly? I have a sneaking suspicion that even the most non-technical of people, on average, would think something was wrong and contact either the post office, the police, or maybe even their “techie friend” to take a look. That being said, I wonder how many people would react similarly if they were to receive a small gadget, such as a shiny new iPhone 3Gs, in the mail? I have a sneaking suspicion that people would be more likely to open the box, move their SIM card over, and see if their new free toy worked.