How often does one see the "oh woe is me" type posts on internet forums. I have to admit that I generally go to the forums every time I want a good laugh. People really do post such ridiculous things! My girlfriend even notices the same - she goes to her special interest pages and finds people asking the most banal, mundane things. Her comment one day was that somebody had found weevils in their flour and wanted to know if it should be thrown out. Heavens above, I'd be amazed to find flour that didn't contain weevils. All flour contains weevils or weevil eggs and they will never hurt anybody. It's like worrying about breathing because of the bacteria naturally present in the air. Every time somebody goes to the lavatory - that smell is bacteria and the smell has never killed anybody!
At the moment I'm laughing at a posting somebody put up on one of the digital camera forums. Their camera had been stolen or such was the claim. It might have happened or they might just have posted to see the kind of ludicrous responses they'd get and whether they'd get any lynch mobs baying for blood.
The fact is that a stolen camera does have a serial number but it cannot be traced. Even if an attempt to trace it was made, it would take a herculean effort to trace it that's just not worth the price of a camera. Generally stolen electronics end up being sold in other countries. The BBC traced a stolen phone and a stolen laptop. The laptop they totally lost track of. The phone turned up in Ghana, both having been stolen in London. With a camera, there's just no way of tracking it effectively.
Certainly people with eye-fi cards have had some success in relocating their stolen cameras but honestly, would you even want it back after it had been stolen? Every time you looked at it, you'd be reminded that you'd been violated. That's the kind of memory best not retained.
The post generated lots of ways to list stolen goods on various different websites. The fact is that nobody is ever going to check that website. If Mr Crook stole a camera from Mr Victim and then advertised it on eBay, then Mr Buyer would buy it without ever asking or checking or even knowing where to check the serial number. When the camera eventually broke, it would most likely be thrown out rather than repaired because repairing disposable electronics is a false economy. By the time it needs to be repaired, something better and newer will be out for less money.
So effectively the fellow was saying "Woe is me, my camera has been stolen" and just making a huge fuss about it when there's little to be done bar saving up for a new one and being more careful with it. The "Oh woe is me" is not really about the camera. It's more about the dismay that they allowed it to be stolen in the first place. This is what my girlfriend was complaining about - pointless use of the internet to post complete piffle.
I look around at the internet and despair. It looks, judging from the vast majority that is posted online, that a great number of posters would have been better off not learning to read nor write. Society would have been so much richer. I am particularly reminded of people such as Bill Clinton (whose sole contribution during his Presidency was a hugely entertaining sex scandal) and Piers Morgan (whose poisonous presentations would do well in a Miss Marple novel).