While in Warren, Ohio for a small family reunion at Carina’s grandfather’s house, I stopped by Best Buy to purchase a Pure Digital Flip camcorder. These little devices are extremely popular, and received a very positive review by David Pogue.

The Warren, OH Best Buy had only a single Flip left, and it had previously been returned. I decided to buy it, reasonably comfortable that I could also return it if it proved defective. I let Tyler record the exhilarating ride back to the house, and then sat down with the device to check it out in earnest. Tyler recorded maybe a few minutes worth of video, so I was dismayed when the device reported that it had only 40 minutes or so of recording capacity left. Maybe this was why the previous owner returned it?

I flipped out the USB plug (thus the product’s name) and connected it to my laptop, running Ubuntu. It was immediately detected as a USB drive, and the contents were displayed to me. The recordings, saved as AVI files (XviD video with mono ADPCM audo), were all listed in the DCIM/100VIDEO folder. There were several files named VID00XX.AVI, where X was a number; but to my surprise there were a handful of other files there, with names like “Smoke”, “Smoked”, “Smokeing” and “Smoke Out”. I immediately copied these to my laptop and watched them.

What I saw were two young men, high school or college kids, sitting in someone’s room smoking a joint, and then a bong. I’m left wondering what would motivate someone to record themselves smoking a joint. I certainly did a lot of stupid stuff when I was younger, but to the best of my knowledge I never had the desire to document any of it. (That said, there does exist a surprising amount of documentation of some of my shenanigans. Hopefully Elfboy never gets vindictive!)

I assume that these jokers connected the Flip to their computer, enjoyed watching their masterpieces, and gave the videos meaningful names so they’d remember what it was later. However, they renamed the files on the device itself, rather than copying the files to their computer and then renaming the copies. These renamed videos were not seen when using the Flip’s controls to view and delete recorded videos. The Flip user interface apparently doesn’t look for all video files within the DCIM/100VIDEO directory, but instead only looks for files that match the filenames it creates. As such, “Smoke” and the other renamed videos remained on the device.

It’s dumb enough to record yourself using illegal drugs. It’s dumber still to rename the filenames of said video on the recorder, and then return the recorder to (presumably) the place of purchase.

For the benefit of all mankind, I’ve uploaded the videos for your viewing pleasure: Morons part 1, Morons, part 2, Morons, part 3.

As Sean observed, That should be an anti-drug commercial. ‘Do you really want to be like these douches?’

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