“It’s 5 stops away right now…”

“It’s 5 stops away right now…”

The Amazon Shopping App updated for me (to 16.8.0.100 on my Galaxy) and brought a great (but thought-provoking) new feature.

I got this notification that I could see where our package was on a map…and how many stops away it was!

It was like Uber/Lyft…I could actually see an avatar of the car/truck moving around on a map of the neighborhood.

That was certainly useful: we knew exactly when it was getting to the house. Oh, and if you’re curious, it was about five minutes per stop. 🙂

However…

If I was the driver, I think that would worry me. I never do anything criminal (intentionally), but I do have a mind that likes to consider all of the possibilities…so I’d probably make a great criminal genius. 😉

So, imagine somebody orders something inexpensive. They then alert their thief buddies, who get to the houses about five minutes after the delivery. If the package is still on the stoop, they steal it. If it’s not, no big deal…on to the next.

The app wasn’t showing any addresses except for ours, but thieves wouldn’t need that.

I suppose Amazon could tell who was looking at the map when, but that’s really just circumstantial.

Of course, I’m not recommending this! It would just worry me, especially I was an

Amazon Flex

driver.

The way I was thinking about it reminded me of a couple of scams from the old days.

We had IBM Selectric typewriters in an office where I worked…and they were valuable.

One scam was sort of like what I was envisioning above. They would follow the IBM delivery person, and then go back to the office maybe five minutes after the other person left (this could be a two person job…one tracking, one doing the scam).

They’d walk in and say, “We just delivered a typewriter here, and we gave you the wrong kind. I’ll just take it down to the truck and swap it out for you.”

Another one was just walking into the office, looking like a repairperson and say, “Which typewriter is giving you the trouble?” The odds were good that at least one of them would…and would “have to go into the shop”.

Regardless, as a customer…this was cool!


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


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All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

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6 Responses to ““It’s 5 stops away right now…””

  1. Edward Boyhan Says:

    Well, that’s interesting. I don’t use many apps on my phone, but I have installed a few Amazon apps: Amazon, Amazon Alexa, Amazon Drive, Amazon Kindle, and Amazon Music — no Amazon Shopping. But perhaps the Amazon app is a shopping app. I went to “about” for the Amazon app and it said it was version 16.8.0.200 (:grin 100 up on you). But my phone offered me the option to search for more apps and a search for “Amazon” did, in fact, turn up an “Amazon Shopping” app with an offer to install. That app has a version of 16.8.0.100 just like you mentioned. that search, however, didn’t turn up the “Amazon” app — though it showed all my other Amazon apps.

    It would seem that “Amazon” is coming from a different source than “Amazon Shopping”. They look similar, but they also look different. I haven’t the time or inclination to see if there are any functional differences between the two.

    I thought I’d ask you if you know what these two apps represent? 😁

    I went to the Google play store to see what it thought I had installed. It had all the Amazon apps (including shopping), but not the “Amazon” app. Looking at the app details on my phone (it’s a Moto X4 with hands-free Alexa) I see that “Amazon Shopping” came from the Google Play Store whereas “Amazon” came from “Amazon”.

    I looked in the Amazon app store, and 1market.com, but neither of those sources have the “Amazon” app. I’ve spent close to an hour on this, and I’m like a dog worrying a bone (:sigh).

    Any ideas?

  2. Phink Says:

    When I was an OTR truck driver every once in a while I’d have a high value load. This might be something like computers for instance. On these special high dollar loads we had a company policy that once they were picked up we could not stop for any reason, other than an emergency for either 4 hours or 200 miles. If you were not gonna be legal to drive for that period you could not be assigned the load. The driver also was required to have, I forget, maybe at least 3/4 tank of fuel before pickup as well.

    They were afraid an employee at the pick up location would contact his partners in crime and inform them when the truck left and which direction it was headed. In that case I guess they figured the longer we drove the least likely they’d keep following us. Perhaps they would not have enough gas for 200 miles.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phink!

      Interesting! My guess is that something like that happened once, and then the procedure became Standard Operating Procedure.

      • Phink Says:

        There have been instances of people stealing entire trailers that were hooked to trucks. When I did this it was early in the century and almost every driver never turned their truck off, except to fuel up. We’d simply lock the doors when leaving but it’d be running. There were very rare instances where someone would simply break into the truck while the driver was away from it for a few minutes. A 2nd person would be unhooking the trailer and lowering the gear while he did that. Then since the truck is running they’d simply pull away from the trailer, jump in another truck they brought, hook up to the trailer, and take off. I have also heard of them stealing the entire truck and trailer as well.

        I think now a lot of areas have made idling trucks illegal. I only came across that once and it was 2002. I delivered to Buffalo when it was single digit temperatures. I noticed a sign in the receiving area that read something like “City ordnance it is illegal for a commercial vehicle to idle for more than 5 minutes. Please shut off your engines while waiting to be unloaded.” I asked the lady “are you serious? Do I really have to shut off my truck.” She said I did and I said “it’s single digits out there. I’ll freeze to death.” She said “then you’ll have to unhook your trailer at the dock and pull off our property because you can’t idle on our property.” That’s what I did. I was a law breaker that day. I don’t know about now but no generators in trucks then.

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