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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Stolen Mac Laptops to "Phone Home"

As more and more of us start carrying laptops everywhere we go, the chances of them "growing legs" becomes greater. Their portability is one of their greatest strengths and greatest flaws.

If you are worried that your Macintosh laptop might be stolen, the folks at Orbicule want to talk to you. Their new software product, Undercover, works in several ways to help you recover your stolen laptop.

From Orbicule's web site...

"See what happens on your stolen Mac

In case of theft, Undercover not only reveals the internet location of your Mac, it also transmits screenshots, enabling you to closely monitor your stolen Mac. In fact, it's the first theft recovery software on any platform to do this. As these screenshots are sent at regular intervals, they will sooner or later reveal the thief's identity (e.g. when chatting, reading e-mail,...) making it much easier to work with law enforcement in order to recover your Mac.
Plan B is even better

If recovery of the stolen Mac fails for any reason, Undercover has an ingenious plan B. In this mode, Undercover will simulate a hardware failure, gradually making the Mac's screen unusable. This erratic behaviour will be accompanied by a Mac OS X system message stating that a hardware failure has been detected. All this should urge the thief to bring the Mac to an authorized Apple reseller. At that point, Undercover will show a full-screen message alerting the reseller (or someone who bought the Mac from the thief) that the Mac has been stolen, that it has become unusable and that it needs to be returned as soon as possible. Our contact information and a promise for a finder's fee will be displayed as well. Additionally, your Mac will start shouting this message, asking to return it as soon as possible."

Link: Orbicule

Link: Possible solution for Windows laptop owners

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