Losing your laptop to a dirty rotten thief can be a painful experience, particularly if you work for the government and half the population’s names. addresses, and vital statistics were stored unencrypted on it, but now a new piece of free software aims to help you locate your beloved portable PC.
Adeona was developed by researchers at the Universities of Washington and California. This bit of software is installed on the laptop (before it’s nicked, obviously) and then sends encrypted notes to Internet servers about the PC’s location.
The Mac version will even use the built-in iSight camera to take pictures of the person who stole it (or possibly, the grandchild, OAP, or PC n00b that the scheming low-life palmed it off on to).
Though it can’t provide the exact location of the PC (most don’t have GPS in them, for a start) it will track the IP address, which can usually narrow down the search to a geographical location. Of course, it relies on the perpetrator going online, but then who doesn’t use the Internet these days?
Of course, there’s the concern of Big Brother knowing where you are, plus the fact that you still need to learn how to secure any valuable data on the computer, as tracking it is no good if someone’s nicked 20,000 credit card numbers.