Be Careful which Laptop you Steal

Source Title:
Be Careful what Laptop you Steal
Story Text:

Seems a student decided to lift a professors laptop at Berkley. Turns the laptop has a tracking device attached. It also has data that the FBI, Federal Marshalls and the SEC have an intrest in recovering. Here's part of what the proffesor had to say ...

Your academic career is about to come to an end. You are facing very serious charges, with a probability of very serious time. At this point, there's very little that anybody can do for you. One thing that you can do for yourself is to somehow prove that the integrity of the data which you possess has not been corrupted or copied.

Ironically, I am the only person on the planet that can come to your aid, because I am the only person that can tell whether the data that was on that computer are still on that computer. You will have to find a way of hoping that if you've copied anything that you can prove you only have one copy of whatever was made.

I am tied up all this afternoon; I am out of town all of next week. You have until 11:55 to return the computer, and whatever copies you've made, to my office, because I'm the only hope you've got of staying out of deeper trouble than you or any student I've ever known has ever been in.

You can here the juicy part of the speech here via Boing Boing.



Good lord. What was the prof doing with stuff like that anyway? A mole at Berkeley? What ARE we coming to? *laughing* [I know a few folks who "got through" Berkeley in the 60s. They'd have killed for an op like this one.... hmmm. Wonder if donko's kid is there now? If so, I bet I know who nicked it.... Nah - have to be her grandkid, ain't?]


I didn't hear the speech he gave, but seems to me it's simply a good ploy to try to get his laptop back in one piece, no?


Listen to the abreviated clip it's about 3 minutes, sounds pretty real to me.

Seems more like an

Urban legend

I will be careful next time - LOL

I think I'm gonna make a little "transponder" note and pin it to my car's steering wheel when I park it downtown - overnight.

If it had a transponder then why....

are they even bothering with the appeal.

They should either go straight in and deal with the problem in the usual Gung-Ho style


Its a professional job and the transponder has been dealt with.


the Prof is using extreme scare tactics to tryand get back the work he hasn't backed up for 2 months.

I'm apt to believe the latter.

Point of Order Mr W!

From the "Titles That" department, this thread should be entitled "Be Careful which Laptop you Steal".



heh! sorted...


Why, surely it should be Be Careful whose Laptop you [choose to] Steal?


Hehe, "whose" would also be much more betterer than "that."


While we're about it... ;)

...Turns out the laptop has a tracking device attached. It also has data that the FBI, Federal Marshalls and the SEC have an interest in recovering. Here's part of what the professor had to say

Once you start down this road, it never stops!


Hey I'm a spammer not an english teacher ;-)

Serious time

I don't see how the contents of the laptop can affect the severity of the punishment. Unless you trespassed on classified-super-agent territory, I don't see at as any different. That's crap, and that professer is a fuckwit for letting this happen.

About as stupid as the girl out here who left an $850,000 violin in her car while she grocery shopped. Insurance wouldn't cover it because it was a loose item in a car. Genius.

In another life

I used to take a fairly broad view of the laws of the land. If you got caught deny and deny again. If you got backed into a corner and the evidence was so overwhelming that there was no way out, deny again.

Prof is bluffing


is a toolshed.

Why wouldn't someone a littl higher up than him be on this? Probably a friggen hoax... jeez.


If you got caught deny and deny again. If you got backed into a corner and the evidence was so overwhelming that there was no way out, deny again.

Worked for me, you just need to deny more vehemently the more compelling the evidence against you becomes.

not even a good show

...within 15 minutes Redmond wanted to know why one version of windows was installed on two computers....

c'mon, i's obvious the prof's desperate, but at least make it seem a little realistic, no?


Looks like an ass when it didn't even work.

he he

Since we ran that story, it has been picked up by ABC News in the States and debated on bog sites across the world.


hmm... glad I wasn't the student

Now, I am a law abiding citizen, but if I wasn't, and if I had been the student who nicked the laptop, I just might have been goaded into a response that damned my immortal soul for eternity.

My bet is that the laptop had a large amount of, ..errm, 'embarrasing' things on the hard disk. Hey, we all have a dark side, right?

If I had been that student, the 'dark side' of the prof's laptop would be circulating right now - lets say, one embarrasing leak per day until the prof publically begged forgiveness for being a total prat.

I may be law abiding, but that doesn't stop me having a dark side ;)


Any sign of that yet? A response (maybe even a remorseful one???) or bits "leaking" into the web?


Let's not forget that in 2000 MI5 publicly lost a laptop containing top secret and I don't think it was ever found. I am sure many other laptops have been lost or stolen containing secret info.

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