GadgetTrak Blog


Gap Laptop Theft Affects 80,000 Job Applicants
Sunday, September 30, 2007


Two laptop computers were stolen from the offices of an unnamed human resources company which contained personal job applicant data pertaining to Gap Inc. job candidates who applied between July, 2006 and June, 2007. This theft affects over 80, 000 applicants along with their social security numbers.

Official Statement (PDF)

Are Stolen iPods to Blame for Rising Crime? The Urban Institute Thinks So.
Saturday, September 29, 2007


The Urban Institute has released a report making a bold assertion that there is a direct co-relation between iPods and the recent jump of violent crimes in the United States. Now, as much as we would like to agree with the Urban Institute we found several flaws in their argument that we could not let pass, the primary on being that iPods are singled out.

In the report, it is stated that FBI statistics have shown an increase in violent crime from 2005-2006, this is true. Homicides and robberies are way up from the previous year, with a stronger focus on robberies. However they assert that the rise of theft is related to the sales of iPods and other removable media devices. This is difficult to prove as the national crime databases classify iPods and other media devices as “merchandise” so there is no data collected regarding specific models. In the report the quote “anecdotal evidence” however this comprises existing stories from the media, which at many times target iPods as they are the “Coke” of music players and so Apple is low hanging fruit. iPods may be part of the equation, but I think that the Urban Institute puts a little too much blame on iPods and is missing the forest for the trees.

The rapid sales of iPods and removable media devices are not an isolated pheonmena, but a tip of the iceberg reflecting a shift in our society. It does not take much research to see that our society is becoming more mobile, laptops outsell desktop systems, mobile phones and PDAs are computers themselves, not to mention our reliance on portable GPS systems, flash drives, portable game consoles such as the Sony PSP and the list goes on. Every day it seems we hear about another laptop theft, and our friends at JustStolen.net have been telling us about law enforcement seeing a rising occurence of GPS devices being stolen from cars.

One could make a case that theft is actually the oldest profession; it will not go away and will evolve with technology. To fight the theft of mobile devices, we need to change our approach, the old model will no longer work in theft prevention. This is the prime reason that GadgetTrak was created, as an innovative way to utilize technology to protect our customers’ devices.

Flickr Reveals Mac Thief: Uploads Own Pic To Victim’s Flickr Account
Monday, September 24, 2007


The thief of a MacBook took photos of himself and accidentally uploaded via auto upload to the owner’s Flickr account. He didn’t stop there, he also took photos of all of his tattoos further incriminating himself.

It is a bit of a coincidence that this happen at around the very same time GadgetTrak announces the availability of Verey I Apple Mac theft recovery software. The software works a bit more stealthily than the accidental Flickr publish approach. When a user logs in or accesses a locked down guest account, they are asked to enter a password. If the correct password is not entered in a set amount of time, the iSight camera will be activated, taking a video of the perpetrator:

The video will then be emailed to the owner of the Mac, as well as whomever they listed to be notified. In addition to video it will also collect the IP address, network information as well as all of the wireless networks in the area. Not only will an email be sent to the Mac owner, but notification can also be sent to the owner’s Twitter account, where they can set SMS notifications and other logging capabilities.

Verizon Moving to GSM
Saturday, September 22, 2007


Engadget posted the latest news that Verizon will be moving off of CDMA and over to the next generation GSM over the next few years. What will these mean for the end users? More choice. It will be easier to switch carriers and unlock phones for use with the carrier of your choice.

Why do we care? You will see shortly :-)

JustStolen.net In the News
Friday, September 7, 2007


Our partner Juststolen.net was featured in the news today on the The Boston Channel.  It is great to see the hard work that Office Tom Shea and his team have put into the JustStolen.net project get some attention in the local community.

iMuggings – iPod Theft & Personal Safety
Friday, September 7, 2007


In the Brooklyn Paper there is a description of an iPod mugging where the victim tried to fight a mugger off. We of all people know that iPods are valuable items to their owners, however no electronic device is worth your life (even an iPhone). We suggest that if you are ever in a situation where it comes to an issue of personal safety in a situation such as this you just give your device the the perpetrator.

These types of situations show another angle to GadgetTrak’s technology. Not only does GadgetTrak help recover devices, but also has the potential to help solve violent crimes such as muggings, as well as larger property crimes in instances where a gadget protected by GadgetTrak is stolen along with a lot of other items. An interesting statistic I read regarding a company which sells PC theft software, is that 5% of the time when police go in to a location to recover a stolen laptop, they uncover more crimes being commited, from illegal drugs, fencing operations and other larger crimes.

It is good to know that GadgetTrak can help keep people safe by providing peace-of-mind that if they are in a violent situation, if they just give up their device without any struggle there is a good chance they will get it back and there is no need to resist. If the GadgetTrak agent is triggered and information is collected this can be given to the police who can not only recover your device, but also get a mugger (iMugger?) off the streets.

GadgetTrak Partners With JustStolen.net
Sunday, September 2, 2007


We have formed a strategic partnership with JustStolen.net, a free stolen property registry developed by law enforcement. When a device is stolen from our subscribers data will automatically be registered in the JustStolen.net system so that various law enforcement agencies will have extended visibility of the stolen device and increase the chances that it will be returned. We also recommend JustStolen.net to people who may have had their iPod or other device stolen, but did not have GadgetTrak software installed on the device at the time.

It is through our partnership with JustStolen.net that we hope to help enable broader communication, integration and technology. We believe that sharing information between companies who produce hot items for thieves, agencies who are tasked with registering and recovering them as well as technology companies such as our selves will better help with recards to theft prevention as well as recovery for consumers.

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