I was just catching up on some technology stuff from the past week when I came across a small blurb in the UW “OnTech” email list that made me stand up and take notice. It turns out that UW Technology (the Seattle unit in charge of all technology which is horribly misnamed “UWT”) has created what could be called a “Software LoJack” for your laptops. Basically the software sits on your computer and occasionally sends out a signal giving away the location of the device. Then you (and only you) can retrieve that data and use it however you want.
Obviously, you shouldn’t get all Death Wish on someone if you track your stolen computer down, probably best to call the cops. There are other questions I have as well; such as how easily the client is fooled and how you get the actual information and how granular it is. But as far as a tool that is lightweight and secure (the data is only accessible to one user — you) it looks pretty neat and I’ll be installing it on some staff laptops here in the library to test it.
The software is free to all community members and private businesses. Install it and let me know what you think!