COMPUTER OR PHONE STOLEN? No problem.
You can turn up at the villain’s door (with terrifying companions such as police officers, your mother-in-law, the school matron, etc), and ask for it back. Imagine the conversation.
“Can I have my iPhone back?”
“I don’t have your iPhone.”
“That’s it in your hand.”
“Oh, THIS iPhone.”
Tech guru Gleb Budman of Backblaze (pic below) wrote to me about this item his group offers after we featured a write-up about how Mark Bao, a teenage geek , got an apology and his stolen computer back after YouTube-ing a video of the thief dancing badly.
It’s part of a massive revolution in law enforcement.
Geeks are taking the law into their own hands.
In California last week, a guy called Joshua Kaufman got his stolen laptop back (using HiddenApp) after putting embarrassing images on the internet of a skinny, ugly thief having a seriously bad hair day/ week/ life.
A geeky student in India announced last Friday that he had created a program that enables you to steal information from laptop thieves. It thus maintains the balance of the universe.
As soon as the thief goes online, the program written by Bhaumik Merchant of Gujarat starts spying on him and sends the computer’s original owner the thief’s info.
It reads his emails, transmits everything he types, tells you what websites he visits and so on.
What fun you can have.
Buy the thief subscriptions to embarrassing magazines.
Send funny emails to his boss. (“Dear boss, I demand a pay cut. And a daily spanking.”)
Create profiles for him on dating websites. (“I enjoy conjugal relationships with a variety of vegetables.”)
Sign him up to the Justin Bieber fan club.
Order 200 pizzas (all with triple anchovies) to be delivered to his home.
These revenge activities may sound like pranks, but they are actually rather important. These steps by geeks around the world herald the end of the rule of law.
Let’s face it, if you report a petty thief to the police, a judge will put him on probation or lock him up for a week.
But if you humiliate a thief using the internet, you can punish him for ever and ever and ever and ever.
You can put his image on every major website, turn it into a virus that goes to every computer on earth, or send it via NASA’s satellites to every galaxy within 100 light years. Irresistible.
Having said that, not everyone wants to snatch back their gadgets from thieves.
Last week two photographers, Roger and Pat and de la Harpe, set up cameras to take pictures of wild life in Africa.
A lion found one, ripped it off its stand, and carried it away in its mouth.
The video, which you can see on the internet, gives a half-eaten gazelle’s eye view of what it’s like to be transported in the mouth of a lion.
It reminded me of my first week at high school.