Most people recognize that carrying around a laptop worth a few thousand dollars (or more, if you count the data on it) can be a bit risky. That risk increases as soon as you take out the laptop for others to see, obviously. While we had heard the occasional story of someone getting a laptop stolen while they left their laptops unattended at a WiFi hotspot, it appears that thieves are getting much more brazen, often walking right up to laptop users in cafes, grabbing the laptops and running. In at least one case, the laptop owner got stabbed. The article focuses on San Francisco, noting that this seems to mainly be happening in one part of town (suggesting that it's the work of one group, or at least copy cats), but you could easily see it happening elsewhere as well. Either way, it's clear that, at least in San Francisco, it's a crime that's growing -- though, perhaps still not at worrying levels. Still, it has reached the point where one cafe owner offers patrons their own laptop locks if they want to work in his cafe. Again, this does seem like the sort of thing technology will solve over time, either with better locks or more common usage of lojack-style technology for laptops, that lets people track down their stolen machines. However, for those of you who love working in various coffee shops as your office-away-from-the-office, it makes sense to be a bit more aware of your surroundings.
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