The Incredible Journey Of Lost Things

from the where-are-my-keys dept

As the average gadget load that the everyday person carries with them increases, the amount of data stored on these devices makes losing them more and more painful. While the gadget itself may be replaced, this crucial data is irreplacable; luckily, many lost items actually do find their way back to their owners. Airlines, hotels and cabs seem to be the most common places to lose things, and it’s comforting to see that in these places the staff are directed to actively look for items left behind. It seems like most reunions happen by a few routes: looking in the last place you remember it, or checking the “Lost & Found”. That said, most items still never make it back to their owners. There are a few new companies and services popping up to try and help the return of lost items. However, most of these tactics rely on some sort of registry and therefore depend on the kindness of strangers (and perhaps the blessing of St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost things) in order to reunite the lost objects with their owners. I sense an opportunity here. Google Lost & Found (BETA), anyone? Considering that Google has already helped a man find his own memory, it’s not a huge stretch.

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Comments on “The Incredible Journey Of Lost Things”

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Ivan Sick says:

No Subject Given

Rather than a registry and “the kindness of strangers,” wouldn’t it be more useful to have small transmitters installed in devices, a la Lo-Jack for cars? Then when you lose something, you go to a website, enter password/SN/whatever and see where your thing is by the magic of GPS. This doesn’t seem to be very hard (especially if RFID’s gonna be in everything anyway)–or non-obvious.

Anonymous Coward says:

Beware Continental Airlines L and F

Left a PDA on the seat on a Continental Airlines flight. Went back the next day to the CA Lost and Found, filled out the forms, etc.

Days later I get a call from a CA employee who found the device and managed to figure out it was me.

When I commented that CA’s Lost and Found did a great job, the employee said, ‘Oh no, we never submit these things to lost and found, that’s a black hole. Nothing we turn in to them ever gets back to people. We finally just decided to track people down ourselves.’ She said that that CA’s L and F was a black market of goods, a moneymaker for those that worked in it.

I sent her a box of brownies. She was part of the plane’s cleaning crew, and she’d done the right thing. She’d looked past the corporate-approved den of thieves and taken initiative, to the risk of her own job, to help the customer. I’ll never forget it.

I vowed I’ll never fly Continental again until it was run by people like her.

cathie says:

Re: Beware Continental Airlines L and F

Christmas eve 2005 my husband left our camera bag with two brand new cameras, video DVD and still digital with all accessories in the overhead of our continental flight from houston to ft lauderdale.Two hours later we realized what happened,we contacted all sources, still no cameras. I suggested security review their cameras to see what happened to our items. They said they could not do that. I am upset because I want my pics from our family vacation . I would be happy with the return of pics as they will be of no interest to anyone else.

bob says:

Last Place?

I also used to seemingly find things in the last place I looked. Then one day, in the third drawer of a possible 4 drawers, I found what I was looking for, but decided to continue the search into the 4th drawer anyway.

Didn’t find what I was looking for, since that was already found, but I *DID* find some other items I had NOT been looking for! Amazing!

Moral? Don’t always find things in the last place you look! Keep Looking!

Sorry, just couldn’t resist…..

Anonymous Coward says:


left my purse on a flight from houston to san francisco, realized i had left it under the seat in front of me on a continental flight. was able to provide my flight number and seat assignment. was told that no one would be able to contact the plane to look for my item. 2 days after return to houston and many headaches due to flying with no i.d. later, was called by continental and advised it had been located in the EMPLOYEE lost and found. they made me pay to fed ex it back. no hitching a ride on the plane. don’t forget to have them check the employee lost and found!

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