Appeal For Stolen Research Laptop Brings It Back

from the appealing-to-best-interests dept

Interesting story from South Africa where a visiting professor was mugged at knife-point by a bunch of kids. They took his laptop, which apparently included all sorts of data about AIDS that he apparently hadn't backed up anywhere. He told a reporter who wrote a story about it, and within hours was contacted by two "businessmen" who returned the laptop. They said they had "located" the laptop, and were very nervous about handing it over, because they were afraid they might be accused. Eventually, they returned the laptop anonymously to the reporter, who gave it to the professor. Of course, I'm still wondering, who travels internationally with a laptop that has such important data and doesn't have some sort of backup? What if the laptop had simply been bounced around on the flight, and its hard drive destroyed?
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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2003 @ 4:52pm

    fp

    first post for techdot.org

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Jorsett, 10 Aug 2003 @ 12:09pm

    No Subject Given

    who travels internationally with a laptop that has such important data and doesn't have some sort of backup

    A complete idiot? If the guy's that careless, how effective a researcher can he really be?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      thecaptain, 11 Aug 2003 @ 6:49am

      Re: No Subject Given

      I'm guessing that its either that, or he really wanted the laptop back and so..."exagerated" the value of the data that wasn't backed up.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Ed Halley, 11 Aug 2003 @ 7:01am

      Re: No Subject Given

      Or:

      He was on day ten of a data-gathering trip. It's difficult to pack all the extra gear to make field backups of the collected data, and it's difficult to connect to the home office to make remote backups.

      Film photographers have two choices: take the film home or mail the film home. There are no backups until the film is developed. Digital photographers are in much the same boat unless they have the budget for a satellite data phone to CNN, or a fragile CD-R device.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2003 @ 8:13am

      Re: No Subject Given

      Sounds like most corporate VPs I have met.
      Most of these idiots refuse to let IT or anyone
      else backup or otherwise touch their laptops
      because of all the "sensitive" information on
      them. Turns out most of the sensitive info is
      really porn, personal emails, or games.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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