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The LowJack Self-Perpetuating Road Warrior

By - October 31, 2008

I am really, really busy. So why did I just spend 20 minutes making a dream PC? Because I really want this machine.

From my description:

This is the continuation of my “Lowjack PC” idea, but now with bells and whistles. One of the things I am most worried about is someone stealing my laptop. It’s got ALL my key info on it. I want my PC to know that I’m using it – ie, that it’s ME, and not anyone else. Keystroke analysis, camera-based pattern recognition, anyway…. Sure, I can always encrypt, etc. but that is a pain and can be foiled. Key feature is integrated cloud-based mirroring so if this thing is stolen, dropped, etc. I can just get another machine, verify my ID, and BAM, I have the same machine back. I want a computer that knows when it’s been stolen, connects to the web, reports it to the authorities (and to me!), knows where it is via GPS (a lowjack PC!) and perhaps, just for fun, it plays with the mind of the person who stole it through subtle system errors (oh, and yes, I want the ability to “tune” these hijinks!).

The key here is to work Road Warrior features into the OS of the machine itself. Not bolted on, but part of the machine’s “personality”. I think the key to the next generation of machines is to innovate on top of Windows (or the Mac OS, but I’m a realist there), just like folks innovate on top of the “Web OS”. This is a netbook, in a way, as well as a notebook, and it’s tuned for folks who travel a lot and have a lot of valuable data on their machine. For us, it’s not about the machine, it’s about the data. Protect it, but not at the expense of flexibility and power!
(Oh, and publicly bust the crook and humiliate him/her on a site like LOLCats).

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2 thoughts on “The LowJack Self-Perpetuating Road Warrior

  1. Steve says:

    How many laptop thieves actually use the laptop themselves, as opposed to selling it or selling the parts? I’d suspect most sell it at a pawn shop or other rather anonymous venue.
    So playing with it to tweak the thief may not actually affect the thief.
    That’s not to say that having the data encrypted and backed up isn’t a good idea; of course it is. But don’t trade usability for the off-chance you’ll get to annoy some thief someday.
    Besides, the person locked out by your ‘security measures’ may be … you. Injure a finger, and there goes your keystroke analyzer. It’s Halloween and I’m sitting here in costume; good thing my face recognizer isn’t turned on. The upshot is that you’ll need an alternate way into the machine… and that will remain the weakest link.

  2. Have you had a look at Lojack For Laptops by Computrace?

    Here is the link: