Joshua Kaufman, or @jmk as his followers on Twitter know him, has a problem: someone stole his MacBook on March 21, 2011, and the police haven’t been nable to recover it for him. This is a common enough occurrence that I doubt many readers have batted an eyelash. It’s a rough world, and there are lots of people out there who have no regard for the property of others.
What makes this case a little different is a piece of software called Hidden, which Kaufman had installed on his computer. Developed by a company called Skyhook Wireless, for $15 each month, the program allows you to remotely access your machine to take screen shots, locate it, and even get access to its webcam; that last feature is the most important in this case.
After police were unable to recover the computer due to lack of resources, Kaufman decided to turn to the power of the internet, and set up thisguyhasmymacbook.tumblr.com, where he’s been posting photos captured by Hidden. In just over 3 hours, the page is well on its way to being a viral phenomenon, with thousands of retweets and “Like”s on Facebook.
This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about using social networking to recover stolen property. And last time it worked out pretty well. Will Twitter vigilantism resolve the case of the missing laptop once again? We’ll find out for sure soon enough. Here’s hoping that internet infamy will shame the thief into returning the laptop to its rightful owner.