07 February 2006

The proof of the pudding...

This morning, we received an email from a London-based student to alert us that his Powerbook had been stolen and that he had Undercover installed on it. This was the first theft report we received after launching Undercover 20 days ago. Of course we were sad to hear this news, while on the other hand we were very eager to see how Undercover would behave in a real-world theft and we were quite confident that Undercover would help us trace the Powerbook.

A few seconds ago, we received an email from this student to tell us that his Powerbook has been found, thanks to Undercover. This whole story might sound a bit weird, especially since we are releasing a major update to Undercover today, but trust me this is not a joke or a cheap marketing trick. We can't provide more information at the moment, but we will - of course - follow up on this story and inform you as more information becomes available.

Needless to say, we are extremely happy. In the first place we are glad this student can just continue his assignments without going through all the insurance hassle. And secondly, we think this proves how useful a theft recovery application can be!

To be continued.....

[UPDATE: a full story is coming. It will be published as soon as we receive the pictures made by the London Police Department. Please stay tuned.]

16 comments:

Aurélien said...

Show us the pictures!

Anonymous said...

any more information on this recovery? Does your company take responsibility to working with the authorities to recover the hardware or do you supply the data to the owner to work with?

And I agree - show us the pictures or any other sample data.

Anonymous said...

yea, it would be great to see pictures or any other information! This is exciting to see how well it worked.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for more updates

Peter Schols said...

Yes, we do work with the authorities (and sometimes we need them to get all information from the ISP)

Anonymous said...

Het lijkt allemaal super, dat verhaal van London. Tof ! Hebben jullie het al eens gesimuleerd hier in Vlaanderen, een Mac ictief laten stelen en dan de opsporing beginnen. En daar dan een reportage van .... eventueel mmv de overheid of politie ....

Anonymous said...

I just bought your software last night. I think Undercover is a brilliant idea. Too bad I won't be able to really tell if it works unless my computer is stolen. Perhaps you can you can have a "safe/demo" mode just to show off the features, for like if I want to demo the software to my friends and convince them to get it, cause a lot of my mac using friends think i'm stupid for getting software that I have no idea will really work. I on the other hand have no problem supporting good software developers that develop for macs.

Do you think police will really help try to recover a laptop? Cause I've had things stolen from my car before and they are pretty much good as gone...

- ironchefaber

David Visser said...

Hi there,

I'm a 17yr old dutch student and this weekend I decided to buy an iBook. (14", It's a lot of money but it's defenitly worth it!) I'm verry excited about this iBook, I've been working with windows for 13 years (don't tell me about crashes, I've had em ALL!)

This program looks AMAZING! I'm DEFENITLY going to buy it as soon as I recive my iBook!

Just one little question; How can I prove that I'm a student? Same way as I did for apple by sending my studentpapers to apple by fax?

Thanks already for inovate such fantastic software!

Regards,

David Visser

Anonymous said...

This program looks like a great idea but it definitely needs more work. The biggest omission is that there is no way to test it and no way of checking whether it is installed and operating correctly. If you're going to buy a product like this you need to be confident that it's actually going to work if your Mac gets stolen.

Anonymous said...

just as a quick disclaimer: I just bought the thing, and installed it on my beloved iBook, now....

paranoid mode-on:

How do I know that you are not one of our current administration's goons using this neat technology to spy on us all under a seemingly harmless Belgian disguise? hmm? will I ever again dare working naked in front of my computer? what about all my dirty secrets? could it all be used as some kind of remote Van Heck phreaking of sort?

paranoid mode-off

couple of suggestions in addition to what has been mentioned above:

i) yep, a demo mode would be neat; though if you guys eventually get a few documented successful recoveries, that should do the trick; I just hope it's someone else's laptop :-)

ii) at the same time, a more convincing argument that the whole thing cannot be activated from your end alone, just on a whim (see paranoid comment above); say, what will you guys do when the aforementioned three pieces suits goons with Raybans and sonotones show up at your door with a subpoena / other form of court order?

iii) tech infos about your server, hey, if I depend on it to recover my hard earned properties, I'd like to know how the thing is hosted, backed up, etc.

ok, time for my camomille,

--Sylvain

Anonymous said...

Yes, a test mode would be a good idea, perhaps an automated email from your server which includes ip address, system specs, sreenshot etc.

Anonymous said...

yah or 1 demotry, showing an example of one of those emails

Peter Schols said...

Thanks for all your comments!

The biggest concern among our blog posters seems the fact that they can't really test Undercover. We are listening carefully to these concerns and we will do what we can to prove you that Undercover works and that it works well on your machine. Here are some things we will do to that effect:

- Over the next few days, we will send an email to all registered users explaining how they can check whether Undercover is running on their Mac. We have designed Undercover in a way that it does not require any configuration, unlike most other theft recovery applications. This means that if Undercover is running, it works well.
- We are solliciting Undercover reviews by independent Mac magazines (online and print). While we can't simulate a recovery for these reviews (as we need assistance from the police), we can receive screenshots and iSight pictures for the reviewer's Mac. Additionally, we can simulate the hardware failure and display the alert message. At least one independent review of Undercover is currently in the works. We will post links to this review on our blog as soon as the review goes online
- We are looking into developing an extra application that would enable the owner of any Undercover-enabled Mac to more closely monitor Undercover and its status.

Peter Schols said...

Regarding the comment about our server:

You can rest assured that our server is hosted by a high-quality hosting company that guarantees a 99.9% uptime. The server is backed-up daily by the hosting company and by our own backup system.

Peter Schols said...

David, thanks for your great feedback! Any proof of student status is fine. It could be a scan of your student ID, a screenshot of your College schedule, a student email address, ...

Anonymous said...

Im planning to buy it for my company but the lack of an ability to test it, to see how it works, is holding me back. It;s like buying something you have no way of testing it works or not. Max.