The Story of a Professor, a Laptop, and royally screwed Student

There we are - Boingboing article from April 20 of 2005.

And the professor’s admission that he was full of shit, April 25:

The laptop was never returned.

Yup. I believe the consensus was that it was a total bluff.

I don’t understand why he thought that his little soliloquy would make someone return the laptop. Chances are that it was already in the dumpster (or a wood chipper) when he made his theatrical debut and if it wasn’t it soon would be. I also concur that if the data was really that important, it would be backed up and would be on a computer that was quite secure. If not, the prof. is to blame. I would have been pissed if I had to sit through that little speech.

But now, I want to call the SEC and CIA and MSP(that’s Microsoft Secret Police) and have my laptop tracked by its “transponder” so I always know where it is.

Cool–thanks for the link!

Nope–he mentions the wireless card early in the rant, claiming that they know the guy’s been using it on campus. The transponder is just icing on the shit.

Like I say, though, I admire him for trying. The bluff was fun to listen to, and although I’m no techie, I know more about computers than most of my classmates; I’m sure it would’ve taken in a lot of people.


Right. The FBI, CIA, NSA, SEC, and KGB are all going to be conducting world wide searches for this professor’s laptop. If I’d have been there I’d have raised my hand and asked the professor if his computer was a Toshiba and if the thief was going to be attacked by ninjas.

Somebody should tell this guy that a bluff works better if it’s not obvious bullshit.

Ah, but they have, see here

Not really affiliated with LoJack for your car. The company just bought the rights to use the name for their software. I have heard it works pretty well.


Had he skipped the transponder and the MS calling him bits it probably would have worked better. If the guy who ripped it off knew anything about computers it his BS meter would have gone off the scale.


Even though I am barely tech literate, I sensed a huge amount of bluffing, but mannnnnnnn,that was awesome.

Too bad about his laptop.

Too bad he didn’t catch the punk.

That man is deserving of an Academy Award!

Hehehe. That was hysterical.

But I have a question. Is it now customary in academia to video lectures?

Well now, this explains the very weird thing that happened to me the other day. I was walking down the road, minding my own business, when a car with a frightened looking college kid went by and this laptop came flying out the window at me.

It was all in pieces, but I took it home anyway. On the way home, I realized it was just trash anyway, so I tossed it in a dumpster behind the Radio Shack. Minutes later, I saw three black helicopters hovering over Radio Shack and some guys in black ninja suits rapelled down. I was too far away by then to see what they were doing, but as they flew over me on the way out, I remember seeing a fog or gas coming from the back of the choppers. The very next memory I have is being home, and making breakfast the next day.

“He’s a…he’s a TRANSPONSTER!!” [/Friends]

Our school does it to post on the web for future review. Probably password-protected to keep just anyone from getting that top-rate education. :wink:


I remember when this first came out, it was hilarious.

:smack: Christ. I meant “gotchaya.”
So, uh, [Jame Gumm]“Do the FBI got any leads?” [/Jame Gumm]

Martha Stewart was only convicted of obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and two counts of making a false statement to federal police. The judge threw out the securities fraud charges. Essentially, she was only convicted of lying and covering up things she did after any potential insider trading.

I’m guessing he was figuring that the thief probably wasn’t too bright. I think it was a pretty good bet.

True, but if you even allege someone has that knowledge, they’ll investigate. All the prof has to do is tell the SEC he thinks you might have given this information to outside sources and they’ll be on your doorstep. You do not want to be the target of an SEC investigation – I know.

But, remember, the entire thing was investigated because it was alleged she had access to this information and acted on it. It was just easier to prove the other charges than the securities fraud. But as soon as the possibility of insider trading was raised, the SEC was on Stewart like a tiger on raw meat.

The thief might have been able to avoid an indictment on securities fraud, but he would have been on the hot seat until the SEC was satisfied.

My first reaction was the guy was a self-aggrandizing bluffing blowhard. lno’s links seems to support that.

Not that it matters or applies here, but some IBM (now Lenovo) ThinkPads have an RFID chip that might be called a transponder. It’s intended mostly for inventory purposes and only has a range of about 12 inches.

Not sure what to make of this quote from the prof’s admission of bullshittery–

Wonder what he teaches?

Price of a Laptop: $1200

Cost of a college education: 25K per year

**Watching a Professor Deliver The Best Bluff Evar!!! ** Priceless.
For everyone else there are Black Helicopters and the repelling Ninja’s.