Laptop Thief’s Penalty: Public Humiliation

The kid who stole Mark Bao’s laptop made two mistakes beyond “Mac-larceny.” He recorded himself dancing on the stolen laptop’s webcam, and failed to realize that the victim, Mark, had installed recovery software on the machine.

So Mark, an 18-year-old student at the University of Massachusetts, connected remotely to his Macbook Air laptop, retrieved this video, and shared it with the word via YouTube. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, about 85% of readers think he should leave the clip online. A perpetual sentence of the crook’s poor judgement. We agree.

The thief returned the laptop to university security and apologized. But we think he should dance, dance, dance in shame for eternity.

Then there’s the burning question. Is this a viral stunt by a software-security service? One can’t discount that theory in the “age of viral.”

Says CBS News: “He had taken the precaution of installing online backup software (called BackBlaze) on the computer and that now allowed him to gain entry into the purloined machine’s browser history as well as to view its hard drive where he could track any updates.”

16 Replies to “Laptop Thief’s Penalty: Public Humiliation”

  1. Just a slight editorial note here. I’m from MA & went to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst so was looking for other sources to see which UMass this was and its actually not UMass at all, it was at Bentley University, a university in Massachusetts, but not THE University of Massachusetts.

  2. That guy is going to be a U.S. Senator. Or maybe even president. He’s good looking enough and Lord knows young voters vote for looks over experience. He’ll steal there, too.

  3. “…connected remotely to his Macbook Air laptop, retrieved this video…”

    No. That’s not how BackBlaze works. That would be a pretty worthless as a backup mechanism.

  4. Merlin, I bet your husband called you the same thing last night. Boomer, HAHAHAHAHA! Alexis, explain, preferably in excrutiatingly boring detail, the observation in your comment.

  5. I’ll skip the details, but BackBlaze basically just mirrors your files to their data center. In the event that you lose your data, you can recover it from their copy by downloading a .zip file or having them ship your data to you on DVDs or USBs. There is no remote connecting to a lost device involved (it’s a back up service–it wouldn’t make much sense to try to remotely connect to a failed hard drive, would it?)

    What happened in this case (as far as I can guess from Kevin’s crappy write up) is that the thief stole the mac, recorded a video, the video got backed up automatically along with any other new data on the machine, and then the original owner of the mac downloaded this data from and uploaded the retrieved video to YouTube.

  6. Alexis, kudos on insulting kevin. Thats how we roll here. Merlin, if your husband didnt call you a tool last night, I bet he called you the other one.

  7. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if in a week someone from BackBlaze will claim the video to be another ad hoc viral ad. The guy should take some dance lessons though, set up a channel on YouTube and watch the subscribers grow, I would call it thedancingthief.

  8. okay this guy was smart on a number of levels except one

    you’re not allowed to bring a camera into the Paradise Rock Club and film performers – that’s actually stealing

  9. Merlin, its not important what he called you, it the reason he said it. You know what im talking about. Vixen.

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