Rescue a Stolen Laptop with Laptop Cop

Last Updated Dec 4, 2008 12:00 PM EST

You've heard the stats: a million-gerbillion laptops get stolen every year, costing businesses a small fortune in lost hardware and productivity. Enter Laptop Cop, a laptop-retrieval service that just added a new feature: real-time geolocation.

In a nutshell, Laptop Cop is "stealth" software that gets activated only when a laptop gets lost or stolen. Once that happens, you can remotely locate (and even access) the missing system. (The company also gets the cops involved when necessary.)

A single one-year Laptop Cop license sells for $49.95, with price breaks available for multiple licenses and years -- not at all a bad deal if you're worried about protecting your investment (and your data). Personally, I just like the idea of my laptop "phoning home" when it gets pinched. That way, when the cops bust down the thief's door, they can say, "That's right, sucka, stolen laptop went all E.T. on yo' ass." (Cops talk like that, right?) [via Gizmodo]

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.