Category Archives: GPS

Use Free Prey To Track Your Lost Or Stolen Laptop Or Cell Phone

imageRecent statistics indicate that more than 10,000 Laptops are lost, or stolen, each week at U.S. airports alone. Broken down, this same set of statistics indicate that a Laptop is stolen, not lost but stolen, every 53 seconds!

If you are a Laptop owner, you should consider what can you do now, to increase the probability that should your Laptop be lost or stolen, you can increase the chances that it will be returned to you.

One solution is offered by Prey, an Open Source application, that can enhance recovery chances. Stolen Laptop recovery is always a hit and miss proposition, but without an application such as Prey on board, the chances of recovery, at least statistically, are virtually nil.

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What is Prey?

Prey is a small applet for your Laptop or Android Cell Phone, which, when activated by a remote signal, either from the Internet, or through an SMS message, will provide you with the device’s location, hardware and network status, and optionally – trigger specific actions on the device.

According to the developer – “Prey helps you track and find your Laptop or Phone if it ever gets out of sight. You can quickly find out what the thief looks like, what he’s doing on your device and actually where he’s hiding by using GPS or WiFi geopositioning. It’s payback time.”

There have been substantial changes and improvements to Prey, since I last reviewed it here on January 28, 2010.

Installation is very simple, as the following screen captures indicate. BTW, Prey can protect your desktop/s, as well.

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Fast facts:

100% geolocation aware – Prey uses either the device’s GPS or the nearest WiFi hotspots to triangulate and grab a fix on its location. It’s shockingly accurate.

Wifi autoconnect – If enabled, Prey will attempt to hook onto to the nearest open WiFi hotspot when no Internet connection is found.

Light as a feather – Prey has very few dependencies and doesn’t even leave a memory footprint until activated. We care as much as you do.

Know your enemy – Take a picture of the thief with your laptop’s webcam so you know what he looks like and where he’s hiding. Powerful evidence.

Watch their movements – Grab a screenshot of the active session — if you’re lucky you may catch the guy logged into his email or Facebook account!

Keep your data safe – Hide your Outlook or Thunderbird data and optionally remove your stored passwords, so no one will be able to look into your stuff.

No unauthorized access – Fully lock down your PC, making it unusable unless a specific password is entered. The guy won’t be able to do a thing!

Scan your hardware – Get a complete list of your PC’s CPU, motherboard, RAM, and BIOS information. Works great when used with Active Mode.

Prey can check its current version and automagically fetch and update itself, so you don’t need to manually reinstall each time.

You monitor your devices on Prey’s web Control Panel, where you can watch new reports arrive and manage specific settings, such as changing the frequency for reports and actions.

You can add up to three devices for free, and can optionally upgrade to a Pro Account in case you wish to bypass this limit.

Full auto updater.

System requirements: XP, Vista, Win 7, Mac OS, Ubuntu Linux, Linux – all other distributions, (64 bit where appropriate), Android.

There is no guarantee that even with Prey on board that a stolen, or lost device, will be recovered – but, it seems sensible to make every effort to increase that likelihood.

Download at: The Prey Project

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Android, cell phone, Cloud Computing Applications, Connected Devices, downloads, Free Surveillance Applications, Freeware, GPS, Interconnectivity, Laptop recovery, Linux, Mac OS X, Open Source, Software, Ubuntu, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

RunKeeper Pro is FREE Until January 31, 2011 – Save $10

RunKeeper Pro, a hugely popular smartphone fitness application which employs GPS to keep track of –

  • how far you ran
  • how fast you travelled
  • your running route – overlaid on a map
  • and much more

is now free, through the end of January, 2011.

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Features (from the site):

Activity Tracking – No need for an expensive, standalone fitness tracking device when you can use your iPhone 3G or 3GS to do the same thing. Now you can track how far you went, how long it took you, and the route you traveled right from your iPhone

Personal Dashboard – Store all historical activities on runkeeper.com, where you can keep track of totals and monitor your progress

Maps integration – See the exact path you traveled on a map, both on the device and on our website

Activity Sharing – Share your activities with friends via email, or by posting them to your favorite social sites, including Facebook and Twitter

Music – You can listen to the iPod during your activity, and even change tracks without leaving the RunKeeper application

iPod Integration – Choose one of your iPod playlists to start automatically the moment you begin your activity

Audio Cues – Get time or distance-based updates through your headphones during your activity

Interval Workouts – Create a workout built from intervals of time and/or distance, and let the audio cues coach you every step of the way

Target Pace – Enter a target pace at the start of your activity and get coached on whether you are ahead/behind that pace through your headphones

Geo-tagged Photos – Take photos without having to stop your activity. Photos are geo-tagged so when you view them on RunKeeper.com, they appear on the map right where you took them

Splits – You can see your split times in the app as you do your activities

Manual Activity Input – You can enter activities manually, including runs done on a treadmill or without your iPhone

Requirements: Smartphone – iPhone or Android.

Download at: RunKeeper

Having once been a running enthusiast (now, walking is much more my speed), I certainly recall the rather crude devices we once used to calculate running distances, calories burned, and so on. Back then, this application would have sounded like science fiction.

If running is your thing (and you’re a smartphone user), this application should help keep you on track.

I’ll get back on my soapbox (just for a moment), and recognize RunKeeper as one more mature software developer who’s focusing on the big picture – creating an opportunity for significant numbers of users to benefit from an application giveaway. Not 5 or 10 free licenses, as companies who are stuck in a Twentieth Century marketing mode, continue to do.

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Filed under cell phone, Cell Phone Apps, Connected Devices, downloads, Free Full Versions, Freeware, Giveaways, GPS, iPhone, Software, Software Giveaways