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Monday, May 23, 2011

Techno Granny Show, Lojack for Computers 5-9-2011

Hosted by: technogranny
Title: Techno Granny Show, Lojack for Computers
Time: 05/09/2011 10:00 AM EDT
Episode Notes: Gone are the days when your laptop disappeared with all of your info and you were just done for other than maybe claiming it on your homeowners insurance. LoJack for Laptops is a software-based theft recovery service. It tracks, locates, and recovers stolen computers while providing you with the ability to know where you laptop is at all times.
Listen to archived show at:

About Kelly Curnow
Kelly Curnow is a marketing manager for Absolute Software.  In this role she is responsible for the strategy and execution of all customer retention efforts for Absolute’s consumer brand, LoJack for Laptops.  Previous to this role, Kelly worked at Dell, General Electric and Ernst & Young.  She has an undergraduate degree from Indiana University and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

About Absolute Software
Absolute Software Corporation (TSX: ABT) is the leader in tracking, managing and protecting computers and mobile devices. The Company's Computrace, Absolute Manage, and LoJack® for Laptops solutions provide theft recovery, data protection and computer lifecycle management capabilities to organizations and consumers. The Company's software agent is embedded in the firmware of computers by global leaders, including Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, General Dynamics Itronix, HP, Lenovo, Motion, Panasonic and Toshiba, and the Company has reselling partnerships with these OEMs and others, including Apple. For more information about Absolute Software, visit and

Below are some of the talking points to help you prepare for the interview on Monday with Kelly Curnow, Manager, Consumer Marketing, for Absolute Software. 
·  Absolute Software specializes in persistent software and services that provide an easy way to manage and secure computers.
·  LoJack for Laptops by Absolute Software allows consumers to locate, track, delete and recover stolen laptops.
·  LoJack for Laptops is backed by Absolute's Theft Recovery Team, who maintains relationships with law enforcement agencies to recover the stolen laptop.
·  Absolute Software offers standard and premium editions of LoJack for Laptops. Each are offered in one year and three year subscriptions. A one-year standard edition of LoJack for Laptops starts at $39.99. 
·         Meanwhile, I did spend some time playing with LoJack for Laptops. The folks at Absolute Software delivered a disk to my office and, after a few glitches having to do with my outdated laptop software, I successfully installed it, made the appropriate calls to an 800-number in Vancouver, British Columbia. And lo and behold, they told me just where my laptop was located.
·         It worked perfectly. Inevitably, there's more to the story than that, of course. Basically, the idea is that you walk into CompUSA, where it went on sale Monday, plunk down $49.95 (or $99 for three years of protection), and you go home with the program on a compact disc. (There are absolute hopes to add more retailers later this year.) Load it onto your laptop, and it dials into a computer in Vancouver, it logs you on, registers your computer's serial number and who you are along with a password. Then, you sit back and wait for it to be stolen.
·         If that happens, that's when the "recovery team" kicks into action. Those are the go-to people. If your computer does walk out of your office, hotel room or the trunk of your car, you simply call the 800-number, or go to another computer, and report it stolen. Within seconds, your computer goes on Absolute Software's "most wanted" list.
·         It works like a charm, as soon as the bandits use your stolen laptop to go online. By the way, all the time your computer's been sitting in your office or den, it has been regularly checking in with its master in Vancouver. If the computer gets into the wrong hands and is reported stolen, Absolute's recovery team will see that status pop up on their screen.
·         Within seconds, Absolute can use one of three ways to determine where the wayward computer has gone. If it's a dial-up modem, it can tell what phone number the computer is using to get online, and trace the address. If it's broadband, it can track the IP address and then, with cooperation from the Internet Service Provider, locate the street address where the IP is installed. And then there's a third way that even John Livingston, Absolute's chairman and CEO won't tell us about.
·         Once the computer's been located, the recovery team--all ex-cops, by the way, most of them from the Vancouver police--call local law enforcement and tell them where they can find the purloined device.
·         "At the beginning, we wondered whether law enforcement would really care about laptops," Livingston confessed. "But they were very supportive. Property theft is a situation where they don't get a lot of success. But this is stolen property with a built-in electronic tip where it's located. They also realized that, in 5% of the cases, the location they go to other criminal activity is taking place."
·         Last month, for instance, a distress call came from a laptop in McKinney, Texas. The local police stumbled onto a big chop-shop location with drugs and weapons. They also got the stolen computer back.
·         This is also one tough little piece of software. LoJack for Laptops--Absolute licensed the Lojack name from the car theft recovery company--can survive the entire stripping and reformatting of the hard disk. And, to make it even more invulnerable, most of the big laptop makers--IBM/Lenovo (nyse: IBM - news - people ), Dell (nasdaq: DELL - news- people ), Hewlett-Packard (nyse: HPQ - news - people ) andGateway (nyse: GTW - news - people )--have just begun embedding a recovery chip on their system boards, so that even if the thief replaces the hard drive, the computer will still be able to make that SOS call.
·         Sounds a little like Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator. You can almost hear the computer growling, "I'll be baaaack."
·         Which is where a few little concerns come in.
Kelly Curnow
Marketing manager for Absolute Software, Lojack for Laptops
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