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Undercover Adds Wi-Fi Location to Laptop Recovery

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Orbicule, makers of the computer-recovery package Undercover, will capture Wi-Fi information to offer a rough location for help in retrieving a stolen computer. Version 3 will be released on 20-Jan-09, and was demonstrated at Macworld Expo. It's a free upgrade for current users; new copies cost $49 (individual), $59 (up to five in a family), or $39 (student).

Orbicule is working with Skyhook Wireless, a firm that captures Wi-Fi signal information and triangulates locations based on an enormous and constantly updated database. (See "Loki Here," 2007-06-18, for details on how Skyhook collects data and produces results.)

Undercover operates in the background, and is triggered by a user entering a special code on Orbicule's Web site. The next time the background Undercover app on the missing Mac checks in with Orbicule's servers, it switches into recovery mode where it captures images via an iSight camera (if available) and logs network data, transferring this information to Orbicule. Orbicule then works with your local law enforcement to provide recovery data.

Orbicule becomes the second computer-recovery software firm to work with Skyhook Wireless; GadgetTrak's MacTrak ($59.95, one-time fee) added this capability two months ago (see "Laptop Recovery Software Uses Wi-Fi and Flickr," 2008-11-13).


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