Always Free To Place a Hit On Someone
One area where the community has been unexpectedly vocal has been the form factor. “In the beginning we thought that tech geeks and hardware enthusiasts don’t care about the design, but to be frank we found the complete opposite. For them to love the product it has to be beautifully designed,” he said.The Eve-Tech team has been building and testing the components and will send out the first prototypes to some of the community’s most active users in early November.In the wake of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 debacle, the high-capacity battery will be under a lot of scrutiny. Eve Tech has been spending a lot of time working with manufacturing partners in China and, Karatsevidis says, “everyone there is really worried about battery quality”.
Although we don’t know what exactly went wrong with the South Korean technology company’s battery, Karatsevidis suggests that the fast-charging system is tricky to work with and requires many months of testing – something Eve-Tech discovered when testing the T1 tablet.“We had one that exploded. It was basically because the battery was mistreated at some point,” he said. “Batteries are really weird the way they behave. If they get damaged in some way destructive processes can start to happen.”Although the Eve V won’t be available to pre-order until the end of November, Eve-Tech is already planning its next product: an external graphics processing unit, or eGPU. This is a stepping stone towards exploring the realms of augmented reality and virtual reality. “Only 3 or 4% of computers support AR and VR, so an eGPU is a way of making some more computers support AR and VR,” said Karatsevidis.In the long term, Eve-Tech has even bigger plans. “The dream would be to develop an electric car with the community or a cyborg robot.”Last Tuesday after work, I headed to a bar in Kings Cross with a couple of colleagues, slung my rucksack on the table next to us, and spent a pleasant hour brainstorming feature ideas. When I got up to leave, the rucksack was gone – complete with my laptop, notebook and a copy of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole that I was only three quarters of the way through.I didn’t see my laptop being taken and I was not confronted or assaulted by the thieves – but it was a shocking intrusion. I felt vulnerable and stupid, and for a few days, it ate away at my sense of control and security. What really got to me were the little things.
I’d just downloaded a bunch of photos of our family Christmas, and there were emails I’d saved from friends and relatives, some of whom are no longer with us. There were sound files of incredible interviews, there was a document full of things I’d learned and studied about autism; things to help me with my son.I now have a new Macbook Air, and thanks to a (slightly out of date) Time Machine back-up, I’ve restored my old desktop rather than starting again from scratch – the familiarity of my recklessly organised files, folders and stickie notes was bizarrely comforting.In the days that followed the theft, I learned a lot of things. I learned that, as soon as you can, you should call a friend and let them know what’s happened. Ask someone to come and be with you. However minor the crime (and my experience was extremely minor – I’m aware of that), it’s still upsetting and confusing.I also found that certain people will delight in telling you what you should have done and all the security measure that they have in place. This is natural and these people think they’re helping – they don’t mean to make things worse, but that’s exactly what they’re doing.With this in mind, if someone you know is a victim of crime, don’t lecture them. Just give your friend a hug and tell them everything will be OK. In the hours after my laptop was stolen, I discovered that this is what I needed most.On a more practical level, here’s what you need to know if it ever happens to you.You won’t believe how quick thieves are. I left my bag on the table close to me and my colleagues, but for a few brief seconds we were all distracted. CCTV footage from the bar shows two men approaching the bag, one guarding it from view and the other ready to grab it. Then they were gone.According to the technology research firm Gartner, a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds; Figures from the Metropolitan Police suggest a vast majority of these are stolen from bars or public transport.
“The reality is that there is a burgeoning market for stolen laptops,” says Raj Samani, European CTO for Intel Security. “The goods go to pawn shops or unsuspecting people purchasing electronics from the internet in the majority of cases. It’s much less common for a thief to be specifically interested in your data.”Preventing the snatch and run approach is your first line of defence. Ensure your laptop is in sight at all times, or use a purpose built laptop lock to secure it to the table or yourself. It’s also possible to buy proximity alarms like hipKey or the Kensington Proximo which emit a loud noise if your bag is moved beyond a certain range.When you know your laptop is missing, call the police using the non-emergency number 101.
They’ll take an initial report and later give you a crime number. The Metropolitan Police also sent me a letter five days after the theft, predictibly advising me that they would not be pursuing the case, but providing me with extra information and contacts. It’s unlikely a stolen gadget will ever be recovered, but you can register it with a service like Immobilise so if it later turns up as part of another police investigation, it may be returned to you.You should also call your insurance company as your laptop may be covered under your buildings and contents policy – although probably not if – like me – you sometimes use it for work. Indeed, I’d phone your insurance company right now and check if your gadgets are covered for street theft, and if there are any caveats to that coverage. It’s a cliche, but when I called my insurer, the conversation seemed laser-targeted on avoiding payout.A few police officers I spoke to said that thieves may well have checked the bag for valuables then dumped the rest in a bin near the pub. I wouldn’t have found my laptop of course, but I could perhaps have retrieved my notebook filled with feature ideas and daft observations.As soon as you can get on to another computer, it’s worth logging out of any online sessions you may have accidentally left running on your stolen device.
You can log out of Google via the Gmail window (click on “Details” in the bottom right-hand corner, then on “sign out of all other web sessions”), then de-authorise your missing laptop. You can also remotely log out of Facebook, but it seems you need to change your password to remotely log out of web-based Twitter sessions.Tracking services like Prey, LoJack and LockItTight all provide a range of features allowing you to trace gadgets and secure or delete data. It’s also possible to discover the IP address of the thief if he or she tries to log in to various sites and services. If you have an up-to-date Apple Macbook, you can switch on the Find My Mac option in the iCloud settings, then track it and delete the hard drive via your iPhone or another browser.Whatever happens, do not try to retrieve the laptop yourself – you are not Batman. Provide the tracking information to the police.If there were personal emails or documents on your machine, you are vulnerable to identity theft.There are two very quick things you can do to protect yourself. The fraud prevention agency CIFAS offers an Identity Protection service for £20 a year. This puts a warning flag against your details on the National Fraud Database, which is used by hundreds of banks and other financial institutions when checking credit applications.It may also be worth signing up for regular reports from one of the three main credit reference agencies: Experian, Equifax and CallCredit. Costing about £15 a month, these will let you know about recent applications for credit in your name, as well as any changes to your credit rating.
Monitoring this information along with your bank statements will allow you to spot suspicious activity.You should set up your laptop so that you have to enter a password every time you boot up, or whenever you come back to it after it has switched to the screensaver. Skilled computer users may be able to bypass this feature, but it will protect your data from common thieves.It’s not just about picking difficult-to-guess passwords filled with capital letters, numbers and symbols (although that is a very good idea – and you can run potential passwords through Microsoft’s strength checker). You should also enable two-step authentication on any site that holds personal data including Facebook, Twitter and Google.If you can’t remember the wealth of passwords you’ve created, don’t stick them in a text file on your desktop. Instead, you could store a list on a cloud service like iCloud or Dropbox (if you trust them), or better still, try a password manager which allow you to log in with one universal password. Services like LastPass and 1Password store your passes in an online vault, while KeePass stores them on your machine. Both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses. Dashlane, meanwhile, allows users to store passwords and personal data on their computer, but also allows premium customers to have an encrypted version stored on the company’s servers for backup and syncing.Alternatively, many new applications offer biometric authentication. “This is a strong tactic for protecting your data, as it will eliminate the need for you to remember multiple passwords,” says Samani.
“Our own product, True Key, uses things like facial features, or a fingerprint to log you in.”Futhermore, although it’s convenient to allow your computer or browser to remember all your passwords and log you in to sites automatically, it’s probably not a good idea on a laptop that is often on the road with you. All browsers allow you to prevent the storage of passwords: you just need to go into the preferences folder and look for the security settings. Google has a handy link to all this information for Chrome, Firefox and Windows Explorer. And whenever your browser helpfully asks if it should remember a password, just say no. It’s all about the risks you’re willing to accept.On a new PC running Enterprise or Ultimate versions of Windows 7 or 8 you can use Microsoft’s own Bitlocker solution, but there are alternatives available, including McAfee LiveSafe. On Mac, Apple’s FileVault application can be switched on to similar effect. These solutions will protect your data even if the thief removes your hard drive from your laptop and access it directly.One thing I’ve learned since losing my laptop is to limit what I keep on it. If you can strip your hard drive back to the bare essentials, storing most of your vital documents and files elsewhere, the potential woes of its loss are reduced. Have a look at everything on your machine and ask, “does this top-secret government file have to go with me everywhere?
” If not, leave it on your home computer, or store it on a small encrypted drive or USB memory stick (just don’t keep this in the same bag as your laptop).Oh and back up regularly. Every week. Every day if you can be bothered. I didn’t back up for three months so I lost hours of work and dozens of half-finished articles. It’s easy to put it off, so make it habitual. Every time you boot up your laptop at home or the office, plug in an external drive and back up. Back up a lot.Many thanks to security, technology and gaming consultant Josey Howarth who advised on this feature and makes YouTube videos on laptop and gaming security. She tweets from @joseyhowarth.If you have been a victim of crime, you can get in touch with Victim Support, an independent charity that helps anyone affected by crime in England and Wales. They’re contactable via their website or the support line: 08 08 16 89 111The Surface 3 is Microsoft’s third stab at making a lower-cost tablet-laptop hybrid, but is this vision of the future of computing good enough to tempt laptop users?The cheaper, smaller brother of the solid Surface Pro 3, the Surface 3 is aimed at less power-demanding users, but this time it runs full Windows 8.1 and is ready for Windows 10.