Prey Project: Increase your chances of recovering your stolen laptop

prey-vertical-smallLast night, I gave a ride to two volleyball teammates while returning from our match (we lost 1-3, grrr). J told me that his laptop had recently been stolen. I hate hearing these kinds of stories, because it’s too late, but there is something helpful to say for the replacement computer…

Prey Project is something I’ve written about before but it bears repeating and spreading the word.

It’s a free service that helps you gather information *after* your computer has been stolen. As soon as you think it’s gone, you log into your account on their website and mark it as stolen. When next the computer is used, the software will take pictures of the user with the webcam, will geo-locate the computer, will collect the names of nearby wireless networks, will log any documents or websites that are accessed and send you the information.

With this you can go to the police or the insurance company, and at least they have some information to go on.

If you have a laptop (also works for desktops!), then do yourself a favor and install this. It’s worth the time.


iTunes Music on iPhone


My iPhone is the 16 GB model. My iTunes library is over 100 GB. Clearly, I have to pick and choose what music is on my iPhone at any given time. During the season, I sync’d all my Christmas music to the phone. And I go through phases of listening to new music by new artists and listening to old favorites (recently, Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours”, The Eagles, Cock Robin, or some comedy).

But, I recently noticed that when I looked at my iPhone’s music library, I didn’t just see a selection of my library, I saw the entire library. But, since I knew it couldn’t all be there, I knew there must be something else to it, namely that little picture of a cloud to the right with a downward-pointing arrow: “Download from the Cloud”


This is actually pretty cool. If you are ever on the go and decide that you suddenly have to listen to Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue,” well, you can find it in your list of songs, download it and listen to it. Yay!

But, if I just want to open the Music app and play a random shuffle of what’s available, it’s harder (well, without Siri it is….), because I have to first find something that’s already been downloaded, play it and then make sure shuffle is on.

Today, I found out there is a way to hide the items that are not actually on the device, and it’s really easy.

Settings > Music > Show All Music > Off (the last button in the image)

That’s it. Now, when you look at your music, you’ll only see what’s on the device.