Recover Your Stolen Notebook with Prey

Prey is a free and easy to use application that will help you track and find your laptop if it ever gets stolen. Prey works in all operating systems and not only is it Open Source but also completely free.

Recover what is rightfully yours
Prey helps you locate your missing laptop by sending timed reports with a bunch of information of its whereabouts. This includes the general status of the computer, a list of running programs and active connections, fully-detailed network and wifi information, a screenshot of the running desktop and — in case your laptop has an integrated webcam — a picture of the thief.

Silent but deadly
Prey uses a remote activation system which means the program sits silently in your computer until you actually want it to run. If so, it gathers all the information and sends it to your Prey web control panel or directly to your mailbox. The thief will never know his movements are being watched.

And because there’s always hope
You may be thinking “but what’s the point of this program if the guy will probably just format the thing right away?” and you’re completely right. However, experience shows that thieves tend to look in stolen computers for valuable information, so there’s actually a chance you can catch the guy (and there’s even some succesful cases!).

Besides, if by using Prey you can keep alive a tiny bit of hope that you’ll recover your computer, isn’t it already worth it?

Features:

Wifi autoconnect:
· Prey checks if there’s an active internet connection to send the information. If not, it will attempt to connect to the nearest open wifi access point available. This gives you a better chance to locate the device.

Geo-location aware:
· Prey uses wifi hotspots to locate devices geographically. This not only includes lat/lng coordinates, but also an altitude indicator — yes, that means you can also know (aprox.) in which floor the computer is.

Lightweight:
· Yes, this is a feature. Prey is written in bash which means it has virtually no dependencies, only what it different modules need to work. This also means Prey is portable and should run in just about any computer.

Modular arquitecture:
· You can add, remove and configure the different parts of Prey as you wish. Prey is composed by modules, each one performing a specific task, so you can have it as you like.

Powerful report system:
· Get the list of current running programs, the recently modified files, active connections, running uptime, take a screenshot of the running desktop or even a picture of the guy who’s using the computer.

Messaging/alert system:
· You can alert the user he’s being chased at by sending messages which’ll appear on screen. You can also trigger alarms to make the message clear not only to him but also to whomever is nearby. Be careful with this one!

Module auto-installer:
· You don’t have to reinstall Prey to keep up with the latest and greatest modules. We keep a repository from where Prey will fetch what it needs to get the job done.

Download Prey Here

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Free College Textbooks

The cost of college textbooks can be surprising and frustrating to a student already burdened with high tuition costs and assorted college fees. The source for most college textbooks is the college bookstore, where students often find high-priced new textbooks and moderately-priced used books. There are still a few ways that college textbooks are available free of charge.

Library: Nearly every college keeps copies of the most popular textbooks in the library. The downsides: Most libraries don’t have enough copies to meet the demand for free textbooks. They usually won’t let students check out the books; if they do, there can be a waiting list for the most popular texts.

Professors’ copies: Some professors keep an extra textbook in their offices. It doesn’t hurt to ask professors if they’ve got an extra they can lend. The downside: No one likes being hounded by dozens of students looking for free books, so be polite to your prof.

Online: Any student assigned a book that is no longer copyrighted—typically classic literature, history, etc.—should be able to find the text free online at one of the many growing Web libraries such as Project Gutenberg, Bartleby, or Googlebooks. Many of these Web sites let readers download the texts to a laptop, iPhone, or similar device.

Several open educational resources groups such as Connexions and the Open Educational Resources Consortium, which are made up of college officials and professors, are starting to post free textbooks and lessons online. Flatworld Knowledge, a start-up, has posted 11 business-oriented textbooks, which are being used in more than 300 colleges, free on its Web page in the hopes of persuading students to pay $29.95 for paper versions or $39.95 for audio versions.

The downsides: Although many high-quality, free E-textbooks are in the pipeline, only a handful of the free E-books currently available are top-notch. In addition, many E-books can be read online only, so you can’t download them to your laptop. Many E-books don’t allow students to make notations in the text. Also, some surveys show many students find paper books easier to study than the current generation of E-textbooks. And students who buy Kindles or other expensive E-book readers often end up spending more than those who buy paper books. The top Kindle currently retails for $489, which could easily eat up at least a year’s savings from shifting to E-books. “We don’t think that a textbook E-reader will solve any problems unless we can ensure that content can be delivered to students in a fair and affordable manner,” says Nicole Allen, textbook advocate for the Student Public Interest Research Groups.

Freecycling and Web-swapping: Several Web sites have sprung up to help students find free textbooks. Textbook Revolt, a Web site started by two former University of Cincinnati students, has thousands of students offering to swap textbooks free. Bookins.com is a popular book-swapping site. Swaptree allows people to swap books, CDs, or movies for textbooks. The downsides: Most of these sites are still comparatively small, so few in-demand textbooks are on offer. And all Internet transactions are fraught with the potential of misrepresentation or fraud.

Other Interesting Sites:

http://www.freeloadpress.com

http://www.textbookrevolution.org/