$1,000 reward offered for stolen cancer research laptop
Thieves make off with boffin's work on prostate cancer
Medical researchers in Oklahoma are offering a no-questions-asked $1,000 reward for the return of a stolen laptop that contains years of research on prostate cancer.
Sook Shin lost the 13-inch white MacBook last Sunday after thieves smashed the window of the car she shares with husband, Ralf Jankecht, and made off with the laptop. Data on the machine was not backed up.
The couple have posted reward posters in local pawn shops in Oklahoma City in the hopes of retrieving the research, most of which will be lost forever if the computer is not recovered. "I'm devastated and I feel so guilty," Shin told News 9. ®
There are two types of people...
Those that make backups.
And those that have never lost irreplaceable data.
I mean, really! What kind of numpty leaves their only copy of important data on a highly nickable computer, without making any backups?
Really? Years of important research not backed up one jot? You absolute clown.
The IT manager of this institution should be brought to task as well - IT management isn't just about ensuring the hardware works.
And the third kind...
...is wondering how we got here. This is not a numpty, but a highly intelligent person. Nevertheless, she hasn't protected herself from theft, disk crashes, software errors, or even the simple "Oops, didn't mean to press delete." What are we doing wrong?
Talked this over with a colleague, who mentioned losing a paper to a failed floppy disk in her freshman year. Similarly, when I was student, floppy disks and NFS mounts were very much hit-and-miss propositions, so you learned to save early, save often and save in multiple places as a student.
Modern equipment is much more reliable in that regard --which is great--, but apparently nobody has thought about the resulting need to teach students data management in some other way.
Upshot is, I'm not sure to what extent you can blame her. If you had never seen a car crash and seat belts were things you had to re-install in the car every morning, would you use them?
she's not, conversely, a flower arranger; she's a scientist and the computer is a tool of her trade. Now, I don't want to be too hard on her individually - It's easy enough to treat backups as "not a priority" - but I seriously wonder at the institutional culture that allows this sort of thing to happen.
Are they not just covering up for the fact they have done no work for years.
This sounds as flimsy an excuse as "the dog ate it"
Anyone dumb enough to not backup data THAT important I wouldn't trust to sweep a floor let alone look for a cure to cancer.