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Saving More Than Files With Backblaze

While most people buy an online backup service to backup and restore their files, Backblaze provides a little more — our “Locate my Computer” feature. One customer shared an incredible story about what happened when the police recovered his laptop and in the process discovered $1 million in counterfeit cash. Then there was the story of Bridgette and how she used the “Locate my Computer” feature to not only get her iMac back, but also her stolen Camera. This made Bridgette very happy.

And today we read how Backblaze was part of this story; “How Tracking Down My Stolen Computer Triggered a Drug Bust”. Which begins with the opening line,

“This is a true story. The names have been changed because, well, a guy ended up getting charged with a felony, something he’s probably not thrilled about. Call me cautious.”

I won’t give away the story, it’s a great read, but let me just say that our unnamed hero simply would not give up! We’re glad Backblaze could help. Here’s to our unnamed hero!

The “Locate my Computer” feature is included as part of the Backblaze online backup service starting with version 1.5.3.

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Backblaze joins foursquare, Wikipedia and Apple in moving to OpenStreetMap

If you use the “Locate My Computer” feature of Backblaze online backup, you can get a map of the current location of your lost or stolen computer. Beginning today, that map will be provided by OpenStreetMap (OSM) a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world released through an open content license.

What a great idea: crowd-sourced, open-source maps. The more we looked into this opportunity, the better it looked. When the time to renew our existing Google Maps license arrived, we joined foursquare, Apple and now Wikipedia in supporting the OpenStreetMap movement – a perfect fit for Backblaze.

So while we hope you will never have to use the “Locate My Computer” feature of Backblaze, if you do, the OpenStreetMap community will be there to help locate your system. Take a look…

OpenStreetMap of Backblaze office location

Google Map of Backblaze office location
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Backblaze finds $1 million counterfeit cash

Argentinian mafia
No, I am not kidding.

Just over a month ago we launched Locate My Computer, a free feature of our online backup service, to find your computer if it is lost or stolen. Since then a number of people have recovered their computers.

However, one of our customers (let’s call him “Joe” as he requested anonymity since those who stole his laptop are connected to the mafia) shared an incredible story about what happened when the police recovered his laptop:

When they searched the apartment where my macbook was located they also found one million dollars in counterfeit bills. The story was all over the news here in Buenos Aires. Unfortunately for your company, the police and press kept referring to backblaze as a GPS locator. As many times as I told the police the program I was using, they didn’t totally understand what it was, and thought it was a GPS chip. Anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know the good news, and thanks to backblaze I got my stolen computer back, plus a counterfeiting ring was busted!!

While this story hasn’t been covered in the U.S., Joe shared some of the coverage it received in Argentina. The articles are all in Spanish, but the highlights are:
* $1 million in counterfeit bills
* 2450 sheets containing about 10,000 bills
* Mostly $100 denominations
* 1 person arrested; 6 people detained

The Mac and the counterfeit cash were found at Calle Carlos Calvo 1500, San Cristobal:
Map of counterfeit cash location

Clarin, the largest Argentinian paper, writes “Band of foreigners brought down with fake $1,000,000” (Google Translate version.) Other Argentinian sites including Infobae, Yahoo News, ElArgentino also covered this discovery.

Joe says, “Thanks again for the service. Best $5 a month I’ve spent.

Thanks for sharing the story Joe. The Argentinian police should thank you as well!

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