November 12, 2008

"I was like, 'Dude, no -- please, no!' I have all my case notes…that's four months of work!"

Do not try to steal a law student's laptop.
"I basically grabbed him and threw him this way, and he held onto the bat so it threw him to the ground,"[said Arizona State University student Alex Botsios]....

Janet Botsios, Botsios' mother, said she took the first flight from Texas as soon as she heard what happened.

"I'm like putting my face in my hands, and I just couldn't believe it," she said. "I was like, 'Oh my God.' I'm so glad he watched all those police shows his whole life … He knew how to take care of himself … I'm very, very, very proud of him."
So that's what it takes to defend yourself: motivation and knowledge.

That is: law school and television.

44 comments:

rhhardin said...

Write a CD backup of the important files now and then. It's not a question of if your HD will fail, but only when.

Nichevo said...

Maybe when this kid gets knifed next time he'll have learned to make backups. Not that I disapprove of resisting crime.

Let's socialize law. Pay every shyster a flat $50K and if they don't like it they can (sue - haha) become plumbers. Then the stakes won't be so high.

Nichevo said...

Don't even bother with CDs. Buy an external hard drive and script nightly backups. Ever year or two copy that over to a new drive.

That's if your data is worth anything, of course. My father's FW external just crapped out; it came back but that is the kind of second chance you can't count on. Think he'll buy that new drive and switch over? We'll see.

Richard Fagin said...

Yikes! I know how that student felt though. I don't even leave my laptop in the car when I go into a restaurant for lunch. If someone walks off with it, it's six years of work gone.

Thanks for posting that. I needed a wakeup call. Carbonite.com is getting purchased today!

MadisonMan said...

Thumb drives. Cheap. Easy.

MadisonMan said...

Which begs the question: if everything were backed up, would he have resisted?

Simon said...

Young people's language is very comparative, isn't it? Everything is "like" something. "He was just like, 'I'm going to smash your head in,'" and "I was like, 'Dude, no -- please, no!'"

jdeeripper said...

Anybody who still uses the term "dude" in any context other than "dude ranch" deserves to be robbed. And beaten. Maybe not killed but robbed and beaten. Badly.

Romney/anybody but Jindal 2012.

chuck b. said...

If this law student ever listened to Rush Limbaugh or Dr. Laura, especially Dr. Laura, he would know about the importance of backing up one's files.

Jimmy said...

I'll have to start watching cop shows for self-defense tips, too!

Maybe Law and Order will teach me to fight like Chuck Norris!

laura said...

If this law student ever listened to Rush Limbaugh or Dr. Laura, especially Dr. Laura, he would know about the importance of backing up one's files.

It's not who they're listening to, it's that he's a student.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Did anybody else find it odd that Mom hopped on a plane right away and flew to her college age son because he was almost robbed?

Nichevo said...

And MadMan, let me say this 'bout that:

Deduplication, to dedupe, is a fair-sized IT trend now. As is losing or leaving flash drives. Flinging your files around on thumb drives and cards is all very well, very specious; but that doesn't give you the reliability of a dedicated backup solution.

People won't pay for it until they get hit with data loss. It can be hard to screw the necessary funding from IT execs who haven't lost their cherry.

In an enterprise, you are supposed to use a given data directory for all your work files; then sync to the network at the office or by VPN. People at home are best IMO with a consumer NAS or at least external HDD. Netbooks hold 160GB now, who are we kidding?

A remote backup is nice too, I would be interested to know satisfaction with Carbonite et al - cheaper than that HDD, I think.

dick said...

I had a friend who was an office manager. I drummed into him day and night to back stuff up just in case. He did not listen.

One time he had to type a document that was well over 100 single spaced pages. He had entered over 90 pages and then stopped for the day. That night his computer took a hit and lost all the data. He had to start over from scratch.

He backs up twice a day now and listens to me religiously.

Synova said...

Did anybody else find it odd that Mom hopped on a plane right away and flew to her college age son because he was almost robbed?

Yes.

I'd be on the phone.

As for what it takes to defend yourself, training and motivation is exactly right. I *really* doubt that watching cop shows on television is the same as training, though.

I don't recall what I was watching last time but it was the old "nothing is worth your life" cop-show message. And while that might be true, there is no reason to expect that someone bold enough to confront you isn't also more than willing to hurt you *anyway*.

Pogo said...

So is the law student going to jail for assault?

No?

Oh, right. This isn't England just yet. In my own little town, the city attorney warned us in a recent neighborhood meeting to discuss the rash of gun violence, and attended by hundreds, that defending yourself at home with a gun or any other weapon from a thief or break-in would land you in jail.

So the neutering of Americans runs apace.

And I stand aghast that someone can read this story and come away thinking mainly gotta back up that hard drive Jesus on roller skates. What eunich nerds we've become.

Criminals today kill you even if you don't resist. Plus, the robber doesn't just steal a laptop, he injures your dignity, destroys your sense of safety, and degrades the community. Those things are worth fighting for.

The new Clint Eastwood movie sure comes at an opportune time.

Nigel Kearney said...

Others have already said it, but what it took him to defend himself was actually motivation, knowledge and a failure to backup his data.

Its a pity if the one lesson he learned from the incident was not to leave the windows open.

Methadras said...

I read the headline of the blog entry and the first thing that entered my head was Carbonite.com. Advertising is just so damn insidious.

Methadras said...

Pogo said...

And I stand aghast that someone can read this story and come away thinking mainly gotta back up that hard drive Jesus on roller skates. What eunich nerds we've become.


Pogo. What do you expect from 30+ years of pacifistic indoctrination in our schools? And now those children grow up to become adults without a will or a spine to fight back against those that would prey on them. Only to capitulate and still get seriously hurt or killed in the process.

That city attorney you talked about should have been run out on a rail for even suggesting the idea. If he was elected, then I would recommend a recall process for directly putting you and your fellow citizens in danger with his 'legal' advice. Fuck him and fuck people who think like him.

BJM said...

Webroot AV suite has an online backup utility included in the yearly AV subscription fee.

Mark O said...

For self defense, I prefer the Sopranos. Although, "Have Gun Will Travel," had its merit.

It's not a good idea to die to save a lap top, but these are decisions to be made when one leaves the house. I had a friend who wore a solid gold Rolex to trade with a mugger for his life. I also have a fiend who carries a .38. More and more these are not abstract questions.

In my view, I would prefer to give the lap top to the idiot rather than shoot him. But I want the luxury of that decision.

You?

Pogo said...

I would prefer to give the lap top to the idiot and then shoot him.

Nichevo said...

Please, I didn't see fit to harp on the virtues of self-defense, but in fact data backup is more relevant to most people's lives, almost certainly most of our lives because we're mostly upper/middle-class, non-troops/cops/fire/EMS/coal miners/Alaskan fishermen/mothers of five/motorcycle gangsters, etc., types here.

Yes, I think that one ought to be armed for self-defense and be prepared to fight if so accosted. A man who will rob you is a danger to himself and others. That said, some things are perhaps not even worth a gutter-rat's life. That does not include nonreplicated critical data, which is why the Zen Warrior owes it to himself to be backed up.

I haven't even mentioned drive encryption... ;>

Pogo said...

"That said, some things are perhaps not even worth a gutter-rat's life."

And after paying the laptop Danegeld, what will be next asked of you, and what are you willing to give up? Where is your line?

Nichevo said...

Pogo, you got the wrong guy. Obviously there is a line, somewhere. Maybe for some people it is a dirty person asking for five bucks. For others it may not click for them until somebody cocks the hammer.

There are always scenarios and scenarios. Say you are escorting a HVT (like your gf or mom or grandmom) someplace, and all of a sudden her purse is ripped off her shoulder, and some shortie in a blue hoodie is making a blue streak down the sidewalk with it.

Should you abandon Grandmama, who may need assistance, and engage the fleeing perpetrator through the crowds? Maybe just a warning shot, eh? No?

See, a pistol isn't an "Easy" button. It's just a tool. It can't think for you, it can't aim itself, it can't fire itself. Push back the slide a quarter of an inch and it's out of battery.

The way I interpret the current laws is: You may only shoot if you are frightened. You may shoot only until you are no longer frightened.

Nichevo said...

Then again if she said "Go get 'em!" it would be another story.

Pogo said...

"Then again if she said "Go get 'em!" it would be another story."

I very much like your grandmama, and apologize for misunderstanding you.

Since the Chicago and Somali immigration to our town in the last 8 years, we've reached one or two shootings a a week in a town of 80K. For the first time, my wife is agreeing notto a gun, but to a Tazer.

Shit. I hate being part of the decline and fall.

Joan said...

Kid (I don't care how old he actually is, he's still a child in all the ways that count) was an idiot, but I'm still glad he beat the intruder up. He was lucky that the intruder only had a baseball bat. In AZ, you're not (yet) likely to see people prosecuted for beating up someone who has broken into his house.

I have Carbonite on my laptop. I haven't needed it yet, but I was profoundly grateful that I had it this summer when I accidentally left my laptop in my checked luggage when I was flying home from NY. I had a lot of bags and put the laptop into one of the suitcases just to make carrying everything easier, and then forgot about it until it was too late. I was sure the laptop would be either stolen or broken, but it came through just fine. I was so annoyed with myself the entire trip home, and so relieved when the luggage finally came down and the laptop was there and OK. My only consolation during that long trip was that I had Carbonite so I wouldn't have lost any data, photos, or video. Anyone who has a laptop should get Carbonite or a similar service. It's cheap and you don't even have to think about it, once it's installed.

Methadras said...

Nichevo said...

I haven't even mentioned drive encryption... ;>


TrueCrypt. Excellent and free encryption.

Revenant said...

Everything is "like" something. "He was just like, 'I'm going to smash your head in,'

The construction "He was like, 'X'." means "He said something like, 'X'" -- i.e., "X" is not an exact quote, but captures the gist of what was being said.

So the use of relative or comparative terminology is appropriate, because we're dealing in approximations.

Freeman Hunt said...

Did anybody else find it odd that Mom hopped on a plane right away and flew to her college age son because he was almost robbed?

At first, yes. Then I thought, "I would so be that mom." I doubt the son needed it. I think it was more for the mom's own sake.

Freeman Hunt said...

As for resisting crime, if you have a good chance of winning, always resist. Don't let the barbarians have their way.

LoafingOaf said...

Did anybody else find it odd that Mom hopped on a plane right away and flew to her college age son because he was almost robbed?

Why's it odd for a mother to love her son?

LoafingOaf said...

"I have all my case notes…that's four months of work!"

He'd be able to do fine on his exams without 99% of the stuff on his laptop, but he's a 1L so he doesn't know that yet. They get 'em real freaked out in that first semester. I wouldn't be surprised if someone who had his laptop stolen as the first semester exams approached ended up doing better than he would have otherwise -- by forcing him to focus his studying on memorizing the stuff that will actually come up on the exams and not overstudying stuff that will not.

blake said...

Well it stumble and it falls
off of almost every tongue
Give a listen and you will hear
It's lurking like a land mine
In almost every sentence
Is an assault to my mind's ear

Yeah it might started back
with Jack Kerouac
Probably more than likely
it was Maynard G. Krebs
It's a four-letter word
that used to mean "as if"
And the meaning's covered in cobwebs
Cobwebs

Used to be a preposition
Then it was a conjunction
Now it's used as an audible pause
Oh I hate it when I hear it
Especially when I say it
Gotta stamp it out
There oughtta be some laws

College boys, valley girls
Mall rats, grandmommys
Everybody's misusing that word
I heard four times in one poor little sentence
It was the saddest sound
I ever have heard

Cobwebs Cobwebs Cobwebs

I suppose you could blame it on my generation
Chickens from the sixties finally comin' in to roost
I been sayin' it myself for over 30 years now
Just to give my cool quota just a
little bitty kind of a boost

But when I hear it
I can't stand it
'Specially comin' out of the mouth
of one of my own kids
It's been taught and God
What have we wrought?
give a listen, hear what we did

I prefer "ah" or "er"
You can rest assured
If you're sayin' what you mean
Then it don't mean a thing
It's just an ugly little four-letter word
Doesn't anybody care
Or am I the only one
Am I just stuck back in some kind of a past
Maybe it's harmless
But it feels like a virus
It sounds like it's cachin' on fast

Cobwebs
Cobwebs

Well it stumble and it falls
off of almost every tongue
Give a listen and you will hear
It's lurkin' like a land mine
In almost every sentence
It's an assualt to my mind's ear

Yeah it might started back
with Jack Kerouac
Probably more than likely
it was Maynard G. Krebs
It's a four-letter word
that used to mean "as if"
And the meaning's covered in

Cobwebs
Cobwebs
Doesn't mean a thing
Cobwebs
Little bitty boost
Jack Kerouac
Cobwebs
Maynard G. Krebs
Cobwebs

Kirk Parker said...

Pogo,

I don't know where you live, but sure as heck it isn't in America.

blake said...

No, Pogo lives in Amerikkka.

Pogo said...

"Pogo, I don't know where you live, but sure as heck it isn't in America."

Interesting. I wonder why you say that? No crime where you live? No gangs? No spray-painted symbols marking turf? No drive-by shootings? No break-ins while people are at home? No meth houses or prostitution next door? No rapes or assaults?

Those all happen in my little section of southeast Minnesota, every week. Where do you live, that these things do not happen, so I too can enjoy such a bountiful city?

Kirk Parker said...

Pogo,

I thought it was obvious:

"In my own little town, the city attorney warned us in a recent neighborhood meeting to discuss the rash of gun violence, and attended by hundreds, that defending yourself at home with a gun or any other weapon from a thief or break-in would land you in jail."

The city attorney's attitude is shockingly un-American, though worthy of a hellhole like Chicago, maybe.

Pogo said...

Oh, sorry, yeah.

I was shocked when I heard it. On the way out of the meeting though, one of my elderly neighbors was talking to her daughter and said, "We'll have to get another shotgun.".

Kirk Parker said...

Furthermore, what the attorney said is in flagrant conflict with Minnesota law. I offer these to excerpts from the Minnesota Statutes.

609.06 AUTHORIZED USE OF FORCE.

Subdivision 1. When authorized. Except as otherwise provided in subdivision 2, reasonable force may be used upon or toward the person of another without the other's consent when the following circumstances exist or the actor reasonably believes them to exist:
...
(4) when used by any person in lawful possession of real or personal property, or by another assisting the person in lawful possession, in resisting a trespass upon or other unlawful interference with such property;


609.065 JUSTIFIABLE TAKING OF LIFE.

The intentional taking of the life of another is not authorized by section 609.06, except when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death, or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor's place of abode.

Pogo said...

Mark Ostrem, Olmsted County Attorney was at the meeting. In response to a question about self-defense using firearms, he was very direct. He told the 250 or so people in attendance that this was unwise because he -as County Attorney- would make the decision whether you had made the right decision in using a weapon in defending yourself. And -I'm paraphrasing- he said "we have enough work as it is". Better, he said, just to call the police.

Kirk Parker said...

Time for a recall, it sounds like.

Tibore said...

I'm going to break a bit from the crowd with this statement, despite the fact I'm glad that the robber got what he had coming. And frankly, should have gotten more; imagine if he had broken into an apartment where the resident had a gun. Brandishing that bat would've been enough to justify a shooting. But, I'm digressing. Regarding the law student: He committed a stupid. Not eveyone who confronts an armed intruder gets away with that.

The rule of thumb I've heard is: Give in for property, fight for person. If someone wants stuff, they'll run away satisfied with their haul. But if someone tries to take you along, fight, even if it means you go down, because the stats supposedly show that a criminal who takes you along ends up killing you. So because the odds say your life might be forfeit already, you might as well make a stand, and do so in a spot the criminal obviously don't want you to make it in (otherwise, the criminal wouldn't be moving you). Contrast to property theft, where your life isn't necessarily forfeit. I know that months of student work is precious, no exaggeration, and that it's a pain to lose that. But is it worth your life? A student has a built-in excuse for extensions to deadlines when their laptop gets stolen, and I don't see the worst case scenario - an incomplete, or outright flunking - being a literally fatal result. Whereas confronting an armed criminal - even if the "armed" doesn't involve a firearm - can lead to that.

The law student did good, I agree. I don't mind seeing a criminal get beat up in the exection of a crime. As I sad above, he's actually lucky that it wasn't worse, that his life isn't in danger from getting shot by a worried homeowner. But despite that, the law student risked much, possibly too much. Would the data on his laptop really be worth his life?

Meh... I'm bringing in my own personal viewpoints, I have to admit. I view computers as commodities, seeing as how I'm surrounded by them and am employed in supporting people using them, so I don't see them as being anything worth risking your life over. Then again, the criminal broke into this student's apartment, and was brandishing a weapon, so I guess you can argue that the student also felt his life was in danger, and just reached the point of feeling he needed to act. I don't know... I can only enunciate principle, and be happy that this guy not only didn't lose his life or (less importantly) his laptop, but also got a few licks in on the guy trying to steal it.