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Wired Writer Disappears, Find Him and Make $5k

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the hiding-in-plain-sight dept.

Privacy 135

carp3_noct3m writes "A freelance Wired magazine journalist has decided to see what it is like to disappear from normal life, all while staying on the grid. The catch, is that he is challenging anyone and everyone to find him, take a picture, and speak a special codeword to him. If you can do that, you can make 5000 dollars, which happens to come out of his paycheck for the article he'll be writing. Oh, and to top it all off, whoever finds him gets pictures and interviews in Wired. He has been posting to his Twitter, using TOR for internet, and the Wired website will be posting his credit card transactions."

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Is this an ad? (1, Interesting)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121281)

I can't figure out if this is an ad, spam, or something else altogether. Someone want to help me out? Does Slashdot post links to contests?

Re:Is this an ad? (2, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121547)

No, it's just more of idle crap that samzenpus is posting to the wrong section again.

Re:Is this an ad? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29121645)

Yes [slashdot.org] Slashdot [slashdot.org] does [slashdot.org] post [slashdot.org] links [slashdot.org] to [slashdot.org] contests [slashdot.org] .

Re:Is this an ad? (2, Informative)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122013)

Hey...I thought it was interesting.

I got to read the original article (though it would be nice of /. linked to it directly or mentioned it in the summary) and read a few posts of the twitter followers and such. Interesting concept, I wonder how much of it he will get to expense later (and if the 5k out of his salary if found is really enough to make him ultra paranoid about being found)

Re:Is this an ad? (1)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 4 years ago | (#29125095)

I guess I jumped all over that one, but I'm not totally opposed to contests. (Unfortunately, most contests are simply dressed-up advertisements for the service/website, and hardly dressed-up at that.) Scavenger hunts can be fun, but it sure wastes our time when there's no actual possibility of reaching the goal. Perhaps in this case there is; I would hope Wired wouldn't resort to phony ad/spam scams, but -- except the Wired editors themselves -- who knows?

Re:Is this an ad? (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 4 years ago | (#29126603)

It's incitement to commit stalking. I'm not sure of the state but in many there is no need for the victim to press charges. That's a nice way to get a felony. It is also spam.

The catch (5, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121293)

The catch, is that he is challenging anyone and everyone to find him, take a picture, and speak a special codeword to him.

But, but... that would require leaving my basement.

Re:The catch (1)

psychicsword (1036852) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121503)

I wish that it didn't have the take a picture stipulation because then you could just call up his hotel or other forms of shelter when you find him.

Re:The catch (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122001)

Well, there's a picture just besides the Slashdot story. Why not take that?

Re:The catch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29121747)

nah. Just use Photoshop, and bitch about how he wouldn't give you the money on your blog.

Re:The catch (4, Funny)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#29124873)

Hack an ATM and use the image from it for the photo.

You can speak the password to him via the network that McDonalds uses to take orders in the drive-through these days.

"Ok. I have 3 cheeseburgers, an Iced Tea and the password is "Where the fuck is Waldo? That will be $5,004.89 at the first window. Please pull through."

No need to leave the basement.

Re:The catch (1)

Antity-H (535635) | more than 4 years ago | (#29125365)

why leave your basement, hack the security camera around him to take the picture, and the cellphone company to find out his phone number. send the picture to the phone number and call him to tell him the codeword easy, nothing to sweat about :)

blarg (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121295)


It'll be funny when a Mac user wins the $5K and has to admit finding him on the other side of a glory hole.

.

Re:blarg (0)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121551)

It'll be funny when a Mac user wins the $5K and has to admit finding him on the other side of a glory hole.

LOLOL BECAUSE MACS ARE GAY AND THUS THEIR USERS ARE.

Hilarious.

Re:blarg (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29121749)

Butthurt much?

Re:blarg (0, Offtopic)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122101)

I've never owned a Mac. I'm not butthurt. I just think irrelevant jokes that completely set themselves up, especially when based on an unfunny generalization, are not funny.

Re:blarg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29123177)

Waahhhhh wahhhhh WAAAHHHHH waahhhhh wahhhh waahhhh i need my blankey waahhhhhh

Re:blarg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29124217)

You could have saved yourself the effort of writing the whiny rant by just saying "yes".

Re:blarg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29124603)

Oh no, this poor baby was insulted.... over the Internet. Someone call the whhaaaaaaaaambulans.

gh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29124003)

Just knowing what a glory hole is makes you gay.

Re:gh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29126487)

AC is gay! Who knew!

Far too easy. (5, Funny)

ep32g79 (538056) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121369)

This is too easy, Just get a judge [slashdot.org] to tell you where he is.

Re:Far too easy. (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122597)

His identity is "Evan Ratliff". There, just like the judge!

Already Been Done (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29121423)

This has already been done by a journalist and his security-industry buddy.
They wrote a book about it and presented at a recent hacker conference (it might have been the last HOPE, or maybe last year's defcon)

Good job being original, guy

[citation needed] (2, Insightful)

HanClinto (621615) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122639)

[citation needed]

Not necessarily doubting you -- just saying that your post is incredibly unhelpful.

Re:Already Been Done (3, Informative)

mrdoogee (1179081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29123425)

I thought that one was about "falling off the grid". What this guy is doing is trying to stay hidden while still using modern conveniences and only the skills that an average citizen has at their disposal. I.E., hiding while staying on "THE GRID".

Re:Already Been Done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29124349)

Good job being original, guy

He is from Wired, what did you expect?

Taking all the fun out of it (5, Funny)

horatio (127595) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121455)

You will be excluded from winning if you commit a crime in your efforts to find me, contact my family, or physically harm me.

Man, talk about taking all the fun of a game.

Re:Taking all the fun out of it (4, Insightful)

sgauss (639539) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121589)

Well, if I believe my television, you should still be able to waterboard him!

Re:Taking all the fun out of it (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 4 years ago | (#29124493)

Well, if I believe my television, you should still be able to waterboard him!

Yes... apparently getting him abducted by the CIA, secretly flown to Syria and tortured for months on end is perfectly legal in the US.

Re:Taking all the fun out of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29121753)

So much for my plan to track him down and kick him in the junk.

Re:Taking all the fun out of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29121871)

So much for my plan to track him down and fondle his junk

ftfy

Re:Taking all the fun out of it (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122079)

You will be excluded from winning if you commit a crime in your efforts to find me, contact my family, or physically harm me.

How about if we locate him, then wait until he's just falling asleep, sneak into his bedroom and then say in a gravely voice "Tag, you're it"? Does scaring the pee out of someone count as physical harm?

Re:Taking all the fun out of it (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122169)

. . . contact my family . . ..

I saw a documentary about so-called "Bounty Hunters" in the US. The guy claimed that family members were to most likely to reveal where you are hiding. He added a quip like:

"For every person, there are two folks who love you, two people that hate you, and six people who don't give a damn about you. I just need to find the last eight, and they will lead me to my target."

Re:Taking all the fun out of it (1)

mrdoogee (1179081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29123487)

contact my family

My only real objection to his terms. I get that he wishes to keep his family from harassment (specifically his kids if he has them) but most agencies tasked with finding people start with the family, mostly because it is the best way to find someone. This gives him a much more sporting chance, though which I guess was his intent.

Re:Taking all the fun out of it (1)

maevius (518697) | about 5 years ago | (#29127413)

He obviously writes an article about the possibility of finding someone through technology and not by sticking a gun to a family member's head

Re:Taking all the fun out of it (1)

dk90406 (797452) | more than 4 years ago | (#29125333)

You will be excluded from winning if you commit a crime i

That is sad. That removes cracking, phishing etc. from the approaches. It would have been interesting to have an more open playing field - that would potentially reveal something useful (weakness in FedEx for instance, dangers of social engineering).
I fully agree that the family should be left alone, as this is only a game.

Re:Taking all the fun out of it (1)

maevius (518697) | about 5 years ago | (#29127389)

I think it's impossible to find someone this way without breaking the law, it's more probable that he was forced to put that exclusion. Except of course if you own a big corporation that is allowed by law to collect private information via the terms and conditions...

Re:Taking all the fun out of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29126769)

Rats. There goes my strategy [xkcd.com] .

Relocation costs? (1)

greymond (539980) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121579)

Can I get reimbursed for my relocation costs? $5k isn't enough of a reward to justify traveling to the places he's at.

Re:Relocation costs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29122021)

Jesus. If you refuse to travel without your twin bed and computer room, then forget it and stay in your basement. This contest isn't for you.

watchout! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29121655)

The codeword is "I'll pay you $50 if I can eat out your asshole."

Bring in the Internet Special Cases Bureau (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29121717)

Bring in the Internet Special Cases Bureau, also known as 4chan [slashdot.org] . He'll be found in 12 hours.

And for added fun, we'll end up with a couple dozen 'shopped pictures of him.

hey guy... (5, Funny)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121745)

Come to my house and let me win the contest. I'll give you $3000. I'd be happy to tell wired the advanced methods I used to win.

Re:hey guy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29126049)

Since he'll be paying it from his own money, he'll still be out 2000 dollars.
I guess you're going to give him a hell of a blowjob to warrant that kind of money, right?

What season is it? (0)

Groo Wanderer (180806) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121779)

I forget, is this bow or gun season for Wired writers? The local DNR is waffling, the closest they could come is 'long pork', but that is much too broad for the purposes of this game.

                      -Charlie

Sounds like a good time for a photoshop contest (1)

BigGar' (411008) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121791)

This guy is going to bee seen everywhere!!!

Re:Sounds like a good time for a photoshop contest (1)

Hunter0000 (1600071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121907)

Fortunately there are only about a millions words to choose from to guess the secret word ( http://www.languagemonitor.com/ [languagemonitor.com] ).

Good luck.

Re:Sounds like a good time for a photoshop contest (2, Funny)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122623)

It'd be a fluke if you got it the first time.

how do we know ... (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121837)

... that he is not already dead [slashdot.org] ?

No problemo (4, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121843)

1. Post his picture in the general vicinity wherever his credit card transactions are, with the note "Have you seen this child molester?" underneath.
2. Take pictures of him/give him the codeword in jail* a few days later.
3. Profit!

* Though I'm not sure how the whole secret word thing will work if a mob beats him to death.

Re:No problemo (1)

Ponga (934481) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122563)

I'm confused. Living "off the grid" means NOT using a credit card. By my definition anyway...

Re:No problemo (2, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122803)

Then re-read TFS or TFA because he says he's staying ON GRID and it's explicitly mentioned.

Re:No problemo (1)

Ponga (934481) | more than 4 years ago | (#29124839)

RTFA, are you crazy!?

(My bad...)

Re:No problemo (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122857)

But he is staying on the grid. Not that everyone and their uncle has access to his creditcard transaction log, but he's not going hermit on us.

Re:No problemo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29123029)

The summary says "staying on the grid". Not off. That's why such a stunt is appropriate for Wired magazine.

Re:No problemo (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29124739)

> Living "off the grid" means NOT using a credit card.

It used to mean either generating your own electicity or doing without.

Re:No problemo (1)

Jared555 (874152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29125495)

I think the term 'off the grid' has been used in this fashion for a while now.

Re:No problemo (1)

schnablebg (678930) | more than 4 years ago | (#29123507)

This approach has been proven to be quite effective [philly.com] .

Re:No problemo (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29124593)

Defamation/slander? Didn't he say you couldn't break the law?

Privacy illusion. (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121891)

I knew a friend once that did skip-tracing. He tracked a guy down who changed his name, flew to the middle-east under an assumed identity and fake passport, dyed his hair, and more. His big downfall? He used a credit card once he landed -- which was under his old name. And this was using just information available to the credit bureaus to find him. Also... witness protection program? Yup... he found a few of them too. I bet I could have this guy nailed in about four hours if I called the police up and said I was a famous celebrity and he was defaming me on Twitter. Game over.

All he's proving is that Joe Average doesn't have much power. Big deal. Your neighbor isn't the one you should be worried about finding you anyway -- they lack the technical resources, skills, and moral flexibility to do so. Now, if he wants to do a REAL test of his privacy -- photoshop some photos of a male politician in a pink tutu and make disparaging comments about his sexual orientation. I bet you get a knock on your door within a day. -_-

Re:Privacy illusion. (2, Funny)

mcpkaaos (449561) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122419)

I bet you get a knock on your door within a day. -_-

Or a foot tap.

Re:Privacy illusion. (1)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 4 years ago | (#29123533)

So then call your friend and have him help you and split the cash.

Re:Privacy illusion. (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#29124023)

Now, if he wants to do a REAL test of his privacy -- photoshop some photos of a male politician in a pink tutu and make disparaging comments about his sexual orientation. I bet you get a knock on your door within a day.

That is, if the politician is a Democrat [slashdot.org] and not a Republican [flickr.com] .
 
(But seriously folks, it is just me or are the paranoia levels on Slashdot reaching an all time high?)

Can't be too dificult. (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121933)

Step 1) Withdraw a large amount of money
Step 2) Buy the most common car on the roads second hand.
Step 3) Find a national park that has wireless internet coverage
Step 4) Buy a nice tent and other camping equipment
Step 5) Buy a prepaid wireless internet subscription

Not sure if 3 and 5 are possible in the US, but they are in Sweden.

Re:Can't be too dificult. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29123171)

You could be right, though he said he is abiding by specific rules for himself; he will not hide out in the wilderness, he will continue to visit his usual stomping grounds, e.g. book stores, taco stands, sports bars, urban areas, retail stores, etc. He also will not be hiding with friends or family, they won't even know where he's headed. I believe he has already purchased a second hand vehicle. Which might explain his $60 purchases at Oil Can Henry's, he most likely bought one or more of the following; oil cans, gas and/or supplies for the vehicle (car, motorcycle, scooter, bicycle lol?). His purchases at Best Buy might be for one or two of the following; wireless extenders, extra battery, charging units, a throw-away portable cell phone, calling cards, etc. His purchases at REI might include one or two of the following; GPS, hiking shoes, a backpack, a tent, a propane stove, survival gear, etc. A real mystery is what he paid $171 for at a seafood bar for, maybe just a going away party with his family/friends until they see him again? The federal express package might be something he is going to pick up somewhere else, perhaps cans of soup or dried food goods. Or, he shipped his cell phone, still charged and on to a friend in TN so that people trying to track his cell phone would be tracking the package instead. It has been successfully delivered btw, I just checked fedex. He fedex'd the envelope at a fedex kinko's on August 12th, it arrived at a residence in Memphis, TN not signed for. On August 8th he shipped the larger package, 0.5 lbs, at a Kinko's in NY, signed by D.PERSON at Washington, D.C. But, he did all this before it was announced that he'd be tracked, so I suppose my theory about throwing off the cell trace might be wrong, not to exclude the possibly though that he put his cell in the envelope for other reasons.

All of the D.PERSON living in D.C. listed in the yellow pages:
Dawn Person 15 57th St SE Washington, DC Age 35-39 Phone # available.
Deonne S Person 3348 Clay St NE Washington, DC No phone # available.
Donald E Person 1207 Park Rd NW Washington, DC Phone # available.
Donald E Person 3318 Sherman Ave NW, Apt 108 Washington, DC Age 55-59 No phone # available.
Donna M Person 1406 Perry Pl NW Washington, DC No phone # available.
Duvaul T Person 1166 Morse St NE Washington, DC. No phone # available.

One could social engineer one of these people into giving you details about Ratliff, if for example you claimed to he contacted you asking you to cover for him while he's on this "project." Get their trust, get them to admit what they know about his locations or plans.

Re:Can't be too dificult. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29124015)

The parks all discourage long term residence. You can hang out a week, maybe a little more. Supposedly they track how long you spend at the parks and can deny you access if you just hop between 2 or 3 parks. I have never really put this to the test.

Somebody call 4chan (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 4 years ago | (#29121949)

This seems to be an easy challange to fill /b/ s warchest...

Re:Somebody call 4chan (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29123205)

I was about to say just this.

That place makes everyones' Bacon Factor [wikipedia.org] one.

Re:Somebody call 4chan (1)

mrdoogee (1179081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29123659)

Problem is, They'll break his rules faster than you can say Sasquatch. They'll find him, but using undoubtedly illegal methods.

Why this fails (4, Insightful)

popo (107611) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122141)

The problem, as any Wired writer should know -- is that information wants to be free.

As the writer himself has observed: Contacting his family or breaking the law are easy ways to retrieve the information.

Those activities may disqualify the offending "player", but they do not disqualify the underlying data -- which wants to be free -- and can easily be passed on to any party in order to claim the prize.

So like most "hacks", social-engineering will trump using the "grid".

And the take-away here is this: There are no rules. There is only data, and it will be free.

The poor writer is going to find much of his personal life violated, I'm afraid. But the blame falls to him. He should have known better.

too easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29122241)

Contest ends when somebody emails the right codeword to his editor.

Can you say "dictionary attack"?

You are Lobby Ludd and I claim my five pounds (1)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122273)

Such an original idea. Perhaps next they can get an action photo of a football match, airbrush out the football and then invite readers to "spot the ball".

On his way to Tennessee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29122679)

He is driving to Tennessee.

He got his oil changed and radiator flushed. He sent two items to Tennessee via fedex with these tracking numbers, "868322701268" and "869744129440". He purchased "Garmin MapSource 24K TOPO - National Parks" at REI so he could stay off of the radar. What has tipped me off to that as he purchased a flash memory card at Best Buy and then returned it because he didn't need it.

He isn't traveling alone as he spent $170 at a restaurant.

It should take him about 5 days to drive to Tennessee. But more than likely he will be taking a few extra days at the National parks. What a vacation if you ask me, all expenses paid.

Nathan

Re:On his way to Tennessee. (1)

Octogonal Raven (1516671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122919)

He is driving to Tennessee.

He got his oil changed and radiator flushed. He sent two items to Tennessee via fedex with these tracking numbers, "868322701268" and "869744129440". He purchased "Garmin MapSource 24K TOPO - National Parks" at REI so he could stay off of the radar. What has tipped me off to that as he purchased a flash memory card at Best Buy and then returned it because he didn't need it.

He isn't traveling alone as he spent $170 at a restaurant.

It should take him about 5 days to drive to Tennessee. But more than likely he will be taking a few extra days at the National parks. What a vacation if you ask me, all expenses paid.

Nathan

Incorrect. The packages were shipped to DC and Memphis, respectively. http://bit.ly/17KWPG [bit.ly]

Re:On his way to Tennessee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29125287)

I looked at the signature of who signed for it and the address at the top was Memphis. I incorrectly assumed that was the location it was delivered to. It is Fedex's address not the delivered address.

You are correct as the second one is in the DC area somewhere.

Nathan

Ok, I'll take it. (1)

faragon (789704) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122743)

Now, how do you want he, dead or alive?

PI's eligible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29122771)

Persons with a private investigators license, or just those willing to shell out the big bucks for access to some of the less restricted resources will have a much easier time locating him than someone else. Otherwise a lot of the info you'd need would be restricted to law enforcement and you'd be stuck a step behind listening to where he just was based on twitter/facebook posts/pictures.

I could get him in ten minutes. (0)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122849)

Just give me his credit card number, expiration date, and I'll destroy his credit limit in five minutes, ordering all sorts of things and using my real address as the shipping and billing address. Credit institution calls the man a minute after that, gives him the info on my purchases, he shows up at my door in another three minutes, tops!

Instant $5K out of his paycheck AND added bonus of wreaking havoc with the credit system at the same time!

Re:I could get him in ten minutes. (1)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122975)

There WAS a comment on the Wired site that if you could somehow force him to come to you, that would be just as valid as going to where you think he is. Just sayin.

Re:I could get him in ten minutes. (2, Insightful)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 4 years ago | (#29123179)

Except that if you had RTFA, you would be disqualified of the contest for "commiting a crime".

Re:I could get him in ten minutes. (1)

charlesnw (843045) | more than 4 years ago | (#29123575)

Um. How is it a crime if the information is provided to you?

Re:I could get him in ten minutes. (1)

Xylaan (795464) | more than 4 years ago | (#29123673)

Simply having the credit card information does not make you an authorized user. Using the information without authorization counts as fraud.

Re:I could get him in ten minutes. (1)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 4 years ago | (#29123813)

As he said:

Simply having the credit card information does not make you an authorized user. Using the information without authorization counts as fraud.

Re:I could get him in ten minutes. (2, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29123233)

Credit card fraud. You're not allowed to break the law to find him.

Off the grid AND using credit cards? WTF? (0)

kperrier (115199) | more than 4 years ago | (#29122997)

How can you be "off the grid" if you are using credit cards?

Re:Off the grid AND using credit cards? WTF? (3, Insightful)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 4 years ago | (#29123349)

How can you be "off the grid" if you are using credit cards?

How can you be commenting on the article when you didn't read the summary?

Re:Off the grid AND using credit cards? WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29123671)

You must be new here...

Re:Off the grid AND using credit cards? WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29123469)

Nevermind credit cards, how can you be "off the grid" and sending out tweets over TOR.

Re:Off the grid AND using credit cards? WTF? (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29124579)

Where did it say he was going to be off the grid?

A freelance Wired magazine journalist has decided to see what it is like to disappear from normal life, all while staying on the grid.

That guy is a PRO nerd (2, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29123251)

He's been inside so long his eyes have gone pale.

Re:That guy is a PRO nerd (3, Funny)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29123373)

The spice must flow.

I found him! (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 4 years ago | (#29124679)

And I took this photo [flickr.com] to prove it.
I'm calling the Wired editors now to give the password and collect my money.

I half-ass did this a few years ago (3, Interesting)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#29124855)

But not for fun and it was a lot longer than 30 days. A psychotic roommate accused me of attempted murder so I got the heck out of Dodge. While I didn't quit my job and move to a new country, I moved to a new place that couldn't be linked to me in any way. All utilities were in a new roommate's name. I received no mail at the new address. Everything (credit cards, DMV, voter registration, HR records, cell phone bill, bank statements, insurance, etc.) went to a mail drop. When I went out with friends, I'd meet them at our destination. For nearly 3 months, nobody knew where I lived but my new roommates and they knew the situation. For the next 5 or 6 months, only 4 other people knew where I lived. Good thing because my old roommate tried to track me down a couple of times but none of our mutual friends knew where I was. And they were glad that they didn't have to decide whether to give up the info.

I know I didn't drop entirely off the grid but that wasn't my intent. My intent was to make my new home a sanctuary. I didn't want to have to worry about cops busting down my door in the middle of the night. I didn't want the old roommate showing up to try and work things out or "settle the score". Sure, I could be found at the office any time but at least I could go home at night and know that the only kind of disruption I could face was a phone call.

Funny thing is my "safe house" was nicer than any place I'd ever lived before. My bedroom with private bath was on the top floor of a brand new 3-story condo. 8 miles from the office on the only stretch of the freeway that doesn't slow to a crawl during rush hour. Private park, BBQs, gym, pool, and hot tubs across the street.

Re:I half-ass did this a few years ago (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 4 years ago | (#29126167)

Hmm, so is this where I should feel bad for realizing that I had been living in my new house for 6-7 months before any of my friends knew the address, and unlike the parent I wasn't even trying to keep it a secret?

Re:I half-ass did this a few years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29126557)

Funny thing is my "safe house" was nicer than any place I'd ever lived before. My bedroom with private bath was on the top floor of a brand new 3-story condo. 8 miles from the office on the only stretch of the freeway that doesn't slow to a crawl during rush hour. Private park, BBQs, gym, pool, and hot tubs across the street.

Thanks for the info, I'll be there in a minute! Don't try to run away this time!!

(kidding)

I know exactly where he is... (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29125085)

With Waldo! Can you find him?

Some Wired employees read /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29125177)

John Thrimpson does not.

Here is a link to prove it...

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=&ie=UTF8&ll=37.063296,-95.674465&spn=0.001931,0.003428&t=h&z=18

How Not To Be Seen (1)

dark&stormynight (69479) | more than 4 years ago | (#29126365)

Reminds me of the old Monty Python sketch...How Not To Be Seen.

This is Mr. Evan Ratliff of San Francisco, United States. Mr. Ratliff cannot be seen. However, I will ask him to stand up.

Mr. Ratliff, would you stand up please.

BOOM!

Mr. Ratliff has not learned the first lesson of not being seen...not to stand up.

Only 5K?? (1)

pyrothebouncer (1595641) | more than 4 years ago | (#29126523)

Kinda paltry to go after a small sum like that. I know it is part of his share for the article, but if WIRED was behind it they could offer a better sum like 50k or something in that range. I guess I won't look for him, mostly only because I need 5k beforehand to afford some transportation.
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