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RMS Robbed of Passport and Other Belongings In Argentina

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the low-and-despicable dept.

Crime 386

New submitter Progman3K writes "Richard Stallman, father of the FSF, had his bag containing his laptop, medicine, money and passport stolen after his talk at the University of Buenos Aires on Friday, June 8." Adds reader jones_supa, excerpting from the same linked story: "As a result of this occurrence, he was forced to cancel his talk in Cordoba, and it's still unknown how this will impact the rest of his speaking engagements throughout the world."

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FIRST POST (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273903)

Passports want to be free.

Re:FIRST POST (4, Funny)

Mister Transistor (259842) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274567)

Isn't this one of the old internet scams?

Please Help! I'm on vacation in a strange country and had my wallet stolen, please send $$ to my address: scammer23@aol.com to help me get home!

Re:FIRST POST (3, Funny)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274895)

Does that mean that he's indefinitely stuck in Argentina? Oh, joy!

Sigh. (5, Funny)

gruntled (107194) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273927)

Free as in steal it.

Re:Sigh. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273943)

No, no, no his passport was "open sourced"

Re:Sigh. (5, Funny)

DemomanDeveloper (2658739) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274091)

I think the problem is with those robbers ancient business models. Just like MPAA/RIAA, the robbers are unable to change their business model to current day. No one wants to go fetch a physical copy. Offer a copy of that password at reasonable price, over the internet and without DRM and I might buy it. Information wants to be free!

Re:Sigh. (3, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273949)

Much better analogy would be he keeps his stuff but copies must be freely redistributed with the source.

Re:Sigh. (4, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273961)

I wonder if someone took he speeches, did his speech, and collected the pay for that speech, he would be fine with that.

Re:Sigh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274329)

I wonder if someone took he speeches, did his speech, and collected the pay for that speech, he would be fine with that.

Only so long as that person made the text (source) and recordings (binary) of the speeches available to anyone who attended.

Re:Sigh. (4, Funny)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274353)

Yes, but only if they contributed back any ad-lib comments they made.

Re:Sigh. (3, Informative)

just_a_monkey (1004343) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274357)

I think he would like that. The man seems to be all about getting his message out.

Re:Sigh. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274441)

I think he would like that. The man seems to be all about getting his message out.

Wouldn't a tee shirt saying "I'm unrealistic and naive to the point of being a nut-bag" lessen his carbon footprint considerably?

Uhh, it's a third-world country. Be careful there. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273941)

When you're in a third-world country (like Argentina has been since their economic troubles started), or even in third-world-like areas of better countries (like Atlanta, Detroit, St. Louis or Philadelphia), it's very important to maintain constant contact with your valuables.

Better yet, don't even bother visiting. Third-world places are best shunned.

Re:Uhh, it's a third-world country. Be careful the (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274031)

Can anyone explain why the parent comment is at -1? Is it a "-1, Painful Truth" mod?

Everything said in it is truthful and correct:

1) Argentina was quite prosperous at one time, but the past decade or so has been really hard on them. Their economic problems have caused a significant drop in the standard of living for many of its citizens, and crime has become much more of an issue. Today, it is much more akin to an African nation than it is to a Western nation.

2) There are many places, even in nations like the USA, that have extremely low standards of living, and that are very dangerous to venture to these parts. Theft is a very real possibility, even during short stays.

3) When traveling in foreign nations, it is a good practice to keep at least your passport on your body. Many travelers wear passport holders that are worn under clothing, making theft much more difficult. Likewise, devices and bags should be physically held onto at all times.

4) Indeed, a good way of avoiding incidents like this is to not travel to countries where incidents like this are more probable. This is just common sense.

Re:Uhh, it's a third-world country. Be careful the (5, Insightful)

buanzo (542591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274075)

I'm Argentine. I avoid problematic areas. But this happened during a conference. In ALL conferences in EVERY country stuff is robbed cause people are idiots. And security guards are idiots. THAT's common sense. Avoiding an entire country is plan idiocy.

Re:Uhh, it's a third-world country. Be careful the (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274139)

I'm Argentine.

Nice to meet you. I've never had the opportunity to speak with a whole country before.

Re:Uhh, it's a third-world country. Be careful the (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274327)

Blindly spawning mindless stereotypes like "third world countries are best shunned" is also first-class idiocy.

Re:Uhh, it's a third-world country. Be careful the (1, Insightful)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274351)

[quote]In ALL conferences in EVERY country stuff is robbed[/quote]
Not in any of the countries I've done conferences in. And they didn't even have security guards.

Anti-Theft Fairy? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274471)

Oh, gee...well can I please go to the countries you go to? Or better yet, go with you? Apparently you have some sort of magical capability that prevents teh thingz from being st0lens.

Re:Uhh, it's a third-world country. Be careful the (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274853)

I was born in Argentina too. The post author above was talking the best he could on his second language (as I am doing here), while I bet most of you can only talk English. Still, you made fun of him, and yes, it was funny, but that does not encourage participation. Now, on the topic: Buenos Aires has become a dangerous place in the last 10 or so years, and if you travel there you need to watch over your belongings and know when/where you can go and when/where you cannot. You can get robbed, scammed, or attacked if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. I agree with the comment that said that Argentina is more and more resembling an African nation. And the people living there has no reference to compare, and passionately will defend their country's image against all logic. All that said, there is no excuse for this. Like him or not, RMS has been and is a very important influence in the world of software, and without crazies like him we will probably not have free Linux and all the free software that is available around and most of us use. He deserves better. The person who stole from him did not care or did not knew about him. Now, avoiding an entire country because you are afraid it is not as civilised as your own country, or your experience would be unfamiliar, seems extreme.

Re:Uhh, it's a third-world country. Be careful the (1, Interesting)

rev0lt (1950662) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274937)

In ALL conferences in EVERY country stuff is robbed cause people are idiots.

Well, a couple of years ago I've co-organized an international conference (2 years in a row), and nothing got stolen. It worries me that you think that is the norm.

Re:Uhh, it's a third-world country. Be careful the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274517)

There's a neighborhood in my city that has a murder rate that equals death rate of Afghanistan...luckily it's only like a three or flour block area but oh boy, it's like the wild east, shooting every night, people dead in the street. I honestly can't believe this level of lawlessness is allowed in the United States. When I grab a local paper and read about last nights shootings it still shocks me sometimes.

Re:Uhh, it's a third-world country. Be careful the (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274549)

I honestly can't believe this level of lawlessness is allowed in the United States.

We just need to round up all the niggers and put them to work in the fields again.

Re:Uhh, it's a third-world country. Be careful the (0)

hjf (703092) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274697)

1) Argentina was quite prosperous at one time, but the past decade or so has been really hard on them. Their economic problems have caused a significant drop in the standard of living for many of its citizens, and crime has become much more of an issue. Today, it is much more akin to an African nation than it is to a Western nation.

We're not quite down to African levels yet. We're getting there, though.

Re:Uhh, it's a third-world country. Be careful the (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274707)

The USA has it's third world areas..... Detroit, New Jersey, South Central LA, Mississippi......

Re:Uhh, it's a third-world country. Be careful the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274929)

South Central L.A.? More accurate would be all of So. Cal.

(And that's the reason I left So. Cal. 20 years ago.)

Re:Uhh, it's a third-world country. Be careful the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274903)

That is stupid. These things happens like in any other country. This particular case is strange, it is not common to be robbed in an academic institution. Probably someone from outside got into the conference (as you may now, most universities here are public, free, and anyone could assist to the speech).
Of course there are some spots in the city where theft is more frequent, but you don't need to avoid travelling here, you just need to be more careful in crowded places.
PS: Even in "first world" countries, this kind of things could happen, although not frequently, http://preyproject.com/blog/2011/04/lost-found-case-a34j-california-us

this guys sure misses a lot of engagements lately (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273953)

if the lecture circuit is getting too grueling maybe it's time to retire.

Re:this guys sure misses a lot of engagements late (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274001)

Perhaps he would had been better off if he made a living producing software and selling it.

Re:this guys sure misses a lot of engagements late (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274237)

> Perhaps he would had been better off if he made a living producing software and selling it.

Maybe he would; but we're surely better off since he chose to benefit mankind over himself.

Don't get me wrong, this is not a religious thing... but IMHO overall tech progress got a powerful impulse with the GPL and things like Linux (or GNU/Linux in his lingo). It's easy to underestimate the role of Free Software in mankind's advancement.

Now it would be nice if someone explained that to the thief. Argentinians have an advanced culture and possibly even a thief might grok why it is important not to take this man's passport.

Re:this guys sure misses a lot of engagements late (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274815)

Maybe he would; but we're surely better off since he chose to benefit mankind over himself.

Bullshit.

Bill Gates went the other way and is now leading the fight against malaria. Richard Stallman goes around eating toejam and giving idealistic speeches that don't comport with reality. The former benefits mankind, the latter just tickles the fancy of computer science students who haven't had to earn a paycheck for a living yet.

Not even the most secure system can prevent that (3, Interesting)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273969)

So, did he use truecrypt?

Re:Not even the most secure system can prevent tha (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274109)

With the Truecrypt license? If he is using encryption, I suspect he is using the GPL licensed dm-crypt!

Re:Not even the most secure system can prevent tha (1)

Naatach (574111) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274307)

So, did he use truecrypt?

No, because he doesn't believe that it's really desirable to have security on a computer.

Re:Not even the most secure system can prevent tha (1)

tero (39203) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274641)

truecrypt isn't distributed with open software license, so my guess would be no...

Donning flameproof underwear in 3...2....1 (5, Funny)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274003)

Whichever Argentinian stole it is probably claiming that it is theirs as a result of their ancestor looking after the cow that the bag was made from between 1828 and 1832.....

Re:Donning flameproof underwear in 3...2....1 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274533)

What is it with Argentinians and stealing shit? First they try to steal an island, then they steal a Spanish oil company, and now Richard Stallman's passport? It just gets worse and worse.

License Royalties ? (1)

ehack (115197) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274009)

Maybe Linus can send him some royalties for the GPL, so he can pay for a new passport and a ticket back home?

Thieves got it backwards (3, Interesting)

mnemotronic (586021) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274025)

Leave the stuff, take the person. How much could they get for Stallman?

Re:Thieves got it backwards (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274049)

As in, if we don't pay the random, they give him back?

Re:Thieves got it backwards (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274073)

you have it slightly wrong.

"leave the gun, but take the canolies"

Re:Thieves got it backwards (3, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274095)

How much could they get for Stallman?

Maybe Microsoft would pay them to keep Stallman captive?

Re:Thieves got it backwards (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274161)

Steve Ballmer did it, or he better have a damn good alibi

Re:Thieves got it backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274905)

I have this image of Ballmer monkey-dancing through the Darien Gap on his way to Buenos Aires!

Re:Thieves got it backwards (2, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274435)

Absolutely nothing.

The only people who care about him are people who think no one should pay for anything ever. He'd be pretty much fucked.

Personally, I'd pay them to keep him so we don't have to listen to his political hippie ignorance anymore.

Re:Thieves got it backwards (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274453)

Shut up you piece of shit.

Re:Thieves got it backwards (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274621)

Leave the stuff, take the person. How much could they get for Stallman?

That depends .. are they asking on a per pound basis?

Such a loss... (4, Funny)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274053)

What a loss, the only laptop running Gnu Hurd. The individual who stole it will be very sorry though, as he will be forced to use emacs, and as it does everything, it will be the only program on the computer... :D

Re:Such a loss... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274127)

A coreboot installation that starts gnu hurd + emacs. What else do you need?

Everyone will stomp on this, of course, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274065)

...if he had just himself been a bit more OPEN (honestly, no pun intended here) about his personal computing, this wouldn't be the tremendous problem it appears to be in his specific case. There's one helluva lesson of reality to be learned here.

It shouldn't be such a tragedy (3, Interesting)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274611)

It's the world that needs more openness. And better utilization of the technology we do have.

Losing the passport wouldn't be such a calamity if governments were up to date. We shouldn't even use a physical item like that for purposes of verifying identity and permissions. At a border crossing, stating names and perhaps a number, or undergoing a brief biometric scan ought to be all that travelers need do. The officials at the border can then use their networked computers to check the information. It's just dopey to rely on the picture of a person carried by that person to check identity! That's as dopey as DRM. Yeah, yeah, like cash they have put security threads and watermarks and such on the passport pictures, to make forgery more difficult. And don't forget the embedded RFID chip! Currently, with passports the US now issues business sized cards for your wallet. The cards have useful phone numbers and a space upon which you are supposed to write your passport number, for just such an occurrence. Haven't progressed much!

As for personal data, no one should ever have the only copies of their work on a single laptop, except possibly for whatever was being worked on in the last few minutes or since the last time the laptop had been connected to the Internet. The laptop itself is pretty cheap these days. I hope RMS didn't lose any data. Passwords are similar. Never have unencrypted passwords or or other unencrypted sensitive data on a laptop. But if he wasn't up to scratch on that stuff, this could be the worst loss of all.

Medicines shouldn't be a big deal either. Unfortunately, they can be thanks to intellectual property law. At $5/pill for typical name brand drugs, those medicines could easily cost more to replace than everything else in the bag.

Money? Let's hope he's not in the habit of lugging around thousands of dollars in cash. Sensible travelers only carry a little cash, leaning on credit cards whenever possible. But I could see a guy like RMS scorning credit cards because they come with lots of baggage, like the tracking of your every purchase. At any rate, banks, like governments, are woefully behind on technology. Shouldn't need a piece of plastic to do a transaction.

With all that said, his Argentine hosts treated him very shabbily. If laptop bag theft is such a big problem, they should know that. It's their home, they ought to know what protections guests will need, what crimes are in vogue. Should have had someone or something watching his bag. Wasn't anyone recording his speech on video? There's no footage at all of his bag being swiped? That a thief got away with his bag doesn't speak well of them. They seem negligent at the least. Such thefts may be aided by corruption. I shouldn't wonder that petty theft of that nature is a very low priority for their police, who will undoubtedly say there's nothing they can do.

RMS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274087)

I'm not glad he was robbed, but I'm glad that he won't speak.

Microsoft fanboys will do everything to stop Him.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274093)

Microsoft fanboys will do everything to stop Him...

Re:Microsoft fanboys will do everything to stop Hi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274167)

Probably one of his fellow potheads that didn't have money to buy food.

No news – Happens all the time (4, Insightful)

saibot834 (1061528) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274119)

This is really not newsworthy. It happens in Buenos Aires all the time. I was there 2009 at Wikimania (where RMS also attended) and I in the few days I was there multiple of my friends had their bags/laptops stolen, while I was in the same room.

The thiefs are really skilled and they make it almost impossible for you to notice the theft. The only way to defend yourself is to have all your stuff at your body all the time, thus being a harder target than everyone else.

Re:No news – Happens all the time (5, Funny)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274465)

in the few days I was there multiple of my friends had their bags/laptops stolen, while I was in the same room

I think we have a suspect

Re:No news – Happens all the time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274745)

In other words wear your backpack all the time. My answer is to not visit Buenos Aires at all. Nothing worth seeing or doing there if I have to spend the entire time paranoid.

Honestly a lot of the South Americas are turning into a quagmire. The USA is screwing around in Arabia, but ignoring our back yard. Drones and Bombing runs starting in Mexico and sweeping to Antarctica would solve the problems as we bomb the shit out of every druglord and farm.

Honestly, if the USA were to declare war on all countries below texas and did a hardline sweep from top to bottom, we would fix it. Then annex each country as a new state of the union.

The people will welcome us with open arms.... the live one will at least...

Re:No news – Happens all the time (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274765)

That is what i would do.if i was traveling abroad, id never let it out of my hand, and no 'Velcro flaps' either. All zipped up with a lock, even as i was holding it. ( hell i don't even leave my stuff unattended here in the states during a convention, we have thieves here too )

And i agree, it wasn't some grand conspiracy and they weren't targeting RMS personally, so it's a non story: "foreign traveler lost bag with belongings" *yawn*

( tho knowing RMS, he may think it was personal and the 'man' is out to get him )

ho80 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274125)

Medicine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274137)

Medicine? We all know "medicine" translates to pot.

help! (3, Funny)

lkcl (517947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274143)

quick - someone lend him a windows laptop.

That's enough (3, Funny)

OverflowingBitBucket (464177) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274165)

Okay, that's enough Linus. It's simply not funny any more. Hand it back now.

Free to Steal, but remember, It's "Copyleft" (1)

nemesisfixx (2487890) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274183)

As RMS's stuff is all GPL'ed, the thief has to obey the "copyleft" requirement, and as such, must be ready and willing to give out those same stolen items + any further contributions (e.g. any goodies placed in RMS's bag!) to anyone (including the authorities / RMS himself!). What a good sense of security GPL grants ;-)

RMS? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274245)

I guess we need to look for a bag with no soap or razor in it.

I hope he had his stuff backed up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274277)

I hope he had all his stuff backed up. Those few Emacs related files could have been easily stored in the cloud.

Clarification, as I live here and study there. (5, Informative)

goruka (1721094) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274287)

University of Buenos Aires is a free, public university recognized as one of the best in the world. Anyone can attend and it's also filled with students from other South American countries that travel to Buenos Aires to study. Courses are usually huge, with ~200 students each, and anyone is free to attend them as a listener, even if you are not a student. Teachers, by tradition, are expected to be professionals that excelled in their respective fields and for them it is an honor to be able to be there, all this in the spirit of having the best public education.
This much freedom has the obvious drawback that, as no one checks your student ID at the entrance, anyone can go in including thieves, which often mix up with other students to steal stuff. I've seen this happening several times myself so you have to watch out for strange people and your belongings all the time.
As pro human rights groups are so strong here (product of opposition to US-Sponsored dictatorships during most of the past century), law is lax and stronger security measures are often seen in a negative light, as the population don't know anymore where to draw the line.

Re:Clarification, as I live here and study there. (2)

Bill Barth (49178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274603)

Nobody checks your ID when you go to class in the US either, though there's much less of a culture of people just showing up listening in. It would often, but not always, be easier to detect a stranger in a class here, though there are plenty of 500-person freshman biology lectures, too. Typical classes have ~30 people in them.

Re:Clarification, as I live here and study there. (4, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274605)

...as no one checks your student ID at the entrance, anyone can go in including thieves, which often mix up with other students to steal stuff.

You're making the assumption that students are not thieves. I doubt that the entrance requirements for this university include the question:
 
"Are you a thief? yes/no".

Re:Clarification, as I live here and study there. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274721)

University of Buenos Aires is a free, public university recognized as one of the best in the world.

You must be from Argentina.

Re:Clarification, as I live here and study there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274741)

I'm going to get modded down for this, but the problem is that these countries let their criminals run freely while the USA jails them.

Re:Clarification, as I live here and study there. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274883)

> University of Buenos Aires is a free, public university recognized as one of the best in the world.

Hardly. It's ranked 270th in the world, according to the most recent QS World University Rankings. Still, that suffices to make it #1 in Argentina, so that's all right.

In the other news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274289)

RMS arrested himself for GPL violation, there where binary modules on the laptop, without providing the source code.

One Bag? (2, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274305)

I'm sorry, but what kind of moron keeps all this stuff together in *one* bag? Your passport should always be on your person when possible. You should have backup credit and ATM cards separate from your regular cards, along with some emergency cash. This stuff is 'Travelling 101' for god's sake.

Re:One Bag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274405)

Thanks for your comments Captain Hindsight.

Re:One Bag? (2)

pipatron (966506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274477)

Maybe that's why he was reported to repeatedly hit his head afterwards.

I've done many stupid things in my life, some which I regret, some which I don't, some that had negative consequences and some that fortunately didn't. If you tell me you haven't, I know you're lying.

Re:One Bag? (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274503)

Someone from a civilized country.

Re:One Bag? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274943)

You shouldn't have been modded Troll for that.

Naive people don't take security measures. That some REFUSE means the point doesn't get hammered enough!

In other news, slow Zebra get eaten.

Bag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274317)

No one should travel to 2nd or 3rd world godless countries without carrying vitals in a money pouch (including New York City and Las Vegas). Just asking for trouble. Learn from his naiveté, world!

Hahahahah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274337)

That's what you get for publicly digging in your toes and eating the result. Nasty fucker.

Who steals from wizards? (4, Funny)

Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274347)

I mean, really, who looks at that beard and thinks, "I'm gonna steal from that wizard. No way his bag has any exploding magical components in it or anything."

Re:Who steals from wizards? (0)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274501)

Any academic who worked with emerging AI and some crypto work would be of interest to any outside government

Not surprising (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274397)

When I was last visiting Buenos Aires Jenna Bush (George Bush's daughter) was robbed while she was dining with friends - while being protected by Secret Service!

Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274437)

Guy's a total douchebag asshole. I hope he fucking rots down there.

Welcome to Argentina (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274455)

In Argentina these days, he is lucky that is all he lost.

That's a big loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274571)

Most likely the only copy of the source code for a driver for the 40-year old printer still in use at MIT. And it was written in Lisp.

Why didn't he know better? (4, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274583)

While I am sorry for his loss (and that is only a story because of who was robbed - a zillion other tech people get robbed in foreign countries and they don't make /.) RMS has traveled the world for years, and I would have thought he knew better about he risks of theft. His passport and money should not have been left unsecured, and he should have ascribed to a layered packing regime that I learnt about years ago that includes three general zones:

  1. Checked luggage - Contains stuff you that you don't care if you never see it again
  2. Hand luggage - Contains stuff you can drop and leave behind in an emergency in order to protect your personal well being
  3. On your person - Contains stuff that is critical to your well being and ability to travel

Passport and money belongs squarely in that last category. They are replaceable, but their loss has a much greater impact on a trip than losing stuff from the other two categories.
 
Leaving his passport and money in an unsecured location was a stupid and idiotic move on *his* part (although I bet that that is probably somewhat offset by him being distracted for a moment). And yes I know that this sounds like blaming the victim, but there is a point where you have to take responsibility for your own actions.

He was looking for it !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274609)

As an Argentina citizen, he was looking for it himself. It is not his first visit, he knows this is a dangerous place to be. I believe he didn't wanted to go to Cordoba and let the bag unattended in purpose.
Don't come here!!!

Eggs in one basket (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274725)

If i was abroad and had everything important to me in a single bag it would be chained to my leg.

Stallamn should've bought a Mac... (1)

KrazyDave (2559307) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274751)

... running OSX with TattleTale. Oh, the irony!

GNU/Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274767)

Whomever stole the laptop better be skilled in using GNU/Linux as apposed to just the plain vanilla Linux...

Re:GNU/Linux (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274885)

An overwhelming majority of the server/desktop/laptop Linux distributions are what you call GNU/Linux. The only notable exceptions I know of are Android, and embedded systems that use busybox due to performance/memory constraints.

Very very few people has actually used some mythical "vanilla Linux" that isn't operated with the GNU tools.

I thought RMS didn't believe in personal property (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274831)

I thought RMS was in the "Imagine No Possessions" camp. He should be rejoicing!

Dear Editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274845)

I know Slashdot editors aren't editorial wizards or else they'd be off making much better money somewhere else. Well, today I'd like to help you achieve your dream of making more money somewhere else with a little education. You first allowed the initials of a niche person in the title. This really isn't preferred as many (if not most) won't know who this is without having to read the summary. You then in the summary told us who the person was, which is a good start. As we read who this is, most of us still don't have a name recognition. You realized this as you then told us he was the father of FSF. Awesome, we've gone from obscure initials to an obscure person, to an obscure acronym. Perhaps a better title could have been "Free Software Foundation's founder's passport stolen in Argentina." You can then use the summary to expand where he was, other items were taken, and why it matters. Do simple things like this and you too can be on your way to a much better paying job.

Re:Dear Editors (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274909)

Do simple things like this and you too can be on your way to a much better paying job.

Dear anonymous coward, while I laud your efforts I feel that you are making a false assumption to start with - that the editors want to improve on their lot in life. I am coming to the opinion that that they are raking in so much $$ for so little work that they don't care about the quality.

what happened to slashdot? (3, Insightful)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274851)

Every comment I've read is either abrasively sarcastic or downright mean. What gives? This used to be the land of OSS/free speech.

To be sure, /. has never been exactly "nice". But, come on guys! This kind of negativity needs to stop.

Re:what happened to slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274935)

All the nice comments has left to hacker news. ...and the captcha was "upgrade".

Re:what happened to slashdot? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274951)

If I do something stupid, even my best friends will call me out on it.

That's WHY they are my best friends.

RMS (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274875)

What? No backup?

Carry your passport. (2)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274923)

Carry your passport/docs ON YOU, separate from your wallet, end of story.

If you need medicine to survive, wear enough to buy time to reload.

That's basic security at home or abroad. You should also carry duplicate info on a flash drive and wear that, and be able to access another copy online.

People who understand that computers "don't give a fuck what they think" need to understand many PEOPLE don't give a fuck what they WANT.

Any geek should be delighted to embrace physical security measures as they are to embrace computer security measures.

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