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THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: davester
Date: February 05, 2010 03:27PM
Hahahahahaha! Thanks to Orbicule Undercover and the Berkeley Police, my daughter's stolen macbook was recovered last night. The police are going to image the hard drive to "run forensics" on it and then give it back to us. They think that the person who had it is not the thief, but she appears to be protecting the identity of the person she got it from. They're hoping that they can get some info off of the computer to pursue the true thief. Regardless, "You are sooooo busted!!!!"



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: Kramerica
Date: February 05, 2010 03:30PM
Awesome! Congrats.
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: February 05, 2010 03:33PM
woot smiley
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: February 05, 2010 03:35PM
driving smiley



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: February 05, 2010 03:37PM
Is it time for hookers and booze?



Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]


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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: OWC Jamie
Date: February 05, 2010 03:40PM
WOO!!!



Good Luck!
Jamie Dresser
Other World Computing
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: DavidS
Date: February 05, 2010 03:42PM
Awesome! I looked into Orbicule Undercover last night after reading your post. I'm going out of town next week to a conference, so I'll likely buy it and install it this weekend.

You need to write to them and let them know the details and how great their program works.
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: Wailer
Date: February 05, 2010 03:43PM
wow. great story and thanks for sharing as it progressed.
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: GGD
Date: February 05, 2010 03:45PM
Great news, thanks for the update.
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: threeprong
Date: February 05, 2010 03:47PM
Glad to hear!

T
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: troywellbuilt
Date: February 05, 2010 03:49PM
Wohoo!
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: February 05, 2010 03:49PM
"run forensics"??
hmmm

Did they explain why? What authority they have to do that? Etc.?
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: February 05, 2010 03:56PM
bubb rubb smiley



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: February 05, 2010 04:09PM
Ha-Ha! Sucks to be YOU, thief!!

Nice to hear they tracked the laptop down. Now, get the a-hole that pinched it, LEOs!

Odds are, the woman protecting the thief will give him up eventually.



Mr. Lahey: A lot of people, don’t know how to drink. They drink against the grain of the liquor. And when you drink against the grain of the liquor? You lose.

Randy: What the @#$%& are you talking about?
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: Racer X
Date: February 05, 2010 04:10PM
they should charge her with receiving stolen goods, OR she rolls over on the thief.
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: kap
Date: February 05, 2010 04:14PM
thumbsup smiley

I am considering Undercover for my MBP also.
Is the punishment for stealing a Mac more severe than for lifting a Windows one?
;)



SoCal for now.
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: davester
Date: February 05, 2010 04:15PM
Quote
Mini 9
"run forensics"??
hmmm

Did they explain why? What authority they have to do that? Etc.?

I already said why in my original post...to try to see if she used the computer to communicate with the thief. I think they get their authority from the fact that the macbook is criminal evidence and they had a search warrant for the property that it was seized from. I'm pretty sure that anything seized under a search warrant can be searched for evidence. I have no problem at all with them doing this. He might have even asked me if I agreed to this, but frankly I don't recall and I don't care.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: Diana
Date: February 05, 2010 04:17PM
Quote
kap

Is the punishment for stealing a Mac more severe than for lifting a Windows one?
;)

Well, yes and no. Yes, if you're not a Mac person, and no, if you're stupid enough to lift a Windud then you deserve what you get.damn you smiley
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: davester
Date: February 05, 2010 04:18PM
One thing I thought I'd add. The photo taken by the iSight camera was very underexposed, so I adjusted the exposure in iPhoto so that facial details were much easier to see and then sent both the original and enhanced version to the police. I'd highly recommend doing that because otherwise they might not be able to recognize the "perp". I wrote a testimonial letter to Orbicule and added the suggestion that they incorporate a similar process.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: sunfalcon
Date: February 05, 2010 04:31PM
If a person "nukes and paves" the laptop, is the Orbicube Undercover dead? What I mean, is - if a person never boots into Max OS X but instead just does a system level reinstallation of the OS, will the Orbicube still work?

I'm thinking it will not.
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: Panopticon
Date: February 05, 2010 04:39PM
Great results davester!

Quote
Racer X
they should charge her with receiving stolen goods, OR she rolls over on the thief.
and if she won't roll...



................
...Hang the tramp!
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: davester
Date: February 05, 2010 04:40PM
They can't nuke and pave a mac easily if you protect Undercover with a firmware password as Orbicule suggests. There are ways of defeating a firmware password but then you're getting into mac expert territory, not common thief territory. This issue is discussed on the Orbicule website.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2010 04:42PM by davester.
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: Black
Date: February 05, 2010 04:52PM
Quote
davester
Quote
Mini 9
"run forensics"??
hmmm

Did they explain why? What authority they have to do that? Etc.?

I already said why in my original post...

Always helps to start a follow-up thread with a link to the previous




New forum user map 8/2015: [www.zeemaps.com]
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: kap
Date: February 05, 2010 04:59PM
Quote
davester
They can't nuke and pave a mac easily if you protect Undercover with a firmware password as Orbicule suggests. There are ways of defeating a firmware password but then you're getting into mac expert territory, not common thief territory. This issue is discussed on the Orbicule website.

New HD? I know it'd require more than an average Mac knowledge and skill set ... I am just curious.



SoCal for now.
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: February 05, 2010 05:05PM
I would still be wary of such stuff.
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: davester
Date: February 05, 2010 05:10PM
Quote
Black
I already said why in my original post...

Always helps to start a follow-up thread with a link to the previous[/quote]

Actually, I was talking about my original post in this thread, not the previous ones. However, for reference, here are the previous threads on this topic:

[forums.macresource.com]

[forums.macresource.com]



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: davester
Date: February 05, 2010 05:13PM
Quote
kap
New HD? I know it'd require more than an average Mac knowledge and skill set ... I am just curious.

Well sure, they could put a new HD in and probably the firmware password would reset when they did that. However, then they'd need to obtain a new OS and install it. I think most thieves would probably rather just go steal another laptop than go to all that hassle and expense.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: February 05, 2010 05:40PM
Fascinating. I just went back and read the earlier threads, Davester. I'm impressed, thinking of signing up with Orbicule.

A few questions:

What's this 'location' software that Orbicule uses? Sounds from their FAQ that it requires wireless; I normally have Airport turned off (use wired connections generally, or wireless broadband when traveling). Do I have to log in wirelessly somewhere for it to work?

Is there any danger the software could become corrupted and start the fake screen blanking without the computer being stolen?

And what happens if Orbicule's server or a mischievous employee turns on the 'stolen' signal on all their clients? For that matter, what happens if Orbicule goes out of business?

/Mr Lynn



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Honky-tonk Country and Bluegrass
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Saturdays 9am - 11am Eastern
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: Monster
Date: February 05, 2010 05:48PM
WooHoo!

Great frakin' news!



Quote
Mini 9
"run forensics"??
hmmm

Did they explain why? What authority they have to do that? Etc.?

what planet have you been living on?


Quote
Mini9
I would still be wary of such stuff.


really?
what's your reasoning?





The Taoist Zhuangzi said, "Good order results spontaneously when things are let alone".
The sociologist, and historian, Adam Ferguson described the phenomenon of spontaneous order in society as the "result of human action, but not the execution of any human design".
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: davester
Date: February 05, 2010 05:48PM
Quote
mrlynn
What's this 'location' software that Orbicule uses? Sounds from their FAQ that it requires wireless; I normally have Airport turned off (use wired connections generally, or wireless broadband when traveling). Do I have to log in wirelessly somewhere for it to work?

Nope, it doesn't need wireless. In fact a wired connection is better because it's easier to locate. A wireless connection only gets you down to within about 100'.

Quote

Is there any danger the software could become corrupted and start the fake screen blanking without the computer being stolen

I suppose that it's possible that any software (i.e. your OS) could get corrupted and cause computer problems. I know for a fact that my computer has acted up when OS files have become corrupted. That's what backups are for.


Quote

And what happens if Orbicule's server or a mischievous employee turns on the 'stolen' signal on all their clients? For that matter, what happens if Orbicule goes out of business?

Now you're entering paranoia land. I have no idea what the mental stability of Orbicule's employees is. If Orbicule goes out of business then your software investment would be lost and you'd probably want to uninstall Undercover (an easy task). That's a risk I'm willing to take.

Quote

CO2 IS GOOD FOR PLANTS, GOOD FOR THE EARTH, AND GOOD FOR YOU!

FYI, CO2 is a deadly poison for humans so your sig is incorrect in more ways than one.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2010 06:44PM by davester.
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: deckeda
Date: February 05, 2010 06:30PM
Awesome news, Dave.

Quote
davester
Quote
Mini 9
"run forensics"??
hmmm

Did they explain why? What authority they have to do that? Etc.?

I already said why in my original post...to try to see if she used the computer to communicate with the thief. …

Heck, they could probably just bluff it out of her.

(Detective, to gal w/stolen laptop)
"So Jane Doe, you say you don't know how stole the laptop. We see in your email/iChat/web history that you've been chatting quite a bit with Mary, Steve, John and Joe. I think we'll just bring all of them in and question them … unless you know of any reason why we shouldn't?"
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: deckeda
Date: February 05, 2010 06:48PM
Quote
davester
Quote
kap
New HD? I know it'd require more than an average Mac knowledge and skill set ... I am just curious.

Well sure, they could put a new HD in and probably the firmware password would reset when they did that. However, then they'd need to obtain a new OS and install it. I think most thieves would probably rather just go steal another laptop than go to all that hassle and expense.

I did not read all of this, [www.orbicule.com] but it appears booting from another HD would prompt the firmware password. And when you initially setup a firmware password there's an option to require your admin password in order to change it—so if someone has the DVD they still can't change the password unless you've previously left your admin password around in a file somewhere, or put it in the "hints" field within your user account etc.

I particularly like the suggestion to have a dummy user account on the Mac: standard, not admin, and requiring no password to login so that Orbicule can continue to do its thing.
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: kap
Date: February 05, 2010 07:00PM
Quote
deckeda
I particularly like the suggestion to have a dummy user account on the Mac: standard, not admin, and requiring no password to login so that Orbicule can continue to do its thing.

Ha, yes!



SoCal for now.
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: February 05, 2010 07:20PM
Quote
deckeda

I particularly like the suggestion to have a dummy user account on the Mac: standard, not admin, and requiring no password to login so that Orbicule can continue to do its thing.

Wouldn't the default Guest account serve this purpose?

/Mr Lynn
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: February 05, 2010 07:23PM
Quote
davester

FYI, CO2 is a deadly poison for humans so your sig is incorrect in more ways than one.

So is water, in sufficient quantities. FYI, the Navy OKs CO2 in submarine atmospheres up to about 10,000 ppm, with no ill effects (current atmosphere content is c. 380 ppm). Maybe you're thinking of CO.

/Mr Lynn
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: The UnDoug
Date: February 05, 2010 07:29PM
Great news, davester!

Cha ching!



[www.zeemaps.com]
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: davester
Date: February 05, 2010 07:41PM
Quote
mrlynn
FYI, the Navy OKs CO2 in submarine atmospheres up to about 10,000 ppm, with no ill effects

You sure about that number? the IDLH level (immediately dangerous to life and health) is only 40,000 ppmv (we call it the "you're dead" level in my business). Maybe that's an OK STEL (short term exposure limit) but I find it doubtful that they'd allow that for long term exposure. You would almost definitely have some ill effects if you spent any time at 10,000 ppmv. Anyway, whatever the exposure levels, it is definitely not "good for you".



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2010 07:42PM by davester.
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: wurm
Date: February 05, 2010 07:58PM
Congrats, davester.

We bought Undercover for our kids' Macbooks when they bought them for college, back in '06 and '08 respectively. It's peace-of-mind, and stories like davester's help to make us feel that we did the right thing. With any luck we won't ever have to find out how well it works, but it's nice that apparently it does.

In fact, for the second MacBook, we tried this freebie thing that seemed similar, but uninstalled it shortly afterward and went with Undercover just because it seemed easier all around to deal with.
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Any lock Man can make, Man can break.
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: February 05, 2010 11:10PM
Yet you still lock your front door at night, no? Or do you leave it unlocked because any thug could just kick it in or break a window?

Geeeze, what a lot of crap/ "Oh, yeah?! Well I bet an EMP pulse of 2Megwatts would nuke the HD and THEN your Undercover would be useless!!!!!!"

Look, it got the 'Book back. There are times when it won't work if a thief is really really smart. And eventually they'll all catch on. Most of them anyway.

But it's one step that just might help.

Congratulations to davester and the BPD. 496PC applies per Racer's suggestion, if the BPD can show that the girl *knew* this was stolen. Not knowing but protecting the thief is a different story. Depending on the age of the girl (parents tend to get in the way of justice where their kids are concerned) waving the specter of prosecution would seem like a good way to go, alá deckeda's suggestion.


what planet have you been living on?

That cracked me up.




I am that Masked Man.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Any lock Man can make, Man can break.
Posted by: Black
Date: February 05, 2010 11:26PM
Are you going off on anyone in particular, or is this just some sort of therapeutic catharsis for you?
Quote
RAMd®d
Yet you still lock your front door at night, no? Or do you leave it unlocked because any thug could just kick it in or break a window?

Geeeze, what a lot of crap/ "Oh, yeah?! Well I bet an EMP pulse of 2Megwatts would nuke the HD and THEN your Undercover would be useless!!!!!!"

Look, it got the 'Book back. There are times when it won't work if a thief is really really smart. And eventually they'll all catch on. Most of them anyway.

But it's one step that just might help.

Congratulations to davester and the BPD. 496PC applies per Racer's suggestion, if the BPD can show that the girl *knew* this was stolen. Not knowing but protecting the thief is a different story. Depending on the age of the girl (parents tend to get in the way of justice where their kids are concerned) waving the specter of prosecution would seem like a good way to go, alá deckeda's suggestion.


what planet have you been living on?

That cracked me up.




New forum user map 8/2015: [www.zeemaps.com]
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Re: THEY GOT IT!!!! Stolen Macbook recovered!
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: February 06, 2010 02:23PM
Quote
davester

You sure about that number? the IDLH level (immediately dangerous to life and health) is only 40,000 ppmv (we call it the "you're dead" level in my business). Maybe that's an OK STEL (short term exposure limit) but I find it doubtful that they'd allow that for long term exposure. . .

Quick search finds this: [www.nap.edu]

5-8K ppm continuous exposure, but I've seen reports of 10K in nuclear subs with no ill effects. That article discusses physiological effects at various levels. A certain amount of course is necessary for human physiology, and besides, it's plant food!

/Mr Lynn
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