With the growing ubiquity of, and user reliance on, mobile computing devices (laptops, PDAs, smart phones, etc.), loss or theft of a device is increasingly likely, disruptive, and costly.
Adeona is the first Open Source system for tracking the location of your lost or stolen laptop that does not rely on a proprietary, central service. This means that you can install Adeona on your laptop and go -- there's no need to rely on a single third party. What's more, Adeona addresses a critical privacy goal different from existing commercial offerings. It is privacy-preserving. This means that no one besides the owner (or an agent of the owner's choosing) can use Adeona to track a laptop. Unlike other systems, users of Adeona can rest assured that no one can abuse the system in order to track where they use their laptop.
This looks good solution but if thief wipe the hard drive at first boot then this software will not help you. If your laptop carries sensitive data encrypt it with software.
Click here to download open source Adeona software for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows operating systems (via Linux.com)
Interesting idea that explains how to build awesome secure and portable system using Linux. From the article:
I designed this system with both security and portability in mind. My system uses a Linux kernel and the entire thing, applications, personal data, etc, takes up 1GB of space. It is split up into two parts, the operating system, and my personal data. The operating system is a 700MB live-CD, GRML, that generates a completely fresh install every single time I boot up the computer. Doing this means that if my system is ever hacked into, a simple restart of my computer fixes the problem. This also means that any configuration changes made or private information stored by any application, restarting reverts everything to a clean slate.
The personal data is encrypted using an AES-256 algorithm. The password I type in actually unlocks a special encrypted file which unlocks the real encryption information, meaning that my actual password is never stored in RAM (more specifically, DRAM). To prevent highly sensitive information from being discovered by remote hackers, which this layer of encryption would not protect against, an extra layer of encryption using either GPG or AES-256 provides two layers of encryption for highly sensitive data.
=> My Awesome Secure and Portable System