Feb 14Don’t Pinch Stuff from a TechHead Rugby Legend
In 1988, at age 22, Lieutenant Will Carling became the youngest ever captain of the English Rugby team. In all he played 72 test, 59 as captain, and lead the side to four Five Nation championships.
He was the unsuccessful captain in the 1991 world cup final at Twickenham.
You won’t find Will Carling in this photo.
As a rugby player, he has had quite the celebrity status. At one time the press linked him romantically with Lady Di. Today, 14 years after his retirement, he has 45,000 followers on Twitter. (warne888 has 325,000 followers. Between warne888, willcarling and tlembke we have 370,003 altogether.)
Last Tuesday, these twitter followers were entertained to a blow by blow account of Will’s pursuit of a person who had absconded with an iPad he left behind on a train.
Using the ‘Find My iPhone‘ service in MobileMe, he was able to track the culprit to their apartment block. ‘Find My iPhone‘ is available free online and also as an iPhone or iPad app. It tracks the location of an iPhone and displays it on a google map. (Unfortunately, it can only pinpoint location within a few metres. It is not accurate enough to tell you that the phone is in the back pocket of the pants you wore last week and are now in the bottom of the dirty clothes basket)
WIth ‘Find My iPhone‘ you can send messages to your missing iPhone/iPad, tell it to make noises so you can find it in your home, remote lock it, or remote wipe it (if it is stolen).
The UK’s Daily Telegraph completes the story using Will’s tweets-
The drama begin after Mr Carling left the portable device on a train on Tuesday.
Using ..’Find My iPhone’.., he narrowed the location of the thief. He then door-knocked 18 doors and left letters appealing for the thief to give back his iPad, but had no success.
“On an adventure! Left my iPad on train yesterday, Doh! Have now tracked it down to a building in Woking. On my way! Could be interesting!,” he tweeted.
“Used the Mobile me tracker. It is in a block of flats! Managed to get in & knock on all 18 doors! No answer surprisingly. So left notes :-O.”
But then the situation took a dramatic turn after he saw that the thief had fled to the local train station, in a situation he described as “like Enemy of the State”, in reference to the Hollywood movie staring Will Smith.
Mr Carling then called police, where he became involved in a “priceless” conversation with the operator, who was clearly a fan.
“The olice (sic) have been notified. So all go in the iPad rescue. Cracking line from the Police lady who was talking to me about old rugby players … priceless ,” he wrote.
He then continued: “Can’t believe this. Mobile me is now showing my iPad near the station round the back of some shops- has it been dumped???”
“Just sent the moving iPad a message telling them they are being tracked! quoted Police crime reference. Shall update soon…..
“The iPad was locked, so they will not know whose it is (unless they have hacked in!) so watching it moving as I type…..”
Mr Carling, who now manages his own management company, later added: “breaking news. iPad is ‘heading’ towards the local Police Station. Feel like a real spy…….
“Just sent the ‘moving’ iPad a message ‘you are very close to the Police Station now….’ would freak you out if you had hold of it….:-).”
To his relief, he then told his followers that he had success. Police had phoned him saying his iPad had been handed in.
It remains unclear if the person who took the iPad was the thief or a good Samaritan who handed it in.
“Result! Police have just called, iPad has been handed over! It was handed into Woking Station.
Tracked it all on Mobile me – weird / awesome …,” he said.
After turning up at Woking Police station, he was denied a picture with officers but he later posted a photograph of his stolen iPad. He thanked police for their help.
“Rescued iPad! Might check the finger prints on it! Ha ha,” he told his followers.
Mr Carling could not be reached for comment last night. A spokesman for Surrey Police was unavailable for comment. No arrests have been made.
(NB This story could also have been titled ‘iPad left on train – later handed in to police’, but it would have been less dramatic)