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All those MI5 folk leaving notebooks in London cabs on the way home from that sushi bar (where the sake must be really good); they're not alone. I love these figures from a survey designed to make you go buy some encryption software - or possibly take the tube...

In the last six months, taxi passengers in London had reported losing 54,874 mobile phones (that's more than 2 per taxi), 4,718 PDAs, 3,179 laptops and 923 USB sticks. And I thought it was bad at Heathrow, where people leave 5 laptops and 10 mobiles a day behind at the security machines. Losing stuff in a taxi is a better bet; 96% of phones lost in taxis are returned but only 60% of what's lost at Heathrow, with the rest auctioned off locally (and do they wipe the hard drives? yeah, right).

I also like the list of other things that UK taxi drivers "admitted to finding" (was there much they were too embarrassed to admit?): a telescope, a drunken woman left as a tip by her boyfriend, a machine gun and 100,000 pounds worth of diamonds.

But was that all in the same cab?


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
29th Nov, 2006 12:27 (UTC)
Let's flip the equation on its head, shall we?

Six months, roughly 62,000 electronic gadgets. So approximate it to 12 months, 120,000 gizmos lost. Against a population of c. 10 million for Greater London (give or take a million) the loss rate is around 1% of the population ... so the average person probably stands about a 60% chance of losing one item just once in their life.

You know me, right? You know I virtually never step outdoors with less than three microprocessors in my pockets?

I have once left a mobile phone in a taxi (and got it back within ten minutes -- it just took the driver a while to figure out how to answer a call on the Treo :) in maybe twenty person-years or carrying electronics everywhere.

(Mind you, I've found other folks' phones, and even a jolly expensive Nikon DSLR, in the back of cabs I've hailed before now.)

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


full steam ahead
Mary Branscombe
Simon & Mary

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