Ever misplaced a laptop, had a desktop stolen, or a server spirited away, and wished there was a means that would enable you to tracked them down? Well, there are applications that can be installed on a computer that gives you the ability to do just that, but they are all proprietary and their methods of tracking gives no privacy guarantees. So while they do a good job of helping to track a lost asset, you give up something in the process – your privacy.
And that happens because in order to keep track of your laptop, the tracking agent – the piece of software installed on the laptop – has to “call home”. And “home” just happens to belong to the commercial entity that makes the software. With Adeona, a free and open source software just released by doctoral students at the University of Washington, you can track your digital assets, and still preserve your privacy.
Adeona uses methods to ensure that only the owner of the digital assets being tracked can retrieve location information stored on the OpenDHT distributed storage service. OpenDHT, formerly known as OpenHash, is a “publicly accessible distributed hash table (DHT) service” that is free to use.
This version of Adeona is beta software released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) Version 2.0 , and it’s available for Linux (in source form), Windows XP/Vista, and MacOS X, which you may download from here.
Adeona is the second open source software released by the University of Washington and profiled on this site within the last 30 days. The first one is WebAnywhere, a Web-based screen reader that can be used on any Internet-aware PC or mobile device with audio output.