Monday, March 3, 2014

Remember the Palm?

Riley Johnson, a reporter at the Lincoln Journal Star, penned an interesting article in Saturday morning's paper about the rising numbers of stolen smartphones. No doubt about it, they are a hot commodity right now. I pointed out to Riley that the uptick in smartphone thefts probably is offset by the reduction in thefts of other items. Allow me to explain.

Last year, I was the keynote speaker at the Law Enforcement Information Management Conference. During the speech, I told he audience that if I had been on the same trip just a few years earlier, my kit would likely have included a Casio digital camera, an Olympus microcassette recorder, a Dell laptop, a Palm VII, a Samsung cell phone, a Garmin Nuvi GPS, and an Apple iPod--each with it's own charger. If you had stolen my briefcase in 2006 or so, it would have been a treasure trove of personal electronics. Then I held up my iPhone, and explained that the smartphone performed all of those functions today, and more--walkie talkie, police scanner, spirit level, weather station, travel clock, flashlight, video camera, and so forth.

The briefcase is very light today, and if you snagged my tablet or phone, I could remotely wipe and disable it as soon as I realized it had gone missing. There may be a lot more stolen smartphones over the past few years, but as the data I provided Mr. Riley demonstrates, there are fewer GPS devices, digital cameras, and media devices being stolen, as more and more people use their smartphones for these purposes, consigning their iPod, Canon, and TomTom to a drawer from which they are rarely retrieved. The current hot commodities for theft tend to change over time, with the exception of the always-popular stuff: cash, cigarettes, liquor, jewelry, guns.

Remember the Palm? Before tablets and smartphones, personal digital assistants were huge. PDAs ruled the personal electronics roost from the mid 1990s through the mid 2000s, especially the Palm Pilot. There were a lot a varieties of PDAs and competing operating systems. Several of these overlapped during this time period. I pretty much owned them all at one time or another.

They were also hot products for theft. Not any more, though. Despite the wild popularity of the Palm Pilot, which was in the briefcase or backpack of all the cool kids by the late 1990s, the last Palm stolen in Lincoln was taken in a burglary, on March 8, 2011. I suppose another one will eventually be stolen--from a museum, or from some private collector.


James Johnson said...

State law makes it clear to the CC person what protocol via Nebraska State Statute should be followed when approached or summoned by an LEO. After reading about the two LEO per car news in the LJS, a question is produced from within the article. It mentions flags. So if you have a CC (Valid CONCEAL CARRIE permit) flag, is there a written policy other than State Statute, that LPD has in place, about procedure. . Is there educational material available for the 14 thousand or so CC permit holders in Lincoln Lancaster county? Material would address what the contact procedure is for LPD and what the CC holder can expect during a traffic stop. The flavor of the article paints LPD as an anti gun mindset employer.

Steve said...


I did not get the same impression you did from the LJS article that LPD was ant-gun. I may have missed something, but the only thing I saw was that they would "go into a different mode" if they knew someone they were after had a criminal history or was known to carry a gun. I don't know what that means to you, but to me it simply means they would be more prepared for possible resistance. I have no problem with that.

I have no experience with LPD in regard to being stopped while carrying, but I can tell you that other LEOs didn't seem to give a rats behind that I had a permit or a gun. One asked to see my gun just out of curiosity as to what I carried, none asked to see my permit. If anything, I may have been treated more courteously than I might have been otherwise. I would hope the same was true with LPD.

I would think that if you are not otherwise engaged in suspicious activity, you identify yourself as a permit holder carrying a firearm (as per state law), and cooperate politely with police, you will have no problems.

Tom Casady said...

Mr. Johnson,

First of all, I think that in the context of the only paragraph in the rather lengthy article that contains the word "guns" it is clear the officer is referring to criminals with a history of gun-toting.

Second, (in response to your question) we have a link to the rules and regulations on our website, which I suppose would constitute "educational material." The requirement is quite simple, and I believe it is covered in every CCF course: when contacted by a law enforcement officer or other emergency service personnel, immediately inform him or her of a concealed firearm. I do not think this needs a PowerPoint or a youtube.

Anonymous said...

"CC (Valid CONCEAL CARRIE permit)"

Nebraska calls that item a Concealed Handgun Permit.

Anonymous said...

My last Palm OS device Was a Tungsten E2. I carried that and a flip-phone, which was somewhat like a clunky 2-part smartphone.

Tom Casady said...


Me too. Motorola StarTac + Palm VII = smartphone.

Steve said...

Can't wait to find out what Arrrrg!!!! carried.