Wouldn't it be nice if your laptop had a system that works like LoJack for cars? Wouldn't it be nice if it could actually take a picture of the thief to help you and law enforcement capture the culprit? Wouldn't it be nice if all this was free? It must be Christmas (actually it's Christmas Eve, but that is close enough), because all this IS free and available through Open DHT.*
Adeona (Adeona is the Roman goddess of safe returns) was developed by some very smart Ph.D students and faculty at the University of Washington as part of an academic research project to provide everything you always wanted for your laptop security. It works as a download that only the owner can access, tracking the IP address and location of your laptop, all while remaining invisible to the user. If your laptop is a MAC, it will even take photos of your thief with the freeware tool isightcapture.
Christmas is early this year!
*I would recommend that you wait for the new enhanced version they are working on, due to be released soon; sign up for their RSS update feed so you can get it as soon as it comes out.