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Monday, November 30, 2009

How to disappear completely

A few months ago, one of Wired magazine's writers, Evan Ratliff, had an article about people who tried to disappear and start new lives somewhere else. (Often, it seemed, for criminal reasons.) The magazine then had Ratliff disappear himself for a month and challenged readers to find him -- with $5,000 prize money at stake. The story of what happened next is in the latest issue, and it's a great read. Entire online communities started up with the sole purpose of finding Ratliff, who did some very clever things to stay hidden. (My favorite trick: He rented an office in Las Vegas, set up some computers, then logged onto them remotely from other cities. If anyone tried to track him down online, they'd be led to the dummy address first.)

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