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Toys

Have You Seen This Segway? 505

Kringle writes "An April 28th theft of a Segway from a home in Kent, Washington appears to be the first of its kind. The Smoking Gun has a copy of the police report. The good news is that the thief didn't get the keys and is lugging around a big paperweight. No word yet from the Grand Theft Auto team about including a Segway in their next game release."
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Have You Seen This Segway?

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  • Finally.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:26PM (#6001264)
    someone got one at a decent price!
    • by qewl ( 671495 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:38PM (#6001418)
      I think Segway creator, Dean Kamen, just decided business was slow and he would just start stealing his few customers' Segways so they would have to buy additional ones. That's exactly what happened. Plus he can recycle some parts!
    • by captain_craptacular ( 580116 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @05:09PM (#6002229)
      Roger Schmeckel, a grossly obese Sysadmin from the washington area was unable to function without his stolen segway.

      Aparently once considered "only fat" by friends and colleagues, the complete cessation of any physical activity brought on the the purchase of the segway has caused Schmeckel to gain an astonishing 250lbs in 3 months. He is now unable to walk from his desk to the kitchen without assistance.

      Schmeckel is quoted as saying -- "I'm just glad all my friends from the EQ community have banded together and helped me out during my time of need".

      Tape at 11.
  • by Surak ( 18578 ) * <surak@mailblFREEBSDocks.com minus bsd> on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:27PM (#6001285) Homepage Journal
    ... a "Microsoft Bob" CD was stolen from a home in Wazoo, Nebraska. No one is exactly sure why anyone would want to steal either item. A police source was quoted as saying, "We're not sure what their motives are."

  • Gee! (Score:5, Funny)

    by zuggy ( 613001 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:27PM (#6001286)
    What a drag!
  • what? he doesn't have an insurance policy against theft?

    i see the future, segway chop shops... awe yeah.
    • Re:insurance? (Score:4, Informative)

      by macdaddy ( 38372 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:49PM (#6001554) Homepage Journal
      Technically every home owners policy I've ever seen would cover this, at least to a certain dollar amount. It would cover your lawn mower sitting out back and it would cover your Segway joking secured with a bicycle chain.
    • Re:insurance? (Score:5, Informative)

      by jsprat ( 442568 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @04:14PM (#6001753)
      I heard an interview with this guy on a local radio station here in Seattle.

      His homeowner's policy wants his auto insurance to pay for it, his auto insurance wants his homeowner's to pay for it - Catch 22.

      He's fed up with the whole thing, so he just wants to pay a $300 reward (no questions asked) for his Segway's return. He even said during the interview that the thieves just needs to tell him that they found it in the bushes.

  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:28PM (#6001291)
    Why, for the love of God, why?
  • Lame (Score:5, Funny)

    by uprightcitizen ( 671176 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:28PM (#6001297) Homepage
    Had the thief gotten the keys, it would be funny to watch the getaway. He's speeding 11 MPH from the scene of the crime laughing nefariously. Hmm... very frightening.
  • by SmirkingRevenge ( 633503 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:28PM (#6001298)
    Does anyone know whether or not a segwey can be "hotwired" so to speak? Do you _really_ need the magical keys (there's 2 I believe, they determine the maximum speed) to use one?

    Above all, I wouldn't want to be using that thing when the police put out the APB.

    "He's slowly getting away, sir!"
    • Re:Ignition Details? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mr.Intel ( 165870 )
      Does anyone know whether or not a segwey can be "hotwired" so to speak?

      Couldn't bring yourself to read the article, huh?

      From the article: "There's no way they can hot-wire it,'' said Valentine, a retired merchant marine officer."

      He said the Segway can't be started without the key, which includes a computer chip.

      • Re:Ignition Details? (Score:5, Informative)

        by L7_ ( 645377 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:39PM (#6001424)
        and yet, honda accords with thier electronic keys continue to be the number one stolen vehicle.

      • Yeah, and DVD's are not copyable and region restricted, the Xbox will only run approved MS code, The PS2 will not play any backups, a Cuecat can only be used with DC's own software, a blank cdrom can not be overburned, Macrovision prevents copying video streams, Safedisc and Securerom prevent coping cd's and a cable box can prevent you from watching the Playboy channel for free.

        But.... The Segway can not be started without the approved key.
        • Yeah, and DVD's are not copyable and region restricted, the Xbox will only run approved MS code, The PS2 will not play any backups, a Cuecat can only be used with DC's own software, a blank cdrom can not be overburned, Macrovision prevents copying video streams, Safedisc and Securerom prevent coping cd's and a cable box can prevent you from watching the Playboy channel for free.

          All these examples are overgeneralizations.

          For the perp to steal the segway and "hotwire" it, he would need to have the followin

    • Hey - Anyone know where O.J. was at the time?

      Hmmm...deja vroom.
    • Hotwiring a Segway (Score:5, Informative)

      by alienmole ( 15522 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @04:17PM (#6001775)
      The Segway uses iButtons [ibutton.com] from Dalsemi[/Maxim] as its ignition and control keys. The basic iButton is just a factory-encoded serial number (64 bits, I think) stored in a small metal button (fits on a keyring) which can be read electronically by touching it to a reader.

      Afaik, the Segway uses a version of the iButton which stores a small amount of other data in addition to the serial number. So, what the Segway probably does is check that the serial number matches what it expects, and also reads the data in the iButton to determine things like the maximum speed it's allowed to go. IIRC, at least one of the Segway keys is speed-limited, for "valet parking" etc.

      So, to hotwire a Segway electronically (as opposed to somehow bypassing the electronic circuitry, if that's possible), you need to at least (a) determine what iButton serial number your Segway expects (hmm - wonder if it's printed on the Segway somewhere?) and (b) build a small iButton simulator which generates the required signal, using the documented OneWire protocol. However, you'd need to do some additional work to simulate the data storage on the iButton. You'd probably need to reverse engineer an existing Segway iButton key for that part - which should be easy, if you have access to a key.

      Bottom line: hotwiring a Segway would take some work, and it would be tough without access to a Segway key to play with, but once you'd done one, it might be pretty easy to do the next one. A big question is how easy it would be to determine the serial number it expects, if you don't have the key. That could be a real barrier.

      BTW, if you want a much more secure authentication mechanism, the Java version of the iButton will do public/private key encryption on the button, so it can be sent a challenge encrypted with your public key, and it will decrypt it with your private key and send it back to the challenger. Now that should be hard to hack.

    • Re:Ignition Details? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Eric Smith ( 4379 ) * on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @04:28PM (#6001865) Homepage Journal
      The key is a Dallas Semiconductor I-button. It contains 16 bytes of data, of which 11 bytes are apparently a unique ID. It's possible to copy keys, but if you have a Segway and no key, you'd have to disassemble the Segway to extract its ID.

      If the makers were really clever, it may not be possible to make a matching key even if you tear apart the Segway. They may have designed it using a non-invertable cryptographic hash such that the code in the Segway can be derived from the code in the key, but not vice versa. In that case the only way to do it would be to rekey the Segway, but they could have made that very difficult.

      See Hacking Segway Keys [robot.net] for more information. That's mostly about modifying a key to change the performance characteristics (increasing the speed limit), but it talks about the key code as well.

  • Right where I left it, in the pile of stupid, overhyped inventions!
    • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:58PM (#6001640) Homepage Journal
      It's not worth the money, but it's not a total waste either. This would be a little more obvious if anybody had seen the Segway's predecessor, the IBot Wheelchair [freeserve.co.uk]. This was actually introduced years before the Segway, but has been stuck in FDA hell ever since.

      An IBot has four modes: "Normal" (basically a conventional wheelchair), 4-wheel (all wheels powered) stair-climbing (really!) and Balance. Take an IBot, remove all the modes except Balance, remove the ability to reposition the chair vertically, replace the chair with a foot-level platform, and replace the joystick with a fancy system for guiding the vehicle with instinctive body movements. Result: a Segway.

      Eventually, you're going to see physically disabled people cruising around town in IBots. Balance seems to be the most popular and useful mode, so a lot of people are going to mistake them for Segways. Undoubtedly, some asshole will come up and say, "You stupid Yuppie! Why don't you use the legs God gave you!?"

  • by inertia@yahoo.com ( 156602 ) * on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:29PM (#6001308) Homepage Journal
    No word yet from the Grand Theft Auto team about including a Segway in their next game release.

    No word yet from the Paperboy team, either.
  • "Theres no way they can hot wire it."

    BMW used to say that too. Thieves are better at these things than most people think they are.
  • by SubtleNuance ( 184325 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:30PM (#6001322) Journal
    I would be interested in buying a used Segway if anyone knows where I might be able to get one.. wink wink

  • by PHAEDRU5 ( 213667 ) <instascreed.gmail@com> on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:31PM (#6001327) Homepage
    Skinner: Damn...they're very slowly getting away!
  • by doublem ( 118724 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:32PM (#6001351) Homepage Journal
    a.) Some punk kid who knew what it was and didn't know how hard it was to hotwire.

    b.) Captain Crunch found out how to hotwire it with a few wires and a toy from a box of cracker jacks. (+1 for 2600 reference)

    c.) Druggie who had no clue and is trying to sell it.

    d.) Vandals.

    e.) It's a publicity stunt by the company selling them in a bid to both get attention, and show how "useless" it would be to steal one (Implying that even if yours is stolen, Insurance will replace it and the thief won't benefit from ti anyway)
    • f. Someone got tired of watching this lazy(1) shithead(2) tool around on a $5000 penis extension, so they cut the chain and tossed it into the river.

      (1) 83 pounds, and he doesn't carry it inside? Come on. That beats even the "too lazy to walk" thing.

      (2) $5000 toy, $5 chain. Get a real lock.

  • by zonix ( 592337 )
    No word yet from the Grand Theft Auto team about including a Segway in their next game release.

    I'd like to see you make a perfect insane stunt with that one! :-)

    z
    • I'd like to see you make a perfect insane stunt with that one! :-)

      Screw a perfect insane stunt. I want to shoot people on Segways, run them down with a car or garbage truck, or just knock 'em off and beat them to death.
  • Priorities? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Schezar ( 249629 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:33PM (#6001361) Homepage Journal
    "He's asking anyone who sees the Segway or knows where it might be to call Kent police at 911."

    911? IIRC, that's that newfangled emergency number. You know, for emergencies. Like heart attacks and SARS. Not missing pieces of metal and plastic.
    • Eh, last time my car was towed away (years ago) I hunted down a phone booth with a phonebook (they don't have them at all the booths) and called the local police station.
      They told me to call 911.

      Go figure.
    • "He's asking anyone who sees the Segway or knows where it might be to call Kent police at 911."

      Also, you'd have great difficulty trying to contact the Kent police by telephoning 911. From memory, 999 (UK number) or 112 (international number) would work better.

    • One of the first things they ask you when you dial 911 is if it is an emergancy. They are simply a dispatch service. You can actually use them to call your local police department to ask about parking tickets (though it is nicer to look in your phone book instead).
    • A lot if cities/counties/municipalities use 911 for everything. In our town - if a dog barks call 911, if you're stabed call 911, if somone if violating a building code call 911, if a post goes on Slashdot with a mispalling call 911, etc..
    • by ryanvm ( 247662 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:54PM (#6001597)
      "He's asking anyone who sees the Segway or knows where it might be to call Kent police at 911."

      Wow - what a coincidence. My local emergency number is 911 too.
    • by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @04:04PM (#6001679) Homepage
      911? IIRC, that's that newfangled emergency number. You know, for emergencies. Like heart attacks and SARS.

      SARS. Indeed.

      Operator: "911, please state your emergency."
      Caller: "(garbled) please help! There's (garbled) with SARS, and (garbled) me!
      Operator: "Ma'am, you need to calm down. Please repeat what you just said."
      Caller: "There's a MAN with SARS, and he's coming towards--oh, Jesus God--"
      Operator: "All right, ma'am, you need to tell me where you are right now. Is he threatening you with the SARS?"
      Caller (whispering): "He's right there...I don't know if he can--oh, no, no, NO! GO AWAY! PLEASE! DON'T--"
      Operator: "Ma'am? Ma'am? We've traced your location, and a unit is on the way. We need you to stay right where you are. Ma'am?"

    • by cygnus ( 17101 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @04:44PM (#6002010) Homepage
      911? IIRC, that's that newfangled emergency number. You know, for emergencies. Like heart attacks and SARS. Not missing pieces of metal and plastic.
      Now that you're a Stonecutter, here's the real number: 912.</Simpsons>
    • Seriously, I've sometimes had to call the police with regard to a non-emergency (trespassing, stolen property, vandalism, etc.), and was unable to get the non-emergency number from either the printed telephone directory, web-site, or telephone operator (who, generally advised, "just call 911").

      Once I actually got so frustrated that I did call 911, and as soon as the operator got on the line, explained, "This is NOT an immediate emergency, but I need the non-emergency number for the police." The operator u

    • Re:Priorities? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nvrrobx ( 71970 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @05:43PM (#6002455) Homepage
      The only number to reach the Kent, WA Police Department is 911.

      Period.

      Call 411 and ask for the "Non-emergency number" for the Kent Police Department. They'll give you 911.

      You should check your facts before posting (yeah, call me flamebait...)
  • Ford Pinto thieves must be getting desperate if they have to turn to stealing Segways...
  • "it can't be hot-wired"

    i love how supposed "technical" people reveal their lack of knowlege.

    ANYTHING can be hacked or hot-wired.

    I find it funny. someone basically leaves a $5000.00 bicycle outside and is suprised that it was stolen, this should not suprise anyone espically with a high-profile item like the segway.
  • by sulli ( 195030 ) * on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:36PM (#6001384) Journal
    Update: Statistics now show that 25% of all Segways have been stolen.
  • I mean, why would he lock up a $5000 piece of equipment with a bicycle chain?

    My theory is that he had major buyer's remorse and decided to cut the chain, get rid of the segway and collect the insurance. Why else would he pick such an easy to cut chain?
  • For grins, I searched EBay and found out that the gent that lost this one can get another one, deliverable immediately, for $5500.

    Why? That is another question. I was almost run over by one of these things on the sidewalk in Manhattan the other day. Mr. UpperWestSide Yuppie was navigating the sidewalk, including the wheelchair cut-outs at intersections with some aplomb, but I really had to suppress an urge to just knock him off the damn thing.

    I can only pray that they don't figure out a way to build and market a Segway stroller. Oh my God, the thought just makes me shudder. GPS, 802.11g web nanny-cam....the horror, the horror.
  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:38PM (#6001417)
    for a low-rider Segway with under-body neon lights, a huge spoiler, and plastered with all sorts of Chinese ideograms
  • GTA VC has something that's worse than a Segway already, it's called the Faggio [netfirms.com]. (yes, it really is called that!)
    • Just out of curiosity why do you think that is worse than a segway?
      I personally think that the scooter would blow a segway away... see i have second gear and ooh third.
      • Heh I dunno, it just seems really REALLY wimpy compared to all of the other bikes in VC. It seemed an appropriate comparison to the Segway.
  • ...he had chained up his ^unique motorized two wheel walking machine. Ballentine indicated that he was the only one to have the machine in South Puget Sound.

    ...where the word "unique" was crammed above the flow of the rest of the text as an afterthought.

    Good grief. Can't ya just see the owner having a hissy fit over how amazingly special he and his Segway are, and how this is no ordinary theft, and the cop wedging the "unique" commentary in there just to shup him up?

    That said, I'm intrigued by this c

  • by macshune ( 628296 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:42PM (#6001472) Journal
    Ok. Here in America people are getting fatter and fatter right? The Segway exists to appropriate the one bit of mild exercize people get daily: walking. Of course I understand its use for postal workers and similar industries that make frequent stops, but this machine is totally wrong for normal people.

    I'm sure in 30 years time, there will be a study done linking Segway use (if everyone has one eventually) with heart disease. It's simply not right to encourage people to have a 100% sedentary lifestyle. Get up and MOVE.

    ...after you are done reading slashdot.
  • White male, late teens to early thirties, considered unarmed and extremely stupid.

    Somebody call the Profiler! (or CSI)
  • I can't believe no-one's said it already, so looks like it's down to me to trollishly quote The Simpsons - "He's gradually getting away!"
  • If you get given one, yank out the Laser Inertial Gyro microchips for use in your own projects. (Made by BAE Systems, a company like Lockheed Martin but with more tea and less money.)

    Well worth the effort of nicking one, assuming you happen to have decent systems integration skills _and_ a criminal bent. You could have not only the worlds first fly by wire RC helicopter, but one made entirley of stolen parts.
  • Two tidbits from the report that made my day.

    The officer's description of the Segway:
    "Unique Motorized Two Wheeled Walking Machine"

    This one speaks for itself:
    "Ballantine indicated that he was the only one to have the machine in the south puget sound area"
  • by diatonic ( 318560 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @03:56PM (#6001621) Homepage
    A good atricle on the security of the Segway is located here [bookofseg.com].
  • by GeneralEmergency ( 240687 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @04:01PM (#6001655) Journal

    ...it's already down in the 'hood and it's been repainted and lowered.

    Tonight, they're going to take it out for a whirr-by shooting.

  • The two articles are inconsistent.

    One says "Gary Valentine" is the owner, while the other says "Robert Ballantine".

    Either one of the reports has the wrong name, or we're talking about different incidents.

    Since "Ballantine" appears in a handwritten police report, it is more credible.

  • You just can't imagine someone making a fast getaway on one of these. Even sillier, however, is the threat faced by people who use unicycles as transport... if anyone tried to nick one of those you'd find it abandoned a few metres away after they gave up in disgust.

    Did they look behind the bins round the corner after the thief realised he just didn't want the damn segway anyway?

    Phil

  • i put together a guide on securing a segway ht, it's just like securing a bike (which i also have and need to secure). lots of common sense for the most part, also you can get a cheap insurance policy (under $150) for the ht against theft.

    http://www.bookofseg.com/secure.html [bookofseg.com]

    cheers,
    pt
  • Segway Rant (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aliens ( 90441 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @04:18PM (#6001794) Homepage Journal
    Since it's a segway story and I ranted recently on these things I'll do it again here.

    First off if you are considering buying one of these things, goto your cabinet, find one of those things they call a pot, hit yourself on the head.

    Secondly, realize that you can do all that a Segway can do WITH A BIKE!!!! All that and you get EXERCISE. Now I understand that the segway is a perfect personification of the Lazy Fat American Dream, but really exercise is gooooood.

    A bike also weighs less, costs less, and can go down stairs, on grass and dirt.

    Don't get me wrong the tech is pretty cool, but it's evil I'm sure the thief will return it with a note "Sorry it looked awfully fancy for a paperweight, I thought it might actually have been useful."
    • Re:Segway Rant (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ptorrone ( 638660 ) * <pt@@@adafruit...com> on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @04:24PM (#6001837)
      i have a bike, but i use my segway more now. i need to be dressed up and my work place does not have a shower, so for me riding a bike is for fun- not commuting. the segway ht didn't replace walking either, it replaced my car. sitting in a car for me is lazy and expensive, i've saved over $600 per month since i went to using my segway ht for most of my trips. i exercise more now than i ever did, mostly because i have more time and i'm not sitting in traffic. if you're interested you can read about it here.http://www.bookofseg.com/100days/ [bookofseg.com]

      find something better that works -for me- and i'll gladly try it. don't just say everyone should use a bicycle.

      cheers,
      pt
      • Re:Segway Rant (Score:3, Interesting)

        by brkello ( 642429 )
        Riiiiiiight. So you are in better shape because of your segway...that's a good one. So how long have you been on segway's payroll? I was getting pretty fat too...then I started watching hockey on tv...now I am fit as a fiddle.

        Saved over $600 a month? What kind of fuzzy math is that? How can it give you more time? A car goes much faster than a segway, therefore it will get you there faster (in most cases). Unless you are using it for short commutes, in which case your saving $600 figure makes no se
        • Re:Segway Rant (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ptorrone ( 638660 ) * <pt@@@adafruit...com> on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @06:03PM (#6002561)
          i have more time to jog each day as opposed to sitting in traffic, i get home a bit earlier and can leave later so i started to jog more- it's that's simple. you can call bs on me all you want, i'll glady prove it any way you choose. the $600 is: $350 car payment, $150 insurance and $120 parking. do the math...i don't work for or with segway in any way, they make a cool ride, but that's where it ends.
  • by fobbman ( 131816 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @05:07PM (#6002205) Homepage
    "Yer right, Cletis. That IS one fancy-pants lookin' push-mower. If'n ya only had the keys..."

  • Hacking Segway Keys (Score:5, Interesting)

    by leighklotz ( 192300 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @05:50PM (#6002495) Homepage
    Sadly, the Segway keys are easily-hacked, unencrypted I-Buttons, as Andy Rubin of Danger [danger.com] has discovered [robot.net].

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