Thieves rip $800,000 in computers from San Jose State

by John Seiler | December 31, 2014 9:00 am

HAL 9000 computerCan’t blame this one on Kim Jong Un of North Korea.

Thieves ripped off $800,000 of computer equipment from San Jose State. The Contra Costa Times reported:

Without a central warehouse or reliable system for keeping track of the valuables arriving on campus, hundreds of wireless-access devices costing nearly $600 each started to disappear as early as 2012, and no one noticed — until January of this year. And it took months more for university officials to realize the equipment had been stolen. 

“There is no way to track what items were delivered,” reads a recently released university police report that summarizes a May interview with one employee.

This is the public university right in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Incredible. Yet typical government incompetence.

And it was just a couple of days ago that I reported [1]on state Auditor Elaine M. Howle’s report on the unreliability of state computer data.

Just before that, a computer bug dumped [2]some Covered CA applicants into Medi-Cal.

A year ago, unemployment checks were delayed [3]by a glitch in the computer of the Employment Development Department.

Then way back in 1994 there was a $44 million DMV computer “debacle[4].”

Of course, private companies also suffer thefts and glitches. But in those cases, the company itself pays.  With government problems, it’s taxpayers who make up the difference. And given that nobody really “owns” government property, fewer precautions are taken to keep equipment safe and programs running right.

Yet the government minutely runs our lives!

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