A company that makes phone-security tools bought 10 phones on EBay and shared their contents with a reporter, finding evidence of marital affairs, business deals and other juicy private information.

One phone surrendered the secrets of a chief executive at a small technology company in Silicon Valley. It included details of a pending deal with Adobe Systems Inc., and e-mail proposals from a potential Japanese partner:

"If we want to be exclusive distributor in Japan, what kind of business terms you want?" asked the executive in Japan.

Trust Digital surmised that the U.S. chief executive gave his old phone to a former roommate, who used it briefly then sold it for $400 on eBay. Researchers found e-mails covering different periods for both men, who used the same address until recently.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, but "former roommate" has to be a euphemism for a relationship, right? They were sharing a residence, e-mail address and expensive cell phone, which the roomie quickly dumped. I'm sensing that somebody's got a box of somebody else's T-shirts, toiletries and The Best of Judy Garland two-disc vinyl record set, and if he doesn't pick it up soon, that crap hits the garbage.

-- Rogers Cadenhead


Damn, you mean some crook in Sonoma may discover my plot to take over the world, and try to blackmail me? All he'll get out of me is my vast collection of roots reggae, on cassette tapes, no less.

Rogers, you really have to get over this idea that all gays (there, I said it) listen to Judy Garland.


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