The afternoon was sunny, crisp and flawless. I was in Boston for only the second time in my life. And I was trudging down the sidewalk on my way to the police station, feeling like the loneliest most forlorn person in the world. The night before, my well-used 4-year-old laptop had been stolen from the hotel where I was staying. I had carelessly left it on a chair in a hallway, and someone had picked it up, along with all the documents of my professional life and every last scrap of my personal information, including my tax returns. It was maddening because the computer itself was old and virtually worthless, so if the thief took it to sell, he was probably sorely disappointed. If he took it to steal my identity, he hit the jackpot.