capacitor to call the police without battery and SIM card *g* Re: Fun with Stolen/Lost Phones..

Richard Franks spontificus at
Mon Dec 18 17:05:01 CET 2006

On 12/15/06, Robert Michel <openmoko at> wrote:
> Did I alread mentioned the idea to have a capacitor parallel
> to the battery? So the Neo1973 cold call the police even without
> battery and the simcard and transmitt the coordinates of the phone.
> ***g*** (of course with black screen...)

Well.. you could implement a virtual battery - say at 5% of the total
battery charge, which could be reserved for 'emergency' type tasks. If
the user chooses to explicitly override this (the option need not be
obscured), then it's with the knowledge of the risks which entail.

The more I think about the anti-theft ideas, the more I start to think
that you can do certain things, like implement locks when the battery
has been removed.. but for the serious thief, or one with access to
the internet, if the battery is removable then there isn't much you
can do.

Now, if there was something like this guy:

Whereby, in hardware, the device would require activation for each
uniquely coded battery - possible to do via USB/PC Client... then you
might have the basis for an open security system, as the options boil
down to:
1) Steal phone, keep battery in, no control over what the phone is
doing, who it is talking to.
2) Steal phone, remove battery, unable to get over hardware lock upon
reinsertion of even the same battery.. as the volitile ram holding the
bootstrap code has not been filled via the USB authentication yet.

Along with encrypted filesystems, this could become a very secure
device, as in your handset may be stolen, but your private data can't.
I don't think we can do any better, short of keeping the handset
locked up in a safe.


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