One ring to find them?

I think I’ve lost my UK mobile. It may be in the back of a cab somewhere, or under a plane seat, or lying in a Wellington gutter. Anyway, I can’t find it. (So friends and family should note that it is not a good way to contact me at present!)

Normally, you have a good chance of finding mobiles simply by calling them. But this one is switched off, or the battery is dead; I just go straight through to my voicemail.

I want a way to switch it on remotely. Perhaps a phone could wake up every half hour, check for any messages, and if you had sent it a special text it would respond in some way – emailing you what it could deduce about its position, for example, and staying on for a while so you could call it.

The frustrating thing is not knowing whether it’s here in my hotel room somewhere, or hundreds of miles away in Auckland airport, or lurking under some Wellington restaurant table… I may never know.

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Did the idea of having a ‘remote delete’ facility for a phone/PDA ever gain traction? I remember reading something (Schneier?) a while back that suggested this would be of particular interest to corporate users.

Losing my blackberry/mobile wouldn’t be such a loss from a data point of view as its regularly synced. You can get a new SIM issued and activated within a day to plug into a fresh handset.

From a privacy point of view though, I’d like to know I could zap my old phone’s memory from afar even if I never get to see it again.

All rather a pain – hope it magically shows up!

Thanks, Tariq –

Of course, there’s another slight inconvenience: I can’t get a new SIM on that account at present, because I’m the wrong side of the globe. 🙁


Blackberry and Good do have a remote delete, at least for corporate users.

I like Q’s idea of notifying the network that it’s a lost phone, and the network and the phone being able to figure out its location if it’s ever turned on.


Have checked here and have not seen your phone. That leaves the rest of the world as a possibility with the way you travel.

Idea on the phone waking up. It does it on the hour and stays on for 2 to 3 minutes and then goes back to sleep as you suggest.

It will turn up, or you’ll just HAVE to get an i-phone and show it to us when you’re in town next.

Take care.


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