Can the Computer, "Phone Home, ET?"

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addams
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Can the Computer, "Phone Home, ET?"

Postby addams » Thu May 01, 2014 3:29 pm UTC

Is it possible to ask the computer to 'Ping'?

In some people's world, it is possible to leave a computer on a Train or Taxi or in a BookStore or Coffee Shop.
Is it possible to ask it, "Where are you?"

In some people's world, it is possible for the computer to be taken by unfriendly sorts.
They know where the computer is. I don't. And; They are not telling.

Is it possible to ask it to "Phone Home, ET"?
When it is turned on, can it send a Location Ping?

Send it to E-Mail or xkcd or Somewhere!

I love my little computer.
Like any loved one, I wonder where it is when it is Gone.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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scarecrovv
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Re: Can the Computer, "Phone Home, ET?"

Postby scarecrovv » Fri May 02, 2014 3:53 am UTC

My goodness, even when asking technical questions you write in verse!

Having a computer phone home can be done many different ways. However, they generally require you to set it up on your computer beforehand, and they can all be defeated by a thief who wipes the disk and resets the BIOS settings before connecting it to the internet.

The harder part of the problem is the computer knowing where it is when it phones home. The only way I can think of that would work reliably would be installing a GPS in it. GeoIP won't get you closer than a few miles, sometimes only tells you the state or country, and sometimes doesn't work at all. The only instance I've heard of where someone used a mechanism like this to recover a stolen computer was when they logged into it remotely, turned on the webcam, and got a photo of the thief.

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addams
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Re: Can the Computer, "Phone Home, ET?"

Postby addams » Fri May 02, 2014 4:10 am UTC

ok.
That means it is doable.
Right?

Someone knows how to turn their computer on remotely?
That's a special trick. I have heard of it. I can't do it.

Thank you for the reply.
I will do what I can.

I will think about it.
Someone knows How.

The iCloud people?
Do they know?

Do you speak iCloud?
I only speak English.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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PhoenixEnigma
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Re: Can the Computer, "Phone Home, ET?"

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Fri May 02, 2014 4:30 am UTC

Yep - for many portable expensive electronic things, there's some way available to have them send a distress beacon of sorts if they're reported stolen (or lost, in some cases). For laptops, you can get programs like LoJack for Laptops, but the utility is somewhat limited because most laptops don't have GPS receivers (so they don't know exactly where they are), and they have to be within range of a WiFi network they can connect to in order to send any tracking data out. They're useful if someone stole and started using your laptop, but not much good if you forgot it somewhere and can't remember where. On the other hand, LoJack at least also includes a service side, where other people do the hard work of getting ISPs and police involved.

Smartphones and tablets, however, typically do have GPS receivers built in to them, and most smartphone and some tablets can communicate using cellular data, so it's much more practical to have them report back on exactly where they are and in fact it's built into modern mobile operating systems. Apple products have iCloud and Find My iPhone for that, Android has Device Manager, and I suspect Windows Phone has something similar as well. The Apple solution appears to need to be set up in advance, Android's is on by default, and again I don't really know about the Windows Phone option.
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addams
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Re: Can the Computer, "Phone Home, ET?"

Postby addams » Fri May 02, 2014 5:04 am UTC

Thank you.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Jplus
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Re: Can the Computer, "Phone Home, ET?"

Postby Jplus » Fri May 02, 2014 9:28 am UTC

"There are only two hard problems in computer science: cache coherence, naming things, and off-by-one errors." (Phil Karlton and Leon Bambrick)

coding and xkcd combined

(Julian/Julian's)

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addams
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Re: Can the Computer, "Phone Home, ET?"

Postby addams » Sun May 04, 2014 10:09 pm UTC

Jplus wrote:There's also "find my mac". https://www.apple.com/support/icloud/find-my-device/

Thank you.
That is the exact thing.

If anything is available and functional, that should be It.
Of course, It may take me a while to set it up.

It looks Easy!
Normal people will download it in No Time and be on their way to testing it in All kind of weather.

Thank you.
EDIT:
I Works!!

Of course, I have only tested it in the fairest of weathers.
Did you test it?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.


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