Alright, let’s begin the week with a little self examination, some historical information, and tongue planted firmly in cheek. First, color me a bit paranoid. If you’ve read NoodleMac more than a few times you know I don’t trust technology. Or, people. Besides, if everyone is out to get you, paranoia is a good attitude to cultivate.
Second, and sad as I am to say this, yours truly is old enough to remember Mission: Impossible television re-runs where the tape with instructions for the spy team and Mr. Phelps would self destruct at the end. I suspect that spies back in the day had good memories. Samsung reprised the self destruction capability in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in mid-2016. And now the CEO is in jail. Coincidence?
Your iPhone likely contains plenty of information you would rather not see fall into the hands of well, anyone else. Spouse. Police. F.B.I. Neighbor. Those incriminating photos you have stored in the Photos app won’t post themselves on Instagram, not will they? What can you do to ensure that whatever is on your phone stays on your phone? Or, stays out of the hands of everyone else but you?
Apple has a built-in safeguard that wipes the iPhone’s memory clean after x-number of failed attempts to login. My iPhone has that safeguard turned on, but I also back up files on iCloud, my Mac, and other places where I think I can exercise some quality control over security, and yet get my files when I need to.
I’m not so sure about iCloud’s safety, though.
OK, the folks who do research at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia have an idea which looks like a decent way to provide yet another layer of security upon your modern devices; should they fall into the hands of terrorists, government hacks, police, or F.B.I.
That’s it. Fire. Just like the tape from the original Mission: Impossible television series, the smartphone, tablet, or computer would catch fire. Well, parts of it would catch fire. The way it works is simple enough. An expandable polymer would be triggered remotely which would then heat electrodes, activate the polymer, and melt the memory chips.
Ipso facto! Voila! Fire. Contained, of course. Well, maybe. I see a few issues that could cause problems if the polymer were activated too soon or inadvertently or at the wrong time, but I’ll leave that to Samsung’s battery engineers to explain when the Galaxy S8 gets introduced later this year.
Such a self-destruction device could be triggered a variety of ways; GPS, for example, whenever a device is removed from a specific location. Or, by x-number of failed password attempts. And so on. The inventors say the self-destruction device can be retrofitted onto older devices, but could also be implemented into newer devices and for very little expense.
Alright, you know I’m a bit paranoid when it comes to privacy and security. But I’m also a bit paranoid about the ability of technology to help humankind appropriately (Skynet, Terminator, and all that), so the possibility of a self destructing iPhone, iPad, or Mac carries another level of built-in paranoia. Murphy’s Law, right?
Smartphone batteries that were not designed to self destruct, do indeed self destruct. So, we’re going to put in actual self destruction technology to help the process along?
Uh huh. Right. Sure. Apple, get right on that.