Talk:The Theft Problem

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I am worried about the safety of the child. I would imagine that in some of the countries that the laptop is intended to be used, that life is cheap somtimes as little as the cost of a bullet.

Bullets are *VERY* expensive in developing countries and also require an expensive device known as a gun. Much cheaper to use a knife. Even cheaper still to use some unarmed friends and make dire threats if the notebook owner does not voluntarily give up the laptop. --

Even in Modern countries children are attacked and somtimes even killed for there mobile phones, laptops and ipods, in a developing country this problem would be considerably worse. Some of the measures mentioned would make the resale value of any stolen laptop next to nothing but in some countries next to nothing could still be a lot of money.

I believe that any technological measure to prevent theft would be expensive and also eventually overcome, what is needed is a strong deterrent.

The experts on what is and is not a deterrent, are the people in the country and culture. In many countries, the fact that it is a bright-colored plastic children's toy will deter adults from wanting them. And since all the kids will have one and they are all identical, there is no real motive to steal. --

I do not have much in the way of suggestions, other than it being well publicised in the countries of use that illegal possesion of one of the laptops comes with a much more severe penalty than any other theft. Since most of the projects to supply these laptops will be government funded it would be possible to do something like this, not just on a local scale but also worldwide.


The main active deterrent is the 'locking' of the laptop, iow, a stolen laptop will lock itself up rendering itself as useful as a brick (until returned to the proper authority/child where it can be reactivated). See the The Theft Problem#See Also section, particularly the links that refer to anti-theft & correlation with Bitfrost (the laptops security system). --Xavi 10:04, 24 July 2007 (EDT)

I have two things, a comment and a question. First the comment, if the child can reactivate it couldn't someone threten the kid to make it stay working? Or is there something I'm missing. Ok I guesse that waas kind of a quetion. But to my other qustion. To prevent casual snooping on my OLPC laptop is there a way to password protect it? Maniac733 22:13, 26 December 2007 (EST)

In most uses of Bitfrost, I don't think the child would be able to reactivate the laptop themselves. The laptop stops working if it goes for a certain amount of time without receiving a lease from the school server. This means the laptop can be deactivated either by not contacting the school server for some length of time or by the school administrator configuring the school server not to send out leases for that computer (e.g. if the laptop is reported stolen). In that case, the thief would need to threaten the school administrator, not the child.
There is no easy, built-in way to password-protect the Sugar system; one of the design goals of the security system was to not require the children to remember passwords. However, a motivated programmer could probably hack together a "login prompt" that would keep out people who knew nothing about computers. The Python source for the "introduction" screen in /usr/share/sugar/shell/intro (I think...) and the sugar-shell script would be a good place to start. The code is also in the repository here and here. —Joe 10:13, 27 December 2007 (EST)