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Thanko USB PC Lock

Thanko USB PC lock

So you want to lock up your computer and just can't get enough of gaudy, wearable gadgets? Then Thanko's got you covered (remember, they hooked us up before with the USB pen/SD reader). Their new USB PC Lock does what you expect—locks your PC—but the real height of geekery is the accompaning receiver (that you're apparently supposed to wear on your shirt, yeah right). When activated, the computer will automatically lock up when you move more than two meters away from it (that's 6.5-feet in American). Thankfully, it'll also work if you put it in your pocket, which we recommend you do. Like, really recommend.

[Via Popgadget]

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Herve5 @ Dec 29th 2004 10:56AM

There is already a bluetooth utility (for macintoshes at least) that does exactly that, but with you bluetooth GSM, and it also unlock when you come back. All of this without the need of an extra "receiver"...

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Brad Denton @ Dec 29th 2004 11:50AM

No extra receiver, except for the one you put/had built in to your Mac. Or do you mean the phone you will have to carry around with you?
Something like this would be a good idea, but a webcam and some facial recognition software would be nicer and a bit more secure - sit down in front of the computer and it unlocks, rather than just by walking into the room.
Or of course there's the cheap-as-free Win+L when you get up, and tap in your password when you get back. Handy if you're on a budget.

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NetLockSmith @ Dec 29th 2004 11:52AM

I thought this was cool and I bought one, but I was disappointed in how it worked -- or more precisely, how it didn't.

I'd be sitting in front of my PC, with not more than 1 foot between the transmitter in my pocket and the receiver, and it would sporadically decide I was gone and lock the system. Conversely, when I did leave the PC, it seemed like it took a while to notice I was gone.

It seem that if you want your computer to self-lock when you leave, the best answer is still to have a password-protected screensaver. And that's free.

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Jon Plummer @ Dec 29th 2004 12:16PM

I also bought this, and found it largely workable, but a failure of bad software. If it a) responded quickly, b) allowed you to customize the "locked out" wallpaper, or c) used the existing windows lockout screen, then it could have been a conendah. As it was, it did none of these, and I ended up mailing it off to a friend for his further ridicule.

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Lorenz Szabo @ Dec 29th 2004 12:23PM

Also available at -- my manufacturer seems to be a Chinese company. Installation and GUI sucks, but you can replace the lock screen with your own graphics. I can really recommend it!

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Yoz @ Dec 29th 2004 1:43PM

The guys at F-Secure have already played with these and found them slightly wanting:

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Bryan Batchelder @ Dec 29th 2004 2:06PM

Been playing with these for a couple weeks. They are wanting...but I have examined the hardware, figured out how it works, and am releasing replacement software.

Check out my blog. I will put up an installer later today, for people to beta test. I have been testing it myself for about a week.

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Brian @ Dec 29th 2004 2:17PM

This thing is a piece of crap by any measure. I bought one months ago, tried it for like a week and threw it away. From the rotten engrish in the documentation to the badly-resized background image it's hunk of low-cost garbage from start to finish.

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Bryan Batchelder @ Dec 29th 2004 3:13PM

Ok, I actually released the software for beta just now.

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Sulley @ Dec 29th 2004 3:47PM

One smart guy from Intel says:"Only the Paranoid Survive". I use this in my company with
Dekart Logon and it works great! Bluetooth is less useful because most of modern Bluetooth devices don't loose connection even at 20 meters - too much of a distance to be effective in this way.

vote up vote downReportNeutral

Sulley @ Dec 29th 2004 3:55PM

One smart guy from Intel says:"Only the Paranoid Survive". I use this in my company with
Dekart Logon and it works great! Bluetooth is less useful because most of modern Bluetooth devices don't loose connection even at 20 meters - too much of a distance to be effective in this way.

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Dave Trammell @ Dec 29th 2004 4:08PM

Thanks for the new software Bryan! My two big complaints with the unit were a) the original software's really poor-security "locking" method (easily defeated the first time I tried it out), and the ease with which the remote fob's power button could get accidentally pushed (thus turning the unit off, causing the machine to lock. So I'm going to try to figure out a new casing or something for the fob, and maybe then I can use the damn thing!

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CrystalGeyser @ Dec 30th 2004 12:37AM

If you want want to try this item out, you can buy it for $17.95+shipping here:
They have lots of low priced items. I got my P5 glove for only $15 (MSRP:$70+)

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Scott H. @ Aug 13th 2005 1:42PM

Bryan and I have updated the software and written an article about it:


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