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Wireless Networking Communications Handhelds Hardware

GPS Cell Phone in Soda Can Form 301

Myko writes " reports that Coca Cola has unleashed a new GPS enabled cell phone for a new promo. Apparently the user will push one button which will auto dial a Coke rep that will tell them they won an SUV. They'll then press and enable the GPS and the prize squad will drive to their location with the prize. So the big question is, will the phone give off any residual waves that will allow custom made detection equipment to find the right 12 pack, similar to the tilt and win iTunes trick? :)" We mentioned this last year, but it wasn't clear how the GPS-in-a-can trick was going to work.
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GPS Cell Phone in Soda Can Form

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2004 @10:54AM (#9073391)
    I had a tin can phone when I was a kid using the latest in string technology. The range and clarity still beat my cell phone today.
    • by Hiro Antagonist ( 310179 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @10:56AM (#9073416) Journal
      I had a tin can phone when I was a kid using the latest in string technology. The range and clarity still beat my cell phone today.

      Another satisfied Sprint customer, I see.
      • by nacturation ( 646836 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <noitarutcan>> on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:15AM (#9073638) Journal
        Another satisfied Sprint customer, I see.

        Connections so clear you'll notice a pin dropping. *

        (* That is, if it's a really heavy pin and it impales your foot. Sprint not responsible for infections as a result. Do not try at home. Not for internal use.)
      • Another satisfied Sprint customer, I see.

        I've been with Sprint for about 3 years now. I had an older model phone prior to this past fall and the range did suck for the most part. I have a much better model phone now. [] It's quite rare that I fall into a Roam Zone and I have a pretty good signal most places I go. I do still notice a fair amount of network delay once the night hours start, but it'll still dial after a few seconds pause.

        A lot of people complain about Sprint, but I've never had any majo
    • What If? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Mr. Troll ( 202208 )
      The artical says GSM phone.....what if you live somewhere that has no GSM coverage? I mean, if you aren't near a coast or a heavily populated area, you kinda screwed no?

      Then again, I'm sure they'd just have you call some number otherwise...

      I really should think before I post. /all spelling errors intentional
      • Re:What If? (Score:2, Interesting)

        The artical says GSM phone.....what if you live somewhere that has no GSM coverage? I mean, if you aren't near a coast or a heavily populated area, you kinda screwed no?

        Given that the article also says they are going to drive the SUV to you, I would expect that they will know which city the cell-phone is located in. I can't imagine them driving the SUV all the way across the country.

        So, likely it will be released where GSM coverage is available.
        • Re:What If? (Score:3, Funny)

          by The_K4 ( 627653 )
          We would like to give you this brand new SUV. Please excuse the 3000 miles we put on it getting here, and sorry about the spilled soda in the passanger seat, and thankyou for staying right here for 5 days while we got it here, sorry about have got stop for directions 10 times. Enjoy!
  • Cola Contests (Score:5, Informative)

    by bobej1977 ( 580278 ) * <rejamison@yah o o .com> on Thursday May 06, 2004 @10:55AM (#9073395) Homepage Journal
    Presumably, they're smart enough to not turn the thing on until you pushed the button. Your coca-cola probably gets bottled in your town or a nearby small town. My town of 100k has it's own bottler. They'll know which districts are getting a can so that their prize patrols can be ready.

    On a side note, I went to school with a kid who won a Jeep in the Pepsi contest where each cap had a word and you had to make phrases. The phrase was like 'DO IT' or something. The Jeep had a ton of pepsi stickers all over it and the contract he signed required that he could not sell it or remove any of the stickers for one year. Of course he had to pay the tax on the $20,000 vehicle before they would hand it over. Still better than a kick in the pants, but it's amazing the hoops they make you jump through.

    • They'll also get even more detailed locations than that... by tracking the shipping process, they'll know which store wound up with the winning 12-pack. It's a safe bet that the winner will be within a 20 mile or so radius of that store.
    • i find it strange that the recipient of the prize had to pay the tax on that vehicle...

      it's not like Pepsi is a car dealership. wouldnt Pepsi be required to pay the tax on that vehicle when they bought it for their contest?

      if so, it'd be double-dipping.

      • Re:Cola Contests (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DaHat ( 247651 )
        Yes, Pepsi would have already have paid tax on the vehicle it's self. That's sales tax.

        The tax that the winner would pay I believe is capital gains tax. It's the same tax that kicks in if you win the lottery or win any money or anything of value for that matter.

        Yes, it's double dipping but does this surprise you?

        Just remember, there's tax on nearly everything in the US and the gov (either federal, state or local) get's their cut of nearly every transaction.
        • In Canada we dont pay tax on the actual lottery prize, but any profit you make from it is taxable.

          But I read an article recently on how Parliament is discussing the possibility of taxing lottery winnings. :-(
          • The whole tax system has always driven me nuts, I've got no problem with usage fees, but taxing nearly every unrelated aspect of life is... crazy, I often think of the old line of:

            "My uncle played the lottery all his life, and finally, after 40 years he won 100 million dollars. Next thing he knows, the government comes to his door and asks for their cut to which he replied 'Why don't you buy your own lottery tickets?'"

            Course taxing lottery winnings makes even less sense to me as counting a waiter/waitress
            • The IRS cannot let any way of getting income be untaxed, because that way would quickly become known as a loophole by which an employer can pass money to their employees without it being taxed.

              There are so many people out to beat the IRS's system, they've got to make sure they have all the bases covered.
        • Re:Cola Contests (Score:3, Informative)

          The tax that the winner would pay I believe is capital gains tax.

          Nice try, but not even close. You'd pay income tax, just the same as if you won the lottery, a slot machine, etc.

          Capital Gains tax is what you pay when you sell an inventment asset before it's holding period (if any) at a profit.
      • Re:Cola Contests (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rjstanford ( 69735 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:10AM (#9073584) Homepage Journal
        There's a ton of FUD about this going around. But its necessary. Basically, the car counts as "income" so you pay income taxes on it.

        If they didn't do this, then instead of companies paying you in dollars, they could just pay you in "cars" (or something smaller, like bycicles) that you could convert to dollars tax-free. So this really plugs a loophole. But you pay tax on your income, no matter what form it comes in - money, cars, vacations, etc.

        The worst example I ever saw was someone who won a one-year lease on a new BMW Z3. Have you seen the price on a one year lease? They ended up paying ~$600 a month in equiv. taxes, a reasonable car payment, and they didn't even get to pick the car.
      • Re:Cola Contests (Score:5, Informative)

        by SoCalChris ( 573049 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:15AM (#9073637) Journal
        I won a Honda Civic on the radio a few years ago, here in Los Angeles.

        Before I could even take possesion of the car, I had to pay sales tax, title & registration - About $2,000.

        In addition to that, the value of the car was added to my yaerly earnings. Honda had to report the value of the car to the IRS. They reported it as being a $21,000 Civic. Of course, fully loaded Civics can be bought for much less than that, so the IRS allows you to do a fair market adjustment, and only be taxed on what you would have paid for the car had you bought it. I was able to knock it's value down to around $15,000.

        When I had to do the taxes for that year, the $15,000 added to my income because of the car put me into the next highest tax bracket, and I ended up owing just over $6,000 in income taxes since I hadn't taken out any withholding for the additional income.

        I ended up selling the car to pay the taxes, but I had a pretty good, reliable car for almost a year that I put almost 40,000 miles on.

        If any one is interested, here's a picture of the car I won. Blink 182 Civic []
        • Re:Cola Contests (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          When I had to do the taxes for that year, the $15,000 added to my income because of the car put me into the next highest tax bracket,

          The "next highest tax bracket" just means you are taxed past your previous bracket at the higher rate. It doesn't mean that your entire income is taxed at that higher rate.

          You sound like you are exaggerating, or you severly screwed up your taxes for that year.
      • Re:Cola Contests (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LostCluster ( 625375 ) *
        There's two taxes going on here...

        A: Pepsi pays the tax on buying the vehile.

        B: The contest winner owes income tax on their winnings... even if it comes in a non-cash form they owe tax on the value of what they got.

        Think of what happens when you buy a car the normal way. You pay a sales tax on the car itself, but you also have already paid income tax on the money you're going to use to pay for the car.

        Yep, it's double-dipping, but that's the way the system's worked for a long time.
        • Lottery or Contest winnings are considered a windfall, and are not taxable. I believe it is the same with inheritance.

          It is hard to believe that there are cases where our taxes are actually _Lower_ than in the US!
    • Re:Cola Contests (Score:3, Interesting)

      I agree that they probably won't leave it turned on.

      However it is possible that you might be able to use some sort of metal detector to find the more unsusual components...The composition has to be completely different. There might be a weight difference as well.

      Hmmmm. Those wall stud detetcors have a setting for detecting electrical current. That might pick up the battery...

      Heh. I'd much rather spend my time trying to find a way to find it without drinking coke, than I would actually buying coke.
      • However it is possible that you might be able to use some sort of metal detector to find the more unsusual components...The composition has to be completely different. There might be a weight difference as well.

        It's probably nothing more than a micro-circuit board wrapped in plastic. I sincerely doubt you'd get much of a reading on it. Similarly, it would be so light as to only add an ounce or two to the can.

        Hmmmm. Those wall stud detetcors have a setting for detecting electrical current. That might pic
      • Easier way: Measure a full case of cans. Record the results. Any case that differs from that result will be your baby.
        • Easier way: Measure a full case of cans. Record the results. Any case that differs from that result will be your baby.

          They probably add weights to the phone-can to make it weigh the same as a regular 12oz can.
          • I was thinking metal detector, not a weigh-scale. The can-phone looks like it's made of plastic, and will undoubtably have a different "signature" than a can.
    • Whether it's turned on or not, it should be simple to detect -- just shake the can. If there's no "sloshing" sound, it's a good candidate.

      Proceed to "round 2" testing, which is as simple as using a magnet. Presumably, the contents will not consist entirely of non-ferrous metals. Using a "bondo pen" (basically, a magnet mounted to a spring-loaded gage in the form of a pen -- it's used in the auto-repair trade to detect and measure the thickness of "bondo" repairs) and place it against the can. Any deflectio
    • Re:Cola Contests (Score:2, Informative)

      by x.Draino.x ( 693782 )
      Anyone remember the Slashdot car that was given away? I wonder if Slashdot had any clauses like that. It still has the logo and the green paint. The guy who won it wasn't even a *true* Slashdot reader. I see him driving it every once in a while in Clayton, CA.
  • Off the air... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Thursday May 06, 2004 @10:55AM (#9073396)
    I doubt there's going to be anything given off by this phone when it's not in use. Afterall, does a cell phone that's turned off give of any energy that can be detected?
    • Re:Off the air... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jamonterrell ( 517500 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:22AM (#9073716)
      I'm concerned less with it giving off any emissions rather than it acting differently when having emissions bounced off of it. Different electronic gadgets will alter waves that are bounced off of them in different ways, very much in the way RFIDs work. It's very likely that it can be detected, as a can full of soda would certainly respond differently than a can full of GPS/Cellphone. You could also do the same thing with a sonar-type device configured to measure the density of the material inside the can. The point is, however, it's all pointless because with the amount of coke moved out in the time period that this competition will run is inconceivable. Unless the device were screaming "I'M OVER HERE, OH YEAH, AND I'M THE WINNING COKE CAN" you aren't likely to find it even if you're in the same store as it, at the same time as it happens to be passing through.
      Oh yeah, and to address the other post regarding them knowing the approximate location so they can rush out to it when they press the button. I say good luck to them with that. I'd find it very funny if the person who gets it happens to pick up a 12pack just before returning on a flight from Miama, FL, to Portland, OR. That'd mess up their plans to seem all cool by rushing out to the site of the can within 10-20 minutes with a TV crew, now woudln't it? :)
      • They probably have thought of this and blocked the GPS antenna and cellphone antenna with some lead or something so that the RFID technique wouldn't work.
      • Re:Off the air... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by John Harrison ( 223649 ) <johnharrison@gmail.cTOKYOom minus city> on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:50AM (#9074133) Homepage Journal
        You are right that your chances of being in a store that has the winning can when you are there are very small. Even if it was there you would have a hard time finding it.

        The problem is that there isn't a good way to scan large numbers of cans quickly. You can't just walk by a shelf of 12-packs and scan the shelf. You would have to pull each 12 pack off and scan it. The large amount of metal and liquid between the scanner and the phone would prevent you from getting a reading. Not to meniton the fact that you wouldn't even know what to look for. I suppose you could practice by sticking your own cell phone in a 12 pack and scanning it.

        If you know a way to read an RFID tag (not what this is, and probably an easier problem) through a few feet of liquid and occasional metal please let me know. That would actual solve a problem I have...

      • Re:Off the air... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by danharan ( 714822 )
        Unless the device were screaming "I'M OVER HERE, OH YEAH, AND I'M THE WINNING COKE CAN" you aren't likely to find it even if you're in the same store as it, at the same time as it happens to be passing through.

        If the device were screaming "I'M OVER HERE", you don't need to find the right 12-pack: you just buy all of them.
    • No, but there's a magnetic field associated with the battery cell and electronics within that can be detected by a gaussometer.
    • Yes... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by OmniGeek ( 72743 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:33AM (#9073889)
      Yes, a turned-off cell phone DOES give off detectable radiation. Reason is, there are parts of the phone circuit that are still powered so the phone can recognize the "soft" power button in the keyboard (unlike a hard power switch that actually disconnects the power, this one's just a keyboard switch.) Sooo, there's at least a minimal amount of circuitry with a crystal clock oscillator running and radiating a small amount of RF. That is, in a conventional phone. Probably the manufacturer of this specialized gadget did a true hard power switch to ensure that the battery is live when it's needed, but possibly not. Of course, the task of DETECTING that RF emission may well be impossible given the EMI environment of a warehouse or store, and not knowing exactly what frquency to sniff for.
    • Afterall, does a cell phone that's turned off give of any energy that can be detected?

      It does not emit any RF, but it will absorb RF transmitted at it. I'd bet the RF properties of the cell phone can are very different form those of a regular can. The built-in antenna on the cell phone would react differently to RF radiation at band center frequency than at frequencies above and below the band center. A scanner that sends out pulses at various frequencies and measures the return signal might be able t
  • In the can? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dleifelohcs ( 777508 ) * <jscholefield@gmai l . com> on Thursday May 06, 2004 @10:55AM (#9073403) Homepage
    Aside from weight, which will obviously be different on the case that has the phone in it compared to the case that does not, WHERE is the phone being placed? Inside an empty can with a different style lid? Or is the phone can-shaped, to prevent the case from making "noises" or rattling that a normal case wouldn't make... in any case (no pun intended) the case will be different. Though I do not support cheating the game.
  • DAMMIT (Score:5, Funny)

    by Xhad ( 746307 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @10:57AM (#9073423) Homepage Journal
    You're embedding electronic devices in soda cans now?!? You just ruined my best source of tin for my hats, Coca-Cola.
  • by taped2thedesk ( 614051 ) * on Thursday May 06, 2004 @10:57AM (#9073424)
    How will the "no purchase necessary" part of this promo work? I can't see them mailing out cans to people who send in a postcard... or are companies not required to do "no purchase necessary" anymore?
    • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:06AM (#9073545)
      The only part of "no purchase necessary" that they need to take care of is making sure that the odds of a postcard winning are the same as the odds of a 12-pack winning.

      Most likely, the cans won't be the actual "game piece". Instead, they'll print up serial-numbered cards, most of which say "You Lose" and one for each car they have will say "You Win!" They'll shuffle up the cards, and then drop one into each specially marked 12-pack and keep a pile aside for the mail-in entries.

      12-packs that get the winning game pieces will also get the cell phone gadget. People who end up with a winning gamepiece in their SASE will get a phone number to call to claim their prize. The key thing will be that the odds of getting a a winning piece instead of a loser has to be the same by both methods... at that point, "no purchase necessary" is taken care of.
    • no your right, this WILL be interesting to see, Even the iTunes music store contest involved a no purchase necessary clause, so odds are they will have to too.
    • You get to win even if you steal the case?
  • by imidazole2 ( 776413 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @10:57AM (#9073427) Homepage Journal
    Time to hack this thing to bits! I want free phone calls, I want war-dialing, I want lots of l33t g00t13s!
  • next (Score:5, Funny)

    by Errtu76 ( 776778 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @10:57AM (#9073431) Journal
    Now all you'll need is that the car will include a red button that, when pressed, will send your location to Coca Cola and a person comes to deliver you a ice cold can of coke!
  • by YetAnotherAnonymousC ( 594097 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @10:57AM (#9073432)
  • by Ubergrendle ( 531719 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @10:59AM (#9073463) Journal
    Do i get to keep the GPS enabled phone!?!?!?
  • Flying (Score:5, Funny)

    by Himring ( 646324 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @10:59AM (#9073467) Homepage Journal
    So the big question is, will the phone give off any residual waves that will allow custom made detection equipment to find the right 12 pack

    I can imagine flight attendates augmenting the usual shpill:

    We ask at this time that you turn off any cell phones, laptops, PDAs and GPS-enabled soda cans....
  • by WebGangsta ( 717475 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @10:59AM (#9073468)
    I'd guess that the phones would have their batteries isolated to prevent the phones from responding to any pre-purchase scanning. Once you uncork the can, you pull a clear plastic tab out of the battery compartment to activate the phone (similar to the way all those noisy electronic toys displayed on store shelves work).

    Or maybe the battery is only activated when the user holds in the Big Red Button on the front of the phone.

    I can't imagine that Coca-Cola didn't think of all the ways to cheat the system after the McDonald's contest fiasco [] from a few years ago.

  • by Willeh ( 768540 ) <> on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:00AM (#9073475)
    Take can to sandy Beach. Click, call win the SUV. Throw can into sea. Watch coke reps do a yellow submarine job out into the pacific. Call papers ahead of time watch the event.
  • by eutychus_awakes ( 607787 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:04AM (#9073527)
    I'd get the winning can while boarding an airplane.

    (Me, opening can:) Hey - I think I won!

    (Flight Attendant:) "At this time, please turn off all personal electronic devices.
    Your flight crew will inform you when it is safe to use approved electronic devices in flight."

    (Me:) --AARRRGGGH!
  • by dark-br ( 473115 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:11AM (#9073590) Homepage
    ...with an attached Pringles can.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:12AM (#9073607)
    Grab a few cases before you make that trip up Everest. Just the chance of winning and making them follow you up would make the attempt worth it.
  • by Jtheletter ( 686279 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:12AM (#9073611)
    I doubt very much these phone cans will be always on, more likely when you press the button to make the call it also turns on the device so simply waiving an EMF detecting device around a coke display probably won't work.

    Still, the phone inside will be conductive, and in fact have an antenna of some sort to transmit the signal. A basic metal detector should be able to distinguish between an empty aluminum can and one containing a gps phone because of the differrence in inductance. Waiving around a beach-sized metal detector might not be such a good idea but it's not too hard to build your own [] hand-held unit.

    Unfortunately this approach would require you to pretty much scan an entire display up close. Anyone with more knowledge of gps and cell phones have an idea of how to detect the components even when they're powered down?

    • It doesn't matter. Being able to detect it would be like buying an extra powerball ticket: it doesn't substantially improve your chances of winning. So what if you go from having a 1 in a bazillion chance of picking the right box to a 20 or 30 in a bazillion chance? With the pepsi bottle itunes thing it was different, because you had a reasonable chance to begin with. I don't know how many SUVs they are giving away but I doubt the odds are so good that you can actually improve your lot this way.
  • by JohnnyComeLately ( 725958 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:15AM (#9073642) Homepage Journal
    With new phones coming in a disposable form, then it was soon to follow with advertising phones. Kinda like the USB memory sticks you could get free at CES shows.

    For the technical questions. I'm sure it's going to be similar to existing avenues of phone distribution. The phone is shipped with the battery seperated for safety and electrical reasons. You plug the battery in and the phone will register. The FCC and manufacturers have deemed that cell phones come on with GPS enabled. This ONLY sends the info within the cell phone's system, and if your municipality is equipped then it goes out to E911 when you place a 911 call. Even though the GPS feature is now FCC mandated, most cities can't afford the equipment. The enabling of sending GPS is a new development in the last few months. Carriers have been tossing the idea around of geographically located advertising. For example, Pizza Hut is closing and has two pizzas that someone ordered but never showed. The next two drivers who drive by get a short SMS message saying, "Pizza hut at 15th and Lincoln will sell you a Large pepperoni pizza if you stop in the next 10 minutes"


    • Here in Massachusetts, there's been a big controversy over contracted plow drivers being ordered to carry state-issued phones that send their GPS location back to headquarters while they do their routes. The state wants this for two reasons.

      A. So they know where their plows are, and can make sure any given area is being evenly covered with service.

      B. So they can detect plow drivers who are taking unauthorized breaks and dock their pay accordingly.

      The plow drivers complained that there's all sorts of situ
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:19AM (#9073685)
    It's a complete misnomer that the phone companies have been spewing the past year or so. It's not GPS but rather triangulation of the phone from the cell towers. It's GPS-like in that it can tell you about where you are but it's NOT GPS. GPS requires line of sight to several of the 14 GPS satellites which you wouldn't get inside a building or even in a metropolitan area with high-rise buildings all around.
    • Incorrect. There are a number of single-chip GPS solutions ( here [], (here [], and article here []), that are being integrated into GSM phones. There have been substantial problems reaching the FCC E911 requirements using only EOTD (Enhanced Observed Time Difference). And then there's the problem of those areas serviced by only a single cell, where the best location estimate only narrows the position down to an arc up to several miles long with radius x in one sector of the cell. Like long stretches of rural interst
  • So detection by remote electronic device is highly unlkikely. Now in a simpler vein, it should be detectable by weight, or x-ray. Considering that most of the actual land mass does not have coverage, they have obviously decided to 'urbanize' the experience. Hope they don't get a drug dealer in the process (although it would be funny).
  • GPS indoors (Score:2, Interesting)

    Actually, GPS indoors is rather cutting-edge. It isn't commercially available on a large scale.

    Clicky []

    Disclaimer: Our company sells trimble gps

  • Nokia? (Score:5, Informative)

    by earthloop ( 449575 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:24AM (#9073744) Homepage
    Looking at the FCC docs, and this one [] in particular. The is a photo of the bottom of the can. On the bottom is a label, on this is text that says "Made in Finland". What the betting that the device has been made by Nokia?
  • by IceSabre ( 602857 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:27AM (#9073770)
    Step 1) Give the phone to your freaky, paranoid, paramilitary and big brother suspicious neighbor. Step 2) Get some lawn chairs and a cooler. Step 3) Watch the prize delivery crew show up unannounced. Step 4) Get interviewed on the 10:00 news.
  • by hopemafia ( 155867 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:30AM (#9073833)
    Coke is obviously going to track where the winning cans are distributed so they can have the prize stationed nearby, soooo....

    Who ever wins should mess with them by finding to the most remote location they can get a cell signal before pushing the button. Go to Nome, or Yellowknife, or park a boat offshore somewhere.
  • Sound: If you shook the can with the phone in it, would it rattle or would it slosh like a normal coke can full of coke?

    Heat capacity: when you pull the can out of the fridge at the store, does it stay cold for more than 10 seconds? A can full of mostly water (coke) will stay cold and a can full of mostly air (phone) will not.

    Pressure: squeeze a can - if it's full of carbonic acid (coke), it won't squeeze as easily as if it's filled with air.

    I could go on....

    Now I can imagine all these kids shaking cok
  • Simply go into the store with a metal spike and poke 12 holes in each of the 12 packs until you find one that doesn't leak.

    Give me a break, you're not going to do much to cheat the system. You'd have to be lucky enough to be in the right store in the right state in the first place.
  • by phayes ( 202222 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:36AM (#9073928) Homepage
    From the pictures of the test device in the FCC application [], it appears that the bottom of the "coke can" has a slot that contains the SIM card. It also looks like the "can" was assembled from two pieces.Coka-cola Corp may change the packaging to make it less visible than in the test device, but it may be possible to find winners by looking at the bottom.
  • Microwave it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by spectrokid ( 660550 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:40AM (#9073987) Homepage
    One of the most spectacular kold-war stunts was when the ruskies gave a wooden statue to the U.S. Embassy. It was of couse thouroughly scanned for mikes and found clean. Turned out the thing had a passive mike in it. The russians would bomb it with microwaves from a nearby building and this would cause the statue to start working like a transmitter. Maybe if you bomb the cans with microwaves, you get them to react?
  • my wife's cousin worked for Pepsi, and apparently he got to imbed the winning cans or bottles in stores and supermarkets. what he did was go and buy a sixpack, then return the thing with the contents changed. this was a few years ago, so i don't know how it would stand up to the Patriot Act.

  • by Hard_Code ( 49548 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @11:55AM (#9074206)
    Ahhh...a nice refreshing coke...



    *ring* *ring* *ring*
    Hello there, you've won a free SUV! Sir?
  • GPS-in-a-can trick (Score:3, Informative)

    by Embedded Geek ( 532893 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @12:01PM (#9074271) Homepage
    For once, I decided to RTFA and it appears (from reading between the lines) that the thing isn't inside a can, merely shaped like a can and placed inside the cardboard 12 pack box.

    This is good, because I was wondering how they how they were going to pull off the "GPS-in-a-Faraday-Cage trick." Forget winning an SUV - there would be a Nobel prize in physics for that one.

  • by sir_cello ( 634395 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @12:07PM (#9074332)

    coke needs to be smart and ensure that the can weighs _exactly_ the same as an existing can, otherwise, everyone who works at a shop or distribution channel could weigh the boxes or pallets and discern the differences.

    Equally, another way to cheat would be to be use sort of low-tech radar/xray device that can detect different types of solids (for example: cans and liquid are pretty simple, but a radio has a lot of complexity that'll generate signal splatter).

    Another way [:-)] would be to see if you can generate radio signals at right frequency to induce resonant effects in the antenna within the can.

    This type of low-tech gear wouldn't take more than one or two cluey engineers and weeks work of work.

    Have fun :-)

  • by deft ( 253558 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @01:02PM (#9075003) Homepage
    i won the really old coke can instant win game, where I opened a can of coke, and a 10 dollar bill popped out of the can, spring loaded and rolled into a tiny holder.

    The can was identical to the others in every way. I could hear liquid sloshing around in it (still does, still have it), it had weight like a full can.... I cant remember if it had a pressurized noise when it opened, but i think it did.

    They can do a good job of hiding contents.

"You can have my Unix system when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers." -- Cal Keegan