sends in news of a "kill pill" from LM Ericsson AB that a wireless carrier could use to remotely disable a subsidized netbook
if the customer doesn't pay the monthly bill or cancels their credit card. "...the Swedish company that makes many of the modems that go into laptops announced Tuesday that its new modem will deal with [the nonpayment] issue by including a feature that's virtually a wireless repo man. If the carrier has the stomach to do so, it can send a signal that completely disables the computer, making it impossible to turn on. ... Laptop makers that use Ericsson modules include LG Electronics Inc., Dell Inc., Toshiba Corp., and Lenovo."
The feature could also be used to lock thieves out of the data on a stolen laptop.