14 March, 2016

Levels Of "Offness"

This was inspired by a conspiracy theory that our phones are spying on us, sending what they hear all the time, even when off. Now this would be obvious from the battery consumption, but it got me thinking: when is a phone really off? Usually not when you think. Now, in order:
  • Blended, burnt, destroyed
  • Battery removed - you'd think this was totally off, but most phones can keep the time without the battery, at least for a few minutes. I wonder if they just remember the time the battery was removed (which doesn't require power), or they actually have a working clock and some form of power besides the battery
  • Switched off, battery in. In this state, the radios and sensors are off, but some phones can still turn themselves on to sound alarms. This means they must be monitoring the time.
  • Switched on, "locked"/"standby". This is the state phones are in most of the time. The screen is off, but the phone is connected to the network and can receive calls (data in the case of smartphones). Other levels of activity vary (it may be playing music).
  • ON - screen is on, it may be processing something, in a call, etc. Most "active" state.

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