Apple Patent Locks Down Gadgets With Hardware Power DRM

iphonecharger.jpg Getting stuff stolen sucks. Apple's latest patent doesn't help prevent theft, but instead locks down the stolen gadget so the thief ends up with a useless brick instead. The patent details locking in a gadget—iPod, iPhone, whatever—into a set number of chargers, so that if the device isn't charged by those chargers it won't charge at all. It's essentially DRM for your device, but in this case it will help you keep your stuff safe rather than punch you in the nuts. Another possible security lockdown scenario detailed in the patent is shutting down the gadget entirely if the device goes outside a "determined geographical boundary." Hopefully the device has a way of adding new chargers on the fly without the need for a computer, or losing a charger on vacation could be a huger pain than it was before. [Patent via NewScientist via Ars Technica]