LM Ericsson AB, the Swedish company that makes many of the modems that go into laptops, announced Tuesday that its new modem will deal with this 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.
"We call it a 'kill pill,'" said Mats Norin, Ericsson's vice president of mobile broadband modules.
The module is said to work on AT&T's network and many other 3G networks.
LM Ericsson modem says the modem can also remain active while a computer is off. This would allow it to listen for wireless messages and wake up the computer when an important email or call is received.