"In the UK it's also standard practice to scoop up mobiles belonging to the recently deceased, to see what they were doing prior to being dead."
Care to expand this sentence a bit?
It's been 20 years since a UK drug dealer discovered too late the folly of keeping all his records on a Psion Organiser, helpfully providing police with names and addresses of customers and suppliers, as well as sales records*. Today's criminals aren't generally that stupid, but regardless, today's phones are perfectly capable …
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Using the least often used bit of memory means that all memory will be used sequentially. Start at the 'top' and work your way down. When something is marked 'deleted', you can mark that as availble space so that when you reach the bottom and start working from the top again, you can use that space for something else.
"Wouldn't the wear leveling algorithm always try to save information in the place that had been used the least"
Yes, that's exactly what the author is saying :)
"Wearing out" is as much of a problem with current generation flash memory as it was before, but wear-levelling algorithms are still used ubiquitously.
Your remark : "Today's criminals aren't generally that stupid" reminds me of the computers recovered by the Colombian goverment in a attack to the FARC terrorists....
Those computers shown a web of links between the venezuelan and ecuadorian goverment and the FARC guerrillas....
Today´s criminals ARE that stupid!!!
"there is a limit to how often Flash can be written, so the OS will avoid overwriting things for as long as possible"
Wouldn't the wear leveling algorithm always try to save information in the place that had been used the least?
Exactly. Which area has been used the least number of times: one with existing data that needs to be 'overwritten' (written >= 1nce) or one without (i.e. blank, written == 0)?
Why? The various Psion models remain some of the best PDA's ever produced. I use mine (3a) all the time as a really easy datastore that runs for months on a couple of AA batteries.
And no flash memory.
I have yet to see a new device, even at 20x what I paid for the Psion, that actually offers any additional functionality that I need.
Same with my phone - a Philips Savvy. It makes phone calls.
...post mortem. If I die suddenly, and, lets face it, shit does happen, I would not really fancy the police poking through my electronic equipment. I wonder if you can be prosecuted posthumously under the new Criminal Justice Bill...
Whatever, I wouldn't fancy my grieving relatives (I hope they would be grieving anyway...) being old by the police 'Oh by the way your son/brother/husband/nephew/uncle is a massive pevert' (according the the government).
Apart from that aspect, I have various bank details and accounts stored on my laptop. Lets think how that would go:
Police take laptop to check wasn't topped by irate forum moderator.
Police forensically delve into files, unencrypt bank details.
Police lose laptop.
Criminal finds laptop, rinses my accounts...
So for the paranoid , what is needed is either a high temperature furnace temperature > 1500 degrees Celsius kiln to completely destroy the phone , a microwave oven to nuke the sim cards on a regular basis and a cloner to create duplicate backups since the sims are fairly cheap and readily available so one can nuke it on a weekly basis or the old write zeroes to the empty data spaces delete trojan worm phone software in the interim and throw the old one into the high temperature furnace to ensure absolute destruction !
As for the Columbian Army versus FARC it is an area in the world where propaganda rules absolutely on the US side of the fence where torture on all captive victims is the rule rather then the exception and so thus all claims from any US backed government agency would have to be viewed using Occams Razor absolutely for what they claim and that which is reality are at opposite ends of the universe , given the current classic example of a shattered blighted country called Iraq !
But then again , one used to hear much about the same thing back in Chairman Ronnie's time in a country called Nicaragua about how Daniel Ortega's Mob were losing the fight for their own country ! But soon the uneducated peons kicked those evil merkin gringo supported drug lords called the Somoza family butt all the way back across the international border plus a few extra miles for a good measure even back then as in the jungles have no visible border posts !
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