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A new weapon in the battle against mobile mugging and data theft hits the streets today. The people behind Remote XT software claim backing from the rozzers, in the form of the Met and the Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum.

It's the latest in a new wave of aural annoyance technologies, which have included the high-pitched teenager repellent Mosquito.

If the phone's SIM card is removed by a thief, Remote XT will launch into an ear-splitting screech and lock the device down automatically. There's an option to disable the automatic feature for people who operate multiple SIM cards on a single device. In that case the phone has to be reported nicked.

Either way, the noise can easily be stopped by removing the battery. Perhaps more useful to data-paranoid suits, as well as screaming like a banshee, the phone's memory will be wiped.

In the first instance, it'll come in two flavours, both pitched at businesses. For outfits big enough to run their own Windows Exchange server, it'll cost £9.99 per phone, while there's a £14.99 remote hosted option for smaller operations.

Remote XT will be flogged through independent retailers like Carphone Warehouse as an option on new phones or as a download to pre-existing gear on any network. It's not available for Java platforms just yet, so Motorola handsets are out for now, but a release is "imminent", say the firm's techies. ®

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