What ARE the goals? Making the machine unusable for unwanted people makes the machine not quite usable for legitimate users, too. That's exactly what Hollywood has been doing for some time now -- trying to make their movies unusable for thieves, but usable for customers. Usually it's the legit users who suffer. Thieves can always figure out how to steal, but normal people are clueless when suddenly something goes down...
Also note that having a developer key on a machine suddenly turns all of the currently proposed protection down, which makes me think that the bulk of the machines are not supposed to have ones. I still somehow think that it would be hard to get one.
Ok, now about suggesting something better... I think the right way is to use biometrics, with no possibility to change the user id without the help of the administration. This way, the machine belongs to a kid, and to nobody else. And it should be possible to change everything else in system if one really wishes, with an easy way to restore at school.
I can understand that adding a fingerprint sensor adds a buck or two, though. But in any way I am against the no-modify/phone-back/self-id/degrade approach, if the owner can't turn it off of course.
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