Stolen smartphones are an epidemic, and both New York City and San Francisco have sworn to fight back. After NYC saw its crime rate increase for the first time in twenty years based on Apple device thefts -- and San Francisco saw one too many citizens get hurt in muggings — city prosecutors embarked on an initative to curb the crime by convincing smartphone makers to offer a "kill switch" to remotely disable a phone.

However, the wireless industry had already been working to police the problem itself with an international database of devices that shouldn't be activated. Will either of these solutions work?