1) Really should have a cover on the end of the usb plug - far too much of a chance of corrosion building up and destroying your data store, especially when outside.
2) Pretty easy to break using this method. I would choose to make it a female plug inset into the wall; yes, it would require a user to have a cable, but those are pretty easy to carry around, and would likely cut down random vandalism destroying your dead drop.
3) OMG, I so want to do a series of these as a multi-cache for geocaching! Ahem, aside from that geek moment, it is funny how little people seemed to react to someone holding a laptop up to a wall. This is New York; you'd think someone would have said something about it, but I guess 9/11 isn't on people's minds much there...
In writing this reply, I looked around the room, noticed an old Android handset, and said ‘hmm’ to myself. I spent a couple minutes, hacked up a server program, installed a portable hotspot, and had it set up to serve files off of the internal SD card. In titling files, you can set it to survive on the card for one download, 1 day, 5 days or 30 days.
It seems to draw a minimal amount of power, probably would last with the ancient battery for a good 3-4 days on a full charge. Add in a little solar panel, or even better, simply hook it up to a USB charger, and you've got a stand alone file drop that doesn't require the user to be actually at any particular physical location. And with onboard storage of multiple gigs, it would probably never run out of storage space. Total cost, assuming I was buying used handsets, around $25 per unit.
I don't think we're anywhere near this point, but this just became part of my SHTF strategy for communications.
Thanks for that post.
Yes the geocaching would be fun
FYI - May be of interest -See post 8
Outstanding and very intriguing idea.