Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Mother of All Patches

Bought an iPhone 4? If you are in Canada, they are supposed to be available later this month. By the sounds of the problem the iPhone is having may delay the Canadian launch or even begin a recall. The redesigned iPhone has its antenna wrapped around its perimeter. Good idea in theory, but I guess that the test engineers have very small hands as this design mean that when the user holds the phone in a normal manner, the signal is interrupted and calls may be dropped. Apple is playing down the issue, saying its a software problem and has instructions on their Web site on how to properly hold an iPhone as to not block the antenna. Consumer Reports feels that the issue is so detrimental to its use, it cannot recommend the phone. Apple's stock has also dipped below its 50 days average.

Thankfully, there's a fix! It requires a patch! Not a software patch but a real patch. There are many reports that say if you put a small piece of duct tape over the lower left-hand side of the phone, the problem is fixed. Won't Red Green be proud!! (For those not familiar with this piece of Canadiana, Red Green was a character in a TV that fixed everything with duct tape). You can find an video of the procedure on the CNN tech site.

This is not the first time duct tape was used to fix technology. A very famous patch occurred in 1970, when the failing square carbon dioxide filters from Apollo 13's command module had to be modified to fit round receptacles in the lunar module. A workaround was made using duct tape to hold together other items found on board. The lunar module carbon dioxide filters started working again, saving the lives of the three astronauts on board.

If the iPhone is released in Canada as is, I would strongly urge you to visit your local hardware store on the way home from the Apple store. In that way, you will be able to hold the phone the way you want to without dropping any calls. You might also want to drop into your stock broker to invest some money in 3M stock.

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