iPhone 3G: Will a Software Fix Solve the Glitch?

By  |  Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 9:27 am

Another day, another iPhone story at the top of the T-List. The bad news is that reports of troubles with the superphone appear persist; the good news is that fixing them may be relatively simple.

iPhone 3G: Choked by a Chip
A few days ago, I blogged about reports that a lot of iPhone 3G users were suffering from dropped calls and other glitches. I said mine seemed to be fine–and naturally, the moment I said that, it began dropping calls. BusinessWeek is reporting that an Infineon chip inside the phone may be creating problems when the phone switches from 3G to EDGE mode. That raises scary visions of Apple needing to perform a massive recall, but the good news is that the BW story also reports that the company plans to fix the problem with a software update, not a hardware repair. Apple hasn’t commented on any of this; let’s hope that what it’s determined what’s going on, it tells the rest of us.
Read more at: BusinessWeek

Sheraton Gets Surface
Five Sheraton hotels are getting Microsoft’s Surface tabletop computer, in a version that will provide local information, a juxebox-style music player, and information about Sheraton properties. I like Surface and think it’s one of the more intriguing devices I’ve seen from Microsoft or anyone else in awhile. But the darn thing (which I first saw demoed in January 2007) is rolling out in slow-motion, and none of its applications so far sound all that spectacular. It’s still not clear to me whether it’s a Microsoft vanity project or something that might have quite a bit of impact on the way we use computers.
Read more at: One Microsoft Way

In Case of Emergency, Use Twitter
A Chinese citizen journalist picked up by the security patrol at the Olympics used Twitter to alert his friends and followers to his predicament. It’s the latest example of Twitter being used as a sort of emergency broadcast system, along with the stories of a Twittering American arrested in Egypt and Twittering victims of the Chinese earthquake. Sadly, my immediate response to the news was this: Does the Chinese government know about Twitter, and if not, will they block access to it the moment they learn it exists?
Read more at: VentureBeat, Global Voices

Beacon: It’s Baaaaaaack…in Court
Facebook is…er, faced with a class-action lawsuit in California over Beacon, the controversial advertising system that linked together Facebook users’ activities on multiple sites and alerted their friends to actions such as renting a movie or buying a T-shirt. I’m of two minds here: Beacon as originally implemented was way too cavalier with Facebook users’ privacy, but any damage done to users was so minor that I’m not rooting for anyone to milk the company for gazillions of dollars through the class-action suit. If the legal wrangling causes big companies to think twice before getting creative with users’ personal data, I guess it’ll serve a purpose.
Read more at: Network World

Free Software Has Rights Too
The federal appeals court in Washington has ruled in a case involving model-railroad hobbyists squabbling over a piece of open-source railroading software and whether its creators can place limits on its use even though it’s free. The court ruled that the fact software is free doesn’t mean that anyone’s free to use it in ways that its creators don’t wish to permit. I love open-source software and am in favor of the people who create stuff having a lot of control over its fate–but I’m also startled that this question hadn’t been settled years ago. Of course free software should receive the same legal protections as software that costs money.
Read more at: New York Times

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