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ncourtney
User Rank
Silver
Re: Apple Blasted for Tiny Torx Screws
ncourtney   2/14/2012 3:39:35 PM
NO RATINGS
@kenish - Exactly when was the last time your television, radio experienced this EMI interference from someone walking around with a loose cover or someone in their home workshop or basement having removed a cover? Let me guess never.

You can reach for the far extreme of things that might happen, and rarely if ever do, what if is a powerful statement but can encompass a lot of different things that might or might not happen.

Companies put warnings on things to protect themselves from liability not t protect the consumer and if the consumer has read warning that is clearly visible then it's like anything else in life you take your chances doing anything. that includes removing a cover or doing anything else to something you own.

It's not like Apple and others don't take their competitors devices a part to see what's on the inside, and I'm going to assume they bought the products to take them a part to do a break down of the components inside how else would some of these company know what to look for when a patent is violated?

The only reason people knew what was inside the iPhone when it was first release is because people took them a part and were able to figure out a BOM on that device and what it cost Apple to make the device.

I can't figure out why anyone would care if someone wants to take something they own a part, they're not taking a part something you own and they're not causing you any interference in spite of the far fetched notion that this would happen, seeing as how i seen people using all types of electronic devices that have cases taped together or the number of people who use their iPhones with cracked displays just fine.

If I recall correctly it was just last year that an error on Apple's part, as they used the default user name and password for the smart battery system, allowing potential hackers to rewrite the firmware. and possibly modify the battery's internal parameters that might lead to a dead battery, or in the worst case scenario, an explosion. This was discovered by a hack who tinkers around with his Apple products.

kenish
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Apple Blasted for Tiny Torx Screws
kenish   2/14/2012 3:03:43 PM
NO RATINGS
@ncourtney- Reassembling a device with the cover loose, a shield missing, or a gasket not placed correctly can cause EMI violations.  Agencies require sustained compliance over life of the product.  Of course an infant won't unscrew a unit...a phone in front of me right now has switch buttons captured between the front and back covers.  If the cover was loose the buttons could fall out and be a small-part hazard.

Never underestimate the mis-use that consumer products receive.  Many of the "stupid" warnings on a ladder resulted from actual lawsuits.  Consumers (and their lawyers) expect absolute product safety despite extreme misuse and abuse.  The logical design solution is to go overboard to prohibit tampering.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Strong feelings about Apple
Rob Spiegel   2/14/2012 2:57:40 PM
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I guess I shouldn't be surprised your story prompted so many comments, Sylvie. People feel strongly about Apple, both positive and negative. Nice to see such a lively discussion that you've prompted.

Jeff_A
User Rank
Silver
Apple fastener selection and toner cartridge remanufacturing
Jeff_A   2/14/2012 2:53:35 PM
NO RATINGS
No need to complain about Apple mechanical design choices.  If I don't like the fasteners or anything else about some Apple product, it is my right and choice not to purchase it.  I think Apple is arrogant for their design choice here, but I'm an engineer and don't accept that I can't fix something that is broken in most cases.  It irritates me to have to buy a special tool, even if it is cheap.  Its their product.  If I want to make one sorta like it with philliips screws, I can gather up about a half a gazillion dollars, set up a Foxconn like deal in the US where pay is decent and conditions are fair,  and go for it.  

This argument of who owns what portion of the product when the consumer purchases the product reminds me of the arguments made by printer companies over toner cartridges.  The printer manufacturers argued in courts that the customer who purchased the printer really only owns the use of the toner in the cartridge, but it is not their product to choose to have it remanufactured.  I think the printer manufacturers were quite successful at squeezing out lots of remanufacturing competitors with arguments like that.  Apple is poised to protect their market share in a similar way. 

 

 

ncourtney
User Rank
Silver
Re: Apple Blasted for Tiny Torx Screws
ncourtney   2/14/2012 2:45:42 PM
NO RATINGS
The general consumer is not who they're trying to keep out, and opening up the device isn't going to change anything that has to do with FCC regualtions, as long as it's not causing interference to public airwaves, or emergency bands the device is fine. People still operate pirate radio stations which do interfere with licensed radio stations.

I don't think an infant is going to un-screw a device, infants put things in their mouths all the time it's what they do, and they're more likely to pick up something from putting something like a phone in their mouth considering how many things an adult comes into contact with in a given day germs picked up elsewhaere are more of a problem to a child playing with their parents phone or elcetronic device than the screws holding it together.

If 3D printing really ever takes off no one will be able to fix anything or even tinker with anything since the components are printed and sealed within the finished printed product.

It's not engineers it's future engineers who take things a part just like I did when i was young just like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Almost every securiy flaw wheter it be hardware or software related were discovered by people who either took something a prt or hacked the software. If some of these hacks hadn't happened there are security flaws that Apple and others would not have discovered.

kenish
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Apple Blasted for Tiny Torx Screws
kenish   2/14/2012 2:31:20 PM
NO RATINGS
I'm no apologist of Apple and dislike most of their products.   Seriously, how many percent of consumers have the ability to replace an internal battery properly or any desire to tinker with the innards?  Keep in mind the devices must meet FCC/CE emissions requirements over the product life.  Consumer product design has to also consider liability exposure- what if millions of consumers are able to install "gray market" batteries and there are a few fires in houses and airliners ?  Or, an infant chokes on a small part that fell out of an incorrectly re-assembled unit?  Not far-fetched at all, again keep in mind the consumer base is largely non-engineers and includes toddlers.

As others state, engineers being thwarted by an unusual fastener is laughable.  Another perspective- if you figure out how to remove the screws, you've earned access to the inner sanctum of the product.  :)

Amclaussen
User Rank
Platinum
Re: tamper resistant or education resistant?
Amclaussen   2/14/2012 2:07:11 PM
Excellent post Pete, I couldn't say it better.  A great deal of the lamentable state of the american industry, economy, education and (previsibly); future is just because of the lost ingenuity and the lost capabilities of the old "DIY" community no longer present in the recent generations of young people; it is deeper than it seems.

Like you, I also learned a lot from taking things apart.  As I remember, about 20-30% of the devices I tinkered with in my infancy were disabled permanently by my then uneducated incursions before teen age, but I kept improving, and most importantly, lost any remaining fears about attempting repairs.

At age 18 the old car that my father passed to me, failed to start precisely on an important event day. I tried and tried for hours to no avail, until it was dark and too late to go anyway, so I completely disassembled, cleaned and adjusted the carburetor for the first time and finally, around 12 o'clock, the car started and ran fine, and I decided to take a full plunge into auto mechanics. Soon I was able to fix most problems and people looked for me in order to help them know what type of problem their car had.  In high School, I hadn't enough money to buy a decent audio system.  So, I decided to go to the public library and studied many books on speaker systems design, and ended assembling medium-high quality speakers and installing home audio, so that I had plenty of money to pay for my (many) hobbies during my university years.  Today  I'm an advocate of the DIY movement, in spite of disappearing goods and materials for the DIY.  I still have and enjoy a damn good stereo based on highly modified Kits bought from the David Hafler and Heathkit long defunct companies, with triamplified speakers and homemade cabinets, that put to shame neighbors systems costing 10 to 15 times more. BTW, those great former companies always included full schematics on the instructions, which helped understand the design philosophy in addition to being able to repair them.

But most importantly, all that hobbies gave me an edge in becoming a good engineer, gave me pride and self confidence, and a knack to tackle technical problems that baffle many of my less hands-on colleages, which respect me and frequently ask for my help; which is one of the most pleasant compliments one can have. "Get dirty and get an education" that's good advice indeed.

ncourtney
User Rank
Silver
Re: Apple Blasted for Tiny Torx Screws
ncourtney   2/14/2012 2:05:01 PM
Did you read the article? if Apple didn't want people opening up devices, then they would just use regular screws that most people would already have in their tool box, would they not?

Yeah that right use a screw that isn't included in a standard or even extended tool set, as the article states it's a screw that is not used by a lot of manufacturers or the general public and it's done with intent to keep people from opening up something "THEY" bought and own.

Putting those types of screws on the device says a lot and Apple doesn't have to say anything about not opeing the device, their actions speak volumes.

I've worked with electronics since I was a kid, and I've also never dropped anything in a toilet or sink, I don't know how or why a phone would end up in the toilet, aparently it happens to enough people why i don't know that a company has come into existance that will water proof these individuals electronic mobile devices.

Maybe Apple should tell these people not to use the phone around a toilet, then again it's not Apple's problem if you or anyone else choose to use your phone while around a toilet, sink or spill water on any electronic device seiing as how in my opinion most people should have the common sense to know electronics and liquids don't mix. I guess Apple will start making their products water proof like some manufacturers have started to do now..

ABrantley
User Rank
Silver
Re: Apple Blasted for Tiny Torx Screws
ABrantley   2/14/2012 1:56:46 PM
NO RATINGS
My Final Post

My statement about codes and compliance relate to the statement from another poster that implied that a person can make any change whatsoever to their home because they own it legally, which disregards the facts that there are codes, regulations, and laws that relate to what can or cannot be done to one's property.

FCC regulations state that the federal government regulates devices connected to infrastructure and requires the "owner, operator, or provider" to ensure compliance.

 

I was not commenting on Apple, but on the poster's assertion upon which he was basing a position.

 

We need to bring back the study of rhetoric, discourse, and debate in our educational system.

bdcst
User Rank
Platinum
Asking for trouble and finding the answer with their help!
bdcst   2/14/2012 1:48:31 PM
NO RATINGS
Isn't it ironic that Apple and other computer/digital hardware manufacturers who try to protect their products from the light of day are themselves responsible for providing the means to find the tools for disassembly?  Surfing the Internet for answers is a very empowering tool for the consumer.

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