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Gizmodo Blows Whistle On 4G iPhone Loser

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the i-meant-to-do-that dept.

Iphone 853

Stoobalou writes "Not content with its iPhone scoop, Gizmodo has probably ruined the career of a young engineer. The tech blog last night exposed the name of the hapless Apple employee who had one German beer too many and left a prototype iPhone G4 in a California bar some 20 miles from Apple's Infinite Loop campus. Was that really necessary?" It also came out that they paid $5K for the leaked prototype and that Apple wants it back.

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853 comments

Slashdot: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910416)

News For Apple, Stuff That Apples

Nothingtoseeheremovealong (1, Insightful)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910432)

Leaks? Typical Apple marketing.

What's the point? (5, Insightful)

nbvb (32836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910442)

You know, I find that completely over-the-top.

If the story is accurate, then what's the point of exposing the poor sod's name?

What purpose does that serve? The guy's obviously had a rough week; why pile on and make it worse?

It's likely that he's going to be terminated (from his employment, not physically), if he hasn't been already. I'm sure there's some "handling company materials" guideline or somesuch on the books at Apple that will be enforced.

So why expose him publicly?

I don't get it. This just seems like nonsense to me.

Re:What's the point? (5, Funny)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910508)

If not, he's probably going to be promoted from an engineering minion to mid-management at marketing dept.

Re:What's the point? (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910588)

If not, he's probably going to be promoted from an engineering minion to mid-management at marketing dept.

Come on now, it wasn't that bad. He didn't kill anybody.

Re:What's the point? (5, Insightful)

phlawed (29334) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910584)

Exposing the name of the guy likely isn't going to change Apple's reaction to the loss of the device.
But it sure harms the guy who lost it, and I think that was really, really rotten form.

Re:What's the point? (5, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910602)

Because they are assholes and exposing him lends credence to their story, the story that pulled in so many hits that the entire Gawker group of blogs had to turn off comments for most of the day to handle the load being generated. The story that most of the non-Gizmodo sites were calling bullshit on because no one thought that it'd be plausible that they could come into possession of one of the phones in the way that they explained. The story that is likely to get get someone on their staff in trouble for being in possession of stolen goods, industrial espionage, and etc.

And, since they've realized this, they are doing their best to cover their asses by doing everything they can now to look like they were simply attempting to get it back to him rather than paying $5k to get an exclusive look at it.

Re:What's the point? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910616)

Serves him right for being an idiot. He should get fired, if for no other reason than it might discourage these kinds
of people from leaving data devices lying around. Would you still feel the same way if it was a laptop containing
200,000 SSNs or a few million credit card records?

Re:What's the point? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910728)

Says the man who never lost a single thing in his entire life.

Re:What's the point? (5, Funny)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910824)

It's probably true. He posts on slashdot so we know he has at least never once lost his virginity.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910914)

I've never lost a phone, card, wallet, computer, device or any form of ID that could lead to my identity being stolen. I've never been stupid enough to carry around
or send anyone elses personal data unless it was properly encrypted.

Working at a company like Apple, he should have known the risks involved. He was probably showing it off to try to impress people.

Re:What's the point? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910832)

Would you still feel the same way if it was a laptop containing 200,000 SSNs or a few million credit card records?

No, but here's the thing: it wasn't.

In other news, a man dropped a quarter on a concrete floor. He should probably be severely reprimanded, because, hey, what if it had been a baby that he had dropped? Ever think of that?

Re:What's the point? (1, Insightful)

Intron (870560) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910856)

Serves him right for being an idiot. He should get fired, if for no other reason than it might discourage these kinds
of people from leaving data devices lying around. Would you still feel the same way if it was a laptop containing
200,000 SSNs or a few million credit card records?

More likely he was showing it off in the bar and someone stole it.

Re:What's the point? (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910926)

Dropping a laptop with SSNs hurts other people, dropping a prototype phone hurts Apple. So no, i wouldn't feel the same.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910632)

It's likely that he's going to be terminated (from his employment, not physically)

Don't be so sure. Don't forget what happened to the last guy that lost an iPhone prototype.
iPhone prototype goes missing [appleinsider.com]

Re:What's the point? (5, Insightful)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910646)

Exposing him publicly might just save him. Makes it harder for Apple to just sweep this under the rug and he might garner public sympathy. Who hasn't lost something?

Re:What's the point? (2, Interesting)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910874)

Right. (As in I agree.)

And there's no doubt in my mind that Apple knows exactly which employees have which items with which serial numbers.

Once they get it back, they'd know who lost it anyway.

Re:What's the point? (3, Insightful)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910892)

Right. I mean, given how tightly Apple controls these things, it's not like they don't already know who lost it. Poor SOB probably had to face his superior before news got out that it had been leaked, and if he didn't, he wouldn't have survived any decent effort to find out which unit was missing.

If anything, this just means Apple can't obliterate his career without anyone else knowing why. ...not to say they'd do that, or not, I dunno.

Re:What's the point? (4, Funny)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910690)

Seems to me that it's all part of Steve's marketing campaign... This guy probably never existed in real life and the guy playing his role will soon start shooting videos threatening to disclose more information, prototypes, etc a la Bin Laden and leaking them to Arab news networks from time to time so everyone at Apple is scared and work harder...

Re:What's the point? (5, Funny)

DIplomatic (1759914) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910774)

Seems to me that it's all part of Steve's marketing campaign... This guy probably never existed in real life and the guy playing his role will soon start shooting videos threatening to disclose more information, prototypes, etc a la Bin Laden and leaking them to Arab news networks from time to time so everyone at Apple is scared and work harder...

Wow you went from rational skeptic to tin-foil-hat loony in less than 2 sentences! My hat is off to you, sir.

Re:What's the point? (5, Insightful)

McFadden (809368) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910704)

Granted he's had a bad week, but it's also generated a reasonable degree of sympathy for the guy. I'd be surprised if Apple would want to court the bad publicity it would bring by firing the guy.
Make a mistake at Apple? Get fired? Doesn't come over well, especially when the public can now put a name and a face to him.
An anonymous engineer would have been easy to let go. This might just have saved his bacon.

Re:What's the point? (4, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910804)

He didn't just make a mistake. He left a prototype in a bar while out drinking. That's flat out incompetence and he should be fired for it. I have zero sympathy for the guy, this growing trend of business people and government officials leaving sensitive equipment and data behind is just pure incompetence and being lax.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910766)

I agree, showing the hardware was cool and all, but outing the guy's name was pure asshat on gizmodo's part.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910806)

http://schadenfreude.ca/ [schadenfreude.ca] redirects to Gizmodo now...

Re:What's the point? (0, Offtopic)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910902)

Russia. Yeah sounds off-topic, I know. My grandfather (God rest his soul), after watching the evening news and seeing the supposed islamic terrorist attacks in Moscow told me this:

"The Russians are sneaky bastards... I don't believe the USSR collapsed, I think that is just what the KGB wants us to believe. I think the KGB recognizes the weak will in the Americans, and knows to play on our sympathy. I think the KGB attacked Moscow and lied to the world claiming it was muslims, just go gain sympathy from the US."

My point here, is that after this story, everyone is sympathizing with "that poor undergrad working for Apple". Using my grandfather's logic, Apple staged the entire series of events, and in doing so gained the sympathy of a gullible lot.

Now, call my cynical, but I don't give 2 shits about any version of the iPhone, and I certainly don't give 2 shits about Gizmodo or Jesus Diaz. The whole thing re-enforces the notion that people focused on Apple products are just about the whiniest attention whoring fucks that exist outside of Congress.

Re:What's the point? (1)

DJLuc1d (1010987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910904)

Apple knew who it was. He went into work the next day and told him he lost the phone. That is how they knew what phone to remotely brick. TFA makes it out like Gizmodo made it a point to single this guy out. In their response to apple wanting the phone back, they explicitly asked that Apple take it easy on the guy who lost the phone.

Still not convinced (4, Interesting)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910444)

I'm still not convinced that this isn't a marketing ploy. I mean really, you get entrusted with the Next Most Awesome Device Ever, go out for drinks, show it off to your friends.... you wake up the next morning and you don't have it.

My wife has called bars, stores, restaurants, and cabbies to track down her crappy LG. You're telling me this guy never thought to call the bar the next day? Or that the bar sold it off before the guy could claim it?

Re:Still not convinced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910528)

What kind of marketing would that be? Showing off an unfinished prototype in the blogs that have an attention span of 24 hours doesn't seem to promote anything.

Re:Still not convinced (4, Insightful)

click2005 (921437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910752)

Off the top of my head...

People who are undecided might wait for the Iphone G4 instead of whichever Android phone is best at the moment.

It lets them gauge market interest in certain features (or missing features) while still allowing them to change the specs
because it was just a prototype.

It gets the Iphone more press for something other than the 'its locked down' or 'this app was rejected' stories.

Re:Still not convinced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910598)

Did you even bother to read the story? The phone was found immediately after he left it on a stool by another patron and that person took it and eventually sold it to Gizmodo after making several attempts to contact Apple directly and getting nowhere. So not only did the bar have absolutely nothing to do with finding the phone or selling the phone, they probably didn't even know that a phone was lost or found. So now that you know the basic details that were right in the many stories I've read...what good would calling the bar the next day have done?

Re:Still not convinced (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910864)

Man people are assholes. Hey that guy left something behind and it has value, I'll keep it. I mean fuck him right?

Re:Still not convinced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910604)

I'm still not convinced that this isn't a marketing ploy. I mean really, you get entrusted with the Next Most Awesome Device Ever, go out for drinks, show it off to your friends.... you wake up the next morning and you don't have it.

Oh, I did not know that the next iteration of the Nokia N900 was in prototype phase. ;)

Re:Still not convinced (3, Insightful)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910666)

I agree... if it were me, I'd be waiting at the place the next morning the minute they opened...

Re:Still not convinced (3, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910680)

It sure sounds like a marketing stunt.

I would expect that a sensitive field prototype would be required to have a 1 minute passcode lock and automatic total device wipe (including firmware) after a very small number of failed passcode entries.

Relying on remote wipe seems silly, since any serious industrial spy would put it in an RF-proof jacket ASAP and only examine it in a room sealed from outside RF to prevent remote wipe.

Now it may be that this isn't considered a terribly sensitive prototype -- maybe an early manufacturing sample being used for final testing before they ramp up to final production. They don't *want* it in the hands of the public, but they also wouldn't fire an employee who was let loose in the streets with it.

Re:Still not convinced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910808)

I would expect that a sensitive field prototype would be required to have a 1 minute passcode lock and automatic total device wipe (including firmware) after a very small number of failed passcode entries.

Why? Are the bits anything they were trying to keep secret? To me (and admittedly I've not been following very closely) the hardware specs seem to be much more what people are caring about, and wiping the device does nothing to hide those.

What a google portfolio (1)

anyaristow (1448609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910734)

Who'd want their google portfolio to read, "I left my employer's super-secret prototype on a bar stool." If this is a marketing ploy, I hope the guy was well-compensated. Or his name is fictional.

It *IS* a marketing ploy. (2, Insightful)

cpotoso (606303) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910770)

It *IS* a marketing ploy. There is *NO* reason why the apple and iphone names/logos should have been imprinted into this device if it is a prototype/testing device. Without the logos and with a good locking mechanism (as stated by others) this should only have appeared to be some knock-off device. As usual, all the stupid media (including /.) picks up on this and apple gets free publicity. Duh!

Re:Still not convinced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910802)

According to Gizmodo, the device was never given to bar management. Some other patron took it home and tried using it. It was only after the "person who ended up with the iPhone" discovered the device unstable/unusable that he considered returning it. But rather than returning the device to the bar or persisting in efforts to return it to Apple, the guy sold the device to Gizmodo for $5K. Gizmodo chose to name the Apple engineer and ruin his career, yet they hide the identity of the thief who sold the stolen device.

Re:Still not convinced (5, Informative)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910812)

My wife has called bars, stores, restaurants, and cabbies to track down her crappy LG. You're telling me this guy never thought to call the bar the next day? Or that the bar sold it off before the guy could claim it?

The answers to all this and more, when you RTFA [gizmodo.com] ! :)

But the short answer: some guy at the bar apparently tried to figure out who owned it, failed (because the guy who lost it had already left), and started messing around with it trying to figure out the owner. Eventually he found the guy's Facebook page, and thought "Aha! I'll return this tomorrow". Unfortunately, when he woke up, the phone had been remotely bricked, so he couldn't get the contact info back again.

Re:Still not convinced (1)

Hellasboy (120979) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910888)

Has Apple been unsuccessful in marketing their products lately? Did the next iphone need more hype?
As far as I know, Apple is one of the best companies when it comes to creating demand for their next products.

The iphone 2g, 3g, 3gs all weren't leaked like this a couple months in advance to create hype. They were immensely popular just because of Apple's fanbase. So with everyone anticipating the next iphone, why would Apple need to hype up the 4g like this?

I'll usually check out what Apple brings to the phone arena (I'm an SE fan) but now that I know what it is, I won't really make any effort to see what goes on at their expo.

Yes, but you're missing the point (1)

DIplomatic (1759914) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910932)

I'm still not convinced that this isn't a marketing ploy.

Yes, but you're missing the point. This story is 100% marketing, just not likely from Apple directly. It's marketing for Gizmodo, it's marketing for technology, it's marketing for hype in general. It's exactly what the link says it is: "First pictures of what is most likely the next iPhone." It's all designed to get you excited and interested to click links and buy things so people get paid. But no, I don't think Apple's marketing department was like "I'm going to leave this bar now, and hope that nobody finds my super-secret phone prototype, wink, wink, wink." That's just silly.

That ... (1)

ZanySpyDude (1215564) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910452)

poor bastard.

Not Quite (5, Informative)

imjustmatthew (1164609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910460)

The summary is kind of slanted. Apple already knew who had lost the phone - they knew from the day after when they wiped it - Gizmodo just made that name public and did so in a fairly classy way. As a lot of comments on Gizmodo have pointed out, the public naming of the engineer isn't going to do anything more to hurt him, and could protect him a little from Steve Jobs firing him.

Re:Not Quite (1)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910566)

My thoughts exactly.

Still, it would be quite embarrassing to be publicly named so that others besides Apple knew who was to blame for the mistake.

Re:Not Quite (1)

anyaristow (1448609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910596)

Users can wipe their own phones remotely. Apple wouldn't need to know until he reported a missing prototype. And looky here...Gizmodo has it.

Re:Not Quite (5, Interesting)

MooseMuffin (799896) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910722)

I don't think the point was that publicly naming him would get him fired. The point was it would make it harder for him to land his next job.

Re:Not Quite (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910746)

It doesn't help him to get a job somewhere else, though.

Re:Not Quite (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910858)

Not to mention, someday, he's going to apply for a new job.. And he might just be allowed to say "R&D at Apple".. But some HR person is going to google his name, and say "Holy Crap, this guy worked on the iPhone for Apple, he must really know his stuff!"

He'd Be In Trouble Anyway (5, Insightful)

longacre (1090157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910464)

Apple obviously knows who has these prototypes, and they knew this one was lost because they remotely shut it down.

Re:He'd Be In Trouble Anyway (1)

swb (14022) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910538)

No kidding. You don't think that after this made the news, Apple wouldn't go "OK, I need everyone with a field prototype to show up in conference room F at 2 PM today. No exceptions, this takes precedence over anything else unless I have Steve's written approval otherwise."

And then the guy shows up with no iPhone...

Re:He'd Be In Trouble Anyway (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910706)

... and then gets a huge bonus and possible promotion because his "mistake" (assuming it wasn't all an Apple marketing trick to start with) got Apple yet more face time in the press, and helped feed the fanboi frenzy for the newest 4G "ooohhh shiny".

Re:He'd Be In Trouble Anyway (2, Interesting)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910652)

Correct. Furthermore his career was already done for. Does anyone really think that just because his name wasn’t made public he’d be able to get fired by Apple and go on to work at another tech company without them learning of his involvement in this little fiasco?

Re:He'd Be In Trouble Anyway (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910852)

Shame they don't have a remote detonate command for their prototypes..

Counter-productive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910466)

Because they exposed the guy who lost it, this will pretty much ensure that anybody carrying a prototype will never, ever let it out of their sight, meaning they'll probably never get their hands on a prototype like this again. The smart thing to do would have been to quietly encourage temporarily "losing" these prototypes behind the scenes by some means.

Yeah, right (2, Funny)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910468)

I don't think anyone here thinks he's in any trouble.

How many more Apple Marketing Announcements today? (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910474)

as in : WHO CARES?

not too bad (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910476)

Most developers are tweakers by heart anyway, and should not work at a company which produces closed, locked down products.

Re:not too bad (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910572)

You are so right. He should work at a Starbucks or Pizza Hut and do his engineering work as a hobby so that he can give it away to the world.

Re:not too bad (3, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910900)

So developers shouldn't work at BWM, Daimler, any defense contractor in the world, iPhone/iPad/iPod, Phillips, Siemens or any biomedical developer in the world?

The list of companies that make "closed, locked down products" is vast and in comparison, Apple is pretty open with the iPad/iPhone, else the jailbreak people wouldn't have been doing it since launch.

They did it to sound legit. (1)

Mekkah (1651935) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910478)

By providing the name, and validating his employment they gain further evidence that it is the next gen iPhone. They could've just said they checked it and it would've basically had the same result without public humiliation. This is a pretty bad oversight and I'm surprised it hasn't been removed already.

False (1)

anyaristow (1448609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910484)

You don't think having to tell Apple he lost a prototype and having the thing show up on Gizmodo had already outed him?

Re:False (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910578)

not to everyone else in the industry.

Re:False (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910628)

The point isn't what Apple will do now he's been outed -- as you say, they already knew who it was -- it's what it does to his employment prospects elsewhere after he gets fired from Apple now that everyone knows his name (and even for those who don't know already, it's common practice these days to google someone prior to employing them).

Re:False (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910710)

I’m pretty sure his next potential employer would have found out about this anyway. Getting fired by Apple isn’t something that you easily hide.

Was that really necessary? (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910488)

Apple either already knows who it is or would have known shortly anyway. It's not like Apple isn't keeping track of who has its prototypes.

Profit Motives (4, Insightful)

tsj5j (1159013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910498)

I think the site has done a good job on the analysis.
Gizmodo was a greedy site who wanted more hits, the author's an asshole who just wanted to cause more trouble for that guy for kicks.

Sure, he lost a prototype, but does he deserve his career ruined at other firms too? Definitely not.
Especially problematic in the tech industry where employers are sure to run a Google search on prospective employees.

Blog Overload. (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910502)

Blog post, about a blog post, about a blog post.

Somebody get Xhibit on the phone.

Re:Blog Overload. (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910630)

At least you can still traverse that path.

Wake him up when /. posts a blogging equivalent of a circular dependency hell.

Geez (1)

Kc_spot (1677970) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910504)

Man this seem to happen daily... don't you hate it when it happens to you?

Shame on Gizmodo. (5, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910522)

I don't care if it's an iPhone, a new version of the Nexus One, a new USB enabled stapler or what have you, this is really really scummy of Gizmodo and I hope they burn in hell.

Re:Shame on Gizmodo. (1)

Shugart (598491) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910790)

They will! We all will!

usually after a few beers.... (2, Funny)

inerlogic (695302) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910526)

i feel like taking leaks on apple products....

Gizmodo are jerks. (1, Insightful)

Buelldozer (713671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910532)

Gizmodo are jerks and I will no longer go to their website. Outing this guy in the fashion that they chose is just reprehensible.

Apple probably already knew (2, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910536)

I find it hard to believe that Apple would just hand these things out without keeping track of who had them. It probably didn't take too long to figure out whose phone was missing once the first photos were published.

Re:Apple probably already knew (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910868)

Therefore gizmodo was right in publishing his name, thereby making his life worse by making any future employer aware of his mistake? Nice.

Two Strikes... (3, Interesting)

loose electron (699583) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910546)

Double Bad Here -
The engineer breaking company confidentiality was out of line. Getting fired will probably be the outcome.
The "journalist" (such as it is here) revealed a confidential source. That said, they will never get anyone else to talk to them off the record.

Both did the wrong thing.
People on the outside of Apple don't like the "hush hush" way they do product development, but that's part of how Apple functions. If I was getting my paycheck there (and I am not, but friends of mine do!) I would keep that stuff internal as the company wants.

"Loose lips sink ships" - Good thing its not a defense contract, and just a next generation piece of consumer electronic gadgetry.

Re:Two Strikes... (3, Interesting)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910708)

The engineer didn't break confidentiality, he lost a prototype of a phone while out getting pissed on his birthday. That said no one talks to Gizmodo anyway, they are the ass end of tech blogs, about the only reason to go read them is if you are low on your daily kissup articles to Apple. The really amazing thing about this whole story is not that an Apple employee lost a prototype, it's that the tech blog that broke the story is the same one that spends most of it's time jizzing over Apple products to the point that you have to wonder if half the writers aren't working directly for Apple's marketing department.

Re:Two Strikes... (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910798)

According to the story, the engineer didn't deliberately break confidentiality. He just left the phone where he shouldn't have. Probably still going to get him fired (unless this was a deliberate leak), unless Jobs pulls a Louie de Palma and keeps him around just to abuse him.

Re:Two Strikes... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910910)

The engineer didn’t break confidentiality: he lost the phone.

Gizmodo didn’t reveal a confidential source: their confidential source was Some Random Dude who found the phone after Mr. Apple Engineer lost it.

Sources (2, Insightful)

ianare (1132971) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910548)

This is a phenomenally stupid move on gizmodo's part. They violated one of the most important rules in journalism : keep your sources safe. Let's see how many anonymous tips they'll get now.

They didn't out their source (5, Informative)

ABasketOfPups (1004562) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910698)

Their source is the one they paid $5K to, not the poor sap/purposeful leaker who left the iPhone in the bar.

Re:Sources (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910712)

"Rules of Journalism"? "Really Necessary"? We are talking about the same Gizmodo [youtube.com] , right?

Re:Sources (3, Interesting)

mrdoogee (1179081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910840)

And that really is the crux of the matter. Blogs and websites like to claim that they are as legitimate as broadcast and, dare I say it, print journalism. However, there are real [latimes.com] journalists [rcfp.org] who have done jail time for refusing to reveal names of sources to the government. You have to keep names off the record unless you are given consent by the party concerned. This guy was stupid for letting that device out of his hand, even for a second, but this may have unintended consequences for Gizmodo and its affiliates.

if one, why not a dozen... (3, Funny)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910576)

If you let one of these Apple engineers off the hook for their crimes against humanity, then you've got to make exception for them all. It's a slippery slope. First, Apple engineers today; tomorrow, lawyers and political figures. That's a social travesty we can not allow.

Semantics, bah (4, Insightful)

new death barbie (240326) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910600)

Okay, I find something, I know who it belongs to, and I choose to keep it, rather than return it.

How is that not stealing?

What if... the guy left the bar, so I took his phone. He got to his car, realized his mistake, and came back to get it, but it was gone? Did I 'find' it, or did I 'steal' it?

What if the guy left it for a few minutes to take a leak, and I took it then?

Sure, the engineer screwed up, but legal or not, it ain't right to keep the phone.

*sigh* (1, Insightful)

Engeekneer (1564917) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910618)

Stop with the Apple slashvertisments already. it continues like this, soon /. is i., news for fanboys, stuff that really doesn't matter.

No they didn't. (1)

harl (84412) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910644)

Sensational headline is sensational.

I'm sure Apple already knew who it was. They knew who had them all they had to do was ask to see them.

probably turned himself in -- and if not.... (1)

mattdm (1931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910692)

If the employee has any sense of responsibility, he immediately reported the loss to his boss, and the situation was already being dealt with. Hopefully sympathetically.

If he didn't do that, well, he does deserve to be called out as untrustworthy. Maybe that's not Gizmodo's job, but I wouldn't feel too sorry for him in that case.

Suckers All (1)

BSDetector (1056962) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910726)

iPads run countries, iPhones get lost - Yeah right!

Can we get more Slashdot stories on this? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910730)

I expect a minimum of 20 more iPhone stories before the iPhone 4/HD/Whatever comes out in June. I say this as an iPhone owner. We're going a little overboard here.

Read the relevant material. (1)

Zenaku (821866) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910758)

Wow. A lot of commenters at this point clearly haven't followed the story in any way and have no idea how the whole thing actually happened.

I'm not gonna take sides, and not gonna clue anybody in; I'm just saying maybe some folks should read the relevant material first, because most of the debate so far has been around the rightness or wrongness of imagined scenarios rather than the actual one.

Ruined Career or a Pay Raise? (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910762)

Is the guy's career ruined or did he just get a pay raise for this unofficially sanctioned and hype generating leak?

'IT' is coming... (2, Insightful)

xxEtineSxx (711059) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910778)

Has anyone considered that this is a flat out publicity stunt to get mouths watering in light of the release of the HTC Droid Incredible. Quite frankly, this stinks like a PR department.

Ethics and decency... sheesh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910818)

Gizmodo is wrong for exposing this guy's name. He made a mistake anyone could have made. There's no reason for him to be exposed like this. I take no pleasure in reading the article they wrote about the new phone knowing that this poor guy paid for the scoop with his career.

Also, it upsets me because it illustrates the untrustworthy nature of people in general. The decent thing to do would have been to give the freakin' thing back to him and not take advantage of his mistake, but whoever took it decided to make some $$$ off of another's misfortune.

I realize I might be one of the few people in this world to have ethics and freakin' morals but this is just a ridiculous breach of what I would call human decency.

GC

What ethics? (1)

dwf4646 (965101) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910836)

In this day in age, you can never discount marketing ploys, but Apple doesn't usually do this. That said, Gizmodo, by disassembling the phone, broke the law regarding misappropriation of found property and they showed themselves as classless and unethical... anything for a scoop. I hope if they lose some property, the finder treats them with more respect.

What the hell is with that link? (1)

arhhook (995275) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910854)

What the hell does that last link have to do with a collegehumor video?

Stolen Goods? (1)

Chaotic Spyder (896445) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910894)

I think they also want to make it clear to everybody that they are not paying for stolen goods. Perhaps if they tell everybody the drunken birthday boy story, people will not get a bad taste in their mouth when they hear that Gizmodo paid 5k to get access to that phone.

Ethics ?? What ethics ?? (1)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910896)

Gizmodo is, in whatever form, still making its revenue from news. And news-publishers, besides some very serious newspapers, will KILL for news. Which Gizmodo just did. Sad, very sad - but business as usual in media-shark land.

What is the appropriate management response? (1)

lowflying (252232) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910934)

My understanding is that Apple makes some bonuses contingent on no leaks having occurred for a product rollout. Someone talks, no one involved with the project gets the bonus. If that happens in this case, he may need police protection.

Assuming that this guy is an otherwise valued employee, as a manager or co-worker, I would make the case to keep him: Fire him and the product release story will be about the guy who got fired. Keep him and he gets mentioned, but he will never lose anything of any value ever again.

He doesn't get a bonus, he does get every other shit detail until Scotland plays the U.S. in the World Cup finals (your teams may vary), and the standard for "met expectations" gets moved up a notch to "makes his manager and co-workers look insanely great every single moment of every single day."

But, I don't run a multi-$Billion corporation.

And if any of you doubt that they're wankers (4, Insightful)

Bertie (87778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910936)

Just look at the note they wrote the guy:

"Hey man, I know things seem really tough right now. We had mixed feelings about writing the story of how you lost the prototype, but the story is fascinating. And tragic, which makes it human. And our sin is that we cannot resist a good story. Especially one that is human, and not merely about a gadget — that’s something that rarely comes out of Apple anymore. But hopefully you take these hard times and turn things around. We all make mistakes. Yours was just public. Tomorrow’s another day. We will all be cheering for you."

I mean, honestly, come ON.

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