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Botched Repair Likely Cause of Combusting iPhone After Flight

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the you're-probably-just-puncturing-the-battery-wrong dept.

Australia 181

aesoteric writes "The combustion of an Apple iPhone 4 after a regional flight in Australia was likely caused by a botched repair of the handset by an unauthorized repairer, according to air safety investigators in the U.S. and Australia. A small metal screw had been misplaced in the battery bay of the handset. The screw punctured the battery casing and caused an internal short circuit, making the iPhone emit dense smoke (PDF)."

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Waiting for facts (5, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891029)

After reading the snarky comments in the previous story about "holding it wrong", "it's an iPhone so it's a feature", and "ban all phones without removable batteries", it's interesting to see what happens if you wait for investigative facts to come out. But where would be the fun in that? Slashdot's comment section is more about cathartic bashing than insightful commentary. Of course, now we'll see accusations that Apple bribed the ATSB or fake-posts from pretend-battery-engineers telling us how the story is wrong or some other similar silliness...

Re:Waiting for facts (4, Informative)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891059)

That's not the worst of it. The real outcome is that TSA will now ban all electronic devices as deadly terrorist weapons.

Re:Waiting for facts (3, Insightful)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891083)

Not to mention that someone fruity could lobby for laws that outlaw third party repairs as a result...

Re:Waiting for facts (2)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891251)

Why wait for facts? Ban!

Re:Waiting for facts (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891811)

Wonderful republican response sir!

Re:Waiting for facts (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39892727)

Why wait for a law?

There are several federal agencies that can make something effectively illegal simply by editing a list, and publishing it. We had to amend the constitution of make alcohol illegal, but drugs float from schedule to schedule at the whim of the FDA. The ATF, does the same thing. Neither offer, nor will when asked, a shred of evidence behind their reasoning.

Re:Waiting for facts (2, Informative)

phayes (202222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891433)

Meh, only the conspiracy minded think that they would want to.

Having an iphone go up in smoke because an insufficiently trained tech botched the repair is great publicity for having your repairs done by certified repairmen.

Re:Waiting for facts (2)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892275)

Not to mention that someone fruity could lobby for laws that outlaw third party repairs as a result...

Why bring homosexuality into this? Troll!

Re:Waiting for facts (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892747)

why not go full conspiracy on it and say that it was a 3rd party repair by apple to ban 3rd party repairs ;).

if the stupid thing had a removable battery in the first place it wouldn't have been damaged in the repair.

Re:Waiting for facts (1, Redundant)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891145)

The TSA won't do that. The TSA won't do anything to prevent business travelers from bringing their phones or laptops on board, since they would soon go out of business if they had to.

The fact that they allow lithium-ion batteries on board at all is rather startling from a safety perspective, considering how easy it is to make them emit smoke. In fact, you are only allowed to bring these batteries into the passenger compartment, NOT the cargo compartment, so that a flight attendant may extinguish the fire.

I'll be happy to share my lithium-ion battery/TSA story with you upon request.

Re:Waiting for facts (0)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891175)

I'll be happy to share my lithium-ion battery/TSA story with you upon request.

Story requested!

Re:Waiting for facts (2, Funny)

dietdew7 (1171613) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891255)

You have to subscribe to his newsletter.

Re:Waiting for facts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891331)

Not intriguing enough...

Re:Waiting for facts (5, Interesting)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891547)

I sent the following letter to Bruce Schneier last year...

Back in the July 2011, I built a device called the Video Coat. [cathodecorner.com]

I then went on a family vacation, which culminated in displaying the coat at the Maker Faire in Detroit. The coat traveled to Detroit packed into a suitcase, and I spent an hour assembling it in the hotel room.

I had to catch a plane just as the Faire was ending, so we quickly piled the family into the car and drove to the airport. I didn't have time to pack the coat back into its suitcase, so I carried it on my lap.

I wore the coat into the airport. Everything was fine until I arrived at the luggage check-in counter and was getting my boarding passes. Then, a Detroit cop walked up and told me that he'd had about 50 phone calls about my coat.

They asked me to please pack it into my checked luggage. I had my boarding passes at this time, so I took the time to sit down and disassemble the coat and pack it into its suitcase.

Then, the TSA had decided that my family (wife and two teenage sons) was special, so they wrote SSSS on all of our boarding passes. They nicely let us cut ahead of all the other passengers so that we could get fully scanned, groped, fondled and molested in time to catch our flight. I was enjoying this whole situation very much, since it was so surreal.

The most surreal part was when they inspected the eight big LiPo batteries [hobbyking.com] that are used to provide power to the video coat. They decided that the batteries were small enough to be allowed on the flight, and they handed all eight of them to me for me to repack into my son's backpack.

The way more ultimately surreal part was a month later, when I was at Burning Man, recharging the batteries one morning. I wasn't paying attention, and I accidentally plugged one battery into another battery instead of plugging it into the charger. There was a brilliant white light as the contacts started arcing against each other. I quickly unplugged the batteries and regained my composure.

Since this battery is designed to provide 100 Amperes continuous current in normal use, one can only imagine what the short-circuit current capability is. The manufacturer doesn't provide any safety fuses or shutoff circuits in the packs. It's safe to assume that two of these batteries plugged into each other would catch fire in about 10 seconds.

Imagine if I had plugged two batteries into each other on an airplane! I had enough incendiary material on hand to start four fine lithium fires on that aircraft, not that I would want to do anything remotely like that. I really don't know what the flight crew would have done about that situation. It definitely would make headlines.

So can you please tell me why you think that the TSA allows incendiary devices to be carried on board, but not bottled water?

Bruce's reply? "Because there was an uncovered liquid plot, but no documented battery plot."

Re:Waiting for facts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891905)

The way more ultimately surreal part was a month later, when I was at Burning Man, recharging the batteries one morning. I wasn't paying attention, and I accidentally plugged one battery into another battery instead of plugging it into the charger. There was a brilliant white light as the contacts started arcing against each other. I quickly unplugged the batteries and regained my composure.

At Burning Man? Tell me you weren't high...

Re:Waiting for facts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39892125)

So can you please tell me why you think that the TSA allows incendiary devices to be carried on board, but not bottled water?

Because they're bureaucrats and rent-a-cops, and neither group is know for high intelligence.

Re:Waiting for facts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39892261)

Quick everyone, lets start scanning porn for documented battery plots!

Re:Waiting for facts (5, Funny)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891151)

That's not the worst of it. The real outcome is that TSA will now ban all electronic devices as deadly terrorist weapons.

Obligatory: http://xkcd.com/651/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Waiting for facts (5, Informative)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891225)

Not to worry. They're far too busy feeling up 3-year olds and grannies to do anything about deadly weapons of any sort.

Re:Waiting for facts (5, Funny)

poptix (78287) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891097)

The facts don't really matter, "You're holding it wrong" is still relevant and funny.

Re:Waiting for facts (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891165)

I know you hear "You're holding it wrong" from your boyfriend all the time, but the joke, and any sort of brand bashing is tired.

Re:Waiting for facts (2, Informative)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891285)

I know you hear "You're holding it wrong" from your boyfriend all the time, but the joke, and any sort of brand bashing is tired.

It's only tired if you belong to the order of the Jobsian monks. Patiently waiting, cash and credit, upon the drops of technological dew that drops from Apple. To the rest of us, including non-devotees who have an apple product, it's still pretty funny. =D

Re:Waiting for facts (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891461)

"To the rest of us, including non-devotees who have an apple product, it's still pretty funny."

The only reason you think it's funny is because you are stupid and thus easily
amused, even by old jokes.

Old jokes are stale. Old jokes are no longer funny because they are old and they've been
heard before. Standup comics know this, that's why they pay well for new material.

Re:Waiting for facts (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891291)

Especially still relevant since Nintendo has adopted the same rationale toward the horrible hand-numbing controls of a recent game.

Re:Waiting for facts (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891999)

Indeed. The "hand" which is an instrument the vast majority of us are born with have a known range of sizes, functionalities and physical properties. It is known how the hand is used when interacting with other objects. So when the design of an object is not completely suitable for comfortable use by a hand, then you have to blame the design of the object not the hand since we all know the ubiquitous hand came long, long before and will persist long, long after.

It's immeasurably arrogant to think your design is perfect while the use of your hand is incorrect in most cases and especially for hand-held electronics.

Re:Waiting for facts (4, Funny)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891769)

I used to hold it wrong ... Till I took an arrow to the knee.

Sorry.

Re:Waiting for facts (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891153)

Seems to vindicate the "ban all phones without removable batteries" position, though. If the batteries were designed to be replaced by the end user, this wouldn't have happened.

Re:Waiting for facts (2, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891489)

The repair was for a broken screen, not a battery replacement. Your claim is a non-sequitur.

Re:Waiting for facts (1, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892117)

I simply concur with this. For a wide variety of reasons, the move to make the battery not replaceable was an act of pure selfishness on the part of the designer. I'm not going to blame only Apple for this, but any electronic device maker who is guilty of this behavior. Apple was NOT the first to commit this sin. Among the many things I have owned with a Sony label on them, I owned a Sony Clie' when PalmOS was a fun and useful thing to have. It was a superior device with vivid color, expandable storage using the memory stick and all that. The problem was, however, that the battery would eventually lose its ability to maintain a charge. The expensive device became useless and irreparable. You could send it to Sony, but that's only a good idea if you NEED your data back and never expect to repeat this task in the future... the Clie' was discontinued when people got sick of the non-replaceable battery problem.

Once I learned that lesson, long before the iPhone was considered, I just shook my head when I learned the battery wasn't replaceable by the user. I knew what was coming.

Re:Waiting for facts (5, Insightful)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892385)

Just to add a counter-factual point to your anecdote, I recall some time ago being in the market for a music player. the iPods at the time were white, second or third gen I guess, and of course the non-replaceable battery issue was as live then as it seems to be now. So I shopped around, and bought an iRiver. nice player, good capacity, user-serviceable battery.

3 years or so later, when the time came around to replace the battery, I went online to order a replacement only to find that the battery I needed, with a specific shape and plug, had been discontinued, and there was no way I could get a new one, branded or after-market.

Since then, I haven't been fussed about the non-replaceable battery issue, really.

Re:Waiting for facts (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892753)

My Archos Jukebox might have been bulky and an unfashionable colour, but it ran on AA cells. You don't get much more replaceable than that.

Re:Waiting for facts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891259)

Slashdot's comment section is more about cathartic bashing than insightful commentary.

Thanks, fucking idiot. You've proven how fucking stupid you are and how incredibly smart we are. So very very incredibly smart. Oh, and we all hate you now.

Re:Waiting for facts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891443)

It's not an iPhone it's a diePhone.

Android phones kill less people.

Re:Waiting for facts (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891509)

Point of order - I can replace the battery on my Galaxy Nexus - which is thinner than an iPhone 4 without any tools - and thus no risk to puncturing the battery.

Re:Waiting for facts (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39892179)

Point of order - Your Galaxy Nexus has terrible battery life. It wouldn't be a fire risk anyway!

Re:Waiting for facts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891667)

Probably was an authorized apple repair center, figured it would be an improvement.

Re:Waiting for facts (2, Funny)

Tyr07 (2300912) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891717)

The new iphone 4S. 4x the magic smoke when let out.

Re:Waiting for facts (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892295)

A brilliant first post. I wish others would do that. Unfortunately, though it gave me cause to pause and think before reacting, I still arrived at the conclusion that "non-removable batteries are a bad idea" not just because Apple did it, but because others have tried it before Apple did. That practice killed the Sony Clie'. It hasn't killed iPhone yet because people replace their iPhones with other newer iPhones before the battery goes bad most of the time and others don't yet mind being enslaved to Apple's way of doing things.

Five sided screws (5, Funny)

CmdrPorno (115048) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891099)

The report says the shop that performed the repair was not an authorized Apple repair shop, and shows the device as having the old, dangerous standard Philips screws. Now we know why Apple has been so adamant about switching from regular Philips screws to five-sided screws--with the five sided, tamper-resistant screws, there is no chance that an unauthorized repair facility would be able to create an explosive condition by leaving a screw inside the iPhone.

Re:Five sided screws (0)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891189)

This argument precludes the possibility of easily sourcing a pentabular screwdriver. In short, your logic falls flat on its face.

Re:Five sided screws (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891293)

Er? Your logic is as baffling as the OP. An authorized facility could have as easily botched the repair by leaving a screw inside the iPhone. But an authorized repair facility would have bought and used five-sided screws and would have purchased the necessary screwdriver. With Philips screws it shows clearly that the repair was not done by an authorized repair facility.

Re:Five sided screws (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891401)

An authorized facility has gone through the process to get authorized (though I don't know what that entails), so it carries the expectation that they'll follow the procedure to not run a screw through a battery.

Re:Five sided screws (0)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891517)

Um... if you don't have that expectation of any repair facility, you're doing it wrong.

If I drive my car away from the local garage, I do not feel or express surprise it didn't explode when I started the engine. It's a repair shop. I expect it it repair things.

If a repair facility breaks something, it doesn't matter if the facility was at the dealership or Joe's Garage... and frankly, the worst service I've ever had on most anything was with "authorized" repair providers, so the implicit "An Apple-authorized repair facility wouldn't have done this" is wrong on its face. (Unless you're still subject to the RDF and hold the faith-based position that an Apple anything is infallible and sacrosanct.)

Re:Five sided screws (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891915)

Interesting you should use that analogy, given the reputation of car mechanics when I was growing up for being shady places whose work you'd often want double-checked... Nowadays, almost all mechanics shops are certified by various industry groups [wikipedia.org] , and the ones that aren't go out of business real quick.

Computers (and especially mobile devices) are still magic boxes to most people (as cars used to be), so outside of the Slashdot crowd, fly-by-night repair shops are a common resource for repairs. Anyone bold enough to claim they can fix this complicated device obviously has a deep understanding of what's involved, so they are clearly well-educated and trustworthy, right?

Re:Five sided screws (1, Informative)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891297)

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH

Re:Five sided screws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39892331)

I don't get it.

Oooh, I see what you did there. I see it.

Re:Five sided screws (4, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891413)

This argument precludes the possibility of easily sourcing a pentabular screwdriver. In short, your logic falls flat on its face.

There aren't any easy sources. iFixit had to specially comission a build - they CNC cut their own pentalobe screws. Their cheaper kits use a star screwdriver that improperly fits, but since it's a single use item, it's not a big deal (and it'll leave marks on the screw that a proper screwdriver won't). They reluctantly sell these things to the public.

Basically, if someone is willing to go through the trouble of sourcing a screwdriver and paying $30 for it (plus shipping), it's already a one up from someone who'll just take a knife to unscrew it (yes, I've seen that happen).

It's basically one of those "if you're doing this, you probalby know what you're doing" intelligence tests. A 5 lobe screwdriver is pretty hard to find to begin with, and those that'll go through the effort of procuring one, well, probably have the skills and know-how to do it.

If you're going to places like iFixit to get tools to repair stuff, that's already a huge step up in the skills game. Sure a skilled repairman could make the same mistake, but they're also far more attentive and if they're missing a screw or have parts left over, will probably investigate. There I Fixed It [failblog.org] has some stunning examples of what people can do. (Unfortunately, it also contains some smart fixes as well, but the older entries are more interesting).

Re:Five sided screws (4, Informative)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891473)

What trouble in sourcing a screwdriver? You can buy one here [amazon.com] for $5. And there are others that are easily found with 5 seconds of Amazon searching.

Re:Five sided screws (2)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891537)

If going to Amazon and typing "iPhone screwdriver" is what you consider a "pretty hard" thing to do, that says more about your intelligence not those of others.

Re:Five sided screws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891557)

I read those scanned Nokia service manuals from Chinese sites. The first thing they tell you right after undoing the screws is to discard them. It would seem that they (at least Nokia) realize that the screws heads are so thin that they are also one time use.

Re:Five sided screws (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891205)

Shit, better hide this [amazon.com] from unauthorized repair facilities!

iPhone emits dense smoke (1, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891123)

Well, it's not the first smoke screen we've seen from Apple...

trueism. (2)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891137)

I guess the old saying 'don't let the smoke out' is true.

GreatBunzinni exposed (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891159)

GreatBunzinni [slashdot.org] , real name Rui Maciel, has been using anonymous posts [slashdot.org] to accuse almost 20 accounts of being employed by a PR firm to astroturf Slashdot, without any evidence. Using multiple puppet accounts, he mods up these anonymous posts while modding down the target accounts in order to censor their viewpoints off of Slashdot. GreatBunzinni accidentally outed himself [slashdot.org] as the anonymous troll who has been posting these accusations to every Slashdot story. For example, he wrote the same post almost verbatim, first using his logged-in account [slashdot.org] followed by an anonymous post [slashdot.org] days later. Note the use of the same script and wording.

It turns out GreatBunzinni is actually a 31-year-old C++/Java programmer from Almada, Portugal named Rui Maciel, with a civil engineering degree from Instituto Superior Técnico and a hobby working with electronics. He runs Kubuntu and is active on the KDE mailing list. Rui Maciel has accounts at OSNews, Launchpad, ProgrammersHeaven, the Ubuntu forums, and of course Slashdot.

Most of the users who Rui targets have done nothing more than commit the sin of praising a competitor to Google at some point in the past. Many of them are subscribers who often get the first post, since subscribers see stories earlier than non-subscribers. After one of Rui's accusations is posted as a reply, the original post receives a surge of "Troll" and "Overrated" moderations from his puppet accounts, while the accusatory post gets modded up. Often, additional anonymous posters suddenly pop up to give support, which also receive upmods. At the same time, accused users who defend themselves are modded down as "Offtopic."

Rui Maciel's contact information
Email: greatbunzinni@gmail.com [mailto] , greatbunzinni@engineer.com [mailto] , or rui.maciel@gmail.com [mailto]
IM: greatbunzinni@jabber.org [jabber] (the same Jabber account currently listed on his Slashdot account)
Blog: http://rui_maciel.users.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]
Programming projects: http://www.programmersheaven.com/user/GreatBunzinni/contributions [programmersheaven.com]

Known puppet accounts used by Rui Maciel
Galestar [slashdot.org]
NicknameOne [slashdot.org]
Nicknamename [slashdot.org]
Nerdfest [slashdot.org]
TheNarrator [slashdot.org]
Toonol [slashdot.org]
anonymov [slashdot.org]
chrb [slashdot.org]
flurp [slashdot.org]
forkfail [slashdot.org]
icebike [slashdot.org]
ilguido [slashdot.org]
psiclops [slashdot.org]
rreyelts [slashdot.org]
russotto [slashdot.org]
zidium [slashdot.org]

tl;dr: An Ubuntu fan named Rui Maciel is actively trolling Slashdot with multiple moderator accounts to filter dissenting opinions off the site.

Re:GreatBunzinni exposed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891387)

Maybe he learned his groupthink from Digg? "We are many, we are legion." Apparently, we are a pissed off nerd.

Maybe its time for a new tag, "Oh no, it's Rui?"

With sincerest apologies to Roland, whose posts truly did enlighten.

See, this is why they should be welded shut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891171)

So that unauthorized, non-dealer repairs can't be done on cars.

Oh, wait, we're talking about phones.

so much for iPad piloting... (0)

quickgold192 (1014925) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891199)

Even though it was an unauthorized repair, I wonder if the FAA will be reconsidering its iPad approval [engadget.com] .

Re:so much for iPad piloting... (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891317)

Why would they? A airplane mechanic can botch a repair job on the airplane. Should they ban pilots using airplanes?

Re:so much for iPad piloting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891441)

The reason they would, is that an iPad has an enormous battery, which can be used to do very bad things on an airplane. Your mention of an airplane mechanic and a pilot doesn't seem related in any way to this situation, so I have to question your thinking skills.

Re:so much for iPad piloting... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892215)

The new iPad as 43kWh battery. Some laptops have much larger batteries than this. Anyone can screw up a laptop repair and put the crew in danger. You don't ban all laptops because someone screwed up their job. I have to question your understanding of real world situations.

Re:so much for iPad piloting... (1)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892429)

43kWh? I think you've got a few extra orders of magnitude in there. That is enough energy to run a car for a hundred miles.

Re:so much for iPad piloting... (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891795)

Yeah, but if an airplane mechanic botches a repair job on a plane, he loses his license or gets a huge fine, and can be sued for a lot of money if there are injuries or damages. An iPhone mechanic has no license, can't be fined, and if you wanted to take it to court, you wouldn't get much more than the value of the phone (much more and this shady company would just go bankrupt and not pay)

Re:so much for iPad piloting... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892241)

A laptop technician can screw up a laptop repair. In fact some laptop batteries have exploded (see Sony battery issues) without any repair at all. You don't ban laptops from planes do they?

How do they know it's 'unauthorized'? (3, Insightful)

gelfling (6534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891203)

I wonder, and so what?

Re:How do they know it's 'unauthorized'? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891367)

"Authorized" repair from Apple will replace the screws with 5-wing security screws, normal people will use normal phillips-head or hex or whatever.

Also, I hate that term "authorized repair". I mean, who owns the device, here? I'm not fucking leasing the thing, I bought it.

Re:How do they know it's 'unauthorized'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891395)

Don't you know? Certified Apple repair techs only use proprietary Apple certified screws.

Re:How do they know it's 'unauthorized'? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891415)

[How do they know it's 'unauthorized'?] I wonder, and so what?

They know it was unauthorized because it functioned incorrectly. If it were authorized, that would mean an Apple product and service were imperfect. However, Apple is infallible (tautology); therefore, an imperfect Apple product or service would be a contradiction. Hence, it was unauthorized. QED.

Batteries becoming as dangerous as tanks (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891219)

With the amount of energy they are squeezing into modern batteries, they are becoming almost as dangerous as a small diesel tank inside your phone or laptop. A random short can lead to a sudden release of all that trapped energy.

Re:Batteries becoming as dangerous as tanks (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891315)

Except that they don't explode, they burn. Lots of energy, but it can't be released fast enough to actually "explode". While the same is true of liquid fuels, if you can vaporize or aerosolize those fuels, they can become explosive. See "internal combustion engine" or "fuel-air bomb" for examples. They can be dangerous, but they're not as dangerous as a fuel tank can be.

Re:Batteries becoming as dangerous as tanks (1)

RichMan (8097) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892057)

Simply place some nice accelerant, or substance that releases lethal gas when burned, in the battery, make it look like a factory battery and you have nice attack vector the idiots at the TSA should have eliminated 10 years ago.

Re:Batteries becoming as dangerous as tanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891605)

That's why these batteries packs have protection circuits inside the packs to prevent over charging/discharging and over current.
Google for "li-ion protection ic"... Only 5 million+ hits.

First rule of any tech repair (5, Insightful)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891235)

First rule of any tech repair, 'authorized' or not:

1. Always have a method to account for every screw and part removed!

I'm not authorized to service my own laptops, one of them has been disassembled literally dozens of times, and yet this scenario is very unlikely to happen to me. I have sets of interlocking parts compartments that I have labelled specifically for teardowns of each laptop; the screws are grouped by progressive steps or layers of the teardown, and further by size in some instances. This is critical even for someone performing the same teardown every day, as no one is perfect, but it's especially critical for those first or one-time teardowns.

This screw got misplaced not because the guy was 'unauthorized' but rather because he was careless and foolish. Just because a person is indeed authorized (or degreed) is no exemption from carelessness and foolishness.

Re:First rule of any tech repair (3, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891341)

First rule of any tech repair, 'authorized' or not:

1. Always have a method to account for every screw and part removed!

I'm not authorized to service my own laptops, one of them has been disassembled literally dozens of times, and yet this scenario is very unlikely to happen to me. I have sets of interlocking parts compartments that I have labelled specifically for teardowns of each laptop; the screws are grouped by progressive steps or layers of the teardown, and further by size in some instances. This is critical even for someone performing the same teardown every day, as no one is perfect, but it's especially critical for those first or one-time teardowns.

This screw got misplaced not because the guy was 'unauthorized' but rather because he was careless and foolish. Just because a person is indeed authorized (or degreed) is no exemption from carelessness and foolishness.

Little plastic compartments?
In my day we used an egg carton.

Re:First rule of any tech repair (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891455)

In my day we used an egg carton.

A piece of masking tape on the benchtop, sticky side up.

Re:First rule of any tech repair (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891651)

... AND then other pieces sticky side down, to label the contents of the pieces sticky side up? And if your elbow gets a mind of its own...? No thanks! I'll stick with my labelled locking compartments [meritline.com] !

Re:First rule of any tech repair (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891561)

That'll work! I once used them in a pinch to organize my mineral collection. Ain't nuthin' wrong with repurposing whatcha already got; I just happened to acquire something a bit more specialized [meritline.com] .

Re:First rule of any tech repair (1)

krakelohm (830589) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891685)

On the occasion I am ripping apart a laptop I use a sheet of sticky paper from a lint roller & a sharpie. Each pile of screws is from a different step and the sharpie labels each pile. Easy pleasy.

Re:First rule of any tech repair (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891865)

Your elbow could lay waste to your plan. My elbow has no effect on mine!

Re:First rule of any tech repair (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892725)

You need to see a doctor since it seems your elbow keeps leaving the rest of your body and wreaking havoc on your electronics bench. Mine stays right where it belongs, and I don't let it run free to cause problems for innocent bystanders. Unlike that fellow "World Peace" of the NBA who coldcocked an opposing player "by accident" with his.

Re:First rule of any tech repair (1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891427)

Ok this aint a bait but the way I see it is it's easier to blame when your not authorized to repair devices. For example I repair lenovo, compact, samsung and other laptops and I'm not authorised to do it but I do everything to make sure it's safe and working correctly (yup, I use a map, paper and pen to make sure I don't misplace a single screw...man there's lots of screws in those laptops now)

Also, I'm surprised to hear that you can actually fit a screw inside the the iphone... I thought those things were so compact you couldn't fit anything else. Perhaps the CASA should go ahead with their recommendation which is :

recommendations regarding the carriage of lithium batteries in checked baggage

Re:First rule of any tech repair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891587)

Worked on a lot of Compacts, have you? Never looked at the labels on them?

BTW, there is no more Compaq, they're a wholly owned HP subsidiary, and have been for many years.

Re:First rule of any tech repair (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891787)

Buy a bunch of something like these [meritline.com] , group bunches together specific to the process for each model you need to tear down regularly, and keep a bunch for ad hoc projects. Use a thermal labeler to make little labels for each compartment describing the contents, including the number that should be present. I use my own shorthand to fit the necessary info on each little label. Connect the compartments linearly or laterally in the order they will be used, and you can't go wrong.

Second rule of tech repair (2)

Nkwe (604125) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891737)

Given that every time you take something apart and put it back together you always have parts left over (and it usually still works), if you take something apart and put it back together enough times you will eventually have two of them.

Re:Second rule of tech repair (0)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891835)

My work violates that second rule of yours. Sorry!

Re:First rule of any tech repair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39892087)

First rule of any tech repair:

1. Always have at least one screw or other small part left over after the repair is complete.

Re:First rule of any tech repair (2)

phorm (591458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892265)

I usually take a picture of the device (several if there are "layers" to the disassembly) and print it off.
Then I poke the screws into the picture in the same place as they were removed from the laptop/phone.

That way, I not only keep track of how many screws I have, but at which stage and location they go back into the device. Result=no forgotten/lost screws, and a good template for the next time I have to disassemble.

Re:First rule of any tech repair (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892755)

Not bad, but I'd worry about the screws dislodging from the sheets, etc. I like my labelled locking compartments because they can fall off the desk and no harm done (*if* I keep them closed, which I do). I like the way your method combines a visual workflow with parts storage, though.

battery compartment design (5, Funny)

pinkfalcon (215531) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891309)

This also re-opens the argument that if Apple made the battery replaceable in the first place, then you wouldn't have to damage the phone to replace the battery.

Re:battery compartment design (0)

Goaway (82658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892741)

And then they couldn't fit as large a battery any longer, and battery life would be terrible, and people would hate it.

A sensible follow up (2)

Henriok (6762) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891333)

I think it's extremely pleasant to read a relevant follow up of a previous article. In this day and age where hysterical or sensational trolling is the main reason for publishing any news items, a calm and sensible follow up where the facts are laid bare is rare. Kudos to Slashdot.

exploding iphone (3, Funny)

CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) | more than 2 years ago | (#39891393)

Here is your mission should you choose to accept it. .... This iphone will self-destruct in 10 seconds. Have a nice day.

Re:exploding iphone (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892453)

I'm just waiting for Sony to file a patent lawsuit over this.

Got To Save the Smoke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891445)

When we people admit we are slaves to the Black Smoke?
All our devices run on it as long as the Black Smoke stays inside our devices.
One we let the Black Smoke out our devices no longer work.
I seen it with my own eyes!!

The wrong lesson (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39891643)

From the article: "The ATSB said the incident highlighted the dangers of using unauthorised repairers."

I would argue that the incident highlights the dangers of not making such devices easily serviceable, with detailed service information freely available.

stripped threads (2)

tobiah (308208) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892049)

When I tear down small devices/laptops I occasionally find a loose screw in there because the threads stripped. This is especially true of portable devices which get a good bit of jostling, and usually around the battery, which swells and shrinks.

ROFLMAO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39892489)

"this iphone will self destruct 10 seconds after an unauthorised repair"

Authorized/unauthorized repairer (1)

WarSpiteX (98591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892491)

Why the emphasis on "unauthorized repairer"? If I become an Apple "genius", does that mean all screws automatically go in their right spots? Am I immune to mistakes?

Authorized/unauthorized repairers (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39892659)

The ATSB said the incident highlighted the dangers of using unauthorised repairers.

And this also should highlight manufacturers trying to restrict the scope of authorized repairers.

Hologram says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39892681)

You're screwing it wrong.

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