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Chip Guru Papermaster Loses Signal At Apple 374

ColdWetDog writes "Computerworld reports that Mark Papermaster has left his job as Apple's Senior Vice President of Devices Hardware Engineering. He was the senior executive in charge of engineering for the iPhone 4 and thus responsible in some unknown fashion for 'antennagate.' His name may ring bells from previous coverage of his jump from IBM to Apple. From a brief blurb on Daring Fireball: 'From what I've heard, it's clear he was canned. Papermaster was a conspicuous absence at the Antennagate press conference. Inside Apple, he's "the guy responsible for the antenna" — that's a quote from a source back on July 23. (Another quote from the same source: "Apparently the antenna guys used to have a big chip on their shoulder. No more.")'" Update: 08/08 03:01 GMT by KD : Swapped out a registration-required NY Times link for a Computerworld one; corrected the direction of Papermaster's career move.
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Chip Guru Papermaster Loses Signal At Apple

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  • NYTimes login (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 07, 2010 @10:43PM (#33177622)

    From bugmenot:

    Username: blahblahblah7
    Password: blahblahblah

  • Except they did say it was software [].

    In fact, they said that the number of bars that were being displayed was wrong, and that was the cause of the death grip signal loss.

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @10:58PM (#33177692) Homepage Journal

    They've fired off so many excuses that it's perfectly understandable if people mix and match them a bit. They did at one point claim that the big signal drop was only an illusion caused by the software displaying too many bars in the first place. I think they mixed that with the "well everyone else has a problem too" gambit, at least for a while.

  • by LurkerXXX ( 667952 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @11:10PM (#33177754)

    Actually they never said it was a software issue. They said it was a attenuation problem that all modern smart phones have.

    Then they lied about that as well. Does the iPhone 4 and every other phone have attenuated signal to it when the hand blocks the signal yes.

    The ADDITIONAL problem with the iPhone 4 is it detunes the antenna when you hold in in a certain spot. No other phone has that problem.

    That's the real problem. Apple has tried to distract folks by both claiming at one point that it was a software problem, and then later by saying it's the same problem all other phones have.

    Both are lies.

  • Re:*gate (Score:4, Informative)

    by PinkyGigglebrain ( 730753 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @11:12PM (#33177768)
    Same reason everyone uses *zilla to describe something big. Its part of modern culture.

    Watergate was a huge scandal that, IIRCC, started with a low key investigation by a reporter into a burglary at the Watergate building that also happened to house an office of the Democratic party. It started small and ended up with a US President being forced to resign in order to avoid being impeached. Until that time most Americans trusted the government to follow the laws of the land.

    Same thing has happened in regards to the antennae issues of the iPhone, it started with a few comments and has mushroomed into a real mess.

    And please, anyone who wants to correct/amend my recollection of Watergate please do, I am feeling to lazy to Google it at the moment.
  • Typo (Score:3, Informative)

    by sustik ( 90111 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @11:33PM (#33177870)

    Correction: he left IBM to work for Apple.

  • by Man On Pink Corner ( 1089867 ) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @12:08AM (#33178010)

    There was a bug in the signal strength indicator, which made the attenuation look pretty dramatic if you were in a low-signal location.

    If only there were some sort of optional operating mode, something that you could call a "field test" mode, or something like that. Such a mode could replace the worthless "bar" graph with a quantitative RSSI value in dBm, displayed at 1-dB precision, so iPhone owners could tell exactly how much loss Steve's magical new antenna was causing, and under what conditions.

    Oh, wait. There is such a mode, capable of being enabled on virtually any GSM phone... and Apple disabled it for the very first time when the iPhone 4 shipped.

    Move along, these aren't the excuses we're looking for...

  • Re:Typo (Score:2, Informative)

    by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @12:09AM (#33178020) Homepage
    Grrrr. I hate that sort of thing. I can't even blame it on kdawson (this time). So much for proofing.

    Sometimes you win, sometimes you loose.
  • Re:*gate (Score:4, Informative)

    by vcgodinich ( 1172985 ) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @01:54AM (#33178408)
    I think the President making bond owners, BOND OWNERS, take pennies on the dollar while giving a companies assets to a union would be a "scandal".
  • Re:*gate (Score:3, Informative)

    by ClosedSource ( 238333 ) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @01:59AM (#33178432)

    Watergate wasn't about "moral standards". It was about abuse of power, plain and simple.

  • by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) * on Sunday August 08, 2010 @01:59AM (#33178434) Homepage Journal
    Besides you being an obvious Apple fanboy, I read your other comment above about reviews.

    So-called "Reviews" are nothing but ads, and have been for many years now. The only trustworthy source of reviews, Consumer Reports, threw Apple under the bus [] just as Apple have thrown their fall-guy under the bus.
  • by tyrione ( 134248 ) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @02:04AM (#33178462) Homepage
    Papermaster was in-charge of the iPhone 4 design and it's interaction with all the hardware specs. Jony is an industrial designer, not an RF Engineer/Scientist. That's Papermaster's domain. He could have very easily vetoed his own antenna design that he developed within Ivy's design team's aesthetics. He has to own it.
  • Re:Wait a minute.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by khallow ( 566160 ) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @02:55AM (#33178636)

    Not exactly a design flaw... it's one little spot.

    Is it a flaw? Yes, even if it is "one little spot". Does it result from an error in the design of the phone? Yes. Then it is a design flaw.

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @03:07AM (#33178676) Homepage Journal

    Note that I didn't make any claims to the validity (or not) of the blame, just noted that they DID blame a software problem.

    It is noteworthy though that they are issuing a fix in the form of a retrofitted bumper.

  • Re:Wait a minute.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @03:13AM (#33178698)

    Except they don't, which is rather the point of this.

    All phones suffer from signal attenuation to some degree, when the hand is in the way. The iPhone has an additional flaw that others don't.

  • by haystor ( 102186 ) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @04:14AM (#33178868)

    Not sure how you got any of that from the multitude of Apple stories that have been going on everywhere.

    Apple first said their customers where holding it wrong. People posted montage videos of Apple ads/commercials of people holding it in exactly the way that makes the phone drop calls.

    Then Apple said that *an additional problem with the phone* was the cause of a perceived problem with the phone. Somehow these two problems were to cancel out and owners of the phone were supposed to feel better about this. All iphones have been misreporting their ability to perform their (arguably) primary function and this is being spun as a *solution* to the problem of dropped calls. Nice job, this problem just got swept under the rug, but people were still unable to make calls. The attenuation problem that they claimed all phones had was linked with this supposedly because the user was looking at a call barely connected and when the grip changed the position of the phone, the reception changed and a call was dropped. This was called normal.

    It wasn't really until Consumer Reports came out with a real easy to follow video where they have the phone on and touch it in the corner and signal strength drops dramatically. No movement of the phone, very simple. Apple finally says, "Here is a free bumper to cover up the design factor we had told you to obsess over, we'd now like you to obsess over our generosity. We're still not going to really admit a problem."

    Some guy gets fired, apparently getting to be the first guy to take credit for something while Jobs is in charge.

  • by Man On Pink Corner ( 1089867 ) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @05:12AM (#33179012)

    If you're referring to Wozniak, I'm going to take exception to your remark.

    I just assumed he meant Ballmer.

  • I should point out that most GSM phone manufacturers now make it very difficult to enable Field Test mode -- to the point of even removing the functionality from phones. Nokia is one example of a GSM phone manufacturer that has done so. So your claim that field test is "enabled on virtually any GSM phone" is false. I should know as I used to be a field testing geek until I could not longer purchase a suitable GSM/UMTS phone to do field testing with.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Sunday August 08, 2010 @07:53AM (#33179456) Journal

    I just resent I would be literally forced to use it if I would buy almost any PC except Apple's.

    And I resent having to buy Apple hardware if I want to run OSX.

    Oh, and if you do buy some "PC except Apple's" I bet a few people here on Slashdot could recommend operating systems besides Win7 you could run on it.

  • Re:Wait a minute.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by khallow ( 566160 ) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @07:57AM (#33179474)

    ALL CELL PHONES, ALWAYS will have their antenna detuned by a human's touch, and THEY ALL have a death spot.Sure do. Show me any cell phone, I'll show you how to detune the antenna, and I'll find it's death spot.

    It's not just a matter of detuning, but how much it gets detuned. For example, this story [] claims a significant drop of signal compared to a couple other phones (iPhone 3GS and HTC Nexus One). For example, when the reviewer clenched tightly the iPhone 4, he got a 24 dB drop in signal. The HTC Nexus One does 7 dB better (which is more than a factor of 5 stronger signal) and the iPhone 3GS does a full 10 dB better (slightly more than a factor of ten stronger signal). "Holding naturally" still has an almost 20 dB drop in signal strength for the iPhone (that's a factor of hundred drop in signal strength) while the iPhone 3GS has almost no attenuation in signal strength.

  • Re:Tell a fanboy (Score:3, Informative)

    by JamesP ( 688957 ) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @09:18AM (#33179746)

    Yes, only 0.5% of people called Apple to complain about the antenna issue
    The other 99.5% dropped the call

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 08, 2010 @09:43AM (#33179876)

    What exactly makes it better then XP? Where exactly is the "wow!"? The only things I can think of are a slightly better taskbar with previews and the ability to type in the 'start' menu

    You seem like a non-technical simpleton. Its OK. There are plenty of your kind here on slashdot; most are part of the anti-ms troll brigade. Here, go and educate yourself. [] [] []

    Its probably a mistake trying to engage with anti-ms trolls, but OTOH, you just admitted to your ignorance so maybe theres hope !

  • Re:Tell a fanboy (Score:3, Informative)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @04:07PM (#33182684)

    The reception problem on the iphone really isn't that big of a deal. As opposed to fan boys there are haters too. However my experience with the iPhone 4 is that it's reception is about the same as other phones in the area that use AT&T (after say a minute for the bar counting algorithm to resolve. ) and a lot of the real disappointment was a lot of people were expecting the new design to have a noticeable difference. Then you have the haters who saw this one flaw and really put it out of proportion. Yes apple put the weak spot in a bad place. However knowing about it isn't really a major issue. Better then some phones that i have used in the past where I covered the spot and I spend a lot of time trying to get my hand holding the phone right. So what did the over press do. Just give iPhone owners a free accesary.

  • Re:*gate (Score:3, Informative)

    by vcgodinich ( 1172985 ) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @08:11PM (#33184400)
    1) "Bonds aren't guaranteed" - true in a philosophical sense, but it the real world, bonds are as good as it gets. As in better than stock. As in way better than a contract that the company owes someone. The major risk in bonds is sudden inflation (interest rate rise), but this is a shared problem with any transaction. Bonds are, sorry, were, good as gold. In a bankruptcy, bond owners get paid first. In your personal death example, the bond owners go to the front of the line when it comes to payouts. Above stock, well above future employee contractual benefits.

    2) No. Wrong. Learn how things work please instead of just making shit up.

    3)They, (and by they here I mean the president, who has NO place in a corporate reorganization/bankruptcy)"traded" for majority control. That isn't a "trade" that is a gift, or some would say a bribe. Look at corporate failures, look at Enron. Did the workers get majority control of the companies assets just because some of them had a retirement fund that wasn't going to be there? (Hint: No)

    You can cry about how the poor joe union man needs his retirement all day, but please, call it what it is, wealth redistribution, (votes for money), socialism.

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler