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iPhone Alarm Bug Leads To Mass European Sleep-in 487

nk497 writes "A flaw in the alarm clock in iPhone 4s gave Europeans a bit of a lie-in this morning. While the Apple handsets automatically adjusted to daylight savings time, a bug in the alarm system meant many were woken up an hour later than they should have been, after clocks rolled back over the weekend. Annoyingly, Australia was hit by a similar problem last month, but Apple failed to fix the problem or even warn users. American Apple fans, consider yourselves warned. The iOS4 bug can apparently be avoided by using one-off alarms, rather than pre-set regular wake-up calls."
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iPhone Alarm Bug Leads To Mass European Sleep-in

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  • Not just iPhone 4s (Score:4, Informative)

    by Vectormatic ( 1759674 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @10:07AM (#34088550)

    my girlfriends 3gs (running iOS 4.x) had the same bug this morning.

    Fortunately, my $99 android phone woke us up at the right time

  • by Vectormatic ( 1759674 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @10:15AM (#34088664)

    not subsidised, it was 99 euros prepaid at vodafone

    the vodafone 845 nova (or huawei 8120 "joy", as it is know in china), is a pretty basic little phone, QVGA resistive touch screen, 128mb ram, android 2.1

    I love it though, in a few days i'll upgrade to an htc desire, but even with the added features, i am not sure i wont be dissapointed. the 845 is just excellent bang for the buck

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 01, 2010 @10:15AM (#34088666)

    I got an HTC Hero (2 months used) for CAD$130 (USD$125) so I think this is possible.

  • Not The Whole Story (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 01, 2010 @10:19AM (#34088706)

    The story fails to mention several key details.
    1. The problem only manifests if you have a recurring alarm set.
    2. The alram goes off an hour late if it was set before for DST switch.
    3. The alarm goes off an hour early if it was set after the DST switch.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 01, 2010 @10:19AM (#34088716)

    A clock with a 9v backup worked just fine. Who would have guessed?

  • by mikeroySoft ( 1659329 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @10:23AM (#34088764)
    I just got a new iPhone 4 via advance-replacement repair. I'm in Canada, EST, and the alarm has been going off an hour early since Friday. Beats an hour too late I guess...
  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @10:25AM (#34088806) Homepage

    I had no idea millions of people used their phone as an alarm clock.

    Well, companies like iHome [ihomeaudio.com] make clock radios and the like that are meant for it. They even make a nice app for i(Phone|Pad) which allows for multiple alarms with sleep music and wake music.

    When I traveled on business last, I was pleased to discover that both hotels I stayed in had these and I could use my iPod in the hotel, as well as my iPad propped up on the nightstand. Charging your iPhone and using it as an alarm is fairly easy with these.

    Once you have a device with all of your calendaring and email on it, using it as an alarm clock isn't a big stretch. Heck, even my several year old iPod nano has built in alarms that will work if you're in a docking station.

    I'm not sure why you might even be remotely surprised by this.

  • by musicalmicah ( 1532521 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @10:31AM (#34088904)

    The other oddity is people use their phone as an alarmclock? A smartphone with a battery life measured in hours, probably dead by wakeup time? I'm with the modern generation in that I haven't worn a wristwatch in over a decade, but is it a generational thing that people don't own/use alarm clocks? What do you glance at, at 2am, when you just want to see the time if you momentarily wake up, etc? Get the tiny little phone, unlock it, put on the glasses/contacts, and read the time?

    Yes. You plug it in first. Unlocking a phone can generally be done by touch after you've owned it for more than a couple days. And bringing it to your face is a lot easier than sitting up to see the alarm clock if you don't happen to have the right furniture for placing your alarm clock in a better position, which is quite common when you're a 20-something in a cramped apartment. No need to put on glasses, though. At least not for me.

  • by kidgenius ( 704962 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @10:34AM (#34088956)
    Then take a step outside at noon
  • Saving. Not Savings (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 01, 2010 @10:39AM (#34089034)

    It's Daylight Saving Time.
    Not Daylight Savings Time.

  • by Aqualung812 ( 959532 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @10:43AM (#34089072)

    Daylight savings saves (hence the name) billions every year in electricity costs."

    Incorrect, DST causes more electricity to be used. It is bad for the economy and the environment. [physorg.com]Hint: Air Conditioning uses more power than lights.

  • Re:Another day (Score:4, Informative)

    by definate ( 876684 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @10:49AM (#34089164)

    Those 9v batteries tend to run down quickly. Luckily I have a 300watt UPS lying around, which can power that device for fucking ages.

    However, my iPhone is what I generally rely on. Until iOS 4.2 comes out with the patch, I just set my alarms forward 1 hour (I'm in the souther hemisphere, with the opposite problem).

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @10:52AM (#34089210) Homepage

    But really, which century are we living in here? Why would anyone still wants to adjust their clocks twice a year, and what are we "saving" here exactly?

    People's sanity. :-P

    I live in a place with DST -- basically it means in the summer, we get extra-long days so it's light until late into the evening (almost 9pm around the solstice). It shifts the hours of usable daylight into hours people might actually use during the summer instead of it being light out at 5am or something stupid.

    It also makes up for the fact that in winter it's dark when you get up and leave for work, and dark by the time you leave for home after work. In winter there's a good 1.5 month period where you don't get to see much daylight -- as short as about 8h42m of daylight. DST doesn't fix this, but it gives us some of it back in the summer.

    Much like you can't fathom why we have it -- if you grew up with it, you can't fathom why everyone else doesn't have it.

  • by kubitus ( 927806 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @10:58AM (#34089308)
    most Europeans will have had no problems

    as Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cap Verde, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Irland, Italy, Liechtestein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the Vatican have an official holiday.

    I do not know about the US. But the author of the original message must be pretty Con-European!

  • Re:Another day (Score:3, Informative)

    by Americano ( 920576 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @11:02AM (#34089376)

    Note that I said "get a proper alarm clock for redundancy" - redundancy being the key word there. If you're relying on a single device and your job is *so* sensitive that being late to work once, with no history of tardiness, will get you fired (this was the scenario the troll I responded to suggested), the sensible thing to do is to NOT rely on a single device to make sure you get up on time.

    I actually do have a wind-up alarm clock (momentary power drops occur frequently-enough where I live that it's an inconvenience, and before getting the wind-up, I had overslept because a power outage killed my alarm clock), and remembering to wind it when I go to bed is pretty trivial: it sits next to my bed, and the gears make a soft ticking sound, so I can tell quickly if it's running. I also have one of these [sonystyle.com] which has worked well for me so far. It charges my iPhone, and will wake me up to music stored on my iPhone, and is easily grabbed from my bedside in case of an overnight call. And it doesn't rely on the iPhone's time/date functions at all.

  • by wastedlife ( 1319259 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @11:28AM (#34089722) Homepage Journal

    I call bullshit on the billions. Every study I've seen on DST has mixed results on electricity savings, and often shows losses in other areas like farming. It also costs money to design time-sensitive applications and devices around DST. The sleep schedule disruption also causes issues with workers, and has been shown to increase workplace injuries. While the increase in sunlight exposure is mostly healthy, it also increases the risk of skin cancer. Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] has a nice section on this with sources.

    Also, while in WW2, DST might have saved on some resources, power usage is now far different. DST mainly affects power usage by residential lighting, which is no longer the primary use of electricity (especially now that incandescent bulbs are being phased out).

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @11:31AM (#34089764) Homepage

    So in actual fact this is an argument for your region to take steps to choose&apply a time zone appropriate for its location, rather than making the rest of the world change their clocks twice a year for admittedly no benefit at all.

    We have, and it involves daylight savings time.

    We're not making you do a damned thing. If you don't like it, don't do it. You'll just have to keep track of what time we're operating on if you need to be calling us. (And, if we need to be calling you, we need to track that.)

    Are you under the impression that you are forced to have DST just because (you think) we said so? Even within North America, there are places that don't do DST.

    If your own government makes you do this, bitch to them. We don't care if you change your clocks. Heck, I don't care if you even have a clock.

  • not subsidised, it was 99 euros prepaid at vodafone

    I checked the web site of Vodafone's US operations (Verizon Wireless), and the only available prepaid handsets were "feature phones", not Android phones. I checked a Best Buy Mobile store in my area, and none of the prepaid carriers had an Android handset.

  • by enosys ( 705759 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @11:37AM (#34089870) Homepage
    The iPhone probably stores the time in UTC, like OS X. When daylight savings time ends, that only changes the offset from UTC that is used when displaying time. The alarm was either always stored as UTC or converted to UTC so real time clock hardware can generate an interrupt to wake the phone at the appropriate time.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @12:11PM (#34090508) Homepage

    I worked rotating shift for 12 years. 1 week 1st, 1week 2nd 1 week 3rd, back to 1st... etc... and YES making sure you get a solid 9 hours of in bed time and cutting out caffeine completely made a huge difference.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 01, 2010 @12:31PM (#34090838)

    The real bug is the pathetic inability of people to wake up without being summoned to consciousness by an annoying beeping. I haven't used an alarm since I was in high school and I really don't understand how people can live an entire lifetime of days with the first experience of each day being jolted into consciousness to the sound of "BEEEEP BEEEEP BEEEEP BEEEEP." I think I'd want to shoot myself.

    Perhaps you're... not getting enough sleep?

  • by D4C5CE ( 578304 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @12:49PM (#34091052)

    Your reasoning is flawed, there is a reason why industrial and medical equipment costs thousands of dollars

    It is not, as being expensive does not make anything immune to fatal flaws (think spacecraft [latimes.com], Therac-25 [wikipedia.org]). Actually more of the code than on an OS may have been written by people predominantly trained in fields other than computer systems engineering.
    While allusions to Homer Simpson's workplace could not possibly be taken seriously, in fact trains are stopped for an hour and ERP systems are shut down that night for a reason - as experienced administrators are seriously inconvenienced by, if not feeling uneasy about, DST.

  • by BetterThanCaesar ( 625636 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @12:59PM (#34091204)
    I think an android would have to be a boyfriend.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 01, 2010 @01:33PM (#34091708)

    It is subsidised. Check the terms on the box and in the manual - to unlock it for use on another carrier you normally have to pay an unlock fee. Basically Vodaphone are assuming that the charges you rack up over the first year or so will pay off the subsidy and more. It's free on contract (where they *know* that's the case).

    That said, the iPhone is also subsidised unless you make a point of buying the no-contract version, which is *still* locked to AT&T, so the price point is a fair orange-to-orange comparison despite what the GP would have you think.

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