Tag Archives | Gizmodo

Siri: Insanely Unfinished

Good rant by Gizmodo’s Mat Honan on the iPhone 4S’s Siri, a rare Apple product that’s being used as a major selling point even though it’s unquestionably unfinished. Me, I like Siri even in its current state–but Apple needs to follow up with a version that feels less like a beta and more like an Apple product.

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Next-Gen iPhone Finder Found

My pals (and former PCWorld/Macworld colleagues) Brian Chen and Kim Zetter have quite a scoop over at Wired.com: They’ve located the guy who says he found Apple’s next-generation iPhone prototype in a Redwood City, California bar. According to a statement issued by his lawyer, he’s a 21-year-old taking a break from school who teaches kids to swim, has volunteered at a Chinese orphanage, and helps raise money for medical care for orphans in Kenya. And he’s sorry he accepted a payment from Gizmodo in return for access to the phone.

From the moment this story hit, it was obviously inevitable that we’d learn who this guy was–sooner or later, one way or another. Kudos to Brian and Kim for (two of the best tech reporters I know) for breaking the story.


Gizmodo Editor's Tech Gear Seized

Another great big shoe has dropped in the lost iPhone 4G saga: Gizmodo is reporting that on Friday, California police used a search warrant to knock down the door at the home of Jason Chen (author of the first story on the phone) and enter it when he wasn’t present. They removed a bunch of computers, related items like phones, flash drives, and cameras, and…his business cards. Gizmodo’s stance is that California’s journalist shield law protected Jason from search warrants, and the proper action on the police’s part would have been to seek a subpoena.

As I usually say when writing about legal stuff, I’m not a lawyer–I don’t even play one on TV. But I do believe that blogs like Gizmodo (and, hey, Technologizer) deserve exactly the same protections that more traditional journalistic enterprises get. If Gizmodo has a case here that the warrant was unlawful, I hope it presses it successfully.

And in this particular case, I don’t pretend that I can discuss Jason as an individual or Gizmodo as an editorial operation from a sober distance: Three years ago, they said some nice things about me that bucked up my spirits when I really needed it. For that reason, I’m not even going to try and provide dispassionate analysis. I’m in favor of everybody involved complying with the law–journalists and police–but I’m also very sorry to read about the seizure, and hopeful that things work out okay for him.


Silicon Valley Police Involved in iPhone 4G Investigation

Police in Silicon Valley have launched an investigation into the lost iPhone prototype that made its way in to the hands of Gizmodo, CNET reported late Friday. Law enforcement officials told the site that criminal laws may have been broken as a result of the transaction, but did not provide much more in the way of detail.

CNET’s source claimed that Apple had been contacted, and it was thought that a computer crime task force from Santa Clara County (where Apple is headquartered) was heading up the investigation. Everything is preliminary, and the investigation will only see if enough evidence exists to press charges.

It is not known if the investigation directly targets Gizmodo, the person who found the device, or both. Some legal analysts have said in the least that Apple may have a case against the prototype’s finder, and possibly Gizmodo as well depending on the facts.

Pressing charges against the site may not be as straightforward as some think: as I wrote Tuesday Apple does share some culpability in the matter, and due to First Amendment issues and past Supreme Court decisions, it’s much harder to criminally prosecute the press for leaks.

However, those cases did not deal with confidential information obtained in the manner that Gizmodo did, so it’s unclear how much those decisions would apply here.


The Next iPhone, (Apparently) Revealed

Over the weekend, Engadget published three photos of what what it said would seem to be the next generation iPhone–along with a weird tale of the phone being found hidden inside an iPhone 3G case on the floor of a bar in San Jose. Now Gizmodo has a long post based on extensive hands-on time with the same phone–although they say it’s up highway 101 in Redwood City. Giz has photographed it, and shot video of it, and dismantled it. And while we don’t know for sure whether this is precisely the phone that Apple will presumably release sometime in the next few months, it seems unimaginable that it’s a hoax or a Chinese clone or any of the other things the phone might be other than a real Apple prototype.

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Gizmodo’s Nationwide 3G Tests

What’s this about bloggers sitting around in pajamas regurgitating the work of real journalists? Gizmodo undertook an uncommonly ambitious project to test 3G wireless speeds in twelve U.S. cities, from New York City to Maui. The results? In a nutshell, AT&T was fastest overall, competing fiercely with Verizon Wireless for download dominance, and sweeping Giz’s upload tests. (The results are worth comparing with PC World’s somewhat similar tests from last Spring; PCW used different methodology in a different set of cities, so it’s no shocker that its conclusions weren’t identical.)

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