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Handhelds The Almighty Buck Hardware

Turned Off iPhone Gets $4800 Bill from AT&T 951

Tech.Luver writes "Jay Levy says he has been stung by Apple's iPhone pact with AT&T after he took an iPhone on a Mediterranean cruise. They didn't use their phones, but when they got back they had a 54-page monthly bill of nearly $4,800 from AT&T Wireless. The problem was that their three iPhones were racking up a bill for data charges using foreign phone charges. The iPhone regularly updates e-mail, even while it's off, so that all the messages will be available when the user turns it on. ""
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Turned Off iPhone Gets $4800 Bill from AT&T

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  • by wal9001 ( 1041058 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @09:51AM (#20537761)
    Sleep: Press sleep/wake button briefly. Off: Hold button for several seconds, slide red slider control that shows up. Of course it downloads new messages when the display is sleeping. There'd be no point to sleep if it didn't.
  • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @09:55AM (#20537819)
    >Then how is it legal to carry it on airplane or somewhere where it requires to operate in complete radio-off mode?

    It has an airplaine wireless off mode. The problem is that the users who buy these things are too hip and smart and cool to spend 45 seconds with the manual. User error, nothing to see here.
  • by Richthofen80 ( 412488 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @09:56AM (#20537833) Homepage
    The iPhone has a radio-off mode, where it disables its cellphone antennae and wifi antennae. Its called 'airplane mode' and accessible through the settings.

    It also has a power-off, where it essentially turns off everything except the sensor to turn it back on again. Not too many people even know this exists, even if they own an iPhone. If you press and hold the lock button at the top right, a screen will appear that says 'slide to turn off'... this is the only way to reboot the iPhone, I think.

    Most people press the 'sleep' hold button once, thinking that 'turns it off', but all it does is disable the screen. its still running, and using its antennae.

  • by shidarin'ou ( 762483 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @09:57AM (#20537851) Homepage
    When you push the button at the top once, it puts the phone to sleep. When you hold the "sleep" button down for 3 seconds, it actually turns off- totally off.

    Maybe they should have done that- instead of wondering why their "off" phones were still "turning on" to ring.
  • Re:Off means off (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rycross ( 836649 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:01AM (#20537927)
    There is an airplane mode switch in the settings.
  • Re:ihpones (Score:5, Informative)

    by evilgrug ( 915703 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:07AM (#20538023)
    Hopefully "after this gets publicised" more people will bother to read the manual [] which clearly states in Chapter 2 "The Basics" (page 14) how to turn the iPod completely off.
  • Re:Off means off (Score:3, Informative)

    by aug24 ( 38229 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:12AM (#20538091) Homepage
    ...and that's why it should be done in a shielded room, not why every other device on the planet should be off/shielded. What happens if someone walks by outside the window with an unshielded device?

    (I had friends at uni who got interference from cars 200m away. They ran their experiment at 3am instead. My point being, there is always interference. You shouldn't try to legislate against it.)

  • Re:Off means off (Score:5, Informative)

    by fredmosby ( 545378 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:13AM (#20538095)
    You can actually turn an iPhone off. These people left their iPhones on standby and thought they were turned off. Just because the screen is black doesn't mean the device is off.

    To turn it off all you have to do is hold down the standby button for a few seconds then then hit the off button when it asks you if you really want to turn the phone off.
  • Re:Roaming Charges? (Score:4, Informative)

    by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:14AM (#20538117)
    Was that a hotel or a mobile phone bill? Roaming charges were recently the subject of an EU court case which has placed a cap on them: [] /roaming/roaming_regulation/index_en.htm []

    Though I can't see it helping much if you're using a US cell phone in the EU.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:21AM (#20538209)
    FYI, if you ever need to do a hard reset (if it freezes or something) you hold down the lock button and the menu button together until the apple logo appears.
  • Re:So (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:23AM (#20538253)
    Whoa here -- you are off base. The phone wasn't "off" any more than a closed clamshell is "off". You can turn an iPhone off, and then it is actually off.
  • User Error (Score:2, Informative)

    by Oink ( 33510 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:25AM (#20538277)
    I'm not sure I feel a lot of sympathy here. I mean, that is a *huge* bill, but the situation seems completely obvious. The iphone frigging buzzes to alert you that you have new mail. Did this guy think it was magic leprechauns that were delivering that information?


    1) User is an idiot and doesn't know the difference between 'off' and 'standby.'
    2) There is an 'update email manually' setting, which actually I *thought* was the default behavior, though I could be wrong on that count.

  • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:26AM (#20538303)
    It has a 'airplane mode' setting. Of course, it certainly isn't obvious to a normal person that an 'off' device could be expected to transmit.
  • Re:Off means off (Score:4, Informative)

    by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:31AM (#20538401) Homepage
    You aren't suggesting that cell phones cause a problem with an Airplane, are you?

    No, a mobile phone being operated in an aircraft causes problems with the mobile phone network. From that distance you have a massive radio footprint, and your phone appears in many many cells all at once (normally you're not in more than half-a-dozen cells, all adjacent), and roaming at a couple of hundred miles per hour when you're close enough to the ground to only hit the "normal" number of cells. The computers controlling the network routing cack themselves, and the network locks up. A couple of weeks later you get a snotty letter from Orange telling you not to do it again. See if you can guess how I know.
  • Re:Off means off (Score:5, Informative)

    by RMH101 ( 636144 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:39AM (#20538507)
    ...and to hell with those pesky laws of physics!

    Say you have an ECG machine. It's hooked up via sticky contact pads to your chest and is measuring the delicate flickerings of life in your body. It's doing this because it's trying to spot the *tiny* irregularities that could indicate Bad Things.
    You can't magically design a machine that's picking up miniscule electrical currents like this and have it unaffected when some idiot brings in a portable radio transceiver and cranks it up nearby while they tell their wife what they want for dinner.
    As I type, I'm within 30 feet of a ward full of such machines, and maybe a couple of hundred yards from the EEG devices that measure the brain's electrical activity. As we're testing today, I can wave my phone around and I can watch the interference it causes on the data being captured. Even when I'm not talking on the phone, it's checking in with the nearest base station periodically, and I can see that screwing the traces too. It's not causing those machines to break: but it's fvcking up the data that they're capturing - and that data is being captured as it's for diagnostic purposes. Screwing this up could have really bad consequences for someone.

    This is not rocket science.

  • Re:Off means off (Score:5, Informative)

    by neapolitan ( 1100101 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:40AM (#20538527)
    > I'd say hospital equipment shouldn't malfunction when presented with interference on a widely used spectrum, but that's just me.

    I'm a cardiologist - we get this question a lot, and I've been in many, um, discussions, about this issue.

    In general, hospital equipment does not malfunction with any FCC approved wireless interference, especially from a consumer device. The trouble is, there are some anecdotes: []

    that demonstrate equipment malfunction with close proximity of cellphones / radios, etc. This 2005 report was widely publicized, (sorry, system demands that you purchase the article if you want to read it) but it was a cellphone left on top an IV infusion pump that apparently malfunctioned, and was reproducible (move the phone near the pump -> malfunction, move it away and returns to normal.)

    I tell people that as long as they have a digital phone, they are ok to use it in the hospital. In truth, I think that if a nurse tells you to move to another area they are probably wanting you to stop yapping in common areas, which is a much bigger problem IMHO.

    As with anything that deals with life or death, physicians and health care staff are quite risk averse. If there is a very, very small chance of interference, then we err on the side of caution. Your cellphone is designed to not interfere with things, but I'm sure we have all heard our computer speakers chatter *before* a call comes in, or seen your old CRT monitor jump due to an incoming call on a nearby phone. This is interference -- making all medical equipment so that they are totally oblivious to all outside fields would make them inconceivably heavy. Don't bother with the "faraday cage" argument -- most cases are metal, but as anybody with engineering experience would tell you it is imperfect (as I've stated before, you can use your cellphone in a metal plane, also a "faraday cage.")

    So, no, hospital equipment is generally ok, but generally we tell people to not use cellphones in the intensive care unit or operating rooms, where things are most sensitive and potentially could have lethal consequences. We allow answering the phone and moving to an appropriate area, and allow cellphone use throughout the hospital otherwise (the doctors do this too). If it were a big risk, equipment would be malfunctioning left and right. However, it is prudent to minimize risks, especially for nonessential communication, hence the policies.
  • Re:Soo.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by InternetVoting ( 809563 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:41AM (#20538543) Homepage
    If you don't register for the international data plan (which is optional with a mandatory 1 year contract) the rate is $0.02/KB which translates to about 235MB for $4800. This is not unheard of for three phones with a few big attachments.

    Now all this talk about is it really "off," what the Apple iPhone user manual [] (which they obviously didn't read) calls "sleep" is nothing more than a screen lock. For this story to be true we would have to see a number of things. 1)As previously noted 235MB of email was downloaded. 2)The user was truly unaware of the difference between screen lock and off. 3)The user had all notifications turned off (audio or vibrate) for each of the 235MB worth of emails

    At a minimum the story is disingenuous. The iPhone does not perform as described with off. The user would have found himself in a similar predicament with any other PDA he didn't turn off (AT&T offers the same international data plan for all phones)
  • by djh101010 ( 656795 ) * on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:43AM (#20538565) Homepage Journal

    hospital equipment shouldn't malfunction when presented with interference on a widely used spectrum

    Normally it doesn't. Most critical equipement is designed to be solid.

    I work in the medical devices field and have done so most of the time since 1990. Systems are tested rigorously for both RF Emissions and RF Susceptibility.

    *BUT* on the other hand, the designer didn't have the opportunity to run tests between their product and every fucking crazy stuff emitting radio-noise that a patient may try to subject it to.
    Nothing unique about the iPhone in this regard - edge network has been around for many years.

    Phone are forbidden to be on the safe side of things, not because all medical equipement is so sensitive that the whole hospital will crash if a GSM phone comes by.

    Actually, the local hospitals around here (Wisconsin) have increasingly been taking down the signs about cellphones. Science can, sometimes, overcome folklore.

    (And sometimes, there are suprising interactions, like the iPods' touchwheel interfering with pacemakers)
    I haven't read about that, can you get me a link where I can see this? Knowing what I do both about pacemakers and iPod touchwheels, I find this quite surprising.

    On the other hand, that doesn't prevent the iPhone from having a mode where it is actually off.

    Of course it doesn't. There's "airplane mode" where all the RF sections of the iPhone are off, and there's also "off" which is of course different than the "I'm not using it right now and the screen is dark" mode. The only way their phones could have been fetching email while they were on vacation is this:

    1. They configured the mail client for automatic updates (I think manual is the default)
    2. They took 3 iPhones with them on vacation so they wouldn't use them (plausible?)
    3. They put the iPhones into screen lock mode, rather than off or airplane mode.

    It seems to me that being surprised that the device would do what you have configured it to do when you leave it turned on, is on par with being annoyed that your cellphone rings when you've already hung it up. If I could embed an image at this point, I'd pick one of the "You're doing it wrong" series.
  • Re:Off means off (Score:4, Informative)

    by petermgreen ( 876956 ) <> on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:43AM (#20538567) Homepage
    You really don't want to put each patient in a shielding box as doing so would interfere with treating them.

    The problem is not that electronic circuits need shielding. The problem is sensors, to use an analogy putting on earmuffs will not allow you to hear a whisper in a rock concert.

  • by Americano ( 920576 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:49AM (#20538677)
    I just came back from 2 weeks in Ireland. I used the phone in a pinch to try and find directions when I was semi-lost in Dublin. The rest of the time, I used the ipod features, and only checked my email when wifi was available in the hotel. Total international data rates for my iphone for the entire trip: Just under US $8.

    I suspect Mr. Levy never bothered to RTFM on his device, and then left his phone(s) in the "sleep" mode (display off, radios on), for the duration of his cruise. From Page 14 of the iPhone User Guide []:

    To Lock iPhone -- Press the Sleep/Wake button.
    To Unlock iPhone -- Press the Home button or the Sleep/Wake button, then drag the slider.
    To Turn iPhone completely off -- Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds until the red slider appears, then drag the slider. When iPhone is off, incoming calls go straight to voicemail.
    To Turn iPhone on -- Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the Apple logo appears.
    Note that they call it a "Sleep/Wake button", not an "on/off" button, or a "power" button.

    Other than that, he could have enabled "Airplane Mode", which does the following (User Guide, page 22):

    When you turn on airplane mode, [a small airplane icon] appears in the status bar at the top of the screen. No cell phone, radio, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth signals are emitted from iPhone. You cannot:
    • Make phone calls
    • Send or receive email
    • Browse the Internet
    • Send or receive text messages
    • Stream YouTube videos
    • Get stock quotes
    • Get maps locations
    • Get weather reports

    If allowed by the aircraft operator and applicable laws and regulations, you can continue to use iPhone to:
    • Listen to music and watch video
    • Listen to visual voicemail
    • Check your calendar
    • Take or view pictures
    • Hear alarms
    • Use the stopwatch or timer
    • Use the calculator
    • Take notes
    • Read text messages and email messages stored on iPhone
    Oh, and you can also disable automatic checking of email in the iPhone settings. The default behavior is to check every so often, but you can set it to "Manual", which means you have to tell the iPhone to check email, it won't go out automatically and try downloading messages.

    There's warnings about "Additional fees may apply" plastered all over the iPhone manual when discussing international roaming, as well. So to all the people crying that this just shows the iPhone is an overhyped piece of crap, or that this is evidence of some sort of collusion between Apple and AT&T to suck their customers dry, get over it. The guy didn't read his manual, and now he's learning that that was a costly mistake. If you go to Ireland with your brand new Nokia E70 or Treo 650, and leave it on, charging, and set to automatically check email periodically, you're going to have the same fucking problem.
  • Re:Off means off (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rycross ( 836649 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:50AM (#20538695)
    The default setting is for the iPhone to not check mail automatically. You have to explicitly turn that on.
  • by clickety6 ( 141178 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:50AM (#20538699)
    You might find this article interesting then,8599,1659417,00.html []

    The relatively informal test found 43% of the medical equipment was affected to some degree by mobile phone signals...

  • by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs AT ajs DOT com> on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:51AM (#20538719) Homepage Journal

    For the same reason that someone who signs a contract without reading it and/or insisting on changes, deserves to be screwed. It's called a manual, it comes with the device, and you are allowed to read it. There is no "deception", only ignorance on the part of the user.
    This won't hold up in court, and for good reason. The customer had a reasonable expectation that turning the device "off" would prevent it from performing any transactions that would cost money. There was, at no point, a warning displayed (because the device was "off") that charges were being accumulated. There's simply no interaction here that would suggest to a typical user "read the manual before operating the off button, or get charged extra money."

    To make it clearer, re-cast your argument in terms of someone being charged nearly $5000 because the "enter" key on their new computer's keyboard was specially interpreted by the pre-installed operating system as a signal to accept a customer service fee for requesting email-based help on the current application. There's simply no way that would fly in court, no matter what the manual said.
  • Re:Off means off (Score:5, Informative)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:53AM (#20538747)
    My phone has a display that goes into "sleep" mode after about 15 seconds. As far as anyone is concerned, the phone looks like it's off. In order to actually turn the phone off, I have to hold the power button for 5 seconds. Every single cell phone I've ever used behaves like this. From the sounds of things, the iPhone has similar behavior.
  • Re:Off means off (Score:3, Informative)

    by servognome ( 738846 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @10:57AM (#20538821)
    Non-compliance with the crew of an airplane is a criminal offense. Punishable by maximum of 2 years in prison and fine of 50,000HKD (at least that's what it said on my flight)
  • by lelitsch ( 31136 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:00AM (#20538893)
    I just came back from 2 weeks in Australia with my iPhone, and even having it on a couple of hours a day to surf or check email over wifi, I didn't rack up a single cent of roaming charges. The TFA leaves out two bits of information. For one, you have to specifically activate international roaming at AT&T's web site or an AT&T store for any AT&T phone to hook up to any network overseas. Secondly, unlike a Blackberry, the iPhone does not check email periodically, this was much criticized by many, even here on Slashdot. It's actually a bit of a pain even in the US, you have to turn on the phone AND go to mail to get updates. The only email that can be pushed is Yahoo email
  • FUD, FUD, FUD (Score:4, Informative)

    by alcmaeon ( 684971 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:10AM (#20539045)

    1) My iPhone in standby mode does not DL my email until I hit the email button at which point it connects and begins the transfer of the email. This is a setting in the email settngs preferences. By default it is set to manual. This is where I left mine.

    2) My iPhone, when it is actually turned off, as opposed to in standby mode (i.e. hold the top button down for 3 seconds rather than just pressing it) it doesn't even receive calls, much less email or anything else.

    3) Does anyone on slashdot even own an iPhone? Most of the comments are completely clueless as to the actual operation of the device.

  • Re:ihpones (Score:5, Informative)

    by ThePiMan2003 ( 676665 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:37AM (#20539483)
    That would be a great idea. And the really neat thing is that you can.
  • by AHumbleOpinion ( 546848 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:46AM (#20539661) Homepage
    For the same reason that someone who signs a contract without reading it and/or insisting on changes, deserves to be screwed. It's called a manual, it comes with the device, and you are allowed to read it. There is no "deception", only ignorance on the part of the user.

    Terms in a contract are not always upheld. If they are too one sided, or absurd, a judge may rule something unconscionable. This is especially true for adhesion contracts, "take it or leave it", and even more so when there is a power imbalance between the parties such as large corp v a consumer.
  • Re:So (Score:3, Informative)

    by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:52AM (#20539813) Homepage

    Except that, evidently, he didn't turn it off. He just figured that "black screen" meant "off". Also, I kind of wonder about this on the grounds that the iPhone doesn't carry a very large charge. Assuming he left it in standby, didn't do anything, and it checked for e-mail, it would carry the charge for about 2 days. Now, the most the iPhone will check e-mail is every 15 minutes, which means 96 times a day, which means 192 times in 2 days. Assuming he started with a completely full charge, the most the phones would have connected is about 200 times each.

    So are 600 quick data connections to download e-mail $4800? An average of $24 per connection? 12 connections per page? Seems like a lot. I wonder if these people possibly might have been charging their cell-phones over the course of the trip and had them on for longer. If they really thought that their phones were off, why would they be charging them?

  • by nofx911 ( 634100 ) * on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:52AM (#20539821) Homepage
    Thats because Verizon is smart, and only sends the billing summary for each of the phones (the summary contains the breakout for each major category of charge, voice, data, sms, etc). You can then get access to log of every charge by going on-line, and selecting the phone.

  • by TheCouchPotatoFamine ( 628797 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:58AM (#20539921)
    my goodness what's with all of the strangely low amounts of intelligence here today? All of these posts seem to be implying that if a phone is not held against ones ear then it shouldnt recieve calls. OF COURSE sleep mode isnt off, otherwise THE PHONE WOULD NOT ANSWER CALLS!

    Admittidly in this case it is easy to see the people were just ignorant of the phone's basic operation and, perhaps, international data should be opt-in. but to say this is due to bad UI design from apple is INSANE. If the iPhone sat in your pocket in sleep mode and DIDNT have a function to auto get emails, that would be bad design.

    I just checked; auto fetching of email is OFF OFF OFF by default. These people are just the unlucky people who will remind the rest of you "non savvies" to think for a second. AND, if they used voice only for a week, you think they didnt see new email messages magically show up on their home screen of the unit? Yeah, RIGHT.

    Typed from an iPhone.

  • Re:Off means off (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Freak ( 16973 ) <> on Monday September 10, 2007 @12:14PM (#20540161) Journal
    I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have a low-power 'sleep' state on my cell phone that is the default "off-like" state. After all, normally I would still want to be able to receive phone calls. If pressing the "sleep/wake" button (that's Apple's name for it in every manual and video,) would turn the phone completely off, I would be annoyed.

    As mentioned, this is a problem that users didn't read the manual. "I'm going to travel overseas, so I think I'll just put my phone in 'sleep' mode because I didn't read the manual to find out that it isn't 'off'." Not to mention the fact that you can put it in "airplane" mode that turns off the radios, and still use it as a camera and iPod.

  • by tha_mink ( 518151 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @12:25PM (#20540295)

    I suspect this problem is related in a curious way to the 300 page phone bill issue, in that it reveals billing-process (or, arguably, "user training") issues which are unintended consequences of the success of some of the design goals of the device. This may sound a bit odd, but let me explain.
    1. Sleep/Wake vs. Power Off for iPhone
    So, it's a feature? I leave my Blackberry on 24/7 and my phone bill is 3 pages long.

    I can only imagine the bad press that would be in the air if this was a Microsoft phone instead of an Apple phone. But, since it's an Apple product, it's the user's fault for not knowing that turning their phones off isn't really turning their phones off.
    As far as this bit...

    The really interesting part is that nobody at AT&T realized this would happen to people, because it probably doesn't happen to other people using other devices. Why not? Well, it certainly isn't because they don't have devices that automatically fetch IMAP or POP email. It's because they were trained by other quirks of the device to learn the difference between OFF and Sleep right away.

    I've taken my Blackberry (From the good ole US of A) into Mexico and the BVI's, left it on and running, and had no extra charges for data. Verizon.
  • by Nazmun ( 590998 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @12:25PM (#20540297) Homepage
    Your too emotionally charged to understand what he's saying. Most phones even free ones released in the last 3-4 years go into a sleeplike mode called "standby" when not in active use or when you shut it closed (physically like if it's a flip phone). I'll bet your current phone is the same, it uses minimal power and can still receive calls unless you have a brick from 6 years ago.

    My samsung A is the same and it takes 2-3 seconds of holding the end button to turn off.
  • Re:ihpones (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 10, 2007 @12:26PM (#20540315)

    It sounds like a matter of defaults. Setting up the phone to by default automatically download emails is a bad decision, because it causes the phone to work contrary to how most people expect -- which is that in standby mode, you aren't accruing data transfer charges.

    The default is in fact to check for mail manually - these people set it to automatically check mail. Of course the real problem here is the insane roaming charges for mobile data, which is no more costly than voice for the operators.

    I think they should have done the following though :

    1. The phone should not check email periodically on foreign networks without explicit permission (i.e. needs a checkbox 'even on foreign Networks' for the automatic setting).
    2. The phone should warn users when accessing the mobile network in other countries, ideally showing the call cost before they use it.
    3. The phone should go to a deeper sleep with all radio off when unused for more than 1 hour - saves battery.
    4. Have an option not to check email while the screen is asleep.
  • by Nazmun ( 590998 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @12:38PM (#20540521) Homepage
    Yeah, but your phone receives calls and the iphone like many cellphones have a way to actually turn off by holding a button for a few seconds which these people when their 3 iphones didn't do.
  • by reidconti ( 219106 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @01:07PM (#20541003)
    You still don't get it. I am happy for you that you seem to love bashing the iPhone and other overly complicated pieces of phone technology, but the "sleep mode" people speak of here is a red herring. The iPhone is like any other phone -- either on, or off. When I stop using my iphone, the display goes black to save battery. That's what people here are calling "standby." I don't know a single phone that doesn't power down its display to save battery.

    These people were idiots, but hopefully AT&T makes things right-- that overcharge is just absurd.

    The *only* difference is that the iPhone has no visible indicator of being on when the screen is black.

    However, these people didn't even try to turn their phones off. They simply set them down and assumed that a darkened screen meant it was off.
  • by Crispy Critters ( 226798 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @02:29PM (#20542365)
    "That one watt of output is in the gigahertz range, and is easily filtered"

    It is not as easily filtered as you might think. Semiconductors have a tendency to rectify very high frequency signals, converting them into low frequency signals. Even discrete components can have problems, because you only need a tiny stray capacitance to get significant coupling at those frequencies. (Look at some numbers - a low stray capacitance is in the pF range, so what is 1/(2pi f C) for f of a few GHz?) It is easy to be stung by resonances unless you have a careful cascade of filters optimized for different frequency ranges.

  • by frdmfghtr ( 603968 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @03:29PM (#20543335)

    Someone please correct / enlighten me, but how can the phone *ever* truely be OFF when it requires interaction on its touchsceen to turn it on again?
    When the iPhone is off, you don't interact with the touch screen to turn it on. You have to press the sleep/wake button for several seconds (not just a quick tap and release) to turn it on again.
  • by Harik ( 4023 ) <> on Monday September 10, 2007 @04:43PM (#20544497)
    "the dumbass" probably wanted people to be able to reach him in an emergency, which is why he took a cellular phone with him. Turning it off/leaving it at home rather defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

    I mean, call me crazy, but that's what I do with my phone while I'm out of the country, I just refrain from making calls on it unless they're important. Then again, I guess I'm "the dumbass" for expecting slashdot readers to have crawled out of their mother's basement and actually gotten out of the country themselves.
  • Re:Roaming Charges? (Score:2, Informative)

    by vvpt ( 1077009 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @05:04PM (#20544811)
    The new EU roaming tariff only applies when using a sim from a operator located in the EU. The aim is to harmonize roaming costs within the EU. So it doesn't apply to an AT&T sim. [] Secondly, the tariff only applies to voice calls and NOT to SMS, MMS or GPRS/UMTS. Thirdly, I have noticed that people seem to get charged for absurd amounts of data. It is quite impossible to verify that those amounts have actually been used. I have a theory that the calculation method used by the operators is responsible for charging people for amounts that are bigger then the actual use. It would be interesting to measure the actual use (possibly through a tcpdump) and compare this with the bill. I haven't seen any operator that explains in detail which calculation method (using increments) is used.
  • Re:Bullshit (Score:2, Informative)

    by Poorcku ( 831174 ) on Monday September 10, 2007 @06:32PM (#20545809) Homepage
    european carriers warn u when welcoming you on their network through an sms. this is 2007, europe, consumer friendly. cut the venom :) - if the guy did not get a welcoming sms, the phone was off - no standby, and if it was in standby and did not announced the sms, then Iphone has a serious issue. basta.
  • "Sleep" on a laptop means the device is dead, but keeping the memory powered so as to be able to restore instantly. That sounds like "Off" to me
    Sleep keeps the input devices and often the network interfaces active to some extent so that the device can be told to wake if it is needed.

    Hmm, that sounds a lot like what the iPhone goes in to a low power state but leaves its input partially active (two buttons) and keeps its network interface (GSM/EDGE) up in order to respond as it becomes needed.

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay