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Android Software United States Verizon Hardware

Verizon Says It Will Not Push Samsung's Update That Disables Galaxy Note7 Because Of User Inconvenience (verizon.com) 192

Samsung confirmed on Friday that it will indeed release an update to Galaxy Note7 smartphones in the United States to "prevent US Galaxy Note7 devices from charging and will eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices." In a new wrinkle to this whole situation, Verizon said today it will not be releasing Samsung's software update to Galaxy Note7 users on Verizon network. In a blog post, Verizon said: "Verizon will not be taking part in this update because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note 7 users that do not have another device to switch to. We will not push a software upgrade that will eliminate the ability for the Note 7 to work as a mobile device in the heart of the holiday travel season. We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation." To recall, the Galaxy Note7 remains banned on airlines by the FAA and has also been prohibited from being used on many other public transit services in the United States. Elsewhere in the world, similar bans have been imposed on the phone.
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Verizon Says It Will Not Push Samsung's Update That Disables Galaxy Note7 Because Of User Inconvenience

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  • Relevant xkcd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Friday December 09, 2016 @01:42PM (#53453803) Journal

    https://xkcd.com/1328/ [xkcd.com]

    You know what's more inconvient than a broken phone? Your phone setting your fucking house on fire, that's what.

    • Re:Relevant xkcd (Score:5, Informative)

      by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Friday December 09, 2016 @01:52PM (#53453893)
      I still want to make the choice...
      • Re: Relevant xkcd (Score:3, Insightful)

        by barc0001 ( 173002 )

        What if you live in an apartment or townhouse? Would you want your neighbors making that choice for you as well? And flipping that around if you live in an apartment or townhouse complex and your Note 7 did catch the place on fire, your neighbors would be well within their rights to sue you into a financial hole so deep you'd never get out of it. Why? Because the Note 7 is a proven fire risk that the manufacturer is doing everything it can to ensure that people return and you're ignoring that. I bet yo

        • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

          What if you live in an apartment or townhouse?

          Then you must comply with whatever rules your landlord sets down. Actually renters have way to many rights, most places. Private property is the cornerstone of freedom and it should be nearly absolute.

          Would you want your neighbors making that choice for you as well?

          No I would expect my landlord to have rules regarding fire safety and that people would either be following them or be evicted.

          And flipping that around if you live in an apartment or townhouse complex and your Note 7 did catch the place on fire, your neighbors would be well within their rights to sue you into a financial hole so deep you'd never get out of it.

          Honestly I doubt very much they would. Statistically the Note 7 probably isn't nearly as great a fire risk as your average candle, or any of those cheap Chinese vape devices, to say

          • by Calydor ( 739835 )

            Actually renters have way to many rights, most places. Private property is the cornerstone of freedom and it should be nearly absolute.

            Your freedom is in that you don't have to rent out your private property.

            If you DO rent out your private property, the people renting it have protections regarding their privacy, their own belongings, etc.

            Private property and absolute control over it when other people live there is something we saw back in the old days of dukes, counts etc. It was not freedom, quite the contrary. Private property was for the rich, renting it was for the poor.

          • by mysidia ( 191772 )

            Then you must comply with whatever rules your landlord sets down.

            You have the right to NOT follow them and accept the consequences, however.

            Also, I've never heard of a Landlord inspecting tenants cellphones or personal effects to look for hazardous items.

            Ultimately it's your responsibility what you do with your property, that's the point though --- the phone is YOUR property,
            Not Samsung's.

            If your Landlord finds out you're using one and decides to evict you, that's their choice then, and they can do tha

          • Private property is the cornerstone of freedom and it should be nearly absolute.

            I've heard that line a lot, but Ive never heard anyone go beyond it as an axiom, and explain why. Would you mind?

          • And flipping that around if you live in an apartment or townhouse complex and your Note 7 did catch the place on fire, your neighbors would be well within their rights to sue you into a financial hole so deep you'd never get out of it.

            Honestly I doubt very much they would. Statistically the Note 7 probably isn't nearly as great a fire risk as your average candle, or any of those cheap Chinese vape devices, to say nothing of your typical hot plate, rice cooker etc. All things that are generally permitted in residential buildings.

            Why? Because the Note 7 is a proven fire risk that the manufacturer is doing everything it can to ensure that people return and you're ignoring that. I bet your insurance would decline coverage in that case as well.

            I would actually be pretty surprised if they could skate on that one. Its possible, but there would be law suits.

            It has been subject to a well-publicised recall. Even if it's not the highest fire risk on the planet, it has still been deemed defective -- declared unsafe.

          • I own my apartment, and all my neighbours own theirs.

            Nice way to slip in your off-topic agenda, BTW.

        • Now that I think of it... my neighbors DO have ovens in their apartment! Also probably candles and even guns! I probably won't sleep tonight or ever again...

          • by mysidia ( 191772 )

            Indeed; Most fires are started by space heaters, followed by ones that start in the kitchen, I believe the next most common place is the garage, followed by faulty electrical wiring (Common in rental units with cheap landlords). You should be scared.....

            You had the choice to accept that risk when you chose what city to live in and what kind of people to surround yourself, or whether to buy your own lot on a farm out in the sticks a mile from your nearest neighbor.

        • by mysidia ( 191772 )

          What if you live in an apartment or townhouse? Would you want your neighbors making that choice for you as well?

          Your neighbors don't have that decision. They had the decision not to move into the same Townhouse or Apartment as you, though,
          Or the landlord had the decision to not allow you to move in though.

          If anything happens, You are liable to your neighbors for their damages AND the Manufacturer is liable to you.

          • You're looking at it backwards... He didn't mean you as a Note 7 owner, he meant your neighbors as Note 7 owners.
        • Re: Relevant xkcd (Score:4, Insightful)

          by rogoshen1 ( 2922505 ) on Friday December 09, 2016 @03:19PM (#53454809)

          as long as people are allowed to smoke inside or on patios, own space heaters, use a range, or use candles -- worrying about a fucking cell phone is absolutely trivial.

        • Funny enough, when I did live in an apartment, the building next to mine burned down. The people in that apartment smelled "something burning" for two hours before the fire but called no one. It was not a Samsung phone. Also, I now live in a home of my own. I assumed more personal risk to get away from the idiots.
      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Well, now you do get to make a choice, whether you sue Samsung or Verizon when you note 7 burns your house down. The older the battery and the hotter operating conditions, the sooner it will go up in flames and when it comes to replacing that battery in some years times when it finally dies, well, you are shit out of luck. Keep in mind that people will be able to sue 'YOU' should your phone start a fire as you were being wilfully negligent in keeping a product that has been recalled for safety reasons. Some

    • How about being stuck on a road in a snowstorm without communication? There are reasons why we shouldn't disable people's phones. I would argue for nagware - every hour, have a message pop up telling you there is a safety issue and asking you to return your phone to a Verizon store for a free replacement or something. Seems like a good balance between keeping devices safe and people losing critical communication.
      • by Diss Champ ( 934796 ) on Friday December 09, 2016 @01:59PM (#53453977)

        How about being stuck on a road in a snowstorm without communication? There are reasons why we shouldn't disable people's phones. I would argue for nagware - every hour, have a message pop up telling you there is a safety issue and asking you to return your phone to a Verizon store for a free replacement or something. Seems like a good balance between keeping devices safe and people losing critical communication.

        Besides, when you are trapped in the wilderness in the snow, you may need to use your phone to start a fire.

      • How about being stuck on a road in a snowstorm without communication? There are reasons why we shouldn't disable people's phones. I would argue for nagware - every hour, have a message pop up telling you there is a safety issue and asking you to return your phone to a Verizon store for a free replacement or something. Seems like a good balance between keeping devices safe and people losing critical communication.

        They already do that [thenextweb.com], and the morons with these phones still refuse to return them, putting not only themselves at risk, but the people around them.

        Seriously, there is no excuse for still using one of these phones, and they should be bricked immediately. I hope Verizon gets sued for a bazillion dollars for any damages that result from leaving these phones in use.

    • Chestnuts roasting over an on fire Note
      Jack $hit care no one gives you
      You've been warned many times
      Return the damn thing, today!!
  • User Convenience? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Verizon does have a point here. Yes, there is an inherent safety risk with these phones, but there is also an inherent safety risk with not travelling with one.
    Frankly, a better solution would be to push out nagware, reminding users every time they unlock the phone to trade it in.

    • One of the few times I have agreed with Verizon. Very few times...
    • by dstyle5 ( 702493 )
      People have known about this issue and there has been a recall in place for months. They should not be using these phones anymore, there is no excuse at this point. The safety of others takes precedence over any moron who has not replaced their phone by now. If you have been too lazy/stubborn/dumb to replace your ticking time bomb phone that is on you.

      I certainly don't want to be in a hotel, apartment building, at work, on public transit, etc. with some dumbass who has steadfastly refused to return their
    • by caseih ( 160668 )

      Yet somehow millions of people managed the risk of traveling without a cell phone, and did it their entire lives. Sometimes they weren't heard from for months at a time by friends and relatives. Life managed to continue.

      I would say they lived to tell the tale, but pretty sure life had a 100% mortality rate back then. Good thing we live nowadays!

      Just a thought, but do you suppose that these days with all of our cell phones and connected devices that we are much less inclined to look out for and help each

      • by torkus ( 1133985 )

        Yes, they did manage.

        We also managed life before penicillin but we're not going to arbitrarily give it up because of a low risk situation.

        You also have to take into account that society as a whole has come to depend on the ubiquity of cell phones. Whine all you like, but it's reality and it's shaped plenty of behaviors.

        • It has been 59 days since a recall was announced, which is longer than the phone was even on the market (Aug 19 - Oct 11).

          So there has been plenty of time for anyone to exchange their phone for a different handset. Verizon haven't personally telephoned every one of their affected customers to arrange this?

    • Yes, there is an inherent safety risk with these phones, but there is also an inherent safety risk with not travelling with one.

      Bingo. And the risks aren't even close. The incident rate for the Note 7 was well under 100 per million in the first three months it was on the market. Annualized, that'd be less than 400 per million per year, most of which result in mere nuisance or mild injury. Contrast that with the 240 million 911 calls made each year across a population of about 320 million Americans. 80% of those calls are for life-threatening emergencies. 70% of the calls are from mobile numbers. That works out to 420,000 per million

      • Correction: out of the one million Note 7s in the US, there were 92 confirmed incidents [slashdot.org] in its first month, which works out to about 1,100 incidents per million units per year. So, instead of "over 1000x", it's actually 380x. Even so, that's still a huge difference, and (much as I hate to say so) Verizon is clearly making the right call in keeping 911 available.

  • The answer (Score:5, Funny)

    by blogagog ( 1223986 ) on Friday December 09, 2016 @01:53PM (#53453903)
    They should push an update that makes it so every time you swipe it, it pops up an alert saying, "Are you crazy? Stop using this phone!"
  • by RavenLrD20k ( 311488 ) on Friday December 09, 2016 @01:54PM (#53453907) Journal

    Translation: "We don't give a crap about the fact that your phones have the potential to spontaneously combust. Even though we're perfectly capable of performing a swap out of your phone and applying to Samsung to get the credit for the phone you swapped to, we're not going to do that, just because of the fact we are such a shitty company. So happy holidays from us here at Verizon, and we hope your fucking houses burn down you poor goddamn plebs! Hell, maybe it'll kill some of you assholes and we can finally get some new blood on our network that we need to oversell!"

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      Even though we're perfectly capable of performing a swap out of your phone and applying to Samsung to get the credit for the phone you swapped to,

      They've been doing precisely that. The thing is, the number of phones experiencing this type of failure is extremely small compared to the number of phones that shipped, so a lot of people that like the Note 7 made the decision to hold on to their phones as long as possible. This even includes actual Verizon employees. Pretty much all Note 7 owners have been made aware that there are options for returns and exchanges for their phones. Those who haven't yet taken advantage of those options have chosen no

    • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Friday December 09, 2016 @03:05PM (#53454681)

      While I can't stand Verizon and consider the Note 7 an unmitigated disaster, you clearly have no understanding of how incredibly important 911 access is. Do the math for yourself and it's pretty clear that bricking the device makes absolutely no sense, given that a Note 7 user is 1000x more likely to place a 911 call than they are to have their phone combust. In fact, let's quickly walk through the math together...

      The incident rate with the Note 7 was around 87 per million after the first three months or so. Even if we extrapolate the rate out to a full year, we're still talking about any particular Note 7 having less than a 0.04% chance of an incident in a given year. To the best of my recollection, none of the incidents to date have resulted in life-threatening injuries, so while 0.04% is an atrocious annual rate for a consumer product and well-deserving of a recall, a 0.04% annual incident rate isn't that bad in the grand scheme of things.

      Contrast that with the fact that the US has a population of 320 million people who make 240 million 911 calls each year. 70% of the calls come from mobile devices and at least 80% are for actual, life-threatening emergencies. Based on that, we can say that lives are on the line for about 134 million 911 calls made from mobile phones in the US each year, which averages to about 2 calls per 5 Americans each year (42% annually). I'll admit that those calls are almost certainly not evenly distributed among the population, but we just want some ballpark estimates (i.e. orders of magnitude), so we'll use them as they are.

      Suppose there are still one million Note 7 devices in use in the US. In the next half month, the odds suggest that about 15 of them will combust while 17,500 of them will be used to make 911 calls in response to life-threatening emergencies. As I said at the top, that means that a Note 7 user is over 1000x more likely to need to place a 911 call to save a life than they are to have their phone combust (which would probably cause more annoyance than injury).

      But please, continue telling us about how Verizon is acting contrary to the safety and wellbeing of their customers.

  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Friday December 09, 2016 @01:55PM (#53453925)

    Verizon will not be taking part in this update because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note 7 users that do not have another device to switch to

    Translation: "This will result in a lot of pissed off customer calling us about the problem and we don't want the expense".

    • Wait: if you don't have another device to switch to, how are you going to call verizon then?

    • by sootman ( 158191 )

      Narrator: A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.

      Business woman on plane: Are there a lot of these kinds of accidents?

      Narrator: You wou

    • Verizon will not be taking part in this update because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note 7 users that do not have another device to switch to

      Translation: "This will result in a lot of pissed off customer calling us about the problem and we don't want the expense".

      Better Translation: "I hope your house burns down filthy customer."

  • VZW: "You getchya fuckin' wish!"
    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death!!

      [as Bug from MIB]: Your offer is acceptable! Note 7 explodes

  • Wait, what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Friday December 09, 2016 @01:58PM (#53453961)

    Two questions: (1) A telecom provider can push phone updates? (2) Phone manufactures provide phone updates?

    • by msmash ( 4491995 ) Works for Slashdot
      So Google makes new releases available. But in the United States and other places where carrier-locked phones are sold, the update won't come to your phone without going through OEM and Telecom operator. Typically, the OEM will refine the update to its own taste and add a few stuff (and remove things it doesn't want -- but not things that it is required to leave there as part of its agreement with Google), and then the update is sent to carriers. Carriers are the last vector in this process so even if Googl
      • Not sure what this has to do with carrier locking. Carrier unlocked phones don't get updated either necessarily even if Google updates the OS. The problem is there is no "Android OS". It is simply a modular set of software that gets put together. It is up to the company that put it together to decide to update it or not. Most won't bother as there is no profit in it, just expense.
        • Carrier unlocked phones don't get updated either necessarily even if Google updates the OS

          Are you sure about that?

          I actually don't know either but I do know that I have an unlocked OP3 on AT&T's network and I am pretty sure that it gets OTA updates direct from OP.

          • by mlts ( 1038732 )

            It is a bit more involved than that:

            On Android, the ROM decides what updates it is getting, be it carrier or manufacturer. If the device came with an AT&T ROM, the ROM pulls down what AT&T wants for updates, if any. If the phone is shipped unlocked, it will be pulling down the manufacturer's ROMs. If I take a HTC 10 bought on AT&T, unlock it, and put it on T-Mobile, it will still continue to fetch updates from AT&T.

            iOS is slightly different. Apple controls the vertical regardless of carr

            • Which is why I think it's crazy to buy anything other than Nexus of iPhone. I wouldn't buy Samsung no matter how good it is because there is a carrier deciding if I get updates. Samsung wouldn't *have* to do this. They *could* ship devices that they update directly the way Google/Apple does but they've decided to make some deals with the devils (carriers) that harm their customers.
    • Two questions: (1) A telecom provider can push phone updates? (2) Phone manufactures provide phone updates?

      Surprised that you had to ask, but since you did...
      1) Yes for Android. No for iPhone. This is Android.
      2) Yes.

      • Two questions: (1) A telecom provider can push phone updates? (2) Phone manufactures provide phone updates?

        Surprised that you had to ask, but since you did... 1) Yes for Android. No for iPhone. This is Android. 2) Yes.

        I was joking -- sorry that wasn't obvious -- but thanks for the info for those that actually don't know.

    • by jonwil ( 467024 )

      Its way past time for phone OEMs and Google to take a leaf from Apple's book and take carriers out of the picture as gateways when it comes to phone updates.

      Apple doesn't have to go through Verizon or Vodafone or China Mobile when they want to push iOS updates so why should Samsung or Google need to do the same thing...

  • by Blythe Bowman ( 4372095 ) on Friday December 09, 2016 @02:05PM (#53454029)
    This is like Ford representitives comming over to your home, breaking into your garage and removing the engine from your car because the wire harness is defective and could short and set the car and perhaps the entite house on fire. Is this as road we should really be going down?
    • This is like Ford representatives breaking into your garage and removing the engine from your car, because the wire harness could short and set the car and perhaps the entire house or neighborhood on fire, and you've been refusing for months to let them fix the problem and they are worried that if you do burn the neighborhood down that they'll get sued into oblivion.

  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Friday December 09, 2016 @02:07PM (#53454053)

    "Verizon will not be taking part in this update because of the added risk..."

    Ah, say no more Verizon. When a Verizon-powered Note 7 device burns up in the cargo hold and takes down a passenger plane killing hundreds over that precious holiday season you wish to protect, Samsung et al will know exactly who to identify in the class-action suit/counter-suit.

    Seems customer ignorance is infectious...

    • Samsung will be at fault. Bricked phones can still catch fire for weeks after this disabling update. Removing a customer's emergency comm would make verizon liable.

      Three dozen fire incidents is essentially zero anyway, not a high risk

      • by The-Ixian ( 168184 ) on Friday December 09, 2016 @02:44PM (#53454413)

        Actually, I am thinking that the individual will be at fault because these devices are specifically proscribed from planes that the TSA has authority over.

        I am thinking that, for example, if a grenade somehow got through TSA and went off in the cargo hold causing the plane to crash, it wouldn't be the grenade manufacturer that got the blame.

        • There are planes not under TSA though; I don't see any phone carrier having liability, the contracts with Samsung are already in place to protect Verizon from that.

      • Verizon will also be at fault if the next incidence is one of their customers, and the incident happens after this firmware update should have been issued. Believe me when I say that if I am in any way personally affected, I will be suing Verizon as well as Samsung and the idiot owner.
    • I was thinking the same thing. Verizon is knowingly allowing people to use a product that was deemed dangerous by the manufacturer. Sounds like a lawyers dream if someone is injured.

    • Samsung et al will know exactly who to identify in the class-action suit/counter-suit

      The person who broke a federal law by bringing a restricted item on a plane?

  • Liability? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MirthScout ( 247854 ) on Friday December 09, 2016 @02:13PM (#53454101)

    So, Samsung exercises due diligence by creating this update that will prevent further burning phones and the property damage and injuries that result.
    Doesn't Verizon blocking the update make Verizon liable. Did Verizon run this past their lawyers?

    • Of course they did and found this route to be the most cost effective.

    • Re:Liability? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Friday December 09, 2016 @02:53PM (#53454533)

      Get your head screwed on, this isn't "due dillegence" as the phones can still catch fire for weeks.

      No, Verizon not liable, contracts in place with Samsung and other phone providers make them not Verizon liable for anything the phone does.

      only 35 reported fires out of 3 million phones, those phones are MUCH more likely to be used for emergency comm than to catch fire.

      Verizon made correct business decision, good thing most slashdotters don't run a business.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        only 35 reported fires out of 3 million phones, those phones are MUCH more likely to be used for emergency comm than to catch fire.

        35 before North American release (rest of world got it around 2 weeks prior).

        By the time the CPSC got involved, it rose to 100 cases (a month later).

        Then Samsung discovered the replacements were bad, too, with about 120 reports. Note the latter numbers are more US centric now and not worldwide figures.

        • so hardly any phones; Verizon would more likely be severing someone's emergency comm than preventing any fire. And Samsung is legally liable by contracts with Verizon, that's SOP for any carrier reselling phones. Verizon is making correct business decision.

          • Samsung is legally liable by contracts with Verizon, that's SOP for any carrier reselling phones.

            If I were Samsung, I'd certainly want to write into my contract that I become not-liable if I issue a general recall and they ignore it. It's not like Samsung has only recalled Verizon's phones.

  • by CCarrot ( 1562079 ) on Friday December 09, 2016 @02:21PM (#53454163)

    "Verizon will not be taking part in this update because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note 7 users that do not have another device to switch to. We will not push a software upgrade that will eliminate the ability for the Note 7 to work as a mobile device in the heart of the holiday travel season. We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation."

    So lemme get this straight, you won't push an update designed to prevent an emergency situation because then people couldn't use the device to contact someone in an emergency? ...sure glad I have this here cell phone to call 911 and tell them that my cell phone caught fire! Oh wait...

    Make no mistake, this is purely about profits. Ppeople call, text and stream now more than at any other time of the year, making for juicy data and minute overage fees, all of which could be curtailed if the phone suddenly stops working and people are too busy to replace it. Also, right now people are jamming the stores to get the latest shiny in time for Christmas, so who wants to spend time providing service for lame swap-outs with little to no profit margin? And finally: we simply don't feel like dealing with the flood of calls this will generate from pissed off customers who don't read anything but E! Entertainment posts on FB, and can't understand why they should have to swap their phone out when 'it hasn't caught fire yet!'

    • wrong. most phones won't catch fire, hardly any of them have. Those that do, liability is on Samsung. Cutting off someone's emergency comm makes Verizon liable.

      Grow up, this is how the adult world works

      • Cutting off someone's emergency comm makes Verizon liable.
        Grow up, this is how the adult world works/quote>

        The obvious thing to do to get the non-adults refusing to bring their phones in for replacement with something else to actually act like adults is to refuse to let their phone do anything but call Verizon service or 911.

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      They could release an update that lets the phone still work in emergency mode. Basically lock the people out of their phones by changing their pins to a random number, then have them go swap it out.

  • Just have it do a pop-up every 5 minutes telling you the phone has been recalled.
  • " We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation."

    1. The Note 7 is the very reason *why* you need to contact first responders and medical professionals in the first place!
    2. How exactly are customers supposed to contact these people to let them know they need medical attention and a new phone after said phone has exploded?

    • no, not when there are 35 reported fires out of 3 million phones sold. Get some perspective, it's a very unlikely thing and more of those phones will be used for some other emergency this holiday season.

  • We will not push a software upgrade that will eliminate the ability for the Note 7 to work as a mobile device in the heart of the holiday travel season.

    Isn't that kind of exactly when you'd want to reduce the risk to others from potentially hazardous devices traveling in larger numbers?

    I guess it will not matter as much if a few cars burn out, since the Note7 is already banned from air travel...

  • by AdamStarks ( 2634757 ) on Friday December 09, 2016 @03:03PM (#53454639)

    My phone's on fire! Ow!

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