Aren't There More Important Things For Congress To Focus On Than The iPhone's Crappy Antenna?

from the grandstanding dept

We haven't really written about the whole Apple iPhone antenna thing because, really, who cares? As the NY Times pointed out, it's just a phone. It's a nice phone, by all accounts, and the antenna problems seem like they could be pretty annoying, but there wasn't much for us to comment on that wasn't already covered by a thousand other blogs. However, you know things have reached silly season when even our Congressional reps are getting involved. Senator Chuck Schumer, who can grandstand with the best of them, has decided that this antenna issue is an issue for Congress to be concerned about, and has penned a letter to Steve Jobs ("Dear Mr. Jobs,") to come forward and explain the issue. Of course, Schumer sent the letter after Apple had already scheduled its press conference for later this morning where it's expected that something (no one's quite sure what) will be resolved about the antenna. But, really, what role does Congress have in this at all? The story is getting plenty of attention from all over the place already. It's not like Congress can help shine a light on it. All this appears to be is Schumer stepping into a headline because it's a hot topic. Sometimes it makes you wonder if Congressional Reps & Senators now have their press people monitoring the Twitter trending topics for issues grandstand-worthy....


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 5:10am

    Not that they want to deal with

    Congress figures that if the majority of Americans are unemployeed and evicted, they won't have a permanent residence. Without a permanent residence an American can't vote, so the only people eligible to vote will be congress and their corporate puppetmasters.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 5:26am

      Re: Not that they want to deal with

      And what, exactly, does that have to do with the iPhone's poorly thought out antenna design?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 5:26am

    Aren't There More Important Things For Techdirt To Focus On that Congress Focusing On Than The iPhone's Crappy Antenna?

     

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      DS, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 5:38am

      Re:

      Last time I checked, I don't pay techdirt's salary. I pay Schumer's salary. So if TechDirt posts a story about something that I feel is a waste of time, I don't read it, and I didn't lose anything. When the Schumer does something I don't care about, I have to sign his paycheck regardless.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 5:42am

        Re: Re:

        see the ads on the side? see all the links? you pay techdirt salaries too.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 6:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What ad? What links on the side? I've blocked every ad on the internet with ad-block plus, hosts file entries and other ad blockers for at least 10 years.

           

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          DS, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 7:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And they didn't cost me a thing.

          TechDirt doesn't take money out of my paycheck every week.

           

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          DS, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 7:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oh, and I also have the option of not reading the article. I don't have the option of docking Schumer's salary.

           

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          Common Sense, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 7:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don't see the ads on the side. Mike has told me it doesn't bother him that I use an Ad Blocker on my own personal browser. But, thank you for paying TechDirt salaries for me.

           

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      harbingerofdoom (profile), Jul 16th, 2010 @ 7:26am

      Re:

      uh... lets see here.
      technology blog covering a pretty large story in a technology field...
      vs.
      congress looking at a pretty large issue of a cell phone design problem....


      you kinda remind me of a summers eve......

       

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      Notorious Coward, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 7:35am

      Re: Anonymous Coward

      Aren't there more important things for you to focus on than Techdirt focusing on congress focusing on... oh, never mind.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 8:04am

      Re:

      Aren't there more important things for Congress to focus on than the iPhone's crappy antenna?

       

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    DS, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 5:37am

    Schumer? Something important? He is. He got himself in front of a camera. That's always been job #1 for him.

     

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    TriZz (profile), Jul 16th, 2010 @ 5:38am

    Actually, Mike, it is KIND OF his job

    He sits on the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 6:01am

      Re: Actually, Mike, it is KIND OF his job

      plus if a million people bought the things, isnt it the place of government to advocate for the people?

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 16th, 2010 @ 6:12am

        Re: Re: Actually, Mike, it is KIND OF his job

        In the affairs of private business? For non-health critical issues? At the Federal level?

        ....Jesus Christ, no, it isn't!

         

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        The Groove Tiger (profile), Jul 16th, 2010 @ 7:23am

        Re: Re: Actually, Mike, it is KIND OF his job

        Of course not, that's Socialism.

         

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        harbingerofdoom (profile), Jul 16th, 2010 @ 7:30am

        Re: Re: Actually, Mike, it is KIND OF his job

        no, its up to people to gripe about it until they either fix it and make it right, or people refuse to buy the thing because it does not function as it should.

        its a design flaw, its not the job of government to meddle in the affairs of electronics design flaws where there is no risk to public safety. the pinto? good design flaw for the government to get involved in and investigate.

        the iphone? bad design flaw for them to investigate.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 6:31am

      Re: Actually, Mike, it is KIND OF his job

      Antitrust... none here plenty of other phones those people could have bought that are BETTER and CHEAPER. Dumb consumers buying a bad product who if it worked as advertised was STILL worse than it's competition from a hardware standpoint. Aesthetics aside.

      Competition Policy... yea there's tons and they are arguably better on CERTAINLY better networks.

      Consumer Rights... buyers remorse return the god damn thing in that buyer remorse period. Unless those have been completely removed for cell phones and if so put that back!

       

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      DS, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 8:22am

      Re: Actually, Mike, it is KIND OF his job

      No, he sits on the Subcommittee of Putting My Face In Front of Cameras and Releasing Press Releases With My Name on it in the Hopes I Get Reelected.

      There are a lot of independent branches of this committee, but his does seem to be the most active.

       

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    jsl4980 (profile), Jul 16th, 2010 @ 6:03am

    As a New Yorker, I think it's best for Chuck Schumer to focus on the little things because when he focuses on the big things I usually disagree with him.

    I don't think Senators and Congressmen have any part to play in this, but I do think that the FCC or FTC (not sure) should play a small roll in this. Apple was "shocked" to find out that they reported 4 bars instead of 2 in many places. To me that sounds like false advertising or at least misleading customers. Since signal strength and coverage play such an important role in marketing and advertising I think there should be a standardized scale for signal strength indications. I don't know if that should be the FCC or FTC to make the rules, but they should say 5 bars = XdB and 4 bars = x... If you leave it up to Apple they'll lie about it to make themselves and AT&T look better.

    A smaller point is that Apple sold a semi-defective product to millions of users. They should fix it or at least accept returns for upset users.

     

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      FarSide (profile), Jul 16th, 2010 @ 6:24am

      Re:

      Yeah, seems likely that Apple has such little experience in business to know if they intentionally mislead people, it's actually better for their future business.

      I'm sure if congress doesn't get involved the next version won't work at all, plus give little children cancer from 5 feet away.

      Too bad there aren't any other phones out there to choose from except an iPhone.

       

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      Sean T Henry (profile), Jul 16th, 2010 @ 8:11am

      Re:

      If congress is doing anything they should be pushing for standards. Like you said 1 bar = XdB. Then demand that the antenna must be able to send and receive signals from X yards away with the tower at half power and the phone behind a 2ft thick concrete wall. That will set a standard for what the phones must beable to do that way the antenna will never be worse than the standard.

      When they are at it why not push to remove locking phones to providers. We have the right to take our number with us to a different provider but not our phone.

       

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    Michial Thompson, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 6:09am

    Aren't we still inside the 30 day return policy?

    So whats the big fucking deal return the crap and move on

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 16th, 2010 @ 6:10am

    Why the hell not?

    "Sometimes it makes you wonder if Congressional Reps now have their press people monitoring the Twitter trending topics for issues grandstand-worthy...."

    Why not? This is something malware creators already do when planning to release search engine malware, and they're only slightly more despicable than Congress critters.

    Btw, awesome use of four periods. I assume you're trying to emulate the Helmet, always a worth endeavor....

     

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    Vidiot (profile), Jul 16th, 2010 @ 6:38am

    Grandtstanding...

    ... that's all it is, grandstanding. Like giving a bile-laden speech during Special Orders, when the House chamber is empty and even the CSPAN techs are napping. Showboating, and with absolutely no chance of changing anything.
    At least once a week, fill in the blanks: "Aren't There More Important Things For Congress To Focus On Than [CURRENT HOT TOPIC HERE]"

     

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    P3T3R5ON (profile), Jul 16th, 2010 @ 7:02am

    Bankrupt, but how ??? /endsarcasm

    Stop wasting my tax dollars Chuck the Schmuck Schumer!

    WE HAVE A GIGANTIC OIL SPILL THAT IS SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THEN THE IPHONE4!!!

     

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    Krusty, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 7:03am

    And you thought Chuck Schumer and the rest of that democratic controlled congress was useless.

     

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    Krusty, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 7:08am

    Re: new shoes,clothing, handbag,sunglasses,hats etc for sale

    It's spam-o-licious!

     

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    Jay (profile), Jul 16th, 2010 @ 7:15am

    And yet, not one word on changing copyright law for the betterment of society?

    *sigh* I hate politicians.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 7:51am

    Congress actually is taking a step (a weak one at best) to protect consumers and and hold big business accountable and you complain? You also complain when they cater to big business at the expense of the consumer... Oh wait, you just fit the typical American bitching about everything!

     

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      Jay (profile), Jul 16th, 2010 @ 12:22pm

      Re:

      Odd, I fail to see how complaining about one popular phone vs the entire market of phones, especially when it's a hardware issue internal to Apple and their monopoly with AT&T, means that they are protecting consumers and not just playing lip service to the idea that there really are "bigger fish to fry".

      But I guess I could see your point if you actually detailed that out for others to see.

       

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    Steve Train, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 8:32am

    Everyone has a point even though you missed it.

    Congressional aids watching for mainstream material for congressman to chime in on is nothing new. That's what congress is. voice of the people. Too bad we can't focus them more but it is what it is for now. I would like to see Techdirt chime in directly on the IPhone issue since it is tech worthy to do so and not so tech worthy to comment on congress belated comment on the issue.

    The reason why the IPhone issue is so covered by tons of blogs is that it's about finding a soft brown spot on little perfect Apple. Anyone that has an ounce of tech in their blood knows that Apple is far from perfect and can see the publicity games that Steve Jobs plays to the public. Apple removes any negative comments about their products from their message boards. Most companies are good enough to leave comments made and even try to answer back or fix the issue. Apple denies any problems with their products at every turn. They sweep issues under the rug and hope they go away. Look at the Air Port and Time Capsule products. Hundreds of Thousands of those products fried and people lost tons of data in the process. The time Capsule was so bad that a website was created for those who lost their product can log the time of death. This time the problem is with their flagship product and it will be impossible to sweep under the rug so everyone wants to see if Apple can get a little humble this time. Personally I think Steve Jobs is so shady that they will release a new version of the Iphone and call it IPhone 4G except the G will stand for Grip but they won't tell anyone that. They will just let them think they are getting 4G service and then blame AT&T when they aren't.

     

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    ObamaGirl, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 8:58am

    Didn't you hear? Obama fixed it all. Now they have to focus on crap, because of hope. HOPE!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 9:31am

    I am trying to understand why this particular Senator is catching grief, as well as why it is being suggested that Congress is sticking its nose (or about to stick its nose) into this matter.

    The guy sent a letter. That's all.

     

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    Eddie, Jul 17th, 2010 @ 5:46am

    Where, in the Constitution, does it give Congress the right to stick its nose into ANYTHING like this? All of you whining that the government needs to protect us from big business, think on this...what makes capitalism work (and it does work) is the fact that if you don't like the product of a company, you dont have to buy it! If you already bought one, take it back for a refund and quit bitching about it...go buy a different phone. We dont need the government holding hearings on an antenna problem...any more than we needed hearings on steroid use in baseball.

     

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