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  • "I Underestimated How Good German Beer Is"

    Gizmodo has identified the Apple engineer it says is responsible for losing the fourth-generation iPhone prototype in a Redwood City drinking establishment. Before the phone was remotely bricked by Apple, the person who found the phone reportedly saw the engineer was still logged into Facebook. Despite efforts to return the device, the finder was never contacted by Apple. Interestingly, the account does not mention the acknowledgement from the founder of Gizmodo's parent company that he paid $5,000 for the phone.

    Gizmodo Senior Contributing Editor Jesus Diaz tells the story like this: the phone-finder - who, unlike the Apple engineer, is not named by Diaz - was sitting next to the Apple engineer at a bar on March 18. After the engineer left, a random drunk stranger noticed the phone, which was wrapped in what looked like a normal iPhone 3GS case, and gave it to the anonymous phone-finder. The anonymous phone-finder claims that he hung around in order to wait for the owner to return, passing the time by playing around with the iPhone. Though the phone reportedly crashed three times, the finder continued messing with it and found the engineer's Facebook profile (his final status update: "I underestimated how good German beer is"). Finally, after some time had passed, the phone-finder left, taking the iPhone with him, though purportedly with the plan of returning the phone to its owner.

    The next day, the finder wakes up and can't stop tinkering with the device. He discovers the secret, separating the iPhone from its camouflage, though by now the phone's a fourth-generation brick. He reportedly calls Apple, but nobody buys his story that he's discovered a priceless piece of Apple intellectual property, the result of the kind of a security breach that Apple cracks down on harshly... such as the one that may have led a Chinese worker to kill himself. All he gets for his trouble is a ticket number.

    The story kind of peters out here. All Diaz says is "Weeks later, Gizmodo got it." We don't know what happened in those weeks, but Nick Denton of Gawker Media (the parent of Gizmodo) was willing to tell the Associated Press that he paid $5,000 for the device. Denton said on his Twitter feed that the folks at Gawker were "proud practitioners of checkbook journalism. Anything for the story!" A later tweet derided "a few clueless geeks" who Denton said "believe 'real journalists' wait for Steve Jobs or his publicists to make an announcement. Screw that." Gizmodo's pageviews definitely benefited from the scoop, and most of us found the reveal pretty interesting. However, things may not end here: the Gawker blog Valleywag had offered $100,000 for anyone who would let them spend an hour with the iPad, and got hit with a cease and desist letter from Apple's attorneys. As John Gruber noted earlier today, Apple considers the iPhone stolen, not lost. It's worth remembering that Apple has been historically ruthless in the defense of its trade secrets.

    And the luckless engineer? As of today at least, he was still at Apple: Jesus Diaz called him at his desk in Cupertino to talk about returning the device. It'd be nice if he gets to keep his job. After all, as Diaz says, "it's just a f***cking phone."
    This article was originally published in forum thread: "I Underestimated How Good German Beer Is" started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 56 Comments
    1. iphone8130hak's Avatar
      iphone8130hak -
      would suck to be him right now

      this is a iFail
    1. yuntanman's Avatar
      yuntanman -
      did not read the all the posts, so please keep the flames to a minimum if I sound stupid or this has been posted before... but I agree with others claiming that this is a cheap marketing ploy for apple but another things is... If in fact that was the 4g that the guy had and it was TOP SECRET... i'm sure he wouldn't just leave it behind and not go back to the bar looking for it... and it just baffles me that he didn't have a passcode lock on it... i mean if you have a passcode lock on your iphone and don't know the pswd... the only way to get into the phone would be to restore the phone to default right? and in that respect his facebook page would have never been seen... i dunno just seems to fishy to me
    1. brianlg's Avatar
      brianlg -
      still complete bs
    1. Kil0111's Avatar
      Kil0111 -
      well at least the only thing that is not BS now is the iphone 4th gen...anticipating that front facing cam, cant wait
    1. GellBrake'rrrr's Avatar
      GellBrake'rrrr -
      It really must suck to be this guy!!! He is now known worldwide... and not for a very intelligent reason.
    1. Kil0111's Avatar
      Kil0111 -
      haha guess he's already a hit

    1. Evilsaint's Avatar
      Evilsaint -
      why cant i find a lost next gen apple fone id return it off course
    1. zoso10's Avatar
      zoso10 -
      Because everyone takes extremely anticipated top of line prototype smart phones to bars to get completely smashed?
    1. powa's Avatar
      powa -
      haha, what i can say is, "LOL".
    1. fishbone's Avatar
      fishbone -
      well.. if it's true that Apple got it's priceless prototype in the wild to test it under real life conditions, I think is save to say that the next iPhone app would be a blood alcohol level meter that works by blowing in the mic and beeps at you when you got stupid

      And that poor kid should take a clue from our beloved superfreak Rick James and say: "sorry Steve Jobs, I was having too much fun"
    1. j.castellon's Avatar
      j.castellon -
      Beer seems to get the best of us ;P
    1. PaperCross's Avatar
      PaperCross -
      Fake or not, Apple will now save millions on advertising the new iPhone. Maybe it will translate to a cheaper sale price for the handset. It better!
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by awesomeiPod View Post
      He should be glad that he didn't get sued.
      Suing a guy for losing a phone would get you some pretty terrible press pretty fast...

      Quote Originally Posted by Winterboarder View Post
      The details of how and who stole what is just pixie dust thrown in our eyes. Fact is that the majority of iPhone users don't read newspapers. They read blogs. The most effective marketing in mobile marketing is not through official channels like TV and Print. Just by us discussing it and going back and forth about the pixie dust we are creating the advertising for them. There are millions of pages in all languages debating the new iPhone. We are the target audience and Apple is not spending a dime promoting the iPhone to grandma who doesn't care about it.

      If anyone remember last years rumor mills started about a month or so before the 3GS launch. How many fake 3GS pictures were pumped into blogs? Apple creates this fever pitch and we're debating their product at 1:30 AM.
      I think the real question here is where does Apple mine their pixie dust?

      Quote Originally Posted by PaperCross View Post
      Fake or not, Apple will now save millions on advertising the new iPhone. Maybe it will translate to a cheaper sale price for the handset. It better!
      Keep dreaming...

      Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Matthews View Post
      Yah, except Raptors, like most of the folks who pos stuff in the Member WRITTEN news section, plagiarized - which we cant do. Direct copy paste of someone elses story is laaaaaaaame.
      Why in God's name would he write his own version of the story? He wouldn't get a cent for it. MMI writers do, which is fine, but that also provides incentive.
    1. High_Voltage's Avatar
      High_Voltage -
      This really seems like a puplicity stunt that this guy would pull off. Who loses a 4th GENERATION IPhone Prototype -_-? that is so top secret that it isnt even realeased yet? Unless he was so drunk that he could've had it so long, he thought it was just an ordinary Iphone. If i had that Phone, I wouldv'e Sold it for a Bougatti 2010 Version and about $100,000+. What Phone company or Developer wouldnt want to take apart "Apple's" Gadgets, especially on an unreleased IPhone, and use them for their benefit, c'mon its Apple. All i know is is that the guy who gave it up for 5,000 was sadly misguided -_-.
    1. ModJoe's Avatar
      ModJoe -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kil0111 View Post
      haha guess he's already a hit

      haha , wher can i buy thzat T-shirt ...
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      The whole thing is a publicity stunt - by the bar.

      They must be doing a great trade with all the people hoping to find another iPhone.

      The story just doesn't ring true. But it's certainly got Gizmodo a lot of publicity!

      PS - just how many news stories do we need on this subject?