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back to article Apple Facetime flings out frightening random calls

Apple's FaceTime application has been fingered for randomly placing calls, identified as coming from friends and causing more than a little concern when the call fails to connect. The calls are reportedly happening at roughly the same time first thing this morning - waking up Brits around 2.30 in the morning by all accounts - …

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Linux

Can I be the first to say:

HA ha!

GJC

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Jobs Horns

2:30am in Britain?

Do you know what time that is in Apple Time? Thought not. It's shiny time, of course! And on Apple Time it's never the middle of the night, either.

Sent from my iHole.

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In Apple Time

California is GMT -8 hours, so 2:30am should be 6:30pm there (assuming no different Daylight Savings in effect)

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Big Brother

xxx

And did you get up at 2.30am to think of that one? Get back under the bridge!

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FAIL

Compiler Errors.....

Remember reading a long time ago about someone changing the compiler error messages, and can't help thinking of one in particular every time a new failure (feature?) is reported with the iPhone:

"let's duct tape this gerbil of a program"

Apple - Stop bodging the fixes and do it properly!!!

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Here's a thought....

How about turning it off when you want some piece and quiet?

What's that, you're too insecure without your Mobile Life Support to validate your existence? Oh well....

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Thumb Down

Do you unplug your landline at night?

I never turn my phone of because if somebody phones me in the middle of the night it usually is an emergency.

Also, if you need to make an emergency phone call do really want to wait that 2 minutes (or whatever) while your phone powers up?

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Unhappy

Not possible...

...they might miss out on a tweet or something.

I only experienced the full horror of combined iPhone/social networking addiction when we had a gathering recently and a friend we hadn't seen in a while stayed overnight. She spent most of the night on the fondleslab, which was never once out of her hands, then announced she was tired and off to bed at midnight-ish. It was later discovered that she was tweeting till 4am, then back at it again from 8am before appearing for breakfast at 11-ish.

It's sad, and I don't mean that in the 90's school playground slagging way. It's sad that someone who used to be the life and soul of the party is having it sucked out of her by such a meaningless waste of time.

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Grenade

Oh what a sad lonely life YOU lead

Modern technology is a wonderous and powerful thing, and many people now use it to stay in touch with the disabled, elderly and infirm. It gives people independence safe in the knowledge they can summon help in an emergency.

You clearly don't have anyone in your life that you care for enough to be available 24/7.

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Jobs Horns

Or

How about buying a reasonably priced phone that works properly?

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Emergency Calls

Turning off your cellphone is so 1990's. These days, more people call you at your mobile than your landline; and if you *do* get a nighttime call, it's urgent.

Also, you might not even be sleeping at your own home. ;)

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WTF?

Get a grip

[Sarcasm turned up to 11]

So leaving aside the disabled, elderly and infirm, what about the other 90% of the population? Oh, you actually meant you! I guess it makes you feel important that you "care" enough for someone to not turn you phone off. Such an effort you've made there. What DID we do before mobile phones? All those disabled, elderly and infirm getting murdered in their bed's 'cause they couldn't phone YOU. Get over yourself.

Right, rant over. This is actually a pretty good example of a very limited case being used to justify self indulgent behaviour. I want an expensive toy so I'll justify it by claiming it's for the benefit of someone else. I've come to suspect people who use this sort of reasoning genuinely believe their own BS.

For the record, my phone is usually turned on overnight because I forget to turn it off. Number of important phone calls at 2AM in the last 10 years: 0

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Anonymous Coward

Reasonably priced?

Isn't that something that Clarkson et al zap around their track with (gay) abandon not caring how many they wreck? You're a b***** to treat a phone like that :P

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Anonymous Coward

Ever heard of escalation procedures?

"For the record, my phone is usually turned on overnight because I forget to turn it off. Number of important phone calls at 2AM in the last 10 years: 0"

I'm out of that environment now but it used to be my job to wake up the on-call tech if there was a problem I couldn't fix myself - usually because it required physical access to a server in the Californian data center.

After a pre-defined delay I would also wake my manager in the USA if a global issue remained unresolved.

Likewise I would expect to be woken if there were problems in APAC.

In all cases the party woken up was grateful for the call. We all had busy working days and preferred to lose a couple of hours sleep from time to time and then go in to work for a routine day than to roll into work and find nothing working except the telephone which was glowing hot with calls from users' managers who believed that shouting down a telephone at someone who is busy would somehow speed up problem resolution.

And using only a cellphone for wakeup calls meant my wife was not woken up for no reason if I was called while travelling.

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Bronze badge

wait a minute

Got out of bed with his girlfriend to drive 16 miles through ice to check on his Mac? Dare I hope she changed the locks?

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Anonymous Coward

>"Quite what this poster expected to achieve on arrival at his sub-zero house we're not clear"

Well obviously he was hoping to catch a burglar.

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Hmm

Probably not half as much as she was.

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Coat

Re: wait a minute

Yes, it's terrible.

The fact that there would appear to be a bloke out there who has both a Mac and a girlfriend is The End Of The World As We Know It.....

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This post has been deleted by its author

WTF?

From the desk of jobs

Move to California

Not that big of a deal

Steve

Sent from - 8 hours

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Grenade

It Just Works TM

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

That is all.

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FAIL

Apple.

It just works, except for when it doesn't™

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g e
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FAIL

New moniker required

We had Antenagate so need something for this one to remain consistent...

Farcetime ?

Facegate ?

Fakegate ?

Facecrime ? (The act of using the app for real, maybe)

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FAIL

or...

Faceslime?

RedFaceTime?

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Thumb Up

New Moniker

Facepalm?

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Hackers

Sounds like some hackers are probing the Facetime system and triggering false calls.

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Yea,

its always hackers.

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Thumb Up

This

I'm calling it as this too.

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@ Was Steve

Why don't you go and re-read the article pal?

It would seem that you missed the bit about the lad with the iphone that was turned off and in his bag, and the lad with the mac that was turned off at his home, while he was staying with his doris 16 miles away.

Apple bag-o-shite-a-rama IMO.

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In the interests of fairness...

it should be noted that FaceTime on the Mac is still in beta (although granted, this sounds like a backend issue rather than one with the client app)

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Joke

Lonely?

"Girlfriend got a Facetime call at 2:30am from my mac but I was in bed with her 16 miles away at her house."

Easy answer, the Mac is probably alone in your cold house surrounded by WinOS devices and just wanted a cuddle and some TLC.

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Jobs Horns

2:30AM GMT = 6:30PM PST

It's not a bug - Jobs is just forwarding all the telemarketers calling his house during supper to Facetime. Obviously, the telemarketers don't have a number to display, so it randomly chooses someone to display.

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JBH
WTF?

Wow!

If it's an 'emergency' why would anyone be video-calling?

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Anonymous Coward

"If it's an 'emergency' why would anyone be video-calling?"

"Ambulance please, my penis exploded"

"LOOK at the horrible graphics - hang on, I'll turn on a brighter light."

"See"

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Title

"Quite what this poster expected to achieve on arrival at his sub-zero house we're not clear"

Maybe the guy wanted to stop his mac from being stolen?

"I panicked thinking someone was in my house"

Or maybe he was worried that if they could get in to his mac, the aforementioned house-invader might be on his Facebook writing something embarrassing about his love for otters?

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Troll

Think I'll stick with Symbian...

It even lets me make a profile which turns off message alerts (SMS spam) but calls work normally.

It Just Works.

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Anonymous Coward

Symbian just works? Really?

Good for you. When I had a Symbian device it very rarely ever just worked at ANYTHING.

It was the worst piece of crap phone OS I have ever had the misfortune to have.

And that includes Windows Mobile.

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Paris Hilton

Awaiting a response

Just curious, I see this a lot on stories involving Apple, do they ever actually call back, or are you still out in the cold?

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Jobs Horns

porcine aviators

Do you honestly expect Jobsworth to admit there's anything wrong with his companies products?

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From descriptions

This seems to be a central server issue, not the device randomly dialing on it's own. I'm sure this will be a bug hunted down quite quickly. it seems to be very limited in scope.

that said, I've not only received random calls from random phones before on actual cell lines, worse, many, many times I've gotten voicemails or texts hours and sometimes days after they were sent/left. Typically in the wee hours of the morning. I have to have the phone set to continuously alert if i get a message because I'm on call, and sometimes don't hear the first page. Since i also have GV texts duplicated to the wife's phone from some people, as well as voicemails sent to e-mail, her phone often goes off too (in case mine is dead). If AT&T or Verizon delay a voicemail, or the the mother-in-law texts the GV number instead of my wife's number, and it gets delayed, i might have both phones go off within 10 minutes at 3AM. This happens at least once a month, sometimes more (and often from a wrong number).

A sporadic, server side, and evry random issue that Apple will vigorously hunt down and stop i can care less about. SMS systems and voicemail taking days to deliver messages and choosing to in the wee hours of the morning, especially when they were IMPORTANT, or time sensitive, that's bad. I'll take a little face time bug any time.

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Coat

GHOST

Ghost in the iShell: Phone Alone Complex

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Big Brother

Privacy

So, your phone is constantly (continuously?) in touch with Apple servers listening for an incoming FT call (yes, this is a common method), one wonders what else your phone might be contacting "home" about. Googlephones had a similar scare when they were announced/proposed.

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Jobs Horns

Is privacy a bigger issue than worrying if...

Ballmer has blimps carrying chairs hovering ready to be tossed down from upon high at random for those who may be thinking "wrong thoughts" about WP7 etc...

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@g e

Fake-time® says it all, can't it ?

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Jobs Horns

"users expect very high levels of reliability"

such as not causing all your subscribers to involuntarily drop call each other at 2:30 in the morning?

they don't need "high levels of reliability", they need "low levels of not fucking up completely"

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Linux

My HTC Desire is forever calling my friends from my pocket

The HTC Desire has an unfortunately soft-touch "On" key, and the subsequent screenlock involves only a tiny downward stroke (instead of, say, iPhone's long left-right stroke). Result - it's trivially easy to accidentally turn the device on (ie you brush the "On" button when putting the phone in your pocket, or when later extracting cash from said pocket, or...) and for the screenlock to then be negotiated by leg-friction as you walk along.

After that, well, it's whatever random leg-engendered screenpresses the device detects as you're walking along / being vibrated by the tube / whatever. So when I extract my HTC from my pocket I sometimes find it's auto-editing my Phonebook, or that it has dialed a now-confused friend.

("Firm On/Off button" should be part of Mobile Hardware 101, IMHO, FWIW.)

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Happy

Enable the unlock pattern feature

(under Security), and pick one that is unlikely to happen in your pocket.

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Grenade

Designers and architects

should be subjected to the consequences of their design decisions. Of which "being woken up at 02:30 by a wonky program" would be just a minor nuisance.

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WTF?

Eh?

I have to admit, I have never switched on my HTC Desire by accident, but mine doesn't light up until the top hard button is pressed (I assume by soft button you mean one on the touchscreen). Plus its capacitive, so it requires bare skin, a trousered leg won't do, then you have to sweep it down to switch it on, then hit phone, then hit a contact. And anyway, scraping anything down the screen when its in your pocket is asking for scratches. Just how much wiggling do you hands do in your pockets?

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thx for HTC input

@Hayden Clark - thanks for the tip (will do), though my HTC really ought to do the right thing out of the box. Normal folks likely won't find this workaround...

@Bunglebear - yes I did mean the hard button at the top - not difficult to brush it with enough accidental force when eg trying to extract something else out of the same pocket. And yes, I thought that the "capacitive" nature of the screen should mean this doesn't happen, but it does - and you can test it yourself. Get to the lock screen, then brush lower half of screen gently on your jeans... have a few tries - it really does work (well, for me it does).

@AC - I would turn the screen around, but it'd encounter keys and coins - not good.

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