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back to article Designer punked fanbois with asymmetric screw

For a little while, the Apple press fell over itself to analyze the import of a screw that was reportedly going to lock customers and repairers out of the next iPhone forever. The source of the story has now ‘fessed up that to the hoax that set the wires a-buzz. Swedish design house Day4 has posted its account of events here. …

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Gimp

Punked fanbois? Not really.

At least from the other comment thread I noticed far more Apple haters apparently getting punked than any fanbois. Which isn't surprising, you'd have to be a natural dimwit - or paid to pretend being one - to believe this rumour.

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Silver badge

Re: Punked fanbois? Not really.

I must be a dimwit cause I can see Apple using custom screws to lock people out. It's not like Apple has any objections to people opening their iThingy up to take a quick look or to mod it or anything.

If nothing else this rumor has given Apple a really good idea......

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Go

Re: Punked fanbois? Not really.

Which they will patent and sue the people who came up with it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Punked fanbois? Not really.

How on earth can you "mod" an iPhone PCB though? it's all tiny SMD circuitry and there's very little you could do except maybe try to increase the memory size but really, is it worth burning £500 to try to mod it? Just pay for a large GB version in the first place.

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Any decent mechanical engineer

Could tell right off that the thread on this screw is the wrong shape. Very wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

Obvious fake

was obvious.

It looks like something a first year graphics design student knocked up during their lunch break.

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Silver badge

Re: Punked fanbois? Not really.

The Apple screws aren't that "custom", they just aren't ordinary screw heads. I believe that they do this so that they can apply more torque when assembling them, and making them more resilient. I don't think they have any tamper-proof features apart from obscurity, they don't have break-away heads, they aren't one-way screws, they are simply obscure.

Before Apple started using pentalobe screw heads, it was hard to find a pentalobe screwdriver. Nowadays, you can get them for very little.

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Silver badge

Re: Punked fanbois? Not really.

You could do a power "mod"... that is change the battery.

But Glue seems much more effective then a funny screw would be.

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Re: Any decent mechanical engineer

And no engineer of any sense at all would design a screw head with such an intricate interface - it would strip in an instant.

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Meh

Well, it's just, there are those pentalobe screws of them…

…so it wasn't such leap of imagination to believe that Apple was at it again.

http://www.ifixit.com/blog/2011/01/20/apples-diabolical-plan-to-screw-your-iphone/

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FAIL

Re: Well, it's just, there are those pentalobe screws of them…

Those screws for which ifixit among others sells screewdrivers for, yeah it was a total leap as the whole story was "some unknown guy said here's a pic of an Apple design". When was the last time that happened? Pictures of rummored parts we see but pictures of rummored designs, well there is the Samsung trial and thats about it.

Still the reg can't take credit for saying it was probably fake, at that point they were just acting as click whores without any integrity. If they thought it was a fake they could have done held back and done some investigating but I guess that would have defeated the point of being a click whore.

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Angel

Re: Well, it's just, there are those pentalobe screws of them…

"click whores without any integrity."

Hmmm. That could be a nice new slogan for their masthead. Biting the hand that feeds IT is quite old now... You do of course realise that if they're 'click-whores', that makes you a 'click john'. With The Register turning tricks (and degrading themselves) merely for your amusement...

On the other hand, perhaps they're an IT news outfit who (shock horror!) report a variety of IT news and rumour, along with comment, weird stories about Bulgarian airbags and Australians giving blow-jobs while driving. Plus occasionally launching playmonauts into the upper atmosphere or feeding dangerous amounts of saturated fat to innocent Spanish drinkers.

Perhaps you ought to relax, and only click on the stories that meet your high standards of journalism?

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Silver badge

I just laughed it off.

A good c-ring tool would have that out in a jiffy.

Failing that, a drill-bit & an easy-out with t-handle.

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I hate replying to myself, but ...

Anybody who has to deal with odd bits of hardware might want one of these:

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1291529

Not exactly the best steel in the world, but quite handy. Under US$20.00 ... I have had my set for about ten years, and haven't stripped any of the bits (yet), despite using it several times per week. Recommended. (Not affiliated, satisfied user, yadda).

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Silver badge

Re: I hate replying to myself, but ...

Big hammer and a chunky screw driver and I can open any case.

Closing it again... thats a different matter.

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Re: I hate replying to myself, but ...

"Closing it again... thats a different matter."

That's what superglue was invented for (well, OK, that and hanging annoying people off the ceiling).

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Silver badge

It failed

...the purity test.

It should have included an RFID chip to check your current AppleCare subscription status, and locked you out if you weren't up to date.

Also, not shiny enough.

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Proving once again that

the interweb spreads ignorance at nearly the speed of light.

The next milestone will be the Shergold date, when the image and rumour resurface in spite of the fact that the hoax is common knowledge.

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Bronze badge

Still, the screw job looks good...

It would be awesome for him if some mfr (manufacturer, that is... heheh) offers him some money for his screw. Might bring in mid-6-figures of he positions them to the right retailers.... (wow, sorry the puns came out that way...)

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Anonymous Coward

hmm...

We're what? 90 years after the Orson Welles War of the Worlds broadcast and people still believe what the box in the corner of the room tells them, without question. Fairly pathetic, really.

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Happy

Recycling

"We're what? 90 years after the Orson Welles War of the Worlds broadcast and people still believe what the box in the corner of the room tells them, without question. Fairly pathetic, really."

Maybe a lot of those who heard that broadcast 90 years ago aren't here reading these stories now?

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Headmaster

Re: Recycling

Indeed - it was 74 years ago.

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Anonymous Coward

The real Apple screw is being patented elsewhere

this is clearly just a diversion....

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Bronze badge

Re: The real Apple screw is being patented elsewhere

They've already done it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentalobe

Reusable tamper-resistant screws are a mythical creature.

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Coat

Hey! Apple!

Look over here. Perfectly good design for a security screw and nobody's bothered to patent it yet........

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Boffin

Re: Hey! Apple!

Perfectly good design? Looks to me like a standard flat-blade screwdriver of the right size would fit nicely.

Personally, I *like* security screws. It acts as an idiot filter and means when friends bring me their gadgets to fix they haven't already had a go themselves.

GJC

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hey! Apple!

Exactly right, just like copy protection and dongles stop the casual copiers. The proper pirates find a away around anything though.

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g e
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It possibly says more

about apple's reputation in the world that so many are ready to believe this without question.

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FAIL

Engage smug mode ....

.. but I pointed it out as fake based on the thread, not the head.

It is easy in 3D software to create a helical coil, much harder to create a good sharp helical thread. And although there are machine screws with helical coil threads they are for huge things like machine tools, and not down at the size of a small casing screw.

NOW will you all believe when I say we are ruled by 6 ft lizards in human suits?

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Linux

More smug-gling ....

One of my mech-e colleagues took one look at this, and we immediately agreed, "Must be fake. They'd never get decent torque with slots that shallow, and it would be trivial to bypass with a flat blade screwdriver."

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Re: More smug-gling ....

I spotted it because of 2 things:

1 - as above - the head would create problems with torque, but also with tooling - no tool centering means far too much holdup in production. It was also *far* too shallow.

2 - the treading was wrong, not only (again) no self centering, but it also looked like a coil (round at the side of the core). Given how screws are manufactured, this could not be real.

So, yeah, anyone with as much as a smidgeon of mechanical knowledge would have shrug his or her shoulders and ignored it for the fake it was..

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Silver badge

Re: Engage smug mode ....

"NOW will you all believe when I say we are ruled by 6 ft lizards in human suits?"

I thought it was 6ft monkeys in Armani suits

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Anonymous Coward

"Swedish design house Day4 ........ Deciding to test peoples’ gullibility... "

Why bother with the screw bollox. They bought an iDevice of course they are!

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"Swedish design house Day4 ........ Deciding to test peoples’ gullibility... "

I thought that was what IKEA was for.

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"Swedish design house Day4 ........ Deciding to test peoples’ gullibility... "

Deciding to grab themselves some free publicity. Worked like a charm anyway, can't fault them for that.

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Anonymous Coward

@how easy it is to knock up authentic-seeming crap...

- my life, professional and private, in a nutshell

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Anonymous Coward

errr.. what's the problem even if it had been true? .... wouldn't you simply unscrew it the other direction?

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Stop

Shut up, go away, I don't care.

My feelings for this story/thread are:

Shut up, go away, I don't care.

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Joke

Archimedes or Ahh Comedies?

Stop screwin' around.

That is all.

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the threads, my dear Watson, the threads

That this was fake was obvious to anyone who has ever looked closely at screw threads. There are various kinds, to be sure, but never anything like this. One doesn't ever make threads like that.

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FAIL

hah.

Painfully obvious fraud.

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There's going to be a lot of butt hurt haters out there. It was obviously fake and the general rule is if you see it on the reg and not a more credible site then it's fake.

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Alien

The screw isn't the story...

it seems most of the early readers did spot the fake (according to the article), but the further from the initial posting, the greater the level of belief. This IS interesting because it shows how rumours spread and become believed. It doesn't matter how dumb the initial hoax is, once it has gone two or three steps, it takes on a aura of credibility.

I watched "Men who stare at goats" again the other day, and this was illustrated perfectly in the justification of why the US got into PSI research - it was because the Russians had got into PSI research, because they believed a fake rumour put out by the French that the Americans were already doing it.... A joke in a movie yes, but how many people watching get the feeling that it could be true? And even worse, how many people think it it true......

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Anonymous Coward

It wasn't even a hoax, really.

If you actually read the email in the supposed screenshot, that explicitly says it's "the latest render". They were telling you it was CGI all along!

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Coat

Why did anyone believe this hoax?

There was something obviously, erm, screwy about it.

(Well, somebody had to say it!)

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FAIL

As the rumour is distanced from its source,

so it becomes treated as fact? Is the concept of an urban legend totally unknown to these people?

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