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Apple's fourth generation iPhone  (Source: Gizmodo)
Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

It's been a wild week for Gizmodo. The popular tech blog got what could be considered the tech scoop of the year (and possibly of the past decade) when it laid hands upon a prototype fourth generation iPhone.

According to Gizmodo's numerous stories on the topic, the phone was left behind at Gourmet Haus Staudt, a bar in Redwood City, California specializing in German suds. The person that found the phone tried to contact Apple directly in order to return the phone. The quest to find someone at Apple who could identify the lost prototype proved unfruitful.

Interestingly, the person who found the phone didn't hand the lost phone over to a bartender or appear to try to contact the person that actually lost the phone. The name of the person was gleaned from his Facebook profile on the iPhone and all of his pertinent information was available -- we know this because Gizmodo outed the Apple employee that actually lost the phone.

In the end, Gizmodo ended up paying $5,000 to the person that found the iPhone and ran with the story. Gizmodo later returned the iPhone prototype at the behest of Apple after it a finished a dissection.

According to Apple guru John Gruber, the iPhone in question is indeed a late prototype judging by its barcode:

One of the barcodes attached to the unit read “N90_DVT_GE4X_0493”. According to several sources (of mine) familiar with the project, “N90” is Apple’s codename for the fourth-generation GSM iPhone, slated for release this June or July. “DVT” stands for “design verification test”, an Apple production milestone. The DVT milestone is very late in the game; based on this, I now believe that this unit very closely, if not exactly, resembles what Apple plans to release.

Now, almost a week later, the police are involved according to CNET. Police in the Silicon Valley-area are now investigating whether the actions of Gizmodo and the person who found the phone were criminal and if there is enough evidence to file charges. The investigation is being headed by a computer crimes task force based out of the Santa Clara County DA's office.

CNET also reports that Apple has been in contact with the authorities regarding the incident.

The boys over at Gizmodo and Gawker Media are probably sweating a bit now that the police are involved, but the Apple employee who lost the phone may actually have a free getaway to Germany waiting for him. Lufthansa has offered the unlucky fellow a free flight to Germany where he can continue his love for great beer.

"At Lufthansa we also noted with great interest your passion for German beer and culture," said Lufthansa's marketing director for the Americas, Nicola Lange. "We thought you could use a break soon--and therefore would like to offer you complimentary business class transportation to Munich, where you can literally pick up where you last left off."

 



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RE: No processes to deal with this.
By Tony Swash on 4/25/2010 9:54:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I find this whole story so full of ineptitude it is incredible. Here is this "secret" phone being trialled and it doesn't have a "If this phone is lost then ring this free phone number for a reward" sticker on it. Then, when it was lost the employee presumably didn't try to contact the finder, nor did they have anyone to contact to report it without fear of dire consequences.


As I understand it the guy who lost it returned the bar he left in as soon as he realised he didn't have it to see if it had been handed in. The guy who found did not hand the phone to the bar tender for safe keeping until its owner turned up which would have been the right thing to do. Instead he pocketed it and once he realised he had stolen something a bit more than a usual phone he sold it to make a few bucks. This is just theft so why are people trying to defend such sleazy behaviour?

If the phone had been your mum's and contained details about her credit cards and the guy who found it sold it for a few bucks to some credit card fraudsters would that have been right? And if not then what's the moral and ethical difference to this guy's actions.


RE: No processes to deal with this.
By Jalek on 4/25/2010 6:09:48 PM , Rating: 2
We don't really know the details, maybe it was a pickpocket that struck gold.


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