iphone alarmgate y2k11

My iphone alarm didn’t go off today and I woke up late. I checked the alarm panel, seemed to be set right, what gives? I reset it for one minute later, nothing. Tried one more time, nothing. The alarm was broken, suddenly.

Turns out there’s an iphone glitch – it’s like the y2k bug that was supposed to bring human civilization to its knees eleven years ago but didn’t. The poor australians missed all their appointments this morning and tried to get the word out to the rest of us, but we were sleeping. late.

What do you do if you’re apple? Apple built a great product, everyone bought it, and they made a lot of money. Now this great product has a bug that, on monday morning, is going to cause millions of users to be late for work. They have this incipient public relations fiasco on their hands and I don’t think they can stop it. They can fix the problem with a software update, but most users don’t upgrade their phone software very often. How can they warn everyone? Send out a mass email? A mass text message to all iphone users? That would catch the affected users, let’s say 20% of people with iphones use the alarm as their wake up call. But is apple willing to rescue 20% if it means undermining their credibility with the other 80%, who would never have known the difference?

I don’t think so. So apple is left to watch this unfold. It reminds me of that enormous barge off the louisiana coast a few years ago that made a miscalculation and knew, like 6 hours beforehand, that they were going to slam into the shore; apparently it takes freighters that size several days to come to a stop. So the authorities evacuated the coastline and focussed on damage control. I wonder what damage control apple has in mind.

Another reminder that the proper response to electronic vulnerability is redundancy.

On the other hand, maybe iphone alarmgate will be a great excuse to be late for work on monday. The first blizzard of 2011.

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