iPhone 4 Press Conference, More -- Personal Tech Live with Rob Pegoraro

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Rob Pegoraro
Friday, July 16, 2010; 12:00 PM

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Rob Pegoraro: Hi, everybody. It's a busy day, on account of this press conference Apple has scheduled at 10 Pacific/1 Eastern (my guess: Steve Jobs is going to announce that he'll be playing for the Knicks next year*). My plan is to hang out here for a bit as that presser begins to relate the news to you in real-time.(* Somebody else came up with that joke on Twitter.)But first, I wanted to get one housekeeping item out of the way.As some of you know, my wife and I are expecting our first child. Very soon. As in, unless the kid takes after her dad and shows up late, two weeks from now I'll be on parental leave. So this will be my last chat until sometime in mid- or late-August. The column and Help File will also go dark for a few weeks, unless we recycle old blog posts or parts of these Q&As, and the only blog posts will be some leftover reviews that keep getting bumped for breaking news.But I'll be back around mid-August... just a little more tired than before. Going forward, you may also see more Help File items along the lines of "how do I get mushed peas out of a DVD player?"With that out of the way... let's go to your questions. What would you like to know today?

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iPhone 4 reception: I haven't been following this close enough to figure out the answer but is the reception problem with the iPhone 4 a real problem that is a major defect or a minor one affecting a majority of users that the media is blowing out of proportion in order to knock the mighty Apple Co. off it's pedestal?

Rob Pegoraro: This is one question I've had on my mind all week. From the tone of some of this press coverage, you might think that iPhone 4 users are lined around the world's remaining pay phones, begging people for quarters so they can make a phone call. Not so--the iPhone 4 happens to be a pretty good phone, and lots of users don't report any problems with it. Even some left-handed users.But... the press coverage you see is in response to absurd amount of reader interest. I don't get what's so endlessly fascinating about this case--I've been reporting on Apple long enough to see that they're perfectly capable of screwing up--but this is a case where the demand seems to exceed the supply.

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Windows live update: Why did Microsoft dump Windows Live Update? I find it cheap, and it does all the necessary scans, as well as prompts me to back up the hard drive, defrags etc. I found something I really liked there. In 2 more months it will be gone. Thanks a lot Microsoft. I e mailed them about this a couple times, but I'm being ignored.

Rob Pegoraro: You mean Windows Live OneCare, rigth? Microsoft is dumping that in favor of the free Microsoft Security Essentials anti-malware program. I think MSE is very good, and I especially like that it's free and nag-free. As for the other things Windows Live OneCare did... I didn't think its backup app was that good, and a lot of the other tasks you mentioned don't make much difference in daily use. For instance, degragging is a waste of time for most home users.

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Tech: Why do people submit routine questions to you when they could just do a search with google and have the answer in seconds?

Rob Pegoraro: I don't know. Let me see what I can find out...

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Verizon iPhone use in Europe?: OK, I know what you say about the constant Verizon iPhone hype...but assume that it does get created and works with the existing Verizon network. Would that iPhone be usable on European networks? Last year I took a trip there and found the abilty to use my iPhone a big plus. Thanks!

Rob Pegoraro:

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Did I get scammed?: The other day I went into the AT&T store to get a case for my new iPhone. The employee asked me if I had AppleCare on the phone and I said no because what I would want it for is to repair or replace the phone if I dropped it and AppleCare does not cover that. He said that it did, that they will replace the phone once. I told him I did not think that was true but he swore it was true. So I got it since I had broken my last iPhone. Anyway, when I get home and open the package and start reading the fine print, it clearly says that it does not cover if the phone is mishandled, etc. So I go back to the store and confront the AT&T employee. He says that he guarantees that they will replace a phone once. I asked him if he was willing to put that in writing and he wrote on the back of his business card that he would reimburse my AppleCare fee if Apple would not replace my phone if I needed it. I know that is only as good as the paper it is written on, but what I want to know, is he telling me the truth? I think I was scammed and the guy must get some commission for selling AppleCare. Should I go back and insist I get my money back? It has been my experience in 20 years of using Apple products that I never had had to use AppleCare service. The products usually just work. So the only reason I would want this is if they would fix my phone if I break it. Thanks.

Rob Pegoraro: This is not exactly the first time I've heard of retail salespeople relaying incorrect information, you know.I appreciate that this guy was willing to put that in writing, but you should get the store manager to do the same. Because AT&T is wrong. The terms and conditions (PDF) for AppleCare for the iPhone rule out coverage for "Damage to the Covered Equipment caused by accident, abuse, neglect, misuse (including faulty installation, repair or maintenance by anyone other than Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider), unauthorized modification, extreme environment (including extreme temperature or humidity), extreme physical or electrical stress or interference, fluctuation or surges of electrical power, lightning, static electricity, fire, acts of God or other external causes"That's in keeping with AppleCare coverage on other products, like computers--unlike other companies, Apple doesn't sell insurance against accidents.

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Comcast Internet Modem: Now that Comcast is charge $5/month to rent their modem, I'm thinking about just buying my own. Is this something I can get at Best Buy? Is there anything specific I need to be looking for? Ideally, I would just like to buy the same modem that I have right now, but it's a few years old so I don't know if it's even available.

Rob Pegoraro: Yes, you should buy the cable modem--renting one is a total rip-off. See this Help File item from December, written after that Comcast price hike.

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iPhone vs Pentium: To me, the iPhone antenna issue is reminiscent of the Pentium processor math errors back in the '90s. In each case, a generally well-designed and much-touted new product was found to have a design flaw affecting consumer confidence. Intel provided replacement processors, and it will be interesting to see how Apple responds. I have an iPhone 4, and am typing this on my iPad, to be uploaded through my Airport network: I like Apple products very much. I expect to continue to buy and use their products, but my future purchase decisions can be negatively influenced (at least from Mr. Jobs point of view) they do not address this issue effectively.

Rob Pegoraro: That's the comparison I made towards the end of a story earlier this week. In both cases, the problem is not so much the design or engineering error, but the response when it comes to light.(The Washington variation of this is "We've done nothing wrong, but let's launch a cover-up just in case")

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Upgrading iBook: How much improvement, if any, would one see on an iBook by quadrupling the the RAM? I tried to upgrade my sister's 2 gHz Intel iBook to OS 10.6 from 10.4. It failed because the iBook lacked sufficient RAM. It has 512 MB. I can buy 2 GB of RAM from a reputable supplier (Crucial) for just under $60. This presumably would allow upgrading the OS.Aside from the OS upgrade, would increasing the RAM from 512 MB to 2 GB noticeably improve performance? The directions for adding RAM seem simple. Remove the battery, unhinge a small bar, flip levers, remove old RAM chips, insert new, and reverse the rest of the process. I've done this before on my old G4 TiBook, although the process was simpler (lift keyboard, unplug old RAM chip, insert new, close keyboard).

Rob Pegoraro: Yes, that would be a huge upgrade. You should be pleasantly surprised by the computer's responsiveness.The physical steps aren't hard--I think I remember going through them when I reviewed the iBook. You'll need to exert some force to get the new memory to seat properly, but nothing too severe.

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Reckless Speculation: At the Apple presser:1) Steve-o gives an unnervingly heartfelt apology, and we all feel somewhat uncomfortable and icky after it.2) Some sort of magical mystery fix is announced.3) ???4) Everyone hugs, the audience "awww"s and the credits roll to the heartwarming end music.

Rob Pegoraro: You forgot the part where Steve Jobs thanks everybody, then jumps on his unicorn and rides off the stage.

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Switch from BlackBerry to Android?: I currently use a BlackBerry but I'm curious about the new Android based smartphones coming out. I currently use Gmail as my personal email account but I actually get email on that account and four other email accounts, one Gmail and three non-Gmail, and none on an Exchange server. Can I still do this on an Android phone? Can I read and write email from more than one Gmail account? I know this seems like a basic question, but I can't find the answer anywhere.

Rob Pegoraro: Yes, you can set up the Gmail app on an Android phone to access multiple accounts. For non-Gmail accounts, you can use the mail client on the phone or you can add somebody else's (I've been using K-9 lately and really like it, although its icon has to go.)

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Windows Permissions for 16-bit Applications: Sometime early this year, Microsoft apparently released a Windows Update patch which changed the internal "permissions" default setting with regard to 16-bit software applications. I generally don't use 16-bit applications anymore, but I do have one very important 16-bit application that's been affected -- an old (and now completely unsupported) version of the Compuserve WinCIM e-mail program that stored messages in its proprietary format rather than as simple ASCII text -- trying to launch it after many months of nonuse was how I discovered the problem even existed. While I no longer actually use the program for e-mail, I need to recover its functionality in order to access the archive of messages it contains that spans almost 20 years, and so far I have not been able to identify what OS settings to modify (and how to do that properly/safely so as not to screw up something else).When I attempt to launch that application on my primary road laptop (running Windows XP SP3), I get a popup box with the message "Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item." It's not just this application, as I discovered the same thing occurs when I tested a couple of old 16-bit games as well on machines running either XP SP3 or Windows 7 Ultimate, but it doesn't occur with any 32-bit application at all.The Microsoft Knowledge Base hasn't been of much help in figuring out how to reset the internal permissions affecting this or other 16-bit programs, nor has their online "answers" forum (which basically has lots of superficial recommendations to "roll back" the OS to some earlier restore point). Someone from the few remaining Compuserve forums and WUGNET forum who is pretty familiar with that old software suggested instead a 3rd-party application ("ForKeeps") to convert the entire WinCIM message archive into text format. While ForKeeps can still be downloaded from CNET and a few other places, it was designed as time-limited shareware with a purchase requirement to enable permanent access of the converted archive under a different (and also proprietary) database structure. Unfortunately, the developer's website is no longer functional, so that alternate approach doesn't appear to provide any real or permanent improvement in the situation.Any thoughts or suggestions on how to change the OS permissions settings for XP SP3 to enable older 16-bit application(s) to run properly? FWIW, I'm savvy enough to be comfortable in manually editing the Windows Registry with appropriate guidance if need be.Thanks -- I appreciate the time and any help.Jim

Rob Pegoraro: It has been a loooooonngg time since anybody wrote the word "CompuServe" here. Wow. (This, BTW, is why you shouldn't wait to get your data out of old programs.)I'd try that ForKeeps application--if it really does turn your WinCIM data into text format, you should be able to open that in any number of other programs. Or you could then look for a ForKeeps data-export utility (the format you want for long-term storage is "mbox").As a last resort, you could try using Sun's free VirtualBox software to run a copy of an older release of Windows inside XP, if you have a Windows disc handy, and then run WinCIM inside that for long enough to get your data out somehow.

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Cable modem purchase: Even better than Best Buy, perhaps, is eBay. I got a used cable modem for $24 shipped last year. You'll make out like a bandit if you're willing to gamble slightly on whether the hardware actually works on arrival! Again, just make certain it's on your provider's list of approved hardware.

Rob Pegoraro: Good suggestion. Thanks...

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Happy iPhone 4 owner: Hi Rob. Just a little perspective on the antenna hysteria. I got the iPhone 4 on launch day. I too observed the decrease in signal strength when I touched the zone-of-death. I got a case for it (which I had intended to do anyway), and there is no problem on reception when holding now. As someone who just left Verizon for the iPhone, I was also worried about AT&T's subpar service. That too hasn't much been much of an issue. I've noticed a few places where it doesn't get the same reception as my old Verizon phone but, so far, my signal strength at home (Bethesda) and work (downtown DC) is strong, and I've always been able to make a call when I want to. Everything else about the device is great. I just hope they steal some of Palm's or Android's message notification ideas sooner rather than later-- what they have now is so 2007.

Rob Pegoraro: But... but... Teh iPhone is supposed to be fatally flawed!This is a point I've tried to make in my own coverage. This isn't a product-safety issue anywhere close to, say, tires undergoing premature tread separation.

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Kingstowne, VA: Have you perchance heard anything about Verizon's DSL outages over the past couple of weeks and what may be causing them? I'm a Verizon DSL customer and I've suffered outages on July 6 (12 hours), July 8 (14 hours), July 9 (don't know how long as I left for a trip to New York that morning), July 12 (at least from when I woke up until 1:30 PM), July 14 (ditto), and now today (was down when I woke up and it's still down....I'm using a dialup modem).This is killing me....I work out of my home office and it's crippling my ability to get anything done. Sure, I could go use an unsecure wireless connection at Panera or somewhere, but (a) unsecure is not a great option and (b) the management no doubt would not appreciate me sitting in their store all day. Every time I call Verizon they say there is a known outage and their engineers are "working on it." Then they try to get me to sign up for FIOS, which of course is more expensive than the DSL. I feel like that's essentially giving me the middle finger--"We won't give you what you're paying for, nor credit your bill for our failure to provide service, but if you pay us more money we'll be happy to help you."What the &^%$ is going on with Verizon lately????

Rob Pegoraro: I just got an e-mail about a Vz DSL outage in your area a few minutes ago. Going to ask Verizon PR about it once this chat ends...

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laptop replacement batteries: Rob,Hi. Why is there such a huge difference in laptop batteries? I looked at Dell.com and the battery was $150 (6 cell) and the same model on Amazon was $60.Thanks.

Rob Pegoraro: Ever notice how a car dealer can charge so much more for a repair than the independent repair shop down the street? It's the same basic dynamic here.

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Wireless routers: I need to replace my Linksys Wireless G router. I use Comcast as my ISP. Should I spend the money for an N router or is that money down the tubes if I'm happy with the speeds I got on the G router. Thanks.

Rob Pegoraro: Keep the old router if its speed/coverage/reliability work for you.

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Televisions: I'm looking for an HDTV for our living room, but can't justify spending $1,500 on a TV. Have we seen an end to most of the price decreases in TVs or should we expect that 46" HDTV might drop below $1,000 within a year or two?

Rob Pegoraro: You can buy a 46-in. LCD or plasma for under $1,000 today--what features are you holding out for?(Why did I just check HDTV prices when I bought mine last summer? Now I feel bad...)

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Scammed again - AppleCare: I knew in my heart (and brain) that the guy was scamming me but he was so forceful that I guess I wanted to believe him. I guess I have no recourse to get my money back because I already registered my AppleCare.

Rob Pegoraro: Well, maybe you can spend lots of time on Apple's tech-support line asking dumb questions.

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Hackensack NJ: Am I correct in my understanding that CR said it couldn't recommend the iphone 4, and then made it its highest ranked smart phone? I saw this reported on appleinsider.com. I don't know how to resolve that apparent conflict, but if I could trade my iphone 3gs in for a 4, I'd do it tomorrow.

Rob Pegoraro: CR is saying "great phone, except you sometimes can't use it as a phone." The phrase "aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?" comes to mind.

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Don't leave us!: How can you abandon us in the middle of this iPhone drama???! All of us lefthanded iPhone users need you!Seriously, congratulations!

Rob Pegoraro: Thank you (and thanks to everybody else for the kind words)

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New every two: Verizon called me yesterday and asked if I was interested in upgrading to a new phone. I have been considering it, but never deal with telemarketers... I will have had my current phone for two years in October. It seems like the phones are advancing as quickly as computers did in the mid-90s. What is the expected useful lifespan of a phone before it becomes outdated. Will it be easy to update as new web/mobile technology is released?

Rob Pegoraro: Smartphones are advancing so fast, there is a real risk of them becoming obsolete well before a two-year contract expires. My own phone is half a year old, and it's already looking kind of weak next to the models I've reviewed in the last month or two.

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Itunes on Iphone: Rob - when listening to an Itunes song on my 3G, sometimes it cuts out mid-song and kicks back to the main menu. How can I prevent this?

Rob Pegoraro: The first half of your description sounds like you have the "shake to shuffle" option enabled--that repeatedly caused the review iPhone 4 to skip ahead to the next song. But the second half... I dunno. I remember that on the 3G I reviewed, the iPod app would sometimes crash on its own.

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Windows 7 Auth: Are u experiencing problems with the authentication process in Windows 7? I installed an upgrade to Vista, the installation was without any problems, I typed in the license number and all. Now I keep getting messages saying it cannot be verified. So I reinstalled, and the same messages keep popping up.....

Rob Pegoraro: Haven't seen that happen. Call Microsoft--they're the only people who can fix this, since they run the activation servers.

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Ipod Touch Wifi with i OS 4: I downloaded i OS 4 to my Ipod Touch 3rd Gen and all of a sudden had battery issues. My ipod would be drained overnight. Turns out that, even in sleep mode, the wifi is left on. The only way around this is to keep ipod charged all night or remember to turn on airplane mode. Is there any other way around this - why would Apple do this?

Rob Pegoraro: There's another question in the queue along those lines. I don't have an iPod touch so I haven't seen this myself. What about other iPod touch owners who have installed iOS 4? (Does the iOS 4.0.1 update shipped yesterday do anything for this?)

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Using another e mail provider: The local e mail provider Optimum Online in NY LI region from Cablevision has just come back online after experiencing almost 2 days of not recognizing subscibers. I have g mail, so how do I access that using Outlook as well as keeping my Optimum account on Outlook at the same time.Thanks

Rob Pegoraro: Lucky for you, Gmail has some of the best offline support of any of the Web-mail services--it supports an option called IMAP that lets you sync everything between your computer and Gmail.

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Android Pad: Hey Rob, Any solid news of the rumor Android Pads that are supposed to be out by the end of the year? If there is no Verizon iPhone soon, I may have to push all in with Android.

Rob Pegoraro: Buy that Android phone--I see no chance of the iPhone coming to Verizon this year, let alone "soon."

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AppleCare replaces battery on iPhone: I have just taken advantage of one feature of AppleCare. In the fine print, it says they will replace your iPhone battery if it falls to 50% or less of capacity, which it usually will if you use the iPhone often before the two-year AppleCare term is up. It is cheaper than sending the phone it to have the battery replaced without AppleCare. That, and the extended warranty, makes it a good deal unlike many extended service plans. They even pay shipping to and from.

Rob Pegoraro: Good point. Thanks for the tip!

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iPad keyboard, case: New iPad owner here (thanks, DH) .. Should I return the external.keyboard he bought to go with it (it sits on its perch tenuously) and get a Bluetooth? What brand? Also, any tips on brand of case that folds into an easel? Thanks.

Rob Pegoraro: A Bluetooth keyboard will be a lot more portable--and if you get an iPhone, you'll be able to use the keyboard with that too. Don't have any brand recommendations, though.As for easel-like cases... actually, can't help there either. The standard case Apple sells holds the iPad up a little off a desk, but not easel-style. Best you can do there is go into a store and see how the various cases available there look and feel.

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Droid: With the X out and the Droid 2 coming in August, any chance the regular old Droid will come down in price? My NE2 isn't up for a while and I just can't spend $500+ on a phone.

Rob Pegoraro: Look on other sites--I suspect a lot of early-adopter types are unloading original Droids after upgrading to the Incredible or the X.

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Routers: Know of any lists of the best current routers out there? I'm ready to ditch my 4-5 year old Linksys WRT54G for something new. Debating an Airport Extreme. Probably something with 802.11-N at least. Partial reason to upgrade is due to my signal dropping fairly frequently. I have latest firmware as well, and this report made me a little leery as well.

Rob Pegoraro: The AirPort costs a lot more, but it's far easier to set up and administer, and it has some nice extra features (for instance, you can set up a second, gueset network with no access to your shared computer files for visitors).

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Wireless routers I need to replace my Linksys Wireless G router.: Rob,Tell the poster to buy anything BUT another LinkSys. I've had horrible experiences with them. And, buy the N speed router. Someday you'll be glad you did.

Rob Pegoraro: Thanks for the input...

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Mobile Me: Hi, Rob -- My 3G phone's Mobile Me is expiring, and I don't know whether it's worth another $100 just to be able to coordinate my wife's phone and mine. Is there some benefit I'm missing? Also, the rumor is floating around that Apple will be giving MM away soon? Thanks, and congrats.

Rob Pegoraro: I've seen those MobileMe rumors too, but they don't seem to have come to fruition yet. I'm starting to think they are not true.I've paid for MobileMe for a few years myself, but I don't think I will renew next year (even though I have a super-short e-mail address--I got an account back when it was iTools). Apple just isn't putting enough effort into making this a worthwhile service.

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Windows Vista - IE8 browser: Using Windows Vista. I've tried everything I can find in order to open my browser windows maximized. Nothing works. It's driving me crazy. Any ideas?

Rob Pegoraro: Mozilla Firefox?

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W7 PRO: Rob,You mentioned that it's not worth the extra money for the average user to buy W7 Pro. Why not have access to all of the goodies, especially God Mode? Myself, I've bought the Pro version since W2K, skipping Vista naturally, and I've never felt taken for the extra cost.

Rob Pegoraro: You seem to assume that other people enjoy tinkering with the computer as much as you do. I do not think that is the case.

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droid outlook/exchange: Any hints on setting up outlook on a droid. I can't seem to do it.

Rob Pegoraro: The Droid Incredible has a nifty HTC Sync program built-in, but the Droid X doesn't. For the original Droid, I think the simplest remedy is to buy an app called CompanionLink that will sync Outlook to Google, which will then keep your phone updated too.

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news conference: where can we go to see the news conference live?

Rob Pegoraro: Whatever auditorium Apple is holding it in at its Cupertino, Calif., campus--this company doesn't stream its events live on the Web. Look around the various liveblogs instead.... speaking of which, that's what I'm going to. I'll post a few updates as I see them, and then I'll have to sign off so I can write up a post recapping the news.

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My face still keeps cutting off my calls: I have an appointment at 2 pm at the genius bar at the Apple store today because I still can't get my new iPhone to stop letting my face hit the buttons on the screen when I am talking. My face seems to either hit the end button, hit the facetime button, or hit the speaker button. I thought a case would help, it hasn't. I try to hold the phone away from my face, but I still end of doing it. Didn't have this problem with my old iPhone. I know the touch screen is suppose to stop working when it is close to your face. Anyway, what do you think they will tell me about solving this problem? So far I don't have much trouble with reception except it taking many seconds to connect call sometimes.

Rob Pegoraro: One last pre-press conference question--I've heard about this from enough other readers to think it is an issue. No idea if it's something Apple will fix or not. The Genius Bar guys may simply tell you to hold the phone slightly away from your face during calls.

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Firefox disk memory usage: fixes?: When I exit Firefox v3.5.10 on my XP 1 Gb computer, sometimes it takes upto 4 minutes to fully release the memory (up to 500k) according to Windows Task Manager. If I don't wait for Firefox to disappear from the list of active processes but rather try to restart it quickly, I'll get a message that it's still running. I can't restart until it disappears from the active processes list OR I right click and close it by choosing End Process. Is there any problem in doing that every time I exit, such as leaving an accumulating mess of fragments of old data all over my hard drive?

Rob Pegoraro: Firefox is at version 3.6.something now--try upgrading to that first. The developers have been working on memory usage in recent releases.

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Rob Pegoraro: OK, so here are the two sites I'll be watching for some sort of real-time coverage of Apple's event. I invite you to do the same, if you're into that sort of thing:http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/16/live-from-apples-iphone-4-press-conference/http://www.macrumors.com/2010/07/16/coverage-of-apples-iphone-4-press-conference/http://live.gdgt.com/2010/07/16/live-iphone-4-press-event-coverage/

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Rob Pegoraro: So apparently, the press conference started with Apple playing "The iPhone Antenna Song." Nice to see them recognizing the humor of the situation.

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Rob Pegoraro: Jobs says Apple has sold 3 million iPhone 4s since its debut three weeks ago and notes its favorable reviews.From Engadget: ""This was 22 days ago... we haven't had out head in the sand. We've been working on this for just 22 days. We are an engineering company, and we want to find out what the real problem is. We've been working our butts off so we can come up with real solutions. And we want to share what we've learned."

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Rob Pegoraro: Jobs is now said to be showing videos demonstrating other phones--the BlackBerry Bold 9700, the HTC Droid Eris, the Samsung Omnia II--lose a signal when held the wrong way.(Note: I have an HTC Hero, the Eris's Sprint sibling, on my desk. I could not get it to drop bars the way Jobs apparently described when I just tried.)

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Rob Pegoraro: But, Jobs says, in the iPhone's case there's this line on the outside of the case that tells everybody where to grab it to reproduce this issue. Apple can't repeal the laws of physics, though it's trying.

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Rob Pegoraro: Per Engadget, Apple looked at tech-support calls from iPhone 4 users and counted .55% complaining about reception. AT&T, meanwhile, has a return rate of 1.7%--compared to 6% on the iPhone 3GS.

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Rob Pegoraro: Jobs says AT&T logs call drops. The company won't give Apple absolute numbers but did provide data on the change between the iPhone 4 and the 3GS: "The iPhone drops less than 1 additional call per 100," MobileCrunch quotes him as saying.

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Rob Pegoraro: Possible complicating factor: Most people don't buy cases for the iPhone 4 and can't use older iPhone cases either. But still, Jobs says, this is Not A Big Deal.

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Rob Pegoraro: 4 with the new software next to one without it.)But there's more: Apple will* Give every iPhone 4 owner a free case for the phone, available on Appe's Web site.* Offer every iPhone 4 buyer a full refund through Sept. 30, no questions asked and no "restocking" fee.

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Rob Pegoraro: To address a point mentioned here earlier, Jobs also says that Apple's working on a software fix for the iPhone 4's proximity sensor. In other news, the white iPhone 4 ships at the end of the month (but I'd say don't get it--that's going to show dirt way too easily) and on July 30 the iPhone 4 will ship in another 17 countries.

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Rob Pegoraro: Jobs closes by saying "We love our users. We really love 'em. And we try very hard to surprise and delight them. We work our asses off for them. And it's great. and we have a blast doing it." (per Macworld)

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Rob Pegoraro: Ahem... I think a few people in the tech press might contend that Apple does have a wall of PR people in the way.

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Rob Pegoraro: The press conference is now moving on to questions. I'm going to write up a blog post with the basic details--meanwhile, please send in your reactions via the "submit your question" link. I won't be able to respond to them, but I will take them into account as I write my post. (I'm especially interested in hearing from people who use a BlackBerry 9700, HTC Droid Eris or Samsung Omnia II--do your phones show a weaker signal when you hold them the wrong way, as Jobs just said?)

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Andrea Caumont: If you own one of the smartphones Rob mentions above, please email your thoughts to Rob or tweet to him at @robpegoraro. Thanks for joining us!


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