Feeds

Apple accused of lowering cone of silence over iPod flame out

Wanna refund? Take the vow of silence

Reducing security risks from open source software

Apple has been accused of attempting to gag a traumatised iPod user, whose player burst into flames and tried to go into orbit.

According to The Times, Ken Stanborough, 47, from Liverpool, complained to the firm after his daughter's iPod self-combusted shortly after being dropped.

“It made a hissing noise,” Stanborough said. “I could feel it getting hotter in my hand, and I thought I could see vapour”.

Stanborough, clearly guessing something was up, hurled the MP3 player out of his back door. “Within 30 seconds there was a pop, a big puff of smoke and it went 10ft in the air,” he said.

Stanborough contacted Apple, and Argos which supplied the device.

Eventually, he claims, Apple wrote to him offering a refund, but denying liability, if the Stanboroughs agreed to a perpetual vow of silence.

"You will keep the terms and existence of this settlement agreement completely confidential”, the letter told Stanborough, with any verbal slippages resulting in "Apple seeking injunctive relief, damages and legal costs against the defaulting persons or parties”.

Stanborough told The Times that the vow of silence amounted to a "life sentence" on his family.

“If we inadvertently did say anything, no matter what, they would take litigation against us. I thought that was absolutely appalling."

Last month an iPod was suspected of being behind the fiery destruction of a Saab. Last year a spate of iPod fireballs put the fear into Japan. In 2007, an Atlanta airport worker blamed his iPod nano for a fire which singed him from his pants to his chest region, and exposed him to being mistaken for a suicide bomber.

The Stanborough case is all the more disturbing for the rogue music player's 10 foot leap into the air, suggesting the world's favourite music player now thinks it's some kind of Wagner playing killer drone.

UK consumer law normally makes it the responsibility of the retailer to replace or repair a faulty product, although there could be a dispute in this case over whether the drop was a contributing factor. We haven't heard of tech vendors imposing confidentiality clauses in return for a refund - but then again, we wouldn't if they did.

According to The Times, an Apple spokesman said that, as the company had not looked at the Stanboroughs’ damaged iPod, it could not comment. Argos also refused to comment.

We asked Apple if it was lowering its famed cone of silence over UK consumers. A spokesperson told us they didn't think the firm was commenting on the issue. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.