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    LG G4 P2

    Monday 7th December 2015

    I know: I haven’t written a What’s New since July. I’ve been working on various things, none individually worth much of a website update; I tend to mention stuff at facebook.com/gremlin.net as it happens. Or, if it doesn’t happen, I tend not to mention it at all…which is to say that the fridge door I mentioned in July is still leaning against the garage at the top of the driveway, behind the garbagebin, waiting for General Electric to come get it.

    But this isn’t about that. This is a followup to the reviewish thing I wrote six months ago when I got the LG G4.

    First Update: Six months later, I’m still waiting for this 128gig MicroSD Card thing. Granting that I could just go get one now for a little over a hundred bucks, I’m ruling that to have been a scam. So, if that’s what matters to you: LG defrauded me when they promised me a 128gig MicroSD for preordering the phone. Across state lines. Making that something of a federal crime. Those big bad criminal badguy people.

    But that’s negligible, really. Because there’s also this….

    Second Update: On 3rd December 2015, six months to the day after I got the G4 in my hands and first used it enough to write up a reviewish thing here on the site, the G4 died. By which I mean that it tweeted Allahu Akbar and asploded in my pocket.


    ‘It’s an app!’

    If you’ve been following along for a while, this story may seem a little familiar. A couple years ago, I had roughly the same thing happen with my Motorola Maxx: the phone was in my pocket; it got uncommonly hot; there was an odd noise as the battery inside the thing suddenly doubled in size, breaking the damned phone in an attempt to escape.

    The difference, however ironic, is that the Maxx didn’t have a swappable battery, so it broke the case open trying to escape; the G4 has a swappable battery, so it didn’t just push the removable backing away and it instead tried to escape through the screen.

    So, now I’ve got a G4, precisely six months old, with a swollen original battery and a cracked screen. Which I should probably have an image of, but…my phonecam’s kinda down at the moment.

    At some point, I’ll get a shot of it with Hunter‘s LG G3 [which prompted me to get the newer and better and explodier G4 in the first place]; so, if there’s an image of a murderous smartphone, above, then I added that in later.

    So, that’s my followup reviewish thing: the LG G4, which does not in fact come with a free 128gig MicroSD Card despite fraudulent interstate promises, explodes in your shirt pocket in an attempt to murder you; it’s an awesome phone for those who feel that they have too many ribs.

    But our story doesn’t end there….

    Now I haven’t got a phone. Or, I’ve got a phone, but it’s on the NoFly List. It amounts to the same thing, I suppose. So, the next day—Friday—I took the whole thing in to TMobile. Which is its own funny story. Because I’ve taken the phone apart, removing the backing that the battery weirdly hadn’t removed, and then removing the swelling battery; the battery being a bit concerning, I’d moved it into a Pyrex thing I assume can contain the battery regardless what it tries to do next. So I’ve got the phone in two pieces [or, really, the backing being one piece, however many subpieces the main phone comprises now that its screen is all spiderwebbed], the battery biohazarded in Pyrex, and the box the whole thing came in six months ago which has been sitting here all along because I never throw anything away. Just to be annoying, I’ve also got the included promise of a MicroSD Card and the confirmation printout from when I gave LG the serial numbers and stuff online.

    So I show all this to the guy at TMobile. And his first impulse is to try putting this murderbattery back into the phone and restarting the countdown timer to phoneageddon.

    Hunter stops him. Because she doesn’t want to be there when it finishes exploding.

    So, tell me how much sense this next bit makes: TMobile, who have the LG G4 in stock right now today, haven’t got a battery for the thing. Like, at all. Like, if I wanna go into TMobile and buy a battery for a phone which has been out for six months, they haven’t got batteries for it because it’s too new and/or too old.

    To answer your next question: they also can’t open a whole G4 and use the battery LG supplies. Not because those are known to explode and murder people; just because they can’t do that because it’s hard, or something.

    While we’re on the topic, they can’t just replace the phone.

    Not that we’re quite to that point yet. First, because they can’t cram the battery into the thing [they literally, physically can’t; it turns out that it’s swelled to the extent that it can’t circuit the connectors all at once and power the phone at all], they can’t tell whether it’s broken. Because the shattered screen could be a disguise.

    Part of the problem—the immediate problem—is that they’ve never heard of this happening before. Which, again: I’ve had it happen with a Motorola. But, maybe they mean that they’ve never heard of it happening to an LG, or to a phone so new that they don’t yet stock batteries for it, or whatever; it didn’t seem important to understand what they didn’t understand.

    After ten minutes of debating whether the shattered screen looked broken, we came to the point: that TMobile have no protocol for replacing a phone after it tries to murder people. Seriously. The conversation tried to end there. Everything beyond that point—beyond TMobile telling me that, if the phone was broken, then that was the end of the entire concept—happened only in reaction to my various ideas.

    My first idea was that TMobile hadn’t made this weaponised phonebomb; LG had. Could they, in any sense, exist within our scenario?

    Why, that’s brilliant; here’s their number. Call it from a phone, if you ever get one.

    Joke’s on them: Hunter’s got a phone. An LG G3. With TMobile. It’s like none of this ever happened.

    So, she calls LG from out front, since TMobile’s primary businessmodel is blaring Nicki Minaj through the bluetoothy wireless speakers they actually sell instead of stocking batteries—and I’m not sure I mean a song, by Minaj; they may actually have been conjuring a popstar, through the speakers, in order to produce the levels of noise against which a TMobile phonecall had no hope of competing.

    Now we’re out front, in the sun, which is producing this strange baked alaska of thermonuclear radiation cooking us from one side while the seeping chill of Denver in December is cryonising us from the other. And Hunter’s on the phone, trying to explain to a 7Eleven Accent how and why and where TMobile told her to call them after their phone exploded in my pocket. Which kinda apexes when I hear her say this: ‘No: no one was hurt.’


    When someone asks if anyone was hurt? Same answer. It’s only lying if Free MicroSD Card is also lying, in which case we’re even.

    Now that LG have failed at murdering anyone, the urgency has left the entire issue. The next five minutes of burning while freezing were filled with lots of okays and uh-huhs and finally: ‘Hang on a minute’; then, ‘You wanna talk to them?’

    I guess.

    GREMLIN: Okay. Where are we on your phone failing to kill me?
    7ELEVEN: I’m very sorry to hear that, Sir. Someone will be calling you in the next twenty-four to forty-eight hours with more information.
    GREMLIN: About what.
    7ELEVEN: They’ll probably EMail you a shipping label so you can send us the phone to investigate it.
    GREMLIN: And that’s in two days? Meaning Monday or Tuesday, I suppose.
    7ELEVEN: Um…that’s correct, Sir.
    GREMLIN: So, at minimum, I won’t have a phone again before Monday.
    7ELEVEN: Um…I suppose not. I’m very sorry for the inconvenience.
    GREMLIN: Well, it’s not like a smartphone is in any way necessary to daily life; I routinely throw hundreds of dollars into meaningless toys for the borderline purpose of possessing them for no reason at all. Which, now that I think about it, isn’t actually sarcasm: I make hilarious amounts of money from a fanbase who read my stuff and learn which companies produce murderphones for several hundred dollars which break before they can murder anyone.
    7ELEVEN: Well, I’m sorry you feel that way, Sir. Can I help you with anything else?

    I considered asking whether she recommended any competing brands of IEDs, but I didn’t wanna hear from the NSA afterward.

    So, now, it’s Friday, and it’s hot and cold and phoneless. Because 7Eleven had no answers.

    I went back into TMobile, since it was still five metres away, and I had some followup questions.

    GREMLIN: Okay. LG are staffed by people dumber than things I’ve eaten. So: what if I just buy another G4, and you can credit my account back whenever they figure out why their phone failed to murder me.
    TMOBILE: Um…so, you’d give us another six hundred dollars, and have three phones on the account but only two phone numbers.
    GREMLIN: I guess. Just because going even a few days without a phone is gonna cost me more than buying a new one.
    HUNTER: Don’t buy a new one. This is their fault.
    GREMLIN: And, if they had the competence of a lower level criminal, we’d have a solution.
    TMOBILE: Well, I suppose we could just get you a loaner phone.

    Stop. Stop there. Mark it in history. TMobile had a thought.

    GREMLIN: Okay…?
    TMOBILE: Gi’me a sec; I’ll see what I can find in the back….

    At least we’re out of the sun….

    Guy comes back with a disturbingly huge box. He sets it the counter next to the G4’s box, and it’s eight times the size: twice as wide, twice as tall, and twice as deep. Who knew the Motorola DynaTac still existed….

    But, it’s a joke. A gag. Inside the box is a lot of air, and…some phone. I seriously don’t know what the phone is. I know it’s made by Samsung, and it’s equidistant in size between a G4 and a Zippo.

    Hunter likes it.

    HUNTER: It’s adorable; it’s so teeny.
    TMOBILE: Yeah. We don’t even sell these anymore. It was just back there. But you can use this until LG figure out what to do next. Just get it back to us within fourteen days without damaging it so we can restock it.
    GREMLIN: Restock a phone you don’t sell anymore.
    TMOBILE: Yeah. Otherwise, we’ll hafta charge you fifty bucks for it.
    GREMLIN: For a phone which exists in the back because you forgot to throw it away.
    TMOBILE: [shrug]
    HUNTER: What’s it running….
    GREMLIN: Um…hang on…four twenty-two.
    HUNTER: So, for fifty bucks, I could have a phone for apptesting beneath Android Five.
    GREMLIN: I guess.

    So, now I’ve got the 2012 Samsung Suckware 3000, which some combination of TMobile and LG regard as equal in technological achievement to the 2015 LG G4. Which I’d disagree about: if this Samsung exploded? Way smaller blast radius. I think LG are selling themselves short.

    And, the weekend begins….

    Saturday happened. As it does.

    Sunday happened. I finally installed stuff on the Samsung to get my smartwatch working again. Because I’d missed that. Now I can ignore texts on my watch instead of just ignoring them on a phone which makes a stupid noise as they come in.

    Monday happened. A little. It’s still happening, in fact. Because it’s today. You see how that—okay good.

    So, I tried to take a nap. Then I woke up because Hunter was talking to someone on the phone while sitting on the bed. And that’s LG. And they’ve EMailed me a stuff. And—actually, let’s just go to that….


    tl;dr: Sorry that our phone exploded in your pocket in an attempt to murder you; send it to us and we’ll look at it for the next two or three weeks, and then maybe fix it; at LG, we know that you didn’t throw the price of a ZBoard at a smartphone for any good reason, and it’s nothing resembling a daily necessity; PS: remember to somehow backup your data by putting the explodey battery back in and burning down your damned house.

    If you’re wondering what could possibly take three weeks, apart from 2016 getting here:

    HUNTER: So…we FedEx you the phone, and what takes two or three weeks? So, I’m not getting the fifty bucks back on loanerphone from TMobile, I guess. Yeah: they gave us a Samsung thing; but said, if we didn’t bring it back within two weeks, they’d charge us for it. Yeah: Samsung. I dunno; it’s what they gave us to replace the LG. Why is it three weeks to look at a phone. TMoblie already looked at it; they said there was no waterdamage or…anything. No: It just broke in his pocket; it got warm, and then the screen just cracked. Okay, but how is that three weeks. Hang on. You wanna talk to them?

    Because talking to someone on an LG about an exploding LG is my first impulse when I’ve been something like awake for upwards of twenty seconds.

    GREMLIN: Yeah; hello?
    LG: As I was telling her: We’re EMailing you a shipping label; just go to FedEx and send the phone to us. Then we’ll investigate it and see what happened.
    GREMLIN: What happened was that my phone broke. So it’s broken. So I haven’t got my phone. I’ve got a Samsung which no one would ever want.
    LG: Right. It’ll take two or three weeks to figure out what happened; then we’ll fix it and send it back.
    GREMLIN: Okay. What should I do about the data on the phone that I need before the end of the year.
    LG: Oh. Yeah. Three weeks. You probably won’t—yeah: it’ll be next year before you get it back. And we FactoryReset phones when we get them, in case they’re lost in shipping or something. Have you got everything backed up?
    GREMLIN: Not yet. I forgot to do that in the moments before the phone tried to kill me without warning.
    LG: Right. Because I tend to back my phone up about once a week.
    GREMLIN: Do ya?
    LG: I haven’t got an LG, personally; but I’ve got an app to back everything up once a week.
    GREMLIN: Okay….
    LG: Well, so I dunno. The phone doesn’t turn on at all?
    GREMLIN: It might. If I get a new battery for it. And the phone doesn’t use that as fresh ammunition.
    LG: Well, so you could try that.
    GREMLIN: You want me to power up a phone which, last time it had power, began to explode.
    LG: Well, I’m not sure how else to save your data.
    GREMLIN: Oh, I get it; I’m just confirming that LG are officially okay with powering a phone to retrieve data, when they won’t know what’s wrong with it until they stare at it for three weeks.
    LG: Right. Yeah. I guess go ahead and do that. Because—the data’s not just on the SD Card, is it?
    GREMLIN: Really?
    LG: So it’s actually in the phone’s memory.
    GREMLIN: Yeah.
    LG: Okay, so…yeah: if you can back up your data, and then just FactoryReset the phone, and then FedEx it to us and we’ll see what happened with it.
    GREMLIN: Okay. Bye.

    Gave the G3 back to Hunter, who talked more about the Samsung costing fifty bucks to suck at being a bomb, and whatever….

    So, that’s where we are now. I’ve got this absurd little Samsung no one would ever want, but which costs fifty bucks if I don’t give it back before StarWars comes out; I’ve got a G4 which, apart from this week, has been awesome at everything, prompting me to recommend it to anyone who wants the best smartphone on the market in 2015 and doesn’t mind getting killed by it; I’ve got a swollen battery which can’t so far as I know even be smooshed into the phone so I can turn it on, because for whatever bizarre reason plugging the phone in without a battery powers it only well enough to warn me that the battery is missing; and I’ve got a PDF I can print out and tape onto a box so I can mail the phone off to the Land of Zero Actual MicroSD Cards.

    And that’s about all I know. So far.

    Well, there’s the one other thing: last month, I banged out a hundred and twelve thousand words, writing the forthcoming News of the Smert. Available…maybe sometime in January, or so; because there’s gonna be an addendum about LG at the end.

    Have a webcomic:

    More later….


    <— General Electric

    The Force Awakens —>

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