Cellphones Go Feral

Alejandro Alvarez
November 7th 2016

In the wake of Samsung burning phones scandal, news websites promptly followed the development of the story. After reports of their flagship phone catching fire and causing serious damage, plane delays and even hospitalization, the company made a first recall to substitute the batteries with the ones of a different provider. Nevertheless, the new phones were still bursting into flames. After a second recall, a strong warning followed to urge consumers to turn off and "stop using the device”.

After this The New York Times reported that Samsung would kill their phone, as it turns out the testers were incapable to reproduce the explosions in the laboratory and to pinpoint were the problem was.

It's tempting to put it in a horror story perspective, with a Frankenstein made of complex electronic bits and pieces hidden in your pocket, threatening with immolation and the creator of this advanced gadget left perplexed and pushed to kill his dangerous and misunderstood creation.

The incident evidences how, in order to create an advanced individual piece of technology, first a complex ecosystem of providers and fabricants must exist and work in a symbiotic way with constant communication. This last point is exactly what Samsung lacked according to an anonymous former employee who revealed that the corporate culture of the company originated a top-down workflow that impeded proper communication and forced tight deadlines coming from directors that didn't quite understood how the technologies worked.

As Park Chul-Wan, former director of the Center for Advanced Batteries in Korea, said: "The Note 7 had more features and was more complex than any other phone manufactured. In a race to surpass iPhone, Samsung seems to have packed it with so much innovation it became uncontrollable". In the end, Samsung gave us another example of a second nature that became dangerous and out of control.

Source: The New York Times. Image: The Verge

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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