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The Weekly Round-Up: iPhone's poor reception and the tweeters guide to CV success

Will antenna engineers heed Apple's call?
Written by The Round-Up, Contributor

Will antenna engineers heed Apple's call?

Did you hear the one about the Apple-designed wedding? It looked fantastic but the reception was terrible.

What the hell is the Round-Up talking about? The iPhone 4 of course.

The big news of last week was the launch of the latest iPhone. People queued. In fact, a friend of the Round-Up queued, turning up at five in the morning to join the anxious throng.

This despite being told categorically (by another friend who worked in the same Apple store) that the majority of devices were reserved and only a small number were being put aside for the queuing faithful to avoid civil disorder.

The iPhone queue was one of the most stressful experiences he'd had. Despite being an Apple fan, he now never wants to spend that much time in close proximity with people who are that emotionally attached to the company's products.

(As it happens, the Round-Up bought an iPhone 4 on Saturday afternoon simply by strolling nonchalantly into Phones4U and asking for one. Skills!)

But the big story this week is a continuous slew of reports pouring in about the new iPhone's reception problems.

The problem, in a nutshell, is that the iPhone 4's reception can be cut in certain conditions. An example of a certain condition is 'when you are holding it'.

You can see how this might cause some problems. Users gripping the bottom left-hand corner of the device and touching the metal strip around the edge reported the most problems.

This is ironic because the metal strips form part of the antenna for the device. Apple CEO Steve Jobs got a round of applause when he announced the design earlier this month.

Apple said if you experience the problem simply hold the device in a different way, which is less than helpful advice for left-handed users. Alternatively you could simply buy a case. From Apple.

Intriguingly, shortly after the news broke of the antenna problem, Apple slipped adverts for three iPhone antenna engineers on its jobs page.

The job description for each job says the company is looking for experienced engineers to "define and implement antenna system architecture to optimise the radiation performance for wireless portable devices".

Surely just a coincidence? Nothing to see here. Move along.

The postings added: "The candidate should be able to design antennas suitable for wireless handheld devices with excellent radiation performance."

It may be a bit late for that. The horse has bolted. The stable door is flapping.

This PR problem will rumble on for Apple. At least a couple of weeks. Then we'll all get bored of talking about a phone that can't make phone calls and refocus our attention on how shiny it is.

And it is ever so shiny...



At least Apple seems to know what it's doing most of the time, these days the Redmond giant otherwise known as Microsoft seems to have phasers stuck on 'random'.

First there was the announcement that it was dumping its not-officially-confirmed-but-very-very-interesting Courier tablet project, the most interesting vapourware to come out of Seattle for many a year. Shame.

This week, Microsoft has decided to pull the plug on its gloriously monikered Kin phone less than two months after the product hit the market. Yes, it's a right Kin shocker.

There were two Kins originally launched (you can see some pics here).

But now Microsoft has said it will not ship Kin in Europe this autumn and will focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft said it will be incorporating ideas from the handset into its future Windows Phone releases - presumably (yes, you guessed it) its next of Kin? Ahem.



Finally this week, jobseekers must do better. They have to improve their CVs by making them more interesting, getting their point across quicker and broadening their vocabulary.

No surprises there - but Twitter users write better CVs and are more likely to be shortlisted for jobs. Yes, all the time you've spent telling people about the dull minutiae of your little life "eating some cheesecake" has not been wasted! You've been measuring out your life in 140-character snippets - and now it could help you win the job of your dreams.

You see, based on a review of 500 CVs by MyJobGroup, one-third of us (37 per cent) used exactly the same opening phrase, while the three most popular first-line words are 'experience' (27.1 per cent), 'skills' (23.2 per cent) and 'individual' (22.6 per cent).

The study claims jobseekers who use Twitter have a better chance of getting their CVs shortlisted because they write interesting, eye-catching and succinct CV summaries. Or at least they think they do.

The ability to be pithy and original appeals to recruiters apparently, who are more interested in CVs written in haiku form than in an individual's suitability for the role.

The survey says that candidates who are innovative and novel in their use of language and identify themselves in a non-formulaic way are more likely to be people who use Twitter (silicon.com for one), or have their own blog.

The Round-Up was delighted to hear this news. However, it's all very well advocating creative and innovative CVs but surely this approach is going to have varying degrees of success for different sectors of the market.

Web designers and other creative types could probably get away with an iPad-enabled CV narrated in the third person by The Dude from the Big Lebowski but that may prove less effective when applying for a job with the civil service who still expect it handwritten on parchment and delivered on horseback.

The study suggested avoiding phrases like "I am" or "I have" as they don't position the candidate as a team player.

This may be true but the last time the Round-Up checked, a CV was a shop window into the job applicant and some information about your background and what you can do wouldn't go amiss.

Some other entries that appear in the top 10 of common words on CVs are: 'enthusiastic', 'communication' and 'motivate'.

'Surly', 'erratic' and 'jaded' didn't place. The Round-Up's off to erase these words from its CV, but not before a lightening-pace run through some other news this week:

Fluffy robots and exoskeletons: Behind the scenes at MIT

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And what's the deal with BlackBerry's new OS? Find out in silicon.com's exclusive interview with RIM's SVP of BlackBerry

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