Spillikins # 587. How to properly “clean” your phone and break it


One of the key events of the coming week will be Apple’s first quarter 2020 report, which will not be good, but it cannot be called an outright failure. The drop in sales is inevitable, but it won’t be as noticeable as in the second quarter, when most of the company’s retail stores were closed. To assess the results of the first quarter, you can look at the AT&T report, which says that revenue from the sale of iron fell by $ 600 million, this is the result of the closing of retail. The influence of this factor requires a separate assessment, but it is Apple’s results that will be indicative. And the results can be interpreted as prerequisites for assessing the second quarter. There was a separate article about how the company is doing to maximize the results.

There are a lot of comments on the topic of Apple, stating that the company, as before, sells the most smartphones, it is number one in the world! Whatever one may say, Apple is number one only in how it rips off users, since the iPhone is the most overpriced product in the entire history of the smartphone market. But its share has been steadily decreasing since 2015, when 231.2 million iPhones were sold in a year (delivered to channels, these are not retail sales). For comparison, in 2019, the company reached 191 million iPhone shipments per year. That is, 40 million people in 2019 made their choice in favor of Android. This is in view of the fact that the market in 2019 was larger than in 2015, and therefore there are even more people choosing Android. But in the minds of individuals, Apple is the leader. It reminds me of the situation with Nokia, when the company had already lost everything, ceased to exist, but was still on horseback in the minds of some people.

Spillikins # 587. How to properly "clean" your phone and break it

We will not talk about the “harm” of 5G and ridiculous arguments from the stars of social networks in this issue, there is also a separate material about this, in which everything is laid out on the shelves and even a guide is given on how to protect yourself from this radiation.

Let’s stop nibbling and move on to our release. Go!


  1. How people break their phones in isolation – cleaning germs
  2. Broken MacBook Pro Keyboard – Next Step, Complete Keyboard Replacement
  3. The destruction of Nokia is the next logical stage of the tragicomedy
  4. Apple under pressure admits iOS security issues
  5. Distance education – network access issues and vandalism
  6. Letters from readers under the heading “Apple everything” – about the laptop and about the iPhone

How people break their phones in isolation – cleaning germs

Our forced isolation continues, however, everyone has their own. Someone honestly sits at home and does not show his nose to the street unnecessarily, someone comes up with any reason to get out and take a walk. It is impossible to condemn people for wanting to leave the four walls, but I hope that a reasonable approach prevails here and all risks are calculated. Risks both for yourself and your loved ones, and for those around you.

It is no secret that sales of any goods these days have dropped sharply, rare exceptions only confirm this rule. Therefore, when I read victorious reports that sales of something have increased on such and such a platform, I understand that this is not a growth in the market, but the success of a particular player due to the fact that he has a product and he is more or less reliable. delivers to the addressee. Commodity flows have been redistributed, and this is clearly seen, those who can sell win. Opened cell phone stores do not see a sharp drop in sales, they have visitors. I’ll even say more, they don’t come there to stare at the windows, but come to solve specific problems – to buy a SIM-card, some of the accessories, to replace the phone.

During a pandemic, a lot of harmful advice comes in, they are voiced from TV screens, for example, they say that you need to wipe your phones, as a virus can remain on them. It seems to me that repair companies should erect a monument to those who give such recommendations, because the number of breakdowns has increased dramatically since then. A repairman friend of mine says that in the past two weeks, the number of speaker and microphone failures has reached a new level, this is especially evident on the iPhone, which he specializes in. A standard case looks like this: a person listens to advice, then begins to periodically treat the surface of the phone with an antiseptic. After some time, the interlocutors stop hearing him or he does not hear well what they say to him. And further options are already possible, someone immediately gives up, someone starts cleaning their devices, for example, takes a pin and picks out the “dirt” from the connectors. This usually ends with the complete destruction of the microphone, which is inadvertently damaged.

A special piquancy of the situation is given by the fact that phones are processed by people who sit at home, as a rule, this is the older generation. That is, hundreds of objects that surround us in everyday life are not processed, but the unfortunate phone has become an obvious thing that collects bacteria and viruses on its surface. Believe me, it has always been this way, and it never bothered people. If you don’t leave your home, then why handle your phones? This is silly. The second point, if you even leave the house, you are unlikely to give your phone to other people, put it somewhere in stores, and so on. Most of it is in your pockets or bag. The phone has no contact with the outside world. Why process it?

The harm of advice on handling any phone is due to the fact that no one gives sensible recommendations, this is just advice that seems reasonable, but there are many caveats. How will you treat the surface of the phone? Most likely it is an antiseptic that dries quickly on the surface. The alcohol content in it is not very high, and additional substances clog the same microphone and speaker grilles. Unlike our hands, which can absorb these substances, our phones do not have this capability. I’m not even talking about the fact that the oleophobic layer of the screen after such procedures is destroyed in the shortest possible time. In a couple of places, I met recommendations to wipe my phones every few hours, which sounds even more wild.

Spillikins # 587. How to properly "clean" your phone and break it

In my opinion, you can handle a phone only if you use it in a potentially hazardous environment, for example, you are a doctor who works with patients, and the phone is constantly needed, you touch it. Of course, it would be nice to put the phone aside for the reception and completely forget about it, but this is unlikely. But if you just went to the store, then you can not get your phone, calls will wait. Do the deed and then calmly chat at home, as long as you like.

Next tip: you decided to treat the surface of the device with an antiseptic or other liquid – do not touch the holes on the case, they are clogged. If your device supports protection against water, this does not mean at all that it will perfectly cope with an antiseptic. Another important point is that protection from water fades over time, it seems to you that the device should be waterproof for all the years that you use it. But this is not the case! Any fall leads to the fact that the defense can be violated, although this is not visible externally. Don’t risk putting it in water or soapy water (there are also washing methods!).

If your microphone is clogged, you are hard of hearing, then you do not need to clean it with sharp objects, pins or something similar. The probability of pushing through the microphone is very high. Try to gently clean the area with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol, this will usually be sufficient. Cleaning takes place from the outside, if the hole is clogged, then you still do not clean it normally. If you are sure that the protection of the case from water is not violated, you can take a chance and wash the device with warm water, but at your own peril and risk. Constantly carrying out water procedures is definitely not worth it.

The ideal option for cleaning any electronics is ultrasound, such devices are sold relatively inexpensively, they are universal, they can clean phones, headsets or ordinary mechanical watches. If you are worried that viruses or bacteria may live on your phone, then choose this cleaning method. You can buy such a device with home delivery; it will definitely come in handy for a variety of things on the farm. Many branded services offer free cleaning of devices in ultrasonic cameras, and not only electronics, but also, for example, eyeglass frames.

All the same, you need to approach any recommendations with a certain amount of caution. Cleaning your phone only makes sense if you are using it in a potentially hazardous environment. Most don’t. You can and should change your habits, for example, do not take your phone out in the car, as you did before. Keep it in your pocket, just set it up once to work with your car multimedia system, most cars support pairing and hands-free operation. Someone was probably lazy to do this, now is the time.

From the fact that you take out the phone on the street, talk on it, nothing bad will happen. After all, you will not be in the crowd. Confined spaces, where sick people can be, become dangerous places. For example, these are elevator rooms, where the suspension can float in the form of an aerosol for hours. If possible, you should refuse to travel by elevators if your buildings allow it and you do not live on the forty any floor.

Fears give rise to phobias, and people try to protect themselves, even with such simple actions as cleaning the phone. Approach this issue wisely and carefully. Last week, there was even a Hand Wash app for the Galaxy Watch, which reminds you to wash your hands and do it for a specific time.

Spillikins # 587. How to properly "clean" your phone and break it

A simple reminder in smartwatches that quickly became popular. Why? The answer lies in the fact that these are phobias, and such an application is an easy way to neutralize or even defeat them. I did everything to protect myself, I am a fine fellow, I wash my hands. This is a misconception as there are many things to watch out for, and hand washing is only one of them. But for many, even such an effort already seems like something big. There is not much harm from hand washing if done wisely. But you can completely kill your microflora, open the way for pathogenic bacteria. In any business, intelligence is needed.

Do you know what almost stopped happening to phones? The number of broken screens plummeted. People move less, and the likelihood of breaking their phone has decreased, nevertheless, although falls do occur in houses, they are not so catastrophic in their consequences. Tell us how you feel about cleaning phones, whether you carry out this procedure or not. If so, how are you doing it and how important do you think it is?

And let me remind you that our phone is an individual thing, comparable to a toothbrush. Therefore, you need to treat it accordingly.

Broken MacBook Pro Keyboard – Next Step, Complete Keyboard Replacement

In the past “Spillikins” I talked about the fact that the O key stopped working for me, I pressed it every other time. I cleaned the button, but it almost did not give relief, it was difficult to type texts at the same speed, I constantly missed, came back to correct the words.

This became a problem and I figured I would completely replace the keyboard. Since I needed to do this quickly, I ordered the master’s visit to the house, I understood that they would put me a Chinese keyboard, it would not be my own. I decided something like this – if the quality of the replacement turns out to be not very good, then I will choose a new laptop, since for me it is a working tool and it should be in normal condition. Before the epidemic, I agreed with one of the services that they would quickly be able to replace my keyboard, I understood that the resource had come to an end in seven years. And this happened in practice, and the service was closed.

The master arrived in gloves and a filter mask, I sat him down in the kitchen so that he would disassemble the laptop. The sight is not for the faint of heart, as the old keyboard is not on screws, but on rivets. First, they disassemble half of the laptop and then rip out the old keyboard.

The Chinese keyboard feels different from the native one, in any case, these were my first impressions. For several days I got used to how to work with her, my mind adjusted. I thought about it and I think that such a trick is also possible here: the old keyboard gradually loosened up, became more familiar than the new one. But the fact remains that there are differences.

The backlighting of Caps Lock is sloppy, for the whole key, outwardly this is the only significant difference between keyboards.

Spillikins # 587. How to properly "clean" your phone and break it

The cost of such an on-site replacement is 6 rubles. Convenience comes at a price, as does speed. While I live with this laptop, I recently changed the battery, now I have replaced the keyboard. The resource is restored, and the SSD becomes a weak point, but its service life is long enough. So let’s see how long this combat vehicle will work. By all standards, it has fulfilled its value one hundred percent.

The destruction of Nokia is the next logical stage of the tragicomedy

Recently I finished reading a book written by Risto Siilasmaa, “Nokia. Survival strategy “. The author is a man who was a member of the board of directors of Nokia, then became president of the company, he was directly involved in what happened to the mobile division of Nokia, what role did Stephen Elop play in this.

Spillikins # 587. How to properly "clean" your phone and break it

The cynicism of the book is that the deliberate collapse of Nokia is presented as something natural, ingenious and the only way to save the company, as if there was nothing else to do. I take this as excuses in hindsight, when a person who was blindly used to destroy the strongest player is trying to prove that this was not the case and his personal genius foresaw all the events. The recitation of the book is simple – there was no other way out. The book contains a lot of interesting facts from inside Nokia, which perfectly characterize that period and what decisions were made. This is a great addition to the picture of total destruction from within, when the author was used to make this process irreversible. The top manager pretends or really believes that everything was right, on the other hand, what else can he do? I will definitely write a text in which I will tell about my findings in the book and how ingeniously the game of destroying Nokia was played out, these Finns were simply bred like children.

The fact that Risto Siilasmaa left the board of directors at the end of 2019 after 12 years in the company makes the situation especially piquant. One of the reasons was the book in which he harshly criticizes his predecessor, but also the company’s failures can be cited as reasons. Risto’s leadership was aimed at destroying Nokia as an independent player, repeating the history of Nokia Mobile. I can’t judge whether it was conscious or not, but most of the decisions made in recent years naturally led to the weakening of Nokia, the loss of potential 5G markets, and the company simply did not have other opportunities for growth.

Reuters recently posted a note claiming that Nokia had hired Citi to fend off a hostile takeover attempt. In 2019, the company launched a layoff cycle with 5000 employees laid off. The loss of Chinese 5G contracts in early 2000 puts Nokia in a vulnerable position. And speaking of infrastructure contracts in most countries of the world, this company survives today without having great prospects for development. The escalation of the trade war between the United States and China is leading Nokia to very poor results. The company itself calls the possibility of a hostile takeover market rumors, but there is no smoke without fire.

Drawing analogies with how American corporations ate Nokia’s mobile division, one can easily assume that the remnants of the company are at stake today. It seems logical – America needs its own 5G, and Nokia has patents and technologies, but there is no guaranteed sales market. The United States has a market, but no technology, and they do not want to let Huawei in. It turns out that by absorbing Nokia, America solves a political problem, narrows the gap in the race for 5G with China. But for this, you first need to destroy Nokia, or rather, what is left of this company. There are simply no other applicants who can be absorbed in a short time, hence the simple conclusion that what is happening looks very logical. This is a natural result for a company that allowed itself to be destroyed from within. But in any case, we will observe this story from the outside, it looks very, very curious. It has everything – intrigue, deceit, betrayal of those who were supposed to defend the company. Drama at its best.

Apple under pressure admits iOS security issues

How many scandals must happen for ordinary people to realize that iOS is safe only in words, and Apple’s platform is replete with security holes that give full access to all user data?

Researchers at ZecOps discovered a zero-day vulnerability in the Mail app on iOS that could remotely access virtually any data on an iPhone or iPad. Moreover, if in iOS 12 hacking required sending a letter to the victim, then starting with iOS 13 this was not required. Apple’s initial response to the history of this hack was familiar – we didn’t find an immediate threat, we didn’t see user data leaked this way, and so on. At the same time, the researchers argue that such attacks have been in place since January 2018 and they are widespread. Apple doesn’t see a problem, but promises to close the hole in the next iOS update.

Apple’s standard behavior suggests that the company begins to admit the facts only if there are lawsuits, apparently, this happened the other day, as suddenly the rhetoric changed and the company announced that in the coming days there will be a security patch for all devices.

Access to user data on iOS appears not for the first time, you can recall many tools that did it remotely, and each time their existence was denied by the company. The reason is clear, but it is also clear that the targets of the attackers are always officials, politicians, businessmen. These security holes cost millions of dollars, and the information obtained through them is even more expensive. This is the answer to why schoolchildren do not hack other students and such tools are not publicly available. They are simply very expensive, and at the moment when many people already know about them, these holes are simply covered up. Since there are other holes that are exploited at the same time. This is an ordinary market in which it is important that everyone does not have the same rights, because this will devalue the efforts of those who sell their goods, access to the supposedly most secure system on the planet. Surprisingly, this positioning benefits everyone – users think they are protected. Hackers can sell their goods for a higher price, as this is supposedly the most difficult system to hack.

There are always simpler ways for frolicking schoolchildren, for example, sending a text bomb to an enemy, which will permanently hang the iPhone and force the person to erase all their data. This isn’t the first time such test bombs have appeared for the iPhone, and have become a constant feature on iOS.

Spillikins # 587. How to properly "clean" your phone and break it

I hope that in an urgent update for iOS, the company will be able to fix this problem as well, otherwise people with a bad sense of humor will start hanging other people’s smartphones. What can’t be done unambiguously is a stupid idea.

Distance education – network access issues and vandalism

One radio station asked for comment on network access issues that prevent students from participating in distance education. Moreover, the presenter asked that this is inherent not only in small settlements, but such a problem is observed in Moscow and it is widespread. My remark contradicted the harmonious chorus of voices about how bad everything is with us, and did not get into the program. However, I believe it is important to understand what the problem is and why it is not directly related to technology as such.

First of all, I want to say that in Moscow there are practically no dead zones for communication, it works almost everywhere. Somewhere one or two operators may not work, somewhere there is no last mile with a broadband access provider, but you can get a connection anywhere in the city. And the indignation of those who cannot give their children distance education because of the quality of the Internet is more likely from the area not of lack of communication as such, but of the fact that there is no connection on that provider, that SIM card, which is usual. Previously, without a learning process, it was enough, but now it is not enough. For some reason, there is no desire to change the provider, hence the groans that it is absolutely impossible to study. In short, these are excuses, not reality.

There are indeed many places in Russia where children and their parents do not have the opportunity to get comfortable access to the network. There are many such villages in the Kaluga Region, our friends were desperate to get at least some kind of Internet and installed a satellite dish, now there is some kind of Internet in their house (the pleasure is not the cheapest, the installation costs under 30 thousand rubles, 3 is a monthly fee for unlimited, and the speed is rather sluggish). And in the country there are even more such dead zones for networks, operators do not reach such places very quickly and are not always ready to install expensive equipment for data transmission if there is no need for it. And Moscow looks like a different planet against this background, the connection is diverse and exists in every corner.

In London, many teachers complain that their students cannot participate in distance learning, or there is no computer at home (yes, this is about Britain!), Or there is no Internet. The situation there cannot be compared even closely with our market, the speeds are lower, there are fewer providers, and the cost is such that you can easily go down the drain. And the changes that are required during quarantine are not so easy to accept there, this translates into other costs for each family, which no one compensates.

In Moscow these weeks schoolchildren have a different kind of entertainment, they disrupt their lessons. When an invitation is sent to the class in a video chat, someone shares it, and immediately anonymous people appear under false names that broadcast all sorts of nonsense, disrupt the lesson. At my son’s, someone broke into such a lesson and broadcast Nazi symbols, some speeches of Hitler. This is an extremely unpleasant moment of new technologies and the fact that not everyone was ready for this. A question of a transitional period, and only, gradually, the situation will improve. But if we talk about such hooliganism, then it is not specific to Russia, it happens in different parts of the world. Will it be easier further? Certainly.

We are getting used to the fact that a lot can be done remotely. In our other school they like to stage performances, this time they played Chekhov, everyone wrote down a few minutes of their remarks, and then they put the performance together. It turned out very unusual, and despite the fact that the first reaction was the same for everyone (well, what nonsense, it will definitely be bad), everything turned out fine.

Many people today have a reluctance to change something, for example, change their provider, solve communication problems. I observe in my entrance a situation when people are used to one provider and do not want to install another (it is cheaper and better, but just unusual for them). And this, of course, looks somehow completely stupid – they complain about the lack of the Internet, when they can connect and work in a couple of hours, and it will take the same amount of money. Something reminded of an old anecdote: you checkered or go. They react funny to the persuasion of neighbors: “We are accustomed to our provider, we don’t need a new one.” Until it is too bad for these people to change their provider, that is, the need is not so great. And such stories take place in many places, people hold on to their usual way of life, do not want to change it. But this is often not a question of the availability of technology, but a question of consumer choice. More precisely, unwillingness to do it.

Letters from readers under the heading “Apple everything” – about the laptop and about the iPhone

I repeat that it is you who are talking about your experience, and it forms the basis of many materials. Therefore, I will publish two letters that perfectly illustrate what is happening in the apple kingdom and why people refuse Apple products. The first letter from Mikhail about his brand new laptop.


I want to share my story.

In 2013, I got a MacBook Air 13 laptop. Excellent machine, still in service to this day.

But the range of tasks that I do on a laptop has expanded since the moment of purchase, and it turned out that the core i5 and 4GB of memory are barely enough to process photos and perform simple editing of video from trips. Well, the screen of the era, in comparison with all surrounding screens in 2020, already repels with its picture quality.

I have been closely following your laptop update history, and thank you for saving me from buying a laptop with a butterfly keyboard.

And then a laptop with an acceptable keyboard appears, and the vacation is canceled this spring – an excellent reason to update the equipment, especially since recently you have to work remotely on a laptop.

I ordered a laptop on Apple’s website, delivered on April 9th. The box that the DHL courier delivered was undamaged. Taking out a box with a laptop from it, I found a dent.

Spillikins # 587. How to properly "clean" your phone and break itSpillikins # 587. How to properly "clean" your phone and break it

But, it seems, the inside of the box was not badly damaged.

After opening and initial configuration, the first thing I decided to install was the latest available updates, macOS Catalina 10.15.4 arrived.

Then he happily began to transfer data from the old laptop. In particular, the photo library. The photo library required an update, after which the photo analysis began with an updated version of the standard photo application, which suggested not to disconnect the laptop from the network in order to analyze while I was not working on the laptop.

I left my laptop plugged in and closed the lid.

The next opening of the lid greeted me with a message that the MacBook was rebooted due to an error and asked if I would like to send a report. My joy from owning a brand new laptop for 200+ rubles has diminished sharply.

The next day, opening the lid again “made me happy” with the same problem.

The analysis of the photo library was completed, and next time I did not leave the laptop connected to the power supply. And during further work, no reboots were observed.

But the thought of those reboots did not leave me, I went to find out if anyone had the same problem. And I found many brothers in misfortune.

Among them, some people just changed their laptops in Apple stores, someone shared a typical solution for all problems with a MacBook that helped them – this is the SMC reset. Someone was helped by disabling the power nap setting. Someone reports that this is a defect in the motherboard and needs to be replaced.

After reading these messages, I figured that I would not be able to go and change the laptop in the store, but I don’t want to give it to the service and get it as a result repaired or refurbished. Why then, one wonders, did I buy a new laptop.

I reset the SMC, left the laptop connected to the network, found after 2 hours that it had rebooted.

Disconnected the power nap, checked it after two hours, then after 4 hours, there were no reboots, the day passed without reboots.

It seems that the problem has been solved and you can forget about it.

But my peace of mind was hampered by the thought that suddenly this is still a problem with the motherboard, and that turning off the power nap only hides it.

I found a way to roll back to 10.15.3, and until I accumulated a bunch of data that I didn’t want to lose, I decided to reinstall the system. Fortunately, the data did not suffer, with the exception of the photo library, at 10.15.3 it did not open, as it was from a newer version.

I started rebuilding the photo library again, left the laptop connected to the network. The next day, when the laptop was opened, everything was in place, no reboots.

The whole day passed in tense anticipation. But the system didn’t reboot anymore.

These are the emotions Apple gives in addition to their wonderful laptops for 200+ rubles.

Thank you,

And here is a letter from Ruslan from Rostov-on-Don, but already about the iPhone:

Hi Eldar, I have been watching your channel relatively recently, in particular the Apple heading, everything. As a longtime user of apple products, he was perplexed about your criticism, considering it incompetent, until he bought himself a new IPhone Xs. The company had many shoals before it, but each time I convinced myself that: 1: other companies have even more of them. 2: Apple’s shoals are not so shoals and you can put up with them 3: There are many more advantages in Apple products than disadvantages. How I deceived myself then. Having bought the Xs, which at the start of sales cost generally exorbitant 90 thousand, I got a very weak battery, a bad camera and a frankly braking system. I tried to solve the problem with the battery by turning off Siri, notifications, push notifications, geolocation, reducing the brightness to 40%, the smartphone, taken off at 6 in the morning from charging, barely survived until lunchtime. The service center did not find any faults. The customer support manager, in order to pay off my claims, said that her iPhone 11 also worked for about 6 hours and advised me to buy a quick charger and cable, which I foolishly did. But that didn’t solve the problem. After 2 months, the battery condition dropped by 5%. When I called the service, I was advised to fork out for a battery cover for 12 thousand. This was the last straw. I quickly sold my iPhone and ordered a Samsung S10e. It’s a shame for the lost money that I paid for a device that actually isn’t worth the money.

Regards, Ruslan.

These are the letters about business with Apple products. And, of course, your humble servant is to blame for this. By the way, this week I watched with great interest the “reviews” of the new iPhone SE. The worse the product, the more beautiful words and greatness. And for those who have forgotten where we started, I will give you again a table of sales that speak for themselves. The great iPhone will lose sales again in 2020, it’s inevitable with products like this.

Spillikins # 587. How to properly "clean" your phone and break it

PS We moved to a new server, renewed https certificates and much more, increased the download speed. A small number of people wrote that when they access the site from the history of visits or following links from social networks, they show a 502 error on a white background. These are browser cache issues on the device, you need to clear it and then everything will work. Occasionally, these are the settings of your ISP and the cache on its side. Alas, we cannot fix this problem on our side. Moreover, in case of a failure on our side, the page shows the site logo and the time when you see the error. I hope this information will be useful if you suddenly come across something like this.

And traditionally I want to wish you not to lose heart, keep your nose to the wind and that you have a good mood. The weather is getting better, the virus is receding, but the main thing is to continue to limit your communication in the real world, since otherwise there is a danger that the quarantine will drag on for a long time. Do not be ill! And cheer up! Good luck in your good deeds.

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