Watchdog did a little feature on the PS3 overheating issue, although they took a very safe route of a story and didn't touch on the fact some machines started dying after the update.
It has made me think though. Has the 3.61 update actually cut the fan speed down or altered the set point when the fan comes up to speed? Afterall previously if I put a DVD film (in-particular) into any of the three FAT PS3's I have, then the fan would always run at speed (an annoying background hum). It is now noticeable (or not) that when playing DVD films that this is now not the case, but earry silence. Could it be that the new PS3 slims use so little power compared to the old 60gb PS3 FAT models that some bright spark thought they could now get away with making the fan come on at a different setpoints as not so much waste heat is being produced? Combine that with the 60gb PS3 FAT models ageing thermal compounds not transfering the heat like when they were new and what would you expect the result to be? Yep over heating chips on the board and close down - YLOD.
It still puzzles me why the original PS3 design don't have the heat sink above the chips, as per physics heat rises so surely this would have been the best and correct design for them to function for many years. If you have a PS3 60gb FAT model you could consider that you would be better of placing the unit upside down, but then you would get the heat transfer off the power supply going up through the main board and then that end would probably get frazzled too. And while we are here on the PS3's I've resurrected (for now) it was also noticeable that some of the hard drive soldered connections had gone dry.
'I guess' that at the end of the day when the original PS3 came out they were technically ahead of their time and pushing the limits of what could be produced. Sony was apparently making a loss on them and the issue of thermal cycling was not considered to be a problem for 3+ years. As things have moved on the power consumption of the PS3 slim has come way down to around 60 watts and thus the PS3's thermal cycling problems are somewhat reduced from not so much waste heat being produced. The thing is though who in their right minds would rather have a crap cheap plasticaly looking PS3 slim in their home, which does not do all the things the original did. If you put them side by side and asked which I could have for free I'd always go for the PS3 60gb FAT model and pay the extra for the electricity.
Any way it looks like the future is slim there isn't going to be a choice. Just look how many faulty YLOD PS3 are on ebay. It says it all.