NEWS ABOUT: cell phones

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Sprint Unveils 'Starter' Phone for Kids

$10 a month device aimed at 5- to 12-year-olds

(Newser) - Is your kid ready for her first cell phone? Sprint's hoping so, and the company wants to be the first to put a device in your 5- to 12-year-old's pocket. Its offering: the WeGo, which Sprint it marketing as "Safe. Simple. Secure." The no-frills phone contains... More »

Why Were There No Calls From Missing Jet?

Experts say plane may have been too high for signal

(Newser) - One of the biggest puzzles inside the huge mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is why there appear to have been no phone calls, social media messages, or any other attempts at communication from the 227 passengers after the flight was apparently diverted. Experts say that in contrast to the... More »

Teen Killed Trying to Retrieve Phone From Tracks

She was sucked in by freight train's 'vacuum'

(Newser) - Yet another person has died after putting her phone's safety ahead of her own. Jenna Betti, 14, was killed by a freight train on Sunday when she tried to retrieve a phone she had dropped on the tracks in Martinez, Calif., reports the San Francisco Chronicle . She had been... More »

Scam Alert: Beware of a Call That Only Rings Once

New trick involves getting you to call back

(Newser) - The Better Business Bureau calls it the "One-Ring Phone Scam": Scammers call your phone, let it ring once, and hang up. That prompts you—the scammers hope—to call back, allowing them to pile on charges while you're connected. The calls usually come from outside the US, but... More »

Ukraine Uses Cell Phones to Track Protesters

Government sends mass text warning to demonstrators

(Newser) - Scourge of the modern protester: Ukraine demonstrators this morning got this text on their cell phones: “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance," reports the New York Times . The threat is clear enough, given that the government also made it a crime punishable... More »

We're More Sociable With Cell Phones

Rutgers study compares new and old public behavior

(Newser) - The modern American spends too much time staring at screens and not enough socializing—right? That's what popular books like Bowling Alone and Alone Together have argued, but Rutgers professor Keith Hampton put that theory to the test by filming people in public spaces, the New York Times Magazine... More »

2 Dead After Man Drops Phone in Icy Chicago River

A third person is in critical condition after desperate plunge

(Newser) - One person is dead, one is missing, and one is in critical condition after a man dropped his cell phone in the Chicago River—and went lunging in after it, the Chicago Tribune reports. The phone's owner, a 26-year-old man, was found dead in the icy waters this morning,... More »

Delta, Southwest, JetBlue: No Phone Calls Mid-Flight

Airlines decide before FCC makes decision on rule change

(Newser) - The feds might soon lift rules that forbid plane passengers from talking on their cell phones during flights, but the airlines themselves are balking. Delta announced today that it won't allow such calls no matter what the FCC decides, reports the LA Times . The airline joins Southwest and JetBlue... More »

NSA Able to Decode Most Calls, Texts Worldwide

Washington Post unveils latest Snowden material

(Newser) - The NSA is capable of breaking the encryption used on most phone calls and text messages worldwide, the latest Edward Snowden leak shows, though it's not certain how often the agency actually does it. Under US law, the NSA can't eavesdrop on citizens' conversations without a court order.... More »

FCC Chair Doesn't Want Phones in Air Either, But...

'...we are not the Federal Courtesy Commission' he explains

(Newser) - A bit of advice for the Federal Communications Commission: Nobody seems to want you to lift your ban on in-flight cell phone use. The Department of Transportation is firmly against the move, as are airlines, flight attendants, and, according to polls, the majority of passengers, the Wall Street Journal finds.... More »

Airlines Should Charge Cell Talkers $100 Per Minute

Let's stop loud conversations before they start: Spud Hilton

(Newser) - Air travel is bad enough with other passengers barging to the front of the line at the gate, greedily taking up luggage-rack space, and getting in each other's way at the carousel; do we really want to add loud cell-phone chatter to the mix, as the FCC is considering... More »

FCC May Allow Cell Phone Calls During Flights

Agency will consider lifting ban next month

(Newser) - This is either great or horrible news for air travelers, depending on perspective: The FCC might soon allow passengers to talk on their cell phones all throughout their flights, reports the Washington Post . The agency will consider lifting its ban on airborne calls next month. Under the proposed change, the... More »

Why Louis CK Is Wrong About Smartphones

They can be bad, but they can also be good: Daniel Engber

(Newser) - Chances are you saw—quite possibly while perusing Facebook on your smartphone—a bunch of your friends sharing a clip of Louis CK talking about how terrible smartphones are . But the comedian's rant is missing an important point, writes Daniel Engber on Slate . Sure, we all agree "that... More »

Louis CK Explains Evils of Smartphones

Nobody can sit quietly alone anymore, he tells Conan

(Newser) - Apple says demand has been "incredible" for today's rollout of the new iPhones , reports AllThingsD . One person you won't find in line? Louis CK. On Conan last night, the comedian explained all that's wrong with smartphones, especially when it comes to kids, reports Salon . Sample line:... More »

Irate Movie Critic Calls 911 on Cell Phone Users

And this was at a screening for 'professionals'

(Newser) - A movie blogger irate about the use of cell phones during a Toronto International Film Festival screening called 911 to report the offense. At a midnight screening yesterday, blogger Alex Billington became increasingly annoyed by constant texting and emailing at a screening for press and film industry members.... More »

Cop Hits, Kills Man While Talking on Cell: Report

Eyewitnesses say officer was on phone at time of accident: DNAinfo

(Newser) - Witnesses say an NYPD officer who struck and killed a pedestrian Saturday was talking on her cell phone during the accident, police sources tell DNAinfo . Paula Medrano, who was not in uniform nor responding to an emergency at the time, was driving a police van when she turned left onto... More »

FAA Warms to Gate-to-Gate Gadgets

Ban likely to remain on cell phone calls

(Newser) - For the first time since the 1960s, the FAA's rules on electronic devices could change in a big way. An FAA advisory panel says it's time to start allowing certain gadgets to be used during taxiing, takeoff, and landing, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rules developed decades ago... More »

AT&T to Make $500M ... by Charging You 61 Cents

New administrative fee went into effect May 1

(Newser) - If you're an AT&T wireless customer, your May bill will feature a new charge: a 61-cent monthly administrative fee. Before you pooh-pooh it as small potatoes, consider this: The Wall Street Journal reports that the move could tally up to an extra $518 million for the company in... More »

Help Gingrich Find a New Name for 'Cell Phone'

Like 'handheld computer'

(Newser) - Newt Gingrich is launching a new campaign: to find a better name for the cell phone. In a new YouTube video, the former presidential candidate urges followers to suggest a new name for the device we don't really use as a phone much anymore, ABC reports. He likens it... More »

San Francisco Loses Fight to Put Warnings on Phones

Industry sued to avoid listing potential radiation risks

(Newser) - San Francisco is giving up its fight to become the first city in the US to require that cell phones come with warnings about the potential health risks of radiation, reports Reuters . The city tried to put such a law on the books in 2011, but the industry blocked it... More »

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