1. Tech

    11 Things You Should Never Do to Your Phone (We Did Them All to the Sonim XP5560 Bolt)

    We all have a pretty good idea of what we should and shouldn't do with our phones. After all, they're fragile -- right? While most phones crack and break at the slightest nudge, the Sonim XP5560 Bolt is built to take a beating. We know, because Sonim sent us one and asked us to try to break it.

    Read on...
  2. Tech

    FCC Considers Lifting Bans on Cellphones on Airplanes

    In a 3-2 vote today, the Federal Communications Commission has officially decided to consider lifting the ban on cellphones in airplanes, citing that there's no technical reason for their use to be impermissible. So prepare yourselves now, folks -- one day, you might have to listen to somebody's entire phone conversation while in flight. Whee.

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  3. Tech

    In Keeping With Dessert Theme, Newest Android Will Be Called KitKat

    Android's latest operating system, 4.4, has finally been given a name: KitKat. Yeah, like the candy bar. What is up with really weird technology names lately? First Nintendo puts out the 2Ds and now this?

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  4. Tech

    Now If You Text Someone Who’s Driving in NJ, You Could Be Held Liable If They Crash

    Everybody knows you shouldn't text while you're driving. But what if you text while somebody else is driving? According to an appeals court in New Jersey, if you text somebody and they get in a car accident, it's legally your fault. You know, because you're not going to be putting enough blame on yourself if your friend gets in a car crash over a dumb text you send.

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  5. Tech

    Smartphones On Track To Become Fastest Spreading Tech In History

    It seems like not that long ago that smartphones were the exception rather than the rule. In fact, chances are that most of you can remember a time before you could just assume everyone had a mobile phone of any kind. That's probably because that wasn't too long ago. As it turns out, smartphones -- specifically -- are on track to being the most quickly adopted tech in the history of tech.

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  6. Tech

    $19 a Month, Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data Plan Is No Joke [UPDATED]

    There is a $19 dollar a month, unlimited talk, text, and data cellphone plan. Seriously, this is for real. The plan is offered by Republic Wireless and seems to be everything it claims to be, with a few sensible caveats, but hey, it's $19 dollars a month. It would be sketchy if there weren't any caveats. The plan was only announced last week, to much jaw-dropping, and now it really exists. It seems that the magic is all made possible by Wi-Fi being used in an exceedingly intelligent way.

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  7. Science

    Here We Go Again: 15-Year Study Shows No Link Between Cancer and Cellphones

    The debate about whether cellphones cause cancer has gone back and forth as conflicting studies are released on the topic. Indeed, things looked decidedly grim when the World Health Organization declared that the matter warranted further investigation. Now, a massive Danish study encompassing hundreds of thousands of subjects over 15 years has found no link between mobile phones and instances of cancer. The study used the medical records of some 360,000 cellphone-using Danes over the course of 15 years -- roughly the point when cellphones were introduced to Denmark. The researchers compared this group's incidence of cancer against the medical records of millions in a control-group. The study found no observable link between cancer and cellphone use. The study has been published on the website of the British Medical Journal.

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  8. Tech

    New California Law Bans Warrantless Cellphone Searches

    A recent California Supreme Court ruling has made it illegal for police officers to search the contents of a cellphone without first getting a search warrant. This overrules a decision last January which had, according to state Senator Mark Leno, "legalized the warrant-less search of cellphones during an arrest, regardless of whether the information on the phone is relevant to the arrest or if criminal charges are ever filed."

    The new law, which the California State Assembly passed unanimously, completely turns the table on police officers' access to your digital data. Whereas your car or your house can be searched on the spot if there is probable cause, it seems that this new law means that if you want to search a cellphone, you need a warrant 100 percent of the time. To boot, it's not just cellphones, the law extends to all "portable electronic devices...capable of creating, receiving, accessing, or storing electronic data or communications."

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  9. Tech

    The Evolution Of The Mobile Phone in Media and Real Life

    If you are anything like the average person, your cellphone might as well be attached to you. However, hard as it is to believe, there was a time when that was not the case because cellphones didn't exist. Still, its uncanny how accurately their future was portrayed in media like Star Trek and, in a bizarre sort of way, Get Smart. Then, as they became available on the market, they grew up in media alongside reality. It started with a $4,000 brick-phone, and now when we're basically back to Star Trek communicators, except they're real.

    This handy infographic from Product Development Technologies illustrates all that and fills in the spots in between, when phones weren't hilariously huge or awesomely futuristic. If you have a phone, you owe it to yourself to know about it's ancestors and keep their memory alive. Also, knowing what year Barbie got a cellphone might win you a few bucks in a trivia competition or something.

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  10. Tech

    Study Probes the Depths of Cell Phone Attachment, Proves We May Have a Problem

    No sex, no shoes, no problem? Maybe if you are as attached to your cellphone as one new study would suggest. A new study, commissioned by communications company TeleNav, says that our society is obsessed with cellphones. The study sought an answer to the question: Exactly what would people give up before their cell phone? The answer is a surprising amount of life's pleasures (and essentials). The results show there are differences between the different types of smartphone and between genders, but overall, people were willing to go to great lengths to keep their phone in the palm of their hand. A third of all people surveyed were willing to give up sex for a week rather than go without their cellphone (although, 70 percent of these people were women). Another 70 percent said they would give up alcohol, 63 percent were willing to forego chocolate, and 55 percent of people were willing to go without caffeine rather than have no access to their cell phone. However, there were some limits to how far people would take their cellphone separation anxiety.

    Read on...
  11. Tech

    “Dirt Batteries” to Power Cellphones in Africa

    Harvard researcher Aviva Presser Aiden and her team have snagged a $100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop and deploy Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) to Africa. These devices can be quickly and cheaply assembled, and can generate electricity from ordinary dirt to recharge cellphones. Powering cellphones with dirt batteries may sounds like a trivial development, but it becomes quite pressing when you look at the numbers. 22% of Africans use cellphones, but over 500 million do not have access to electrical power. For these people, recharging a cellphone means walking perhaps for hours to a recharging station and paying for the power. Recharging a phone typically costs between $.50 and $1, which can add up to a significant amount when the average annual income is measured in "several hundred dollars." The dirt batteries work by taking advantage of the natural metabolic processes of certain microbes. These tiny critters occasionally spit out a free electron while going about their normal business. The MFC batteries capture these electrons and put them to use. Aiden has already used similar technology to power lights in areas separated from municipal power, and has kept an LED burning in her lab for 14 months. In addition to being easy to power, the devices can be built from scratch at a very low cost. So low, that researchers believes that users could recoup the cost of materials after a single charge. For the Aiden, the next step will be taking prototypes into the field and introducing them to communities. Her hope is that by familiarizing people with the batteries, they can create their own without any additional help. If successful, these humble microbes may start lighting up communities across the globe. (Harvard via Gamma Squad)

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  12. Tech

    Michigan Police May Be Using Cellphone Hacking Device During Routine Traffic Stops

    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is currently engaged in a war of words and requests for information on a device used by the Michigan state police that can extract information from cellphones. The device, which has reportedly been in use since at least 2008, is apparently being used by the police during minor traffic violations. The device, called the Cellebrite UFED, has been tested by the Department of Justice which reported the device was capable of pulling all photos and video from an iPhone in under a minute and a half. Cellbrite says their devices also can extract, "existing, hidden, and deleted phone data, including call history, text messages, contacts, images, and geotags." It can also extract your highly incriminating ringtones. These devices can also circumvent password protection, and are reported to work on over 3,000 cellphone models.

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  13. Weird

    The Poop Phone

    This isn't a photoshopping. According to a friend of CrunchGear, there is a brand of popular phones in China made by a manufacturer named OPPO, and since the line of phones is popular, naturally, a knockoff was made. The thing is, the knockoff is replicating the OPPO logo in such a way that, well, yeah.

    (CrunchGear via Engadget)

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  14. Weird

    Demonic Cellphone Number Banned After Everyone Who’s Had it in Last 10 Years Dies

    0888 888 888 is a cellphone number that will forever live in infamy in Bulgaria: It's been permanently suspended by cell carrier Mobitel after all three of the people who've had it in the past ten years have died untimely deaths.

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  15. Weird

    Woman Sues Cellphone Company for $600,000 After Husband Discovers Affair

    A Toronto woman whose husband left her after discovering that she had been having an affair is putting the blame squarely where it belongs: With her cellphone service provider, Rogers Wireless.

    Rogers sent one "global" invoice to the home she shared with her husband, in which he discovered she had been making hours-long calls to one number; from there, he called the number, spoke to the "third party" with whom she had been having the affair, and walked out.

    “I lost everything,” she says. “I want others to know what a big corporation has done. I trusted Rogers with my personal information. We had a contract — and agreement that put my life right in their hands.”

    How much should the evil corporation, whose fault all of this is, cough up? $600,000, according to the woman behind the suit:

    Read on...
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