cellphones

Senate OK’s phone unlocking bill, must sync with House

Senate OK’s phone unlocking bill, must sync with House

Through a unanimous consent agreement, the US Senate has passed the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act. Should this bill be approved by both Senate and House in its final form, it would once again make it legal for mobile phone owners to have their devices unlocked after their contract with a carrier has expired.

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Banksy uses cellphone service to turn NYC to outdoor art gallery

Banksy uses cellphone service to turn NYC to outdoor art gallery

Starting this afternoon, international graffiti know-it-all Banksy begins his newest and greatest art exhibit to date: the entirety of New York City, New York. What you'll find is the artist connecting with citizens and visitors of the city with cell phone technology the same way indoor art exhibits work with headphones and purchase-at-counter guide packs. Banksy art pieces will be accompanied by phone numbers that connect to a network of presentation pieces available to anyone with their own phone service.

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The cellphone turns 40 years old today

The cellphone turns 40 years old today

Mobile phones may not be anything too special these days, but 40 years ago today, the world's first cellphone was just being born, and it was all the rage. On April 3, 1973, the first call from a cellphone was made by the inventor himself, Marty Cooper, where he called out to his rival: the head of the research department at Bell Labs, Joel Engel.

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Senate approves warrantless phone tapping until 2017

Senate approves warrantless phone tapping until 2017

The US Senate has voted 73-23 to approve the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Reauthorization Act, which will authorize phone surveillance of Americans without a warrant for counter-terrorism purposes for the next five years. The bill extends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act of 2008, which granted immunity for wiretaps and email monitoring under the Bush Administration.

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Stolen cellphone database goes live in the US

Stolen cellphone database goes live in the US

Cell phones, smartphones in particular, have this unfortunate combination of high cost and ease-of-theft. Once a cell phone is snatched, it can easily be used by swapping out the SIM card with a new one, at which point identifying the phone as stolen becomes all but impossible. To help curb this problem, a database of stolen cell phones has been launched in the U.S.

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FCC and carriers planning stolen phone database

FCC and carriers planning stolen phone database

The FCC and wireless carriers are working together on a new plan that would try and discourage the theft of cellphones by rendering them useless once reported stolen. They hope to create a national database of stolen cellphones in coordination with law enforcement bodies across the country, allowing carriers to disable voice and data services on stolen phones altogether.

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Ofcom plans to scrap 0800 charges for UK mobile phones

Ofcom plans to scrap 0800 charges for UK mobile phones

You’ll recognize toll-free numbers as an 1-800 number, and in the UK there isn't a huge difference, with freephone numbers beginning 0800. While those numbers are free to call from pay phones (remember those?) and landlines, network operators charge a fee to call 0800 numbers from cell phones. They don’t come out of your included minutes, either. The UK regulator Ofcom has now announced that charges for calling 0800 numbers from cellphones will be scrapped under a new proposal.

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US court approves cellphone search without warrant

US court approves cellphone search without warrant

A US federal appeals court has ruled in favor of allowing police to search cell phones without the need to obtain a warrant. Following the conviction of a Abel Flores-Lopez in a drug-related charge, Lopez filed an appeal saying that police had illegally searched his cell phones without a warrant. The 7th Circuit court's Judge Richard Posner rejected the argument, ruling that minimally invasive searches of cell phones without a warrant are permissible.

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