Though the vote of 3-2 knocks out a technical ban in the FCC, the rule against using cellphones to make calls in-flight is still being left up to the Department of Transportation to make a final ruling on here near the end of 2013. This week's vote was a close one. The FCC's meeting today had FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler taking special care to note that this vote does not instantly grant travelers the right to make a phone call on their next flight - there's still voting to be done before that's all well and good.
An image surfaced today of a fingerprint-covered ginormous Sony phone, which is said to be the Xperia ZU, which was previously known as the Togari slate. The phablet has a huge 6.4-inch screen, which edges it about as close to tablet territory as a smartphone can get. To show the phone's size in perspective, someone decided to photograph it with a kitten on (its) display.
Over at the Bunnie Studios blog, a $12 cell phone purchased from the Mingtong Digital Mall was given a complete (and relatively simple) teardown to see what exactly goes into making such an inexpensive cell phone. Unlike the ultra-cheap handsets that are available through various carriers, such as prepaid's Net10 and Tracfone staples, the $12 cell phone - which has no name - is completely unbranded and unlocked.
More members of congress are joining in on the fight to repeal the ban on cell phone unlocking. Several senators and representatives are voicing their opinions about the issue and a few are planning on introducing bills to fight it. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar announced yesterday that she was drafting a bill to legalize cell phone unlocking. She stated yesterday, "I will continue to work to advance commonsense measures to protect consumers and promote competition.”
It looks like the White House has heard the voices of the 114,000+ people who believe that unlocking their cell phone should be a legal process. It too believes that banning people from unlocking their cell phones isn't fair, especially since people paid good money for those devices. Not only that, but the White House wants to also legalize the unlocking of tablet devices as well, since tablets fall under the same category as cell phones.
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.
We've all been on a plane and heard the same spiel over and over again. Please turn off any and all electronic devices, MP3 players, iPods, laptops, and set all iPhone, iPad, and devices to airplane mode -- get ready for takeoff. Today however the folks from Boeing have shared their plans to allow cell phone use on their top-tier Dreamliner airplanes as soon as 2013.
You may remember each of the following devices: the Motorola Clutch + i475, Motorola Theory, and Motorola i412, from back when we visited the Motorola event in NYC on the 9th of June. What we've got here is three devices offered up by Motorola as high-quality builds on affordable unique mobile OS options on Boost Mobile. You'll get non-contract wireless service and unlimited monthly plans that will fit your pocketbook, and they're on sale now!
Huawei looked to Sweden for inspiration on their new phone. They partnered up with the Claesson Koivisto Rune studio and produced this phone they call the Folded Leaf. It's a device that's meant to perform only the most basic cellular functions, the calling functions and SMS/MMS messaging. It strips out all of the high speed data functions that we smartphone jockeys are used to having and provides a handset that's meant to be comfortable for direct chatting without all of the extra bells and whistles.
Nokia has erected a human-sized hamster wheel at SXSW this year, as part of "The Green Zone" at the festival. The wheel can be used for charging any type of mobile device, and will be up through March 20th. It was created by creative agency 1000heads, and inspired by Nokia's campaign "it's not technology, it's what you do with it" from last year (video, complete with hamster, is included below). But our own Vincent Nguyen was not too impressed.