FCC Releases Massive Study On Mobile Phone Theft, Asks Wireless Companies To Start Making Changes

FCC Releases Massive Study On Mobile Phone Theft, Asks Wireless Companies To Start Making Changes

Smartphones are amazingly convenient: tiny little hand-sized computers that make it easy to organize our lives on the go. They’re also amazingly good targets for theft: tiny, portable, expensive, and full of personal information. Mobile device theft is on the rise, just as mobile devices are, and the FCC has been trying to find ways to protect consumers when their devices get yanked from their hands. [More]

(Kat N.L.M.)

Shoppers Would Rather Stare At Their Phones Than Talk To A Salesperson

When you’re shopping at a store in the real world, would you rather have a conversation with a sales associate or look up information on your own mobile phone? The results of a study by the Consumer Electronics Association will shock nobody who has ever received inaccurate or misleading information from a salesperson, or had to get away from an aggressive salesperson who wants nothing more than to close a sale. [More]

FBI Director Wants To Change Law To Allow Easier Snooping On Smartphones

FBI Director Wants To Change Law To Allow Easier Snooping On Smartphones

Last month, FBI Director James Comey expressed vague concerns that new privacy measures on iOS and Android smartphones might allow criminals to do bad things. Now Comey is saying it’s time to change the law to make sure that law enforcement doesn’t have to figure out your phone’s password. [More]

(ianfinessey)

Giving Police Backdoor Access To Smartphones Is An Invitatation To Be Hacked

With both Android and iOS phones making privacy updates that will make it impossible for Google or Apple to unlock a device without a user’s passcode, even with a warrant, authorities from local police to the head of the FBI to the U.S. Attorney General are saying there should be some sort of backdoor way to gain access to these devices. But what they don’t realize is that leaving in that additional point of access just makes phones more vulnerable to other forms of snooping. [More]

California Becomes Second State To Require “Kill Switch” On All Smartphones

California Becomes Second State To Require “Kill Switch” On All Smartphones

California officially became the second state in the U.S. to require smartphone manufacturers to include a “kill switch” function on all devices. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on Monday, just two weeks after the measure passed the state senate. [More]

(agagen)

Cafe Blocks Wireless Signals So Patrons Can Put That Dang Phone Down Already

Look up from your screen. Did you forget there’s a real world out there, with sights and sounds and people who aren’t yammering away at you via any of the plethora of apps for mobile devices? One café in Canada wants to remind customers of what it’s like to live in a wireless-free world. A wireless-less world? [More]

(afagen)

The Time Has Come: Facebook Forcing Smartphone Users To Download Separate Messaging App

Have the urge to send a Facebook message to your ex at goodness knows what time in the morning saying Zeus only knows what? If you want to make that mistake on your phone, soon you’ll have to download the social network’s entirely separate Messenger app, or forever keep your peace. Until the next time you hang out with your pal tequila, at least. [More]

Senate To Finally Consider Bill To Make Cellphone Unlocking Legal Again

Senate To Finally Consider Bill To Make Cellphone Unlocking Legal Again

Four months after the House of Representatives passed a bill that would override the Librarian of Congress’s industry-backed decision to make it illegal for consumers to unlock cellphones and take them to other carriers, members of the U.S. Senate will finally get around to considering a similar piece of legislation, giving some hope that the bill might pass in our lifetime. [More]

New Amazon Phone Will Reportedly Be An AT&T Exclusive

New Amazon Phone Will Reportedly Be An AT&T Exclusive

Seven years ago, AT&T scored millions of new customers by being the only U.S. wireless provider to offer the Apple iPhone. That exclusive has long since faded into memory and the iPhone is no longer the market dominator it once was. But it looks like AT&T might be hoping that lightning strikes twice, as a new report claims that the Death Star will be the sole carrier for Amazon’s rumored smartphone and/or sex toy. [More]

(afagen)

Having a phone that’s always running out of juice is an irksome experience. So one French Catholic priest is offering a help line in the form of a blessing for his parishioners’ smartphones, to extend their battery life. “We must remember that the blessing of communication devices is written into the tradition of the Church just like with boats, carts and all instruments of labor and animals,” he explains. [via UPI.com]

Samsung: “Limited Number” Of Galaxy S5 Phones Have Faulty Cameras

Samsung: “Limited Number” Of Galaxy S5 Phones Have Faulty Cameras

If you just bought a Samsung Galaxy S5 phone and are upset to find you can’t take photos with the darn thing? You’re not alone — Samsung says a “limited number” of the phones have a fatal flaw that renders the 16-megapixel camera useless. [More]

California Lawmakers Pull Plug On Smartphone “Kill Switch” Law

California Lawmakers Pull Plug On Smartphone “Kill Switch” Law

With nearly 3 million phones vanishing — often into the hands of sticky-finger thieves — each year, there has been a recent push to introduce legislation that would require wireless providers to include a “kill switch” functionality in all devices, allowing phone owners to remotely deactivate their devices until, and only if, they are located. But one such bill in California has been thwarted, and supporters are blaming the wireless industry. [More]

Anti-Theft Tools Coming To A Smartphone Near You In 2015

Anti-Theft Tools Coming To A Smartphone Near You In 2015

Last month we told you that a proposed anti-theft kill switch feature for smartphones could save the 1.6 million consumers who are victims of phone theft billions of dollars each year. Well, it looks like that technology is closer than we could have anticipated now that major U.S. wireless carriers and smartphone manufacturers have agreed to introduce similar tools to their products. [More]

Anti-Theft Kill Switch For Smartphones Could Save Consumers $2.6 Billion A Year

Anti-Theft Kill Switch For Smartphones Could Save Consumers $2.6 Billion A Year

Smartphones are a popular target for thieves, in fact nearly 1.6 million phones were stolen in the United States in 2012. The anger knowing that you’ll have to shell out big bucks to replace it is almost comparable to the feeling of helplessness and rage one feels after having their trusty phone snatched away in the first place. But one simple change to all smartphones could lessen those feeling and keep $2.6 billion in consumers’ collective pockets. [More]

(Studio d'Xavier)

Mobile Ads Overtake Porn As Most Likely Way To Get Malware On Your Phone

While malware dressed in pornography’s clothing used to be the most tempting for smartphone users, it’s been overtaken recently by mobile ads, says one online security company in its latest report. Which means that either our big clumsy figures are accidentally hitting things or we’d rather look at ads than naked body parts. [More]

(Mike Matney)

What’s The NSA Using To Spy On You Now? Angry Birds.

The revelations about just how embedded into every facet of modern, technological life the NSA is just keep coming. The spy agency isn’t just collecting calling records and tracking electronics; they’re in your iPhone games, too. [More]

South Korea Has Outlawed Bloatware On Smartphones

South Korea Has Outlawed Bloatware On Smartphones

While Apple has long prevented wireless companies from force-placing cruddy, memory- and battery-sucking apps on its iPhones, most Android users have phones loaded with apps from their wireless providers and phone manufacturers that will probably never be used but which can’t be removed. Realizing that this is a mammoth annoyance to consumers, regulators in South Korea have banned the practice. [More]

Easy Access: Are Virtual Room Keys The Future Of Hotels?

Easy Access: Are Virtual Room Keys The Future Of Hotels?

Smartphones can do just about everything these days: handle your bank accounts, monitor your home for burglaries, and now unlock your hotel room. A chain of boutique hotels is hoping the use of virtual keys will be the next big thing in hotels. [More]