Mike Mozart

Comcast Customers Report Nationwide Phone Outage

If you happen to be a Comcast voice subscriber and were planning to make a barrage of calls today, you’re probably have a difficult time going about your business. That’s because Comcast appears to have been hit with a wide-ranging outage of its phone service. [More]

Consumer Reports

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Active Fails The Dunk Test

When a product says it’s water resistant, you probably aren’t going to test that claim out yourself (at least not intentionally). That’s why we’ve got the fine folks at Consumer Reports, who recently subjected the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active to a “dunk test” to see if the phone would live up to its watertight claims. [More]

Amazon Selling Android Phones At A Discount, If You Like Ads

Amazon Selling Android Phones At A Discount, If You Like Ads

In the market for a new phone, but don’t want to pay retail? Amazon is offering $50 off unlocked Android smartphones, but that discount comes with a slightly big catch: the e-commerce giant gets to pre-load the device with its own apps and send ads to the lock screen anytime it wants. [More]

(frankieleon)

New York Bill Would Require Drivers Involved In Crashes To Submit Phones To “Textalyzer”

Would a requirement to submit your phone to field testing to determine if you were texting or otherwise using the device before a motor vehicle crash prevent you from engaging in distracted driving? That’s the hope behind recently introduced legislation in New York and a device being dubbed a “textalyzer.”  [More]

Distracted-Dining Is A Thing & Chick-fil-A Is Fighting It With Free Ice Cream

Distracted-Dining Is A Thing & Chick-fil-A Is Fighting It With Free Ice Cream

Walk into just about any restaurant or fast food joint and you’ll inevitably see several diners with food in one hand and their phone in the other. Chick-fil-A wants to change that, and it’ll reward customers with free dessert if they are willing to eat a distraction-free meal. [More]

(J. Williams on YouTube)

Samsung Adds Warning Stickers To Galaxy Note 5 So Owners Won’t Stick Stylus In The Wrong Way

To protect Galaxy Note 5 owners from themselves, Samsung wants to make sure they’re fully warned before they accidentally break their devices: the company is adding stickers to the product’s packaging alerting users that there’s a right way and a wrong way to stow styluses, and doing it incorrectly could do permanent damage to their phones.

[More]

Verizon Announces $20/Month Bill Increase For Few Remaining Unlimited Data Plan Customers

Verizon Announces $20/Month Bill Increase For Few Remaining Unlimited Data Plan Customers

If you’ve been bragging to everyone you know that you’re still part of Verizon’s $29.99/month unlimited data plan, you might want to quiet down just a bit. That’s because the wireless provider is increasing your monthly bill by $20. [More]

(Ben Schumin)

Here’s A Fun Customer Service Idea: Text Walmart For Help From Within Walmart

We’ve often said that it’s not really a good idea to post on social media or e-mail a company while you are physically standing in their store or restaurant, and talking to a person is a better alternative. Here’s a possible exception to that from the TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon: a text-messaging service that uses a combination of bots and customer service chat reps to let you text for help from within Walmart. [More]

Verizon Threatens To Disconnect NJ Landline Customer Unless They Switch To Fiber

Verizon Threatens To Disconnect NJ Landline Customer Unless They Switch To Fiber

Copper wire is expensive and old-fashioned. Phone companies don’t want to maintain or use it anymore. Still, some customers like their reliable old land-lines, and the law creates certain obligations for phone companies to provide and maintain them. But Verizon is apparently so sick and tired of providing plain old telephone service that they’re threatening to disconnect customers who don’t “voluntarily” upgrade to fiber A.S.A.P.

[More]

Upgrade Your Smartphone At Any Time With T-Mobile: With A Few Catches

Upgrade Your Smartphone At Any Time With T-Mobile: With A Few Catches

Early upgrade programs have been the hot trend in the phone business in the last few years: while carriers want to get out of the subsidized handset business, they realize that customers want a way to get the shiniest new handsets without paying the hundreds of dollars that those handsets cost at retail. T-Mobile now wants to put even newer and shinier handsets in customers’ hands through a change to their Jump program. [More]

Cats are notorious for not heeding warnings about potential dangers of jailbreaking iPhones. (J)

Apple Working On Fix For Text That Instantly Crashes iPhones

It sounds like something out of a horror movie…if mobile phones watched horror movies. A certain string of Arabic characters, when sent to an iPhone, can crash the device and force it to restart immediately. It’s a hilarious prank, but also a nasty security flaw that could disrupt important phone calls. [More]

(YouTube)

Let’s All Watch A Kid Be Totally Confused By A Pay Phone

Listen, it’s Friday. We’ve all had a long week. There are only a few hours separating us from the weekend, so to make this last sprint toward freedom more enjoyable, why not watch the younger generation fumble to understand outdated technology? It’s something we always enjoy.

[More]

(Kenny Lannert)

Putting Your Phone In Your Back Pocket May Also Be Bad For Your Butt & Back

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the last year, it’s that some phones can bend if put under enough pressure. But in addition to possibly putting an unwanted curve or crack in that expensive telecommunications device, stashing a phone in your back pocket may result in a literal pain in the butt. [More]

Sprint Set To Make House Calls With Launch Of “Direct 2 You” Service

Sprint Set To Make House Calls With Launch Of “Direct 2 You” Service

Like doctors of yore carrying black bags filled with tools straight to an ailing person’s bedside, Sprint is rolling out its own version of the house call with a new service needlessly employing numerals instead of letters, “Direct 2 You.” Roving Sprint workers will be on the road to customers in need of help upgrading their phone, transferring information to a new device and recycling old phones.

[More]

Scott Akerman

Report: Apple Could Accept Android Phones As Trade-Ins

If you’re interested in witching to Apple smartphones and want to trade your old device in at an Apple Store, until now, you’ve been out of luck. That might be about to change, since word is out on the street that Apple might deign to accept Android phones as instant trade-ins at their retail stores. [More]

(bryan bope)

Mobile Companies Leaping To Sell You A New Phone — With A New Contract — On Black Friday

Is your phone getting old? Has it met with the unfortunate confluence of liquids, young children, and boisterous pets lately? If you’re in the market for a replacement or upgrade, it looks like Black Friday might be your day… as long as you’re willing to sign a contract.

[More]

(Van in L.A.)

Cops: Suspected Phone Thief Called 9-1-1 Because Victim Wouldn’t Leave Her Alone

Who do you turn to when some stranger is harassing you, refusing to leave you alone? The police, of course. But perhaps not, if the reason this person won’t stop bothering you is that you happened to steal his phone just moments before. Ah, life lessons. [More]

41% Of U.S. Homes Are Now Wireless-Only

41% Of U.S. Homes Are Now Wireless-Only

Ten years ago, only about 1-in-20 American homes were cellphone-only. By 2010, that rate had soared to 1-in-5. And according to the newest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of U.S. homes that have ditched landlines completely has doubled since 2010, and now stands at 41%. [More]