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Who is really listening?

An international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) is a unique number, usually fifteen digits, associated with Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network mobile phone users. An IMSI catcher is a device, used by the NSA drone program, the police, criminals, Chinese spammers and spies all around Washington DC and the world to spoof the identity of a GSM cell tower and intercept cellular voice and data communication. They come in all sizes and flavors, from tiny or body-worn professional surveillance devices, to easy to order off the shelf solutions, to Chinese DIY (links in Chinese) and have spawned efforts to retaliate with an IMSI-catcher-catcher. IMSI-catcher technology has become increasingly widespread, with far-reaching constitutional and technical implications.
posted by T.D. Strange on Sep 22, 2014 - 13 comments

Text Neck

Texting can be a real pain in the neck (and what to do about it)
posted by aniola on Sep 21, 2014 - 8 comments

"That Saturday was really a normal Saturday, like any other Saturday,"

In This Horror Film, Blood Is All Too Real [New York Times] ‘Terror at the Mall’ on HBO documents an Attack in Kenya.
One year ago, gunmen from the Shabab militant group in Somalia laid siege to the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Armed with AK-47s and grenades, they stalked their victims from a gourmet burger restaurant at the entrance to the vegetable aisle of a grocery store at the back. The British filmmaker Dan Reed assembled thousands of hours of footage gleaned from more than 100 security cameras inside the mall, video from television crews and modest cellphones, as well as still photographs. Then he and his team tracked down more than 200 people and interviewed 82 of them on camera, many survivors or their rescuers.
[more inside]
posted by Fizz on Sep 17, 2014 - 2 comments

The Founding Fathers Would Have Protected Your Smartphone

The Supreme Court has unanimously reversed (large PDF) the California Court of Appeals in Riley v. California, deciding that police cannot search the contents of a phone without a warrant during an arrest, and that "the fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 25, 2014 - 57 comments

The Most Inclusive Mobile App Platform. Ever.

Dumbsto.re [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 6, 2014 - 22 comments

Read this on your infinity machine

What Good Is Information? - "The internet promised to feed our minds with knowledge. What have we learned? That our minds need more than that" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 25, 2014 - 24 comments

"Yeah, I Saw That Online."

9 Steps For Dating Like a Cowardly Drone
posted by The Whelk on Mar 10, 2014 - 94 comments

Full Spectrum Warrior

Inside the new arms race to control bandwidth on the battlefield [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 6, 2014 - 23 comments

The Selfie Olympics

The best athletes in the Selfie Olympics (origin) [more inside]
posted by nooneyouknow on Jan 4, 2014 - 74 comments

Inside the fall of BlackBerry

Inside the fall of BlackBerry: How the smartphone inventor failed to adapt. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Sep 29, 2013 - 108 comments

Don't put your phone on the dining table...

The guardian of the nation’s etiquette, Debrett’s, has now issued a handy 10-point guide to mobile (cell) phone etiquette in the digital age
posted by Mister Bijou on Sep 5, 2013 - 122 comments

Make sure to like, comment and subscribe.

I Forgot My Phone (SLYT)
posted by 2bucksplus on Aug 23, 2013 - 74 comments

Crazy like a texting fox

Fox steals cell phone. Fox sends texts with stolen cell phone. Cuteness ensues. [Cached version] [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Jul 27, 2013 - 45 comments

A case for justice: the trial of George Zimmerman

One year ago, America was gripped with controversy over the Florida shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, who claimed he was shooting in self-defense under the "Stand Your Ground" statute, while many believe the shooting, subsequent police inaction, and even the court actions had racial undertones - given Martin was black and Zimmerman Hispanic. Now, furor somewhat quieter, the trial is beginning, with startling (and occasionally hilarious) presentations and demands from each side, including cellphone photos and texts from Martin's phone showing drugs and someone holding a gun, which the defense claims the prosecutors withheld, a list of words Zimmerman's attorneys want not to be used during the trial, which include any mention of racial profiling, and a (rejected) request that all 500 potential jurors be sequestered until their selection. [more inside]
posted by corb on Jun 13, 2013 - 290 comments

15 Quadrillion Dollars

The comment period for the DRAFT Wireless code [PDF] to address some cellular provider abuses is expiring soon (February 15th). Comments can be made here. Highlights of the draft code include: [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Feb 12, 2013 - 17 comments

"Your app's anti-piracy module, it's not working"

An iOS application developer has come up with an extreme way of fighting software piracy—by auto-posting "confessions" to its users' Twitter accounts. "...Enfour, the maker of a variety of dictionary apps, is auto-posting tweets to users' accounts to shame them for being pirates. But the auto-tweeting seems to be affecting a huge portion of its paid user base, not just those who actually stole the apps." Follow-up. A personal account: Can’t spell “pirate” without “-irate”: on DRM and punishing the customer [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 29, 2012 - 74 comments

Verizon: Can you track me now?

Verizon draws fire for monitoring app usage, browsing habits: Verizon Wireless has begun selling information about its customers' geographical locations, app usage, and Web browsing activities. The company this month began offering reports to marketers showing what Verizon subscribers are doing on their phones and other mobile devices, including what iOS and Android apps are in use in which locations. Verizon says it may link the data to third-party databases with information about customers' gender, age, and even details such as "sports enthusiast, frequent diner or pet owner." [more inside]
posted by jaduncan on Oct 16, 2012 - 19 comments

listening in

"Maintaining this level of surveillance is very burdensome for companies. According to the letters, AT&T has more than 100 full time employees assigned just to handle law enforcement requests, Verizon has 70, and Sprint has a whopping 226. That’s a lot of people power devoted solely to surveillance." Mobile Phone Surveillance by the Numbers.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 9, 2012 - 38 comments

Can You Jam With The Console Cowboys In Cyberspace?

Around 1992 Mondo 2000 magazine asked: "R.U A Cyperpunk?"
posted by The Whelk on May 24, 2012 - 123 comments

UK Police to practice their own form of "phone hacking"

Met Police to extract suspects' mobile phone data [BBC] The Metropolitan Police, covering Greater London, are set to expand their search powers by making it standard practice to swipe contact details, call logs, and texts off of the mobile phones of anyone in custody - and retain that data - regardless of whether the suspect ends up charged with a crime or not. Clearly not everyone is over the moon about this, seeing it as the latest sign of the steady erosion of communications privacy in the UK and a potential breach of human rights law.
posted by LondonYank on May 17, 2012 - 43 comments

Mrs Dunbar called

A study of mobile phone records shows according to Professor Robin Dunbar (of Dunbar's Number), that women drive romance, that they phone their spouses most until their daughters are old enough to have children, and that we may be heading for a renewed matriarchy.
posted by Segundus on Apr 19, 2012 - 33 comments

You got Facebooks in my Instagrams

A picture is worth a thousand words and a billion dollars. Facebook has bought Instagram for $1 billion in a combination of cash and shares of Facebook. This is striking for since Instagram was valued at $500 million last week, though, right before the purchase they raised $50 million in venture capitol showing they have the ability to raise lots of money quickly. Instagram is notable for having 30 million users despite having been iOS-only until recently creating an Android app. Facebook had been rumored to be working on a photo sharing app, however, like Microsoft buying Skype, the user base was may have been real value, not the easily replicable technology. For those that rue this news, there are alternatives to host your sepia toned cell phone pictures.
posted by wcfields on Apr 9, 2012 - 84 comments

#Help, #sheep #missing.

Twitter is being used as a crime-fighting tool by a tech-savvy village chief in Kenya. Francis Kariuki, the administrative chief of Lanet Umoja, has used the micro-blogging site for everything from tracking down missing sheep to stopping home invasions.
posted by infini on Apr 5, 2012 - 10 comments

Wirele$$tap

These Are The Prices AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Charge For Cellphone Wiretaps. After a flurry of public records requests to over 200 police departments, the ACLU has obtained a trove of documents detailing police tracking of cell phone location, call logs and more, including a price list for subscriber information from every major US carrier. [more inside]
posted by indubitable on Apr 3, 2012 - 35 comments

Deedl-ee-doo-doo, deedl-ee-doo-doo, doodl-ee-doo-dee dee.

What do you do when your viola recital gets interrupted by someone in the audience getting a call on their cellphone? Improvise.
posted by scalefree on Jan 24, 2012 - 26 comments

Marimba, meet Mahler

An incessantly ringing iPhone in the front row prompted NY Philharmonic conductor Alan Gilbert to halt last night's concert. [more inside]
posted by underthehat on Jan 11, 2012 - 373 comments

A Call to Action

After investigating a tragic crash involving two school buses and a third passenger vehicle in Missouri last year the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended this week that state and local governments ban all forms of cellphone communication while driving, including texting and talking using handsfree devices. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Dec 15, 2011 - 131 comments

Bearded dragon lizard playing Ant Crusher on cellphone

Bearded dragon lizard playing Ant Crusher on cellphone. (SLYT)
posted by swift on Dec 14, 2011 - 31 comments

And won't hubby have a time when he has to carry one!

This marvel of technology is both a mobile phone (with a flip-top case!) and a portable music player, a fashionable item that modern women will want to carry around the streets. The recommended accessories are an umbrella and a fire hydrant, because it's 1922. From the vaults of British Pathe (see also). [more inside]
posted by elgilito on Oct 16, 2011 - 58 comments

The cellphone goes really retro

The Portable Rotary Phone is an original black rotary-dial phone that has been modified to be a cellular phone.
posted by storybored on Jul 7, 2011 - 51 comments

I had that darn cell phone just a minute ago...

Where's My Cell Phone? Can't find your cell phone? No one around to call it for you? This may help.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies on Apr 23, 2011 - 42 comments

Please step away from the cell phone, Sir.

Should Cops Be Allowed to Scan Your Phone During a Traffic Stop? In Michigan, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a complaint [PDF letter here] alleging that Michigan State Police officers used forensic cellphone analyzers to snoop in drivers' cellphones during routine traffic stops. [Before they fulfill an ACLU FOIA request, the MSP wants a $272,340 deposit up front to cover their costs of retrieving analyzer data, which is obtained without the cellphone owner's knowledge.]
posted by cenoxo on Apr 19, 2011 - 97 comments

"We went to fight with flags.... Gadhafi forced us back to the stone age."

Shortly after the unrest in Libya started, the country was cut off from the internet, cell phone infrastructure was limited and used to send SMS messages calling on subscribers to attack foreigners, and satellite phones were jammed. In response, engineers have recently re-routed some of the national cellphone network to make a new system, Free Libya. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 13, 2011 - 15 comments

AT & T & T-Mobile

AT&T has announced plans to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom, creating the largest wireless provider in the United States. [more inside]
posted by ofthestrait on Mar 20, 2011 - 159 comments

Court: No Warrant Needed To Search Cell Phone

"If you get arrested in California, better hope there are no incriminating texts or e-mails or sensitive data stored on your phone. On Monday, the California Supreme Court ruled [PDF] that police in that state can search the contents of an arrested person's cell phone." [more inside]
posted by ericb on Jan 5, 2011 - 87 comments

Small digital cameras, the web and the crowd.

With video cameras becoming increasing smaller, cheaper and ubiquitous, questions are arising about the use of them on multiple levels, from governments monitoring their citizens, to private citizens keeping an eye on government and each other. [more inside]
posted by nomadicink on Nov 12, 2010 - 83 comments

Google Greenscreen

"With Google Mobile, you can search for things nearby without entering your location. Just type or speak what you're looking for." [more inside]
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis on Sep 29, 2010 - 31 comments

Through an RDF, darkly

"That stainless steel band that runs around is the primary structural element of the phone. And there are these three slits in it. It turns out, this is part of some brilliant engineering which actually uses the stainless steel band as part of the antenna system... it's never been done before. And it's really cool engineering!"
Less than three weeks after Steve Jobs announced the iPhone 4's (previously) revolutionary signal-boosting design, the internet discovers a fatal flaw that causes calls to drop when the bottom-left corner is touched. Jobs personally offered one customer a solution via email: "Just avoid holding it in that way." Apple's marketing department apparently didn't get the memo. [more inside]
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis on Jun 25, 2010 - 230 comments

I've created a flash monster

Flash Mobs Take Violent Turn in Philadelphia
[H]undreds of teenagers have been converging downtown for a ritual that is part bullying, part running of the bulls: sprinting down the block, the teenagers sometimes pause to brawl with one another, assault pedestrians or vandalize property. . . . The flash mobs have raised questions about race and class. Most of the teenagers who have taken part in them are black and from poor neighborhoods. Most of the areas hit have been predominantly white business districts. In the flash mob on Saturday, groups of teenagers were chanting “black boys” and “burn the city,” bystanders said.
Bill Wasik is not proud.
posted by grobstein on Mar 25, 2010 - 70 comments

Hello? Can you hear me now?

Karsten Nohl and a team of fellow researchers has cracked the 64-bit encryption used in 80% of the world's GSM phones. Nohl had previously cracked the encryption in the MIFARE smartcard system, demonstrating that the encryption on that device can be cracked in approximately no time whatsoever. These, of course, aren't the first gaping holes in cellphone security to come to light; indeed, lack of security seems to be part of the design spec. Perhaps all new cellphones should be just be distributed with a deck of cards.
posted by kaibutsu on Dec 28, 2009 - 51 comments

Cellphone users and clowns

"Using a cell phone while walking is so distracting that people are likely to miss a clown riding a unicycle."
posted by needled on Oct 20, 2009 - 68 comments

Damn, there's too much static.

No Signal - A montage of cellphones in horror movies. [more inside]
posted by flatluigi on Sep 24, 2009 - 24 comments

Near Space Photography Under $150

With the integration of cameras, GPS receivers, and more into cellphones, many people take for granted the lightweight, energy efficient technology in their pockets. MIT ties all that tech together to a weather balloon in Project Icarus, where for $150 a prepaid cellphone becomes a high-altitude near-space camera.
posted by mccarty.tim on Sep 15, 2009 - 15 comments

Lower Your Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation

So, cell phones emit radiation. But how much does yours emit? Compare over 1,000 different cell phones and smartphones.
posted by amro on Sep 10, 2009 - 202 comments

it's got a good ringtone and you can dance to it

Korean cell phone ads blur the line between music videos and ads. "Lollipop" from popular idol group Big Bang and newcomers 2NE1 was created to advertise LG cell phones and topped various Korean music charts in the process, even while government-owned broadcaster KBS refused to feature the song in its music countdown show because it was a jingle and not an actual single or album release. "Amoled", from Son Dambi and After School, was created to advertise Samsung's Amoled touchscreen phone. [more inside]
posted by needled on Aug 24, 2009 - 31 comments

Cell time for cellphone drivers?

“We’ve spent billions on air bags, antilock brakes, better steering, safer cars and roads, but the number of fatalities has remained constant,” said David Strayer, a psychology professor at the University of Utah and a leading researcher in the field of distracted driving. “Our return on investment for those billions is zero,” he added. “And that’s because we’re using [cellphone and messaging] devices in our cars.” [more inside]
posted by storybored on Jul 19, 2009 - 179 comments

Lex Nokia

There's been quite a stir in Finland about the world's biggest cell phone maker, Nokia, after it was alleged yesterday that politicians had been pressured by the company in order for a law on electronic surveillance of its employees would to be passed. The company denies threats to leave the country if email monitoring laws are not introduced. Electric Frontier Finland is considering taking the case into the ECHR.
posted by keijo on Feb 2, 2009 - 17 comments

Don't be micro-bored

Ever spend a few moments during the day idly mucking about with your cellphone? You're part of a new trend known as micro-boredom - which now presents "a significant opportunity for a publisher to exploit readership and advertising consumption". Get away from the bombardment of advertising and find some sacred space, or just turn off the phone.
posted by divabat on Dec 30, 2008 - 30 comments

OCR for your blood

A modified cellphone will revolutionize medicine in the Third World, improve your health, and maybe even make your one-night stands much less nerve-wracking.
posted by orthogonality on Dec 21, 2008 - 24 comments

Tiny Concerts

Composer Max Richter's newest work, 24 Postcards in Full Colour, is a series of ringtones.
posted by 1f2frfbf on Nov 18, 2008 - 6 comments

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