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The future that everyone forgot

Apple's WWDC keynote showcased some of the upcoming advancement in their platform, but let's take time to reflect on The future that everyone forgot. Chris DeSalvo, formerly of Danger, talks about the Hiptop/Sidekick and what they did. Such as in 2004 they created a GameBoy Advance + Hiptop phone that never shipped. Chris also went onto Google, worked on Android, and penned another piece of phone-lore: The Day Google Had to 'Start Over' on Android
posted by wcfields on Jun 4, 2014 - 24 comments

John Chen's Plan to Save Blackberry

John Chen's Plan to Save Blackberry Over all, Chen wants BlackBerry to transform itself from being a “mobile technology company” that pushes handset sales to “a mobile solution company” that takes a broader approach to serving the mobile computing needs of its customers. Remaining in the handset business is important—for now, at least. “I think devices are still one component of the solution,” Chen says. “The question is, Do we need to be in the device business? That remains to be seen.”
posted by modernnomad on Feb 24, 2014 - 54 comments

We don't have cameras

This past October, just before the leaves changed, I went on a six-day hike through the mountains of Wakayama, in central Japan, tracing the path of an ancient imperial pilgrimage called the Kumano Kodo. I took along a powerful camera, believing, as I always have, that it would be an indispensable creative tool. But I returned with the unshakeable feeling that I’m done with cameras, and that most of us are, if we weren’t already.

Author and designer Craig Mod asks if we're seeing the end of the non-networked, standalone camera.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jan 3, 2014 - 69 comments

It's coming just that much closer to reality

Curious as to what various legal and intelligence agencies can do with the data they are now currently collecting? They are collecting cell phone locations, there are currently license plate scanning vehicles in many larger cities, and Google Maps will gladly integrate with your location mapping systems to show you what type of business is at your coordinates. All state criminal databases are now nationally available. So the ACLU would like you to know what is going to happen in the possible near future.
posted by Purposeful Grimace on Dec 9, 2013 - 68 comments

Sorry, I didn’t realize you were going to be good

'Before their show in Seattle last month, London four-piece Savages posted a sign around the venue that laid out a couple of ground rules: no Instagramming, no video, no tweets-- in short, "SILENCE YOUR PHONES." This could be seen as a part of a growing trend of bands pointing out how sick they are of looking out into a sea of smartphones rather than human faces (the Yeah Yeah Yeahs posted a similar missive at their recent New York homecoming show), but it felt more like an extension of Savages’ overall manifesto. And no, “manifesto” is not too dramatic a word; especially in contrast with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ sign, which tempered its message with chatty humor, Savages’ fiery imperative read like something hammered onto a door.' --Pitchfork has both a review and cover story on Savages well-named new record "Silence Yourself"
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 7, 2013 - 110 comments

Cell Phone Propaganda Posters

Ted Slampyak has created some helpful etiquette posters for cell phone users. [via buzzfeed] [more inside]
posted by quin on Jan 29, 2013 - 110 comments

Wireless Emergency Alerts debut

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are a new service from U.S. weather service and FEMA. Starting in June, they will send a text message with a strange tone to your mobile device if you are in range of a Tornado Warning, Tsunami Warning or other major event (in the U.S. only). Major events include "Presidential Alerts." You do not need to sign up. Washington Post Capital Weather Gang has a few more details.
posted by LobsterMitten on May 24, 2012 - 62 comments

Memorize a landline number RIGHT NOW

Los Angeles County jails don't post lists to bail bondsmen. You cannot make collect calls to cell phones. Many people don't even have land lines. That combination kept one man in jail for five days. via the hairpin.
posted by insectosaurus on Feb 6, 2012 - 138 comments

"For many tiny, endangered languages, digital technology has become a lifeline."

Everyone Speaks Text Message: [NYTimes] "Is technology killing indigenous languages or saving them? Well, you may soon be able to text in N’Ko."
posted by Fizz on Dec 11, 2011 - 6 comments

Malls track shoppers' cell phones on Black Friday

Shopper Stalking: Starting on Black Friday and running through New Year's Day, two U.S. malls -- Promenade Temecula in southern California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, Va. -- will track guests' movements by monitoring the signals from their cell phones. "It's just not invasive of privacy," said Stephanie Shriver-Engdahl, vice president of digital strategy for Forest City. "There are no risks to privacy, so I don't see why anyone would opt out." (Consumers can opt out by turning off their phones.)
posted by Blake on Nov 23, 2011 - 153 comments

More WHO information on cellphones and cancer

In a shift from its earlier position, the World Health Organization has stated that cellphones "possibly carcinogenic." Full report (PDF).
posted by 4ster on May 31, 2011 - 118 comments

Why a mobile phone ring may make bees buzz off: Insects infuriated by handset signals

Why a mobile phone ring may make bees buzz off: Insects infuriated by handset signals Signals from mobile phones could be partly to blame for the mysterious deaths of honeybees, new research shows. In the first experiment of its kind, a bee expert placed a mobile phone underneath a hive and then carefully monitored the reaction of the workers. Download the full report here: Mobile phone-induced honeybee worker piping.
posted by Blake on May 12, 2011 - 34 comments

Schrodinger's Smartphone

A new paper by William J. Bruno of the Theoretical Biology & Biophysics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory argues that past arguments about the impossibility of biological tissue damage from cellphone signals have failed to consider a quantum effect whereby multiple photons in a small volume can have constructive interference, and that such an effect likely does occur in practice. Synopsis here. (previously) [more inside]
posted by crayz on Apr 28, 2011 - 40 comments

Can You See Me Now?

"The results were astounding. In a six-month period — from Aug 31, 2009, to Feb. 28, 2010, Deutsche Telekom had recorded and saved his longitude and latitude coordinates more than 35,000 times. It traced him from a train on the way to Erlangen at the start through to that last night, when he was home in Berlin. Mr. Spitz has provided a rare glimpse — an unprecedented one, privacy experts say — of what is being collected as we walk around with our phones."
posted by Scoop on Mar 26, 2011 - 45 comments

Real-time cheating

Cheating at exams is hardly new, but last week a user on Yahoo Chiebukuro in Japan (Yahoo Answers) audaciously posted questions online during university entrance exams and received answers before the exams were over. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon on Mar 1, 2011 - 59 comments

Inventions from a Space Lab in Space?

The First Decade of the Future is Behind Us: Blackberries, WikiLeaks, airport scanners, 3D televisions, robot vaccum cleaners, Microsoft Kinnect, private spaceflight and Facebook all look like sci-fi novel elements to Kyle Munkittrick. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Jan 13, 2011 - 83 comments

The Most Popular Phone in the World

This is it. It's not the phone that would win a popularity contest in the U.S., but there are great reasons for it being the most popular phone in the world.
posted by Leta on Oct 20, 2010 - 86 comments

Hey, what's on the radio?

Radio, RIAA: mandatory FM radio in cell phones is the future. 'Music labels and radio broadcasters can't agree on much, including whether radio should be forced to turn over hundreds of millions of dollars a year to pay for the music it plays. But the two sides can agree on this: Congress should mandate that FM radio receivers be built into cell phones, PDAs, and other portable electronics. The Consumer Electronics Association, whose members build the devices that would be affected by such a directive, is incandescent with rage. "The backroom scheme of the [National Association of Broadcasters] and RIAA to have Congress mandate broadcast radios in portable devices, including mobile phones, is the height of absurdity," thundered CEA president Gary Shapiro. Such a move is "not in our national interest." "Rather than adapt to the digital marketplace, NAB and RIAA act like buggy-whip industries that refuse to innovate and seek to impose penalties on those that do." But the music and radio industries say it's a consumer-focused proposition, one that would provide "more music choices."' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Aug 16, 2010 - 96 comments

Not Just For Crackpots Anymore!

The 185 billion dollar a year cell phone/wireless communication industry is coming under increased scrutiny due to health concerns by some decidedly non tinfoil hat wearing parties. Earlier industry funded studies are also being more closely examined as many early adopters of cell phones are getting tumors at an alarming rate. And where does everybody's favorite, the ipod, sit? This is funny.....Apple actually advises you on page 7 of their product information guide to....well....not hold the thing up to your head. Or your body. But that's okay, cause the Evo, which doubles as a wi-fi hotspot, is about to hit. Good times!
posted by jake1 on Mar 26, 2010 - 105 comments

The Economist: The World in 2010

In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year, NATO may lose in Afghanistan, the UK gets a regime change, China needs to chill, India's factories will overtake its farms, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum, the stimulus will need an exit strategy, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2", African football will unite Korea, conflict over natural resources will grow, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable), technology will grow ever more ubiquitous, we'll all charge our phones via USB, MBAs will be uncool, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world. And so the Tens begin.

The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 14, 2009 - 60 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

The Present and Future of Mobile Phones

Jan Chipchase is employeed by Nokia in the "corporate anthropology" field, but he considers it "design research," as he's not an anthropologist by training. His work covers researching how people modify their phones in China, India, Ghana, and elsewhere, adding features or extending battery life. He also tracks how cellphones are associated with personal identity and how they are playing roles far from urban and suburban centers. In some locations, cell phone numbers are written above doorways for identification, when there is no official map or organization for streets. He also blogs about his experiences, and his most recent post, he covers the rise of "Super Fakes." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 3, 2009 - 16 comments

"Everyone has this strange archiving addiction now. It's like they're trying to pin a butterfly to a corkboard."

Are cellphones ruining concerts? If they're not going off in the middle of a performance, they're constantly strobe-lighting the musicians. Of course, there are plenty of other ways you can ruin a concert.
posted by The Card Cheat on Jun 10, 2008 - 150 comments

Digital telepathy?

Nerve-tapping neckband used in 'telepathic' chat A neckband that translates thought into speech by picking up nerve signals has been used to demonstrate a "voiceless" phone call for the first time. Video. The technology has previously been demonstrated for guiding a wheelchair with thoughts. Company website.
posted by MythMaker on Mar 15, 2008 - 33 comments

"We understand that your data is private and sensitive."

'Thanks to FlexiSpy, I finally figured out my wife was cheating on me with my brother,' he claims. 'My life is so much better.'
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Sep 3, 2006 - 27 comments

Blue Note Records to release ring tones of jazz music

So What?
posted by persona non grata on Jul 26, 2006 - 32 comments

Can you hear me now?

Retrobrick sells those old giant clunky cell phones we still called "car phones." To anyone old enough to remember them, it's a little scary to think they are desirable antiques now. Too bad they aren't as sweet as these photoshop fantasies. For a little history, Martin Cooper's account of making the first cell phone call, 33 years ago, on the streets of NYC (to his rival at Bell Labs.)
posted by CunningLinguist on Jun 22, 2006 - 18 comments

The apocalypse is coming

Myspace goes into the cell phone business. For $85/month you can take as many photos as you want with your Myspace-branded camera phone and upload them to your Myspace home page. (Take that, LiveJournal!)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste on May 2, 2006 - 30 comments

Cellphone shorts

Cellfilms. Ithica College in New York is hosting the Cellflix Film Festival, and has asked students between 13 and 20 to submit 30-second movies shot entirely with their cell phones. They have narrowed down the nearly 200 entries they received to 10 finalists that can be found here. (My votes to the shadow puppets and the progression of life.)
posted by onlyconnect on Jan 27, 2006 - 11 comments

The Inconsiderate Cellphone Company

Ringtones are a growing concern and not just when people don't shut them off. Jamster is a weekly ringtone subscription that advertises to kids on channels like Nick and MTV. Kids are attracted to crazy frogs like a magnet and are using the service without parental permission. Now Britain is launching a new inquiry into Jamster's business practices. And lawyers in California filed a class action lawsuit against the company. But Jamster isn't just some fly-by-night operation trying to milk as much money from kids as they can before regulators crack down. Jamster is owned by VeriSign.

It's also a fair question whether it's worth paying 3 bucks for a few seconds of a song that sounds like a player piano, when it costs less than a buck to get the whole thing on the web (especially now that that crazy frog is a single). Why can't you just pay the 99 cents or whatever to get the song on your phone?
posted by kenneth on Jun 29, 2005 - 77 comments

I'll stick to AskMe, thanks.

AskGod.com Forget Jeeves. For $25 a month, you can soon call a googling "angel" from your mobile phone with questions. According to the press release (pdf): "Soon, with the coming of Ask God, the prayers of all the data-starved will be answered and the prophecy of information on-demand will be fulfilled." In a country caught in the grips of religious mania, is this smart marketing or tone deaf? And with the web increasingly on our phones already, who's going to pay for this?
posted by CunningLinguist on May 27, 2005 - 87 comments

Art for your phone.

Cell phone art is here. Not to be confused with art by or about cellphones, Wooster Collective is offering art for your cellphone. The project is designed to raise money for young artists, "in much the same way that a songwriter can earn money from radio play."
posted by grapefruitmoon on Mar 28, 2005 - 1 comment

Mobile Porn Ban?

Will mobile phone porn be banned before reaching the mainstream? Startup Companies as well as established veterans alike have been itching to make a buck from the mobile market. Will they ever get the chance? Not in Israel.
posted by analogue on Mar 3, 2005 - 30 comments

mobile mobile phone

Keitai Vyuun! - but is it really the best invention ever? I say "no".
posted by 13twelve on Feb 22, 2005 - 8 comments

The Portable Cellphone Booth

The Portable Cellphone Booth (imbedded .mov)
posted by johnj on Jan 3, 2005 - 8 comments

Mobile-phone radiation damages lab DNA

Mobile-phone radiation damages lab DNA. Sure to be controversial and certainly not the last word, but it raises some interesting points of conversation. Government surveillance becomes much easier with wireless communications and there is a huge corporate financial investment in the infrastructure. Could we really trust the government(s) to tell us if this particular technology was harmful? And at what point would you give serious consideration to giving up a technology that had proved to be such an intrinsic part of your life? Are you addicted beyond the point of no return?
Other media carrying the story via Google News.
posted by spock on Dec 21, 2004 - 28 comments

Cell Phones

Cell Phone users beware Dec 15th 2004 is the deadline According to the National Do Not Call List, you have until Dec. 15th 2004 to get on the national "Do not call list" for cell phones. They said that you need to call 1-888-382-1222 from the cell phone that you wish to have put on the "do not call list" to be put on the list. They also said you can do it online. Registering only takes a minute, is in effect for 5 years and will possibly save you money (definitely frustration)! Make sure you register now!
posted by Gooney on Dec 7, 2004 - 38 comments

Drunk? Horny? No Booty Call for You!

The Anti-Booty Call Cell Phone
Because good judgment, heavy intoxication and raging libidos rarely go hand in hand, a new phone from Virgin will allow you to selectively "turn off" phone numbers you might be likely to dial while in a drunken and horny stupor. Thus saving you the embarrassment of calling your ex and instead sending you over to her place because you think her phone's busted.

On second thought, maybe this phone isn't such a great idea.
posted by fenriq on Nov 30, 2004 - 22 comments

Blowup bears and cell phones?

What do you get when you cross Big Urban Games (see also here) with semacodes? I'm not sure, but it seems to look like this. (via gizmodo)
posted by gwint on Oct 29, 2004 - 3 comments

Just Keeping Track

The Army are tagging honey bees to find UXBs. Now technology lets you silently locate mobile phones in the UK. Now you don't need to be 007 or Austin Powers to track someone. Is tagging offenders the soft option? How could someone already be watching you?
posted by DrDoberman on Sep 30, 2004 - 3 comments

Do they have tap roots?

FraudFrond: There are over 32,000 cell phone towers in the U.S. disguised as fake trees, how many can you find? [via]
posted by falconred on Sep 25, 2004 - 17 comments

landline, schmandline.

Hold the phone. You probably already know that many Americans are ditching their land lines in favor of cell phones:
It is part of a generational shift to wireless, says Leap's chief executive, Harvey White. "Our demographic is younger, and when people start a household today they simply never bother to get a land line."
But were you aware that pollsters don't call cell phones? Media saturation, changes in communications technology, and missed demographics (americans abroad, for example) seem to make polls increasingly irrelevant. (first link via e-v.com)
posted by whatnot on Sep 17, 2004 - 21 comments

Escape-A-Date!

Stuck on a horrible date? Cingular Wireless to the rescue!
posted by braun_richard on Aug 4, 2004 - 33 comments

Damn Right

Who's the teenage supersleuth with the superpowered cell phone who catches all the crooks? Ketai Deka.
posted by ursus_comiter on Jul 30, 2004 - 7 comments

Duff Calling

Sure it looks just like just another promotional site for a movie, but then you realize that you can send phone messages from Hillary Duff. And sure, that seems lame at first but these are personalized messages that involve names and characteristics like "braces" or "big head." It really CAN be very amusing.
posted by adrober on Jul 15, 2004 - 20 comments

Cheaters' days are numbered

Dial-A-Cheater "proved what I couldn't. After he answered the call I scheduled, I asked him who it was. He lied. I totally busted him out. He was cheating with my best friend!" Kill the illusion of joy with a cell phone (and $1.95 USD).
posted by LinusMines on Apr 14, 2004 - 18 comments

Sky Ear

Sky Ear will be a one-night event in which a glowing "cloud" of mobile phones and helium balloons is released into the air so that people can dial into the cloud and listen to the sounds of the sky. The cloud will be made of one thousand large helium balloons each responding to the electromagnetic environment (created by distant storms, mobile phones, police and ambulance radios, television broadcasts, etc.) with coloured blue, red and yellow lights.
posted by schoolgirl report on Apr 9, 2004 - 22 comments

You can't do that with an XBox

Sidetalkin provides humorous photos that force us to ask the question: Has Nokia's NGage redefined phone ergonomics or simply provided a humorous diversion for a slow Friday afternoon?
posted by donovan on Dec 5, 2003 - 14 comments

Cell Phones And The Sense Of Place

Where Are You? Are You Sure? Are cell phones robbing us of our sense of place? (More inside.)
posted by MiguelCardoso on Nov 17, 2003 - 48 comments

mini-movies

Coming to a phone near you. The creative entries you'll see here fit not only the small screen size, but the on-the-go nature of mobile use. Entries typically run up to 3 minutes. All are sized and purposed to work in small handheld formats. Flash, live action, 3D animation, its all here at the World's Smallest Film Festival.
posted by Grod on Oct 27, 2003 - 3 comments

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