Tag Archives | Cell Phones

Cellphones Gain Population In Prisons,Though Banned

Photo: United States Department of Homeland Security employee confiscating a cellphone during a pat-down inspection

Photo: United States Department of Homeland Security employee confiscating a cellphone during a pat-down inspection

What do prisoners do for fun? Play games on Facebook, text their friends, and organize strikes via their smartphones. Though prisoners are locked up and cut-off from the outside population, they are finding ways to become and remain part of the digital society. The New York Times reports:

A counterfeiter at a Georgia state prison ticks off the remaining days of his three-year sentence on his Facebook page. He has 91 digital “friends.” Like many of his fellow inmates, he plays the online games FarmVille and Street Wars.

He does it all on a Samsung smartphone, which he says he bought from a guard. And he used the same phone to help organize a short strike among inmates at several Georgia prisons last month.

Technology is changing life inside prisons across the country at the same rapid-fire pace it is changing life outside.

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Former Jet Blue Flight Attendant Steven Slater Becomes Rapper

Jet Blue flight attendant, Steven Slater, received time in the spotlight aboard a flight for quitting his job and exiting on an inflatable slide. However, his fifteen minutes of fame didn't seem to be enough. In a country where fifteen minutes can be stretched into 3 seasons worth of fame, he has now decided to become a rapper. Line 2, a cell phone app that provides in-flight texting ability on airplanes that have Wi-Fi, has formed a contract with Slater. Steven Slater's rap single, "I'm A Rapper Bitches":
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What’s That Itch?!? Go Ahead And Pee On Your Phone to See If You Have an STD

CellphonesWelcome to our brave new world. (I’d like some soma, please if I ever have to do this…) Denis Campbell writes in the Guardian:

Mobile phones and computers will soon be able to diagnose sexually transmitted diseases under innovative plans to cut the UK’s rising rate of herpes, chlamydia and gonorrhoea among young people.

Doctors and technology experts are developing small devices, similar to pregnancy testing kits, that will tell someone quickly and privately if they have caught an infection through sexual contact.

People who suspect they have been infected will be able to put urine or saliva on to a computer chip about the size of a USB chip, plug it into their phone or computer and receive a diagnosis within minutes, telling them which, if any, sexually transmitted infection (STI) they have. Seven funders, including the Medical Research Council, have put £4m into developing the technology via a forum called the UK Clinical Research Collaboration.

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Cell Phone Time Traveler In Charlie Chaplin Film?

With the DVD release of Charlie Chaplin's 1928 film The Circus, people have noticed a puzzling detail: a woman passing through the background of this scene appears to be speaking on a cellphone. Could she be a time traveler? The whole thing is even more unsettling than Chaplin's toothbrush mustache.
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Flirting in the 21st Century, Brett Favre Style

Brett Favre in 2006.

Brett Favre in 2006.

Via the First Church of Mutterhals:

Everyone knows I’m not exactly keen on manners. But in some ways I am downright old fashioned. For instance, if a man I was vaguely acquainted with took a liking to me and decided the best way to win my favor would be to forward a hastily snapped pic of his, oh, how should I put this, his wang; well let’s just say there is a very short list of people who could get away with such a thing without my taking out a restraining order.

You know where I’m going with this. Proving once and for all that he is a congenital retard, Brett Favre did the above to a comely female member of the sporting press, thusly taking a bad idea and making it monumentally worse. I know, I know, allegedly. Brett Favre allegedly stuck his cell phone down his shorts and allegedly snapped the most unspectacular and tepid alleged dong pictures I have ever had the displeasure of seeing.… Read the rest

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Facebook is Building an Android-Based Smartphone

Reports are surfacing of a Facebook-backed smartphone running Google’s Android system, built by INQ (who also manufactures a phone for Skype). GigaOm’s Om Malik says he’s been aware of the project “for quite some time,” and Bloomberg News reported that Facebook Inc. will release two AT&T smartphones in 2011, first in Europe and then in America. (Adding that 25% of Facebook users access the social networking site with their wireless devices.)

“Like some people would love to have a Hello Kitty phone or a Batman phone, there are undoubtedly buyers waiting with bated breath for a phone that says Facebook on it…” notes one technology blog. “The buying public seems to be entranced with the idea of the phrase ‘Facebook phone’ so rumors persist.”

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The Genocide Behind Your Smart Phone (Video)

Alan Mascarenhas writes on Newsweek:
It takes a lot to snap people out of apathy about Africa’s problems. But in the wake of Live Aid and Save Darfur, a new cause stands on the cusp of going mainstream. It’s the push to make major electronics companies (manufacturers of cell phones, laptops, portable music players, and cameras) disclose whether they use “conflict minerals” — the rare metals that finance civil wars and militia atrocities, most notably in Congo. The issue of ethical sourcing has long galvanized human-rights groups. In Liberia, Angola, and Sierra Leone, the notorious trade in “blood diamonds” helped fund rebel insurgencies. In Guinea, bauxite sustains a repressive military junta. And fair-labor groups have spent decades documenting the foreign sweatshops that sometimes supply American clothing stores. Yet Congo raises especially disturbing issues for famous tech brand names that fancy themselves responsible corporate citizens. A key mover behind the Congo campaign is the anti-genocide Enough Project: witness its clever spoof of the famous Apple commercial.
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Man Arrested for Photographing Cop Who Followed Him Into His Home

No Cell Phones!Rosa Golijan writes on Gizmodo:
We've discussed the legality of recording on-duty police officers in the past, but that was in the context of public streets. What if the officer you're photographing followed you into your home — without just cause? A man named Francisco Olvera found out what happens when he was arrested for "illegal photography" by an officer in Sealy, Texas: Olvera says the trouble started when Alderete responded to a complaint of loud music coming from his home. In front of the home, Alderete asked Olvera to show identification and as Olvera walked into his house to get it, Alderete followed him in. "Olvera did not believe that Alderete had the authority to enter Olvera's residence and, therefore, took a picture of Alderete using his cell phone," the complaint states. Olvera claims that Alderete saw a can of beer on a kitchen counter, next to Olvera's wallet, and immediately handcuffed him.
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Cellphone Camera Performs Background Checks on Your ‘Future’ Facebook Friends

Via h+ magazine:
A new "Augmented Reality" app uses facial recognition software to instantly match faces viewed through an Android smartphone camera to that person's social network profiles. "Point your phone's camera at someone nearby, and Recognizr measures facial features, builds a 3-D model, and sends the resulting signature to a server. If your subject has uploaded their photo and profile information, you'll see their name and icons that link to their profiles on Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo!, Twitter, Flickr, etc., all floating around their face!"
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Mexico May Cut Millions of Cellphones to “Fight Crime”

From Reuters:
Tens of millions of Mexicans could find their cellphones disconnected this weekend if the government goes ahead with a new law meant to fight crime by forcing people to register their identities. Advertisements on government radio and television have been urging Mexicans for weeks to register their cellphones by sending their personal details as a text message, but on Thursday 30 million lines remained unregistered as the Saturday deadline neared. Analysts said that any related losses for Mexico's largest wireless operator, America Movil, would be tiny relative to the company's overall sales. Still, America Movil, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, is urging senators to extend the deadline for implementing the law, passed a year ago to try to stop criminals from using cellphones for extortion and to negotiate ransoms in kidnappings.
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