smartphones

Expensive Airways

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Think our airwaves are free? Guess again. They may be invisible but are worth billions.

According to The Wall St. Journal, the Federal Communications Commission's auction of wireless spectrum licenses has collected at least $34 billion in bids, turning a sleepy affair into a windfall for taxpayers and an enormous commitment of capital for carriers.

What's behind this incredible demand is your addiction to smartphones that let you wirelessly watch YouTube videos, stream music and share photos. The Journal describes the spectrum as lanes on a highway. Wireless carriers buy licenses from the Government to use it, and when growing traffic leads to congestion, the have to acquire more.  read more »

Upgrading Walmart

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Time to update your smartphone; head to the world's largest retailer.

Earlier this week Walmart announced a new trade-in program to help people pick up the latest gadgets on the market. Beginning September 21st people can receive credit for their used, working and undamaged smartphones. That credit can then be used towards the purchase of a newer model.

Turning in an Apple iPhone 5 can score you $300, $175 for a Samsung Galaxy S3 and $52 for a Samsung Galaxy S2. The trade-in program will be in effect at 3,600 Walmart and Sam’s Club locations all across the U.S. The only catch is that participating customers need to enter into a two year contract for their new phones with AT&T, Verizon or Sprint.  read more »

Feeling Your Phone Calls

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A watched phone never rings; unless you know it’s coming.

The cell phone company Nokia has issued a patent for a material that can be attached to human skin. That material would then vibrate to alert you of an incoming phone call or text message. The company first applied for the patent last September.

It says the material works by detecting a magnetic field that increases when your phone is about to go off. The material will then transfer a stimulant; similar to a vibration to your skin; and you will know exactly when someone is trying to reach you. The creator of the patent says the idea behind the material is similar to that of a tattoo; expect for the fact that you can remove it.  read more »

Tracking Technology

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Rumors are flying that your favorite handheld gadget is tracking your every move. And now congress is tracking them.

About a week ago reports surfaced that Apple’s iPhone and iPad were tracking your movements. Supposedly the latest operating system is compiling and storing the history of everywhere you go. Apple’s Steve Jobs told the Wall Street Journal it’s never transmitted the precise location of devices to the company, but said the phone’s database does create a list of the cell phone towers and Wi-Fi hot spots you connect with. They do admit there are a few bugs to work out with the new system and that this should be done within a few weeks.  read more »