Misconnected: A Personal History of Voicemail

I once played phone tag with a heartbroken stranger. She had the wrong number. She'd call late at night while I was sleeping, I'd miss the call, and she'd be greeted by the grandmotherly voice of AT&T's Pat Fleet, who I let be my generic voicemail message. The woman would leave long messages. I'd try to call back,… » 12/09/14 4:12pm 12/09/14 4:12pm

I Finally Switched to an Off-Contract Phone Plan, and It's Awesome

If you're tired of paying an arm and a leg only to be locked into a contract with Verizon or AT&T, an off-contract or prepaid plan is a great alternative—and it doesn't have as many downsides as you may think. » 11/21/14 12:27pm 11/21/14 12:27pm

Phony Cell Towers Could Be Intercepting Your Data

You wouldn't know an interceptor from an ordinary cellphone tower, there's no way you can. Except that when your phone connects to one, a variety of over-the-air attacks become possible—everything from eavesdropping to pushing spyware on the device. It all happens stealthily, silently. » 9/02/14 8:40am 9/02/14 8:40am

College Students Spend Most of College Looking at Cell Phones

A new study out of Baylor University finds that college students spend an "astounding" amount of time on their cell phones and has researchers warning of cell phone "addiction" (not in a jokey way). » 8/29/14 1:22pm 8/29/14 1:22pm

We Need to Ban In-Flight Phone Calls Before It's Too Late

News recently broke that the Department of Transportation is revving up to try to officially ban in-flight phone calls. That's right; the singular, obscene act of yelling into your hand while careening through the air in a metal tube full of strangers could soon be verboten. Good. It should. It's time to kill the… » 8/05/14 12:38pm 8/05/14 12:38pm

Bad Cell Phone Calls Could Actually Be Tracked to Detect Rainfall

Despite the many wonders of our modern cell phones, using them to call a real live human can kind of suck. The sound is fuzzy, the calls drop randomly, and a simple rainstorm can make it all even worse. But there is surprising upside to all this: we can monitor the quality of cell phone calls to track rain and floods… » 7/25/14 3:23pm 7/25/14 3:23pm

You Can Now Buy the Super-Private Blackphone for $630

Paranoid? Or just privacy conscious? Well, the Blackphone is an Android handset that promises to keep your secrets safe, and now you can buy one for $630. » 6/30/14 7:20am 6/30/14 7:20am

New Senate Bill Could Help You Unlock Your Phone

The murky copyright situation surrounding phone unlocking could get a little bit clearer, thanks to the new and somewhat improved Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, a bipartisan bill in the Senate. » 6/27/14 3:40am 6/27/14 3:40am

How Your Cell Phone Knows Where You Are — Even Without GPS

Nowadays our phones use GPS to let us work out where we are. But mobile phone networks were able to work out where you were long before phones got smart—and this video explains how. » 6/05/14 3:30am 6/05/14 3:30am

I Wouldn't Be Here Without the 1982 World's Fair

On a recent trip home to Knoxville, Tennessee, I had a flashback. Not an acid flashback (I don't think). We were weaving through the hilly streets of downtown in the shadow of the Sunsphere, a discoball of a monument built for the 1982 World's Fair, and suddenly I was there in the crowd, staring at the future. » 4/18/14 12:25pm 4/18/14 12:25pm

Deepsea Minerals Are Coming Soon To A Cell Phone Near You

Rocks mined from the seafloor have been confirmed as a viable source for rare earth metals, and thus a tiny piece of the ocean might soon find its way into a cell phone or computer chipboard near you. The finding, published in the April 2014 issue of Applied Geochemistry, all but guarantees a new round of focus on… » 4/18/14 12:00pm 4/18/14 12:00pm

What Will We Find On Passengers' Cell Phones From Flight MH370?

Bearing in mind that CNN is the same network that suggested Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 might have flown into a black hole, it was nonetheless interesting to hear the network speculate that the cell phones of the flight's passengers might hold an archive of unsent emails, texts, photos, and videos of whatever… » 4/13/14 1:00pm 4/13/14 1:00pm

Watch 30 Years of Mobile Phones Come Together as a Digital Orchestra

What do you get if you take 30 mobile phones and 4 pagers from across the last 30 years, and wire them together with a sound system? An oddly catchy bit of music is what. » 4/07/14 6:30am 4/07/14 6:30am

Report: Google Wants to Become a Wireless Carrier

Google bosses are dreaming about adding wireless service to the search giant's menu of offerings. A couple of unnamed sources "who have discussed the matter with Google" told Amir Efrati at The Information that it would roll out the service in the same areas where Google Fiber is offered. In other words, Google wants… » 4/03/14 11:56am 4/03/14 11:56am

The EU Has Voted in Favour of a Single Universal Mobile Charger

Here's a rare occasion where it may serve us well to copy the Europeans: the European Union has voted overwhelmingly in favor of introducing a single, universal charger for all mobile phones sold across the continent. » 3/17/14 5:00am 3/17/14 5:00am

California Court Says It's OK to Read Maps on Phones While Driving

A California appeals court has made what could be a controversial ruling: it's declared that reading maps on a cellphone while driving is perfectly legal. » 2/28/14 5:00am 2/28/14 5:00am

40 Years of Cellphones in One Minute

Starting with the DynaTAC in 1974 and ending with the iPhone 5s, this wonderful little animation zips through 40 years of cellphones in a little over a minute. » 2/27/14 6:30am 2/27/14 6:30am

Can the NSA Really Send a Drone to Bomb Your Phone?

The world woke up Monday morning to yet more unsettling news about how the NSA is spying on people. This time, though, the repercussions are deadly. » 2/10/14 1:40pm 2/10/14 1:40pm

Want to Avoid the NSA? Use a Cell Phone

Holy crap, the latest NSA report is actually good news—sort of. Despite what you've heard in the past nine months, the NSA only collects information on 20 percent or fewer U.S. calls. Why? Because they're having a hard time figuring out how to tap cell phones. » 2/07/14 12:56pm 2/07/14 12:56pm

It's Insanely Cheap for Cops to Track Your Cell Phone

At this point, nobody's surprised to hear that the authorities can track your cell phone. But what you might not realize is just how easy and how incredibly cheap it is. » 1/10/14 12:00pm 1/10/14 12:00pm