More Android security needed, says ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is lashing out at major U.S. wireless carriers, claiming they have not done enough to patch dangerous vulnerabilities in Android operating software. AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile were all named in the suit filed Tuesday, which calls for action from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. According to the ACLU, the carriers offer Android phones but rarely roll out security updates, a practice that leaves customers at risk of hacking attacks. It contravenes Federal Trade Commission provisions disallowing deceptive and unfair business practices, says the filing, noting customers should have the right to terminate contracts

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Could Wi-Fi/cellular hybrid be the next big thing?

A recent piece in the New York Times by Randall Stross examining a new trend in low-cost mobile phone plans proves to be an interesting read. He takes a look at Republic Wireless and its appealing hybrid Wi-Fi/cellular service, which utilizes Wi-Fi or Sprint’s 3G network when a hotspot isn’t available. With a start-up cost of $259, which includes a dual-band Motorola DEFYV XT smartphone, Republic offers service for just $19 per month, plus applicable taxes, for unlimited talk, text and data. There’s no contract to sign and no overages. Republic – which is owned by Bandwidth.com, which has worked

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BlackBerry comes out swinging at BB10 launch

It proved to be a big morning for Research in Motion, rolling out its new operating system, new smartphones, new branding and a new celebrity representative for the ailing Canadian company. The long awaited launch of BlackBerry 10 took place in New York City, with fans, media, analysts and the curious tuning in to a live stream online. RIM CEO Thorsten Heins was center stage for most of the announcement, with some speculating that if BlackBerry 10 is well received it could prove to be his “Steve Jobs moment.” An impassioned Heins told the audience the new platform has been

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Unauthorized Unlocking of Phones Now Illegal

As of Saturday, it will be illegal for Americans to unlock a smartphone without carrier authorization. Anyone interested in an unlocked phone will have to purchase it that way, without the heavily discounted and highly appealing subsidized price offered when signing on to a carrier contract. It’s all thanks to Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The recent interpretation coming into effect tomorrow means all smartphones must be unlocked via traditional channels. Those who choose to do so through third-party hacks could find themselves before a judge. But it’s unlikely it is law enforcement that will track down offenders. Instead, expect carriers

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Apple ahead in U.S. smartphone market

Apple led smartphone sales in the U.S. for the 12-week period ending Dec. 23, capturing 51.2 per cent of the market, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech fourth quarter data released Tuesday. In second place was Android, with nearly 45 per cent of sales. Microsoft’s Windows phone snagged just 2.6 per cent of the market. Blackberry didn’t even make the list. AT&T topped carrier rankings with 33 per cent of smartphones sold, followed by Verizon, which sold 32 per cent. Sprint was in third with only 14 per cent. “Apple’s continual improvement is thanks to both the iPhone 5 and older

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Sprint pre-paid service launching this month

Sprint is rumoured to be readying itself to launch a new pre-paid service on Jan. 25. Multiple online media outlets broke the news about the company’s new Sprint As You Go plan, offering no-contract phones that include unlimited voice, text, data and voice roaming. Leaked documents indicate there will be no activation, termination or late fees. The plan will kick off with four phones – two smartphones and two feature phones – ranging in price from $50 to $250. Feature phone plans will be $50 per month, while smartphone plans will be $70. However, Evolution Data Optimized (EvDO) roaming will

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Cellular Roaming Can Be Expensive

In January, one of my clients took his family to Florida for a week’s vacation, but he didn’t leave the office at home. He called his office on his cell phone each morning to check in and resolve any pressing problems, and he even made calls during the week to several of his customers.

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