Start the Countdown This pic would be a lot cuter if we didn't know these kids spend almost every waking minute on their phones. Anne Ackermann/Photodisc/Getty Images The average American teenager sends or receives more than 3,300 texts per month. Think about that for a minute. That's more than six texts per waking hour, or more than one every 10 minutes. It's not surprising then, that dealing with kids and cell phones can be exceptionally taxing for parents. Between frequent phone calls, extreme amounts of texting, downloading apps and taking and sending photos, cell phones can cost a lot of money and lead to an almost unbelievable amount of wasted time. Scratch that -- it's only unbelievable to those who have yet to see exactly how much time most kids today really do spend on their phones. So, what to do? You may want to think about introducing reasonable rules to keep your kids -- and phone bills -- in check. It may be a challenge at first, but a set of consistent … [Read more...] about 5 Ways to Keep Your Kids Off Their Cell Phones
It's called "porting out": Thieves use your information to switch your phone number to a new phone with a new service provider, without your phone ever leaving your possession. RapidEye/Getty Images When people talk about phone scams, it's often the variety of fraud that can occur through cold calls to a person's home or mobile device. Like when scammers leave vaguely official sounding voicemails claiming to be Internal Revenue Service agents who need all of your personal information (and probably some form of payment) to close a faux tax audit. Or when some joker calls with the breathless information that you've "won" a free vacation. All you have to do is fork over a couple hundred bucks in "prize tax" to claim a trip that doesn't exist. But as technology advances, scammers are getting more sophisticated. They're increasingly using fraud to take control of people's phones, often without the device ever leaving a victim's pocket. "It's almost the same as having the device … [Read more...] about Porting Out: It’s Phone Fraud 101
Apple's filed multiple patents that deal with adding an infrared system to iOS devices. The idea is that an infrared transmitter at concerts could then disable the camera of any iOS device pointed at the stage. PYMCA/UIG via Getty Images Have you ever gone to a concert only to find you can't see the stage for the sea of smartphones held overhead by the people in front of you? Or popped on YouTube to watch a video taken at a live event, complete with awful sound quality and crowd response? Apple is working to change all that. Apple's solution is to build an infrared system in iOS devices. Essentially, the camera on an iOS device would double as an infrared receiver. A venue or concert promoter could incorporate an infrared transmitter on the stage to send out an infrared signal. Any iOS device pointed at the stage would receive this signal, which would send a command to disable the device's camera. It's not that different from using a remote control to change the channel on a … [Read more...] about Put Those Phones Down, Concertgoers, or Apple May Do It for You
Even the little ones have cell phones these days. RunPhoto/Photodisc/Getty Images Just about everyone today has a cell phone -- even young children -- and many parents actually like it that way. It gives them a way to keep in touch with their offspring, and since many cell phones have GPS, it can even give them the power of knowing where their kids are at all times. The problem is that supplying everyone in the house with a cell phone becomes costly. Is there a way to save on your family's cell phone bill? Most cell phone companies offer family cell phone plans. These plans provide a discount when you sign up everyone in your family with a cell phone to the same account. Each plan has its pros and cons, of course, so it's important to compare plans and service providers to ensure you're getting the best deal for your family's needs. Most family plans -- or shared plans -- let a group of people (usually, but not necessarily, living at the same address) share a monthly allotment … [Read more...] about How to Choose a Family Cell Phone Plan
The first cell phone was larger even than this monster. See more cell phone pictures. © iStockphoto/Thinkstock Do you remember a time when cell phones were rare? Today, it's hard to imagine a world without them. Even if you don't own one yourself, you probably see dozens of people talking on a cell phone every day. The rate at which we adopted the devices is astounding. But who invented them? To get the answer to that question, we need to look back more than a century. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876. And then in 1900, on December 23 on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., an inventor named Reginald Fessenden accomplished a remarkable feat: He made the first wireless telephone call. He was the first to transmit the human voice via radio waves, sending a signal from one radio tower to another. Fessenden's work paved the way for broadcast radio but it also provided the foundation for cell phones and networks. In 1947, an engineer named William Rae Young … [Read more...] about Who invented the cell phone?