Now playing: Watch this: How to stop robocalls 2:42 People with landline home phones have long suffered unwanted marketing calls. Now these spam calls have made their way to our mobile phones in a big way. If you've noticed a surge in annoying robocalls on your smartphone, you're not alone. An estimated 2.5 billion automated calls are being made each month, according to YouMail, which offers a robocall-blocking app. Three quarters of wireless customers feel like the number of unwanted calls has increased over the past year, and the calls cost Americans an estimated $350 million each year, according to Consumers Union.Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said robocalls are a top consumer complaint. "Americans are mad as hell" that they still get these calls even after efforts by Congress and the FCC to stop them, he said. The FCC gets more than 200,000 complaints each year about unwanted calls. They're not the only ones hearing from us -- the Federal Trade … [Read more...] about Why am I getting so many robocalls?
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Can it be used to spy on me? The Wireless Emergency Alerts that pop up on our mobile screens resemble the Short Message System (SMS) text messages that many of us are used to sending and receiving, but they are actually sent via a different method, in part to avoid network congestion-related delays that can sometimes hinder text and voice messages. They also don't use individual phone numbers or GPS to get to people in the areas affected by an emergency. WEAs are instead sent out via a special cell broadcast wireless carrier channel from cell towers in the affected area. It is a point-to-multipoint system that sends messages to every WEA-capable phone within range of the towers of participating carriers in the entire geographical area designated by the creators of the message. When you are traveling, you should receive alerts appropriate to your current location, not your area of residence, as long as you are roaming on a participating provider's network and have the right phone. It … [Read more...] about Why am I getting Amber alerts on my phone?
Dumplings make me happy. Pixar films make me cry. So right now I’m trapped in a glass case of emotion hearing Disney Pixar’s latest short is about dumplings, and it’s called Bao. Oh god, where’s the Kleenex. The Takeout reached out to Pixar, and they were nice to share a few details: The 8-minute short will premiere June 15, to be shown before The Incredibles 2. And here’s the logline from Pixar (the elevator pitch, if you will), and just reading this is making my black Chinese heart swell: An aging Chinese mom suffering from empty nest syndrome gets another chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings springs to life as a lively, giggly dumpling boy. But Dumpling starts growing up fast, and Mom must come to the bittersweet revelation that nothing stays cute and small forever. Why must Pixar keep toying with my emotions?! For me, the most relatable part is the story of the film director, Domee Shi. She was a story intern for Pixar in 2011 and was … [Read more...] about Pixar’s latest short is about a giggly Chinese dumpling and oh god why am I already crying
I’m standing in the middle of my living room, but my view is of the deck of a ship. I can hear my actual dog as he pants on the sofa I pushed against my wall so I could spin my head to explore my virtual surroundings. He’s obscured by the Oculus Go strapped to my face. I take a step forward in my living room, and sigh as nothing happens on the deck. I’d hoped the company would use its first portable headset to differentiate itself from the smartphone-based VR competition—competition that offers a similar experience making cheap headsets designed with your high-end smartphone in mind. The thing is, the Oculus Go doesn’t really stick the landing. Right now, virtual reality on the cheap requires either a piece of cardboard in which you precariously set your smartphone for some barebones “immersive” virtual reality, or headsets like the Samsung Gear VR line or Google Daydream (headsets with models costing anywhere from $65 to $100), which add a … [Read more...] about Oculus Go’s VR Is Good and Cheap, So Why Am I Still Disappointed?