Photo credit: Twitter
You may have never heard of the Cellebrite UFED (Universal Forensic Extraction Device), but it’s used by the police, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, etc. on smartphones, memory cards and more. Typically, current models cost around $15,000, but cybersecurity researcher Matthew Hickey managed to pick up several UFEDs from eBay for just $100 each. He found details on what phones law enforcement officials searched, when they were accessed and the data retrieved. Read more for a video showing how it works.
Priced at $400 and more than many unlocked smartphones, the Punkt MP02 is designed as a mobile detox device offering only the most basic of features. In addition to calling and texting, this 88g device boasts 4G LTE connectivity, WiFi tethering for your tablet/laptop, microUSB charging, and a simple display with an anti-reflective coating. “I founded Punkt to offer a viable alternative for those feeling overwhelmed by the advanced technologies that have pervaded modern lifestyles. If anyone wants to talk to me, they can give me a call. Other forms of communication, for example email or social media, are available when I choose to use them – and via a linked device that allows me to use them more effectively,” said Petter Neby, founder of Punkt. Read more for a detailed hands-on video, additional pictures and information.
If you’ve ever been in extremely cold weather and tried to use a mobile phone, it probably shut down or could not be turned on. This is because Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries used in all iPhones and most other smartphones do not allow charging below freezing temperatures. “Low- or high-temperature conditions might cause the device to change its behavior to regulate its temperature. Using an iOS device in very cold conditions outside of its operating range might temporarily shorten battery life and could cause the device to turn off,” said Apple. Read more for another video and additional information.
For those who have never heard of Visible by Verizon Wireless, it’s basically an app-based carrier that offers unlimited data up to 5Mbps (speed cap), messaging, and minutes for just $40 a month. Today, they announced device sales which include the latest models of Samsung (Galaxy S9 and S9+) and several iPhone models, all of which can be activated at no extra cost on the network. Plus, Visible service is now compatible on select Android models, “with more devices available in the coming weeks and months,” said the company. Read more for a video review of the Visible service and additional information.
Photo credit: NoMoRobo
Whether if you’re on a landline or purely wireless, Verizon will soon offer their third party rated number one spam and robocalling protection features to all customers for free – previously they charged $3/month for Call Filter service. “We are continuously updating our algorithm and to date have identified nearly 300 million numbers associated with spam and robocalling. In March, we will be rolling out our free spam alerting and call blocking tools to all of our wireless customers whose smartphones support these features, including iPhone and Android devices,” said the company in a press release. Read more for another video on stopping robocallers and additional information.
The Droid Razr M is an Android-based, 4G LTE-capable smartphone that was released in 2012, now Lenovo could be bringing the RAZR back as a $1,500 foldable mobile phone that could be launched as early as February, according to the Wall Street Journal. It’s reported to be priced around $1,500, and could look similar to the Royole FlexPai or it may work like the RAZR V4 concept, where the top half folds down when not in use. There’s no word yet on what kind of processor, camera, RAM, storage, etc. it would have, but at that price point, it should at least compete with Samsung’s upcoming foldable phone. Read more for a video of the foldable Motorola V4 and additional information.
Vitaminwater says they’ll pay you $100,000 to ditch your smartphone /tablet for a year, and it does requires entrants to go a full 365 days without using their device(s), as well as anyone else’s. The selected person will have to sign a contract committing to no smartphone usage for the duration of the contest, and if they are discovered to have followed this strict rule, the prize money will be rewarded. To enter, entrants are required to post a photo on Twitter or Instagram telling Vitamin Water why you need a break from your smartphone by January 8, 2019, with the hashtags #nophoneforayear and #contest – the winner will be selected on January 22nd. Read more for another news report and additional information, including “the catch”.
California’s public utilities commission is set to vote to approve taxing text messages next month, so sending texts and emojis could soon cost you more on top of your monthly bill. This new proposal aims to expand the public programs tax to text messages, while others argue that some service wireless carriers — the ones who bundle services — already charge the proposed tax on texting. To be more specific, many wireless carriers bundle services and charged a fixed rate, so those consumers already pay a surcharge on the cost for their texts. However, for plans structured with separate costs for voice and texting services, this would be a new surcharge. Read more for a news report and additional information.
NTT DoCoMo’s KY-O1L by Kyocera has been named a “card phone,” and rightfully so. This credit card-sized device is touted as the world’s thinnest and lightest cell phone, measuring in at 5.3mm thick, while weighing a mere 47g. It features a 2.8-inch monochrome e-paper screen, LTE connectivity, and a 380mAh battery. Continue reading for three more pictures and additional information.
For just $89, the MAKERphone is an Arduino-based, DIY mobile phone kit that comes disassembled, and once completed, it aims to teach even novices more about programming (Python, Scratch, etc.) as well as basic electronics. The device itself sports a GSM module, dual-core processor, 128×160 pixel color LCD display, antenna, sound module, and yes, a headphone jack. Continue reading for more pictures, information and the Kickstarter page.