The opening ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics may be in one year, but the medal designs have just been unveiled. Nearly 80,000 tons of mobile phones as well as electronic devices were collected from all around Japan, and will be used in the handcrafting every gold, silver and bronze Olympic and Paralympic medal awarded to athletes at next year’s games. There expect to be approximately 5,000 medals handed out between the two games. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Frontier Communications is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the first ever flip-phone, so the Utah-based ISP decided to offer $1,000 to someone willing to ditch their modern smartphone for a week. There are a few requirements for the winner, and they include recording how long it takes them to do simple tasks such as texting, sending emails, how much sleep they get, and whether their productivity increases during the experiment. Read more for another video and additional information on how to enter.
Sure, scratching your face, especially near the ear area, can sometimes be mistaken for cell phone usage from afar, but this man was at the wrong place and time. While driving down the road in Jinan, eastern Shandong province, the man in the picture received a notification stating that he’d broken the law by talking on a phone while driving, and attached was a surveillance photo of the offense. Even after stating his case, he received two penalty points on his license and is required to pay a 50 yuan ($7.25) fine. Read more for the full uncropped image and additional information on the outcome.
Before 1973, mobile telephony was limited to phones that were equipped in cars and other vehicles. Motorola was the very first company to develop a handheld mobile phone. On April 3, 1973, Motorola engineer Martin Cooper made the first mobile telephone call from handheld subscriber equipment, placing a call to Dr. Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs, his rival. Thie prototype handheld phone he used weighed 2.4 lb and measured 9.1 by 5.1 by 1.8 in. It boasted a talk time of just 30 minutes and took 10 hours to re-charge. Read more for another video explaining why it was an epic troll, along with a bonus clip.
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.