All Articles Tagged "cell phone"

SCOTUS Says Police Need A Warrant To Search Your Cell Phone

June 26th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court has said that, in most cases, the police need a search warrant if they want to take a closer look at your mobile device. The decision rested largely on the ubiquitous nature of cell phones these days; everyone has one, and our reliance on them and the info they provide is worthy of privacy consideration. Moreover, they contain more than just phone numbers and a log of conversations. The content on a person’s mobile phone nowadays is very personal.

“The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the (country’s) Founders fought. Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cellphone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple – get a warrant,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in the decision.

The High Court acknowledged that the decision could put a monkey wrench in some law enforcement efforts. Still, a poll conducted by Reuters and Ipsos found that 60.7 percent of people agree with the decision. And there were plenty of privacy advocates who were also happy to hear the news.

On the other hand, some in law enforcement lamented that it will make their jobs more difficult as technology increasingly becomes part of the criminal enterprise. Still various departments of justice have promised to adhere to the ruling.

“Privacy comes as a cost,” Justice Roberts continued.

Fastest Man In The World Goes…Mobile? Usain Bolt Becomes Cellphone Game Character!

August 4th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Life is good when you become a character in one of th most popular cell phone games in the world.

No, we’re not talking about Candy Crush.

Usain Bolt, the Jamaican track star widely known as the “fastest man in the world,” has reached a new goal: a character in Temple Run 2.  The wildly successful game for Android and Apple devices is a racing game that travels through woods, over hills, on side ramps and yes, through temples.

Bolt is known for being a huge fan of the game and, in fact, he holds one of the highest scores with 28 million points. According to EURweb, he’s super excited about his new role. He said:

“It’s an honor to be a part of such an established game.  Many of my fans have told me that I should be a playable character in Temple Run, so when this opportunity was put before me, I had to say YES!”

This isn’t the first time he’s been offered to star in some type of game but so far, this is the one that’s felt right to him.

Usain Bolt’s Temple Run 2 character costs 99 cents to unlock but it is only available for a limited time.

Are you a fan of the Temple Run games?

There’s An App For That: Top 15 Health And Wellness Must-Have Apps

March 29th, 2013 - By Kelly Franklin
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Most of us feel off track without our cell phones constantly connected to us, so it only makes sense to keep healthy living apps on your mobile device to keep you on track with your wellness goals. There are countless health and wellness apps — many of them free– for you to choose from whether you have an iPhone, Android, etc.  With so little time on your schedule, it’s a lifesaver to be able to access apps for a quick workout or to log your food intake for the day. So check this app list below to see which you should download next to make your life simpler.

Cell Phone Sales Company Says Americans Have $33.8 Billion In Old Mobiles Sitting Around

February 22nd, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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Shutterstsock, a company that sells cell phones, and a company called OnePoll say Americans have $33.8 billion worth of old mobile phones sitting around in their homes. About 20 percent of people say they haven’t sold the old devices because they’re “lazy.” And another 20 percent are worried about personal information getting out.

According to Business Insider, there are three options for dealing with old cell phones: sell them through a company like or Amazon; bring them in to your service provider for a discount on an upgrade; or donate them to a charity like Verizon Hopeline, which not only gives the phones to victims of domestic violence (it helps them contact emergency services when they need them) but is better for the environment than throwing it in the trash.

The top three most recycled phones last month were the iPhone 3G 8GB ($47 value), the iPhone 3GS 16GB ($83 value), and the iPhone 4 16BG ($175 value). So when you’re ready for that next phone, if you’ve got an iPhone 4, you could cut a big chunk out of the price of that upgrade.

Blame It On The Alcohol: Naomi Campbell Says She Isn’t To Blame For Her ‘Old Self’

January 27th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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One thing we know for sure, or hope to be true: It’s never too late to learn a lesson. In this case, Miss “Queen of the Runway” has come to realize that liquor has been the root of almost all of her problems.

Well, that’s what she wants us to believe.  Naomi Campbell told Life & Style magazine that she’s convinced that alcohol is the reason she’s been so miserable for so long and has acted out, according to SF Gate. In the interview, she says:

“If people think they know me, they can think again. Most people think they know me because they say, ‘We’ve seen your pictures here and there for years,’ but when I’m not working or anything, I try to live a private, quiet life…

“I gave up drinking alcohol. Not drinking makes me a lot happier.”

Now, if any of you have had the unfortunate circumstance of dealing with someone who suffers from alcohol abuse, then you know that it does make you do things you may not ordinarily do if your head was a bit clearer. Campbell, however, isn’t admitting to any alcohol abuse – she’s just saying that she stopped because it wasn’t helping her at all.

I wonder if any of the people who were victims of her tirades, 10 documented cases between 1998 and 2008, can find it in their hearts to forgive her for her actions since the blame should be placed on “the Goose” or “the Henny.”  Let’s be honest: she settled most of those cases out of court so all was probably “forgiven” when the checks cleared.

These days, Naomi is spending her days traveling the world. Her billionaire boyfriend, Vladisdav Doronin, has bought her multiple homes around the world and they’re often photographed aboard his yacht.

Ah yes, life must be good.

Tech Talk: Flexible Mobile Phones Could Be Here Next Year

November 30th, 2012 - By Tonya Garcia
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Afraid to drop your phone down a flight of steps? Worried that something inside your bag is going to crack your cell’s screen? Soon, these concerns could be a thing of the past.

Scientists are hard at work on a mobile phone that’s flexible, literally able to bend and twist to avoid calamity. Samsung, Nokia, Sharp, and LG are just some of the company with phones in the works.

According to the BBC (which also has images), the technology — e-ink — is already available in things like the first Amazon Kindle. But then, the surrounding casing had to be stiff. Companies have also been unable to find a way to mass produce these bendable items.

Products made with the new flexible material will be replacing glass and other hard materials with plastic. Samsung is treating the issue with special urgency, pushing to make items available in 2013. However, The Wall Street Journal wasn’t able to determine whether these are items that will be sold to the masses or just commercially. But, according to the paper, “Samsung hopes it will be first to bring the product to the market.”

Would you buy one?

Digital Lockdown: Protect Yourself From Cybercrime

September 10th, 2012 - By Ann Brown
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Image: Creatas

Cybercrime is up. In fact, according to the annual Norton Cybercrime Report, cybercrime cost consumers more than $20.7 billion during the past year and 71 million Americans were victims in the last 12 months.

“Cybercriminals are changing their tactics to target fast-growing mobile platforms and social networks where consumers are less aware of security risks,” says Marian Merritt, Norton Internet Safety Advocate in a press statement.

The latest victims were millions of Apple users, which could affect iPhone and iPad owners. Reports CNet, “An online hacker group associated with Anonymous claims to have posted 1 million Apple Unique Device Identifiers (UDIDs) by breaching FBI security… In all, AntiSec claims to have obtained more than 12 million UDIDs, including user names, addresses, and notification tokens from a laptop used by a FBI agent.”

If you have an iPhone, WECT offers steps to take to check your device.
•    Plug your device into your computer.
•    Open iTunes.
•    Click on the device name on the left hand side of the screen. This will bring up information about your device on the right.
•    Click “Serial number.” This will change it to “Identifier: UDID.”
•    Enter the first five numbers of your UDID here. If it comes up red, read the rest of the numbers and see if they match yours. If they do, your device information was released and you should change your iTunes password to make sure your information is safe.

Cybercrime can attack almost any of your digital devices. You need to be especially vigilant on social media networks, says Toi Barnhardt, associate publisher of Women of Color in Technology and Business, but there are ways to help guard your accounts from hackers. Barnhardt advises:

•    Change your password.  Make your password “strong” using symbols and upper and lower case letters.

•    NEVER give apps permission to access your Facebook account. It’s not worth it…ever. Never sign-in or register to websites using Facebook or Twitter’s “connect” buttons.

•    Be cautious of the Facebook friend requests you approve. Some of those accounts have only one goal and that’s to spam you. Also never click on suspicious links. They are ALWAYS spam links. They can sometimes clone your account and post as you so your friends think the spam is coming from you.

•    And most importantly: Go into your Facebook account and elect to use the “https” secure account.

If you are a victim of cybercrime, you need to take immediate action says Barnhardt.

•    On your PC: Download a free anti-virus program called Avast. When you install Avast, it will automatically reboot your computer and do what’s called a “Boot-time Scan” to capture and eliminate all the viruses and corrupted files before they “turn on” and start further infecting your computer.

•    On you cell phone, install a free app called LookOut. It will routinely perform virus scans on your cell phone and protect it from malicious activity. If you lose your phone or if it’s stolen, LookOut will also turn on its tracking device and email you its location. Plus, it will automatically turn on its camera (even if the person who stole you phone powers your phone off) and snap pictures for you and emails those pictures to you so you can see its surroundings… hopefully getting a pic of the thief.

For  cybercrime prevention tips, check National Cyber Security Division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

*Update: Turns out that Apple hacking was a hoax, but that doesn’t diminish the importance or the threat.

From Video Games To Nonstop Text Messages, What I Learned From Dating Guys Too Attached To Their Toys

July 30th, 2012 - By Blair Bedford
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Everyone seems to have their vices that can sidetrack their dating life, whether it’s work, the cell phone or other friends. For some men, it seems like their attention span goes to only one thing in their life at a time, which could be the distraction that strains your connection with him.

The pressures of dating a guy who is constantly distracted by the littlest, useless things (if you ask me), like video games, their cell phone, etc., could say a lot about him at that moment in his life. Take college life as a first example. Dating in college is a whole other ballgame in itself, with its own rules and playing field, but the pressure to feel like you are competing with video games, parties and constant drinking (and possibly drug use) lets off some red flags.

In college, I dated the typical guys who were sometimes just as busy and involved as I was: taking classes, working part-time for the school and heavily involved in extracurricular activities. Even though a lot of those responsibilities took up a lot of my time, I still made time to party and have downtime, just like any college student does. Dating in college when downtime for most guys consists of parties and sitting on the couch all day playing on their Playstation (oh, excuse me, Xbox) can be very trying on the relationship, especially when most of their attention and motivation goes to those “side distractions.” On a more positive note, college can definitely weed out the “real-world” weak from the strong, doing the hard work for you when it comes to dragging that relationship past undergrad and being disappointed when nothing has changed but the video games.

Once I got out into the “real-world” after college, where my career and professional growth became one of my main priorities, I thought that it would be easier to find a guy who isn’t distracted by the menial things, but instead of video games and parties, it was the cell phone and social networking that became the elephant in the room of dating. From answering the phone in the middle of a conversation to checking Twitter, texts and emails all day, the cell phone became the new “video game” in my new “grown-up” dating life. Some were too busy being distracted by every notification on their phone, that a valuable connection only seemed to happen via phone, DM or email, and personal time only occurred between the late-night hours.

From cell phones, to video games, to other friends, distractions seem to plague the dating world in some form or another, but I do not believe all is lost for the attention span of some men. With a healthy balance of work and play, I believe some distractions could be beneficial and not destructive to a relationship, like focusing on a growing career or business (better than a guy not being motivated, not working but still spending a great deal of time on those video games). As I look to find that balance, I hope to find the man who can put his distractions and “toys” aside sometimes to grow up and grow old with me.

What types of distractions are you noticing that men you date have in their lives?

Blair Bedford is a media professional and freelance writer/contributor based out of NYC.  Follow Blair B. on Twitter @BlairsPadandPen.

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Outrage: 7 Men Face Charges For Gang Raping Mentally-Disabled Girl In South Africa On Camera

April 20th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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South Africans are shocked and outraged over a disturbing video of seven teenage boys and young men sexually assaulting a mentally-handicapped teenage girl that has gone viral.

The video, recorded on a cell phone, shows the men gang raping the 17-year-old girl who went missing March 21 and offering her 25 cents to keep quiet.

“The girl can be heard pleading with the boys to stop. They crudely jest and crassly spur one another on,” journalist Mandy Weiner reported.

The accused range in age from 14 to 20 years old and are suspected of holding the girl as a sex slave in a Soweto township. Police found the girl on Wednesday in the home of a 37-year-old man who has also been arrested.

CNN reports that the Daily Sun, a local tabloid, alerted the police after a concerned mother whose daughter was watching the video handed it over to the paper on Tuesday. The mother confiscated her daughter’s phone and a work colleague said they recognized some of the boys and advised her to take the video to the newspaper.

According to Reuters, a front page editorial of the Star newspaper, one of South Africa’s biggest-circulation dailies, labeled the incident “Our Disgrace,” and government spokesman Jimmy Manyi described it as a “barbaric act.”

For as much discussion as the rape has raised, it’s unfortunately not all that uncommon of a crime in the country. Non-Governmental Organizations estimate a woman is raped every 26 seconds in the country. Other estimates say an average of 181 people are raped or sexually assaulted per day.

The men appeared in court yesterday and prosecutors said they could seek life in prison for the crime. They are being held until their next court date next week as the rest of the country continues to react.

“This episode must force us to take a serious look at ourselves and ask: how did we get here?” the Star editorial read. “How did we, as a people, raise monsters who find a joke in this repugnant act.”

Check out a video of CNN’s coverage below.

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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6 Things That Should Not Be Distractions While At Work

April 12th, 2012 - By Blair Bedford
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Spending eight hours a day at work comes with certain compromises: putting other obligations on the shelf, leaving personal issues at home for the day and keeping your focus on the task at hand. For some of us, eight hours of shelving our lives could be problematic, especially when you are keeping up with the kids in case of emergencies, keeping current with the antics of your friends on Facebook and Twitter (or that of your favorite black women’s website *winks*) and looking for your next job opportunity.

As a businesswoman, it’s difficult when our lives and our daily concerns have to take a backseat, but it is necessary at times to get the job done. Keep in mind that these few things should not occupy your time and energy while at work. They could ultimately do more harm to your career than good: