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German Politician Exposes Personal Data Gathered by Cell Phone Companies

Looking for another reason to feel paranoid about your privacy? German politician Malte Spitz may have found one. Spitz recently sued his mobile provider, Deutsche Telekom, in order to obtain data that the company had collected on his own whereabouts. Deutsche Telekom complied, and handed over all the geographic information it had gathered over a six-month period. As it turns out, the provider ...

Amazon Launches Appstore for Android, Apple Files Lawsuit

Amazon launched its own Android app store today, despite facing legal challenges from Apple. The Amazon Appstore will provide a new way for Android users to purchase apps for their mobile and tablet devices, while offering a few features unique to Amazon. Because the online retailer already enjoys a strong consumer base, Amazon will be able to integrate its own marketing and recommendation t...

AT&T Buys T-Mobile: What Does It Mean for Consumers?

In the largest deal the wireless industry has seen since 2004, AT&T has agreed to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion in cash and stocks. In acquiring T-Mobile from parent company Deutsche Telekom, AT&T will pick up an extra 34 million wireless customers, and will provide service to about 43-percent of all U.S. cell phones, making it the country's largest network operator. At the end of 201...

New Facebook Mobile App Brings the 'Book to People Without Smartphones

Facebook launched a new mobile app today, geared exclusively toward the many people who don't have a smartphone. The so-called 'Facebook for Feature Phones' app can run on more than 2,500 basic devices from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG and other manufacturers, and offers instant access to the site's most popular features. With the new app, users will be able to easily scroll through their news feeds, ...

Cell Phone Banking Takes Off in Developing Countries

Most of us rely on our cell phones to stay in touch with our friends, check our e-mail or play Angry Birds. But, in less economically developed parts of the world, mobile technology hasn't just created a new avenue for instant communication, but an entirely new banking sector, as well. Mobile banking first took off in 2001, when phone operators Globe and Smart both began offering mobile payment...

Facebook Updates Mobile Platform, Offers 'Deals' and Single Sign Ons

At the Facebook Mobile Event earlier today, Mark Zuckerberg took the stage at the social network's HQ to discuss all things mobile. Zuck started by announcing updates to the iOS and Android mobile apps, and continued by "jammin'" through the site's updates, primarily consisting of improvements to the tagging and Places features. The Android Facebook app (developed in-house) marks the first time P...

Glasses-Free 3-D Cell Phone From India Costs Under $100

An Indian cell phone company has released a phone that displays its interface, images and videos in 3-D without requiring glasses. The M-67 3D phone from Spice Mobility features a 2.4-inch, 240x320-pixel screen, and costs under $100 (4,299 INR) without a contract. While the phone can display in 3-D (engaged by a toggle button on the phone), it doesn't sport a 3-D camera. However, if you're really...

20-Cent 'Cloud Phone' Offers Mobile Service for Poor

Share Plenty of people are using cell phones today, but many of the world's poorest mobile users don't actually have their own phones. Instead of shelling out $25 (or more) for their own personal handsets, many impoverished users simply purchase one phone, and share it amongst their friends or family. It may be a cost-efficient way of connecting to the world, but it isn't exactly convenient, nor ...

Man Drops Cell Phone in Toilet, Gets Arm Stuck While Trying to Retrieve It

We all feel a certain degree of attachment to our phones, but most people probably wouldn't be willing to stick their arms down a public toilet to retrieve their submerged cells. This anonymous guy from China, however, is apparently not "most people." After dropping his phone in a toilet (not as rare an event as you'd think) in China's Jiangsu province, the man decided to go fishing for it with...

200,000 Text Messages Are Sent Every Second, U.N. Agency Says

Today, as you're well aware, is World Statistics Day, and to commemorate the occasion, the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has released a statistical report (PDF) that shows just how hyper-connected the world is today. Perhaps the most intriguing statistics, however, are those pertaining to global mobile subscriptions and text-messaging trends. According to ITU, the ...

U.N. Says Mobile Phones Can Help Alleviate Poverty

The plight of poor countries is an issue that has always puzzled economists and policymakers, and one that has spurred a centuries-old debate. Some argue that the road to economic development begins with a solid public health system, others believe it begins at public education, and a handful of high-profile theoreticians claim that throwing enough money at a country will always be enough to "shoc...

Chinese Cell Phone Buyers Now Required to Show ID, Passports

As part of a cracked-out crackdown on mobile privacy, China now requires all of its citizens to register their personal information before buying cell phones. As Reuters reports, the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will now require anyone buying a cell phone to show ID cards, with foreign purchasers having to show their passports. According to the China Daily newspaper, ...

Visa and Bank of America to Test Paying via Cell Phones On-the-Go Next Month

Earlier this month, AT&T and Verizon announced a joint venture to test a new system that would allow customers to pay for products with their smartphones. Now, Bank of America and Visa have followed in their footsteps, and, as Reuters reports, will begin testing their own smartphone-payment system next month.The test run, which will take place in New York from September through the end of 2010...

Shopkick Wants to Reward You For, and Track, Your Shopping Habits

Advertisers and retailers have been looking for new and unique ways to leverage the recent influx of GPS-enabled smartphones in attracting customers and gathering important information about their shopping behaviors. Foursquare introduced some new ideas, but retailers wanted to take it a step further. Enter Shopkick. The new app turns shopping (and violating your privacy) into a game that, retail...

AT&T May Be Right: Smartphone Customers Underuse Mobile Web

An uproar ensued when AT&T discontinued its unlimited data plan last month, and the company defended itself by arguing that 98-percent of its customers never used more than the 2GB allotted by the DataPro plan. Turns out, AT&T might even have been understating its case against the unlimited plan if the numbers from a new Nielsen study are to be believed. Nielsen has been tracking the m...