Items tagged with Text Messaging

Google began rolling out its new SMS text messaging protocol earlier with month, with features powered RCS by (Rich Communication Services). This is intended to deliver a richer messaging experience. And it does, though the rollout is not going without a hitch. Unfortunately, telecoms are doing a poor job implementing the RCS standard, leaving Android users vulnerable to security threats. To be clear, this is not a failure on Google's part. Security Research Labs (SRLabs) has only found issues in how telecoms are rolling RCS out, rather than the protocol itself. Part of the problem is that part of the standard is undefined. Companies can therefore deploy it in their own ways, and that is where... Read more...
Remembering when texting messaging was generally capped, and it would cost extra to go over your monthly allotment? For the most part, cellphone plans come with unlimited texting these days, though residents in California may still have to pay a bit extra as a part of a proposed tax on text messaging. Say what? That's right folks, California has this kooky idea that a text messaging tax will fly with residents. And it might, depending on how it gets implemented. Rather than taxing individual text messages, or a set number of texts, the proposal calls for a predetermined fee to be added to a user's monthly cellphone bill. The purpose of the tax is to fund programs that subsidize phone service... Read more...
If you own one of Samsung's Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9 Plus smartphones a wild bug making the rounds is leaving customers on edge. Reports indicate that some users have seen the default messaging app randomly send photos from their gallery to contacts without their knowledge. One impacted user claims that the Samsung device sent the entire photo gallery to their girlfriend. Another user from reddit reported that the device had sent photos to his wife. The photos are being sent out over the stock Samsung messaging app. The particularly odd thing about this bug is that there is no record that the photos are being sent out left on the phone according to the Reddit user. There is a record, however, in... Read more...
You can never be too cautious when it comes to security, and for that reason turning on two-factor authentication (when available) is typically a good thing. Unfortunately, Facebook has decided to abuse the feature by spamming users who enable the added security measure with notifications of what's happening in the world of social media. That is not the intent of two-factor authentication, and quite frankly, it's complete bull spit that Facebook is doing this. The issue was brought to attention by Gabriel Lewis, a software engineer "with a passion for technology, design, and entrepreneurship." In a Twitter post, Lewis explains that he signed up for two-factor authentication, after which he began... Read more...
Nearly a billion text messages are sent every hour, and that does not take into account app-to-app messaging. Overall, some 8 trillion (yes, TRILLION!) texts are sent each year, which again does not include app-to-app messages. For better or worse, texting has become a part of everyday life, and it all started 25 years ago on December 3, 1992, when a programmer named Neil Papworth wrote "merry Christmas" on a computer and sent it to a mobile phone belonging to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis. Papworth's text message is the considered the first SMS ever. Looking back, it's pretty interesting that Papworth spelled out "Christmas" rather than shortening it to "Xmas," a fact he is quick to point... Read more...
WikiLeaks has published another set of leaked documents from the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). This latest leak is part of WikiLeaks' Vault 7 batch and details a malicious app for Android devices called HighRise. Also called TideCheck, this app allows a remote hacker to redirect or intercept SMS text messages that are sent to a target's cellular phone, and have those communications forwarded to a remote web server.This appears to be an old tool that was used by the CIA, or at least the version described in the leaked documents is an older piece of malware. The accompanying manual is dated December 16, 2013, and describes a tool that was designed to work on mobile handsets running... Read more...
The mobile industry has lost a giant. His name is Matti Makkonen, and though that might not be a name you're familiar with, you probably use a technology that he helped pioneer -- text messaging. Known as the father of SMS, Makkonen passed away at the age of 63 from an unspecified illness. Sad indeed, though his legacy lives on.Though he's known as the father of SMS, Makkonen was quick to point out that he alone wasn't responsible for text messaging. There were other engineers involved, and he gives special credit to Nokia for helping to make texting so popular."The real launch of the service, as I see it, was when Nokia introduced the first phone that enabled easy write of messages (Nokia 2010... Read more...
We've long heard about the dangers of text messaging while behind the wheel, yet according to a survey conducted by AT&T, it's still the most prevalent activity by those who admit to engaging in smartphone activities when driving. And how many admitted such behavior? Seven out of 10 surveyed, a staggering number made even more frightening if you consider that some might have been too embarrassed to fess up. Either way, knowing that at least 70 percent of drivers use their smartphones while navigating the streets in metal boxes on wheels that weigh thousands of pounds is unsettling at best. And here's the thing, even though texting tops the list of smartphone activities that drivers just can't... Read more...
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, ruled that Apple must face a U.S. federal lawsuit related to iMessage and its interception of SMS text messages when users switch from an iPhone handset to a phone on another platform, such as Google's Android operating system. In such cases, if the user didn't disable iMessage before making the switch, text messages would never reach their new phone. The plaintiff, Adrienne Moore, is seeking class-action status and unspecified damages, Reuters reports. In the suit, Moore claims that by intercepting her text messages, iMessage and Apple ultimately interfered with her contract with Verizon Wireless for wireless service after switching earlier... Read more...
Apple is doing iOS defectors a solid by making available a simple web tool that simplifies the process of freeing up their SMS text messages from being tied to iMessage, Apple's proprietary messaging service. Without doing so, users who switch over to a new phone on a different mobile platform, be it Android, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry, may not receive incoming text messages. It's been a nightmare for some people who didn't heed Apple's advice to deactivate iMessage before jumping over to a different platform. In those cases, the easiest way to restore text messaging order would be to grab hold of their iPhone device, re-insert the SIM card, and deactivate iMessage. However, that obviously... Read more...
Go ahead and check one more state off the list of where you're not allowed to text message while driving. New Mexico is catching up with the majority of the country with a ban intended to prevent distracted driving that goes into effect tomorrow (Tuesday), after which offenders will be hit with a $25 fine for the first violation and $50 fine for subsequent infractions. New Mexico's ban states that a person shall not read or view a text or manually type on a mobile communication device while driving a motor vehicle, the only exception being to contact emergency help. The law applies to all drivers. "A lot of vehicle complaints we receive about people being drunk, when we contact them, they aren't... Read more...
Imagine that you're a 911 dispatcher and you receive a text message that reads, "OMG, sned hlp nao! Its an emergency! no joke, lol!" That's something emergency responders are going to have to figure out, because as of now, all four major wireless carriers in the U.S. -- Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint -- are offering text-to-911 service in select areas. It's easy to see the logic behind the move. After all, nearly everyone owns a mobile phone these days, and if you're in a situation where making a voice call just isn't feasible -- perhaps you're locked in a closet as a burglar paces back and forth deciding what to do with you, or you've been tied up and gagged but can still reach your... Read more...
We're all aware of the dangers of texting and driving -- it's generally not wise to take your eyes off the road when barreling down the freeway encased in a hunk of steel and glass -- but what about texting and walking? There's at least one medical professor out there who believes that walking and text messaging is even more dangerous than distracted driving. According to Dietrich Jehle, professor of emergency medicine at the University of Buffalo, texting and walking is responsible for more injuries per mile than driving and texting. "Pedestrian injuries are particularly dangerous because there's no protective area surrounding you when you're hit by a car. We always view pedestrian injuries... Read more...
It's rather annoying having to sidestep a fellow pedestrian on the sidewalk who's paying more attention to his mobile phone than his surroundings, but not only is such behavior selfishly rude, it's scientifically observed to be dangerous, too. A new study points out all kinds of flaws with trying to text message and strut at the same time. Researchers at Australia's University of Queensland used motion capture technology similar to that employed by movie studios to observe walking patterns. Test subjects wore reflective markers on the back of their heads using a head-band, as well as their back, heels, and pelvis. This allowed the researchers to measure the participants' gait and movement patterns.... Read more...
Anyone who has ever tried texting and driving at the same time should take note of a video released by police in Fort Meyers, Florida. The short video clip, which was taken from a police cruiser, shows a car veering off the side of the road and narrowly missing a telephone pole before ramming into a tree and flipping over. According to ABC News, the driver wasn't seriously hurt, and fortunately it appears there were no pedestrians or other motorists involved in the crash. The driver was texting while driving, which caused him to lose control of his vehicle and ultimately end up starring in a warning video. Here's a look: Unfortunately your browser does not support IFrames. There have been several... Read more...
Up and comers don't like to hear it, but experience often times beats youth. Ask the 2011 Dallas Mavericks, in which the average age was just over 32 years old (ancient in the basketball world) or 2008 Boston Celtics, which had half a dozen players over the age of 30 on the roster, including two 38-year-olds. Both teams won the championship against younger foes during their respective years, but we're not hear to talk sports. In the tech world, WhatsApp is proving it has what it takes to compete with a relatively recent rash of rivals. WhatsApp is a proprietary, cross-platform instant messaging app for mobile devices (sixth most popular paid app on the iPhone). It's been around for nearly four... Read more...
Listen up, teen drivers -- put the mobile phone away and resist the temptation to check for or fire off a text message while operating a vehicle. It doesn't matter that you see parents/adults do it all the time, be the smarter (and safer) driver out there by waiting to text and you'll significantly increase the odds of getting from point A to point B safely. Lest you think the issue is overblown, a new study conducted by researchers at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park found that texting while driving contributes to more than 3,000 annual teen deaths nationwide and 300,000 injuries. Based on those numbers, texting while driving is now a greater risk to teens than drinking and driving,... Read more...
The problem with trying to send and receive text messages while operating a vehicle is that your eyes are zeroed in on a mobile phone instead of the road where they belong. Voice-to-text apps that offer hands-free texting seem like an obvious solution, but new research suggests that such software offers no real safety advantage over manual texting. That revelation came courtesy of a study conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) that was sponsored by the Southwest Region University Transportation Center. The study, which is supposedly a first of its kind, examined the performance of 43 research participants driving a vehicle on a close course. Similar research exists in relation... Read more...
Text happy teens aren't the only ones putting themselves and others at risk by sending and receiving electronic messages while driving. Adults do it too, and surprisingly, the more experienced and supposedly wiser demographic is the worst offender. Hard to believe, isn't it? Well, believe it, says USA Today, which commissioned a study by AT&T. The wireless carrier pinged 1,011 adult drivers and nearly half of them -- 49 percent -- admitted to texting while driving. By comparison, 43 percent of teenagers fessed up to the same behavior. Sure, one conclusion you can draw is that teens are liars, but even if we assume that not all respondents were being upfront, is it really all that comforting... Read more...
There's a good chance you've seen a fellow motorist drifting over into a neighboring lane, only to later discover he or she is texting while driving 3,500 pounds of steel and glass (as a point of reference, a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco weighs 3,650 pounds). It's an all-too familiar sight, and unfortunately, mobile device use while driving is most common in the U.S. That's according to a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC researchers analyzed data from the 2011 EuroPNStyles and HealthStyles surveys and found that 69 percent of U.S. drivers talked on their cell phone while driving within 30 days before they were surveyed, versus 21 percent of drivers... Read more...
Way back in the old days, phones were used for making voice-to-voice calls. That's even true of the first cell phones. How rudimentary we were back then! Today, almost every mobile phone owner uses their cell phone to take picture and send or receive text messages, while at least half also access the Internet to send or receive email. Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project obtained readings on some of the most popular mobile phone activities based on interviews of 2,581 cell phone owning adults age 18 and older. Here's how it breaks down: 82 percent: Take a picture 80 percent: Send or receive text messages 56 percent: Access the Internet 50 percent: Send or receive email 44... Read more...
Texting and driving doesn't mix very well and you shouldn't tryi to do the two simultaneously, even if your state hasn't made it illegal yet. But texting and walking? Turns out that combination can be dangerous too, and if you get caught sending or reading a text message while taking a stroll in New Jersey, you could be hit with a fine. According to ABCNews, New Jersey police are to begin writing $85 jaywalking tickets to anyone caught walking and texting at the same time. The reason is because "It's a big distraction," and like Mr. Magoo, "Pedestrians aren't watching where they are going and they are not aware," Fort Lee chief of police, Thomas Ripoli, tells ABCNews. Image Source: Flickr (Ed... Read more...
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