Items tagged with texting

Security researchers at ESET have discovered an active ransomware campaign targeting Android users, thus ending a two-year decline in this form of malware in Google's mobile ecosystem. And unlike past ransomware campaigns, this one employs "some unusual tricks" to attract victims, and then spreads to contacts through text messaging. ESET is calling this ransomware strain Android/Filecoder.C (just Filecoder from here on out). It is primarily distributed by way of malicious posts on Reddit and the XDA Developers forum, the latter of which is a popular hangout for Android developers and enthusiasts. These posts lure victims by promising salacious material, such as porn-related content and sex simulators,... 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...
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...
Soon it will be illegal to fire off a text message or look down at your phone while crossing the street in Honolulu, the largest city in Hawaii. The ban will take effect towards the end of October, at which point Honolulu will become the first major city in the United States to effectively ban distracted walking, a growing problem as pedestrians become consumed by their mobile devices.Image Source: Flickr (Alan Levine) Laws against distracted driving are on the books all over the place, though distracted walking has largely been ignored when it comes to legislation. Honolulu is leading the charge as more cities consider ways to protect so-called "smartphone zombies" from themselves. It sounds... Read more...
According to the National Safety Council, one-quarter of all accidents in the United States are caused by texting and driving. Approximately 330,000 people a year are injured due to accidents involving texting and driving. In order to combat the problem, some police departments in the US are currently testing the “Textalyzer”, a device that can reveal whether or not a person was on their mobile device while driving. The Textalyzer is a tablet-like device and police officers will be able to connect the driver’s smartphone to it and download their activity data within a few seconds. The device records every click, tap or swipe, as well as the apps the driver was using at the time. Image credit: NBCThe... Read more...
There's a time and place for everything, folks. Need to relieve yourself when you're out on a date having dinner? Find a restroom rather than whipping out your member or crouching in the middle of the restaurant. Are you at the movies and need to text the babysitter because you forgot to tell her that little Billy needs his medicine before bed? Quietly slink out of the theater and do it in the hallway or lobby. Or go to an AMC-owned theater, because texting during the movie might soon be allowed at its establishments. In his short time as CEO of AMC Entertainment, Adam Aron has drawn headlines. First it was for agreeing to buy rival Carmike Cinemas for $1.1 billion, making AMC the world's biggest... 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...
By now it's been beaten into all of our heads that text messaging or otherwise farting around on a mobile phone while driving is a bad idea. Study after study shows that bad things are prone to happen when we take our eyes off the road and fixate them on our phones or other objects, but according to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the problem is worse than previously thought. Far worse. In what's being billed as the most comprehensive research ever conducted into crash videos of teen drivers, it was found that distraction as a whole was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe accidents. That's about four times as many as previously thought based on information obtained... Read more...
These days, it’s hard to get away from technology. If we aren’t walking around in public like zombies staring at our smartphone screens, we’re sitting at our desks staring at a monitor or sitting on the couch tapping away on a tablet. Even our automobiles have turned into rolling command centers with large touch screens, capacitive touch center consoles, and internet-connected apps. When technology-creep starts invading the automobile, problems start to present themselves. Witness the large increases in distracted driving accidents in recent years, mainly from people texting on their phones instead of paying attention to the road ahead. So far, 44 states (plus D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the... 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...
Texting and driving continues to be an issue that the government is trying to discourage people from practicing. In Long Island, drivers could be mandated to have their mobile phones temporarily disabled when they head back onto the road. Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Price is proposing that either hardware or software be used to disable mobile phones while behind the wheel. “Research suggests that driving while texting can be as dangerous as driving while drunk, and even more pervasive, especially among young people,” Said DA Rice. “It’s well established that the practice robs people of their lives and futures. Tackling this problem will require a concerted... 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...
Yell loud enough, long enough, and even Apple will hear you. For years now, users who have dabbled in the iOS universe, only to switch back to a rival platform, have grumbled about lost messages. You see, once iMessage knows your phone number, it attempts to route texts and short messages to that via the iMessage platform. But if you ever switch your number back to a non-Apple device, many of those messages can be left in limbo. Moreover, many have griped that iMessage-to-Android communications get hung up, or are lost in the ether entirely. Now, Apple is finally acknowledging that there is indeed a problem. The heart of the issue is switching away from an iPhone without first disabling iMessage,... Read more...
When Marcel Fernandes Filho was 13 years old, he smashed his Dell computer in a fit of rage because the monitor wouldn't stop flickering. Suddenly without a PC, the young teenager from Brazil began using his iPhone 3GS more often. Such began his journey to becoming the world's fastest texter, as recognized by Guinness World Records. Part promotional stunt (okay, a huge promotional stunt), Filho broke the texting record using Fleksy, a third-party custom keyboard available for Android and iOS devices. He wore a Fleksy t-shirt as he pecked away on his phone, typing "The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality... Read more...
Simultaneously texting and walking is something that we as a species are not good at, but Apple has a patent that could make that particular activity much safer both for texters and for those who are in the path of the digitally occupied. It’s actually quite simple and rather brilliant: The rear-facing camera on your iPhone captures what’s in front of you and displays it as if the display was transparent. However, you can still see your keyboard and messages so you can continue texting. Yes, using your camera to produce a live image will drain your battery, but who cares if you can text and walk at the same time more safely? Cheers to Apple for this delightfully simple safety innovation.... 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...
T-Mobile may not have the widest coverage net of the major U.S. carriers, but boy, are they gaining mind share. And as it turns out, market share as well. After adding nearly 4.4 million subscribers in the most recent quarter, rivals such as AT&T are having to pay attention. They're also having to modify their offerings in order to remain competitive. Just weeks after AT&T introduced newer, more generous data plans for Mobile Share customers, the carrier is now making it cheaper and easier for those very customers to text overseas. Starting on Friday (2/28), all AT&T Mobile Share and Mobile Share Value plans will now include unlimited international messaging from the U.S. to the world.... 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...
Here's what isn't surprising: Facebook is trying to take over where the conventional text message left off. Here's what is surprising: that is has taken this long to get to this point. The tried-and-true phone number is a hangover technology from many generations ago, and it's actually quite unfortunate that it's still around. With so many communication efforts moving to IP-based technology, the phone number still refuses to allow us to talk via voice or text while overseas without paying outrageous roaming rates. Thankfully, savvy tech companies are discovering workarounds. Google Hangouts began to enable chats using just one's phone number in a recent app update, and now it appears that Facebook... Read more...
Hopefully you've never had to experience "bill shock" before, but if you're curious what it feels like, a trip overseas followed by liberal use of your smartphone's texting, data, and voice will do the trick. International roaming rates are obscenely high, and if you're not careful, you can come home to a bill that's several thousand dollars, if not tens of thousands of dollars. T-Mobile wants to help eliminate those kind of scenarios. The nation's 4th largest wireless carrier is pitching new plans that offer unlimited data and texting at no extra charge in over 100 countries. By doing so, T-Mobile can (and does) claim that its home data coverage is larger than AT&T's and Verizon's combined.... Read more...
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