Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cancer and Cell phones - the truth behind

Real Disadvantage of cell phones and mobile phones - Do they cause harm to our health?

By Julie A. Evans, Best Life

The truth about the cell-phone–cancer link and what it means for you and your kids

When Vini Khurana, PhD, an Australian (and Mayo Clinic–trained) neurosurgeon, announced that the link between cell-phone use and cancer was irrefutable--the result of his analysis of more than 100 studies--it set off alarm bells around the world. Use a cell phone, he said, and you increase your risk of developing a malignant brain tumor by two to four times. Until recently, the majority of research indicated little or no link between cell phones and cancer (the World Health Organization and the American Cancer Society maintain that cell phones pose no threat), but several new long-term studies have cast doubt about their safety. Given that cell phones and PDAs serve as lifelines for so many people--24 percent of 10- and 11-year-olds carry them--it raises urgent questions. To find out what precautions you should take when using your cell phone, we dialed the nation's leading experts.

Do cell phones cause cancer?

Maybe…with extended use. Mobile-phone users are twice as likely to develop malignant, difficult-to-treat brain tumors called gilomas, according to a first-of-its-kind study that analyzed the effects of cell-phone use over 10 years or more and was published last year in the journal Occupational Environmental Medicine. The Bioinitiative Working Group, an international coalition of scientists and public-health experts, recently published a hefty report detailing the link between the nonionizing radiation caused by a cell phone's electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and cancer, DNA damage, Alzheimer's, and other diseases. "The cells in the body react to EMFs in cell phones just like they do to other environmental toxins, including heavy metals and chemicals," says Martin Blank, PhD, a professor in bioelectromagnetics at Columbia University and one of the report's authors. The study found that risk from cell-phone use starts at 260 lifetime hours.

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Do cell phones emit radiation only when you are talking?

No. "Cell phones give off radiation any time they're turned on so that they can communicate with base stations," says Lou Bloomfield, PhD, professor of physics at the University of Virginia and author of How Everything Works: Making Physics Out of the Ordinary. "The radiation emitted, however, is stronger and more frequent when you're talking or messaging." Also, the greater distance you are from a base station, the more radiation your phone must emit in order to get a signal, which is why your phone feels hot when you have low reception. That heat you feel is radiation. The Bioinitiative study found that adverse effects to DNA can also occur before the phone heats up. To reduce your exposure, make calls only when you have strong reception, hang up before your phone heats up, and store your phone away from your body when it's not in use.

What is a phone's SAR value and why does it matter?

SAR stands for specific absorption rate, and it refers to the rate of radiation exposure from radio frequency and microwaves measured in watts per kilogram of tissue, says Bloomfield. The FCC limit on any cell phone sold in this country is 1.6 watts per kilogram. To find the SAR value for your phone, go to At press time, the phone with the lowest radiation was the LG KG800, at 0.135 w/kg. The highest: Motorola V195s, at 1.6 w/kg. The Apple iPhone is in the middle, at 0.974 w/kg.

What is the range of the radiation?

Exposure to radiation from your cell phone drops off slowly for the first three to four inches from your body, and then it falls dramatically, says Bloomfield. To reduce your exposure, invest in a hands-free headset and limit the amount of time you spend talking on the phone. Khurana recommends using the speaker mode and holding the phone about eight inches away from you. Also, limit your use of Bluetooth devices. While it's true that they emit the least amount of radiation (one study found they can operate as low as 0.001 watts per kilogram), even that can add up fast.

Is it risky to carry a cell phone in your pants pocket?

Maybe. One 2006 study found no link to testicular cancer, but other researchers suspect a link to male infertility. Ashok Agarwal, PhD, director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, recently completed a study in which cell phones were set down for one hour in talk mode, next to sperm samples in test tubes. He found that the sperm's motility and viability were significantly reduced, and levels of harmful free radicals increased after exposure. Agarwal suggests storing the phone in your jacket pocket to reduce exposure to cell-phone radiation. Pregnant women need to take precautions too, because a recent study found that cell-phone use while pregnant is linked to behavioral problems in children.

Are kids more at risk?

"Yes, since children's nervous systems are still developing, and they have thinner scalps and skulls than adults, they should use cell phones only in emergencies," says Gene Barnett, MD, professor and director of the Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center at the Cleveland Clinic. The association between childhood leukemia and exposure to EMFs like those from cell phones has led the International Agency for Research on Cancer to classify them as a "possible human carcinogen." The medical establishments in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom all recommend severe restrictions on children's cell-phone use, with some experts going so far as to say that children under 16 shouldn't use cell phones at all. Make sure your kids opt for landlines when they're at home, and if you must buy them a cell phone for emergencies, get one with a low SAR number.

What about texting?

It's actually a safer way to communicate, says David O. Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany. Since kids hold phones away from their bodies when texting, they're exposed to less radiation than when they have the phones to their ears. "We are very concerned about teen cell-phone use, fearing that we face an epidemic of brain tumors 10 to 20 years from now, and there are so few who are raising warning flags," says Dr. Carpenter. Make sure your teen keeps his cell phone turned off and stored in his backpack when it isn't in use, which will dramatically reduce exposure.

The 10 worst cell phones according to their SAR numbers:

1. Motorola V195s1.6
2. Motorola Slvr L61.58
3. Motorola Slvr L21.54
4. Motorola W3851.54
5. Rim BlackBerry Curve 8330 (Sprint)1.54
6. Rim BlackBerry Curve 8330 (Verizon)1.54
7. Motorola Deluxe ic9021.53
8. T-Mobile Shadow1.53
9. Motorola i3351.53
10. Samsung Sync SGH-C4171.51

The 10 best cell phones according to their SAR numbers:

1. LG KG8000.135
2. Motorola Razr V3x0.14
3. Nokia 93000.21
4. Nokia N900.22
5. Samsung SGH-G8000.23
6. Samsung Sync SGH-A7070.236
7. Nokia 73900.26
8. Samsung SGH-T8090.32
9. Bang & Olufsen Serene0.33
10. Motorola Razr2 V80.36

Real Disadvantage of cell phones and mobile phones - Do they cause harm to our health?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Advantage or Disadvantage -iPhone 3G answers Top querries FAQ

Advantage or Disadvantage -iPhone 3G answers Top querries FAQ

Revenge of the iPhone 3G Questions

By Kent German, CNET News

Reader questions about the iPhone 3G continue to pour in, so I'll take another stab at answering them in a special edition of On Call. If you still have a query, check out my previous columns from last week or the week prior, my iPhone 3G FAQ, and CNET's iPhone 3G review.

Q: Will applications purchased from the App Store take up storage space?
- David

A: Applications absolutely will take up space in your iPhone 3G's memory. As such, your usable memory for videos and music will be affected not only by the number of saved applications, but also by your saved photos, videos, and contacts (to name a few).

Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

Q: I have the first iPhone, which was hacked in Hong Kong. Do you think Apple will open the Bluetooth for File Transfer Profile (FTP)? I think not, but there should be a software for this.
- Malcolm

A: This is something Apple could do via a software update, but I think it's pretty unlikely. In my cynical view, Apple would rather have you transfer files via iTunes. That way, the company can control the experience.


Q: Thanks for the unbiased iPhone review. Currently I have a BlackBerry Pearl, but I am eligible for a new phone and I'm having trouble finding a good comparison between the iPhone 3G and the upcoming BlackBerry Bold. Which one would you recommend? Also, do you know if you can sync podcasts through the iPhone, or does it have to be done through the desktop version of iTunes?

A: I'll take your last question first. Currently, you can sync podcasts only through the desktop versions of iTunes. I know this isn't the most ideal scenario, but it's what we have to do right now.

Since I haven't spent a whole lot of time with the BlackBerry Bold--its release date remains under wraps and we have yet to review it--I passed your question to our smart-phone expert, Bonnie Cha. She had the following to say:

"Chris, it's difficult to give a definitive answer since we haven't done a hands-on review of the BlackBerry Bold, but given that you'll want a phone for 'personal' use and Web browsing, I would say go with the iPhone. While BlackBerrys have come a long way in becoming more consumer friendly and "personal," it's still very much a business- and messaging-centric tool. The iPhone's Web access is better, plus you get a pretty decent camera and plenty of third-party apps."

I hope that helps!

Q: I currently own the original iPhone. I know that Apple will soon be switching to their MobileMe service. Will this only be available on the new 3G iPhone, or can I use this on my existing iPhone?
- Ross

A: You'll be able to use MobileMe on the current iPhone with the 2.0 software update. But based on our initial impressions of MobileMe, I wouldn't be too eager to use it.

Q: I currently have the AT&T Tilt (which I am happy with), but I'm considering switching to the new iPhone. What are the main differences and is it worth the switch?
- Karen

A: I didn't review the Tilt but I know it's one of Bonnie Cha's favorite smart phones. Again, I yield to her expertise:

"Karen, there are a couple of major differences between the iPhone and the AT&T Tilt. First, they run on two different operating systems: Windows Mobile 6 for the Tilt and, obviously, Apple OS X for the iPhone. You also get a tactile keyboard with the Tilt. As with the Bold, I would say the Tilt is definitely more business friendly, so if you need a smart phone for work and you've been happy with the Tilt so far, I don't see a need to switch."

Q: I want to get an iPhone, but the city where I plan to use it does not have 3G. There is EDGE coverage, but I have no way of getting the original iPhone, which would be fine me. If I want an iPhone, must I get a 3G iPhone, pay for 3G service and not be able to use it?
- Daniel

A: Though you no longer can buy the original iPhone new from AT&T or Apple, you might consider getting a used model. The handset won't be new, but you'll get full use out of it after you update the software. What's more, you can activate the handset via iTunes (and save yourself going to an AT&T store), and you can sign up for the cheaper monthly plan.

But, if you have your heart set on a new model, you will have to buy the iPhone 3G at its normal price and sign a standard contract, regardless of whether you use the 3G or not. As consolation, your city may get 3G soon (inquire with AT&T to make sure), but for the time being you will pay more than a bit of money for a cell phone that you won't fully utilize.

Q: I've seen a pretty long list of missing features on the iPhone 3G. Of all the items on your own wish list, which ones can't be fixed via a software/firmware update?
- Regi

A: You're quite correct, Regi, that the iPhone doesn't deliver a few features for which we were hoping. These include: Apple multimedia messaging, stereo Bluetooth, video recording, a landscape keyboard for messaging, cut and paste, voice dialing, and Flash support for the Web browser. Apple could add these features with an update, but both a removable memory card slot and (possibly) haptics feedback would need a completely new device. But of all the possible features that Apple could add, those two are last on my list.

Q: I have a secondary phone on my AT&T account with a first generation iPhone. The primary account holder lives in a different state. Does the account holder need to be present when upgrading my iPhone to iPhone 3G?
- Ryan

A: I know that AT&T requires iPhone 3G buyers to be in the store at the time of purchase to sign the new contract. Of course, that means you'll have to be there, but I'm not sure if the primary account holder needs to be along as well. Since that person isn't buying the iPhone, I would say no. But since your purchase will result in changes to his plan, then I would say yes. I advise you to check with AT&T for confirmation.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Disadvantages of an unlock Mobile Phone

What are the advantages and disadvantages of unlocked phones?

So why buy a new unlocked phone? The main reason is flexibility. If you have your eye on a cool phone that your GSM carrier doesn't offer, such as the powerful palmOne Treo 650 or the Motorola special-edition RAZR V3, you can snap it up without worrying about service. You'll also have the flexibility to change GSM carriers without changing phones--a nice option if prices or coverage areas change. And enterprising users can add extra applications to their unlocked phones, ranging from the basics (new ringtones) to more complicated games, animations, web programs, and business tools. Not every application works with all carriers or phones, however, so you'll need to do some research first.

Some manufacturers even sell unlocked hybrid phones, which switch between a cellular network and high-speed Wi-Fi networks. The most sophisticated of these phones can switch between the two networks automatically, so you can sit in a coffee shop and download photos via Wi-Fi, receive a call, and then walk out the door and into cellular coverage without losing the signal. And finally, unlocked phones are terrific for overseas travel. Rather than relying on your current provider's spotty European or Asian coverage, you can buy a prepaid SIM card in Italy, for example, and simply pop it into your phone. In essence, unlocked phones put the control back in your hands rather than the carrier's.

That doesn't mean that unlocked phones are ideal for everyone, however, as carriers still have the advantage in many areas. For one, carriers typically pre-configure their locked phones with a number of functions--T-Mobile, for example, offers one-button access to such "t-zone" services as e-mail, movie listings, news, and more--while unlocked phones require manual programming to provide the same services. More frustratingly, some carriers install exclusive software on their handsets to enable specific features, an option that's often unavailable to the owner of an unbranded unlocked phone. T-Mobile's myFaves program, which lets you call up to five contacts with no limitation on free minutes, requires the use of a T-Mobile handset that supports the service, while many of AT&T's mobile broadband solutions require compatible AT&T handsets.

Perhaps the biggest drawback, however, is price. Because carriers offer steep discounts on locked phones to entice you into signing long-term service agreements, you often can get phones far below actual cost (sometimes even for free). An unlocked phone, by contrast, can cost several hundreds of dollars, and even the most basic phones are generally more expensive than you might expect when you aren't buying through a carrier.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Another Disadvantages of Cell Phones - Attracts Lightning strikes

Mobile phone risk during storms

The next time you're talking on your cell phone in the midst of a storm may want to cut the conversation short.

UK, doctors have warned of the danger of lightning when using mobile phones outdoors during the stormy weather.

In the British Medical Journal, highlighted the case of a teenager left with serious injuries after being struck by lightning when talking on his phone.

The metal in the phone directs the current into the body, they say.

A 15-year-old was hit by lightning while talking on his phone in a large park in London during stormy weather.

She has no recollection of the incident, but suffered a cardiac arrest and had to be resurrected.

A year later, she has to use a wheelchair and has severe physical difficulties and brain damage that has caused emotional and cognitive problems.

At the hearing where he was holding the phone, she has a burst eardrum and persistent hearing loss.

When a person is hit by lightning, the high resistance of human skin causes the lightning charge to flow over the body - often known as "flashover outside."

But some current can flow through the body. The more that flows through, the more internal damage it causes.

Materials drivers in direct contact with skin such as liquid or metal objects increases the risk that the current flowing through the body and therefore cause internal injuries.

A rare occurrence

Doctors at Northwick Park Hospital in London who treated the girl's hearing injuries found three other cases of people affected by lightning while talking on a cell phone - all of whom died of their wounds - in China, Korea and Malaysia.

They said that although there are rare cases it is a public health problem and people needed to understand the risks.

Swinda Esprit, a doctor in the ear, nose and throat department said: "It is obvious, but in reality we all carry mobile phones and not thinking about it.

"If you're struck by lightning in their own flash over your body but if you're holding a phone to internalize and cause much worse injuries.

"Children in particular do not realize the risk.

"In Australia have guidelines, and one of the things they say is not to hold off mobile phones during storms."

Says Dr Esprit mobile phone manufacturers should warn consumers of hazards.

Emergency call

Paul Taylor, a scientist at the Meteorological Office said it could also be dangerous to carry a cellphone in his pocket during a storm.

"It is well known within the thunderstorm detection community that the use or carrying metallic objects can increase the likelihood of injury.

"It certainly adds to the intensity of damage to the skin and the article certainly amplifies here.

"I would treat a mobile phone as another piece of metal that people tend to take their people as coins and rings."

But Ramsey Farragh group astrophysics at Cambridge University, said in the BMJ: "stab a metal pole into the ground and holding it is asking for trouble.

"But the holding of a very small amount of metal inside an isolated case plastic is unlikely to increase the electric field strength sufficient to increase the risk of a strike well beyond."

Chris Abraham of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Commission association of agreement.

He added: "The risk is that people can not have their mobile phones with them to call emergency services if someone is struck by lightning."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Disadvantages of Mobile Phones Use - causes Hyperactivity in Children

Disadvantages of Mobile Phones Use - causes Hyperactivity in Children

First, as they say, I have to declare an interest: I hate mobile phones with a passion more normal people reserve for politicians, boy bands and traffic wardens.

Anyway, this one had me smiling like a loon:

A study of more than 13,000 children in Denmark claims to show a link between use of handheld telephones by pregnant women and problems such as hyperactivity in their children. The programme surveyed 13,159 children born in the late 1990s. Results showed that mothers who did use handsets were 54 per cent more likely to have children with behavioural problems. That figure increased to 80 per cent when the children also later used the phones themselves.

This, of course, won’t stop people using mobile phones - and I have to say I’m not convinced this study is very useful. I mean, even if the observations are correct, it doesn’t quite prove a causal link between mobile phone use and hyperactivity in children.

It might just be that life in the West has now become so hectic that children become more hyperactive because of that. Mobile phone use could simply be a part of that. Take away the mobile phones and these children might still become hyperactive.

Be that as it may, it set me thinking. Mostly, what would make people give up their mobile phones? At the moment most people seem to think it’s their unalienable, God-given right to yak on the damn things whenever they want and wherever they are. Take away their mobiles and the rioting may be worse than during any of Europe’s past food riots.

So, if this study would prove to be right - and if, for instance, those other studies about mobile phone use and brain cancer would prove to be true: would that be enough for people to chuck away their mobiles? Somehow, I doubt it.

It makes for a lovely image, doesn’t it? That just to be able to talk drivel like ‘I’m on the train now’ people would risk getting tumours and be happy enough to raise a new generation of hyperactive little monsters. It would make a nice epitaph for humankind though,

“Here lies a species that just couldn’t stop yakking”.

I heard about the disconnect anxiety. More a case of ‘I don’t want to give it up’ than ‘I can’t give it up’ , I would think. If, by some benevolent act of magic, no mobile phone would work any longer in the whole wide world, I’m sure most people would adapt to this quickly and well enough.

People like these obnoxious toys a lot though, so it would be fun to see what they would sacrifice before they voluntarily would give them up: the health & happiness of their children? Their own health - like if it would be shown beyond doubt that using a mobile could be linked to brain tumours the way cigarettes are linked to lung cancer?

None of the negative reports on the consequences of mobile phone use have been very convincing or conclusive yet but it will be interesting to see what happens if mobile phone use would be proven to be seriously bad for you and your loved ones.

Probably not all that much, of course. Look at how many people get killed by cars each year world wide and almost nobody is suggesting it would be better if we all stopped using them,

Friday, May 30, 2008

Disadvantages of VoIP calls

Disadvantages VoIP

VoIP seems too good to be true ... What is the disadvantage?

* The most obvious disadvantage that the traditional suppliers to emphasize is service outages at your Internet connection fails or your power goes out. Since then, VoIP is based on an asset and a broadband connection under tension, when it happens to descend, so does your phone service. Fortunately, today most of us have a cell phone as backup in case of an emergency poorly timed. Another option available is to maintain a more regular local phone service to be used only in rare cases that you never lose your power or broadband connection.

* Although all interconnected VoIP service providers are required to provide emergency 911 service, May it situations where such services are limited or unavailable. So, be sure to check with providers of VoIP services to understand clearly as possible the limits associated with their service. You can also check here for VoIP 911 limitations preview.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Choosing the basic Cell Phone Plan and it is disadvantages

Choosing the basic Cell Phone Plan and it is disadvantages

Choosing a cell phone plan can sometimes be a source of confusion. This article can be used as a guide to select the plan that best suits your needs.

Things you'll need:

* Pen
* Pad paper

Step 1
The first thing to do, even before looking online or in stores, is to make a list of basic information. How much are you willing to spend? How many minutes do you need? Have you only need a local access or do you plan to use the phone outside the area where you live?

Step 2
Now you have an idea of what you want. The next step is to determine if you want an individual, family or prepaid. Each type of scheme has its advantages and disadvantages. Prepaid plans tend to be more expensive than individuals and families of plans, but in general you do not have a credit check.

Step 3
You are now ready to find effective service providers in your area. Many cellular phone providers have Web sites. On these sites, you find that special May be better than the options you get in a store.

Step 4
Decide which cell phone service providers you want to compare and make a list of monthly payment, minutes, the additional burden for minutes, and other options. Using this list, you can decide where you want to get your cell phone service.

Advice and warnings

* Do not forget dealers sometimes offer better deals than the official shops.
* Beware of sellers because many of them are based Committee and earn bonuses based on you sell a larger plan that you probably need.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Disadvantages of Mobile Phones to your Business

Disadvantages of Mobile Phones to your Business

In this segment of Mobile Phone Disadvantages lets tackle the issue on why Mobile Phones are disadvantageous in your business!

1. More Calls

A disadvantage of being accessible from anywhere in the country is that people who try to sell you things and waste your time are also able to access you more easily.

You could also find that people try to contact you outside of business hours, leaving you with too many unwanted calls.

This can be countered by using some of the re-direction and answering services available to business mobile phone users, as well as by only giving the number out to important customers or key employees.

2. Potential Cost

The biggest fear many employers have over using a mobile phone for business is that the costs will be so high as to damage their business. This is a potential danger, particularly when employees are using business mobiles, as there is a risk that some employees could misuse the phone raising bills massively.

However, very few employees deliberately misuse their phones, and a few personal phone calls are as much as most people will make.

The costs of running business mobiles can be very high, but there are also several ways to significantly lower the bills:

If employees are informed that the mobile should only be used when a landline phone is not available, then call numbers and costs should remain relatively low.

Use of a dual line package, or charging employees for non-business calls, can make sure bill charges are kept as low as possible.

Most importantly, choosing the right package, with the right prices and features can make a massive difference to the cost of your businesses’ mobile phone calls.

3. Mobiles on their Own

Mobile phones have large advantages for businesses. However, they are much less effective without a landline number to back them up.

If a customer sees a mobile phone number as the only source of contact, then most will automatically assume that the business is small and has no office or resources. The traditional impression of a business user with only a mobile number is the local plumber or electrician.

If a customer speaks to employees that have a landline number and a mobile number, it gives the impression that the business is large and established.


A mobile phone allows you to be accessible at all times, wherever you are. It can help improve communication between staff and customers, particularly business to business customers that may involve travelling.

A good business phone package will allow you to receive emails, and be notified of important calls and faxes, meaning that being away from the office will not separate you completely from essential communications.

Re-direction services can take people straight to your mobile number from an existing landline, and you can even set up a personal answering service for when you are too busy to receive calls.

Mobile phones for employees can work out as expensive, but they allow for better communication; and if properly managed and set-up, the benefits will far outweigh the costs.

got any more Disadvantages of Mobile Phones to your Business tips? why not share it with me and gimme a mail, till next time!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Disadvantages of cell phones? maybe.... lol

Disadvantages of cell phones? maybe.... lol

Radiation affects your health.
Vibrations affect your ear drums.
Ringing affects your heart if you put the phone in your upper pocket.
Shows bad manners when you are talking to someone and the phone rings - you start yelling " Hello, Hello"
Modern phones with cameras etc. go beyond normal use. They have become danger to society and the privacy of your contacts.
Plus many more...
But it has host of advantages. No wonder it is becoming popular beyond anybody's guess.

correct spelling forgotten (when using text messaging or sms)
radiation (no. 1 disadvantage!)
no alibis. anyone who got your number knows you can be reached through your cellphone.
endangers your life..(hmm from holduppers and snatchers.)

Well here's some...
1.Making house/offices phones look usless.
2.Disruption of your daily life.
3.Radiation to your body in some cases.
4.Adds stress every time a ring tone alerts you out of nowhere.
5.Burden you finacially with new models and not to mention monthly bills.

But i think overall the advantages covers all the disavantages it may have.Our lifes seems more convinient and mobile with it's pressence.

The new discoveries said that you can have cancer from them, you can become deaf,but the also diminish your intimacy. If you do not want to answer a call,and let it ring every time the person calls, the next time you will meet them,they will ask you why you did not answer,because they know you could have(your cell was open). Cell phones tend to be disturbing during a movie in the cinema, or a play, in a library,etc.

you dont pay attention to the lesson. and people cheat like that and its distracting, etc.

Now we go to great Cell Phone Models

HTC's Re-Touching Experience
HTC's major handset announcement at CTIA was the HTC Touch Dual, basically an HTC Touch enhanced by addition of a slide-out 20-key keypad. The Touch Dual uses predictive text entry similar to the scheme that powers text entry on RIM's BlackBerry Pearl. Due to appear by summer, the Touch Dual is a quad-band HSDPA phone; it will likely be one of the first to support Windows Mobile 6.1, the point update to Microsoft's mobile operating system that was announced at CTIA.

HTC, by the way, also announced a Verizon Wireless counterpart to the original HTC Touch (an EVDO handset with HTC's proprietary TouchFlo technology), which up to now has been only available on Sprint. On Verizon Wireless, it will be called the Verizon XV6900.

Motorola Moto Q Goes Colorful
It's nice to see that even business phones are becoming more colorful. Here's a lime green version of Motorola's Q9c -- to arrive on Alltel and U.S. Cellular this summer. Alltel says it will charge $200 (with the possibility of $100 off via mail-in rebate) for this Windows Mobile 6 smart phone with a nice QWERTY keyboard and EVDO broadband support. Speaking of Qs, Verizon Wireless also announced that it's adding the Q 9c to its lineup -- but only in basic black.

Colorful and Shiny, Too: Sony Ericsson's Z750a
Announced last year, Sony Ericsson's Z750a is finally coming to AT&T Wireless with a splash: Models of this mirrored-surface HSDPA clamshell will be available within the next week or two in Rose Pink and Mysterious Purple (Sony Ericsson's words, not mine). Oh yeah, a boring Phantom Grey one will be available too. All three feature subsurface OLED (organic light-emitting diode) displays that will show time of day, caller ID and music track information (as appropriate) in glow-through type. They won't break the bank, either: Sony Ericsson says AT&T will charge $150, with a $100 mail-in rebate available (with the usual two-year contract).

Friday, April 4, 2008

Mobile Phone Virus Still at large

First mobile phone virus nears 2nd birthday

Munir Kotadia, ZDNet Australia

Tags: trojanspy, f-secure, redbrowser, vervata, auscert, mikko, cabir, commwarrior
The first real mobile phone virus, which was found in the wild and could replicate on its own, was discovered almost two years ago.

On June 15 2004, Finnish anti-virus firm F-Secure and Russian rival Kaspersky released details about a piece of mobile phone malware that used Bluetooth to try and spread to other Symbian series60-based mobile phones.

Almost two years on, F-Secure's chief research officer Mikko Hyppönen reports that although there are now over 200 mobile phone viruses -- many of which are variants of Cabir -- the problem is unlikely to get as bad as it has with PCs.

"The difference is that PC viruses were first found in 1986 and mobile phone viruses were found in 2004," said Hyppönen in an interview with ZDNet Australia at the AusCERT conference in the Gold Coast last week. "So we are living in the equivalent of 1988 but in 1988 Microsoft or hardware manufacturers were not doing anything about viruses".

"In the mobile phone world, all the mobile phone manufacturers are working on the problem as are the phone operating system manufacturers, like Symbian, Microsoft and Palm. Operators are on top of this -- there are several phones from Nokia that come with antivirus software, which is made by F-Secure," he said.

At AusCERT, Hyppönen presented a talk about current and future mobile phone threats. He explained that malware aimed at mobile phones is close to evolving into something that could make cybercriminals lots of money.

"On any new platform the first malware is made by hobbyists as a proof of concept -- the professionals move in later on. This change hasn't really happened yet on the mobile phone side," said Hyppönen.

One example of a Trojan designed to illegally make money from Mobile phone users is called Redbrowser, which will run on any Java-enabled phone and is 'advertised' as a special Web browser that, if installed, will provide the user with WAP browsing.

In reality, Redbrowser is programmed to send vast quantities of text messages to a Russian premium rate number, which could cost the victim hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

"Redbrowser starts to send text messages from your phone to that number -- as many as it can, as fast as it can and each message costs you around US$5," said Hyppönen.

Another piece of mobile malware that could hit its victims in the pocket is Commwarrior, which first appeared in March 2005 and used both Bluetooth and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) to replicate.

MMS is commonly used for sending picture messages but it can also allow mobile phone users to exchange ring tones, files and other applications.

"Say you have 200 numbers in your phone and you get hit with Commwarrior. It will send an MMS message in your name to every single number in your phone. So people get a message from you, they trust you and open up the message and get infected," explained Hyppönen.

If Hyppönen got infected by Commwarrior, it would cost him a significant amount, he said: "You pay for every message so if it cost 50 cents, [200 contacts means] it has cost you $100. I have 1600 contacts so if I get infected it will cost me $800 -- that is already a lot of money".

Although Commwarrior infections are not a serious problem at the moment, some mobile phone operators are already feeling the pain, said Hyppönen.

"One operator found that 2.5 percent and another found 3.5 percent of all their MMS traffic was not generated by people but by viruses. Another operator we spoke with said that their user support gets around 200 calls a day about mobile phone viruses," Hyppönen said.

Spyware moves in
Over the past year, spyware has become one of the biggest problems on PCs so it is not be a surprise that issue has migrated to mobile phones.

At the end of March, F-Secure discovered a "spying application" called Flexispy that is designed to record text messages, log calls and even send back recordings of calls to a third party.

Although the application, made by Bangkok-based Vervata, is technically legal and has legitimate uses, F-Secure objected to the fact that once installed there is no indication to the user that so much information is being leaked to a third party.

"You can use it to monitor your 10 year old and it is legal -- depending on where you are -- and justifiable. But then again if you install it on somebody's phone without them knowing about it, it is illegal," said Hyppönen.

F-Secure classified Flexispy as a Trojan and included detection for it in its mobile phone anti-virus software, said Hyppönen: "We made the call based on the fact that it never shows you any messages or explains what it is".

Vervata responded by publishing a strong objection on its Web site: "Like any other monitoring software there may be a possibility for misuse, but there is nothing inherent in FlexiSPY that makes it illegal or malicious, and Vervata would like to point out that F-Secure comments categorizing FlexiSPY as a Trojan are completely incorrect".

Unfortunately for Vervata, other security software vendors -- including Symantec and Kaspersky -- have sided with F-Secure.

Last year, analyst group Gartner predicted that a serious mobile phone virus is unlikely until the end of 2007 because it will take that long until there are enough mobile phones capable of carrying the infection.

Hyppönen also believes that the virus problem will get worse -- before it gets better. However, he is confident it will never be as bad it is currently with PCs.

"There have already been tens of thousands of mobile phones infected and mobile viruses have spread to 30 different countries. A virus has tried infecting my phone 4 times -- once in London and three times in Finland.

"If we play our cards right we will not have 165,000 mobile phone viruses in 2020," Hyppönen added.

Anti Moblie Phone Vigilante is Real

Phone vigilante slashes car tyres
The notice left on cars claims victims were seen using a mobile
More than 20 motorists in Hampshire have fallen victim to a mystery vigilante who appears to target drivers spotted using mobile phones.

All the car owners have found their tyres have been slashed and, in many cases, a note on their windscreens.

The sinister message, made from newspaper cuttings, says the driver was seen using a phone.

Hampshire Police are investigating the incidents in Gosport, Lee-on-the-Solent and Stubbington.

One victim was Rebecca Rendle, who was left with a £170 bill, when all four of her tyres were punctured outside her Gosport home.

Rebecca Rendle
Rebecca Rendle: "There's a loony"
"I was shocked and furious, I don't even own a mobile," she said.

"I think it must be (someone following me home) as that's the only way they would find out where you live.

"There's a loony who thinks they are doing the world a favour."

Police said they are investigating this incident and 20 similar cases that occurred in the area over the past several months.

Insp Kevin Cuffe, of Hampshire Police, said: "In most of the cases a note has been left at the scene and forensic specialists are in the process of examining these notes to gather potential evidence.

"These incidents are being taken very seriously as we appreciate that criminal damage has a very real and detrimental effect on the victims.

"Whoever is doing this may feel that he or she has some sort of justification but there is never any excuse to vandalise the property of others."

The $85k mobile phone bill alert

Shock at $85k mobile phone bill
Mobile phones - file photo
Many new mobile phones can connect to the internet
A Canadian man has been shocked to receive a mobile phone bill for nearly $85,000 (£41,000).

Piotr Staniaszek thought he could use his new phone as a modem for his computer under his $10 unlimited mobile browser plan from Bell Mobility.

He downloaded high-definition movies and other large files unaware that this incurred massive extra charges.

Bell Mobility has since lowered the bill to $3,243, but Mr Staniaszek says he intends to fight the charges anyway.

'Nobody told me'

The 22-year-old oil-field worker from Calgary said he thought a first bill for $65,000 in November was a mistake.

When he spoke to Bell Mobility he was informed the bill had climbed to nearly $85,000 after more downloading.

I'm going to try and fight it, because I didn't know about the extra charges
Piotr Staniaszek

He said he normally paid about $150 a month for his phone and used to be notified of high charges.

"The thing is, they've cut my phone off for being like $100 over," he told CBC News.

"Here, I'm $85,000 over and nobody bothered to give me a call and tell me what was going on."

Bell Mobility said they would lower the bill to $3,243 in a "goodwill gesture" to match the best data plan available for using mobile phones as a modem, the Globe and Mail reported.

The trouble stems from the new phone he received when he renewed his mobile phone contract.

The new model allows him to connect with his computer and download data.

"I told them I wasn't aware I would be charged for hooking up my phone to the computer. I'm going to try and fight it, because I didn't know about the extra charges."

Canadians complain that their mobile phone charges are much higher for comparable service in the United States.

Apple's iPhone is Mobile Markets worst nightmare

Apple's iPhone Messing with Mobile Market

News this morning of the Apple mobile phone is going to mess with the mobile market. Among other things, it is worth watching how mobile competitors' stocks perform on the news:

The gist of the Apple phone: It's a large-screen touch phone (no physical keypad) with 8.0 GB of storage, no stylus, and running Mac OS X. It's also quad-band GSM + EDGE phone, not 3G, but it does have WiFi.

The obvious immediate question will be battery life, of course, not to mention how many people will find a key-less phone something of a non-starter. How do you use such things by touch? Inquiring minds want to know. Looks like a June ship date and a $599 price, so this is definitely high-end stuff.

Vodafone Owns iPhone bigtime

BERLIN, Germany (AP) -- Deutsche Telekom AG's mobile unit said Wednesday it would offer Apple Inc.'s popular iPhone without a contract to comply with a court injunction issued after Vodafone challenged T-Mobile's exclusive lock on the handset.

The iPhone will go on sale contract-free in Germany for 999 euros.

T-Mobile will start selling the phone for 999 euros ($1,477) immediately as well as continuing to offer it for the discounted 399 euros ($590) in combination with a two-year contract, the company said in a press release.

The iPhone made its German debut on Nov. 9 -- available only with the two-year contract from T-Mobile.

The German unit of rival Vodafone protested that practice at a state court in Hamburg.

Samsung and Google shakes hands for Mobile Phone Deal

Cooperation ensures quick and easy access to GoogleTM search, Google MapsTM for mobile, and a fast, new GmailTM application for Samsung enthusiasts worldwide

Seoul, Korea and Las Vegas (Consumer Electronics Show) - January 8, 2007 - Samsung, a leading provider and innovator of mobile phones, and Google Inc. today announced a global cooperation to enable mobile phone users worldwide with quick and easy access to GoogleTM products and services - directly from their Samsung mobile phones.

Samsung mobile phones equipped with GoogleTM applications will enable consumers to search information, find locations, and manage their email on the move. Samsung's mobile phones offer today's latest technologies with unique applications and mobile designs. Now, the combination of GoogleTM applications and Samsung's advanced mobile devices represents two companies' dedication to offering a hassle-free mobile Internet experience for consumers world-wide.

Beginning in early 2007, selected Samsung phones will be provided with a range of GoogleTM products and services aimed to create a more dynamic user experience, including:

  • GoogleTM search: Samsung handsets will include a GoogleTM icon in the application menu, providing users with one-click access to GoogleTM search
  • Google MapsTM for mobile: Also featured on Samsung handsets will be Google MapsTM for mobile, an application that enables users to view maps and satellite imagery, find local businesses, and get driving directions when they're on the go
  • GmailTM: GmailTM for mobile devices, a new application that brings more speed, convenience, and functionality to the mobile GmailTM experience, will also be available on Samsung handsets
Samsung has already launched, the Ultra Edition 13.8 (SGH-Z720), its first mobile handset installed with GoogleTM mobile search and GmailTM services. The slim 3G Z720 is only 13.8mm in thinness, is HSDPA ready, and comes with a 3-megapixel camera, MP3 Player, and Bluetooth connectivity. The HSDPA connectivity combined with embedded an Internet browser and GoogleTM mobile services will provide users with a rich mobile Internet experience. Future models will also be Google-ready as consumers continue to demand trouble-free mobile Internet access. Consumers will enjoy and appreciate Samsung's simple-to-use user interface and Google's familiarity for an effortless mobile Internet experience

"We are very thrilled to introduce Samsung mobiles with one-click access to Google services. Our cooperation with Google exemplifies our commitment to leading the evolution from the fixed-Internet era to a mobile Internet era and ushering in a ubiquitous world where mobile enables our consumers to access information about anything, anywhere, anytime," said Kitae Lee, President of Samsung's Telecommunication Network Business. "Samsung and Google will enhance users' mobile experience with a powerful, yet easy-to-use handset with simple access to information and personal management."

"Google is dedicated to providing users around the world with easier access information and services when they are mobile. Working with an industry leader like Samsung is a great way to accomplish that," said Deep Nishar, director of wireless products and strategy for Google Inc. "Improving the mobile user experience is of paramount importance to both Samsung and Google, and by working together we'll be able to bring the power, functionality, and convenience of GoogleTM search, Google MapsTM for mobile, and GmailTM for mobile devices to millions of Samsung users across the globe."

About Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2005 parent company sales of US$56.7 billion and net income of US$7.5 billion. Employing approximately 128,000 people in over 120 offices in 57 countries, the company consists of five main business units: Digital Appliance Business, Digital Media Business, LCD Business, Semiconductor Business and Telecommunication Network Business. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones, and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit

About Google Inc.
Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google's targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit

Google, Google Maps, and Gmail are trademarks of Google Inc.

Seriously How I got mobile phone reception where there was no signal

Seriously How I got mobile phone reception where there was no signal

Posted at 20:30 by Graeme

(Or, to be more accurate, where 20ft of solid stone was blocking line-of-sight to the nearest transmitter.)

I just got a Nokia E61 on T-Mobile. When I signed up, I knew that the signal was really weak in the back of our house - the building forms a large square, and my bedroom faces into the centre of the square. I could get a signal in the living room (just), but wouldn’t it be great, I thought, not to have to go through there every time the phone rings. Although outside my house full-strength UMTS signals are readily available, the building’s construction prevents them diffracting into the internal ‘courtyard’.

All I needed was enough reception to receive and send SMS messages. I have home WiFi for data access, and I can potentially make calls over that too. I planned to aim for UMTS reception rather than GSM since: a) I didn’t know which GSM frequency to aim for and b) E series Nokia phones maintain their batteries better if they have UMTS signals (otherwise they constantly search for a UMTS signal).

I tried two car-type external antennas that I got via eBay - but unfortunately the gain on both of these was just too low (barely even compensating for the losses in the cable running to the phone). Also, neither were sufficiently directional to catch enough of the reflected signal to give me anything to work with.

The first step was the figure out what the extent of the problem was. I located my nearest T-Mobile base station using the government’s Sitefinder service. This also confirmed the frequency that the transmitter used - 2100Mhz. This is the standard frequency for UMTS (i.e. 3G) services in Europe.

By drawing a line between the transmitter’s location and my building in Google Earth, I was able to confirm the approximate distance and angle of the signal I needed to catch.

Buying a directional antenna wasn’t really an option - for a start, they are expensive - and anyway I couldn’t be sure that such an antenna would actually help. If it didn’t, I’d have wasted £60-£100.

However, in an incredibly geeky flash of inspiration, I realised that there really isn’t much difference in operating frequency between WiFi (around 2.4Ghz) and UMTS (2.1Ghz). And there are loads of different clandestine WiFi antenna ideas floating around the Internet. If I could find an easy-to-build directional WiFi antenna, perhaps I could reverse-engineer its dimensions and adapt it for 2100Mhz use.

So I set about the task. I decided on the biquad antenna type, as it’s fairly compact and easy to build, yet provides decent (10-14dB) gain and is quite directional. My primary sources of information were the many WiFi biquad and double bi-quad antenna tutorials and blog entries, such as: Engadget’s; Trevor Marshall’s tutorials. More can be found on my page for the tag ‘antenna’.

Both WiFi and UMTS operate in microwave frequencies - however, there’s a substantial difference between the middle WiFi channel (around 2.4Ghz - what people usually tune their WiFi antennas to in order to give a good amplification factor across the channel range) and UMTS’ 2.1Ghz. To my knowledge no-one has built a homebrew biquad UMTS antenna before, so there wasn’t much to go on. What also didn’t help was that most WiFi biquad tutorials just give you the measurements verbatim - not the calculations of formulae.

Having done no physics since school, my expertise in antenna building is poor to say the least. Still I did realise a few things about most of the designs floating around the Web: all of the dimensions were multiples of the wavelength at 2.44Ghz (122mm or 0.122m). So then, I just needed to figure out the multiplication factors in each case and I was sorted.

My list is as follows: (λ = wavelength)

  • Emitter wire total length: 2λ
  • Emitter ’square’ side length: 0.25λ
  • Emitter offset from reflector: 0.125λ
  • Reflector width/height: 1λ
  • Reflector ‘lips’ height: 0.25λ

So, at 2.1Ghz (2,100,000,000Hz - λ = 142.8mm),these dimensions are:

  • Emitter wire total length: 285.6mm
  • Emitter ’square’ side length: 35.7mm
  • Emitter offset from reflector: 17.85mm
  • Reflector width/height: 142.8mm
  • Reflector ‘lips’ height: 35.7mm

I made the reflector out of galvanised steel mesh and mounted an N-type connector to the centre. I made an N-type coaxial to FME coaxial cable to hook up the phone to the antenna. The emitter itself is made from the copper centre conductor taken from a length of high-quality satellite TV coaxial cable that I had left over. I used some scrap wires to connect the ends of the biquad ‘bow-tie’ back to the reflector, and placed some of the original dielectric insulation from the satellite cable back on the ends of the bow-tie’ shape to prevent the antenna from ’shorting’ (in an RF sense). The emitter is then soldered into the N-type connector in a most slapdash style.

I didn’t have enough mesh to make the ‘lips’ of the antenna’s reflector match the measurements I’d planned, but made them the longest equal lengths that I could. In other respects, I managed to get the dimensions down to within a couple of millimeters of my target measurements.

High-quality cable is a must - I only used 50cm or so of RG-58 type cable to go between the phone and antenna, and unless you’re using something very high-grade (like LMR-400), I wouldn’t go too much further than that.

Presently the antenna is fixed and aimed in a pretty shoddy way - it’s fixed onto a set of ‘3rd hands’ - and there’s a Post-It note there to provide (some) insulation between the stand and the reflector… I plan to investigate more permanent mounting options at some other date.

The biggest problem with the antenna is aiming it - but having said that once it does catch a signal, the phone holds on to it very well. I’m aiming it over the rootfops of the building, hoping to catch some of the signal’s diffraction.

I have no idea how much gain the antenna produces. When aimed correctly (which is very tricky), it gives me a consistent 1-bar UMTS connection, or a 2 bar GSM signal. It works better at night, holding on to a signal for many hours.

UPDATE (3rd August 2006): Here are some better pics. I’ve replaced the post-it note with some pieces of polycarbonate. The pics also show the cradle into which the phone sits, and the cable which links the antenna to the phone.

Also, admire my lovely lavender wall paint :S

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