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If you have a newer Android phone, everything you do is being recorded by hidden software lurking inside. It even circumvents web encryption and grabs everything—including your passwords and Google queries. Worse: it's the handset manufacturers and the carriers who—in the name of "making your user experience better"—install this software without any way for you to opt-out. This YouTube video, recorded by 25-year-old Android developer Trevor Eckhart, shows how it works. This is bad. Really bad.  See details of this article first posted by Gizmodo.

 

The spying software is developed by a company called Carrier IQ. In their site, the company says they are "the only embedded analytics company to support millions of devices simultaneously, we give Wireless Carriers and Handset Manufacturers unprecedented insight into their customers' mobile experience."

Is this the best way to track user experience, dropped calls and coverage problems?  I think there is a better way and Deadcellzones.com has demonstrated that consumers are capable of reporting problems directly to a web site if given the resources to do it.  Carrier IQ is a well funded VC backed company that tracks billions of anonymously reported coverage problems and dropped calls by passing along this data directly to the carrier.  The receive millions of dollars per year from carriers to track this.  However, does the carrier even do anything with the data despite the reported issues?  Is this the classic "deer in headlights" problems with billions of reception problems reported.  Isn't there a better way to prioritize the problems people are experiencing? How about try crowdsourcing coverage problems from actual customers.  Deadcellzones.com is certainly a model to start thinking about.

Related Stories:
U.S. Senate Investigation of Carrier IQ
Carrier IQ: Mobile Service Intelligence ?'s 


For anyone who rushed out and purchased a brand new iPhone 4S, they were greeted with several new and innovative features. The new iCloud provides all Apple users a chance to access the company's infrastructure as a service options from any device they own. Siri became the talk of the town when its artificial intelligence capabilities were announced. The camera on the 4S model even got a major upgrade to a professional model.

The one thing that has stifled most anyone from actually using any of these new and exciting services was the major battery life that the new device consumed. When Apple released their latest operating system through iTunes, owners of the new device reported that they were not getting much use out of the device because of the short life span. As reported by Mashable, the bugs and battery life did not only affect the new iPhone 4S, but older devices like the iPad and iPhone 4.

According to the official report from apple as seen on MSNBC's Technolog, the new iOS 5.0.1 upgrade fixes bugs in battery life, allows first generation iPad users to multitask, fixes bugs with documents in the iCloud, and even improves voice recognition on Siri for people with Australian accents.

According to a report on CNN, one of the major reasons for the battery drain on the iOS 5 was the prominence of location based apps and GPS trackers. When users simply turned the options off they experienced better battery life, but didn't receive the full experience of the new operating system and the new iPhone 4S. In order to combat negative publicity, the company decided to offer free cases while it worked on the problem.

As with the launch of any new device, there are always problems associated with the first versions. If still in beta, the iOS 5 bugs would not have been detected by the relatively small testing base. Now with most of the bugs kinked out, normal users can go about using the new managed server hosting, camera, and voice recognition services without fearing they will miss an important call because of a dead battery.


My wife's Droid phone keyboard suddenly stopped working and I am beginning to think there are other people who are having the same problem.  Typing on the keyboard is impossible and it stops after a few letters.  The arrow key does not work to go back as well.   She ran into a few friends also on Verizon and the store and it appears that they are having the same issue.  However, this time it was on a Blackberry phone.

Is Verizon making changes in their customers settings remotely without telling customers? Is this a big conspiracy to get Verizon customer to upgrade their phone during the Holiday shopping period?  I am beginning to wonder if Verizon is tampering with their customers phones in order to make them go into a store and upgrade.   Please share your experiences below if your phone settings are suddenly getting changed and causing technical issues.

After doing some research on Twitter it appears other customers are having similar issues.  See this Twitter search for "Verizon Phone Not Working".  


Black Friday is nigh, and the web is crawling with fantastic deals on cell phones and related technology products. Cell phone manufacturers and distributors alike know how competitive the draw for customers is, and they’ve consequently made a great showing this year.

For example, Amazon Wireless is offering a selection of Android phones for Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint for just one cent. Admittedly it comes with a contract (that costs more than a cent), but that price is still a steal for models like the HTC Droid Incredible, the Motorola Droid X, and the Samsung Captivate. The T-Mobile MyTouch 3G slide is also available for a penny at Costco.

T-Mobile has announced a buy-one-get-one-free promotion on featured smartphones for customers signing up for a two year family plan, and Verizon is giving away their $100 jawbone Icon Bluetooth headset to buyers of select smartphones.

Retailers have hopped on the Black Friday bandwagon as well. Best Buy is selling the RIM Blackberry Style for $69.99 ($30 off) and you could get the HTC Evo 4G and Samsung Epic 4G online from Radio Shack for $149.99 and $199.99, respectively. The Samsung Continuum is available at Target at the $120 discount of $79.99, and Quantum Wireless’ Black Friday sales include the YX545 cell signal booster from Wi-Ex zBoost.

If you’ve been itching for a new smartphone or other gadget of the sort, now is the time to make good on it. Deals this good only come about once a year, so get on them while they still last. 

Cool New Features of the iPhone 4s 
While the press conference for the release of the latest incarnation of the iPhone was less than enthralling, there were some important product features and services which got serious upgrades. The social media site Mashable reported that the device will retail for the normal amount, $199 for 16gb, and will now be available on three different carriers. Here are some more specs about the new device:

More Power

As expected, the new iPhone 4s will be much more powerful than its predecessors. It will have a dual core processor and dual core graphics which will make gaming an even more exciting experience. It will come equipped with the new A5 chip and have a gig of RAM. Vice President of Apple Phil Schiller said that the new iPhone will be up to seven times faster than the current incarnation of the device.

A Better Camera

There will be even more reason for aspiring photographers to purchase the new iPhone 4s. It is reported to have an 8-megapixel camera that will take shots up to 60 percent larger than before. There will also be a face detector which will allow for better focused pictures. All of the apps with unique photo filters, borders, and effects will become much more relevant.

Siri

Remember when Blackberry and other PDA systems were the most innovative ways to organize your information? The times have drastically changed and you no longer have to keep your information stored in those clunky mobile devices. With the use of voice recognition technology, Apple will introduce Siri along with the new iPhone 4s. By speaking into the device you can send personalized text messages, perform phone number lookup, remind yourself of errands, and pay bills. Siri essentially lets you perform actions on your phone without even touching it.

Sprint

With the addition of Sprint as a carrier of the iPhone 4s, all major carriers are now involved in Apple's smartphone strategy. Users of Sprint carriers should be a little weary because the company has had to invest so much money into the purchase of the product. Sprint gives another option for consumers, but with Verizon and AT&T having so much market share, will people be willing to shift service plans? Some of these new features seem like things that only techies will be interested in. If you absolutely need to get your hands on the latest Apple product, it will be on pre-order on October 7th. If you are looking to save money or don't have an upgrade option coming up soon, you should stick with your current model.

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