30 Ottobre 2001

Sex and the Cell Phone-Deprived

Living without a mobile phone can cause sexual problems and a blow to confidence, Italian researchers said.

Codacons, a consumer association in Italy, took away the mobile phones of 300 volunteers for 15 days and studied their reactions.

The results were, um, interesting.

About 70 percent of the volunteers said they “could not live without the device,“ while a quarter of them said the lack of the device was a blow to their confidence and led to sexual problems with partners. As many as 48 of the 300 volunteers in Ischia, Italy, said they refused sex during the study.

Some of the other side effects reported included loss of appetite and depression. Only 30 percent of the volunteers said they felt no effect from having their mobile phones taken away.

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Cell phones cause auto collisions: Cell phones top the list of distractions that cause automobile accidents in California, according to a study released by the state highway patrol.

The number of car accidents attributed to cell phone usage is small — 341 of 238,000 collisions, or 0.14 percent of collisions statewide. But wireless phones top other distractions like eating in the car and focusing on children as the cause of an accident.

This is the first cell phone study put out by the California Highway Patrol. California legislators have been waiting for such evidence to pass bills banning the use of the devices while driving in the car.

The police, who tracked car accidents in the state for the first half of this year, also found that 4 in 10 cell phone-related collisions included injury.

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Cingular`s network on steroids: Cingular Wireless will upgrade its cellular phone networks to deliver data to mobile phones 30 to 45 times faster than current networks.

Cingular, the second-largest mobile phone operator in the United States, will build its next-generation (3G) wireless phone network to give customers data rates of up to 384 Kilobits per second ?- enough speed to support full-motion video on a mobile phone.

Cingular will make the changes to its networks in the next 12 to 18 months.

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NextWave update: Verizon Wireless, AT&T Wireless and NextWave Telecom are reportedly close to striking a deal that will determine the future of 200 wireless spectrum licenses.

The licenses, which are under the control of NextWave, would be sold to Verizon and AT&T and not include the 29 smaller telcos that won some of the licenses in an auction that ended in January. Verizon and AT&T would pay $16 billion for the licenses, of which $11 billion would go to the FCC and $5 billion to NextWave.

The license dispute follows a federal appeals court ruling that the FCC improperly seized the licenses from NextWave when the telco defaulted on its payments and filed for bankruptcy protection. The FCC resold the licenses to telcos, including Verizon and AT&T, in an auction that ended in January. Because of the appeals court ruling, the results of the auction are moot.

The FCC, which filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, may drop its claim if a settlement is reached.

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Kyocera`s new cell phone: Sprint PCS (PCS) is now selling a new cell phone by Kyocera (KYO).

The phone, which costs $130, has a screen that glows blue whenever the user touches a button.

The phone also comes with the standard features: voice-activated dialing, alarm clock, calculator, bilingual (Spanish and English) display and voice-activated memo pad.

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Handspring updates browser:
Handspring`s (HAND) next line of products, including the combination cell phone, PDA and e-mailing device, Treo, will come with a faster and more secure browser.

Handspring updated its Blazer Web browser to support security measures like HTTP proxy servers and 128-bit SSL encryption. The browser also supports 16-bit color, HTML and wireless markup language (WML) and includes an improved book-marking tool and the ability to choose a website as the homepage.

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Shutting off phones on airplanes: ICE International, a company in Norway, is developing a device to automatically switch off airplane passengers` cell phones, Airwise News reported.

The company is developing an antenna box that sends signals to switch off the phones. It will release a prototype of the device in the spring, the online news site reported.

About 10 percent of passengers forget to shut off their cell phones when they board a flight. The airlines ask passengers to turn them off because the phones` frequencies could interfere with cockpit instruments.

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Telematics in the driver`s seat: The Chrysler side of DaimlerChrysler (DCX) will offer a hands-free cellular phone system in its vehicles to wirelessly connect to an owner`s mobile phone, allowing the driver to make calls using voice commands.

Meanwhile, General Motors (GM) has more than 1.5 million subscribers for its OnStar service, which costs at least $199 a year. OnStar`s telematics system lets drivers push a button to get driving directions, traffic conditions, news and even horoscopes without taking their hands off the steering wheel.

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Dialing around: Mexican wireless telephone company America Movil said it added 1.8 million subscribers in the third quarter…. Flextronics (FLEX), the Singapore-based company Ericsson out-sources its cell-phone manufacturing to, will cut 10,000 jobs, or 15 percent of its workforce…. Internet and wireless service provider InfoSpace (INSP) will cut 200 jobs.

 

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