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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2013 | Sandy Banks
It seems to happen often enough that we're no longer shocked to hear it: A teenager commits suicide after being bullied online by peers. But the recent death in Florida of 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick and arrest of two of her former middle school classmates makes it clear that victims are getting younger and bullies more brazen online. Two girls, 12 and 14, have been charged with felony aggravated stalking based on evidence of a year of online taunts and threats. Sheriff's deputies confiscated the cellphones and laptops of more than a dozen girls accused of bullying Rebecca and found messages such as "You should die. " This may be the first time children have been accused of a crime in connection with suicide.
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BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
If you're against letting airline passengers talk on cellphones, you've gained a powerful ally. The Global Business Travel Assn., a trade group for the world's business travelers, submitted its opposition last week to a plan by the Federal Communications Commission to lift a ban on voice calls on planes. The group, which represents about 6,000 travel managers, called onboard calls "detrimental to business travelers. " The association even quoted folk singer Pete Seeger, who borrowed heavily from the book of Ecclesiastes when he wrote "there is a time to keep silence and a time to speak.
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BUSINESS
October 25, 2010 | David Lazarus
Garden Grove resident Ken Licht is in the market for a new cellphone. But he can't get a good explanation of why he'll have to pay sales tax on the full price of a handset ? even though most phones are heavily discounted by wireless companies or given away free. It's a question I get asked a lot. And with nearly 300 million cellphones now in use in the United States ? meaning that 93% of the population is sporting a mobile device, according to the wireless industry ? it's probably not a bad idea to explain what's going on. First of all, Licht made the same observation that probably all cellphone customers have made at one time or another.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2014 | By Ruben Vives
The California Highway Patrol sent out an Amber Alert on Monday over cellphones for a Long Beach boy allegedly abducted from his home by his mother. The victim was identified as Nicholas Johnston, 12, described as white with blond hair and blue eyes, 4-feet-8 inches tall and about 80 pounds. CHP officials say the boy was abducted on Thursday by his mother, Sri Johnston, 49, who is white with brown hair and brown eyes, about 5 feet tall and 125 pounds. She was last seen driving a tan 1998 Saturn four-door with California license plate 4AUU679.
NEWS
October 17, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
Measuring radiation exposure using current FCC guidelines underestimates how much radiation most people receive from their cellphones, researchers said Monday in a study published in the journal Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine. The authors of the study, including several members of Environmental Health Trust, a nonprofit organization devoted to identifying and controlling environmental health risks, pointed to several reasons why.  One is that the current assessment method bases evaluations of how much radiation people are exposed to from their phones on measurements taken using a quite large, liquid-filled plastic model of the adult human head (known as the Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin, or SAM)
BUSINESS
April 4, 2012 | By Michelle Maltais
You check in on Foursquare, post geotagged photos on Facebook and tweet every mundane detail of your life. You overshare. But do you really want the cops tracking your cellphone without your knowledge? A recent review of law-enforcement practices by the American Civil Liberties Union revealed that it's not uncommon for cellphones to be virtually tailed using either the phone's own GPS or cellular triangulation -- without obtaining a warrant or subpoena. "The overwhelming majority of the over 200 law enforcement agencies that provided documents engaged in at least some cellphone tracking - and many track cellphones quite frequently," the ACLU found.
OPINION
September 16, 2003
Re "Once Upon a Time There Were No Cellphones ... " (Voices, Sept. 13): Nancy Smiler Levinson, in her stories regarding parents who ignore their children in order to talk on cellphones, says: "Once upon a time, parents offered conversation and attention to their children and granted them a measure of respect." I doubt that's true of the parents in her stories. Cellphones didn't suddenly change them from attentive parents to inattentive ones, or from thoughtful people into selfish ones.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 5, 2013 | By A Times Staff Writer
An Amber Alert in San Diego County Monday night prompted authorities to sent text alerts to cell phone owners across Southern California. The alert was part of a partnership between cellphone companies and the California Highway Patrol to send out urgent Amber Alerts via text messages. James Lee DiMaggio is suspected of killing Christina Anderson, 44, of Lakeside and kidnapping one or both of her children: Hannah Anderson, 16, and Ethan Anderson, 8. Amber Alert Q&A: Why it happens, how to turn it off Christina Anderson's body was found Sunday night in the burning rubble of a house and garage in the rural community of Boulevard in eastern San Diego County, authorities said.
NEWS
February 23, 2011 | Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
A study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. found evidence that cellphones’ electromagnetic energy prompts unusual levels of activity in a user’s brain, raising concern that our national habit of jabbering into our 300 million cellphones might not be completely innocuous. But wait. Haven’t we been told that stimulating our brains with intellectual challenges, new experiences and copious social interaction is good for us? Why the ominous tone?
NEWS
May 31, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Cellphones are everywhere. Perhaps one place they shouldn't be is at hospital bedsides. According to a new study, cellphones used by patients and visitors are twice as likely to contain potentially dangerous bacteria compared with the mobile phones used by healthcare workers. Previous studies have focused on the threat of germs on the phones of healthcare workers but not others who visit hospitals. The authors of the study, conducted in Turkey, took swabs from 200 cellphones. About one-third of the phones belonged to healthcare workers and the rest belonged to patients and visitors.
NEWS
February 28, 2014 | By Kerry Cavanaugh
You can't talk or text while driving in California. But if you want to use a map or some other app on your smartphone, that's OK. At least for now. The 5th District Court of Appeal ruled Thursday that the California Highway Patrol was wrong to ticket a Fresno man for driving and holding his smartphone to look at a map. The court was totally right. The Vehicle Code says a driver can't hold a wireless telephone while talking or listening on it. The law makes no mention of holding the phone to look at a map or do any other sort of functional thing that smartphones are now capable of. (There is a separate law that specifically bans texting unless using hands-free technology, so typing a text from behind the wheel will still get you a ticket.)
NEWS
February 25, 2014 | By Jon Healey
How hard can it be for Congress to make it legal for consumers to switch mobile networks without having to buy a new phone? Too hard, evidently. The House is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a bill that was supposed to clear the way for consumers to unlock the phones they buy from wireless companies after they've fulfilled their contracts. But the measure, which was modest to begin with, has been rendered irrelevant by voluntary agreements on unlocking that the Federal Communications Commission obtained from the wireless companies.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 24, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
As a plume of smoke rose from a one-car garage in Santa Ana on Monday morning, neighbors who knew that a family lived inside rushed to pry open its door. The family of three or four people, some of them children, was able to escape by exiting through the house, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi. The 7:50 a.m. blaze in the 1200 block of South Magnolia Avenue was probably sparked by a cellphone charger that short-circuited, he said. Neighbors who were unaware the family had escaped tried frantically to open the garage's tightly shut doors as they called 911. “The garage was secure, so the neighbors couldn't get in from the outside; and even if the fire started inside the house, they could be trapped because it has no windows,” Concialdi said.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 2014 | By Martin Tsai
A cat-and-mouse thriller imported from Paraguay, "7 Boxes" evokes the developing-world amorality and senseless crime caper of "City of God," the 2002 Brazilian sensation that earned four Academy Award nominations, including one for Fernando Meirelles' slick, hyper-stylized direction. But whereas Meirelles seemed to apply absolutely every cinematic trick in the book, "7 Boxes" directors Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori aren't as hell-bent on making an impression. Their film boasts a rather universal premise: Teenager Victor (Celso Franco)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 17, 2014 | By Hector Becerra
Twenty years after the Northridge earthquake, experts say a huge temblor across Southern California today could cripple cellphone and Wi-Fi Internet service. Seismic safety officials increasingly have been studying how telecommunications would be affected after a quake even bigger than Northridge and expressed concerns it would make communications difficult for days or longer. Like water and gas lines, most Southern California Internet lines run across the San Andreas Fault, and officials fear the Big One could cut off service.
BUSINESS
January 16, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
Low-income Californians will be soon eligible for what has become to many an essential part of daily life: a cellphone . Participants in the state's LifeLine program for low-income consumers will soon have access to reduced-cost smartphone service with voice, data and text capabilities, state regulators decided Thursday. After two years of deliberations, the five members of the California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to include wireless phones among the kinds of handsets available through the LifeLine program.
BUSINESS
March 6, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
California Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) said Wednesday that she plans to introduce a bill that would lift the ban on consumers unlocking their cellphones. "The ban on unlocking cellphones puts consumers in the back seat when it comes to choosing the mobile device and service that best suits them," Eshoo said in a statement. "Competition and consumer choice are equally fundamental to a vibrant mobile marketplace. " Eshoo's comments come just two days after the White House said it would support legislation to make cellphone unlocking legal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2014 | By Ruben Vives
The California Highway Patrol sent out an Amber Alert on Monday over cellphones for a Long Beach boy allegedly abducted from his home by his mother. The victim was identified as Nicholas Johnston, 12, described as white with blond hair and blue eyes, 4-feet-8 inches tall and about 80 pounds. CHP officials say the boy was abducted on Thursday by his mother, Sri Johnston, 49, who is white with brown hair and brown eyes, about 5 feet tall and 125 pounds. She was last seen driving a tan 1998 Saturn four-door with California license plate 4AUU679.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 2014 | By Hector Becerra
In the 20 years since the Northridge earthquake, the state's freeway bridges have been strengthened. A new generation of hospitals, schools and university buildings designed to better withstand a massive quake has risen. But for all those strides, changes in society and technology have left California vulnerable in other ways. The 1994 Northridge disaster occurred in an era before Wi-Fi computer access and at a time when cellphones were still something of a rarity. Seismic safety experts say that if a huge quake strikes the state now, both services would be interrupted - possibly for days.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2014 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
A stage, a sound system, musicians and a crowd. That's all you really need to put on a concert. Everything else - $12 beer, nachos, jumbo video screens, light show, 3-D glasses, VIP meet-and-greets, merch, vapor pen for your "medical marijuana" - is gravy. Even the $75-million renovation of the Los Angeles Forum isn't going to guarantee a good show. As a rule in watching musicians at work, a smaller space is usually preferable. This is creative expression, and at its best it's the most intimate nonsexual exchange you can have with a stranger.
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