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November 22, 2013 | By Jon Healey
Giving voice to the outrage felt by many, my colleague Paul Whitefield blasted the Federal Communications Commission for considering a new rule that would allow airline passengers to use their cellphones in flight.  "Now I may have to hear the Valley girl on my left and the punk rocker on my right describe their BFF who's so LOL and their bitchin' night in Vegas? I'm gonna have to hear Grandpa Earl regale his kid with stories of his prostate problems?" an exasperated Whitefield (although that may be redundant)
November 22, 2013 | By Paul Whitefield
Let me just say this about the possibility that the FCC will let people make cellphone calls on airplanes: Geronimooooooooooooo!!!! (Uh, no offense to Native Americans intended.) POLL: Should the FCC allow cellphone use in flight? Because if that happens, I'm jumpin'. A 21st century D.B. Cooper. But no parachute, thank you. At least I'll have some peace and quiet on the way down. The news broke late Thursday that, as my colleague Andrea Chang wrote: "The Federal Communications Commission is considering allowing fliers to make in-flight voice calls on their cellphones once the plane reaches 10,000 feet….
November 21, 2013 | By Andrea Chang
That screaming baby may no longer be the most annoying thing on your flight. The Federal Communications Commission is considering allowing fliers to make in-flight voice calls on their cellphones once the plane reaches 10,000 feet. The practice has long been banned on domestic flights, even as other rules governing mobile device use on flights have eased. The commission is scheduled to vote on whether to move forward with the proposal during a Dec. 12 meeting, according to two FCC officials who declined to be named because the plan had yet to be formally presented to the commission.
November 21, 2013 | By Andrea Chang
Sprint has landed at the bottom of Consumer Reports' annual ranking of cellphone service providers, dropping from the No. 2 spot last year. Sprint this year received "dismal marks" for value, voice, text and 4G reliability, according to the report, which is based on a survey of 58,399 subscribers. Verizon was once again the top major carrier, receiving high scores for data service and "some aspects of customer support. " AT&T and T-Mobile got mostly middling marks, although AT&T received the top rating for the reliability of its 4G service.
November 2, 2013
Re "Dying while on foot," Column, Oct. 29 To reduce pedestrian accidents and deaths, we should increase the fines fourfold for texting or using cellphones in any way while driving. No one should be able to access their phone any time they are behind the wheel, but too many cars have drivers with cellphones plastered to their ears. Is it possible to disengage the cellphone with the same ignition off-switch used for drunk drivers? Vicki Scrimger Rancho Palos Verdes ALSO: Mailbag: A giant biblical mystery Letters: Green governors don't frack Letters: Digging deeper into the NSA
October 30, 2013 | By Andrea Chang
Americans are spending more time on their digital devices, and that won't change for years, according to a new study. The USC report released Wednesday shows that Americans consume "an enormous amount" of media via television, radio, phone and computer, amounting to an average of 63 gigabytes per person per day last year. All told, total U.S. media consumption reached 1.46 trillion hours in 2012, an average of 13.6 hours per person per day, a year-over-year increase of 5%. In comparison, U.S. media consumption averaged 33 gigabytes per person per day in 2008.
October 29, 2013 | By Richard Winton and Kate Mather
A cellphone charger in a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy's pocket saved her from serious injury during a struggle in Inglewood early Tuesday when a parolee opened fire and the bullet glanced off the device. Authorities called it "miraculous. " The suspect, described as a 49-year-old parolee, was shot and killed but not before he fired again, grazing the deputy's partner in the hand, officials said. Both deputies were treated at area hospitals and released later in the day. Sheriff Lee Baca said the deputy probably would have been seriously injured had the cellphone charger not deflected the bullet, sending it down her pant leg. It grazed her leg and went out her pants.
October 29, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
Talk about coverage! A Florida gas station clerk's cellphone stopped a bullet fired by a robber early Monday and saved the clerk from serious injury, police said. Police from the Orlando suburb of Winter Garden told the Orlando Sentinel that the stickup began about 4:45 a.m. when the gunman asked for help looking for a drink before pulling a revolver. The gunman wanted the two clerks to get into the safe at the Hess station, but they weren't able to open it. That's when the gunman ran away -- but not before firing a single bullet that struck one of the clerks in the abdomen, police told the Sentinel.
October 25, 2013 | By David Ng
Cellphone ringing has become a commonplace annoyance at concerts around the world. But rarely is such a disruption captured on video - and rarer still is the case when a professional orchestra uploads the video onto YouTube. Sweden's Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra posted a video this week showing a performance of Haydn's Piano Concerto in D. A persistently ringing cellphone brings the concert to a halt, with conductor and soloist Christian Zacharias looking up in aggravation from the keyboard.
October 23, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
The mystery of the exploding North Hollywood truck has been solved, police say. It was sparked when a man, trying to get high, plugged in his cellphone charger while huffing propane inside the cab. This, police say, is according to the man himself. According to police, on Tuesday night a man with a burned scalp and face walked into the Los Angeles Police Department's North Hollywood substation and explained what sparked an explosion earlier that morning in the 11300 block of Miranda Street.
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