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BUSINESS
March 12, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- State electronic-crime investigators have arrested two Sacramento men and charged them with the fraudulent purchase of large quantities of smartphones for resale in Hong Kong. California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris announced Tuesday the arrest of Shou Lin Wen, 39, and Yuting Tan, 27, both of Sacramento, following a six-month, multi-state investigation of alleged stolen smartphones. According to court documents, the scheme involved the dispatching of homeless people to purchase up to five smartphones at subsidized prices from wireless dealers as part of a contract for cellphone service.
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BUSINESS
April 23, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Mozilla, better know for its Firefox Web browser, is trying to get into the smartphone business, and if its first step into the market is any indication, it may have a winner. On Tuesday, the nonprofit organization rolled out to developers two smartphones running its Firefox OS mobile operating system. It sold out in just a few hours. Firefox OS is a new platform that is set to debut this year in Latin America and Europe. The operating system is based on HTML5 and is intended to give users an alternative to "vendor-controlled ecosystems," Mozilla said in a blog this week.
BUSINESS
January 10, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Samsung has been rumored to be readying flexible, high-resolution displays for its smartphones, and this week at CES the South Korean tech giant somewhat confirmed those rumors by showing off several prototypes. At its keynote the company announced Youm, a new line of flexible OLED displays. OLED technology allows companies to create thinner and lighter displays that also provide even more vivid images than other HD technologies. Brian Berkeley, senior vice president of Samsung's San Jose Display Lab, said that with Youm the company can make displays on ultra-thin and unbreakable plastic.
NEWS
March 12, 2013 | By Paul Whitefield
“AAA says smartphones may soon replace traditional car keys.” Wow, it's like an episode from “The Twilight Zone.” On Monday, I found someone's car keys on my lawn, and then on Tuesday, there's this story. As my colleague Jerry Hirsch wrote on the Highway 1 blog: The metal car key is fast disappearing, replaced by “smart” electronic car keys and fobs.  Now AAA says it expects smart keys to be transitional technology, soon to be replaced by people's phones. Darn!
BUSINESS
February 23, 2012 | By Ken Dilanian
This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details. Just as U.S. companies are coming to grips with the threats to their computer networks emanating from cyber spies based in China, a noted expert is highlighting what he says is an even more pernicious vulnerability in smartphones. Dmitri Alperovitch, the former McAfee cyber security researcher who is best known for identifying a widespread China-based cyber espionage operation he dubbed " Shady Rat ," has used a previously unknown hole in smartphone browsers to deliver an existing piece of China-based malware that can commandeer the device, record its calls, pinpoint its location and access user texts and emails.
BUSINESS
January 16, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - California regulators decided Thursday not to consider the need for tougher privacy protection for smartphone users. In a 3-2 vote, the Public Utilities Commission denied a petition from consumer groups asking it to investigate the need for stronger privacy standards. It would have been the PUC's first attempt to update 2-decade-old phone privacy protections in effect since the dawn of the hand-held cellphone era. Siding with phone companies, Commissioner Mark J. Ferron opposed new privacy regulations and said there was "a lack of documented examples of actual breaches of customer privacy.
BUSINESS
March 19, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
The HTC One, the Taiwanese phone maker's latest flagship smartphone, may not be available until April because of part shortages, according to a report released Tuesday. HTC had said it would release its device this month, but several of the company's retail distributors and phone carriers told the Wall Street Journal that HTC has notified them of shipment delays. The delays appear to be related to the HTC One's metal casing and parts of its camera, according to the report.
BUSINESS
December 12, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said a deal has been reached between the agency and mobile carriers that will make smartphone unlocking legal. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the agreement will ensure customers are allowed to unlock their devices as well as receive information from their carriers on how and when they can do so. Smartphone unlocking allows users to switch the carriers that provide service for their devices. Some carriers like to keep the devices they sell locked to prevent customers from taking their smartphones to their rivals.
BUSINESS
May 13, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Knowing there's a lot of interest in waterproof smartphones, Sony has been coming out with devices that not only can survive an accidental drop in the toilet but actually be used underwater. It's latest, the Xperia ZR, can even record HD video while submerged. The Japanese tech company said the phone, unveiled Monday, can be nearly 5 feet underwater for up to 30 minutes. The device can go in only fresh water, so users can't take it with them into the ocean where saltwater can corrode the phone.
BUSINESS
October 22, 2012 | By Salvador Rodriguez, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
HTC may be the latest company to jump into the 5-inch screen smartphone market, according to a report. The first pictures of a rumored 5-inch HTC smartphone hit the Web this weekend along with a report that says the phone could arrive on Verizon around Thanksgiving. The phone is called the HTC DLX -- as in deluxe -- and has a full 1080p HD display, according to Android Central , which got its pictures from an unnamed source. The phone is believed to have an 8-megapixel rear camera and run on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
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