Archive for the ‘Cellular’ Category

Carrier IQ Researcher Posts Video Showing Software Spying On Encrypted Transmissions.

  • November 30, 2011 12:28 am

The public image surrounding Carrier IQ, the company infamously called out by security research and XDA dev, Trevor Eckhart, just got kicked in the teeth while it was picking itself up off the ground.

If you recall, Eckhart accused Carrier IQ’s software of going way too far in how/what it tracks on mobile phones. (Read: it pretty much tracks everything — even encrypted transmissions.) Carrier IQ responded with a lawsuit which they then repealed shortly thereafter while also tossing an apology Eckhart’s way. Now Eckhart is hitting back once again with a new video that shows Carrier IQ software doing the very thing(s) the company claims they don’t — invasive tracking of private and encrypted user data. It’s so deep into the phone in fact that phone calls, text messages, passwords sent over HTTPS and other forms of communication are logged and easily read (provided you have the tools and know-how) before the phone notifies you that there is anything to see/hear.

We’ll clear the air and say that the type of tracking and data sorting that Carrier IQ essentially aims for is highly beneficial to carriers as well as consumers. For carriers it helps them understand end user usage habits and spot trouble areas in network coverage (among other things). For end users, the mere fact that the carrier is actively monitoring their network to make sure your experience is optimal is good enough we think. Unfortunately, Carrier IQ is lying right through their teeth when it comes to what the software does, not to mention being able to rather easily see the contents of transmissions sent via the secure HTTPS protocol is highly alarming.

When questioned again by, Carrier IQ wouldn’t comment on the allegations above, simply stating that they “are looking forwarding to our meeting with EFF this week and will continue to keep you updated”

Paranoid/angry yet?

Video after the break. It’s long, but very informative and well worth the ~17 minutes required to see it from start to finish.

Bonus: Verizon Tosses More Cities Into Mid-December LTE Rollout.

  • November 22, 2011 11:22 am

While there are certain things you can perform too fast, rolling out a nation wide LTE network is not one of them. In addition to previously announced Indiana and Ohio cities, Verizon has added the following to the list of towns getting sweet, succulent LTE service December 15th:

  • Delaware: Dover
  • Georgia: Skidaway, Whitemarsh, Wilmington and Tybee Islands, Garden City, Rincon, Springfield, Guyton, Pembroke, Richmond Hill, Midway, Hinesville, and Savannah
  • Hew Hampshire: Greater Manchester and Nashua
  • Massachusetts: Fitchburg, Leominster, Lunenburg, and Townsend
  • New York:Clintondale, Fishkill, Hyde Park, Kingston, New Paltz, Plattekill, Poughkeepsie, Red Hook, Rhinebeck, Saugerties, and Wappingers Falls (along I-87 corridor in New York).

Certainly not a bad way to end the year, eh?

Verizon Eyeing Global LTE Roaming Partners For Canadian And Western European Markets.

  • November 21, 2011 12:09 pm

LTE is a GSM based technology meaning (in theory) we should be able to roam amongst LTE networks across the country, and on a larger scale, the world. Unfortunately things aren’t so easy. The various LTE markets popping up around the globe are making use of an increasingly diverse number of frequencies, meaning hardware support has to added by way of additional radios. It doesn’t take a genius to then realize that only so many radios can be crammed into a phone. With that said, certain carriers/frequencies are close enough that true LTE roaming will be possible.

Verizon is looking to finally enter the world of GSM/LTE roaming as made evident by a new job posting seeking a “Manager of Global LTE Roaming”, specifically singling out Canadian and European markets. But before you go jumping for joy at the thought of real LTE roaming, we most point out that any actual LTE roaming agreements won’t reach the end user until late-2012/early-2013…

T-Mobile Launching New 21 And 42 Mbps HSPA+ Networks Today.

  • November 16, 2011 12:33 pm

Verizon isn’t the only one giving a speed boost to vast numbers of data-hungry customers. T-Mobile too is upping the ante by unleashing new 21 and 42 Mbps service to select markets today.

  • 21 Mbps: Decatur and Peoria, Ill.; Evansville, Ind.; Holland and Kalamazoo, Mich.; Santa Barbara, Calif; and State College, Pa.
  • 42 Mbps: Bend, Medford and Corvallis, Ore.; Benton Harbor, Mich.; Bloomington, Champaign–Urbana and Springfield, Ill.; Columbus, Ga.; Hagerstown, Md.; Montgomery, Ala; and Yuba City, Calif.

Pure, blinding speed. We love it.

Verizon’s LTE Steamroller Continues Across The U.S. — 14 New Markets Announced For November 17th.

  • November 16, 2011 7:41 am

Verizon’s massive LTE push continues without a vengeance, with the carrier announcing 14 new markets (on top of their already stout 179) that are set to go live November 17th.

  • Little Rock, Ark., Savannah, Ga., Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, Iowa, Lexington, Ky., Starkville, Miss., Kansas City and Springfield/Branson, Mo., Lincoln, Neb., Orange County, N.Y., Greater Providence, R.I., Rapid City, S.D., Roanoke, Va., and Appleton/Oshkosh, Wis.

Expanded LTE service will be coming to residents of: Pittsburgh, Louisville, Ky., Grand Rapids, Mich., and Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of hopping around on an LTE network, we’ll simply say that 5-20 Mbps down is…awesome. Your battery, meanwhile, will hate you forever. You win and you lose some.

Department Of Justice Prepared To Fight AT&T Merger Over The Long Haul.

  • November 8, 2011 2:18 pm

It looks like no amount of AT&T/T-Mobile lobbying will net them an easy victory in Washington this time around. Reuters is reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder has told lawmakers the “people in the antitrust division are committed to seeing this through” — “this” of course being the ongoing AT&T/T-Mobile merger in the U.S. That’s a big win for U.S. cellular customers and not so much for T-Mobile/AT&T shareholders looking for a quick buck at consumers’ expense.

AT&T has already vocally stated they’re in this for the long haul. And now that the DoJ is showing they’re equally as steadfast in their position, it’s certain to be a long, courtroom filled journey for everyone involved.

Stay tuned…

Buzzkill: Verizon’s “Double Data” Promotion Only For New Phone Activations Within Last 14 Days.

  • November 8, 2011 2:08 pm

That super awesome “Double Data” Verizon deal(s) we told you about yesterday seemed too good to be true. And, well…they were. Today’s it’s become apparent that only 4G phones purchased and activated within the last 14 days will have the option to tap into all that extra VZW-provided data. We confirmed the info with one of our own VZW sources much to our dismay.

It’s a shame, really. For those not eligible for upgrade or not able to part with the extra cash to open another line, we feel for you. For the rest of you out there who can still benefit from the new Double Data plans, you should feel even more special now.

What Is Your Idea Of The Perfect Cellphone Plan?

  • November 1, 2011 3:26 pm

Depending on what country you reside in and what carrier you choose goes a long way into determining what kind of mobile user you are. While you may think you’re a buffet-type of consumer, an $80/month 500 MB data plan will cut you far short of your goals. But what if you’re focus is more on messaging. Voice calls? Truth is, there are a handful of decent options in the U.S., though our friends across the sea in Europe actually have it better — a trait that until recently used to be flipped.

In our eyes, the “perfect” cellular plan would feature absolutely 0 voice minutes. It would lack any specific allotment to “text messages” too. Instead, we’d opt for true, unlimited data. Price: $50/month. IF we had to put a limit on it we’d go for something rather forward looking and reasonable, say 50 GB. While that may seem like an obscene amount today, when you figure voice and text messaging are moving towards data-based alternatives, not to mention the onslaught of high-resolution photos and HD video, 50 GB will become the new 500 MB in no time flat.

You’ve heard ours, now what’s yours?

Buy A Nokia Lumia 800 On Orange UK And Get A Free Xbox 360.

  • October 26, 2011 1:55 pm

There are all kinds of lengths smartphone manufacturers and cellular providers will go to to score an exclusive monthly deal with your wallet. But this latest attempt by UK carrier Orange is one of the more enticing ones we’ve heard of — ever.

Renew or sign up for a new 2-year contract and purchase Nokia’s new Lumia 800 WP7 smartphone and score yourself a free Xbox 360. Yes. A complete Xbox 360. Even if it’s probably the 4 GB “starter” version a free 360 is a free 360.

Any UK readers going to take up Orange (and Microsoft/Nokia) on the deal?