After taking the CTIA's Best in Show award at the association's trade show last month (CNET picked our own winners from the event), the five month-old Samsung Moment is getting a brief moment in the spotlight. Though Android 2.1, which is due any day, could be what finally turns this good phone into a great one, it may matter little if the follow-up device is actually on its way.
Last December, just as I returned from covering the first flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Seattle, I learned that a longtime friend was diagnosed with brain cancer. He had collapsed that day at work and was in the hospital awaiting immediate removal of his tumor. Needless to say, it was a distressing few days, but the surgery was successful and he was back home by Christmas.
About a month later he called me with a question. He hesitated before asking and, frankly, I felt a lump in my throat, because I knew what was coming. "So, do you think there really is a connection between cell phones and brain cancer?" he asked. "I figured that you'd know more about this than I do." Unfortunately, I couldn't answer him, and I may never be able to do so.
For background on cell phone radiation, see CNET's cell phone radiation charts
Though he was hardly the first person to ask that question, this time it came from someone who really cared about the answer. He was searching for an explanation for what had happened to him; he wanted to make sense of it and understand how cancer had come into his otherwise carefully organized life. I felt bad that I couldn't reply, but I just don't know if there is any link between cell phone radiation and cancer risk. Though studies on the subject abound, none can tell us conclusively whether mobile radiation does or does not adversely affect your health.
I realize that may not be what you want to hear, but science can't conform to human emotion and our desire to find an answer quickly. Single scientific studies (the good ones, at least) investigate and often suggest causal relationships between one thing and another based on their findings, but it can take years of exhaustive research before studies actually prove anything (if they do at all). And when you throw in a bunch of studies that seem to contradict each other, you wind up with a lot of confusion.
Perhaps? Just take the Interphone study, for example. Started in 2000 by a group of 13 countries, to date the study remains the largest body of work on the subject. Many hoped that it would offer some solid guidance, but that hasn't been the case. Not only did researchers disagree on how to interpret the data, some health advocacy groups decried that the mobile industry had partially funded the effort. Some participating have reported that the study found a link between long-term cell phone use (10 years or more) and increased brain cancer risk, but the final results have yet to be published.
Consider also Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, who published a controversial memo in 2008 that cautioned his staff against frequent cell phone use. Herberman acknowledged that the ongoing research remained controversial, but said there was sufficient data to be concerned. He was criticized, however, for basing his conclusions on unpublished data from the Interphone study.
Perhaps not The cell phone industry continues to point to other studies that show no risk. According to the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), the industry's lobbying group in Washington, "impartial groups, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Cancer Society, and the National Institute of Health, have all concluded that the scientific evidence to date does not demonstrate any adverse health effects associated with the use of wireless phones."
That may sound better, but keep in mind that the industry has an interest in assuring you that cell phones are safe. Similarly, studies can be flawed and can be published by someone eager to get their name in print. So again, think about the issue carefully; we don't know with certainty that there is a risk, but we don't know that there isn't one. So don't panic and don't bury your head in the sand. You may scoff that I'm even writing this column, but I'd be irresponsible not to. Research has to continue, and I hope that we get it from impartial sources (if they exist). … Read more
Verizon's next Android handset, the HTC Incredible, is becoming the carrier's worst-kept secret. Over the last few days a succession of leaks and hints have hit the gadget rumor mill, again leading us to believe that an announcement could be just days away.
Last Wednesday, a screenshot of Verizon's internal system on AndroidForums listed more than 150,000 HTC INC ADR6300 handsets as "on order." According to the image, the phones are in a Verizon Wireless warehouse, prepped for retail.
Only the most passionate cell phone geeks know that the Federal Communications Commission holds a treasure trove of information on upcoming handsets. Because the FCC has to certify every phone sold in the United States, not to mention test its SAR rating, the agency's online database offers a lot of sneak peeks to those who dig. And to save you the trouble, Crave has combed through the database for you. Here are a selection of filings from the past week on new and upcoming cell phones. Click through to read the full report.
Samsung deserved the attention it received last week at CTIA for introducing its Galaxy S. The Android smartphone is pretty and powerful, but we still don't know a lot about Social Hub, one of its central features.
Social Hub is Samsung's answer to Motorola's MotoBlur and Sony Ericsson's Timescape (see our Xperia X10 review for more on Timescape). Social Hub promises to integrate your e-mail, text messages, calendars, and social networking feeds into a steady stream of communication. You'll also get combined work and personal calendars and a unified e-mail in-box.
Social Hub sounds … Read more
Scream loudly enough and eventually they'll listen. Well, Microsoft listened anyway.
Responding to all the feedback (read: criticism) about the Windows Phone 7 Series name, the company revealed Friday that it's dropping "Series" from the nomenclature, and the new mobile operating system will simply be called Windows Phone 7 from now on.
Here's Microsoft's official statement on the matter:
Customers want a simpler way to say and use the name consistently. The important thing is keeping the focus on the Windows Phone brand, which we introduced in October and will continue investing in through … Read more
Samsung is one of the most prolific handsetmakers out there, with almost a new phone every month. In this gallery of new Samsung phones, we take a look at just a few that have come out in recent months.
The Samsung SGH-T139 is a basic flip phone for T-Mobile that doesn't offer much, but it does deliver when it comes to making phone calls. Similarly, the Samsung Stunt for MetroPCS is a relatively lightweight candy-bar phone but at least it's affordable and has simple features like Bluetooth and a speakerphone. On the higher end, the Samsung Trill … Read more
Motorola announced the Motorola H17txt today, and no, it's not an April Fools' joke. The Bluetooth headset has MotoSpeak, Motorola's name for its text-to-speech technology. It is designed to read text messages to you so you never have to take your eyes off the road. Funnily, it also promises to read out acronyms like "lol" and "l8r" as actual words. It will also read out incoming caller/texter ID, plus it comes with a list of autoresponse messages.
Other features include A2DP streaming so you can listen to your podcasts or your phone's … Read more
Just to be clear, this is not an April Fools' joke, though we wouldn't blame you for thinking so because this deal is a bit ridonkulous.
Verizon Wireless announced on Thursday that customers who buy or upgrade to the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus will get the carrier's Mobile Hotspot feature for free, while current owners of the smartphone will find a big fat $0.00 for the service on their next bill.
Mobile Hotspot lets you turn the devices into a mobile Wi-Fi router that can provide a mobile broadband connection using Verizon's EV-DO … Read more
It's a very special day at Dialed In. For a limited-time engagement, our very own Bonnie Cha graces us with her presence on her way back to New York City from CTIA. Bonnie had a little business on the left coast, which included a visit to her old stomping grounds at the San Francisco office. She's even back in her old cubicle so it's like she never left.
But as exciting as her visit is, today's show is all about CTIA. We saw a lot happen last week in Vegas, from America's first commercially available (… Read more