Welcome to The 411, my new Q&A column answering all your questions about cell phones and cell phone accessories. I receive plenty of questions about these subjects via e-mail, so I figured many of you might have the same questions, too. At times, I might solicit answers from readers if I'm stumped. Send your questions and comments to me at email@example.com. If you prefer to remain anonymous, let me know in the e-mail.
I am looking for a pay as you go plan with a phone that will last. Can you recommend one? My intent is to keep the cost down to below $20/month with basic texting and calling/receiving calls. -- Sudeep, via e-mail
Since you're looking for a phone that will last, I would recommend a rugged handset that's military-certified to take a beating. Luckily, Boost Mobile offers a number of those. One of the more recent ones is the Motorola Clutch i465, which is rather compact and sports a QWERTY keyboard. It does cost around $80, but remember that's without a contract. As for the monthly plan, Boost Mobile doesn't offer flat rates quite that cheap, but Boost's Pay As You Go option costs 10 cents per text message, and 10 cents per voice minute. If you don't use the phone a lot, you can easily make it under $20 a month.
I live in the Bay Area and I'm planning on buying a prepaid phone but don't know which one has the best features and phones for me. I'm looking for a plan that will let me text, call, use the Web for a CHEAP price, and I'm looking for a good music phone, with a music player and FM RADIO, what is the best plan for me? I send around maybe 130 txts a month, talk around 100 minutes a month, and browse the Web A LOT. What/which plan, phone, and prepaid carrier would be the best option for me? -- ST, via e-mail
I tried looking for a phone that satisfies all your requirements and it was quite difficult.… Read more
For years, file sharers have wondered why copyright owners don't go after Google, when the search engine is as effective at finding pirated film and music content as The Pirate Bay or any other BitTorrent search engine.
It seems as if someone at the British Phonographic Industry must have wondered about that too, as the trade group for the music industry in Great Britain has requested that Google remove links to some popular file-sharing sites, including Megaupload, 4shared.com, Zippyshare, and MediaFire.
"We have identified the following links that are available via Google's search engine," the … Read more
"YOU DON'T GET TO 500 MILLION FRIENDS WITHOUT MAKING A FEW ENEMIES," reads the tagline on the first official poster for "The Social Network," the upcoming Columbia Pictures film about the origins of Facebook.
The all-caps text covers the entire poster, superimposed over the face of young actor Jesse Eisenberg, who wears an expression of awe on the cusp of metamorphosing into malevolence. In "The Social Network," due in theaters this October, Eisenberg plays Mark Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook in his dorm room at Harvard University and ultimately turned it into a digital … Read more
I know you, like so many, will never be able to live without the word "tweet." It has become as much a part of our lives as "iPad", "troll" and "Lol."
Not everyone thinks this way, however. The New York Times, for one, announced that its writers would no longer be so cavalier as to use the Twitter byword.
"Tweet" is not, according to the Times Standards Editor, Phil Corbett, "standard English." "Tweet," he opined, may well fade into oblivion. Surely, I opine, only if BP … Read more
Pornography, like beauty, is very much in the eye of the beholder.
For some, pornography is any woman in an advanced state of nakedness and any man without shorts. (Unless they're at, say, a hot springs in Calistoga, Calif.) For others, porn is the amount of food some Americans like to put on their plates.
So perhaps one should vigorously exercise subjectivity on hearing that Apple is reportedly to allow the Sun newspaper to enjoy a magical iPad app.
Some might be surprised at this decision as, in 2009, Apple prevented an app called Newspaper(s) from appearing on the iPhone specifically because this app offered all the finest aspects of the Sun newspaper.
By "finest," I am naturally implying that the app contained shots of girls next door who happened to have omitted their shirts. These are lovingly known in the U.K. as the "Page 3 girls."
This time around the situation is, allegedly, different. PaidContent reported that the Sun's iPad app has been approved because all who download it (for almost $8) have to declare that they have more than 300 growing in their armpits and 12 on their chins. Yes, you must state that you are 17.
Your first reaction might be that if all an app needs to do to gain approval is to ask every downloader whether he or she is of an age to cope with such material, then perhaps there might be a flood of application applications with a hard core of content.… Read more