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This week in wireless

For those who get carried away with holiday spirits, you may be interested in a service tailored to help avoid making drunken calls.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
2 min read
If you are planning to attend holiday parties this season, you may be interested in a new service tailored to help people avoid making those embarrassing drunken calls.

Australia's Virgin Mobile lets customers punch in a code plus a phone number they don't want to call when drunk. Virgin Mobile will--for a 25-cent fee--stop all calls to that number by blacklisting it until 6 a.m. the following day.

A survey of 409 people by Australia's Virgin Mobile, a joint venture of Virgin Group and Optus, found that 95 percent made drunken phone calls. Of those calls, 30 percent were to ex-partners, 19 percent to current partners and 36 percent to other people, including their bosses.

Soon, there will be no reason to feel lonely when alone with your cell phone. Under an agreement with Seattle-based Dwango Wireless, Playboy plans to sell adult mobile-phone content in the United States and Canada for the first time early next year.

The deal calls for Dwango to develop and deliver Playboy-themed games, images, video clips, voice clips and ring tones. The Playboy service is likely to feature images from the company's magazine, while audio clips will focus on jazz and hip-hop.

In the municipal Wi-Fi wars, Pennsylvania's governor signed closely watched legislation that Philadelphia officials had worried would imperil their plans to provide Wi-Fi service to all city residents. One section of the complex law says cities and townships "may not provide to the public" any broadband or wireless services if a fee is charged.

But when signing the legislation, Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell said that a last-minute compromise would allow Philadelphia's ambitious mesh network to proceed as planned.

The Republican-authored bill is designed to prevent local governments from using their muscle to elbow aside private companies that otherwise would invest in broadband and wireless services. It is backed by Verizon Communications, the largest telephone company in Pennsylvania.