Are in-flight phone calls in our future?The FCC considers lifting the ban on cell phone use on airplanes, Walmart prepares for a Black Friday battle against Amazon, and some early Xbox One owners have defective systems.
It's time to worry about in-flight phone yaking. I'm Bridget Carey, and this is your CNET update. In the near future, you may be allowed to use your cellphone to make a phone call during a flight. The Federal Communications Commission is considering lifting a ban on using phones and mobile data on airplanes about 10,000 feet. Even if this became a possibility, it would still be up to the airlines to set the rules. Some may allow people to use their phones; others may have a quiet, no-phone sitting zone. But to make a call, you may also have to pay an extra fee, just like paying for in-flight WiFi. It's not easy for retailers to compete against Amazon during the holiday shopping season. But Walmart is stepping up its game, and launching several promotions to lure you away from Amazon. For starters, it's Black Friday Doorbuster promotions are available online, Thursday morning, even before you start cooking the Turkey. And Walmart's Cyber Monday, starts on Saturday, and last all week online. Walmart also lowered its free shipping minimum purchase to $35, which is the same as Amazon's. And speaking of deals, Verizon and AT&T are practically giving away the Blackberry Z10 Smartphone. The Z10 is free at Verizon with a 2-year contract, and AT&T is just charging $0.49 for one with a contract. And the latest courtroom drama between Samsung and Apple, a jury in San Jose ruled that Samsung owes Apple an extra $290 million in damages for patent infringement on the iPhone. It brings Apple's total award amount to about $930 million. Samsung said, it is moving toward post-trial motions and appeals. A jury last year, ruled that Samsung had infringed on 5 Apple patents related to the iPhone's design and function. And in the first trial, Samsung was ordered to pay $640 million in damages, and this case, with a retrial to determine the additional damages Samsung owed. The XBOX One launched right after midnight, on Friday. But just like the PlayStation 4, some of the first customers are complaining about glitchy systems. A few users say, their disc drives do not work, and it just clicks and grinds when a disc is inserted. Some posted videos on YouTube about it, but it looks like a small number of people are complaining about the problem. Many factory defects happen with the products sold at a scale. But now the bugs get more attention, thanks to how easy it is to complain on YouTube and other forms. It'll take time to see how widespread this problem really is. Some of the first PlayStation 4 owners complained about units that failed to work, and displayed a flashing blue light. That's your tech news update. Then you can get more details on the show blog's cnet.com/update. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.