Following a report issued late last month by the World Health Organization suggesting cell phones may be carcinogenic, The Economist has published a response column dismissing the report as overblown. According to the report, low-frequency microwaves such as those emitted by cell phones simply do not have enough power to produce anything but extremely low levels of heat. “No matter how powerful the transmitter, radio waves simply cannot produce ionising radiation,” the column reads. “Only gamma rays, X-rays and extreme ultra-violet waves, which operate in the far (ie, high-frequency) end of the electromagnetic spectrum, along with fission fragments and other particles from within an atom, and cosmic rays (those particles’ equivalents from outer space) are energetic enough to knock electrons off other atoms to break chemical bonds and produce dangerous molecules called free radicals. It is these highly reactive free radicals that damage a person’s DNA, causing mutation, radiation sickness, cancer and death, depending on the dose.” The energy carried by these microwaves, the report contends, is approximately one million times too weak to produce free radicals. More →
RIM has announced that the company’s first BlackBerry tablet will go on sale in sixteen new countries over the next month, including Australia, France, Germany, India, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. Its unclear if RIM has any carrier partners lined up or how much the device will retail for abroad. In the United States, Sprint most recently announced that it will begin selling the Wi-Fi PlayBook, and it also has plans to sell a 4G WiMAX version of the tablet this summer. More →
According to a new report from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, “radio frequency electromagnetic fields” are “possibly carcinogenic to humans based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer associated with wireless phone use.” The agency met with with 31 scientists from 14 countries from May 24th through May 31st, 2011 to assess the potential carcinogenic hazards of cell phone usage. The report said that the results were “evaluated as being limited among users of wireless telephones for glioma and acoustic neuroma,” and that it was not relevant to finding conclusions for whether or not cell phones can cause other types of cancers. “Given the potential consequences for public health of this classification and findings, it is important that additional research be conducted into the long-term, heavy use of mobile phones,” IARC Director Chrisopher Wild said. “Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands-free devices or texting.” The full report will be published on July 1 in The Lancet Oncology. More →
Apple has reportedly submitted a proposal for a new industry stand for SIM cards that would drastically reduce their size. According to Reuters, Apple’s new SIM design is even smaller than the micro-SIM the company currently uses in its iPhone 4 smartphone and iPad tablets. The new SIM card, which has already been backed by France’s Orange and other carriers, would allow cell phone manufacturers to build devices that are much thinner as a result of the smaller, thinner SIM readers that could be included in phones and tablets. “We were quite happy to see last week that Apple has submitted a new requirement to (European telecoms standards body) ETSI for a smaller SIM form factor — smaller than the one that goes in iPhone 4 and iPad,” Orange’s head of mobile told Reuters. “They have done that through the standardization route, through ETSI, with the sponsorship of some major mobile operators, Orange being one of them.” Neither Apple or ETSI have commented on the the proposed SIM. More →
An image procured by French site FrAndroid suggests that HTC’s unannounced — but well documented — Pyramid handset may be scheduled for a European release in very the near future. This site’s source indicated that the 1.2GHz, 4.3-inch handset should be landing on French carrier SFR sometime in “late-May.” HTC recently announced an April 14th media event, and the Pyramid is popular announcement prognostications from technology pundits. It does seem unlikely that this particular handset will ever make its way Stateside, but a blogger can dream… can’t he? More →
It seems as though French mobile carrier SFR has shed some light on the unannounced
Palm Pre 2. According to the telecom company’s website, the device will rock a 1 GHz processor, have 512 MB of RAM, and run the very sensual webOS 2.0. There isn’t any indication of when a potential launch could occur, but the fact that SFR has published — unintentionally or not — details of the Pre Deuce has to be a good sign. What do you think webOS fans? Is this good news or are you looking for a little bit more hardware creativity from HP and company?
[Via PreCentral] More →
Good news for Android users situated in Canada and and 11 Western European nations, as today Google announced the immediate availability of its free Google Maps Navigation application in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland. To get Google Maps Navigation 4.2 you’ll need to live in the aforementioned countries and have an Android phone running 1.6 and up. Also announced by Google was the addition of support for French, German, Italian and Spanish for Google Voice Search. This update applies not only to Android, but BlackBerry and iPhone as well. No update to the application is needed to gain support for the additional languages, but if you’re the paranoid type you can grab the app at m.google.com or the iTunes App Store. More →
We imagine that there will have been an inordinate number of sick days claimed yesterday in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, as the iPad went available for sale in the aforementioned nations. The price of the device, as well as data plans for the 3G model, vary greatly from country to country, so if you’ve not already done so, hit up your respective online Apple webstore to check out how much you’ll need to shell out to become the laughingstock envy of your neighbors. Also let us know if you’re outside the U.S. and finally got an iPad!
Orange CEO Delegate, Stéphane Richard, in charge of operations in France, let go a bit of a bombshell when asked by a reporter whether an Apple tablet would be announced before the end of the month he responded, “yes.” Now, our French is a bit rusty, but AppleInsider is reporting a portion of the translation as such:
Elkabbach: According to weekly Le Point, in a couple of days Apple will be launching its tablet computer…
Elkabbach: …equipped with a webcam.
Elkabbach: Are Orange customers going to be able to enjoy it?
Richard: Of course!
Richard hasn’t really admitted to the tablets imminent release, however, by not outright denying the rumored tablets existence he has set off of firestorm amongst Apple fans. For those of you who do speak French we have the video queued up for you after the break. Let us know via the comments if we missed anything. More →
Earlier in the year, Orange’s iPhone exclusivity in France was forced to an end by a court decision from the Competition Council following a complaint filed by Bouygues Telecom. This decision and its re-affirmation by the higher courts has opened the floodgates for the iPhone to conquer France with the handset making its appearance on Bouygues Telecom and SFR in addition to Orange. Competition leads to increased sales, increased sales leads to price wars and significant price slashing has hit the iPhone in France. Orange has cut its price on the 16GB iPhone 3GS to a lowly €59 ($48USD) from its original sticker of €149 ($213USD), the iPhone 3G 8GB has fallen to a mere €19 ($27USD), while the iPhone 3GS 32GB retails for€169 ($242USD). Strings are attached as customers must sign up for an Origami Star contract, starting a €40.90 ($48USD) per month. Priced slightly higher is SFR which offers the iPhone 3G 8GB for €29 ($42USD), the iPhone 3GS 16GB for €99 ($ 141USD) and the 3GS 32GB for €199 ($284USD). Not wanting to feel left behind, expect other telecoms in France and perhaps even the surrounding markets to follow suit.
Okay, maybe the “not really a bird” thunderbird won’t be taking the place of the Gallic rooster as the avian mascot of France, but as far as the French military is concerned, Thunderbird is number one. Back in 2003 the French military began debating whether it would be wise to continue using a proprietary email client, such as Microsoft’s Outlook, or if it would be of greater benefit to transition to an open source client like Mozilla’s Thunderbird. In 2007 the decision was made, and officials agreed that Thunderbird would help, “seek maximum technological and commercial independence.” Fast forward to today, the French have TrustedBird — the name they’ve given Thunderbird when loaded with their developed extensions — deployed on over 80,000 military machines running a variety of operating systems. Oh, and for those of you wondering, the French are being good open source community members. This week Mozilla released Thunderbird 3, an effort which took nearly two and a half years, and you may (or may not) be happy to know that code located in Thunderbird 3 is a direct result of the TrustedBird project. France’s Col. Bruno Poirier-Coutansais acknowledges that open-source software, “is never completely free,” for large organizations to adopt, however they are quite pleased with the performance, features, and flexibility provided by their Thunderbird iteration. We’re curious, what email client are you using on your desktop/laptop? Viva la Thunderbird! More →
While many of our readers think the BlackBerry Curve 8520 is about as boring as it gets, truth be told it’s infinitely more functional than most devices in its (Walmart or Amazon) price range and it invites a whole new demo over to Berry. One of our RIM ninjas hit us up this morning to let us know that within the next month it should be available for purchase in France from Bouygues Telecom. A hard price and street date have yet to be set, but we can’t imagine that it will cost all that much, if anything at all, considering the $0.01 – $48.88 pricing we have here in the states. Vive la Curve.
Vodafone and HTC came together today to announce the HTC Magic, the latest Android handset we named and outed yesterday. As the world’s first touchscreen-only Android phone, the Magic isn’t that much of an improvement over the G1 though it does have a nicer look to it and some spec improvements behind it. Details as to when the Magic will launch are hazy at best but the Vodafone UK website states it will be “Arriving in April.” Being a Vodafone exclusive, customers in the UK, Spain, France and Germany will be the first in line to get the Magic while Italian mobile aficionados will be able to purchase the Magic as a non-exclusive. After that it’s anyone’s guess as to where else thing thing will show up, be it under the Vodafone name or otherwise. Here’s to hoping it makes its way to this side of the world as soon as possible. Now to the specs:
- Android OS
- Quad-band EDGE / dual-band 7.2Mbps HSDPA (900/2100 MHz)
- 512MHz Qualcomm® MSM7201a
- 512MB ROM / 192MB RAM
- 3.2″ HVGA touchscreen display (though the presser and Voda say QVGA, Android does not play nice with QVGA displays)
- Virtual QWERTY keypad, trackball
- 3.2 megapixel camear w/ AF (no flash)
- WiFi 802.11 b/g
- Bluetooth 2.0
- 1340 mAh battery
- Talktime: 400 min 3G / 450 min GSM
- Standby: 660 hours 3G / 420 hours GSM
- 113mm x 55mm x 13.65mm, 118.5g
- Available in black and/or white depending on market
Not bad and not great, but we’re happy the Magic is a bit more refined compared to the banana-faced G1. Some of the basics however, such as a 3.5mm audio jack and an LED flash are unfortunately still MIA. Why HTC, why?
Jeté the jump for the full press release.