New tech lets you pee on your phone to check for an STD

By on November 9, 2010 at 8:00 AM.

New tech lets you pee on your phone to check for an STD

As much fun as it is to head to your doctor’s office or a clinic to get tested for an STD, it looks like there might be a slightly more private and comfortable option on the horizon. A group of organizations in the UK have combined to produce over $10 million in funding for research related to inexpensive portable STD test. The test consists of a single-use USB dongle-sized component containing a microchip. Once urinated upon, the device connects to a mobile phone or laptop and tests for herpes, chlamydia and gonorrhea with instant results. The tests would be distributed through vending machines in UK nightclubs, among other places, and would cost less than $2 each. It is almost a given that more private testing options will lead to more frequent testing and, hopefully, to safer behavior. Let’s just hope that once this great new mobile STD testing technology hits the market in the UK, it spreads quickly. More →

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Verizon makes $15 data plan official, testing unlimited mobile-to-mobile in some markets

By on October 29, 2010 at 7:22 AM.

Verizon makes $15 data plan official, testing unlimited mobile-to-mobile in some markets

There have been rumors floating around the internet about Verizon Wireless offering a second, “tiered” data plan, and that rumor was confirmed today. America’s largest wireless provider will begin offering a $15 monthly data plan to 3G smartphone users that offers 150MB data allowance. The carrier will bill overages at $15 per 150MB and the $30, unlimited data plan will remain unchanged.

Also hot off the rumor wagon, Engadget is reporting that Verizon is testing calling plans with unlimited, any-mobile-to-mobile minutes — a la Sprint — in select markets across Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The plans range from $60 all the way up to $130 — offering between 450 and 2000 minutes — and include unlimited text messaging. The unlimited mobile-to-mobile offerings are available until the end of 2010 at which point, we assume, Verizon will either expand or cancel the plans depending on demand. More →

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New MacBook Air benchmarked

By on October 26, 2010 at 8:30 PM.

New MacBook Air benchmarked

Have you been twiddling your thumbs, contemplating whether or not to get the svelte new MacBook Air? The folks over at Macworld might just have what you’ve been looking for — benchmark scores. The website has published benchmark results for all four variants of the new Air and as it turns out, all four outperformed previous generation models. The new 11.6-inch MacBook Air, even with its 1.4GHz processor, managed to outperform the older 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo models thanks to its speedy flash storage. The new 13.3-inch 1.86GHz model even managed to marginally outperform the current 13-inch MacBook Pro. So, if you are still sitting on the fence, check out our hands-on and then hit the read link for detailed benchmark results. More →

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Internet Explorer 9 gets short UI walkthrough video

By on September 7, 2010 at 9:00 PM.

Internet Explorer 9 gets short UI walkthrough video

It looks like video of the yet-to-be-released Internet Explorer 9 has surfaced on the web. The browser, which is scheduled to launch in beta next week, is seen sporting a new, cleaner user interface and scoring a 95 out of 100 on the Acid 3 browser test. We’ve got the 77 second video for you after the break, let us know if Microsoft’s latest iteration of IE is conjuring up thoughts about cheating on Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. More →

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Verizon Wireless has conducted successful LTE data calls in 34 markets

By on August 3, 2010 at 7:01 PM.

Verizon Wireless has conducted successful LTE data calls in 34 markets

One of our solid Verizon Wireless connects has dropped us a line to let us know that Verizon Wireless has made successful end-to-end LTE data calls in 34 of the 38 test markets it is currently operating. This leaked document seems to confirm what Verizon had said back in June, that they are on schedule to meet their goal of 25 to 30 LTE markets live by the end of 2010. We’ve already seen prototype LTE data sticks, what we’re really interested in seeing is LTE handsets!

Thanks, VzW Tipster!

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Carrier Wars: T-Mobile results, wrap up

By on August 21, 2009 at 4:20 PM.

Carrier Wars: T-Mobile results, wrap up

Well boys and girls, welcome to the final installment of Carrier Wars — the series of features in which we call upon our readers who represent each of the four major US wireless carriers to report the 3G speeds they’re experiencing across the country. It’s been quite a trip but the fourth and final carrier, T-Mobile USA, is now accounted for, which means its time to line everyone up side by side and see where the chips fell. So sit back, relax and hit the jump to see how your carrier stacks up against the competition.

More →

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Carrier Wars: Last but not least, T-Mobile

By on August 11, 2009 at 5:11 PM.

Carrier Wars: Last but not least, T-Mobile

What a long strange trip it’s been, mobile fans. Our Carrier Wars series has managed to tons of conversation surrounding the state of wireless carriers here in the US. Sure a lot of it is senseless banter, but beyond that there are legions of subscribers who are genuinely interested in learning what kind of performance BGR readers from across the country experience on their respective carriers. We told you each of the big four here in the US would be covered and sure enough, here we are at the last stop: T-Mobile USA. While T-Mobile’s 3G network is still in its infancy — albeit horribly late in the game — subscribers are often quick to sing Tmo’s 3G performance praise. Well T-Moblers, it’s your time to shine. If you have a 3G-ready handset and happen to find yourself in a covered region, we want to know what kind of speed you’re seeing. Remember, an ideal report includes handset model, AVERAGE download speed, AVERAGE upload speed and a link to a screenshot of your test. Feel free to throw your maximum speed numbers in there as well but they don’t concern us. Ok — hit the comments section and get to work!

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Carrier Wars: Sprint speed test results

By on August 8, 2009 at 3:15 PM.

Carrier Wars: Sprint speed test results

It’s here, mobile fans. The moment you’ve been waiting for. The results you’ve been itching for. The numbers you’ve been clamoring for. The… Ok, you get the idea. Last week we asked Sprint subscribers to test their 3G handset speeds and show us what their carrier of choice is made of. Well the results are in and they might just surprise you. So how does the nation’s number three carrier stack up against the big boys? Hit the jump to find out.

More →

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Carrier Wars: Next up, Sprint

By on July 31, 2009 at 4:01 PM.

Carrier Wars: Next up, Sprint

Welcome back to Carrier Wars, the ongoing feature where we ask our readers to post their 3G speed test results, we collect the data and dish the outcome, and then a bunch of people whine about said outcome in the comments section. So far we have AT&T clocked in with raw averages of 933kbps down/180kbps up and Verizon Wireless on the books with raw averages of 701kbps down/322kbps up. Next up to bat: Sprint. While Verizon and AT&T bicker about who has the nation’s “fastest” or “most reliable” 3G network, Sprint is apparently flying under the radar by advertising “America’s most dependable 3G network”. Well Sprint fans, it’s time for you to break out those 3G handsets and latch on to Sprint’s uber-dependable network — we want your speed test results.

Please post your test results in the comments section of this post and you get extra points for linking a screenshot. We only care about 3G and we absolutely must know what handset you’re using; again, this is to separate EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. 0. So what are you waiting for Sprinters? Get moving!

Note: Don’t forget guys, we want phone model, average download speed AND average upload speed! If you’re wondering how to perform a speed test on your phone, check the first few comments below for links to various options.

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Carrier Wars: Verizon Wireless speed test results

By on July 28, 2009 at 4:53 PM.

Carrier Wars: Verizon Wireless speed test results

Well folks, the numbers are in. Last week we asked Verizon Wireless subscribers to break out their favorite EV-DO handsets and see how Big Red’s 3G network stacks up against the competition. So far we’ve only covered one of the big US carriers, AT&T, so Verizon represents our second of four. Despite terrible results in some regions, AT&T’s 3G network set the bar pretty high with a raw average of 933kbps on the downlink side — yeah, we were shocked also — but clocked an atrocious 180kbps raw uplink average. So, how did VZW stack up against AT&T? You’ll just have to hit the jump to find out.

More →

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Welcome to Carrier Wars; next up, Verizon Wireless

By on July 23, 2009 at 5:31 PM.

Welcome to Carrier Wars; next up, Verizon Wireless

You knew we weren’t going to leave well enough alone — it’s just not our style. Following yesterday’s post calling out AT&T for terrible 3G service in the NYC area and the subsequent number crunch that revealed things aren’t as bad elsewhere, BGR readers were left wanting more. What about Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile? How do they stack up to “the nation’s fastest 3G network”? Well folks, it’s time to find out. We’re going to hit each of the big four and find out exactly what’s what. AT&T was first in line and next up is Big Red. If you’re on Sprint or T-Mobile don’t worry, we’ll be hitting you as well next week.

So now it’s time for roll call — you know the drill. If you’re a Verizon Wireless subscriber, hit the comments section below and let us know how your network stacks up. We want results from your speed tests and we also want to know where you are and what handset you’re using. Again, bonus points if you link a screenshot. Remember, we’re only interested in 3G for the time being so break out those EV-DO handsets and get to work.

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Rumblings resurface regarding lack of App Store trials

By on February 8, 2009 at 11:29 AM.

Rumblings resurface regarding lack of App Store trials

It’s hard to fault a product that has been as successful as Apple’s App Store. Sales are through the roof, just about every major competitor has already copied the concept or at least plans to and perhaps most importantly, iPhone and iPod Touch users love it. As is often the case however, Apple seems to get a kick out of taking two steps forward while taking one step back. iPhone: Brilliantly usable and attractive UI, nice and functional, likely still the best touch experience on the market… but it completely lacks a plethora of basic and essential functionality. App Store: Likely the best mobile app distribution platform in the industry, wonderfully simple UI with great navigation, terrific organization with simple search functionality… but there is no way for a typical user to trial an App before buying it.

Apple fans are once again beginning to voice concerns over the lack of demo / trial versions and odds are pretty good these complaints will fall on deaf ears. Apple apparently sees its policy allowing developers to add “lite” versions of apps to the App Store as a viable solution and this stance isn’t likely to budge any time soon. The truth of course, is that lite versions are the worst possible answer. Forcing developers to maintain two active versions of the same app is ridiculous at best, especially when the concept of a software trial is about as old as Betty White. Why not just create a self destruct timer mechanism?

More →

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