It will be illegal to unlock your smart phone after January 26, 2013

The Librarian of Congress ruled in October of 2012 that certain actions involving mobile phones were illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Unlocked Samsung Note IIThe Librarian of Congress ruled in October of 2012 that certain actions involving mobile phones were illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The rules were revised to state that while it is legal to jailbreak smartphones, it is illegal to jailbreak tablets and illegal to unlock phones without permission from your wireless provider. A 90-day window was put in place that allowed consumers to purchase a phone and unlock it, however that window closes on January 26th. Note that jailbreaking is different from unlocking. Jailbreaking opens the phone up to run additional software. That will still be legal for smartphones after January 26th. Unlocking removes the restriction tying a phone to a particular carrier freeing the user to use a carrier of their choice.

 

However, the deadline is meaningless to some. For example, both Apple and Verizon sell unlocked iPhone 5s for a hefty unsubsidized price while AT&T will unlock a phone once it is out of contract. In any case, if you want to legally unlock your smart phone, now is the time to do it legally.

Nokia Lumia 810 and 820 review

Nokia managed to implement Windows 8 Mobile into a sleek, modern handset that’s comfortable to hold and use. The use of tiles makes one handed use of the phone easy and efficient.

Nokia is making a big gamble by choosing Microsoft Windows 8 Mobile as the OS for their line of smart phones. The fate of this once dominant player in the mobile space is tied closely to the success or failure of the Windows OS. By most accounts, adoption of Windows 8 has been less than stellar but Microsoft and Nokia marches on. Whether you like it or not, Windows 8 is here to stay and Windows 8 Mobile is a serious contender. It’s not the juggernaut that is iOS or Android but there may be a niche for a third mobile OS.

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Mugen Power extended battery for Samsung Galaxy Note II packs days of power

As mobile phone manufacturers pack more and more CPU cores into smartphones, the need for larger batteries become increasingly obvious.

As mobile phone manufacturers pack more and more CPU cores into smartphones, the need for larger batteries become increasingly obvious. Samsung’s Galaxy Note series has been a runaway global success.

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T-Mobile Sonic 4G mobile hotspot review

One possible solution is to add a mobile hotspot to connect a range of devices under a single wireless plan. T-Mobile’s Sonic 4G Mobile Hotspot can connect up to 5 devices concurrently all sharing a single 4G HSPA+ 42 high speed connection, if available in your area.

T-Mobile Sonic 4G Mobile Hotspot T-Mobile Sonic 4G Mobile Hotspot

2012 was a boom year for mobile devices with many vendors introducing new tablets, e-readers, Wi-Fi enabled cameras, and various other Wi-Fi enabled devices. Users face the challenge of connecting all these devices while on the go without going broke activating individual wireless plans for each device. Some carriers offer discounts for adding additional devices but that solution may not work for some devices which are Wi-Fi only.

While some high-end smartphones are capable of functioning as a mobile hotspot, carriers often disable the function unless you pay an additional charge. Even when enabled, some plans limit how many devices you can connect concurrently. One possible solution is to add a mobile hotspot to connect a range of devices under a single wireless plan. T-Mobile’s Sonic 4G Mobile Hotspot can connect up to 5 devices concurrently all sharing a single 4G HSPA+ 42 high-speed connection, if available in your area.

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2012 holiday gadget gift guide

The holiday gift giving deadline is fast approaching and for those who are still undecided, here’s a short guide to help you find the perfect gadget for yourself, family, or friends.

The holiday gift giving deadline is fast approaching and for those who are still undecided, here’s a short guide to help you find the perfect gadget for yourself, family, or friends.

Nokia Lumia 820

Nokia Lumia 810

Nokia Lumia 810/820

The mobile category is hot right now with thousands of devices to choose from. Nokia has made a fairly big gamble with the Lumia line of mobile phones with Windows 8. If this is a category you are considering, the midrange Lumia 820 (AT&T – $49.99) or Lumia 810 (T-Mobile – $99.99) is worth a look. This candy bar handset is about the size of an iPhone 5 sporting excellent build quality. The 810 and 820 vary slightly in size with the T-Mobile 810 version housing an upgraded front facing camera capable of 720 video using a 1.2 mp camera, perfect for those who Skype or do video chats. Both models run Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and feature Nokia City Lens, an augmented reality GPS enabled app. It also offers free downloadable maps to allow offline turn by turn navigation without the need for a mobile connection.  Continue reading “2012 holiday gadget gift guide”