AT&T and Verizon fight plan to make 911 callers easier to find

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Photo: Flickr/BenSpark
Photo: Flickr/BenSpark

Each second wasted during a 911 call could be the difference between life and death, making precise location data crucial to the whole lifesaving process, but according to the top U.S. cellphone carriers, getting that exact location to responders is just a little too expensive on 911 calls from a smartphone.

AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint are fighting back on an FCC proposal that aims to save lives by making it easier to locate 911 callers. The government proposal calls on carriers to upgrade their networks so that tracking callers indoor is easier, but AT&T says the project would be a waste of scarce resources.

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Learn the tips and tricks of an Instagram pro, this week on The CultCast

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This week: now with over 300,000 followers, we welcome back professional Instagram’er Cory @WithHearts Staudacher to share his iPhone photo editing tips and reveal which camera apps he relies on daily. Also on the docket: why our cities deserve municipal internet; unlocking your iPhone gets legal (again); great changes on the horizon for Apple’s Podcasts app; and our musings on the freshly-updated 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pros.

Kick back and relax whilst we amuse you with each week’s best Apple stories! Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast now on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below and let the chuckles begin.

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode! Treat yourself to a brand new website with the help of Squarespace – a drag-and-drop, do-it-yourself site builder with everything you need to create an exceptional website. Start a free trial at squarespace.com and use the offer code “CultCast” to save 10% on any order.


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The unsightly labels on the back of your iPhone might soon disappear

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The unsightley symbols on your iPhone might soon disappear Photo: Moridin, Flickr
The ugly government hieroglyphs on your iPhone might be going digital Photo: Moridin, Flickr

The back of your iPhone is about to get a little more minimalist.

Thanks to a new bill introduced in the Senate, manufacturers may soon be allowed to use digital stamps on smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets, instead of using the strange symbols etched onto the back of your iPhone.

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FCC’s Approval Of AT&T’s Leap Buyout Will Bring iPhone 5 Family To Cricket

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Cricket's 7 million U.S. customers will be able to buy the iPhone next month.
Cricket's 7 million U.S. customers will be able to buy the iPhone next month.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved AT&T’s $1.3 billion purchase of Leap Wireless, as per a recent report.

As part of the deal — which works out at $15 per share — AT&T has confirmed that the Leap-owned, pre-paid carrier Cricket will offer iPhone 5 family devices.

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FCC Chairman Is Chill About AT&T’s New Sponsored Data Plans

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When AT&T announced it’s new Sponsored Data program on Monday, they raised the grim spectre of Net Neutraility by suggesting a plan that would let advertisers pay for data. What people worried about was that AT&T’s new plan would slow data connections to non-partner sites, a big no-no according to the FCC.

So what does the FCC think of all this? Asked about AT&T’s new plans at CES, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was surprisingly chill about the whole thing: let’s just wait and see before freaking out, shall we?

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AT&T Just Paid $1.9 Billion For Some Of Verizon’s Wireless Spectrum

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AT&T is at war with the FCC.
AT&T is at war with the FCC.
Photo: AT&T

AT&T has decided that it wants to make its 4G LTE service available to over 270 million Americans by the end of 2013, but with limited wireless spectrum available in the areas it needs to improve, the company has decided to strike a deal with its archenemy Verizon.

To expand its coverage AT&T has purchased $1.9 billion worth of Verizon’s lower 700MHz band B block wireless spectrum. The extra wireless spectrum will give AT&T access to cover 42 million people in 18 states.

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Attorney General Calls For Apple, Samsung To Invent Ways To Curb Phone Theft ‘Epidemic’

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The New York Attorney General has called for Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft to invent new ways to curb the ongoing smartphone theft “epidemic.” Eric Schneiderman wants meetings with representatives from all four companies, and he has urged them to “be as innovative in solving this problem as they have been in designing devices that have reshaped how we live.”

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