Mary's mother in law is almost totally blind and she's wanting to get a phone with big buttons and enough storage. It also needs a voicemail feature. Leo says that most of the time, carriers have voicemail service. Any phone with a keyboard will likely have a button dedicated to activating voicemail with a touch of a button. But they don't want a cellphone, they want a landline phone with a built-in message machine.
Nolan's elderly mother needs a way to make phone calls with her voice. Leo says that Amazon Echo will do it with a device called Echo Connect. The Google Assistant will also do it. Both Google and Amazon also offer devices that have screens and cameras so you can make video calls.
Mignon's elderly mother had a copper landline, but lately, it stopped working. Leo says that the phone company doesn't want her to have those anymore, they want to move to newer technologies like fiber optic. But Mignon wants an always-on option, plus the internet. Leo says that DSL Extreme may be able to help. The phone company may have a battery backup that they will install. A cheap or lifeline cellphone could also be an option.
FEMA has planned a test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), which allows the president to send a message to all phones in the US in case of a national emergency. This test was originally scheduled for Thursday September 20, but has been postponed until October 3 due to Hurricane Florence and the ongoing response effort.
Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 9 on Thursday morning, and it'll be out already on August 24. Leo says the Note phone has a lot of devoted fans, but there's also a lot of people who think it's too big and too expensive. It starts a $999, and goes even higher if you want to get more internal storage. It's a beautiful phone, and slightly larger than the old Galaxy Note 8. Samsung has put a very big 4,000 mAh battery in the Note 9. They're putting in water cooling, though, so it won't get too hot and won't explode. This is the largest battery ever in a Note smartphone.
We now have evidence that cell phone radiation can cause cancer in male rats. It is not cause for concern yet, as we are waiting for recommendations from the FDA and others. As always with these kinds of studies, the rats were exposed to a lot of radiation over two years. The original federal studies from the US National Toxicology Program, which uses labels to suggest how strong the evidence is, labeled the evidence "equivocal." That's the second lowest on the scale that the NTP uses, meaning there wasn't enough evidence to really make a connection.
Jane had DSL Extreme, but she says that AT&T won't allow it over the phone lines anymore. Leo says there's something going on with her particular neighborhood. She's still getting phone service, though. Jane says that AT&T isn't offering DSL either, but they're trying to push UVerse. Leo says that AT&T has decided to eliminate copper in her neighborhood and start using fiber. Fiber is glass and works better than copper.
Google is announcing Android O Monday, and we'll find out what the "O" stands for. Usually it's dessert names, and it's hard to imagine it would be anything other than Oreo. That is a brand name, however, so Google would have to get permission to use it.
Android O will bring some new features, and many users will not get it. One of the biggest problems with Android right now is that companies who make Android phones and carriers that sell them are slow to update, if ever. The only people who will get it right away are Google Pixel owners, or those who have Nexus phones.
Richard's cell phone was stolen. Leo says that's usually a dumb crime because most often the phone simply can't be used anymore because they have kill switches in them. They also have the Find my iPhone option which allows the police to find them. But what about his data? Leo says that he can remote wipe the data, and if it's locked, it'll erase if the password is not properly inputted ten times. Most thieves don't really want the data, though, they want to sell the phone. But Richard should wipe the phone to be sure. For Google users, the data has been backed up to the Google account.
Gina's iPhone 6 is having problems connecting to the internet via Wi-Fi. Leo says to make sure she can't get on anyone else's Wi-Fi. If that's not the case, then there is clearly something wrong with the phone or its Wi-Fi settings. It's possible that the settings are preventing it from connecting, but it's also likely the hardware has failed. The only real people who can solve a hardware issue are Geniuses at the Apple Store. Gina should set up an appointment and have the Genius take a look at it.