cell phone

Politics & Government
12:05 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Bill to pull the plug on telephone landlines clears Michigan Legislature

Critics of the bill worry it could leave people in some areas of the state without affordable and reliable phone service.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

It could soon be easier for phone companies to end traditional landline service in Michigan.

The state Senate gave final legislative approval to the measure Thursday. Senate Bill 636, which was championed by AT&T, now goes to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk.

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Politics & Culture
4:53 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Stateside for Monday, December 9th, 2013

The state House is expected to take up a controversial telecommunications bill. 

The measure would let AT&T end traditional landline phone service as long as there is Internet phone service that can take its place. But, in some rural areas in Michigan, Internet phone service can be spotty. On today's show, we took a look at what the legislation could mean for you.

Then, could private philanthropy save the art at the DIA?

And, how would Shakespeare’s play King Lear look like if it were set in Flint? One professor and her students found out.

Also, we spoke to meteorologist Mark Torregrossa about which parts of the state will be getting snow this week.

First on the show, what happens when a child is struggling to read at his or her grade level?

In too many cases, the student moves up a grade anyway and the struggle continues, resulting in high school graduates who are poor, ineffective readers. And that can impact that student's chances of going to college and then getting a job that provides a good level of pay over a lifetime.

There's a package of bills sponsored by Holland Republican Representative Amanda Price now working through the State that tries to tackle this problem. It's called the "read-or-flunk law."

In a nutshell, if third-grade kids aren't reading, hold them back.

Ron French reported on the pros and cons of these bills for Bridge Magazine, and he joined us today to discuss the issue.

Stateside
4:31 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Phone companies may start phasing out traditional landline services

splorp Flickr

These days, more and more people are so attached to their cell phones that they've decided they don't need a landline at home.

The FCC tells us the number of landline customers in Michigan was around 7 million in 2000. By 2012, that number had dropped to about 3 million.

And, during that same 12-year stretch, the number of wireless phones more than doubled from nearly 4 million to more than 9 million.

A bill sponsored by Battle Creek Republican Senator Mike Nofs is working its way through the State Senate. It would allow phone companies to phase out traditional landline service beginning in 2017, letting phone companies discontinue the service to homes so long as some type of newer phone service is offered, such as voice-over Internet Protocol.

Many in Michigan might just shrug that off: They've already dropped their landlines. But others are deeply concerned.

Matt Resch, public affairs director for Michigan AT&T, and Melissa Seifert, the Associate State Director of the Michigan AARP, joined us today to talk about Senate Bill 636.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:13 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Ann Arbor man develops new mobile application to aid consumers in online sales

Tony Buser, flickr Flickr

An interview with Mike Vichich, the CEO and co-founder of Glyph.

Think of a recent purchase you made. Chances are pretty good that your mobile phone was somehow involved, whether you tracked down a store location, you checked out products and prices, or you even closed the deal on your phone. 

One survey done by a digital coupon website found that more than half the consumers it surveyed used their mobile device while they bought something in March of this year.

Or let’s talk dollars and cents, lots of dollars and cents. Mobile commerce transactions are expected to hit $1.5 trillion this year. By 2017 you can look for that to top $3.2 trillion. Clearly something big is going on and we wondered what’s in store for consumers and businesses as more of us trade walking through the door of a brick-and-mortar store to a few thumb clicks on our smart phones.

Mike Vichich from Ann Arbor is the CEO and co-founder of Glyph, a mobile app that lets you pay with your mobile phone and also keep track of what you’re spending. He joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
7:38 am
Mon July 29, 2013

In this morning's news: School safety drills, unconstitutional tracking tech, minimum wage protests

Morning News Roundup for Monday, July 29, 2013
User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Safety drills in schools are being ignored

Under a proposal in Lansing, schools would be forced to report when and how emergency safety drills are conducted. As Michigan Public Radio’s Jake Neher reports, state police officials say too many schools are ignoring laws meant to ensure school safety. The reports would have to be posted on schools’ web sites whenever they conduct a safety drill.

Tracking by cell phone GPS could become a felony

Another piece of legislation in Lansing would make it a felony for police officers to track someone by GPS in their cell phone without a warrant. The US Supreme Court ruled last year that the practice is unconstitutional. Democratic state Representative Jeff Irwin says the legislation is necessary to make sure law enforcement agencies are held accountable for such actions.

Fast food workers protesting in Detroit and Flint

Workers at some fast food chains in Detroit and Flint are expected to walk off the job as part of a protest for higher wages today. They want to be paid fifteen dollars an hour. Michigan’s current minimum wage is $7.40. The strike is expected to affect some McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy’s and other fast food restaurants.

Offbeat
2:38 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

These are the coolest cell phone towers you will ever see

This is not just a really, really tall tree.
Robert Voit

A new cell phone tower was erected near a busy intersection in Portage, Michigan, but passersby probably won't recognize it. 

That's because the 150-foot tower has been disguised as a pine tree. The pole has brown "bark" and covered with fake bark, and the antennae have been concealed to look like pine branches. 

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Stateside
4:37 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

New study found that adults text more than teenagers while driving

Texting while driving is more common among adults than teenagers
C. Todd Lopez Photo courtesy of U.S. Army

When you think about someone texting and driving, who comes to mind? A teenager? If you said yes, you're wrong.

A survey conducted by AT&T as a part of the "It Can Wait" campaign found that 98% of adults that they surveyed admitted that they texted while driving.  In contrast, 48% of teenagers said they texted while driving.

The AT&T study also found that 60% of adults surveyed said that they didn't text while they were behind the wheel three years ago. 

What's going on with drivers in America? Is it smartphones? Or are we becoming more reckless drivers?

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Politics & Government
7:20 am
Wed January 9, 2013

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

State of the State to address road funding

"Governor Rick Snyder plans to propose a more detailed plan to boost spending to maintain roads in next week's State of the State address. His previous calls for an additional $1.4 billion a year for roads and bridges stalled in the Legislature. Snyder in 2011 called for replacing the 19-cents-per-gallon tax on gasoline with a tax on the wholesale price of fuel. He also suggested a source of new revenue could be higher vehicle registration fees. Snyder says that he'll present new specifics in his Jan. 16 speech," the Associated Press reports.

Detroit top lawyer fired

"Detroit’s top lawyer lost her job Tuesday. Mayor Dave Bing garnered enough Detroit City Council votes to remove corporation counsel Krystal Crittendon. Crittendon continually bucked Bing’s wishes, and challenged Detroit’s consent agreement with Lansing in court. Bing had tried to have Crittendon removed before. But he couldn’t muster the necessary six votes from City Council. But this time, Bing got exactly six votes. Bing and state officials said Crittendon’s legal challenges threatened to derail Detroit’s efforts to regain its financial footing. This all comes as Detroit awaits a verdict from a state-appointed financial review team—expected as early as this week," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Young drivers banned from using phones

"Young and inexperienced motorists will be banned from using cell phones while driving under a bill Governor Rick Snyder signed into law Tuesday. Kelsey's Law is named after Kelsey Raffaele of Sault Ste. Marie, who was 17 when she died in a cell-phone-related automobile crash in 2010," the Detroit Free Press reports.

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Politics & Government
2:32 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Michigan law bans cell phone use for new drivers

anitapeppers MorgueFile

Michigan lawmakers have passed a bill that will ban cell phone use by new drivers. 

The bill was named after 17-year-old Kelsey Raffaele, who was killed in a car crash three years ago. She was talking on her phone while driving and lost control of her car.

A year and a half ago, Kelsey's mother, Bonnie Raffaele, started a campaign to ban cell phone use for drivers with probationary licenses.

"If we can teach them at a young age to not do it, and it's the social norm not to do it when you're driving, they'll carry that on to adulthood," Raffaele says.

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Health
5:17 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Stateside: Peeking at cell phones is contagious

For some young adults, conversations outside of text messages are perfunctory
Alton Creative Commons

Stateside talks cell phones.

Conversations for some have become a scramble between maintaining eye contact and checking one’s phone.

University of Michigan professor Daniel Kruger explained the relationship between cell phone usage and one’s attention span.

“It seems like a feedback loop and it happens quite frequently. We think it’s related to social attention- imagine you have attention as a limited resource and you’re dividing it between those people in your real space and those people in your virtual networks,” said Kruger.

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Newsmaker Interview
5:13 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Kelsey's Law, ban cell phone use for teens who drive

Listen to the full interview above.

Michigan Radio's Jennifer White talks with Bonnie Raffaele, mother of Kelsey Raffaele, a teenage girl who died in a car crash on January 24, 2010 while using a cell phone. Bonnie has been advocating for the passage of Senate Bill 756. The bill, also known as Kelsey’s Law, would prohibit novice teen drivers from talking on the cell phone while driving. The bill, passed by the Senate earlier this year, will be discussed tomorrow in a House Transportation Committee Hearing.

Law
12:38 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Group says driving-while-texting laws don't help, calls for complete ban

Is he texting or dialing?
C. Todd Lopez Photo courtesy of U.S. Army

All states should ban drivers from using hand-held cell phones, according to a new recommendation by the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Only 10 states ban the use of handheld cell phones while driving.

Michigan is not one of them.

But it does have laws against sending a text while driving.

Jonathan Adkins, with the Governors Highway Safety Association, says the texting laws aren't doing as much good as they should.

"States are having some difficulty enforcing texting bans, if you have a texting only ban, it's very easy for a driver to say, oh, I was dialing my phone, I'm allowed to do that, I'm allowed to be on my phone, I'm just not allowed to text on it," says Adkins.

Adkins says banning the use of handheld cell phones altogether would solve that problem.  The safety group is also calling for tougher laws against driving while on drugs.

Writers Series
4:58 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Life Before Technology, with essay by Susan Hutton

A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford, Susan lives in Ann Arbor, MI with her husband and two children.
Courtesy of Susan Hutton

We've been asking Michigan writers to share their thoughts on life before technology, the internet and social media.

Susan Hutton is a Michigan writer and poet. Before having twins, she had some idea of what parenting would be like -- along with the fears and struggles that come with it.

In her essay, Hutton tells us about parenting in the age of cell phones.

Michigan Radio wants to hear from you. If you are a writer and have something to say about life before technology, send us an email with your idea to storyideas@michiganradio.org

 

Culture
3:11 pm
Mon August 15, 2011

Cell phones used to text, take pictures, and avoid others

Is she really texting someone, or does she just not want to talk to you?
user edenpictures Flickr

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has released its annual findings on how Americans use their cell phones. Other than talking on the phone (it was a phone survey, after all), most of us use our phones for texting and picture taking.

From Pew:

As in previous Pew Internet surveys of mobile usage, texting and picture-taking remain the most common mobile phone activities—73% of cell owners engage in each of these—followed by sending photos or videos to others (54%) and accessing the internet (44%). The two least prevalent activities (among the 15 we inquired about) are accessing Twitter and using one’s phone to take part in a video call or chat (6% of cell owners do each of these).

People interacting with younger cell phone users take note.

30% of cell phone users aged 18-29 say they pretend to use their cell phone to avoid interacting with people around them.

The avoidance technique is used significantly more by this age group than by others (11% of those 30-49 said they do this, 6% of those 50-64, and 2% of those 65 and older).

So younger users... teach the elders.

How is this best done? Do you pretend to take a call? Or do you just glance down at your device when you feel eye contact coming your way?

Or maybe you really are playing Angry Birds.

Auto/Economy
4:38 pm
Tue January 4, 2011

Troy police enforce "distracted driving" law, issue tickets

It's illegal to text or talk on the phone while driving in Troy, MI
C. Todd Lopez Photo courtesy of U.S. Army

The city of Troy, Michigan has taken the state’s “no texting while driving” law a bit further, making it illegal to talk on the phone while driving, among other things.

The city's distracted driving ordinance went into effect last July, but the city didn’t officially start to enforce it until the first week of January, 2011. According to the city's website, the following actions can cause "distracted driving":

"Such action can include but is not limited to: eating, reading, writing, performing personal hygiene/grooming, physical interaction with pets, passengers, or unsecured cargo, any of which is

done in a manner tat prohibits the driver from maintaining direct physical control of the motor vehicle steering mechanism with at least one hand that is free of all other objects and used entirely to form a controlled grip on the steering mechanism."

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