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'Biggest investigation' launched into effects of mobiles

The "world's biggest investigation" into the effects on the developing brains of children has been launched, the Department of Health has announced.

Scientists picked children aged 11 to 12 because that is the most common age for children to first get a phone. Credit: PA

An estimated 2,500 school children will take part in the Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones (Scamp) as they have functions like memory and attention span tested.

Children aged between 11 and 12 will take part in an initial series of tests before being examined again two years later.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) ranked forward-looking studies of the effects of mobile phones on children and adolescents as a "highest priority research need".

More than 70% would 'give up dessert' for battery life

Almost half of those surveyed said that if their mobile phone died they would only be able to remember three phone numbers - and more than 70% said they would give up having pudding after a meal in order to have a fully charged smartphone for a month.

Kevin Malinowski, a spokesman for mophie, said:

Millions of people rely on their smartphones daily to stay in touch with loved ones and do work on the move.

But all of these activities hinge on a single factor: having enough juice to keep the phones running.

– mophie


Dead phone batteries 'causing stress' for millions

A dead battery in a smartphone would cause more stress for nine out of 10 Britons, as daily activities hinge on a single factor "having enough juice to keep the phones running," says a report by smartphone case maker mophie.

Experts suggest people should resist the urge to go to bed with their phones. Credit: Dominic Lipinski /PA Wire

According to the research, 92% of British people would feel stressed if the battery in their smartphone ran out, 61% said they would become frustrated, with 25% saying they would feel panicked.

Experts have suggested people should resist the urge of taking their devices to bed, and try to have set unplugged periods during the week.

'Switch off phones and social media' video goes viral

A video that calls on people to switch off their mobile phones and reduce their use of social media has gone viral. The five-minute film, called ‘Look Up’ was posted on YouTube on April 25 and already has more than 22 million views.

The film was created by Gary Turk who called it “a spoken word film for an online generation”. It aims to show how overusing phones and social media are having a negative effect on personal relationships.

New mobile payments service for 30 million people

A new payment service has been launched that could eventually link every current account with a phone number.

Paym - pronounced 'pay em' - will be available for 30 million bank customers who will be able to transfer money using their mobile number.

Banks signing up to the new service include Barclays, Halifax, Lloyds and HSBC.

Once more banks register for the scheme later in the year around 40 million people should have access to Paym.


Gang jailed for hijacking phones to call premium lines

A gang of four who hijacked mobile phones to defraud Vodafone customers of £2.8 million by making calls to premium rate numbers have been jailed.

The men obtained customer details from data management firms and linked mobile numbers to SIM cards by posing as legitimate account holders.

The gang called premium rate lines. Credit: Edward Smith/EMPICS Entertainment

They then used the cards to repeatedly make calls to premium rate lines they had purchased, with connection charges of around £2.50 each time.

Around 1,500 accounts were hijacked, costing Vodafone in excess of £1 million.

Kaleem Hussain, 30, was jailed for 38 months, Nadeem Ali, 26, got 21 months, Waseem Rashid, 26, got 30 months. All were from Rotherham.

Imran Rasab, 35, from Mexborough in south Yorkshire, received a four year sentence.

'Gremlins in the system' causes EE network outage

Mobile network EE has apologised after some customers were left with 'no service' and unable to make calls.

On its Twitter account, the network explained there was "gremlins in the system" and they were working to fix the problem.

Roaming charges abroad set to end in 2015

Using a mobile phone in another European country could soon be cheaper than using it at home says the European parliament's Industry Committee, who are voting to pass the legislation today.

Roaming to be abolished in December 2015 Credit: REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Roaming is a method of wirelessly connecting to a network without breaking your connection when abroad. A phone user can connect to at least 15 operators and virtual networks when abroad including Three, Virgin Media, France's Free and Italy's FastWeb.

According to the EU bill, this will give them "the confidence to stay connected when they travel in the Union without being subject to additional charges over and above the tariffs."

Mobile phone industry must 'banish bad behaviour'

The mobile phone industry needs to "banish bad behaviour" by communicating more with their customers about upcoming bills and their current usage, the Citizen's Advice Bureau has said.

Chief executive Gillian Guy wants to see phone providers help their customers by texting them with reminders about costs and limits:

It's time the industry looked at how it could banish bad behaviour and help customers avoid large bills.

Phone providers could help people by sending them text messages with reminders about the costs and any limits they have. There is also an opportunity for firms to be innovative by creating tools for people to keep day-to-day track of their charges, calls and data use.

Consumers can also take steps to steer clear of running up a large bill abroad including checking costs with their network before they travel or getting a local sim card if you visit a place regularly.

– Gillian Guy
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