Cell Phones

Transportation Nation

Two-Second Rule: Feds Issue Distracted Driving Guidelines to Automakers

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Two seconds is enough time for you to do something with your built-in navigation or communication system while you are driving, according to new guidelines issued by federal safety officials to automakers.

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Radio Rookies

One Phone At A Time

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

New York City Council members are calling for an end to the ban on cell phones in schools.  There's been no response yet from Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who has the power to change the policy, but both he and Mayor Bloomberg have defended it in the past.  A group of Radio Rookies reported on the issue earlier this year.  Check out their video here:

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On The Media

The First Cell Phone Call

Friday, April 06, 2012

Last week marked the anniversary of the first public cell phone call. It was 1973, ten years before cell phones would become commercially available and many more years before they would become wildly popular. Bob speaks with Martin Cooper, the former Motorola-man who made the first call about his company's rivalry with AT&T and the future of cell phones.


The Durutti Column - Sketch for Summer

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Cell Phones and Classrooms

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beth Fertig, WNYC's education reporter and contributor to SchoolBook, talks about how students and parents deal with cell phone bans in school, and Willyn Webb, educator and co-author, with Lisa Nielsen, of Teaching Generation Text: Using Cell Phones to Enhance Learning describes a few ways teachers can use texting in the classroom.

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The Takeaway

AT&T and T-Mobile Merger and You

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The weekend's news of AT&T's potential purchase of T-Mobile for $39 billion turned many heads, and had many consumers wondering what a merger would mean for prices, service, and coverage. To help us shed some light on this potential merger, we're joined by Carl Howe, director of research at the Yankee Group, an independent technology research and consulting firm.


The Brian Lehrer Show

Call in: Cell Phone Etiquette on Subways

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Peter Rojas, co-founder of, a gadgets and consumer electronics site launched in mid-2009, discusses subway cell phone etiquette.

Call in or comment with your rules for underground cell phone use.

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The Takeaway

Fighting Against Distracted Driving, LaHood Gets Lobbyists Off His Back

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Yesterday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood criticized a Washington lobbying firm that was drumming up opposition to his distracted driving campaign. The Seward Square Group created the DRIVE coalition to promote driver education as an alternative to LaHood's proposal, which would lead to poor sales for mobile devices (they even went after Oprah).

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The Takeaway

Cellphone Radiation A Danger? 'Reply Hazy; Ask Again Later'

Thursday, June 17, 2010

San Francisco wants to let consumers know about the radiation coming out of their cellphones. On Tuesday, the city's Board of Supervisors passed a measure requiring point-of-sale displays to provide information on the amount of radiation their devices emit.  Mayor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the measure into law. But should consumers actually be worried?

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The Takeaway

Takeouts: 2008 Health Spending, Google Phone, Bowl Games

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

  • Washington Takeout: Todd Zwillich "wonks out" as he goes behind the report showing that Americans spent $2.3 trillion on health care in 2008: 17 percent of our economy.
  • Mobile Tech Takeout: Will Google's new phone change the way cell phone providers do business?'s John Abell tells us why Google's as yet unreleased Nexus One smart phone is already affecting the mobile marketplace.
  • Sports Takeout: Ibrahim Abdul-Matin looks back at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and previews the FedEx Orange Bowl between No. 10 Iowa and No. 9 Georgia Tech.


The Takeaway

'This is Not Your Father's DOT': Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The federal government is on the verge of spending billions of dollars on highways and public transit projects, beginning in 2010.  Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood views this as a historic moment in American history, when federal money will back policy aimed at getting Americans off the highways, out of our cars and into public transit and high-speed rail.  LaHood steps through the many areas of American life in which he's now shaping policy. (click through for the full interview transcript)

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The Takeaway

Dangers of 'Car Phones' Known Early

Monday, December 07, 2009

We've talked a lot about research on the dangers of texting and even talking on the phone while driving.  But a new report out by our partner The New York Times shows evidence of a cell phone industry that was aware of those risks decades before most people had ever seen seen the devices initially marketed as "car phones."  It's part of the Times' Driven to Distraction series; we're joined by the series' editor, Adam Bryant, deputy business editor for The New York Times.