FCC vote opens door to end ban on in-flight calls

Measure passes by a 3-2 vote, paving the way for lifting the ban. Ultimately though, the Transportation Department gets final say.

(Credit: CNET UK)

The Federal Communications Commission took the first step toward removing regulations that ban phone calls while in flight. But FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler emphasized that the Department of Transportation, which oversees the Federal Aviation Administration, will have the final say.

At the FCC’s monthly open meeting Thursday, the agency voted 3-2 to approve a measure that will open up for public comment a proposal that will lift the technical ban on in-flight cell phone use.

Speaking during FCC’s meeting, Wheeler emphasized that the decision to green-light cell phone use is not ultimately the FCC’s decision. He said the FCC will determine whether the technical ban is necessary and the DOT will handle what, if any, behavioral regulations are necessary. And ultimately, it will be up to the airlines whether they allow people to talk on their phones during flights.


Twitter does about-face on controversial blocking rules


Twitter does about-face on controversial blocking rules


Firestorm erupted after the social network relaxed blocking rules, allowing blocked users to see everything the blockee tweeted.

Google Glass users fight privacy fears

Carolyn Capern and her business partner Greg Trujillo were eating breakfast in a Panera bakery in Florida recently, each wearing Google Glasses but actually immersed in their smartphones when they were accosted by an angry stranger. FULL STORY

By Heather Kelly, CNNFiled under: Mobile

7 tips for taking better selfies

There is no wrong way to take a selfie. The medium has grown into its own form of self-expression, and the artistic choices people make are as varied as the faces themselves. FULL STORY

By Heather Kelly, CNNFiled under: Mobile

OMG so gourgous

Bilal Zohaib's photo.

Best low-cost smart LED kit

Connected by TCP LED Lighting Control System

Connected by TCP LED Lighting Control System

For basic lighting automation needs, this TCP kit will do the job nicely — and it won’t break the bank, either. For more advanced features and controls, consider the competition, but be prepared to splurge.

Best smart home devices

(Updated December 10, 2013 12:27 AM PST)

Rich Brown

Rich Brown

Senior editor

From smart locks to smart lights, we’ve reviewed all kinds of connected home products this year. This category is growing rapidly, but here are our favorites so far.

Belkin WeMo Switch + Motion

Best home automation entry point

Belkin WeMo Switch + Motion

The Belkin WeMo Switch + Motion is a fun, wallet-friendly step toward the long-promised home automation revolution.

Price: $59.99 – $198.95 (check prices)

Spotify mobile music is free – with a catch

The music app offers free streaming for mobile devices, Dell unveils its first Chromebook, and Facebook may be rethinking its redesign.



Spotify’s mobile app finally goes free

Anyone on an iOS or Android tablet or smartphone now can use the app free of charge. But there is one catch.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)


Spotify is setting its mobile app free.

The streaming music service said Wednesday that it would allow anyone on an iOS or Android tablet or smartphone to use its app free of charge. The new service launches Wednesday. Previously, users could only listen to Spotify’s desktop or browser-based program for free, and only premium members who paid $10 a month had access to the service through other devices.