congress

Congressman: If we ban Bitcoin, let's ban dollar bills too

It's in the best interest for the US to put a ban on dollar bills, US Congressman Jared Polis wrote in a letter to federal regulators on Wednesday. This anonymous currency is unregulated, susceptible to instability, illicit activity, and forgery, he said.

Granted, Polis (D-Colo.) was being tongue-in-cheek, but his letter brought up relevant issues in regards to the backlash against Bitcoin, which has seen a major fall from grace over the past few weeks.

Last month, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) called for an outright ban of Bitcoin in a letter sent to the Treasury Department and other … Read more

10 must-see videos of the week

It should be no surprise that this week's video roundup is all about Mobile World Congress. All eyes were on Samsung this year as they announced an assortment of new goodies, including the Gear 2, new Gear Fit as well as the highly-anticipated Galaxy S5. Senior Editor Jessica Dolcourt runs down the key specs and features of the new superphone from Samsung in our First Take. With its fingerprint scanner, heart rate sensor, and a whole roster of muscular specs loaded with features Apple Byte wonders, should Apple be worried? Would the rumored iPhone 6 be able to top … Read more

Tablets struggle to maintain their identity at Mobile World Congress 2014

BARCELONA, Spain -- The Mobile World Congress 2014 tablet lineup was filled with over-sized phones, undersized "tablets", and tablet that knew exactly what it was. There's a palpable feeling coming out of the show that tablet makers are having difficulty deciding what next to do with them.

Tablet phones Tablet phones aren't a thing in the US, but if the showing at MWC is anything to go by, countries outside the states don't appear to have a problem with them as this year they were more ubiquitous than ever before. The HP Slate 7 VoiceTab, … Read more

Android widgets on the Nokia X feel out of place

BARCELONA, Spain -- I popped by the Nokia booth earlier today to try out the new Nokia X range of handsets and came away unimpressed.

The first thing I did was to try customising the user interface, and while Nokia has added a Windows Phone-like skin, the UI was decided sub-par in experience.

You can add widgets like Android, but these widgets feel out of place and don't really fit in the theme of the handset (as you can see from the picture I took).

Call me cynical, but Nokia already missed the non-burning Android platform a long while … Read more

Super-slim Gionee Elife S5.5 could be world's thinnest (hands-on)

BARCELONA, Spain -- If there's one thing I learnt at this year's Mobile World Congress show, it's that sometimes you have to look to the Chinese vendors for surprises. Where Samsung failed to really surprise anyone with the design of its new flagship handset, I found a few gems from the various Chinese manufacturers such as this one from Gionee.

Encased in a 5.5mm-thin metal frame, the Elife S5.5 packs a MediaTek eight-core 1.7GHz processor, a 2,300mAh battery and a 5-inch full-HD (1,920x1,080 pixels) Super AMOLED display.

CNET's full coverage of Mobile World CongressRead more

Corephotonics' dual-camera tech will change smartphone imaging

BARCELONA, Spain -- Two-year-old Israeli company Corephotonics is ready to change how you take pictures with your smartphone, and it could happen as early as this year. The company's dual-camera technology has been making waves here at Mobile World Congress, and it's hard not to see why.

Before we begin though, I've checked with Corephotonics to see if the company is working with HTC's upcoming flagship, and it vehemently denies any claim of involvement. So no, the HTC M8 will likely be using a different technology.

Using two 13-megapixel cameras, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 platform and … Read more

To avoid Android pitfalls, Mozilla shoulders Firefox OS update burden

BARCELONA, Spain -- Mozilla will take over some responsibility for issuing Firefox OS updates that carriers today have, a move that could help users avoid the fate of Android phone owners saddled with older operating system versions.

"We are pushing that envelope," Chief Technology Officer Brendan Eich told CNET. "We think we can get people on Wi-Fi upgrading through Mozilla."

That would mean a person could step into an Internet cafe then update the software as soon as Mozilla releases a new version or security fix, rather than waiting for a handset maker to build, test, … Read more

YunTab S5 Android phone uses 3D infrared for secure face unlock

BARCELONA, Spain -- Everyone knows how easily you can beat Android's Face Unlock feature with a simple photograph, but it will take a lot more to crack Chinese smartphone maker YunTab's solution.

Found on the company's $135 S5 Android-powered smartphone (not to be confused with Samsung's Galaxy S5), the 5.5-inch handset uses two infrared emitters, a secondary infrared camera to map a 3D image of your facial features.

Setting up the process is simple -- like Android's Face Unlock, the Facial Identification Technology (FIT) feature takes a scan of your face, and then requires … Read more

Google denies bidding on WhatsApp

Google's Sundar Pichai has denied at Mobile World Congress that his company bid on WhatsApp, the popular mobile instant messaging and SMS app.

Pichai, senior vice president in charge of Chrome, Android, and apps, said in Barcelona this week that it was "simply untrue" that Google had offered to buy WhatsApp, reported the Telegraph.

An earlier report indicated that Google was outbid by Facebook for WhatsApp, which Mark Zuckerberg permanently friended for $19 billion. Google had reportedly offered $10 billion, according to Fortune.

Though there may not have been a formal bid from Google for WhatsApp to … Read more

I'm Tracer is a wearable GPS tracker for kids and pets

BARCELONA, Spain -- Italian company I'm Spa's latest product, the I'm Tracer, is a GPS tracker that can be worn as a wristband -- or a collar for your pet.

Underneath the water- and shock-resistant rubber casing is a GPS tracker as well as a SIM card. The I'm Tracer uses GSM to triangulate your position before getting a lock with GPS and reports that location to the app running on a smartphone or a PC.

You can also set geo fences, which will alert you if the tracker leaves the set boundary, or set a … Read more