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Kids attempt to use rotary phone, confusion ensues

It wasn't too long ago that rotary phones and pay phones were standard ways to communicate. You'd wait for a dial tone and then make your call. And if you got a busy signal, you'd hang up the phone and try later. There was no call waiting. No texting. No smiley-face emojicons.

In the latest "Kids React" video by new-media production duo Benny and Rafi Fine -- also known as The Fine Brothers -- kids and teens attempt to not only use a rotary phone, but try to figure out how to text on one. And fail.

"We've been making this series now for over three years and near 100 episodes," Benny Fine told Crave. "We've always found inside of a lot of the subject matter the reality of things that seem so recent being completely foreign to the next generation...and this was an evolution to that concept." … Read more

California court: Drivers can use smartphone maps, for now

Texting or chatting on the phone while driving is illegal in California, but the law seems still to be catching up with technology when it comes to other aspects of smartphone use behind the wheel.

A court of appeals has reversed an earlier court decision that ruled map reading on a cell phone was taboo under the law, according to the Associated Press. The 5th District Court of Appeal said the law currently applies only to talking and texting on mobile devices and doesn't yet have legal language for app use.

The case came about in January 2012 after … Read more

What gaming drought? 7 great games you should be playing right now

I've been hearing it since the new year: "There are no games to play!"

Sure, we seem to have found ourselves in a bit of a lull when it comes to the big blockbuster video game. When I posted what I felt were 2014's most anticipated titles, I may have overlooked the fact that the beginning of 2014 was a bit on the light side for games.

Wrought with guilt that I may have in someway performed a disservice to you fine people, I felt compelled to compile a short list of interactive software worthy of your hard-earned income. The best part? Most of these titles are significantly cheaper than the $60 you're probably used to paying for a shiny new game.… Read more

Google settles with states in Safari-tracking case for $17M

Google agreed Monday to pay $17 million to settle claims from 36 states and the District of Columbia that the company violated user privacy when circumventing the tracking cookie blockers in Apple's Safari browser.

The fine follows revelations that Google installed tracking cookies on Safari users' computers without permission to assist its DoubleClick advertising business, bypassing Safari's default settings that block third-party tracking cookies.

Google has denied that the violations occurred intentionally, but agreed to the fines nonetheless.

The fine follows the company's year-old settlement with the Federal Trade Commission on the same matter, which cost Google $22.5 million. … Read more

Taiwan fines Samsung $340,000 for bashing HTC

Taiwan on Thursday hit Samsung with an approximate $340,000 fine for bashing rival HTC through fake Internet posts.

The Taiwan Fair Trade Commission launched an investigation in April into allegations that Samsung was paying students to post negative online comments about HTC devices. At the same time, Samsung allegedly paid the students to recommend Samsung cell phones. The commission said that this type of behavior is akin to false advertising.

Along with fining Samsung, the commission also fined two Taiwanese trading companies it claims were responsible for the Internet campaign.

Samsung said in a statement that it's "… Read more

Episode 41: Underwater iPhones and rugged cameras

Most of you are probably just gearing up for your summer vacations, but we here at Always On have already had ours. It's all for you, dear viewers; it's all for you. On this week's episode, we visited Hawaii's Big Island to road-test gadgets meant for sun and water fun. And not to be all lowest-common-denominator, but that last sentence basically translates to an entire episode filmed in swimsuits. Just saying.

First up, we went snorkeling with three underwater cases for the iPhone: the $20 Proporta BeachBuoy, the $89 Hitcase, and the $329 iGills SE-35, to … Read more

Sean Parker agrees to $2.5M settlement over wedding venue

It appears that former Facebook president Sean Parker has inadvertently become an environmentalist to save his wedding.

He has agreed to dole out $2.5 million in a settlement with the California Coastal Commission over the construction of an immense wedding venue in an ecologically sensitive area of state. That comes on top of the $10 million he spent on his lavish wedding this past weekend to singer-songwriter Alexandra Lenas.

In a little nook of the redwood forest in Big Sur, Calif., Parker commissioned the custom-made construction of what seems like a small village for his wedding day. In addition … Read more

SEC fines Nasdaq $10M over Facebook IPO

Analysts might attribute more blame with the Nasdaq now over Facebook's bungled initial public offering last year thanks to a new decision from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC is charging the American stock exchange with a $10 million penalty over poor decisions made as well as systems set up during the IPO and secondary trading scheme for shares of the world's largest social network.

According to the government agency itself, this is the largest penalty ever slapped against an exchange.

The SEC issued a memo on Wednesday detailing the rationale behind the decision. Here'… Read more

Samsung probed for allegedly bashing rival HTC online

The Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission has reportedly launched an investigation into Samsung on allegations that the phone-maker was paying students to post negative online comments about HTC devices, according to AFP. HTC is one of Samsung's most staunch rivals.

Supposedly, the South Korean tech giant hired students to both write the inflammatory comments about HTC products and also recommend Samsung cell phones. The commission says that this type of behavior is akin to false advertising. According to AFP, the Fair Trade Commission spokesman Sun Lih-chyun said, "The case was set up last week after we received complaints." … Read more

Fujifilm XP200, S8400W adds more Wi-Fi to FinePix line

Continuing to focus on its pockets of growth for point-and-shoots, Fujifilm announced today two new FinePix models, the XP200 and S8400W.

An update to 2012's rugged XP170, the XP200 gets better waterproofing, now able to shoot down to 50 feet, and is still shockproof to about 6.6 feet, freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and dustproof. It has a redesigned battery door with a dial-locking mechanism to help keep the seal tighter than simple sliding locks.

Other improvements include a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, a 3-inch, 920K-dot-resolution LCD, and a new burst-shooting button for capturing shots at up to 10 … Read more