Martyn WilliamsIDG News Service Follow me on Google+

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service.

Phone unlocking bill clears US House, next step is president's signature

The bill reverses a 2013 decision that phone unlocking by consumers ran afoul of copyright laws.

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Apple gets patent for 3-year-old smartwatch design labeled 'iTime'

The patent is for a wrist-worn gadget that has a touchscreen and can communicate with a smartphone

pickpocket

10 things to know about the smartphone kill switch

The smartphone kill switch appears to be on its way to every handset sold in the U.S. So what's all the fuss about?

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Amazon names initial apps, lights 'fire' under developers

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Yelp are among the apps being developed for Fire, according to Amazon.

pickpocket

As iPhone thefts drop, Google and Microsoft plan kill switches on smartphones

After a year of pressure, U.S. law enforcement officials announce a major success in their phone anti-theft push

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Unicode update adds emoji for spiders, chili pepper, 'live long and prosper,' and more

A new version of Unicode supports emoji, currency symbols and historic languages

legal gavel

Appeals court rules warrant required for cellphone location data

The first ruling of its kind in the US is being hailed by privacy advocates

on pcworld.com

samsung galaxy gear 2 fit mwc jan 2014

Samsung dominates nascent smartwatch market, way ahead of Pebble

More than 400,000 smartwatches were sold in the six months around the end of the year, according to NPD.

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Sanho's iStick bridges iOS/OS X gap to ease file transfer

The storage device features both USB and Lightning connectors

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We snuck an unauthorized hands-on with Asus' super-thin Transformer Book T300 Chi

Initial specs suggest that the hybrid device is slimmer than the Macbook Air

on pcworld.com

windows phone

Microsoft: Sub-$200 Windows Phone handsets on the way

New partners could have handsets out by the end of the year, according to Nick Parker, who handles Microsoft's partnerships with device makers.

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There's plenty of wearable competition at Computex, but not much innovation

Plenty of device makers at the Computex trade show in Taiwan this week are hoping to stake a claim in the growing market for wearable devices. But the products on display looked like more of the same.

stops plan

FCC, CTIA push against stolen phones went nowhere

A draft plan might have made it harder to resell stolen phones, if it had gone into place.

Jury finds Samsung infringed some Apple patents, must pay $120M in damages

Number of patents, jury award both less than Apple was seeking.

on macworld.com

automatic gadget

Automatic looks to fuel you with data for driving more efficiently

We go for a test drive with a $100 gadget that plugs into a computer socket on your car and sends data about your driving habits to your iPhone or Android device.