cell phones

With hordes of eclipse chasers expected to pull out their phones to share the memorable experience next week, wireless carriers are deploying temporary mobile cell towers in Oregon and Idaho to boost capacity in the path of the solar eclipse.

Taomeister / Flickr

 

Get ready for mandatory ten-digit dialing in western Washington State. Population growth has taken up nearly all the phone numbers available that start with 360 – and other area codes in the state are not far behind. So 564 is being added to the mix.

The next generation of cell technology will feature smaller antennas in more places and will eventually lead to 5G connectivity. Wireless carriers are pushing legislation in Washington state to give them access to power poles, street lights and other public infrastructure for placement of the small antennas.

But this has created a fight with cities.

If you spend any time on the road, you've no doubt noticed erratic or dangerous driving by people using mobile phones behind the wheel. But ongoing efforts in Idaho and Washington state to tighten the rules on cell phone use while driving are stalling out.

A proposal to make it illegal to hold a cell phone while driving has died in the Washington House. The measure failed to get a vote before a key deadline Tuesday.

How Cell Phones Are Shaking Up The Farm Labor Market

Nov 4, 2014
Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest News Network

When Eduardo Cruz awoke to the sounds of rain outside his home in Yakima on a recent morning, he didn’t have to wait long for a cell phone call from the orchard manager where he works picking apples, an hour away in Mattawa.

New federal data show Idaho leads the country in something you might expect more from Seattle, Portland or Silicon Valley.

Miles Bryan / Northwest News Network

Mobile devices are traditionally considered a nuisance in schools. But a Portland startup is developing a way to turn students’ cell phones into classroom tools.

Cell phones along the west coast lit up yesterday and today with an AMBER alert for two missing California children. Authorities say the suspected abductor may be headed to Canada or to Texas. Many people in the Northwest had never seen an AMBER alert pop up on their phones before.

Photo by Kevin Mooney / Northwest News Network

It’s no secret that interest groups influence state lawmakers. But it’s not often clear how that actually happens. Much of the action occurs behind-the-scenes. So we’re going to give you a rare glimpse inside the influence game -- to see how lobbyists help shape public policies that affect our everyday lives. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reconstructs how a lobbyist and his iPad changed the course of a $1 billion piece of legislation.