Lost-in-the-woods phone

Rob Beschizza at Boing Boing writes about the new Nokia 105, a $15 phone that features a flashlight and an FM radio and a battery that lasts a month on standby.  Engadget writes that they're designed to target the low-end of the cellphone market, to be sold in less industrialized countries:

While the Windows Phone brand is still the company's primary point of focus, it doesn't mean Nokia isn't still cranking out millions of basic phones for emerging markets around the globe. With that in mind, the Finnish phone giant has outed two such handsets at its event at Mobile World Congress. Sure, they aren't much to look at, but Nokia feels it's still an important element of its strategy to dominate the lower-end market segment.

As Rob points out, they're also a great choice for keeping around in case of a blackout or natural disaster or zombie apocalypse.  But the place I'm most eager to see this phone is in a horror movie -- I want to see a writer figure out how to give her protaganists useful, reliable phones that retain at least some functionality outside the range of cell phone towers, and keep the movie scary.

Yellow Jacket: iPhone stun gun case

(via SourceFed) The indiegogo campaign for the Yellow Jacket is at about half of its funding goal, as of this writing.  But they selected the flexible fundraising option, so they don't actually need to raise that much.  They've already reached their lowest goal.  They're going to get all the money that people have promised them, and the product, the Yellow Jacket iPhone case taser, will be created and distributed.

The co-founders, Sean Simone and Seth Froom, have displayed an impressive amount of faith in their product, the latter going so far as to take a shock to the gut in a pitch meeting:

All that said and seen, I have some reservations about the product.  I'm not worried about the taser discharging into anyone's ear -- with a rotating plastic cap and a safety switch, I think it's unrealistic that many people will harm themselves accidentally with this device.

Tasers are not safe weapons, though.  They may be safer than guns, but they can still kill.  The United Nations has classed them as an illegal torture device, and Amnesty International calls them inhumane.

And it's not enough to say, "If you have a heart problem, don't assault people."  Mistakes get made, people do stupid things, and there's no weapon that can't also be used by the bad guys.  The more tasers are in the hands of citizens, and the more often those citizens are carrying them, the more people are going to accidentally shock someone who looks threatening.  The more teenagers are going to kill their friends with undiagnosed arrhythmia because they were showing off. The more repeated taser shocks are going to figure into domestic abuse cases.

Still, that extra 20 hours of battery life sounds awesome.  I can imagine getting one just for that.

Hank Green's Good Samaritan App

[notice]This is only a hypothetical app, but should totally exist.[/notice] Hank Green, Vlogbrother rockstar, posted this picture on Twitter last night, and it received "significant interest."

I didn't see it at first, but across the top, there's a feature I wish I had.  "If found, slide to contact owner."

Hank says about the idea:

I have, several times in my life, found people’s phones and then called or texted people in their contacts to get in touch with the person who owns the phone. There’s nothing more horrible than losing a phone. It’s expensive, inconvenient, and potentially dangerous (if you don’t have a lock on it, passwords are easy to find.)

But if you do have a lock on it, the occasional good Samaritan will be stumped for ways to get the phone back to you.

I’d much rather there just be a feature that you can turn on to allow someone who found your phone to get in touch with you immediately. Strictly optional, of course, but you can set it up to allow the nice person to send you an email, text your mom, call your house…whatever.

I want this to be a thing.  Go grab the nearest app designer you know and drag them to a computer screen, so they can make this.