Innovative Start Up Challenges 'Big Cell'

Are you ready to pay $19 per month, without a contract, for mobile phone service? That is what a new start up is offering by switching between WiFi and a standard carrier network.

What's the Latest Development?


A start up mobile phone company is refining a business model it believes can challenge the dominance of major cell phone carriers. Called Republic Wireless, the North Carolina-based firm offers unlimited voice, text, and data service for $19 per month, with no contract. The key is the ability of its phone to switch between an available WiFi signal and Sprint's cellular network. The only phone available to Republic customers is an LG Optimus S running Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

What's the Big Idea?

Republic Wireless is the perfect example of an innovative start up out maneuvering large businesses, in this case, behemoths like AT&T or Verizon. While the company has yet to find its exact formula, it thinks $19 per month for unlimited voice, text and data stands a good chance against the pricy two-year contracts required by other carriers. However, no contract means purchasing the phone up front, which at $200 is not the friendly hello everyone might be looking for. The plan is best for people who have frequent access to WiFi hotspots.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

Personal Growth

The life choices that had led me to be sitting in a booth underneath a banner that read “Ask a Philosopher" – at the entrance to the New York City subway at 57th and 8th – were perhaps random but inevitable.

Keep reading Show less

For thousands of years, humans slept in two shifts. Should we do it again?

Researchers believe that the practice of sleeping through the whole night didn’t really take hold until just a few hundred years ago.

The Bed by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
Surprising Science

She was wide awake and it was nearly two in the morning. When asked if everything was alright, she said, “Yes.” Asked why she couldn’t get to sleep she said, “I don’t know.” Neuroscientist Russell Foster of Oxford might suggest she was exhibiting “a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern." Research suggests we used to sleep in two segments with a period of wakefulness in-between.

Keep reading Show less

'Self is not entirely lost in dementia,' argues new review

The assumption "that without memory, there can be no self" is wrong, say researchers.

Photo credit: Darren Hauck / Getty Images
Mind & Brain

In the past when scholars have reflected on the psychological impact of dementia they have frequently referred to the loss of the "self" in dramatic and devastating terms, using language such as the "unbecoming of the self" or the "disintegration" of the self. In a new review released as a preprint at PsyArXiv, an international team of psychologists led by Muireann Irish at the University of Sydney challenge this bleak picture which they attribute to the common, but mistaken, assumption "that without memory, there can be no self" (as encapsulated by the line from Hume: "Memory alone… 'tis to be considered… as the source of personal identity").

Keep reading Show less