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They may not agree on net neutrality or the Fairness Doctrine, but almost half a dozen advocacy groups from liberal to libertarian do concur on one issue: they hate Federal Communications Commission Chair Kevin Martin's proposal for a national broadband service with the porn filtered out.
"Unconstitutional and unwise," their Friday filing calls the plan, which they charge amounts to a "government mandated 'blacklist' of websites." The filtering component would limit the system "so dramatically that the usefulness of the service would be radically reduced." Plus, if the agency actually approved the scheme, it would face a tsunami of lawsuits.
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So contend the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), People for the American Way, Adam Thierer of the Progress and Freedom Foundation, the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition, the American Booksellers Association, the Von Coalition, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and fifteen other groups. It was inevitable that this shoe would drop on a scheme that is already taking heavy incoming fire from the wireless industry for its alleged technical shortcomings.
Free smutless broadband
In late June the FCC
launched a proceeding on an idea long advocated by M2Z Networks: a free, national wireless broadband service. The proposed system would work its magic way up there in the Advanced Wireless Services area number three region of the spectrum (AWS-3, 2155-2180 MHz). Bidders would compete for the zone in a public auction, then commit to rolling the plan out to 95 percent of the United States over a ten year period at 768Kbps, the FCC's new minimum rate for "high speed" broadband. The provider would make money on the service via ad revenue, paying five percent of its gross annual income to Uncle Sam.
The CDT et al filing doesn't have any issues with this. It's the filtering part that's the big problem, the 22 groups say. The FCC's proposal makes it pretty clear how it is supposed to work. The auction winner must provide a feature that "filters or blocks images and text that constitute obscenity or pornography and, in context, as measured by contemporary community standards and existing law, any images or text that otherwise would be harmful to teens and adolescents." The outline defines teens and adolescents as "children 5 through 17 years of age."
The CDT filing warns that not only does this plan violate the First Amendment, it repeatedly crosses the Supreme Court's interpretation of the First Amendment in its important indecency rulings.
A new standard for censorship
The FCC's filtering plan "would censor content far beyond anything ever upheld by any court for any medium," warns the CDT group. Vague and over broad, the proposal's provision to block out anything that might be disturbing to five year olds could deny access to a wide variety of content, including conventional news reports. "This prohibition would plainly infringe on the rights of adults to access broad categories of lawful speech," they write.
The idea also runs afoul of several key Supreme Court cases, CDT warns, most notably the crucial
Reno vs. ACLU ruling of 1997. That decision bumped off a big chunk of the Communications Decency Act's prohibition against the "knowing" transmission of indecent images over the Internet to minors. The high court insisted that in regulating indecent speech, the government must mandate "the least restrictive" way to protect children from smut: client-side filtering software being the best candidate, then and now.
Don't count on Pacifica And so the FCC can't rely on that old standby, Pacifica vs. FCC (1978), to justify this proposal, argues CDT, because unlike terrestrial radio, undesired content on the Internet can be filtered out at the user end. Nor could an "opt-in" filtering system get around the fact that the FCC's proposal effectively creates a filtering blacklist. "The FCC cannot constitutionally serve as a censorship board that selects which Internet websites should be available to all Americans," CDT says. In addition, the Commission's plan violates an often forgotten part of Pacifica, its prohibition on government censorship in advance.
"Given the insurmountable constitutional problems raised by the filtering mandate," the CDT group observes, it would serve as target practice for First Amendment lawyers if actually approved by the FCC. Their filing concludes by suggesting that the FCC go back to square one on the idea and try it again, sans filtering.
This proposal isn't just getting piledriven by civil liberties groups. It's also drawing fire from just about every big wireless company around, with T-Mobile leading the pack. Its latest statement—over 100 pages long—charges that the AWS-3 plan will mess with mobile receivers running on the nearby AWS-1 band. "For consumers, the interference will be extensive, widespread, and unpredictable," T-Mobile warns, "significantly degrading their service."
The company says it wants the FCC to extend this proceeding and submit its proposed AWS-3 specs to independent testing. But it's obvious that the commercial wireless community hates the basic idea on principle. "The Commission's free service proposal would be of little or no help to those it is designed to support, given that the 'free' aspect of the service would be vastly inferior to any commercial service on the market and will not even be available for years," T-Mobile concludes.
FCC Chair Martin has been enjoying a good run of late, with the Sirius/XM merger in cement and a net neutrality order on Comcast due this Friday. But his "family friendly" broadband plan could definitely use a friend or two about now.


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Screen and interface
The 9 cm (3.5 in)
liquid crystal display (320×480 px at 6.3 px/mm, 160 ppi) HVGA touchscreen with scratch-resistant glass[33] is specifically created for use with a finger, or multiple fingers for multi-touch sensing. Because the screen is a capacitive touchscreen, bare skin is required; a stylus or a normal glove prevents the necessary electrical conductivity.[34][35][36][37]
Almost all input is given through the touch screen, which understands complex gestures using multi-touch. The iPhone user interface enables the user to move the content itself up or down by a touch-drag motion of the finger. For example, zooming in and out of web pages and photos is done by placing two fingers on the screen and spreading them farther apart or closer together. Similarly, scrolling through a long list in a menu works as if the list is pasted on the outer surface of a wheel: the wheel can be "spun" by sliding a finger over the display from bottom to top (or vice versa). In either case, the list continues to move based on the flicking motion of the finger, slowly decelerating as if affected by friction. In this way, the interface simulates the physics of a real 3D object. There are other visual effects, such as horizontally sliding sub-selections and co-selections from right and left, vertically sliding system menus from the bottom (e.g. favorites, keyboard), and menus and widgets that turn around to allow settings to be configured on their back sides.
The display responds to three sensors. A
proximity sensor shuts off the display and touchscreen when the iPhone is brought near the face to save battery power and to prevent inadvertent inputs from the user's face and ears. An ambient light sensor adjusts the display brightness which in turn saves battery power. A 3-axis accelerometer senses the orientation of the phone and changes the screen accordingly.[38] Photo browsing, web browsing, and music playing support both upright and left or right widescreen orientations, while videos play in only one widescreen orientation.[citation needed]
A software update allowed the first generation iPhone to use cell towers and Wi-Fi networks to locate itself despite lacking a hardware
GPS. The iPhone 3G includes A-GPS but also uses cell towers and Wi-Fi for location finding.
A single "home" hardware button below the display brings up the main menu. Subselections are made via the touchscreen. The iPhone utilizes a full-paged display, with context-specific submenus at the top and/or bottom of each page, sometimes depending on screen orientation. Detail pages display the equivalent of a "Back" button to return to the parent menu.
The iPhone has three physical switches on its sides: wake/sleep, volume up/down, and ringer on/off. These are made of plastic on the original iPhone and metal on the iPhone 3G. All other multimedia and phone operations are done via the touchscreen.

The iPhone's headphones are similar to those of most current
smartphones, incorporating a microphone. A multipurpose button in the microphone can be used to play or pause music, skip tracks, and answer or end phone calls without touching the iPhone. The 3.5 mm TRS connector for the headphones is located on the top left corner. The headphone socket on the original iPhone is recessed into the casing and is narrow when compared to some headphone jacks, making it incompatible with most headphones without the use of an adapter.[39] The iPhone 3G has a flush mounted headphone socket.
Wireless earpieces that use
Bluetooth technology to communicate with the iPhone are sold separately. It does not support stereo audio.
The loudspeaker is used both for
handsfree operations and media playback, but does not support voice recording.
Composite or component video at up to 576i and stereo audio can be output from the dock connector using an adapter sold by Apple.

The iPhone features a built-in rechargeable battery that is not user-replaceable, similar to existing iPods, but dissimilar to most existing cellular phones.
[41][42] If the battery prematurely reaches the end of its life time, the phone can be returned to Apple and replaced for free while still in warranty,[43] one year at purchase and extended to two years with AppleCare. The cost of having Apple provide a new battery and replace it when the iPhone is out of warranty is, in the United States, US$79 and US$6.95 for shipping.[44]
Since July 2007 third party battery packs have been available[45] at a much lower price than Apple's own battery replacement program. These kits often include a small screwdriver and an instruction leaflet, but as with many newer iPod models the battery in the original iPhone has been soldered in. Therefore a soldering iron is required to install the new battery. This is not the case with the iPhone 3G as it uses a different battery fitted with a connector.[46]
The original iPhone's battery was stated to be capable of providing up to seven hours of video, six hours of web browsing, eight hours of talk time, 24 hours of music or up to 250 hours on standby.[33] Apple's site says that the battery life "is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity after 400 full charge and discharge cycles",[47] which is comparable to the iPod batteries.
The iPhone 3G's battery is stated to be capable of providing up to seven hours of video, six hours of web browsing on Wi-Fi or five on 3G, ten hours of 2G talk time, or five on 3G, 24 hours of music, or 300 hours of standby.
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a consumer advocate group, has sent a complaint to Apple and AT&T over the fee that consumers have to pay to have the battery replaced.[48] Though the battery replacement service and its pricing was not made known to buyers until the day the product was launched,[48][49] a similar service had been well established for the iPods by Apple and various third party service providers.
SIM card
The original iPhone's SIM card slot shown as open, with ejected SIM card.
SIM card is located in a slot at the top of the device, which can be ejected with a paperclip or a SIM card ejection tool which is included with the iPhone 3G.[50] In most countries, the iPhone is usually sold with a SIM lock preventing the use of SIM cards from different mobile networks.
See also:
iPhone SIM Lock removal

The iPhone was initially released with two options for internal storage size; either a 4 GB or 8 GB flash drive (manufactured by
Samsung) model was available. On September 5, 2007, Apple announced they were discontinuing the 4 GB models.[51] On February 5, 2008, Apple announced the addition of a 16 GB model to the iPhone lineup.[52] The iPhone does not contain any memory card slots for expanded storage.
Included items and accessories
Both the iPhone and the iPhone 3G came with a series of included accessories and items when purchased.

Items common to both versions
Appropriate documentation
Stereo headset with microphone
Dock connector to USB cable (standard USB cable for connection)
Cleaning/polishing cloth

Original iPhone
Standard USB power adapter

iPhone 3G
The iPhone 3G, with a black plastic back and chrome volume control buttons
SIM ejector tool
Mini USB power adapter (U.S. model)
Standard USB power adapter (European model)