Bluetooth bling? Smart ring lets wearer know when there is an incoming call or text message

Ringly is a wearable tech device with a difference — it's a piece of jewelry first and foremost, albeit one with sufficient smarts to let the wearer know when there's an incoming call, text message or other alert. The company behind it, also called Ringly, created it so that women with busy social and professional lives don’t waste precious time trying to dig their phone out of their handbag every time it makes any sort of noise. Instead, the Ringly ring, which is 18 karat gold plated and features a semi-precious stone, connects to the handset wirelessly via Bluetooth. When there’s an incoming call or other alert, the Ringly discreetly vibrates or glows and of course, there’s an app for both iOS and Android that can be used to set the length of time the ring buzzes or glows based on the type of alert or who exactly is getting in touch. “Our goal is to create products that are both stylish and useful, that women will be proud to wear,” says Ringly co-founder and CEO Christina Mercando. “We believe that the future of wearables is in building discreet technology that integrates seamlessly into your life and makes your day-to-day easier. The more I use my Ringly, the more it’s like a personal assistant telling me what to do — plus there’s something so fun about having my jewelry talk to me!” As well as calls, texts, email and calendars, the app already supports notifications for Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Vine, LinkedIn and Tinder among others, and further integration will come as the app and the product develop. Ringly is taking the unusual step of crowdfunding the device via its own website and hopes to raise $60,000 via pre-orders. If it hits its target, then the first Ringly rings will be on the fingers of their first owners this Autumn. The first four Ringlys will be offered in sizes 6, 7 and 8 with a choice of black onyx, rainbow moonstone, pink sapphire, and emerald stone Continue Reading

Text messages alert Saudi male guardians when women try to leave the country

A new electronic system in Saudi Arabia tracks all cross-border movements of women, alerting their male guardians when they leave the country. The system, which started last week, sends a text message to the male guardian that his female “charge” is leaving the country, even if they are traveling together. Under Saudi Arabia's strict Islamic laws, women require a male relative’s permission to travel abroad. Women are also banned from driving, from participating in most sports and from many workplaces. The jobless rate for women is nearly 30 percent, four times that of men, according to official estimates. Women earned the right to vote in municipal elections last year. The new monitoring system might be the result of the escape of a Saudi woman to Sweden in recent months, Al Arabiya reported. "The new compulsory text service, compliments of the Saudi ministry of interior, is not only a vicious reminder that Big Brother is watching me but that now he will snitch and tell my 'guardian' every time I leave the country," Safa Alahmad, a freelance journalist and documentary maker told the Guardian. Twitter also lit up with jokes about the ban, according to AFP. "Hello Taliban, herewith some tips from the Saudi e-government!” one Tweet read. Journalist Badriya al-Bishr said the system perpetuates “the state of slavery” in which women are held in the country. “This is technology used to serve backwardness in order to keep women imprisoned," she said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Off-duty 911 operator Coryse Hercules used text messaging to alert police that a fellow passenger on a Staten Island bus was carrying firearms in his bag

If you see something but can’t say something because the bad guy’s near, there’s always text messaging. Off-duty 911 operator Coryse Hercules could not make an emergency call Tuesday when she spotted a man carrying a gun on a Staten Island bus, so she got creative and texted a co-worker for help. Hercules, 28, a police communications technician, was seated on an S-40 bus, and as it cruised along Richmond Terrace in St. George, she saw an 18-year-old passenger just two seats away slip a handgun into his backpack about 1:15 p.m., police said. “He’s got a gun,” a woman whispered to her boyfriend sitting nearby. “Calm down. It’s not serious. I carry it for protection,” the teen, Raysean Alson, said after he heard the woman’s comment. Hercules knew that if she called her fellow 911 operators, the gunman would hear her. So, she texted an SOS to her co-worker, Stephanie Williams. Williams, 24, saw the text messages and called 911 with the location and description of the gunman that Hercules provided, cops said. “Black Beats headphones, backpack, (bus) now on St. Peter’s Place,” Hercules wrote. “Perp is sitting by female with pink stroller.” Within minutes, police pulled the bus over. As officers boarded, Alson changed his seat and left the backpack behind, cops said. Police began to move in on a man sitting closest to the backpack, but Hercules fingered Alson as the suspect. The officers cuffed Alson, of Port Richmond, and opened the backpack — where they found a .9-mm semi-automatic pistol and a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver that had five live rounds and a spent shell casing. Alson — who has three prior arrests that include forcible touching and marijuana possession — was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. He was waiting to be arraigned Wednesday morning. Investigators were trying to Continue Reading

Tennessean investigation finds inappropriate text messages

Tennessee Republican leaders were told of a potential sexual harassment complaint about House Majority Whip Jeremy Durham’s behavior about a week before an unprecedented House GOP caucus meeting to decide the fate of his leadership role, but the specific concerns were never disclosed to his fellow legislators, Republican lawmakers confirmed.The news comes amid a Tennessean investigation into inappropriate text messages from Durham to three women who worked at the statehouse. Durham said Friday he does not remember sending the messages.The incidents point to a legislative sexual harassment policy experts have said is mired in secrecy and contributes to an environment where sexual harassment by the state’s elected leaders can go essentially unchecked.The three women who told The Tennessean about text messages from Durham they felt were inappropriate said they never considered filing a formal complaint. A second woman, in her early 20s whose work required her to be at the statehouse, also said she received dozens of text messages from Durham during the 2013 session and after. A text from Durham, sent at about 1 a.m., asks the woman for pictures. After The Tennessean described the text messages to Durham, he said he did not remember sending any of the messages.“Not having seen the texts, not knowing who the other party to the conversation is, when they were sent, what exactly they say, whether I was responding or initiating the text stream, it is simply impossible to respond,” Durham said in an email Friday.The Tennessean verified the text messages were sent from Durham’s cellphone. The women provided the messages on the condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals from Durham.The state will not confirm whether any sexual harassment complaints have been filed.People who have worked at Tennessee’s statehouse say the General Assembly, for some, is a party atmosphere.Rep. David Alexander, R-Winchester, said a woman contacted him Continue Reading

Kashif Parvaiz & suspected mistress detailed plot to kill his wife, Nazish Noorani, in text messages

The plot to kill Brooklyn mom Nazish Noorani was laid out in a series of chilling text messages between her husband and the accused triggerwoman, prosecutors said Friday. Kashif Parvaiz and Antoinette Stephen planned out Tuesday night's attack in Boonton, N.J. and even did a dry run before setting the deadly scheme in motion. They said the suspects made sure to check how far away the local police station was from the home of Noorani's sister, Lubna Choudhry where relatives marked the end of Ramadan before the shooting. Here's the plot: * Friday, Aug. 12. 11:34 a.m. AS to KP: "You hang in there. Freedom is just around ur corner" * Sunday, Aug. 14. 1:03 p.m. KP to AS: "Well I need to speak to you and explain to you how to approach the situation ill be depositing money tomorrow morning and ill see you tomorrow evening" * Monday, Aug. 15. 10:07 p.m. KP to AS: "I can meet u I told Naz I ate too much and im going out for a walk where are u" Minutes later, AS to KP: "Driving now" Then she texted "K text me when u in neighborhood" Then she texted: "I'm down church street" 10:44 p.m. AS to KP: "I know, I saw. I'm driving to the nearest precinct. To judge their driving distance." KP to AS: "ull have a 10 mints head start" AS to KP: "I know. its just that since we're close to lubnas house plus they're going to be awake, they'll come out first. I'll be running right their way. U need to.".... "Stall for some time along the road a little away so they're not alert" Parvaiz texted Stephen that he was at the "McDonalds in Parsippany" Stephen responded. "oh s--it. Im parked near Naz's home. Was going to walk the area." * Tuesday, Aug. 16. The day of the shooting. Parvaiz texted Stephen that they were at Noorani's sister's home. 2:13 p.m. AS to KP: "Call me when u can. Delete all msgs from phone. I won't message from here on." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Domestic abusers to wear GPS tracking ankle bracelets that text message victims on whereabouts, new Staten Island program promises

Victims of domestic violence in Staten Island will soon be alerted by text message when an offender is breaking stay-away orders, prosecutors announced Monday. The new program will target people who repeatedly violate orders of protection by having them wear an ankle bracelet, which will send a text to a victim when the offender is near, prosecutors said. “To many domestic abusers, an order of protection is just a piece of paper,” Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan said. “It does not deter these relentless scofflaws from constantly terrorizing and attacking their victims.” The GPS tracking device, similar to what is used for criminals on house arrest, will be operated by a security firm based in Atlanta. A few dozen offenders who have been found guilty of a domestic violence offense will be chosen to launch the program dubbed Domestic Violence GPS Initiative, Donovan said. The GPS device will send an alert to the victim if the offender crosses the exclusionary zone, which can be a 1,000-foot radius surrounding the victim s home, work or school, he said. Donovan said that nearly half of all domestic abusers are repeat offenders, and about 25% of cases in Staten Island include a charge for violating stay-away orders. I refuse to stand by and continue to watch this happen time and again without trying to do something about it, Donovan said. [email protected] Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Parents kidnap their 8 kids from foster care: Text message to foster mom foretold abduction

A day before she abducted her eight kids from a foster care facility, a Manhattan mom sent a text message that spoke of her desperation. "I cannot live without my children. I cannot breathe without my children," Shanel Nadal, 28, wrote to foster mom Amieka Smith on Sunday. Nadal's kids were taken from her and partner Nephra Payne, 34, and split among three foster parents after abuse allegations, a law enforcement source said. She saw them in supervised visits at the sprawling compound of the Forestdale Agency, a Queens nonprofit organization that does child welfare work with the city. During Monday's visit, a supervisor was on site but not in the vending machine area where Nadal rounded up her kids shortly before 4 p.m., the source said. No one stopped her as she slipped down a rear staircase, opened a back door and disappeared - likely with the help of Payne, who was already wanted in a burglary. The stealth of the escape surprised Barbara Emanuel, the foster mom for the youngest of the kids, 11-month-old Nefertiti. "It was just a normal visit," said Emanuel, who was at the Queens facility at the time. "A little after 5, I looked up, and they were gone. (DCPI) "I told the supervisor and they began searching, but they were long gone. It's like they just vanished. How does a woman escape with eight kids? I was there and I don't know how she did it." A manhunt was underway for Nadal, Payne and the kids - seven boys ages 4 to 11, all named Nephra, and the baby girl. Cops alerted authorities in South Carolina, where Nadal has lived, but two addresses they checked were dead ends. Her grandmother, Rosetta Middleton, told the Daily News police had not contacted her and that she has not heard from Nadal since last year. "I knew she wanted her kids back, but I haven't heard nothing about this," Middleton said. Both Smith and Emanuel said they believe Nadal thought she was doing the right thing, but they expressed concern for the children. Continue Reading

Text messaging opens doors to hacker attacks on iPhones, other devices

Getting a text message is akin to someone sliding a piece of mail under your door: You may not have asked for it, but you can't stop its delivery and you have to deal with it whether you want to or not. The fact that text messages appear on mobile phones without any interaction from the user - and sometimes with limited interference from the cellular network operators -  can give criminals an opening to break into those devices, as three teams of researchers showed Thursday at the Black Hat security conference here. Their targets ran the gamut. Apple Inc.'s iPhones and phones running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile and Google Inc.'s Android operating systems were all shown to be vulnerable. In some cases, the problems weren't with software, but the way cellular networks process messages. The findings are troubling as people increasingly use their phones for handling sensitive data, such as e-mails and online banking information. Phones are morphing into mini-computers, which means they're going to start getting attacked like PCs. In some respects, phones are relatively safer. Cellular carriers control their networks more tightly than anyone controls the Internet, so they're in a better position to stop new types of attacks that crop up. Telling the difference between harmful and legitimate traffic can be tricky, though. And anonymity still is possible given the proliferation of prepaid plans that don't require long-term contracts; a carrier can trace an attack to a particular phone but not necessarily to a particular person. The techniques demonstrated Thursday show that even disciplined and safety-conscious users could have their phones hacked because they can't totally control what's coming into them. Innocent people could have their smart phones knocked offline, commanded to visit sites hosting pornography or viruses, or even turned into remote-controlled subordinates of a criminal gang behind an attack. Take this example Continue Reading

Text messages help you plan for a baby bump … or avoid one

Not only can text message alerts deliver breaking news and transit updates – now (ahem, ladies) they can tell you when you’re ovulating., an online resource for parents and expectant moms, has unveiled a new service – The Booty Caller – to remind women of their fertile peaks and valleys via text. Women can sign up for the free service at by entering information about their menstrual cycles and a phone number. The Booty Caller “is the new and modern way for busy women everywhere to keep up with their fertility timing and options," said CEO Tina Sharkey. Subscribers receive three texts per month to help them track ovulation patterns. So when the phone buzzes, it might say something like this: "Your fertile window starts in 1 week. Find out if your chances of getting pregnant are better in the morning." Or even this: "Your fertile window opens today and lasts 5 more days. Stress can get in the way of conception so relax and get a massage, meditate, or take a yoga class." The program is intended to help women trying to conceive, but some say it's a sad reminder that many people today are of touch with their bodies. Scott, a father of three in Manhattan, said he and his wife learned long ago how to do the baby math. "Who can't count to 14?" he said. If traffic to BabyCenter’s Web site is any indicator – a lot of people are looking for help in that area.  The site’s creators say numbers have skyrocketed since Booty Caller launched. Connie Devonshire, a registered nurse from New Jersey, thinks the gadget will help women who may not be so savvy when it comes to their own reproductive patterns – and she includes herself among that group. "Women should definitely know their fertility cycle … I was never good at figuring out that stuff,” she said. Couples hoping for a little bundle of joy aren't the only Continue Reading

Notify NYC city emergency alerts via phone, e-mail, text message now available citywide

In case of emergency - you'll be notified.Notify NYC, the city program that sends out emergency e-mails, phone calls and text messages, goes citywide Thursday. "We want people to be aware of what's happening in their city," said Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Bruno. The alert system began as a pilot program in December 2007 in lower Manhattan, the Rockaways, northeast Bronx and southwest Staten Island. During the program, the city sent 66 notifications or alerts. "Generally, it's tough to get information from agencies about what's going on in your district," said Jonathan Gaska, district manager of Community Board 14, which represents the Rockaways. "This is certainly one way of actually getting accurate information in real time." The program offers warnings about emergencies, such as Amber Alerts, natural disasters or building collapses. It also notifies subscribers about school closings, extended mass transit disruptions and suspensions of alternate-side parking. Anyone with a computer can sign up at Notifications also will be posted on, and the information will be available through 911 and 311. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading