News Scan: Sprint charges too much for spying; Wireless smart pills not hard to swallow; more


>> Sprint charges too much for spying, say feds

Sprint charges the federal government too much for spying on people, so says a complaint filed in federal court on Monday. The U.S. government alleges that Sprint jacked up prices to carry out court-ordered wiretaps and other electronic surveillance, according to a report by IDG News Service. Sprint overcharged the government by 58 percent, or $21 million, in unauthorized costs the carrier included in bills for providing wiretap assistance for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency and Immigration and Customers Enforcement between Jan. 2007 and July 31, 2010. Read more on the U.S. government's complaint.

[More on Sprint: Sprint not resurrecting Nextel | Sprint one step closer to buying T-Mobile]

>> Wireless smart pills are not hard to swallow

The medical industry is increasingly using wireless smart pills for patient imaging, sensing and monitoring, as well as drug delivery and surgery, according to market research firm Frost & Sullivan. In addition to wireless technology, other tech advances in smart pills include miniaturization and remote patient monitoring. "The smart pills industry is likely to experience a burst of new products in the next five to seven years, offering tremendous potential for collaboration between the industry and academia," predicts Bhargav Rajan, technical insights research analyst with Frost & Sullivan. Read more on smart pills.

[More on medical devices: Hospital CIOs struggle with BYOD, Internet of Things | Tricorders move from TV to reality]

>> Travelocity uses responsive design to deal with proliferation of mobile devices

Travelocity is moving its mobile transactions from iOS to the Android operating system using the response design Web development technique, reports Mobile Marketer. Travelocity began using response design to cope with the more than 1,500 screen sizes that were using its site. "I'm seeing Apple iOS-oriented traffic is still the majority, slightly, but interestingly enough, I'm now seeing since we went responsive that Android conversion rates are higher than iOS for the first time. Understanding though that what I'm talking about is smartphones and seven-inch tablets--that is not with the iPad," say Joshua Bright, mobile product manager at Travelocity. Read more on Travelocity's response design program.

[More on responsive design: Retailers put mobile efforts as their top priority | Mobile marketing: It pays to be pushy]

>> Indoor location tech to take off in non-retail venues

The potential for indoor location technology in enterprise, corporate and public ventures is as large as the potential for retail use, judges ABI Research. In fact, the research firm predicts that there will be more than 40,000 non-retail indoor location venues by 2019. Forces driving non-retail use of indoor location include BYOD, security, corporate wellness, employee analytics, low-cost tags, and legislation. "The ability to track connected devices and low-cost BLE [Bluetooth low energy] tags will open up opportunities around staff analytics, visitor management, meeting scheduling, staff enterprise applications, building layout optimization, etc.," says Patrick Connolly, senior analyst at ABI. Read more on non-retail indoor location.

[More on indoor location: Security, functionality gaps exist in beacon deployments | Indoor location on steroids]

>> Smartphone 'kill-switch' bills introduced in Congress

Two bills have been introduced to Congress that would require smartphone manufactures to include a kill-switch in their product, enabling owners to wipe data and lock the smartphone in case it is stolen, according to a report by CBS News. In the Senate, a bill was introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in mid-February. A companion bill was introduced in the House last week by Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.). The two federal bills are similar to a bill introduced last month in the California legislature and reported on by FierceMobileIT. Read more on the federal bills.

[More on mobile phone security: California wants kill switches on all mobile devices | Two-thirds of IT managers concerned about mobile security threats]