• LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Movie theater owners faced with falling attendance are considering asking federal authorities for permission to jam cell phone reception in an attempt to stop annoying conversations during films, the head of the industry's trade group said on Tuesday. Industry leaders at the ShoWest conference for theater owners want to find ways to win back crowds. "I don't know what's going on with consumers that they have to talk on phones in the middle of theaters," John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners, told the ShoWest conference in Las Vegas. Theaters are trying a number of ways to silence cell phones, from sweeps by ushers to funny fake movie trailers urging viewers to shut

  • Lost dog? As of next March, pet owners will be able to drop the photocopier and staple gun and pick up the phone instead. That's when PetCell, the first cell phone for dogs, is due to hit pet-store shelves. Hung off Fido's collar, the PetCell is a bone-shaped cell phone that will let dog owners talk to their best friend over a two-way speaker. Developed by PetsMobility, the PetCell works with standard cellular networks and has its own number. It automatically answers when the owner punches in a code on their telephone keypad that means, "Lassie, come home!" The PetCell will ship in early 2006 and will sell for $350 to $400, the company said. President Cameron Robb said he

  • HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish scientists have invented a device to make it harder to steal mobile phones and laptops by enabling them to detect changes in their owner's walking style and then freeze to prevent unauthorized use. The VTT Technical Research Center of Finland said the device, which is has patented but has yet to sell, could prevent millions of portable appliances being stolen every year. "A device is equipped with sensors that measure certain characteristics of the user's gait. When the device is used for the first time, these measurements are saved in its memory," VTT said in a statement. The gadget would monitor the user's walking style and check it against the saved information. If the values differ,