hold the phone
April 24, 2018

President Trump is back to using his trusted (and less secure) personal cellphone to chat with outside advisers, and several White House officials told CNN it's either a sign that Chief of Staff John Kelly is losing his grip on Trump, or proof he's finally brought some semblance of organization to the chaotic administration.

One rose-colored-glasses-wearing senior official said Trump and Kelly have "grown into some level of comfort" with each other, and while there "used to be a level of babysitting," Kelly no longer needs to know everyone Trump calls. Others said Trump is "talking to all sorts of people" on his cell, and he doesn't want Kelly to know who is on the other end of the line. Three people told CNN that Trump is directly contacting Republican lawmakers, and Trump's former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has reportedly been bragging to his friends that thanks to Trump's phone, he has "unfettered" access to the president.

Kelly was able to keep tabs on the people Trump phoned via the White House switchboard because he received a printed list of the calls. One person told CNN "a lot of meetings, a lot of things have happened lately without Kelly being in the room," and two others said new National Security Adviser John Bolton and Larry Kudlow, Trump's fresh top economic adviser, have been told they directly report to Trump and not Kelly. For more on the current state of the Trump-Kelly relationship, visit CNN. Catherine Garcia

October 23, 2015

No, Adele doesn't still use a flip phone in real life. When the artist's first single "Hello" from her upcoming third album 25 hit the internet on Friday, many listeners were hung up on one particular detail in the music video: that phone. Why, everyone seems to be wondering, is Adele using a flip phone — in 2015?

Thankfully, Fusion went straight to the source — the video's director, Xavier Dolan — and got the answer to this burning question. Turns out, the flip phone was simply an artistic choice:

The use of flip-flop phones is coherent with the rest of my work. I can't get my head around filming iPhones — they’re too real, too identifiable with our everyday lives. Same for cars. I feel bad filming Toyotas and Kias. As soon as you film these elements, it’s like you’re shooting whatever commercial. I find them to be non-narrative elements. [Fusion]

Watch Adele use a flip phone in her new video below. Becca Stanek

July 27, 2015

The National Security Agency will destroy nearly 10 years of phone records collected from millions of Americans, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said Monday.

When President Obama signed into law a revised version of the Patriot Act in June following contentious congressional debate, the NSA lost its legal ability to collect the bulk records. Going forward, intelligence agencies must seek targeted records directly from phone companies. Since the amendment became law, White House officials have been discussing whether to keep the existing records going forward.

The bulk collection program, first implemented under President George W. Bush, came under scrutiny after whistleblower Edward Snowden brought the policy to the public's attention in 2013.

Phone records connected to pending lawsuits will be preserved. Julie Kliegman

November 20, 2014

Texters tired of words can turn to emoji, but really, those only get you so far. After all, it's 2014 and we're still shockingly deprived of a cheese wedge option.

Thanks to a new app called Blippy, texting GIFs is about to get easier than ever. Blippy installs a custom keyboard in your messaging app with an arsenal of GIFs you've previously selected from an assortment they present to you:


Even better is that The Atlantic refers to the GIF-choosing process as "Tinder for GIFs," since you swipe right on the GIF suggestions you want to save and text. If you know which joke you're after, there's a search bar to simplify the process.

Go on, your friends are waiting to hear that you're working on your night cheese. Julie Kliegman

July 1, 2014

Smartphones appear to be more addictive than we all thought: A new survey released Monday found that 47 percent of U.S. adults would not be able to make it 24 hours without one, and four out of five would rather give up alcohol or chocolate in order to get their phone back.

Smartphones ranked below the internet and hygiene when it came to importance in a person's life, but beat out television and coffee. Ninety-one percent said their phone is as important as deodorant and their car.

When it comes to Millennials between the ages of 18 and 24, things become even more bleak: 96 percent said their smartphone was more important than a toothbrush and deodorant. No wonder they turn to their phones; they don't have the ability to smell.

When asked about annoying phone behavior, 38 percent of respondents said they were most perturbed when someone checked their phone while driving, and 15 percent said they dislike when someone talks loudly on the phone in public.

Of course, because this survey was conducted by Bank of America, several of the questions were about mobile banking. You can read the entire survey here. Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads