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Here's the iPhone that saved a soldier's life from a suicide bomb explosion, and other news for March 12, 2014

KSL.com has an amazing story about how a Utah soldier's iPhone 5 saved him from a suicide bomber's blast in Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. Shaun Frank was helping others in his unit overturn another unit's vehicle when he was approached by a teenager who stood just feet away. The teenager detonated a suicide bomb and Frank was hit with metal ball bearings shrapnel.

Fortunately, the shrapnel didn't get past Frank's left front pants pocket. Behind that area lie major arteries and the only thing that stopped a ball bearing hitting there was Frank's iPhone 5:

"They did tell him when he got back to base that that iPhone probably saved his life," said Frank's sister, Alisha Lantz.

"He wanted to go overseas and fight and be part of fighting for our country," Lantz said.

Frank was just weeks into his second tour of duty last fall when his family got the call every military family dreads. Frank had been injured. ...

"He had his iPhone in his pocket. The iPhone stopped a few of the ball bearings as well," Lantz said.

There isn't much left of the phone. It doesn't work now, but it's something Frank wants to hang onto.

"He really wanted to keep it as a memento," Lantz said.

Annoyingly, when he got back to the States and sent the iPhone to Apple to see if it was covered under their accidental damage insurance, the company told Frank they could give him a new iPhone, but would need to keep the old one. After three months -- and Frank's story airing on KSL -- Apple finally relented and gave him the original phone back.

In other news:

  • The popular Speedtest.net app has been updated with universal support. It now supports iPads.
  • Concerned about who's snooping in on your calls or mobile data? Vodafone in Germany is now selling encrypted SIM cards that work in iPhones.
  • PonoMusic's PonoPlayer "iPod killer" surpassed US$1.1 million in pledges on Kickstarter...in one day.

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