Plugged In: Half of Americans can’t go a day without phone, study says

(Photo: Bulent Kilic / AFP - Getty Images)

What’s just as important as deodorant, nearly as critical as the toothbrush, and far more crucial than coffee? Our smartphones, apparently.

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Mobile, Ala. hit by Christmas Day tornado

(Photo: Mike Kittrell / AP)

A major winter storm pummeled large parts of the U.S. on Tuesday, dropping heavy snow on the Southern Plains and spinning off damaging tornadoes in warmer areas southward. Treacherous holiday travel was expected to become even more of an ordeal by the time the storm arrives in the Northeast later this week.

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Android, Apple phones nearly 80 percent of worldwide market: Gartner

Android and Apple devices dominate in smartphones, with nearly 80 percent of the worldwide market combined in the first quarter of this year, according to research firm Gartner. Nokia and Research in Motion were the big losers, their shares dropping sharply from a year earlier.

Companies making Android devices include Samsung, HTC and Motorola Mobility, which Google now owns. Samsung also makes phones using its Bada system.

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