California's highest court leaned on old U.S. Supreme Court cases to rule that police can confiscate a cell phone from a suspect right after he's arrested and sift through text messages looking for evidence, and do so without first obtaining a warrant, the Ventura County Star reports.
The ruling came as part of a Fourth Amendment decision involving the 2007 arrest of a Thousand Oaks man who wound up arrested after buying ecstasy from a police informant. Text messages on the suspect's cell phone implicated him of the crime.
Jay Leiderman, the criminal lawyer representing who represented the suspect, described the decision as "weak" and "scary" because it cited older U.S. Supreme Court cases that don't have anything to do with today's technology.
"This type of thing opens up the doors for Big Brother to come flying in," he said.
The decision relied on a pair of cases from the early 1970s, one which involved the search of a suspect's clothing and another involving the search of small physical containers, like a crumpled cigarette package.
You have an Android phone. Your wife has an iPhone. And your kids? They're rocking basic cell phones. That's all well and good, but wouldn't it be great if all them shared a single type of charger?
Such a scenario could be a reality in 2011, the UK's Telegraph reports. Apple, Nokia, Samsung, Research in Motion (RIM), and 10 other big name mobile manufacturers have received details from the European Commission on a new standard connection.
"Now is the time for industry to show its commitment to sell mobile phones for the new charger," said Antonio Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission. "The common charger will make life easier for consumers, reduce waste, and benefit businesses. It's a win-win situation."
According to the EC, the lack of a universal standard puts a major damper on the environment, as "users who want to change their mobile phones must usually acquire a new charger and dispose of the old one, even if it is in good condition."
Wirefly, the Internet's self-proclaimed leading authorized retailer of mobile phones and mobile phone plans, put together a top ten list of the best selling cell phones for 2010's holiday season. Guess which phone wasn't on the list?
If you said Apple's iPhone, you win the no-prize, but there's a huge caveat -- Wirefly doesn't sell the iPhone. In the iPhone's absence, Android was able to dominate Wirefly's list, accounting for all but one spot. Here's how it broke down:
HTC Evo 4G (Sprint)
HTC Droid Incredible (Verizon)
Samsung Captivate (AT&T)
Motorola Droid X (Verizon)
Samsung Intercept (Sprint)
BlackBerry Torch (AT&T)
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 (AT&T)
Motorola Droid 2 Global (Verizon)
Samsung Epic 4G (Sprint)
Samsung Fascniate (Verizon)
With 2010 officially in the rear view mirror, Wirefly made several predictions for 2011. According to Wirefly, you'll see an influx of affordably priced prepaid smartphones this year, particularly on the Android platform, and from manufacturers that are less established in the U.S. Wirefly also predicts that video chat will become the norm, and of course the online vendor has high hopes for 4G/LTE.
This has got to be the crappiest knockoff ever, at least in terms of branding. As TechCrunch reports, there's a company in China looking to ride the coattails of OPPO, a Chinese electronics manufacturer with a successful cell phone line.
The knockoff model simply rearranges the letters, and while there are only so many combinations to choose from if going that route, "POOP" would have been our last choice.
No word on specs, price, or the sort, but we thought the name alone was worthy of a laugh.
Jose Rivera is a U.S. solider currently deployed in Afghanistan. He's also the father of a newborn baby, and husband to a wife being treated for heart trouble. English isn't his first language, and according to CNet, all of these factors played a role in racking up a $16,000 cell phone bill with AT&T.
Cell phone bill shock isn't a new phenomenon, and in Rivera's case, it appears he was confused about a $4.95/month add-on that he was told would allow him to make international calls to his wife. But what he didn't understand is that those calls would cost $5/minute, and about 50 cents per text message.
"While he should have realized that $4.95 a month was probably too good to be true, he is a young soldier with minimal experience with phone plans or overseas travel," said Capt. Evan Brainerd, Rivera's commanding officer.
Brainerd decided to fight on Rivera's behalf and claims that no one at AT&T ever warned the young soldier about his fast growing phone bill.
Hit the jump to see what AT&T has to say on the matter.
When 2010 comes to a close, HTC can officially celebrate its greatest year ever, which is thanks in large part to the popularity of Google's Android platform. But as good as 2010 was to HTC, the handset maker expects to ship even more mobile devices in 2011.
According to a DigiTimes report, HTC has told its suppliers to ready parts and components for up to 60 million handsets next year. If HTC manages to ship 60 million devices, that would represent a three-fold increase over 2010, industry sources say.
We have little reason to doubt HTC's prediction. Not only does Android continue to woo smartphone buyers -- Google says it's seeing over 300,000 activations every day -- but Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform is shaping up to be a viable contender, too.
Apple couldn't have picked a worse wireless carrier to enter into an exclusivity agreement to carry the iPhone, and we mean that literally, at least according to a new survey by Consumer Reports.
The consumer advocate group pinged more than 58,000 ConsumerReports.org subscribers about their cell phone carriers, and it was AT&T that scored the worst for overall satisfaction, dropping "significantly" from one year ago. And get this -- more than half of the AT&T customers surveyed were iPhone owners. In fact, Consumer Reports points out that "iPhone owners were much less satisfied with their carrier and rated data service (Web and email) lower than owners of smartphones on other carriers that, like the iPhone, have a host of apps to encourage heavy data use."
Where there's smoke there's usually fire, and there has been a ton of smoke signals saying the iPhone is headed to Verizon. If AT&T wasn't worried before, it should be now. Verizon ranked second among all mobile phone service providers, trailing U.S. Cellular for the top spot.
"Our survey suggests that an iPhone from Verizon Wireless, which is rumored, could indeed be good news for iPhone fans," said Paul Reynolds, Electronics Editor for Consumer Reports.
The survey also touched on the topic of bill shock with one in five respondents saying they've received an unexpectedly high cell phone bill in the previous year, usually for exceeding their plan's voice, text, or data limits.
Talking and texting while driving has become such a hazard that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said there's been talk of installing devices in cars that would prevent mobile phones from working, The Daily Caller reports.
"There's a lot of technology out there now that can disable phones and we're looking at that," LaHood said in an interview with MSNBC. "I think it will be done. I think the technology is there and I think you're going to see the technology become adaptable in automobiles to disable these cell phones. We need to do a lot more if we're going to save lives."
These devices and the technology LaHood refers to would essentially scramble cell phone signals while a car is turned on, including passenger cell phones. How this would affect smartphones with things like GPS or the need to call 911 if you're in an accident isn't clear.
In response to the inevitable criticism that followed, LaHood sought to clear the air in a blog post.
"A story in The Daily Caller this morning inaccurately characterized my response to a question I was asked on MSNBC earlier this week, specifically about whether I believed we should employ a specific technology that would block cell phone signals in cars to prevent drivers from talking or texting behind the wheel," LaHood explains. "What I actually said was, 'There's a lot of technology out there now that can disable phones and we're looking at that. A number of [cell technology innovators] came to our Distracted Driving Summit here in Washington and presented their technology, and that's one way. But you have to have good laws, you have to have good enforcement, and you have to have people take personal responsibility. That's the bottom line."
Hey, we get it, not everyone needs a full-featured smartphone complete with a pricey data plan. Samsung gets it too, hence the launch of the Samsung Messager III (SCH-R570).
The Messager III sports a 2.4-inch QVGA TFT display, but the real focus is on text messaging. It comes with a horizontal slide-out QWERTY keyboard, T9 predictive text, and threaded text messaging capabilities.
Other features include a built-in music player, 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth, 1.3MP camera, Widget support, and up to 16GB of expandable memory.
The Messager III is available at MetroPCS stores and online.
Verizon on Thursday released its third quarter earnings report, noting the addition of 997,000 total net customers to its wireless business. That's down from the 1.2 million customers it added in Q3 2009, and less than half the number of subscribers rival AT&T added during the quarter (2.6 million).
Of course, Apple has the iPhone while Verizon is entrenched in Google's Android platform. And despite not adding as many new subscribers as last year, Verizon announced a 6 percent increase in total revenues from 3Q 2009, 7.7 percent increase in service revenues, and a 26.3 percent increase in data revenues.
"Verizon built on a strong second quarter with a stronger third quarter, resulting in improved earnings performance and substantial cash flow," said Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg. "We are building momentum and are on track to achieve our goal of growing earnings in the second half of the year. We are excited by the opportunities we see to expand wireline margins and the growth we see related to the upcoming launch of next-generation wireless services."
Verizon just recently secured a deal to sell Apple's iPad, and rumors continue to persist that a CDMA version of the iPhone is headed to Verizon sometime in 2011.