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.
According to ZD Net, some Android users are becoming frustrated with the lack of progress on a particularly annoying bug. Many users have reported that an SMS bug in the mobile OS can cause messages to be sent to the wrong number in some instances. A search of the Google Code site indicates this has been an issues ever since the first Froyo builds rolled out back in June. It is currently listed as 'Medium' priority.
The degree to which this bug crops up seems to vary wildly. Some users report being able to reproduce it upon request with a series of somewhat complicated steps. Another piece of the puzzle is more common, and involves simply being routed to the wrong place. Tapping on the Messaging icon, or a message notification can sometimes route the user to the wrong Messaging thread. It could be easy to fire off a text here without noticing.
We've never experienced the first bug on our Android phones. The second, and less severe SMS bug has come up occasionally, but not often. Have any of you Android users noticed any SMS being sent to the wrong person?
Mobile security concerns often center around high-power smartphones, but at the Chaos Computer Club Congress some German researchers demonstrated even feature phones are vulnerable. By setting up a small GSM test network in the lab, researchers were able to test various SMS messages with different malicious payloads. The results were startling.
The German researchers were able to find vulnerabilities in many feature phones from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and LG. The so-called "SMS of death" had different effects on each handset. Some were just disconnected from the GSM network, others were forced to reboot, but some (including models from Sony Ericsson and Nokia) were rebooted without registering the message as received. That means the network will continue sending the message, making the phone useless. The only way to fix this issue is to put the phone's SIM card in a non-susceptible phone.
The researchers stressed that the same vulnerability probably exists in many phones, but they only tested a handful of popular models. If these exploits make it into the wild, unscrupulous individuals could send these messages en masse, forcing a mobile provider to pay up to stop the attack. Now that the details are known to manufacturers, future phones can avoid this problem, but existing feature phones rarely get firmware updates. Fixing current handsets might be a no-go.
Google's innovative Google Voice service is still invite only, but under a new program students can get priority access. In a blog post, the Big G noted many of Google Voice's features are of particular use to students. Apparently, college students are particularly appreciative of the ability to access their voicemail via email, and get free text messages. Though, who isn't?
Google Voice allows users to choose a new phone number that can be forwarded to multiple lines. It offers features like voicemail transcription, call screening, and do not disturb mode just to name a few. Android phones have seamless integration with Google Voice, and there is an official app for Blackberry phones as well.
The new program is technically available to anyone with an email address that ends in .edu. Those signing up at the special student website should expect their invite to show up within 24 hours. So for students, there's no longer any reason to scrounge around online looking for an invite. You can get it right from the source.
Forget the lessons of Tyler Durden. The things you own define who you are. And nothing makes a bigger statement than your cell phone ringtone. Your ringtone gives valuable insight for everyone within earshot about your preferences and personality -- information with which they'll use to judge you (and yes, you're always being judged). You don't want to be the guy sitting in a quiet lecture hall when your phone suddenly starts blasting the latest Fallout Boy single. That tells your neighbors that you have poor taste and probably cry yourself to sleep at night. No, you want to be the guy who has Europe's The Final Countdown chime in at opportune moments, letting that cute hipster girl nearby know that yes, you too are a fan of Arrested Development.
For geeks and techies who want to attract like-minded compatriots, we've compiled a list of the top 10 must-have ringtones to own. Any respectable tech/gadget/sci-fi aficionado should have these tones stored on their phones at all times, alternating the chimes in a daily rotation to prevent them from getting stale. We've also included a definitive list of the 10 coolest text-message alert sounds, as well as the most clichéd and obnoxious ringtones and alerts that must be avoided at all cost.