In a fairly stunning win for mobile phone privacy, the Supreme Court has ruled that law enforcement agencies must obtain a warrant before they can demand and receive from mobile carriers and mobile providers access to the cell phone location data (known as ‘cell site location information’, or CSLI for short) of a given cellular phone. In the case of Carpenter v. United States, the Supreme Court held that tracking a cell phone is barely different than putting an ankle bracelet on an individual and monitoring their movements, and so overturned related case law that has been around for (up to) decades.
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This week at CES, Tonino Lamborghini debuted the Lamborghini cell phone. The $6k price tag for the Lambo 88 Tauri smartphone from Tonino, the son of the famed auto maker Ferrucio Lamborghini, basically gets you a tarted-up Android phone, and the Lamborghini emblem on your phone.
A UK-based company, Masabi, that provisions ticketless ticketing via smartphones and other mobile phones for trains in the UK, will be bringing its service to the U.S. this summer. Boston’s train system, run by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) will be giving the Masabi system a trial run this summer and, assuming all goes as expected, the Masabi service will be deployed system-wide in the fall.
Two U.S. malls were all set to use a new technology from U.K.-based FootPath Technology over the Black Friday weekend which would have allowed them to track each shopper’s movement throughout the mall, from store to store, using a unique mobile phone signal from each shopper’s cell phone – without their knowledge or consent! JC Penny and Home Depot are also said to be looking at adopting the FootPath technology.
Twitter is aflame with calls for boycotts of Rupert Murdoch, his ‘News of the World’, ‘News of the World’s’ parent company, ‘News International’, and other Murdoch holdings, as the investigation of News of the World’s using a private detective, Glenn Mulcaire, to hack into the telephone voicemail of several young girls who had been murdered in the U.K. in 2002, and that of their families, moves into Parliament. The families of Milly Dowler, Holly Wells, and Jessica Chapman have all been informed by police that each of their telephone voicemail accounts may have been hacked, each within days of each girl’s disappearance, and each by Mulcaire, trying to get a scoop for News of the World. Among other things, Mulcaire is alleged to have hacked into Milly Dowler’s voicemail on her mobile phone, and deleted some messages, which caused Milly’s family to continue to hope that she might be found alive when she had already been murdered, and which interfered with the police investigation. Calls for Rebekah Brooks, head of News International, and a personal friend of British Prime Minister David Cameron, to step down are escalating, putting the Prime Minister in an awkward position, particularly as his Communications Director, Andy Coulson, also formerly of News of the World, has already been forced to resign his position with the Prime Minister.
Red Bull, the makers of Red Bull Energy Drink, are branching out – a lot. They are bringing online a line of Red Bull mobile phones – that’s right, the Red Bull cell phone. Red Bull says that the Red Bull Mobile phone service will bring you “the latest handsets, competitive tariffs and a complete package of mobile communication features. Even more, it gives unlimited access to the world of Red Bull. Welcome to our playground.”
Blockbuster Video has announced that users will be able to watch thousands of movies from the Block buster catalog on their cell phones in the near future. Part of Blockbuster’s On Demand service, Blockbuster says that compatible mobile phones will have “on-the-go download access to Block buster’s digital library of thousands of current BLOCKBUSTER OnDemand movies.”
This is just about the coolest thing that we’ve seen in a long time! This device consists of two bluetooth handsets, which you connect to your cell phone – just as you would any other bluetooth device – and you instantly have extension handsets for your mobile phone! The technology, known as “cell fusion” phones, can ensure that you never miss a cell phone call in your house again!
Exploding cellphones are not an urban legend. In fact, another exploding mobile phone battery has killed another man (yes really). The incident, which happened over the weekend in China, is the second time in a bit over a year that a cell phone battery has exploded and killed someone. The last time that a cell phone battery exploded and killed someone, the force of the blast broke their ribs.
In stark contrast to the United States, where mobile phones for kids seem routine, and cell phones designed for children are seeing increasing marketshare, the government of France has decided to ban cell phones for children.