Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Court: No warrant needed to search cell phone

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From redtape.msnbc.com by Bob Sullivan
The next time you're in California, you might not want to bring your cell phone with you. The California Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can search the cell phone of a person who's been arrested -- including text messages -- without obtaining a warrant, and use that data as evidence.

The ruling opens up disturbing possibilities, such as broad, warrantless searches of e-mails, documents and contacts on smart phones, tablet computers, and perhaps even laptop computers, according to legal expert Mark Rasch.

The ruling handed down by California's top court involves the 2007 arrest of Gregory Diaz, who purchased drugs from a police informant. Investigators later looked through Diaz's phone and found text messages that implicated him in a drug deal. Diaz appealed his conviction, saying the evidence was gathered in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. The court disagreed, comparing Diaz cell phone to personal effects like clothing, which can be searched by arresting officers.

"The cell phone was an item (of personal property) on (Diaz's) person at the time of his arrest and during the administrative processing at the police station," the justices wrote. "Because the cell phone was immediately associated with defendant’s person, (police were) entitled to inspect its contents without a warrant."

In fact, the ruling goes further, saying essentially that the Diaz case didn't involve an exception -- such as a need to search the phone to stop a "crime in progress." In other words, this case was not an exception, but rather the rule.

Rasch, former head of the Justice Department's computer crime unit, pulled no punches in his reaction to the ruling.

"This ruling isn't just wrong, it's dangerous," said Rasch, now director of cybersecurity and privacy at computer security firm CSC in Virginia. "It's remarkable, because it simply misunderstands the nature of these devices."

The door is open for police to search the entire contents of iPhones or other smart phones that people routinely carry, he said.

"In fact, I would be shocked if police weren't getting instructions right now to do just that," he said.

By applying the "personal property on the defendant's person" standard, Rasch said, the ruling could logically extend to tablets or even laptop computers, he said.

It also flies in the face of established law, which prohibits the warrantless search of briefcases by police, other than a quick search for weapons, Rasch said.

In its ruling, the majority likened cell phone inspection to police inspection of a cigarette pack taken from a suspect, which was ruled a legal search in a prior case. A second ruling was cited involving the search of clothing removed from a suspect.

Rasch said the analogies don't hold, however, as modern phones that can store years' worth of personal information are a far cry from drugs hidden in a cigarette case or clothes pockets.

"There is a process for looking at data inside devices,” he said. “It's called a warrant."

Grants police 'carte blanche'
The California ruling was not unanimous. Dissenting Justice Kathryn Werdegar raised similar concerns in her opinion.

"The majority’s holding ... (grants) police carte blanche, with no showing of exigency, to rummage at leisure through the wealth of personal and business information that can be carried on a mobile phone or handheld computer merely because the device was taken from an arrestee’s person," she wrote. "The majority thus sanctions a highly intrusive and unjustified type of search, one meeting neither the warrant requirement nor the reasonableness requirement of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution."

Jonathan Turley, a Constitutional law expert at George Washington University, took to his blog to raise his concerns about the ruling.

"The Court has left the Fourth Amendment in tatters and this ruling is the natural extension of that trend," he wrote. "While the Framers wanted to require warrants for searches and seizures, the Court now allows the vast majority of searches and seizures to occur without warrants. As a result, the California Supreme Court would allow police to open cell phone files — the modern equivalent of letter and personal messages.”

Diaz’s lawyer, Lyn A. Woodward, has said she plans to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. In the meantime, warrantless searches of cell phones are essentially the law of the land in California.

Password-protection of smart phones might be a useful tool to ward off a warrantless search -- it's not clear that an arrested suspect could be compelled to divulge his or her password to police -- but that legal argument has not yet been made.



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Iomega Announces Dock That Backs Up Your iPhone

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Iomega today announced the new Iomega SuperHero Backup and Charger dock for the iPhone.

iPhone users who have suffered the loss, theft or damage of their iPhone know what
it means to suddenly lose their vital contacts and one-of-a-kind photos because they
didn't regularly sync their iPhone with iTunes. For less than $70.00, the new, first-of-
its-kind Iomega SuperHero Backup and Charger does away with all that anguish by
automatically backing up contacts and photos on an iPhone (or multiple iPhones) every
time you charge the phone.

How the Iomega SuperHero Backup and Charger for iPhone Works
The SuperHero Backup and Charger comes complete with a 4GB SD card that provides the storage in the docking station for iPhone contacts and camera roll pictures. (The SD card is upgradeable if users need more capacity to backup one or more iPhones.) Users simply download free of charge the SuperHero iPhone app from the Apple Store and their iPhone is ready for charging and backing up with the Super Hero Backup and Charger.

When an iPhone loaded with the SuperHero app is placed in the SuperHero dock, the
app launches automatically, giving the option of backing up the contacts and photos
while it charges the phone. Users can name their iPhones with the SuperHero app so
that multiple iPhones can be charged and their contacts and photos backed up with the
same SuperHero Backup and Charger. A progress bar lets you know when your backup
is complete. After the initial backup of an iPhone's contacts and photos**, future
backups only include incremental contacts and photos. If a user loses or damages their
iPhone, they can restore their contacts and photos to a new iPhone by docking the new
iPhone in the SuperHero dock and selecting the "restore" button.

iPhone and iPod Touch Compatibility
Iomega's new SuperHero Backup and Charger for iPhone is fully compatible with the
iPhone 4, 3GS and 3G, as well as the iPod Touch (third and fourth generation).

Availability and Warranty
The new Iomega SuperHero Backup and Charger for iPhone is now available
worldwide for $69.99. (U.S. suggested retail pricing.).



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Griffin CarTrip Interfaces With Your Car's On-Board Computer

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Griffin's CarTrip On-Board Diagnostic Computer Reader is a wireless iPhone accessory that plugs into your car's OBD-II port to record and analyze data from your car's on-board computer, then displays it on your device using a free app called CleanDrive.

CleanDrive monitors your car's performance, collecting data like fuel consumption, acceleration, top speed and engine diagnostic codes as you drive. CleanDrive crunches the numbers and displays your "Carbon Score" in an easy-to-understand format on your device's screen. Instantaneous trip and long-term averages are recorded to give you a clear picture of how your driving habits impact the environment and the efficiency of your car over time.

In addition, CleanDrive will display and reset the diagnostic codes sent by your car's on-board computer, so you can know what the "Check Engine" light is really saying.

Features:
● Wireless car computer monitor, compatible with most passenger vehicles built since 1996
● Wireless On-Board Diagnostic II reader/logger interfaces with your mobile phone or smartphone via Bluetooth
● Gathers OBD-II data including acceleration, top speed, fuel consumption, fault and pending codes
● CleanDrive App (a free download) analyzes data and displays it instantaneously in an easy-to-read graphic format
● Instantaneous trip and long-term data analysis equips drivers to drive more fuel-efficiently

CarTrip is coming soon for $89.99.




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Garmin Releases StreetPilot Navigation App for iPhone

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Garmin has released Garmin StreetPilot for the iPhone which offers navigation features similar to the premium features on its nüvi personal navigators.

Designed exclusively for your iPhone or iPad, this application turns your device into a GPS navigator with turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions and premium features for wherever you want to go.

Features include:
-Always up-to-date maps for the U.S. and Canada
-Voice-prompted, turn-by-turn directions including street names
-Real-time traffic updates to avoid traffic delays
-Speed limits for most major roads
-Integrated Local Search
-Millions of points of interest
-Lane assist with junction view for complicated interchanges
-Address book integration to navigate to contacts
-Integrated iPod music controls
-Multi-tasking on iOS4 for navigating while calling
-Current weather conditions and forecast
-Place calls directly from search listing
-Navigate in both portrait and landscape mode
-Easy to install with quick load times

Enjoy premium navigation features from Garmin, the world leader in GPS navigation:

•GET TURN-BY-TURN DIRECTIONS. Garmin StreetPilot is so easy to use. Its intuitive interface greets you with two simple options: "Where To?" and "View Map." Look up addresses and services and get voice-prompted, turn-by-turn directions that speak street names to your destination. It uses detailed City Navigator NT street maps, featuring millions of POIs, 2-D or 3-D map views and speed limits for most major roads in the U.S.

•ALWAYS THE LATEST MAPS. Garmin StreetPilot uses the same premium quality City Navigator NT map data available for Garmin’s nüvi product line. Map data loads directly from the Garmin servers, so your maps are always up-to-date. Due to its small file size, StreetPilot loads quickly – ready to go when you are!

•KNOW THE LANE BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE. No more guessing which lane you need to be in to make an upcoming turn. Lane assist with junction view guides you to the correct lane for an approaching turn or exit, making unfamiliar intersections and exits easy to navigate. It realistically displays road signs and junctions on your route along with arrows that indicate the proper lane for navigation.

•REAL-TIME TRAFFIC UPDATES. Steer clear of traffic with integrated traffic updates. Receive alerts about traffic delays and road construction on your route so you can avoid them.

Garmin StreetPilot has been designed to run on iPhone 3, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 and works in compatibility mode on the Apple iPad as well. Higher resolution maps are available on iPhone 4 to make best use of the Retina display.

You can purchase Garmin StreetPilot from the App Store for $39.99.

















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iHealth Launches Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring System for iDevices

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iHealth today announced the launch of the iHealth Blood Pressure Monitoring System for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Comprised of a hardware dock, blood pressure arm cuff and iHealth App, this breakthrough product lets users self-monitor their blood pressure from the convenience of their home, and share the results with friends, family and most importantly, their doctor.

How It Works
The iHealth Blood Pressure Monitoring System lets users measure and track their blood pressure and heart rate from the convenience of their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The system comes with a blood pressure arm cuff and a portable, battery-powered dock allowing for quick and easy set up. The dock also doubles as a charging station for all three iOS devices.

The companion iHealth App includes an easy-to-use interface with data and graphics that allow the user to view their blood pressure numbers, track them over time, and run reports. Users can easily access previously recorded data sets, view patterns by date and time of day and create custom graphs and charts. Users can also instantaneously share the results with their doctor, or loved ones.

"Regularly monitoring blood pressure in a relaxed, consistent setting gives users the most reliable information on the status of their cardiovascular health," said Dr. Andrew Brandeis, a practicing physician at Care Practice in San Francisco. "More important, iHealth-for the first time-reveals trends and fluctuations in the data and enables the user to easily share the information with their doctor."

Availability, Compatibility and Price
The iHealth Blood Pressure Monitoring System (battery-powered docking station and blood pressure arm cuff) is available for $99.95 from iHealth99.com.

The companion iHealth App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
















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Spiderpodium Tablet is a Flexible iPad Stand

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Breffo has announced the launch of Spiderpodium Tablet, an evolution of its Spiderpodium product that is geared towards the form factor of tablet devices. The Spiderpodium Tablet will be on display at CES 2011, in the iLounge Pavillion, booth 5136.

The Spiderpodium Tablet stand delivers exceptional performance and reliability. Designed and engineered to meet the needs of the demanding tablet accessory market, the Spiderpodium Tablet stand is compatible with all Tablet type products, including the Apple iPad.

Features:
● The Spiderpodium Tablet is very lightweight and compact making it particularly portable.
● The product's compact nature allows for Spiderpodium Tablet to be tucked into a jacket pocket or packed into a handbag, backpack, and carry-on bag with ease.
● The Spiderpodium Tablet's uniquely designed, 8 flexible, 'secured and assured hold' notched legs allow it to hang from, or secure itself to, virtually any surface that is not flat and make it adaptable to being used with multiple devices, in multiple ways. The flexible legs allow for it to securely grip almost any small and medium sized portable device available on the market.
● The proportioned hole in the body of Spiderpodium Tablet has been designed specifically to allow any device docked to be charged while in use through the devices own proprietary charger. This, unlike most all docks and stands available, provides universal connectivity and does not restrict the usage of Spiderpodium Tablet to certain devices, and vice versa.
● Spiderpodium leaves no footprint of its having been used, which is particularly beneficial as a solution to theft of car SatNav & GPS units which may have large permanent plastic units attached to the dash and windscreen.

Availability
Offered in graphite grey initially the Spiderpodium Tablet will be available to current and prospective global distributors, as well as directly through www.breffo.com, from Jan 12th for immediate delivery.




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Fling Tactile Game Controller for iPad

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Fling is a tactile game controller for iPad by TenOneDesign that gives you control over any game that has a virtual joystick.

Features:
● Patent pending tactile interface for your iPad
● Auto-centering for max control over your game
● Unique transparent design provides an unrestricted view of all the incoming action
● Quick and easy suction cup attachment
● Includes a microfiber bag for on the go storage

Fling is available to pre-order now for $24.95.







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Windows TV to Rival Apple TV and Google TV?

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Microsoft may be preparing to enter the connected TV market with a special version of Windows for connected TVs, according to the Seattle Times.

Microsoft's going to make a splash in this market with a stripped-down version of Windows tailored for set-top boxes and connected TVs. The software is a version of its embedded device software, overlaid with the Windows Media Center interface, with media streaming and remote-control capabilities.

These new Windows TV boxes have been glimpsed online since Microsoft unveiled its new embedded software lineup in April, and then again at an Intel conference in September.

The report says these boxes could seriously challenge the Apple and Google TV devices, thanks to a polished and familiar TV-program guide that makes it easy to blend and navigate both online and broadcast content.

The boxes are expected to cost around $200 and go on sale later this year.






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HandBrake 0.9.5 Released, Brings Many New Features

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HandBrake, a popular video encoding utility, has been updated to version 0.9.5. The update brings numerous improvements which are detailed in the changelog below.

Core Library
* BluRay disc structure support. (No decryption support)
* Updated Libraries (x264, ffmpeg)
* SSA Subtitle support. (Including burn-in)
* MP3 audio now supported in MP4 files (Note: Limited Player compatibility)
* VOBSUB subtitle now supported in MP4 files (Note: Limited Player compatibility)
* Updated Presets for newer devices and better quality
* AC3 encoding support.
* Many Bug Fixes and other small improvements
* Improved DVD Main Feature detection (when using dvdnav)
* Universal audio downmix support (all audio types can be downmixed)
* Point*to*Point encoding (second or frame start and end times)
* Peak framerate option (Capped VFR)

All GUIs
* Updated x264 Advanced Panel
* Video Quality Slider drops % value and only shows RF for x264
* Batch Scan (Scan Multiple files at once. N.B: Does not include multiple VIDEO_TS folders / Image files)
* Many Bug fixes
* Many Tweaks to improve usability.
* Ability to edit queue jobs

Mac GUI
* New Audio Panel supporting >4 Audio Tracks
* VLC detection in /Applications and ~/Applications
* Multiple instance support

Windows GUI
* Encode Status in GUI. (CLI window is now always hidden)
* Improved Auto-Naming for Destination file name.
* Drag / Drop Video onto Main Window to scan.

Linux GUI
* Multiple instance support (run multiple copies of ghb at once)
* Many Bug fixes and UI improvements.

Notices
* Power PC (PPC) is no longer officially supported. Given limited resources and time, it simply isn’t feasible for this project to support minority platforms. For those of you still using older hardware, we recommend you stick with 0.9.4.

You can download HandBrake 0.9.5 from here.




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Apple Raises UK Pricing After VAT Increase

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Apple today increased its prices in the UK due to the country's VAT increase from 17.5% to 20%, according to MacRumors report.

The price increases have resulted in Apple straying from its usual price point targets, as an entry-level 13" MacBook Pro or 21.5" iMac that previously cost £999 with VAT now goes for £1020, while the entry-level Mac Pro price has moved from £1999 to £2041. Popular iOS devices have also increased in price, with the 16 GB iPhone 4 rising in price from £499 to £510 and the 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad going from £429 to £439.

You can learn more about the VAT increase here


[New Prices]




[Old Prices]


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MiLi HD Docking Station Features Internal Speaker, HDMI Out

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MiLi Power has announced the MiLi HD docking station which features an internal speaker and HDMI out.

Equipped with HDMI output and Hi-Fi speaker, MiLi HD allows you to easily transfer media to your flat screen or home theater system directly from your Apple device. Compatible with all Apple media players, including iPad and iPhone, MiLi HD is on display at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

With MiLi HD, users don't have to struggle with wireless streaming and spotty WiFi connections. MiLi HD allows Apple users to watch their downloaded films, TV shows, and mobile services like NetFlix, in 1080i HD directly on their home television. Listen to your entire music or iTunes library playing through your high-quality home audio setup or through MiLi HD's built-in HiFi speaker.

Features:
• Compatible with all Apple products, including iPad
• 1080i HDMI output, built-in HiFi speaker
• Mini-USB connection
• Fully functional docking station with charging capabilities
• Apple certified with a one-year manufacturer's warranty
• $99.99



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Layar Reality Browser Gets Redesigned Camera View

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The Layar Reality Browser for the iPhone has been updated to version 4.0 and features a redesigned Camera View that is stabilized using the gyroscope on the iPhone 4.

Layar is a mobile platform for discovering information about the world around you. Using Augmented Reality (AR) technology, Layar displays digital information called “layers” into your smartphone’s field of vision.

See history come to life with layers like Architecture 3D and the Berlin Wall, view posts from Twitter pop up around you using Tweeps Around and even play interactive games with 3D objects in the ARcade layer.

What's New In This Version:
- The Camera View interface has been redesigned
- The Camera View is stabilized using the gyroscope on iPhone 4.
- Layers now support new interactive features

You can download Layar Reality Browser from the App Store for free.
















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Intel Debuts Second Generation 'Sandy Bridge' CPUs

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Intel has debuted its second generation Intel Core Processor family of CPUs, codenamed 'Sandy Bridge'.

The 2nd Generation Intel Core processor family is the first "visibly smart" microarchitecture to combine visual and 3D graphics technology with performance-leading microprocessors on a single chip. Incorporating the newly architected Intel HD Graphics on each 32nm die enables significant graphics performance improvements over previous generation graphics, for both HD media processing and mainstream gaming. The chips improve performance and yet still offer great battery life and the ability to design thinner, lighter and more innovative laptops and all-in-one PCs.

Highlights:
● The Core i3, i5 and i7 processors include the enhanced Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0. This feature automatically reallocates processor core and processor graphics resources to accelerate performance, giving users an immediate performance boost when and where it's needed.
● New chip features include Intel Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX), Intel InTru 3-D, and Intel Clear Video Technology HD. Intel InTru 3-D enables immersive stereoscopic 3D to 3D-capable HDTVs or monitors via HDMI 1.4, making movie excitement almost come out of the screen. Intel AVX increases performance for demanding visual applications like audio processing and professional video image editing like stitching together multiple photographs. Intel Clear Video improves the visual quality and color fidelity during video playback for a spectacular screen experience.
● The chips are made on Intel's 32 nanometer manufacturing process on the company's second-generation high-k metal gate transistors. These unique advantages further boost performance; reduce power consumption for better battery life and smaller designs, and lower overall manufacturing costs.
● Intel WiDi 2.0 improvements include support for 1080p HD as well as protected content either streaming from the Internet or played locally from a Blu-ray or DVD player.

Availability:
Intel announced more than 20 processors, wireless adapters and chipsets, including new Intel Core i7, i5 and i3 processors, Intel 6 Series Chipsets, and Intel Centrino Wi-Fi and WiMAX adapters. More than 500 laptop and desktop PC platform designs are expected from all major computer makers worldwide based on these products.

The quad core (four processors inside one chip) based systems will be available on January 9 and additional dual-core versions in February.












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Sony Pictures Tests Advanced Extras for iTunes Movies

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Sony Pictures is quietly testing some advanced bonus features on its iTunes movie releases that are not included with the DVD, according to PaidContent.

Buy the Will Ferrell comedy The Other Guys and you'll notice three extras that can't be found on DVD or any other digital platform. A search button allows you to input a word, and any mention of it in the script will be retrieved along with a link to the exact moment in the movie in which the line was uttered. A "clip & share" function lets the viewer take select scenes and post them to social networks. There's also a playlist with songs from the film, which are linked to to places on iTunes where those songs can be purchased. The same features are also found on Sony’s Salt and Resident Evil: Afterlife.

The goal seems to be to make online purchases more attractive. Unfortunately, iTunes Extras are still not available on iOS devices and the new Apple TV. Steve Jobs has said that the feature is coming. Hopefully, it will arrive soon.




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