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Mobile Technology News, April 28, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Microsoft warns of Explorer security
    Microsoft warns consumers that a vulnerability in its Internet Explorer browser could let hackers gain access and user rights to their computer.
  • Review of WritePad Pro – Note Taking App Taking It To Another Level

    There are a wide range of note taking apps available to iPhone and iPad users in the App Store but one of the newest, WritePad Pro, is one that has got our attention.  The app is developed by PhatWare and it brings all of the benefits of the original – and still available – WritePad for iPad – but […]

    The post Review of WritePad Pro – Note Taking App Taking It To Another Level appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • Bloodhound Diary: A car festooned with sensors
    World’s first 1,000mph car to be covered in sensors
  • US security firm creates 130 jobs
    A US cyber security company is to set up its European HQ in Cardiff and a UK data centre in Newport, creating almost 130 jobs.
  • VIDEO: Mills & Boon romance the app
    Mills & Boon ebooks get pulses racing
  • Microsoft Rushes To Fix Major Internet Explorer Security Flaw
    By Jim Finkle

    BOSTON, April 27 (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp is rushing to fix a bug in its widely used Internet Explorer web browser after a computer security firm disclosed the flaw over the weekend, saying hackers have already exploited it in attacks on some U.S. companies.

    PCs running Windows XP will not receive any updates fixing that bug when they are released, however, because Microsoft stopped supporting the 13-year-old operating system earlier this month. Security firms estimate that between 15 and 25 percent of the world’s PCs still run Windows XP

    Microsoft disclosed on Saturday its plans to fix the bug in an advisory to its customers posted on its security website, which it said is present in Internet Explorer versions 6 to 11. Those versions dominate desktop browsing, accounting for 55 percent of the PC browser market, according to tech research firm NetMarketShare.

    Cybersecurity software maker FireEye Inc said that a sophisticated group of hackers have been exploiting the bug in a campaign dubbed “Operation Clandestine Fox.”

    FireEye, whose Mandiant division helps companies respond to cyber attacks, declined to name specific victims or identify the group of hackers, saying that an investigation into the matter is still active.

    “It’s a campaign of targeted attacks seemingly against U.S.-based firms, currently tied to defense and financial sectors,” FireEye spokesman Vitor De Souza said via email. “It’s unclear what the motives of this attack group are, at this point. It appears to be broad-spectrum intel gathering.”

    He declined to elaborate, though he said one way to protect against them would be to switch to another browser.

    Microsoft said in the advisory that the vulnerability could allow a hacker to take complete control of an affected system, then do things such as viewing, changing, or deleting data, installing malicious programs, or creating accounts that would give hackers full user rights.

    FireEye and Microsoft have not provided much information about the security flaw or the approach that hackers could use to figure out how to exploit it, said Aviv Raff, chief technology officer of cybersecurity firm Seculert.

    Yet other groups of hackers are now racing to learn more about it so they can launch similar attacks before Microsoft prepares a security update, Raff said.

    “Microsoft should move fast,” he said. “This will snowball.”

    Still, he cautioned that Windows XP users will not benefit from that update since Microsoft has just halted support for that product.

    The software maker said in a statement to Reuters that it advises Windows XP users to upgrade to one of two most recently versions of its operating system, Windows 7 or 8.

    (Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Diane Craft)

  • The Perfect and the Good on Network Neutrality
    Network neutrality is in jeopardy — just not in the way you might have heard.

    At this moment, with the exception of one company subject to merger conditions, broadband access providers in the United States aren’t legally prohibited from blocking competitors’ content, arbitrarily degrading unaffiliated services, favoring their own content artificially or offering prioritization deals solely to favored partners. Any of these practices would cause damage to the innovative dynamism and openness of the Internet. And there’s reason to think that, without regulatory oversight, those harms might be realized. After all, they have been before.

    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler recently circulated a proposal to his colleagues that reportedly would ban all of these practices. (As of this writing, the proposal is not public, although Wheeler gave a general overview in a blog post.) The proposal reportedly would establish ongoing FCC review of agreements between broadband and content providers, to ensure that better performance is offered on reasonable terms. And it would beef up transparency obligations to shine a light on attempts to create an artificial slow lane or manipulate network management anti-competitively. It would do all this on a legal foundation recently validated in court. (The agency’s two prior attempts in this area were overturned on jurisdictional grounds.)

    In short, the FCC is apparently considering a proposal to make a form of network neutrality the law of the land. So why is there an explosion of outrage that the FCC is gutting, killing or abandoning net neutrality?

    The answer has to do with that old saw about the perfect and the good. The FCC proposal doesn’t prohibit one category of business agreements that could be abused. And it doesn’t use the simplest and most expansive legal theory. That has network neutrality advocates up in arms. On the other hand, Wheeler’s approach has something significant going for it: It might actually stick. In the political morass of today’s Washington, that factor shouldn’t be minimized. And it could be an effective model for protecting ongoing Internet-based innovation.

    The concept of network neutrality (or in the FCC’s preferred parlance, the open Internet) draws upon technical and economic insights about the amazing success of the Internet as a catalyst for innovation, free speech and economic growth. The basic idea is that network operators should not discriminate against certain content, applications, services, or devices. The significance of this principle for protecting innovation and tomorrow’s upstarts is increasingly evident — the growth of Internet companies over the last twenty attests to its importance. In the words of Internet Protocol co-creator Vint Cerf, network neutrality means “the creators of new Internet content and services need not seek permission from carriers or pay special fees to be seen online.”

    Net neutrality highlights vitally important aspects of the way the Internet works today. Other than the FCC’s recent, failed attempts, however, it has never been a legal mandate, let alone a technical requirement. Thanks to the extraordinary work of scholars and public interest advocates over the past decade, the basic principle of network neutrality is now embraced by the technology industry, the FCC, and even many broadband providers.

    To be sure, there is still disagreement at the edges about how to implement network neutrality: How should the FCC balance the benefits of network neutrality against the risks of excessive involvement in business decisions, and the potential to chill capital investment in infrastructure? How exactly should it write and enforce the rules to ensure that tomorrow’s upstarts have the necessary freedom to innovate without permission?

    In implementing network neutrality, some differentiation of traffic must be allowed on the Internet, even encouraged. Network operators should be able to block malware and denial of service attacks, for example. And companies like Akamai and Limelight should be able to offer content distribution network (CDN) functionality to improve delivery of certain content. There are many thousands of interconnection agreements among network operators, backed by massive amounts of traffic engineering, caching overlays, and other mechanisms to meet business and technical parameters. If the Internet story is one of a neutral network, it’s also one of private firms negotiating arrangements and managing their networks as they see fit.

    Network neutrality advocates acknowledge all this. They propose various rules that distinguish reasonable from unreasonable discrimination, just as the FCC is doing. So the real question is whether Chairman Wheeler’s proposed rule is so much worse than what came before. Under what we understand the FCC proposal to be, access providers can’t block, can’t degrade, can’t arbitrarily favor certain applications, and can’t favor their own traffic. If you read the past decade of network neutrality literature, those are the dangers usually mentioned. So what’s everyone so mad about?

    The major change in the new proposal concerns so-called paid prioritization agreements. In other words, the new rules appear to allow a broadband provider to offer content providers the option of faster or more reliable delivery for a supplemental fee. Under the old rules, the FCC didn’t prohibit such deals, but said it was skeptical they would meet its discrimination test.

    In the new proposal, the FCC appears to mandate that paid prioritization offerings be “commercially reasonable.” This requirement presumably would insist on the availability on the same terms to all, with the FCC reviewing such offerings on a case-by-case basis. Such a requirement might also include the condition that any paid prioritization offerings are only reasonable when the broadband provider offers a sufficiently robust level of non-prioritized broadband. (Comcast is already subject to such a requirement through 2018 under its NBC Universal merger conditions.) And we should emphasize that “might” is the operative word here because we are talking about a proposal (or even sets of proposals) that have yet to be approved by a majority of the FCC Commissioners, and put out for public review, comment, and discussion. Nothing has been decided yet, in other words.

    Calling paid prioritization “discrimination” is a matter of semantics; one wouldn’t say that FedEx discriminates because it offers the choice of one-day and two-day package delivery. Indeed, the traditional “Title II common carrier” model (which some network neutrality advocates favor) has allowed different levels of service — paid prioritization in other words — as long as the prioritized service level was available to all comers.

    As for the FCC’s apparent proposal, it does not encourage or require paid prioritization. At most, the proposal would allow some commercial offerings — subject to negotiation between the two firms — to allow for a higher level of service. This same opportunity exists today in other parts of the Internet ecosystem, including Internet backbone networks and content delivery networks. It’s unclear whether paid prioritization will succeed as a business model in the broadband context, however. Network operators and engineers have been pitching “differentiated quality of service” techniques on the Internet for nearly twenty years, with little to show for it. And if broadband providers offer adequate levels of non-prioritized bandwidth, such offerings won’t prevent tomorrow’s upstarts from taking root on the Internet, which is the core concern that network neutrality needs to protect.

    Saying the FCC action will “force companies to pay tolls” or “create a two-tier Internet” makes it seem as though companies such as Netflix and Google currently use the Internet for free. They don’t. They pay access providers; they pay intermediaries called transit providers; they pay CDNs; and they pay to build or buy their own infrastructure. Some pay more than others. Big players like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple spend billions every year to speed the performance of their services to end users. They would like to pay less, and network operators would like to charge more; that’s the way business negotiations work.

    Unlike the original focus of network neutrality, which was network operators favoring their services over others, the objection to Wheeler’s proposal is that it favors big players like Netflix and Amazon over startups who can’t afford to pay for priority delivery. That’s a legitimate concern, but new and small providers are always at a disadvantage compared to their larger and more established competitors. The real policy concern — and the one network neutrality advocates should analyze once they see the details of the proposal — is whether the playing field will allow for new innovators to enter and compete against today’s incumbents.

    The reality of today’s Internet environment is that building a business costs money. Even YouTube felt the pressure of skyrocketing bandwidth bills, which reportedly contributed to its decision to seek an acquirer with existing infrastructure. YouTube had a very successful outcome, but it wasn’t guaranteed. For policymakers, therefore, the relevant question is whether tomorrow’s YouTube will face insurmountable obstacles in getting started and launched. As long as innovators can still use the same baseline connections as before (and such connections remain adequate to support new business models),they need not “seek permission from carriers or pay special fees to be seen online,” to use Cerf’s language.

    Are there downsides and risks to Chairman Wheeler’s rule? No question, and there should be a vigorous debate on the details of the proposal in the public comment period. Most notably, startup investment could be chilled if entrepreneurs and venture capitalists decide it’s not worth entering a market where paid prioritization exists — let alone necessary to obtain access to adequate levels of bandwidth or service quality. And content providers may feel compelled to pay the supplemental fees if network operators starve the regular Internet pipe and don’t provide adequate levels of basic broadband service, making it structurally deficient as a means to reach customers.

    These concerns, however, are ones that the FCC’s proposed rules could address — whether as proposed or as modified after public comment. The FCC could conclude, for example, that deliberately degrading basic connectivity runs afoul of the relevant non-discrimination and transparency requirements. Or the FCC could conclude that offering paid prioritization options depends on an adequate level of broadband service to those using the regular Internet pipe. It’s simply premature to conclude based on a few leaked highlights of the Chairman’s proposal that the FCC has abandoned its commitment to network neutrality.

    The effectiveness of the FCC proposal in protecting the open Internet thus depends on how it’s enforced, which is an often overlooked point in these discussions. The dirty little secret is that enforcement is a key challenge for every variant of network neutrality, even the most expansive version under “reclassification” of broadband as a regulated Title II telecommunications service. The rules get all the attention, but the real question is what the FCC does with them.

    It should also be emphasized that the reason network neutrality is important to begin with is that broadband access in the U.S. is a heavily concentrated market, especially for fixed high-speed connections. So the importance of the FCC doing what it can to encourage more competition in that marketplace should not be lost. The FCC can promote a more competitive broadband market, for example, by preempting excessive restrictions on municipal networks and fees for access to poles and conduits; making more wireless spectrum available on both a licensed and unlicensed basis; managing the transition from the legacy public switched telephone network to an all-Internet Protocol communications world; and supporting disruptive entrants. It’s looking at all those areas now.

    The surest way to stop progress towards real broadband competition is if the FCC’s work grinds to a halt in a miasma of political and legal opposition. That’s quite possible if it reverses a decade of precedent and reclassifies broadband. And that would be just the beginning of the process.

    How to defend and implement network neutrality is not as simple as banning all forms of paid prioritization. After all, the FCC’s old rule left the door open to such service offerings, and even the reclassified Title II framework traditionally allowed different levels of service as long as they were offered to all comers. What really matters is ensuring that the broadband environment continues to provide space for tomorrow’s innovators to develop new, disruptive offerings. When the FCC releases the proposed rules for comment, we should all focus on that criterion to evaluate whether they are sufficient and effective.

  • Flaw Found In Internet Explorer Browser
    A serious flaw has been found in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser which has allowed cyber criminals to impersonate known websites to steal user data.

    Microsoft warned that the vulnerability had already been used in “limited, targeted attacks” against people and networks using Internet Explorer versions 6 to 11, which make up over a quarter of all web browsers.

  • RadiumOne CEO Gurbaksh Chahal Fired Following Domestic Violence Conviction
    The embattled CEO of RadiumOne has been fired in the wake of a horrific domestic violence incident, Kara Swisher of Re/code reported.

    The company’s board of directors fired Gurbaksh Chahal on Saturday night, Swisher. The company confirmed the news in an email statement on Sunday, TechCrunch reported. According to Swisher, Chahal did not offer to step down.

    The company said that Chief Operating Officer Bill Lonergan will be taking over as CEO.

    Chahal pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence and battery charges last week and paid a $500 fine. He ducked 45 felony charges and jail time.

    Chahal defended himself in a blog post on Sunday. In it, he denied the severity of the abuse but admitted that he “lost [his] temper.” He lashed out at allegations that he beat his girlfriend 117 times, despite the fact that there’s a video of the incident. He called the video “bullshit” and accused the media of spreading misinformation.

    Chahal also accused his girlfriend of “having unprotected sex for money with other people” and explained that when he confronted her about the discovery, they had a “normal” argument. He claims he only attacked her after she called 911.

    As a result of the crimes, TechCrunch is dropping the online ad network as a sponsor of an upcoming tech conference.

    TechCrunch is owned by AOL, which also owns The Huffington Post.

  • 4 Must-Have Digital Marketing Core Competencies
    Marketing is undergoing a dramatic transformation. According to enterprise technology analyst and best-selling author Paul Greenberg, popularly known as “the Godfather of CRM,” the battle for customers has gone from competing against other competitors to competing for customer’s attention. Marketo‘s CMO, Sanjay Dholakia noted that this change, coupled with the fact that the way people buy has changed, is forcing marketers to rethink the way they market and the tools they market with. As a result, marketers are spending increasing amounts on technology, digital marketing and sales and marketing automation.

    Paul Greenberg and Sanjay Dholakia (CMO, Marketo)

    The different type of world we live in involves going to where consumers are congregating, listening and responding, engaging them with useful content and using data to make marketing personal. To help marketers navigate this new digital marketing age, we brought these two experts together to give us some insight into what is required to effectively market under these new conditions. To succeed in the digital age, you’ll want to make sure these four tools are in your marketing repertoire.

    Four must have digital marketing competencies: engagement strategy, content, data and automation

    1. Customer Engagement Strategy: it’s about conversations, not campaigns. The fact that 60-70 percent of the buying process takes place before the consumer even speaks to the vendor sheds light on the fact that there is so much information available to consumers today. According to recent surveys, CIOs spend half of the time of their buying journey doing independent research, 30 percent of their time collaborating with peers and only 20 percent in conversation with the vendor. With all of this information available, marketers need to shift their mindset to think in terms of conversations, not campaigns, if they are to stand a chance at being heard by the empowered consumer.

    According to Dholakia, “All campaigns do is make the noise louder and yelling louder does not work. Marketers need to figure out how to engage the consumer in that conversation.” This information shift is an opportunity for marketers — it’s their ticket to play and engage in that conversation. But how do you get invited to the conversation? In a word, content. You need to have something useful to contribute, and content, according to Dholakia, is the new job of the marketer.

    2. Influence marketing: interesting, timely and useful content — The job of the marketer has changed. Because of the change in the buying process, it can no longer be about finding the customer, but making sure that their company is found. That empowered buyer is going to go out looking for information and if you don’t have content that is interesting and useful, you are not going to get invited into the conversation. This requires marketers to invest in a whole new world of content in order to have relevant things that can go where the conversation goes.

    According to BtoB Magazine “Content Marketing” is one of the top priorities for marketing in 2014. Content marketing was listed as the top priority by the Altimeter Group . In a recent survey, 78 percent of CMOs think content is the future of marketing.

    Greenberg says that marketers need to use tools in a way that appeals to the 21st Century digital customer and that means using visual content to capture and engage your audience. “We all respond to things that are the most attractive, so the use of things that are visual, the use of humor and the use of storytelling will keep consumers looking,” says Greenberg.

    3. Data driven marketing and the power of contextual intelligence – The long sought-after “segments of one” is finally achievable thanks to data. As world-class “segmenters”, Pandora, Netflix, and Amazon take it to another level by creating “segments of one”: micro-segments that target each customer uniquely, allowing the companies to convert visitors into long-term, high-value customers at very high rates. The fact that the technology exists to allow for companies to have these individual and personalized relationships with customers is one of the biggest shifts in marketing, and it is made possible because of data.

    Data allows marketers to know people and engage in an authentic relationship with them. The metadata surrounding your contacts is what will allow you to create very fine segments. You can then nurture your prospects with helpful, timely emails and helpful, timely Web content that will dramatically improve your customer conversion ratios. The other piece of data, the measurement, allows marketers to know exactly what is working and not working, and allows them to prove the effect of what they are doing.

    4. Marketing automation: lead nurturing, marketing campaign influence, and sales enablement — Greenberg says that it would be very hard to do segments of one without social listening skills that come from integrating social CRM and social listening technologies into marketing automation tools. How do you respond to customers in real (or near-real) time without tools that can access millions of conversations that are going on? “You’re odds are vastly improved with the various tool sets to do it,” says Greenberg. Marketo allows all companies to market on a one-to-one basis, similar to Amazon, and allows companies to very quickly and easily start this one-to-one customer engagement.

    Sales and marketing automation tools have also done much to dramatically improve the adversarial relationship that existed for a long time between sales and marketing due to the fact that neither side had the tools to take the customer conversations and relationships to the next level. With sales and marketing aligned and finally being able to get on the same side of the table, they can focus on questions like, ‘Do we have the right content?’, ‘Do we have the right skills to market in this new world?’ and ‘How are we integrating this process throughout the entire organization (beyond sales and marketing)?’.

    If you are an enterprise who is not yet doing marketing automation, the time is now. Dholakia says that we are still in the very early innings of this game with just five to 10 percent penetration in the world and the maturity curve of this new way of marketing is well ahead of us. As a Marketo customer for a few years now, I don’t understand how any company can consider themselves a digital marketer without sales and marketing automation. This critical tool is something you need to consider, otherwise, as Dholakia says, “you’ll be spending half your marketing budget, but you won’t know which half.” Get started on your journey by visiting Marketo’s online resource center, which is intended to help educate people on what marketing automation is.

    You can watch the full interview with Paul Greenberg and Sanjay Dholakia here. Please join me and Michael Krigsman every Friday at 3PM EST as we host CXOTalk — connecting with thought leaders and innovative executives who are pushing the boundaries within their companies and their fields.

  • Think Dirty App Reveals Just How Toxic Certain Beauty Products Are
    From Mother Nature Network’s Starre Vartan:

    I’m really not sure why we live in a world where living healthfully is so difficult and complicated (wouldn’t making healthy choices easy save us the time, pain, and money illness causes?). But we do. For now, if you want to avoid toxins and chemicals in your food or beauty products — and choose effective natural ingredients instead — you are going to have to take extra time and energy to do so. I know, it’s frustrating.

    As is often the case, technology has answered consumer demand for information more quickly than the companies that manufacture the products can produce the info we want. This time it’s an app that will break down what exactly is in your cosmetics and personal care products.

    This info can be hard or impossible to find, since many products don’t include ingredients listings (they aren’t required to by the government, and claim ‘trade secrets’ are more important that you and me knowing exactly what’s in the stuff we slather on our bodies every day). Products that aren’t ingested aren’t held to the same standards as food or drugs, and many of the chemicals used in everyday products have never been tested for safety — they are on the GRAS list, which stands for Generally Recognized As Safe (which only means that they haven’t been proven to be harmful to people, but they also haven’t been proven to be safe).

    We want you to Think Dirty. from Think Dirty on Vimeo.

    If you are looking to avoid chemicals like phthalates, parabens and synthetic fragrances, the Think Dirty app is a guiding hand through the confusing world of beauty product labeling. You can input a product name, and you can also scan a product’s barcode. It will give you information about chemicals in the product, as well as suggestions for similar products that are ‘cleaner.’

    Lily Tse developed the app herself out of frustration in the cosmetics aisle, and the app’s information and recommendations are based on information from a number of sources, including the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which has long kept track of the known and potential impacts of personal care products.

    Tse said in a press release, “Three years ago, I was moved by a short animation produced by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. I had the ‘Aha!’ moment when the story resonated with my personal experience of not able to understand cosmetics labels. Then I realized there’s a need for a tool like Think Dirty. Fast track 3 years later, partnering with the Breast Cancer Fund and the Campaign is a dream comes true. They inspired me to take daily actions to shop for my health and the environment.”

    This useful app can help us all make informed decisions about the products that we breathe and absorb into our skin every day; is it so much to ask that we want to know what we are putting on our bodies and down our drains (into our water supplies)? I think not, and now we have an (easier) option.

  • Supreme Court Weighing What Privacy Means In The Digital Age

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Supreme Court cases about police searches of cellphones without warrants present vastly different views of the ubiquitous device.

    Is it a critical tool for a criminal or is it an American’s virtual home?

    How the justices answer that question could determine the outcome of the cases being argued Tuesday. A drug dealer and a gang member want the court to rule that the searches of their cellphones after their arrest violated their right to privacy in the digital age.

    The Obama administration and California, defending the searches, say cellphones are no different from anything else a person may be carrying when arrested. Police may search those items without a warrant under a line of high court cases reaching back 40 years.

    What’s more, said Donald Verrilli Jr., the administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer, “Cellphones are now critical tools in the commission of crimes.”

    The cases come to the Supreme Court amid separate legal challenges to the massive warrantless collection of telephone records by the National Security Agency and the government’s use of technology to track Americans’ movements.

    Librarians, the news media, defense lawyers and civil liberties groups on the right and left are trying to convince the justices that they should take a broad view of the privacy issues raised when police have unimpeded access to increasingly powerful devices that may contain a wealth of personal data: emails and phone numbers, photographs, information about purchases and political affiliations, books and a gateway to even more material online.

    “Cellphones and other portable electronic devices are, in effect, our new homes,” the American Civil Liberties Union said in a court filing that urged the court to apply the same tough standards to cellphone searches that judges have historically applied to police intrusions into a home.

    Under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, police generally need a warrant before they can conduct a search. The warrant itself must be based on “probable cause,” evidence that a crime has been committed.

    But in the early 1970s, the Supreme Court carved out exceptions for officers dealing with people they have arrested. The court was trying to set clear rules that allowed police to look for concealed weapons and prevent the destruction of evidence. Briefcases, wallets, purses and crumpled cigarette packs all are fair game if they are being carried by a suspect or within the person’s immediate control.

    Car searches pose a somewhat different issue. In 2009, in the case of a suspect handcuffed and placed in the back seat of a police cruiser, the court said police may search a car only if the arrestee “is within reaching distance of the passenger compartment” or if police believe the car contains evidence relevant to the crime for which the person had been arrested.

    The Supreme Court is expected to resolve growing division in state and federal courts over whether cellphones deserve special protection.

    More than 90 percent of Americans own at least one cellphone, the Pew Research Center says, and the majority of those are smartphones — essentially increasingly powerful computers that are also telephones.

    In the two Supreme Court cases being argued Tuesday, one defendant carried a smartphone and the other an older and less advanced flip phone.

    In San Diego, police found indications of gang membership when they looked through defendant David Leon Riley’s Samsung smartphone. Prosecutors used video and photographs found on the smartphone to persuade a jury to convict Riley of attempted murder and other charges. California courts rejected Riley’s efforts to throw out the evidence and upheld the convictions.

    Smartphones also have the ability to connect to the Internet, but the administration said in its brief that it is not arguing for the authority to conduct a warrantless Internet-based search using an arrestee’s device.

    In Boston, a federal appeals court ruled that police must have a warrant before searching arrestees’ cellphones. Police arrested Brima Wurie on suspicion of selling crack cocaine, checked the call log on his flip phone and used that information to determine where he lived. When they searched Wurie’s home, armed with a warrant, they found crack, marijuana, a gun and ammunition. The evidence was enough to produce a conviction and a prison term of more than 20 years.

    The appeals court ruled for Wurie, but left in place a drug conviction for selling cocaine near a school that did not depend on the tainted evidence. That conviction also carried a 20-year sentence. The administration appealed the court ruling because it wants to preserve the warrantless searches following arrest.

    The differences between the two cases could give the court room to craft narrow rulings that apply essentially only to the circumstances of those situations.

    The justices should act cautiously because the technology is changing rapidly, California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in her court filing.

    Harris invoked Justice Samuel Alito’s earlier writing that elected lawmakers are better suited than are judges to write new rules to deal with technological innovation.

    On the other side of the California case, Stanford law professor Jeffrey Fisher, representing Riley, cited FBI statistics showing 12 million people were arrested in 2012. In California and elsewhere, he said, those arrests can be for such minor crimes as “jaywalking, littering or riding a bicycle the wrong direction on a residential street.”

    It shouldn’t be the case, Fisher said, that each time police make such an arrest, they can rummage through the cellphone without first getting a judge to agree to issue a warrant.

    The cases are Riley v. California, 13-132, and U.S. v. Wurie, 13-212.


    Follow Mark Sherman on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/shermancourt

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