Have you guys seen this fancy new… cell phone? You can literally take your phone with you and call people from wherever you go. #TBT#ThrowBackThursday

It was 1990 and RadioShack introduced its first transportable cellular phone for $799. 25 years later, struggling to bring customers into its stores over the last few years, the tech store is reportedly preparing to file for bankruptcy protection: http://abcn.ws/1AjMQwF

as you may or may not know, we are swimming in cancerous radiation on a daily basis here on the surface of Earth. I’m noticing kids being inundated with wireless gadgets at younger and younger ages. I am guilty as well! We let our 4 year old have iPad time as long as he is surrounded by orgonite. But I think it’s wise to not have them around any wireless technology if we can help it. Society cloaks all this technology as “innovative and cutting edge”. “Go get the new #iphone6! Get one for the whole family!” Their skulls are not thick enough to fend off that radiation and if we continue at this “wireless” pace, more kids will have brain cancer by the time they’re teenagers. This is by design folks! #EMF #cancer #cellphones #radiation #ipad #iphone #icancer

You know, cell phones have ruined everything. They’ve ruined every plot, seriously. You used to have this plot where the girl is getting these frightening phone calls and she’s trying to figure out who’s calling her. You can’t do that story anymore [because the name is] right there on the phone.
—  R.L. Stine, talking about technology and horror stories.

So this was a pleasant surprise.  Not only because the Roberts Court is notoriously pro law-enforcement, but also because the decision was basically unanimous (Alito filed a partial concurrence).

The Court held first that the warrant requirement applies to cellphones.  They next determined that the “search incident to arrest” exception to the warrant requirement does not apply to cellphones.  They reasoned that none of the circumstances justifying the exception were present in the case of cellphones.  There is no immediate danger to safety or potential for destruction of evidence once the person has been detained.

This was a surprising decision to me.  In United States v. Robinson, SCOTUS held that a pack of cigarettes was subject to the “search incident to arrest” exception, because police may legitimately search containers on the person’s body for weapons and evidence of criminal activity after the person’s been arrested.  I figured SCOTUS would apply this rationale to cellphones as well.  They’d hold that people had a reasonable expectation of privacy in their cellphones, but that the “search incident to arrest” exception applied, thus vitiating the need for a warrant.

I’m glad to see the Court coming to their senses on this issue.  This decision also represents a sea change of the type that was hinted at by Justice Sotomayor in United States v. Jones, when she questioned the idea that people have no reasonable expectation of privacy in information voluntarily disclosed to third parties.  State and federal governments have argued that people have no reasonable expectation of privacy in much of the data on their cellphones because it is voluntarily disclosed to third parties (e.g. GPS data).  Sotomayor wrote:

[I]t may be necessary to reconsider the premise that an individual has no reasonable expectation of privacy in information voluntarily disclosed to third parties.  E.g., Smith, 442 U. S., at 742; United States v. Miller425 U. S. 435443 (1976) . This approach is ill suited to the digital age, in which people reveal a great deal of information about themselves to third parties in the course of carrying out mundane tasks. People disclose the phone numbers that they dial or text to their cellu-lar providers; the URLs that they visit and the e-mail addresses with which they correspond to their Internet service providers; and the books, groceries, and medi-cations they purchase to online retailers. Perhaps, as Justice Alito notes, some people may find the “tradeoff ” of privacy for convenience “worthwhile,” or come to accept this “diminution of privacy” as “inevitable,”post, at 10, and perhaps not. I for one doubt that people would accept without complaint the warrantless disclosure to the Government of a list of every Web site they had visited in the last week, or month, or year. But whatever the societal expectations, they can attain constitutionally protected status only if our Fourth Amendment jurisprudence ceases to treat secrecy as a prerequisite for privacy. I would not assume that all information voluntarily disclosed to some member of the public for a limited purpose is, for that reason alone, disentitled to Fourth Amendment protection.

Today’s case is a good reminder that sometimes, judges plant the seeds of future opinions by engaging in this sort of rumination.  It appears that Sotomayor’s efforts in Jones did not go unnoticed.

Levin Solpad – 3000mAh Travel Solar Charging Kit for iOS/Android

Rugged, Waterproof, Shockproof and a Huge panel to soak up all that free energy by that often overlooked thing called the Sun, this portable solar charger is a beast in the solar charging market!

Even though the title says that it’s for iOS and Android devices, it’s charging capability goes far beyond those devices alone. It’s (pretty impressive) built-in 3000mAh battery can store the juice needed for any 5v USB device. So, that means it’s good for things like: GPS’s, Cameras, Speakers… that sorta thing.

You can get the internal battery fully charged in about 5 hours of direct sunlight. So, leave the panel outside in the happy sunshine and when night falls, take it in and then plug your sad, juice-less device in to keep playing around with whatever it was you were playing around with that took all your juices! Oh, and it comes in Pink… if that matters to you.