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Recently in Mobile Phones / Smartphones Category

Litigators beware: Do you know what your ringtone sounds like? Are you sure a prankster child, colleague, or office nemesis, hasn't turned your ringtone into a duck, or something more nefarious?

Obviously, you don't want embarrassing sounds coming from your pocket during a meeting, or worse, while you're in court. And while the duck ringtone may not actually be that bad (and could score you points with a duck-hunting judge), a simple, professional ringtone will always be less disruptive than something that's even cautiously humorous, cool, or anything but professional.

Tech Used to Track, Deport Immigrants

If you are an illegal immigrant, put down your cell phone now.

If you are slightly paranoid about government snooping, put down your cell phone now.

But if you have accepted the idea that immigrants and personal privacy are at risk in the Trump-tech era, then keep reading. It's getting real and the story is in your phone.

Colorado Green Lights Texting While Driving

From the state that brought you recreational marijuana, Colorado now invites you to text while driving.

Whether you are a resident or just passing through, apparently you can text, browse, or use your cell phone for selfies with one-hand while steering with the other. Just don't do it in a "careless or in an imprudent manner." In practice, this means don't text while your car is moving.

"Sounds like a political decision made under the influence of legalized marijuana," wrote Benno Kushnir.

Judge Orders Drunk Drivers to Download Ride-Sharing Apps

Judge Michael Cicconetti, who works at the Painesville Municipal Court in Ohio, has a reputation that reaches much farther than his jurisdiction.

Known widely for creative sentencing, Cicconetti once sentenced a woman to walk 30 miles for stiffing a taxi driver. He made a drunk driver go the morgue to view car-crash victims.

Now, as a standard condition of probation, he orders drunk drivers to download Uber and Lyft apps to their smart phones. How about a toast to technology?

Lawsuit: Permit for Augmented Reality Game Violates Free Speech

Texas Rope 'Em is not exactly Pokemon Go, the wildly successful augmented reality game that has led millions to search for virtual characters in the real world.

But the virtual poker game does present a new legal twist in an augmented reality lawsuit pending in Wisconsin. Candy Lab, Inc., the video game maker, says a county park is violating its First Amendment right by requiring a permit for its users.

"This restriction impinges on Candy Lab AR's right to free speech by regulating Candy Lab AR's right to publish its video games that make use of the augmented reality medium," the company's complaint says.

Read My Lips: No Password Necessary

You may soon be able to replace your password with just a spoken word, according to scientists at Hong Kong Baptist University.

They have invented lip-reading software, apparently the first of its kind. Users will be able to speak into their smart devices, which will unlock as the software recognizes their lip movement. It will work even with a silent whisper.

Futurism, a technology news site, gushes that it "could spell the end of passwords as we know them."

Berkeley Warns of Cell Phone Radiation -- Ordinance Warning Law Upheld

Remember when people worried about cell phones causing brain cancer if they put the devices to their ears?

Well, the City of Berkeley thinks it is bad enough that cell phone retailers ought to warn people about putting them in their pant pockets or bras -- literally that's what their signs must say. And since a federal appeals court said the city ordinance is valid, it must be so.

"Berkeley's compelled disclosure does no more than to alert consumers to the safety disclosures that the FCC requires, and to direct consumers to federally compelled instructions in their user manuals providing specific information about how to avoid excessive exposure," Judge William Fletcher wrote. "Far from conflicting with federal law and policy, the Berkeley ordinance complements and reinforces it."

FTC Settles 'Supercookies' Case

In the sci-fi movie Minority Report, Tom Cruise has his eyes removed in a gross scene that you cannot unsee. So don't watch it just because of this movie reference.

But there is another part of the movie that you can't ignore. In the future, the movie shows how companies will be able to track us and push custom-tailored ads at us wherever we go. There is no escape from the Big Brother ad man.

Well, that movie was made 15 years ago and the future is now. "Supercookies" or "zombie cookies" are the villains in this tale.

Google will pay $7.8 million and open up its Android software to competitors as part of a settlement with Russian antitrust authorities, Reuters reported on Monday. The deal could be a precedent-setting settlement for the tech company.

Google, like Microsoft before it, was accused of exploiting the market dominance of its Android smartphone operating system, in order to shut out competition and protect its online search traffic. The Android OS is by far the most common operating system for smartphones globally, operating on nearly nine out of every ten smartphones phones worldwide.

Coffee Shop Lawyers, Public Wi-Fi Is Not Your Friend

Lawyers, equipped with mobile devices to draft legal documents and email them, are meeting with clients at coffee shops across the country. This phenomenon is nothing new, at this point. But we're repeating the story because attorneys are still using public Wi-Fi networks, despite the potential legal and ethical liabilities.