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Recently in Mobile Phones / Smartphones Category

New Call Screening From Google Fights Robo Calls

Google will take your call.

That's basically what Google Call Screening does. It's a smart phone version of voicemail with an AI twist.

But there's a buzz about the new service, which Google recently announced as part of its AI-driven features and products. It fights robo calls with robo answers.

It's usually pretty darn obvious that the significant other did it in most murder mystery television dramas. Sometimes, real life resembles TV drama, like when data from a Fitbit ends up being the critical piece of evidence in proving the spouse did in fact do it.

The narrative isn't exactly a selling point for Fitbit, but it's not not. Apparently, a murder victim's Fitbit shows time of death being an hour earlier than reported by the victim's spouse to authorities. Naturally, as we've all learned from TV legal dramas, this sort of conflicting narrative is rather damning for the spouse, but rather telling of how wearable tech is actually changing the legal landscape. Cue the Law and Order sound effect.

New Apple Watch May Call the Cops on You

The new Apple Watch has an auto-dial feature to call 911 if it senses you fall down.

That would be good for elderly people or others who have fallen and can't get up. But if the cops show up and see you have a meth lab, you'll be doing some real time.

New Amazon Echo Products: Time to Update Your Office Gadgets?

In "Castaway," Tom Hanks pointed at a clock and called it a "pulsating, accursed, relentless taskmaster."

And we know what happened after that -- five years on a deserted island. Losing time was the real curse.

Lawyers know that curse all too well -- the billable hour hanging over their heads. Well, Amazon thinks it's new smart devices can help with that.

On Wednesday, October 3, 2018, at 2:18 p.m. EST, the national Emergency Alert System established by the W.A.R.N. Act of 2006, will test the "Presidential Alert System" by sending a test warning to most cellular phones in the country. The test was originally scheduled for Thursday, September 20, however, the test has been delayed amid massive public backlash.

One of the big reasons for the backlash involves the fact that, unlike other types of emergency alerts, there is no option to opt-out of these Presidential Alerts (at least for now). The system is designed to alert the public of natural disasters, manmade disasters, acts of terrorism, or other major threats to public safety. This new system is designed to target individuals who may not be plugged into the live-broadcast media on radio and TV due to the decreasing popularity of these traditional broadcast medias.

Stingray Can Find Bad Guys, but It Can't Avoid Warrants

No thanks to technology, this time the bad guy got away.

Quinton Redell Sylvestre allegedly robbed a Boca Raton restaurant, where he and two companions shot and killed a victim. Investigators found him later using a Stingray -- a device that intercepts cell phone signals to locate people.

With the guns, mask, and ammunition, it looked like they had their man. But then there was a legal problem with the Stingray.

How New Tech Is Helping the Disabled

With technovations occurring every day, disability law may never be the same.

Take Douglas Wakefield, for example. As a blind child, he needed certain accommodations to succeed in school.

But as an adult, now he can do things he couldn't dream of as a student. He credits technology for opening a new world to him.

For lawyers, getting the newest iPhone usually isn't job-critical, like it would be for an app developer. However, having the latest and greatest in tech can sometimes be good for business, or at least help you operate more efficiently.

If you're in the market for a new smartphone, or you're just a die-hard Apple fan, the newest iterations of the iPhone (the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone Xr) are likely to please, though you might notice that there's one a big differences this time around. And while there are plenty of tech blogs where you can read about all the bells and whistles, below you can read more about two of the features we lawyers want to know more about, and whether it's worth the hefty price-tag to upgrade.

Is Your Screen Making You Go Blind?

It turns out your father was right when he said: "Stop sitting so close to the television or you'll go blind."

Not every dad said that exactly, but researchers at the University of Toledo said that staring at screens can permanently damage your eyesight. They say long periods of time exposed to blue light -- the kind from smartphones, laptops, and televisions -- can lead to blindness.

So while you're reading this blog, we here at FindLaw will be thinking about product liability. Please read the following points carefully:

Google Hit With Phone-Tracking Lawsuit

A new lawsuit alleges that Google follows people on their phones -- even after they have disabled location services on the devices.

It's a troubling development for the company because it already settled a related privacy complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. The lawsuit alleges more violations of California's privacy laws.

What's worse, Google said previously that disabling "location history" would solve the tracking problem. Apparently, the company didn't know how to stop it either.