CYBER CORNER FOR WEDNESDAY, JULY 2

Posted 3 weeks ago

By Corey Sorenson

US Supreme Court by Rob Crawley, on Flickr

IN THE NEWS: JUSTICES UNITE ON CELL PHONE RULING

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most people think the nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court rarely agree on anything — except about wearing their black robes when at work — and that’s part of the job. So those who follow tech issues found it interesting that the justices agreed unanimously on a ruling that says police must get a judge’s approval before searching the cell phones of people they’ve arrested.

The cell phone case is one of 42 in which the court ruled without dissent during this term. It expected that the agreement on the cell phone case suggests that the high court is skeptical about the government’s authority to sweep up information that people store on computers and cell phones — as well as online records kept by companies.

The justices have affirmed that obtaining such information — as in the case of searches of a person’s home — requires a ruling by an impartial judge.

IN THE NEWS: T-MOBILE HIT BY FEDS FOR BOGUS CHARGES

WASHINGTON (AP) — A lot of people sometimes feel like they are getting ripped off by their wireless carriers. But now for the first time, the federal government has formally charged a carrier with taking advantage of its customers.

The Federal Trade Commission has sued T-Mobile, claiming the carrier knowingly made hundreds of millions of dollars off its customers in potentially bogus charges. The FTC lawsuit demands that T-Mobile refund the money to consumers for subscriptions to premium text services, such as horoscope fees, which weren’t authorized by users. The horoscope service, for example, cost $10 per month.

In a statement, T-Mobile calls the allegations “unfounded and without merit.”

ON THE WEB: GOOGLE BUYS SONGZA

CYBERSPACE (AP) — Tired, but can’t get to sleep? The sound-streaming company Songza provides a series of playlists that can either lull you to sleep — or cry yourself to sleep, depending on whether you want to doze off on a damp pillow. Google has decided to buy Songza. It’s the latest big acquisition of a music streaming service by a major player in the tech field.

Recently Apple bought Beats Electronics — in part to snare the digital music service Beats has been building along with its headphone empire.

IN STORES: BIGGER TV SETS BEING BOUGHT

NEW YORK (AP) — Super-size that. It’s a phrase that isn’t just being heard in the drive-through lane of your favorite fast food joint. It appears a growing number of Americans are looking to supersize their viewing experience — by getting the kind of big-screen TVs that make a 50-inch set look like a hand-held device.

The sales of screens measuring 65 inches diagonally is on the rise. While overall TV sales have slowed, sales of screens 65 inches and bigger are up by 50 percent this past year.

The main reason: prices are going down and a set that large isn’t as out-of-the question as more people stay home and opt to watch sports, play video games or watch movies on their home screen, rather than venture out for fun. But no need to run out to be part of the crowd. Sales of sets 65 inches or bigger account for just 2 percent of TV sets sold.

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Rob Crawley