Find My iPhone helps police arrest an armed robbery suspect

LA Times reports that Apple’s Find My iPhone app was used to assist in the arrest of an armed robbery suspect last Thursday. The male suspect entered a female’s home at gun point and took her purse, which held her beloved iPhone inside. The suspect left the home, and thought the coast was clear.

However, the victim then called police and remembered that she had Find My iPhone and notified them. Luckily for her, a random citizen on the street let police use his laptop to track the suspect down via Apple’s website. The officers later found the man and he was arrested on robbery charges. The LAPD told the LA Times how crucial it is to have tracking software installed whenever possible:

LAPD officials say computer and phone theft is a major contributor to crime in Los Angeles, and the theft — and its outcome — illustrate the value and benefit of using tracking applications and software for computers, cellphones and portable tablets.

Find My iPhone was also used in September to help sift through the wreckage in the terribly sad Chilean plane crash. Find My iPhone has important use cases everyday, and we’re glad to see the poor woman got her items back. This is a great reminder that you should have it installed (and to criminals to pass on taking Apple devices!)

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Watch out! Using Siri while driving is still illegal in California

MercuryNews was told by the San Jose Police that using Siri while driving is illegal. The San Jose Police Luitenant said that the actual act of talking to Siri isn’t illegal, but it’s the part when you use you’re hands to navigate through its functionality when things start getting setup for a nice ticket.

“It’s legal to talk to Siri, as long as the phone’s not in your hand,” says San Jose police Lt. Chris Monahan. “But if you have to push the phone to activate her, or if you ask for directions and she puts them up on her screen for you to read, then California’s hands-free law says your’re breaking the law.”

Where it gets murky is that the iPhone is also a GPS device and it isn’t illegal to use your fingers to use GPS devices, especially one that is mounted to your dashboard. Let’s just say: keep it safe.

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Apple posts full video of Steve Jobs’ celebration at Apple’s campus

Apple has posted the full video of the Steve Jobs memorial and celebration of his life at the Cupertino, California campus. The event was held on October 19th and was only streamed to Apple employees who were not physically attending the event. The full video can be viewed at Apple’s website.  Don’t come wearing any browser except for Safari.

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Apple unveils micro USB adapter for iPhones in Europe

It’s been long time coming and it’s finally here. The U.K. online Apple Store now lists the Apple iPhone Micro USB Adapter, available for £8.00 and shipping October 14. From Apple:

The Apple iPhone Micro USB Adapter allows you to use third-party micro USB cables and chargers to sync or charge your iPhone. Simply connect your iPhone to the Micro USB Adapter, then connect a micro USB cable or charger to the Micro USB Adapter

Standards bodies in Europe had agreed last year that all mobile phones sold in Europe should drop proprietary connectors in favor of standard USB jacks. Apple’s been ignoring the initiative up to the point when some watchers questioned whether the European Union should fine the Cupertino, California-based gadget maker.

As it turns out, Apple has elegantly addressed those concerns with this dongle. What it does for Apple is it lets them follow the letter of the law without redesigning the iPhone or, worse, risk incompatibility problems with a billion dollar ecosystem of accessories that take advantage of Apple’s 30-pin dock connector.

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How the teardrop iPhone design wound up in the hands of every case maker in China

The idea of a next-generation iPhone shaped like a teardrop dates back to a report published by This is my next in late-April, describing a 3.7-inch iPhone with edge-to-edge glass and striking new design shape akin to the late-2010 MacBook Air, meaning thicker to thinner from top to bottom. Piggy-backing on the story, agile Asian vendors followed up with teardrop-shaped cases. Or so we thought.

While we will ‘talk iPhone’ next Tuesday, M.I.C. Gadget reveals that an iPhone 5 prototype had recently gone missing from the Shenzhen district. “This should explain why we are seeing a whole lot of iPhone 5 cases in China today”, the publication concludes.

Much like the widely publicized iPhone 4 prototype that had gone missing at a German beer bar in California, the missing handset was camouflaged in an iPhone 4-like case (strange because the teardrop phone is wider and taller). Inside: A test model with a finalized iPhone 5 chassis sporting the teardrop design. The publication then builds on this tip by speculating that the device houses “slightly modified iPhone 4 electronics” plus the A4 chip “and even the same amount of memory”.

If this is true, then the tear drop iPhone may be the low end device, and the one inside the iPhone 4 case might be the high end.

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Gizmodo iPhone 4 case ends. No Gawker charges, 2 misdemeanors filed against ‘finders’

A year and a half after the whole “Gizmodo buys a lost iPhone 4″ case, the San Mateo District attorney levied a decision in the matter.

The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office has filed misdemeanor charges against two individuals for the misappropriation of an iPhone 4 prototype that was lost by an Apple employee and subsequently recovered in a Redwood City establishment by the defendants on March 25, 2010. Brian Hogan, 22, of Redwood City was charged with one count of misappropriation of lost property, and Sage Wallower, 28, of Emeryville, was charged with misappropriation of lost property, and possession of stolen property. Their arraignment is scheduled for Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 9:00 in Redwood City. After a consideration of all of the evidence, it was determined that no charges would be filed against employees of Gizmodo.

Interesting that they use the terms “misappropriation of lost property”. Perhaps the statements about “stolen” were premature and inappropriate.

Gawker/Gizmodo had this to say:

We are pleased that the District Attorney of San Mateo County, Steven Wagstaffe, has decided, upon review of all of the evidence, that no crime was committed by the Gizmodo team in relation to its reporting on the iPhone 4 prototype last year. While we have always believed that we were acting fully within the law, it has inevitably been stressful for the editor concerned, Jason Chen, and we are glad that we can finally put this matter behind us.

We’re interested to hear what Apple has to say on the matter and of course have reached out.

The penalties for violating CA Penal Code 485 PC are defined as up to a year in county jail and a $1,000 fine.

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