John and Starry Bush-Rhoads of Reno, Nev., made the biggest little blunder. Their GPS apparently directed the Rhoadses off the road they wanted to be on and into the Oregonian wilderness, where they were stuck for three days. Thanks to a more loyal GPS chip in one of their cell phones, they were eventually rescued.
Most mobile phones have tiny GPS chips that do things like give directions or route your call to the right city when you dial 911. It turns out that law enforcement can ask phone companies for GPS info that reveals exactly where a phone owner is, and, according to a disturbing piece of audio making the rounds, the cops asked Sprint-Nextell for the locations of customers 8 million times in one year. (continued and video)
Mexican drug cartels have helped make California the largest domestic supplier of pot in the nation. Seventy percent of the plants are growing in state and national parks. zReportage magazine has an eye-opening photo essay and story.