In Pictures: The weirdest, wackiest and coolest sci/tech stories of 2013 so far

From cool robots and unmanned aircraft to celebrity swatting and Moby Dick emoticons, it’s been an interesting high-tech year!

The Washington Post reported in March that Federal investigators in California routinely used a sophisticated surveillance system to scoop up data from cellphones and other wireless devices in an effort to track criminal suspects — but failed to detail the practice to judges authorizing the probes. The investigations used a device known as a StingRay, which simulates a cellphone tower and lets agents collect the serial numbers of individual cellphones and then locate them. Although law enforcement officials can employ StingRays and similar devices to locate suspects, privacy groups and some judges have raised concerns that the technology is so invasive — in some cases effectively penetrating the walls of homes — that its use should require a warrant, according to the Post story.

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