In this week's issue, Gerry Smith looks at one of the less savory effects of recent technological innovation: the billion-dollar black market for stolen smartphones.
He takes us to San Francisco -- specifically the intersection of Seventh and Market Streets, prime ground for the city's open-air stolen electronics market. A group of undercover cops -- aiming, as Gerry writes, "to poison the market with fear and distrust" -- are at work, conducting a sting operation designed to snare those who would knowingly buy a stolen iPhone. It's all part of "the intensifying cat-and-mouse game between law enforcement and criminals," as criminals look to cash in on stolen iPhones that can be resold in places like Rio de Janeiro and Hong Kong -- a $30 billion business.
This aggressive policy of arresting buyers, rather than just sellers, has stirred controversy and accusations of entrapment. But as San Francisco Police Capt. Joe Garrity says, "If they steal the phone but can't sell it, there's no market. We're cutting the head off the snake."
Elsewhere in the issue, Lila Shapiro considers the career of former New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey, just as a new documentary about him airs on HBO. McGreevey, who in 2004 very publicly resigned by announcing that he was having an affair and was a "gay American," has embarked on new pursuits since departing public life, including an effort, eventually abandoned, to become an Episcopal priest. Today, he is working as a spiritual counselor for women prisoners at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Newark -- the work of, as Lila puts it, "a disgraced politician who has forsworn ambition." But as we see him, speaking to women on subjects like healthy shame vs. unhealthy shame, it's clear that McGreevey has shifted to a different kind of leadership, still in possession of "the charismatic smile that helped endear him to a generation of New Jersey voters."
Finally, our stress coverage includes a look at how meditation affects the brain, and a story on how mindfulness-based therapies can help treat the many mental health woes that afflict cancer patients.
This story appears in Issue 47 of our weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, in the iTunes App store, available Friday, May 3.