Situational awareness with smartphones has been become a hot topic following the night Nikhom Thephakaysone, 30, allegedly killed 20-year-old Justin Valdez in an apparently random encounter on a San Francisco train.

For police and prosecutors, the details of the case were troubling – they believe the suspect had been out “hunting” for a stranger to kill – but so too was the train passengers’ collective inattention to imminent danger.

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