I see all these slashdot stories that complain about government searches "without a warrant," and they all often very misleading. There are plenty of reasons the government can do a "search" without a warrant that are for very legitimate purposes. There are two categories of this misinformation being spread.
The first category is like this one, where a search is valid where one of the exemptions apply, which are: in cases of an emergency, if the person gives consent, a search incident to arrest, and an inventory. If a shooting is in progress the police can kick down your door and try to save the people inside without a warrant. They have just "searched" a home without a warrant, big deal. The issue here is a search incident to arrest. If you get arrested the police can search all your belongings and within a reasonable distance to look for evidence of whatever they're arresting you for. There are very legitimate reasons for this. If the police take your car, they conduct an inventory of the vehicle without a warrant (although this isn't really a search, and they can't take apart the doors and things).
The second type of misleading information on slashdot is when police get information using a subpoena or court order and Slashdot proclaims "cops conduct search of ________ without warrant!" Which, while true, ignores the fact that the "search" was subject to judicial oversight, but just didn't rise to the need getting a warrant.
This is like telling non-technies that their computer is broadcasting an ip address and trying to scare them. You have to understand the 4th amendment more to understand the issues in these decisions. Here, judges are trying to say that the potential evidence of crimes that you carry in your cell phone get more protection than a briefcase with the same information (photos, ledgers, address book, etc.). Which, in my opinion, is hard to justify, and might be taken the Supreme Court.