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Archive for ‘Technology’

Vendor Quiz: Loom Analytics

Vendor Quiz is a periodic feature here at Slaw in which we ask a legal marketplace supplier a series of substantive questions about their product or service. Our goal is to provide insight and guidance to Slaw readers who might be considering a purchase, and who would benefit from practical information with which they can make a more informed choice. Vendor Quiz is an advertorial service, with each post sponsored by the featured vendor.

Loom Analytics is basically ‘moneyball’ for the legal industry. It provides legal analytics at your fingertips to help you identify historical trends in legal data.
  . . . [more]

Posted in: Vendor Quiz

Of Cryptoviruses and Hope for a Cure From Malwarebytes

If you’re in a rush, skip on over to the official security blog at Malwarebytes for the original post on this possible anti-ransomware breakthrough. It’s early news about a beta release tool at this point, and not ready for prime time, but it could be a ray of hope for law firms who live in fear of infection by the most dreaded of malware variants: the cryptovirus.

I feel like this may particularly be a good sign for small firms who cannot afford active threat protection services from premier providers. If average users can rely on standard anti-virus tools, it  . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Electronic Designation of Beneficiaries

From time to time the question of electronic wills is raised for discussion. This Uniform Law Conference has visited the topic a couple of times.

I have a related question today: should people be able to use electronic means to designate beneficiaries of savings plans (pension plans, RRSPs, TFSAs etc.) or insurance policies? If so, how? And if not, why not?

Usually such designations have be in writing and signed. The Uniform Electronic Commerce Act permits both e-documents and e-signatures. However, the UECA excludes wills and codicils. Most if not all provinces and territories have adopted this exclusion.

It is . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Consent in the Online World

Online consent is a mirage. Every day we are asked to click yes “I agree” to download the latest software or to use Wi-Fi connections. However, rarely do people read the license agreements or terms and conditions attached to the service. For all we know, we could be agreeing to the sale of our first-born child, as shown in this experiment.

Online contracts remain unread because consumers lack any meaningful incentive for reading the agreement. Before hitting “I agree”, people cannot call up Apple or any other provider and negotiate a different license agreement. We either accede to the . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Using Hypothes.is With Legislation

At the same time as Simon Fodden was publishing Hypothes.is and Annotation, a group of colleagues and I were in the middle of a series of invited comments to U.S. Federal Communications Commission, about their rulemaking for home Wi-Fi routers. We were using Google docs for mutual editing already, so Hypothes.is looked like something worth trying for mutual markup.

To make a long story short, it was excellent. I’m now running permanently with a “Launch Hypothesis” button in my bookmarks bar.

Over and above Simon’s description, the things that stood out for me were:

  • Links to particular annotations as
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

AODA New January 2017 Compliance Deadlines

Large and small organizations in the private and non-profit sectors have a new Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliance deadline coming up on January 1, 2017.

1) Large organizations (50+ employees)

Starting January 1, 2016, provincially regulated organizations with 50 or more employees in Ontario must work to comply with the design for public spaces standards under the built-environment to address barriers impeding access to outdoor public spaces by persons with disabilities, but not those barriers inside buildings. This task must be completed by January 1, 2017.

This standard covers a variety of public spaces such as exterior . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Update to Internet Explorer 11 Now for Security

Microsoft has just ended support for Internet Explorer versions 10 and earlier. That means Microsoft will no longer provide security patches, which makes them risky to use from a security perspective.

Anyone still using those versions should update to IE 11 immediately. Those using Windows 10 can use the Edge browser instead. Edge works well, but unfortunately does not yet support add ons like password managers. Another option is of course to use Chrome.

If there is a need to use an earlier version of IE because of legacy internet applications that are not up to current standards, IE 11 . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

The Year of the Hybrid Cloud

Last year I indicated that there were changes in Ontario which suggested that cloud computing had been implicitly authorized for lawyers. There was no other practical way to implement the new services rules under the amended Rules of Civil Procedure.

Despite these changes, there is still resistance to adopting cloud computing in practice, and sometimes with good reason. Security breaches of online databases have illustrated the enormous risk and problems created in a digital world.

The Ashley Madison hacks had many scurrying in embarrassment, and others concerned because their names had been used by the website without their permission. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Internet

Cybersecurity – Role of the Board of Directors

Legislation recently introduced in the US Congress would compel publicly-traded companies to disclose in their filings with securities regulators whether any member of their board of directors was a ‘cybersecurity expert’.

Does this make sense to you? It does not to this commentator from the law firm Jones, Day. He says the role of the board is not to *be* the expert but to ensure that expertise is sought and its advice considered properly.

The comment notes that the SEC “has already made it clear that companies must disclose material cybersecurity risks and incidents to investors in their public filings.” . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

CES 2016

The annual Consumer Electronics Show is now underway in Las Vegas – where tech companies show off their latest and greatest. Popular themes this year include drones, internet of things, and cars. And of course TVs. LG is showing OLED 4K TVs that are impossibly thin – 2.57 mm, yes, mm thin. While they are expensive, and there isn’t much 4K content yet, that is expected to change much faster than HD came to market.

It is easy to scoff at some of the individual items that show up at CES, and certainly some of them will never gain any . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Of BCLaws.ca Buzz and One Less Pay Wall With Sensational Spelling

Fellow Slaw contributor Kim Nayer wrote about QPLegalEze’s imminent dismantlement back in April 2014. Her post, titled “Goodbye QPLegalEze; Welcome Open Law“, heralded an end to an era of embargoed legal information, and hinted at the promise of a more democratic trend—one where the government lets the law become knowable even in the absence of our wallets.

Some goodbyes take longer than others. 20-odd months later, however, it really does feel like the house has cleared out. The repository of BC’s laws (various enactments, historical tables, ministerial orders archives, and that sort of thing) which was once kept  . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

Oklahoma Lawyer Resigns Himself to Paying Ransom for Release of Computer Files

The ABA Journal recently carried a story regarding another firm held hostage to ransomware hackers. In this case, the lawyer felt he had no choice but to pay. This follows incidents in North Carolina and B.C.

An Oklahoma lawyer says his computer files are being held hostage by the encrypto virus, despite his installation of three layers of protection to thwart such attacks.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology