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Archive for ‘Technology’

Robot Lawyers

Since 1998 when I worked with a whiz named Russell, I have been a proponent of automation. Pushing information to myself with RSS, using autotext and macros in Word, subtotaling in Excel, and Outlook Rules have all made it possible for me to automate bits of my own work. As a law firm KMer, I build and advocate for tools that automate, or at least reduce steps, to work done in my organization. I am certain that many Slawyers have similar stories about how the way they use computers (or phones, or tablets, or other devices) in their work has . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

LODLAM Training Day Videos Available

The Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives and Museums (LODLAM)* training day videos have been posted. The presentations focussed on “hands-on applications and examples” sharing “approaches to both publishing and reusing Linked Open Data in library, archive, and museum settings.” The organizers saw this session as an “amazing prototype” and plan to apply the experiences gained here to their first official LODLAM Training Day in 2015.

The session was organized by Jon Voss (Historypin and co-founder of the International LODLAM Summit) and took place at the 10th Annual Semantic Technology & Business Conference (SemTechBiz), August 19, 2014 in San Jose, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

11th Annual UVic Law Student Technology Survey

You have to admire Rich McCue’s curiosity and generosity. For the 11th year, the UVic educational technologist and systems administrator has surveyed the law school’s incoming students on their technology use in terms of hardware, software and habits, and shared the results online.

Rich has drafted the results up nicely with helpful graphs, and also identified implications of the results: both suggestions for profs and faculties, and ideas for future surveys.

Here’s the executive summary:

  •  Smartphones: 100% of incoming law students surveyed own “Smartphones” that can browse the internet (up from 96% last year and 50% four years ago), with
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Businesses Relying More on Mobile – Is Blackberry Still in the Game?

A BMO poll released today shows the unsurprising result that the business world is becoming more reliant on mobile technology.

Lawyers were early adopters of Blackberries, for which email was the killer app. At our firm there are only a handful of lawyers still using Blackberries. The rest of us are split between iPhones and Android. While Windows phones are technically as good as the others, they just can’t seem to gain ground.

Blackberry has not given up, though. It just launched a new phone called the Passport. Blackberry has moved from touting email as its killer feature to touting . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Clio Announces “Next” UI at User Conference

For many legal software companies, major announcements and product enhancements have traditionally been saved up for release at ABA Techshow or LTNY. But with the advent of their own user conference last year, Clio looks to be borrowing from the tech sector (think Apple or Google) and utilizing their own annual event for these types of product releases.

This morning’s opening of the Clio Cloud Conference showcased two new such announcements, namely: a revamp of the product’s UI, dubbed Clio Next; and the release of the company’s new smartphone app for Android.

Clio Next updates include:

  • A revamp of
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

Lawyers, Learn to Code With This Free eBook

If you’ve been thinking about learning how to do some coding, or want to learn more about the software that powers the applications you use everyday, then you’ll be interested in this eBook by V. David Zvenyach: “Coding for Lawyers.” Zvenyach is the General Counsel to the Council of the District of Columbia and considers himself an “accomplished armchair coder.” He also insists that “Lawyers can code. In fact,” he says,

“… if you’re a lawyer, the truth is that it’s easier than you think. I am a lawyer, and a coder. In the course

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Will a Smartwatch Be on Your Wrist? 10 Things to Ponder.

As expected, Apple introduced its Apple Watch (not iWatch) last week with great fanfare. It is actually not a single watch, but a series of watches in 2 sizes and 3 models with various types of bands. It will be available “early 2015″.

Of course only those with iPhones can use an Apple Watch. Those with Android phones will use one of the options running Android Wear.

The reaction to the smartwatch phenomenon has been interesting. Traditional watch manufacturers are being dismissive about it – which sounds a lot like how Rim (Blackberry) dismissed the iPhone when it first . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

CASL Software Provisions

CASL – the Canadian anti-spam legislation – contains provisions that require certain disclosure and permission requirements on the installation of software that does certain things, or when software does certain things. This aspect of CASL has been overshadowed by the anti-spam provisions, in part because the software provisions are not in effect until January 15, 2015.

Unfortunately these software provisions are not easy to comprehend or apply in practice. There is a lot of uncertainty around their interpretation. And IMHO they are going to cause far more harm than good. There is a real danger that some software creators will . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Cops Impound Cell Phone of Texting Driver for 48 Hours

A recent shift in the distracted driving law has granted the police the authority to confiscate and impound cell phones of drivers who are caught texting while driving. Drivers caught texting are subject to a fine, and the police may confiscate the driver’s phone for up to 48 hours. Just long enough for that cell phone dependent driver to really feel the loss of their “companion”, but not so long as to justify going out to pick up a loaner.

The hope is that depriving the driver of their beloved cell phone will serve as a greater deterrent than any . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology

It’s the Most “something” Time of the Year

Every year at this time I head on over the Beloit College website to see just what the coming year(s) have in store for me and Beloit College produces the very striking “Mindset List”, which never fails to land a few jarring blows. The Mindset List, “provid(es) a look at the cultural touchstones and experiences that have shaped the worldview of students entering colleges and universities in the fall.” And remember even if you are not associated with academia the 1L list are the people that will be applying to work with you in the coming months.

Firstly, let’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Technology

Facebook ‘likes’ as Protected Speech (More)

You will probably recall the litigation in the US a couple of years back about whether someone’s ‘like’ on a Facebook page was constitutionally protected ‘speech’.

An employee of a municipal sheriff had Liked the page of a candidate running against the incumbent sheriff. When the incumbent was re-elected, he fired the employee. The court of first instance held that the Like was not political expression and not protected against retaliation. On appeal, that decision was reversed – the Like was political speech – but the firing was upheld for other reasons.

The US National Labour Relations Board has recently . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list