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Archive for ‘Technology’

The Semantic Web Is Made of People

The presentations from last year’s Semantic Web in Libraries (SWIB13) held in Hamburg, Germany, were posted a few months ago. Lots of great stuff relating to linked data, metadata, classification mapping and ontologies, including a few case study reports (e.g. Europeana updates).

I recommend to you Dorothea Salo’s presentation, “Soylent SemWeb Is People! Bringing People to Linked Data.” * Drawing on a rather stretched analogy to the Charleton Heston movie Solyent Green she explores this question:

“… how do we best invite people — including skeptical people, reluctant people, less-technical people, people committed to different data structures

. . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

The New Canadian Digital Privacy Act (Bill S-4)

The government of Canada has introduced a bill to amend PIPEDA on privacy matters. The bill appears to be largely the same as Bill C-29 from 2010. It imposes a duty on organizations that have custody of personal information to disclose to the Privacy Commissioner and to affected individuals the fact of any breach of security affecting that personal information, if the breach creates a ‘significant risk of serious harm’ to the individual. Both terms (significant risk and serious harm are defined, or at least given more flavour, in the bill.)

(7) For the purpose of this section, “significant

. . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Secure Communications by Mandated Design?

In Europe, the concern about the NSA and the “five eyes” countries is becoming more and more serious.

One of the more unusual proposals is to legislate against products that are insecure by design. A group loosely associated with the EU Pirate Parties and the Free Software Foundation proposes:

legislation to upgrade all communication among private citizens to provide necessary technical measures for maintaining an adequate implementation of the Secrecy of Correspondence required by most constitutions and human right charters. The law shall include ways to ensure its correct implementation and a transition path from the existing unencrypted systems

In . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Are You Vulnerable to Heartbleed?

A serious flaw has been discovered in OpenSSL - the browser encryption standard used by an estimated two-thirds of the servers on the internet. This flaw has been there for a couple of years, and allows hackers to read data stored in memory. That gives hackers access to anything in memory, including security keys, user names and passwords, emails and documents. More detail is on Gigaom and Schneier on Security.

An update to OpenSSL fixes the flaw. Anyone who has a website should ask their service provider if it affects their site, and have it updated immediately.

And for . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Ontario Judge Strongly Pushes for Greater Use of Technology in Courts and Orders E-Trial

In a case conference decision in the matter Bank of Montreal v Faibish, 2014 ONSC 2178 (CanLII), Justice David M. Brown expressed “profound frustration” at the failure of lawyers and judges to make greater use of technology while conducting litigation. He went as far as ordering an e-trial on the matter, over the expressed desire of some counsel to do an electronic and paper-based trial.
This is one of the strongest statements a judge has made with respect to the need for greater use of technology in the court system. No doubt, it will generate considerable discussion. The relevant . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Technology

Stop Using Windows XP and Office 2003 on or Before April 8, 2014

Microsoft will no longer be supporting Windows XP SP3 (Service Pack 3) and Office 2003 (SP3) as of April 8, 2014. After this date, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, support or online technical content updates from Microsoft for these products. Your computer will still operate, but if you continue to use Windows XP or Office 2003, you will become more vulnerable to security risks and malware infections. Undoubtedly, cyber criminals will target computers that are still using these programs.

For this reason, you should immediately start planning to migrate to more current versions of Windows and . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

The Selfie Defense: Using Instagram for Good

We usually hear about the attempted use of social media by the opposite side to discredit a party. But what about the use of social media to bolster a defence in anticipation of litigation?

Andrew Jarvis, a Pennsylvania architect, was concerned the Department of Revenue would audit him and ask him to pay additional taxes once he opened up an office in New York, where he spent a considerable amount of time.

The State changed the domicile requirements in 2012. They conduct residency audits because residents are subject to tax on worldwide income, whereas non-residents are only taxed for the . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Can You Be Prosecuted for a Facebook ‘like’?

A US appeals court found – properly, in my view – that clicking ‘Like’ on the Facebook page of a political candidate was political speech protected by freedom of expression law.

Another US court found that clicking on ‘Like’ on the Facebook page of someone who has a restraining order against any contact by the clicker is contempt of the restraining order. That too seems sensible, if severe. (Restraining orders often need to be severely enforced.)

Here is an account of a bit of a confused British situation, where someone is apparently being investigated by police for Liking a Facebook . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Office for iPad – There’s a Catch

Microsoft released office for iPad last week. They have promised to release Office for Android soon as well.

The good news is that it is free to download. The bad news is that it can only be used as a reader. If you want to create or edit documents, you need an Office 365 account. And if you have a personal Office 365 account, the terms don’t let you use it for commercial purposes.

Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud based service that is purchased for an annual fee.

Even if your office has one of the many flavours of Microsoft . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

The Internet of Things – and Tomorrow’s Law Firm

Press Release from London this morning

London, United Kingdom: 1 April 2014 – Janders Dean is pleased to announce the launch of the ShockLaw© wearable time management technology solution for law firms and lawyers – featuring the Bill-IT© bracelet with LawyerShock© vibration technology, the ShockLaw© Server, and associated mobile device monitoring apps.

In an age when the ‘Internet of everything’ is dominating technology development, Janders Dean is leading the market with the introduction of the ShockLaw© wearable platform – and showing true thought leadership with the product’s integration both across the lawyer’s workplace surroundings, and also across software applications being . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology: Office Technology

Microsoft Setting a Precedent for Cloud Provider Access to Data

Earlier this month Microsoft’s privacy policies became the focal point of a controversy about the right of cloud providers to access their customer’s data. The controversy, and Microsoft’s subsequent response, may create a precedent that will influence terms of service for cloud providers going forward.

Briefly, the controversy erupted when it was revealed that, in the process of investigating a potential leak from one of its employees, Microsoft accessed the Hotmail inbox of a blogger that it suspected was the recipient of the leaked, internal Microsoft documents. While Microsoft was within its rights to do so under its terms of . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

How Law Firms Can Increase Their Online Banking Safety

Many law firms manage their trust and regular bank accounts on the Internet, and some firms have the ability to initiate various banking transactions online, including account transfers and wiring funds. While the convenience and efficiency of online banking are huge benefits, the downside is that online banking exposes you to security risks. The steps outlined below will help law firms to understand, address and reduce online banking risks – for both your firm and personal accounts.

Know and understand the terms of your banking agreements: As a starting point, carefully read your bank account and electronic banking services agreements. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology