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Archive for ‘Technology’

Data Visualization With CartoDB

No matter where you live in Vancouver, odds are pretty good there’s a dog nearby with the name Charlie.

How do I know this random tidbit? It’s thanks to CartoDB, a (mostly) free cloud-based mapping tool. While browsing their online gallery, I came across a user-generated map of popular dog names in Vancouver, created using open source data.

The product concept is pretty simple: CartoDB will take geo-location data, along with other connected contextual data, from an Excel spreadsheet or CSV file; and then turn those pieces into an professional-looking, interactive map.

We recently used CartoDB for . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

British Columbia Law Firm’s Computer Network Hacked by Cyber-Extortionist

The Law Society of BC recently issued a warning to its members to be vigilant about their firm’s cyber security after a BC firm’s files were held captive by a hacker who encrypted them and tried to extort payment in return for restoring access. There have been similar cases in Ontario in the last year.

…the firm found that its computer system was hacked and paralyzed by a computer virus known as the Cryptowall Virus when the staff showed up for work on Monday, December 29, 2014. Notices appeared on some of the firm’s computer monitors stating “Your files were

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

LII-in-Your-Pocket?

When I first learned about “LII-in-a-Box,” a new legal information service developed by the African Legal Information Institute, I thought it might provide a stand-alone information system that could operate independent of the internet. I thought it might be something that would alleviate poor and intermittent internet connections that make access to online information difficult in under-served communities and countries. Honestly though, what really came to mind was the LibraryBox Project that Jason Griffey has been championing for a number of years now. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Internet

CES 2015

The Annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is under way in Las Vegas. Its a mecca for those into the latest and greatest and biggest and fastest and most innovative consumer tech.

For example, the latest in TV’s are 4K (4 times the resolution of HD) that are impossibly thin with tiny bezels. While the high end models are unaffordable, the improvements eventually become mainstream.

Trends include wearables (fitness still dominates) and the smart home (aka internet of things). Everything seems to be connected somehow – even teakettles. (Some might say that an internet connected teakettle belongs to the internet . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Hackers and Legal Information

In late 2014, during a meeting of my firm’s technology advisory group, I recall skeptically saying something like: “What hacker is actually going to target a law firm. We don’t store client credit card data, there are multiple layers of security on our servers, on our files and for employee personal information, I mean really, we are not Target or Home Depot.” Other members of our group did not agree with me.

Boy, was I mistaken. On December 31, 2014 the Law Society of BC issued a Fraud Alert titled BC law firm’s computer system hacked by extortionist.

Notices

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Open Source Digital Forensics

Here’s an interesting site on open source digital forensics. The site is maintained by a group of volunteers and was created by Brian Carrier who wrote the “foundational book for file system analysis” in 2005, “File System Forensic Analysis.”

There are some potential legal benefits for using open source software in digital investigations. Brian Carrier looks at these benefits in his paper, “Open Source Digital Forensics Tools: The Legal Argument.”

It’s noted however that open source tools are not necessarily better than “closed source” tools because both may suffer from “serious bugs and faults and . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Technology

2014 Clawbies Announced

In case we missed you on New Year’s Eve, the 9th annual Canadian Law Blog Awards (aka the ‘Clawbies’) were announced.

This year’s Fodden Award winner for the top overall Canadian blawg went to Double Aspect, the Canadian constitutional law blog of Leonid Sirota, a J.S.D. candidate at NYU School of Law. As usual, we chose winners and finalists for 3 practitioners, 3 practice blogs, 3 ‘new’ law blogs, and a series of topical and group awards.

You can visit Clawbies.ca to see the full list of this year’s winners & finalists.

Once again, there were many . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Technology: Internet

Anti-ABS Arguments Continue to Be Based on Emotion – Not Fact

I’m tired.

Tired of ABS fear-mongering.

Tired of disingenuous and protectionist arguments made by those who know very little about ABS – yet are fiercely opposed to it.

And tired of the misinformation being floated by ABS opponents.

Now I know what it was like in the McCarthy-era.

Lawyers (particularly trial lawyers) are trained to argue a position based on logic and evidence – not hyperbole and emotion.

OTLA’s recent pronouncements in the Law Times on December 29, 2014, are particularly troubling:

“We have studied ABS from the time it was first raised by the law society in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Of Suicide by Irrelevancy and Yahoo! Directory’s Death

In with the new, out with the old. Last week I beamed about the promise of new gifts from Google in the form of the pending End-To-End extension which will put pretty good privacy in reach of ordinary Gmail (and probably other email) users. As Tiny Tim may have said, “Encryption to us all; God bless us, every one!”

This week I draw your attention away from the shiny and new, and direct it to the digital dumpster—where all shiny toys eventually end up. Fresh to the heap: the Yahoo Directory. This marks not the passing of some fleeting fad, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology: Internet

Of Google’s Pending End-to-End Encryption Extension and Vintage Email Legal Ethics Opinion

Back in June this year, people perked up to the news that Google was developing an email encryption extension to Google Chrome. The alpha version of the “End-To-End” extension was posted publicly for the coding community to test and kick around, and David Whelan dropped the news here on Slaw in the course of a more general post about the importance of encryption and the risks lawyers take when they don’t properly safeguard client data.

Unlike data on your hard disk, data sent by email has always been prohibitively complicated to encrypt. The tools necessary to encrypt email from . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Deep Learning Algorithms and the “Machine Learning Revolution”

I saw a very interesting TEDx chat by Jeremy Howard where he talked about the current state of machine learning and what computers are capable of today. Howard is the founder and CEO of Enlitic a medical company that “uses recent advances in machine learning to make medical diagnostics faster, more accurate, and more accessible.” His talk was called “The wonderful and terrifying implications of computers that can learn” and was delivered last month at TEDx Brussels. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Internet Jurisdiction and the Microsoft Warrants

According to a news report, “Earlier this week 28 technology and media companies, 23 trade associations and advocacy groups and 35 professors of computer science filed legal papers in support of Microsoft’s opposition to US court rulings earlier this year which said that US authorities’ search warrant powers apply to customer information held outside of the US.”

I have had difficulty understanding the legal basis for Microsoft’s objection. Is it not clear that either law enforcement authorities or civil courts can require the production of documents in the custody or control of an enterprise that is located in their . . . [more]

Posted in: International issues, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list