Microsoft gave details today about the Microsoft 10 OS. (Yes, they are skipping 9). For those still on Win 7 because you were not thrilled by the Win 8 interface, you will likely go direct to Win 10, as it attempts to address the interface issues that people did not like. (If you are still using Win XP – you are in dangerous territory, and should probably disconnect from the internet given that it is not being updated.) Win 8 works really well on a tablet (the surface pro 3, for example), but the touch design interface did not translate . . . [more]
Archive for ‘Technology’
Late last week fellow Slaw contributor John Gregory brought up some idiosyncrasies in his post about how web-sourced versions of laws stack up against more official looking books with laws printed in them. You know, the ones that only the law library has?
This brings up a pet peeve of mine—something that Ontario has solved, but which BC practitioners are technically still exposed to. The fact is that if you’re not producing photocopies of the official books with BC laws in them, you’re technically not doing your job for the court in BC. That’s ridiculous, right? Well, yeah. It is. . . . [more]
Congratulations to the team from the University of Toronto for their second place finish in the first IBM Watson Cognitive Computing Competition. Their legal research application Ross “allows users to ask Watson legal questions related to their case work, speeding research and guiding lawyers to pertinent information to help their case.” You can get a feel for Ross in this short video demo from the competition.
Governments increasingly are putting official documents online without any paper ‘original’ or equivalent. Does that present challenges in practice for proving those documents?
What is your experience producing in court or generally under the evidence statutes official government documents that appear only online?
There is good statutory support for producing documents ‘printed’ by government, sometimes by class of document but sometimes as broad as ‘other public document’.
Will courts accept a printout of a web page (or, I suppose, a live in-court online presentation of a web page) showing a government URL as being ‘published by the Queen’s Printer’, at . . . [more]
Can you / should you / do you rely on the product of search engines as evidence in civil or criminal matters? Do you base legal advice on what you find on search engines, or on the use made of them?
A recent article in Canadian Lawyer canvasses some of the possibilities.
The Ontario Superior Court held that one could not establish facts by showing how often certain terms were used in Google searches. That was for the purpose of the certification of a class action.
However, showing previous use or actual use of trade marks can be done . . . [more]
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]
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.
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…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
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]
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]
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.
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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]
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]