Archive for January, 2011

Rise of the eBooks: Kindle Books Now Outsell Paperbacks [Ebooks]

January 28, 2011

I know, some of these posts are more like tweets than blogging, but this story was big news.  Amazon is selling more books in the kindle format than it sells paperbacks.


Class-action lawsuit filed over iPhone 4 glass strength

January 28, 2011

As reported by LA Weekly:

If you own an iPhone 4 and the glass casing has broken, you are not alone.

So many people have complained, in fact, that the phenomenon has even earned the nickname, “Glassgate.

Apparently fed up and pissed off, California resident Donald LeBuhn filed a class action lawsuit earlier this week in L.A. County against Apple, claiming the company knows about the design flaw and refuses to warn consumers that “normal” use leads essentially to a broken phone.

Consumer warranty provider Square Trade, has published their own study, which can be summarized as:

iPhone 4 glass breaking 82% more than iPhone 3gs – four months in

Synopsis: SquareTrade analyzed iPhone accidents for over 20,000 iPhone 4s covered by SquareTrade Care Plans and found a 82% increase in reported broken screens compared to the iPhone 3gs.

Highlights of the study include:

  • iPhone 4 owners reported 82% more damaged screens in the first 4 months compared to iPhone 3gs owners.
  • Overall, the reported accident rate for iPhone 4s was 68% higher than for the iPhone 3gs.
  • An estimated 15.5% of iPhone 4 owners will have an accident within a year of buying their phone.

Square Trade Iphone Glass Study.

Many industry pundits are predicting that the next version,  iPhone 5, will feature a redesign and move away from the glass back and perhaps revamp the external antenna as well.  Certainly, changes to the antenna have been made for the Verizon CDMA version.  I wonder if there are design changes, whether those would be admissible as evidence of Apple’s knowledge of the issue, or whether they would been seen as remedial steps and barred under Federal Rules of Evidence 407, which states:

Subsequent Remedial Measures

When, after an injury or harm allegedly caused by an event, measures are taken that, if taken previously, would have made the injury or harm less likely to occur, evidence of the subsequent measures is not admissible to prove negligence, culpable conduct, a defect in a product, a defect in a product’s design, or a need for a warning or instruction.  This rule does not require the exclusion of evidence of subsequent measures when offered for another purpose, such as proving ownership, control, or feasibility of precautionary measures, if controverted, or impeachment.

Or California’s version (Rule 1151) which states:
When, after the occurrence of an event, remedial or precautionary measures are taken, which, if taken previously, would
have tended to make the event less likely to occur, evidence of such subsequent measures is inadmissible to prove negligence or culpable
conduct in connection with the event.

It will certainly be interesting to see how this progresses.

Law pivot offers “crowdsourced” legal answers

January 24, 2011

A legal website that offers “crowdsourced” answers to legal questions posed by California companies, especially startups, is getting $600,000 in funding from Google Ventures and individual investors. The website is called LawPivot, and it could “disrupt some of the [legal] industry’s most basic business practices,” according to a November story by Fast Company. At the time of the article, the 80 lawyers approved to supply confidential answers came from the nation’s top 100 law firms. The companies usually get about three answers for every question asked, CEO Jay Mandal tells the Business Insider. A new feature allows LawPivot to recommend the best lawyers to answer each question by analyzing data on users and trends, the company says in a press release announcing the new algorithm and the new funding. The benefit for lawyers is the possibility of finding new…

via Crowdsourced Legal Answers Website Gets $600K from Investors, Including Google Ventures – News – ABA Journal.

Why some things should stay secret

January 23, 2011

Studying Constitutional Law and saw an interesting quote from President George Washington in regards to a request from the House of Representatives about the Jay Treaty.

President Washington said:
“The nature of foreign negotiations requires caution, and their success must often depend on secrecy; and even when brought to a conclusion a full disclosure of all the measures, demands, or eventual concessions which may have been proposed or contemplated would be extremely impolitic; for this might have a pernicious influence on future negotiations, or produce immediate inconveniences, perhaps danger and mischief, in relation to other powers.”

To those out there who think Wikileaks revealing secret US Government documents regarding negotiations with foreign countries was a good idea, you should perhaps think again.  Going back to our first President, a need was recognized to keep conversation with foreign countries private and secure, even after their completion.

Barmax has free MRPE prep and now has an iPad app

January 2, 2011

Here is a link to the TechCrunch article about Barmax updating their Bar preparation application and releasing it for the iPad. But perhaps of more immediate interest to law students is their free MPRE app.

From the Barmax website, the MPRE app:


The days of being forced to sign-up for an overpriced bar review course just so you can study for the MPRE are officially over. With BarMax MPRE, you get everything you need to pass the MPRE for free. No strings attached.

BarMax MPRE includes:

– Outline & audio lecture
– Email support (live contact with Harvard-educated lawyers)
– Skeleton outline for note taking (email for skeleton outline)
– 174 REAL practice MPRE questions from previous exams
– Over 100 flashcards categorized by subject
– Lifetime access to the app and course materials
– Review includes:

  • Regulation of the Legal Profession
  • The Client-Lawyer Relationship
  • Conflicts of Interests & the Duty of Loyalty
  • Client Confidentiality
  • Duty of Competence
  • Litigation & Other Forms of Advocacy
  • Communications with Persons Other than Clients
  • Different Roles of the Lawyer
  • Safekeeping Funds & Other Property
  • Communications About Legal Services
  • Lawyers’ Duties to the Public & the Legal System
  • Judicial Conduct


Certainly, a great way to get a feel for Barmax’s style before committing to a $1,000 application to study for the Bar Exam.  (remember at this time Barmax only supports the CA and NY bars, but the MPRE is standard across jurisdictions that require it.)

As a side note, I categorized this under eBooks as well, because I think interactive apps for education are part of the eTextbook revolution, and offer a better learning experience than static text on a page.

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