New Website Debuts Featuring Searchable Records of 240 Years of Trials at the Old Bailey – News – ABA Journal

August 24, 2011

Thanks to powerful digital tools and an international team of researchers, a detailed history of hundreds of years of British criminal trials can be quickly scanned and categorized as never before. A new searchable website contains records of nearly 200,000 trials at the Old Bailey, the principal criminal court in London, between 1674 and 1913, reports the New York Times reg. req.. “It’s the largest body of accurately transcribed historical texts online. All of human life is here,” said historian Tim Hitchcock of the University of Hertfordshire. He is a member of the research team that created the website. Want to know when the tide began to turn toward plea bargains? The trend started in the early 1800s, after prison sentences began to be a viable alternative to the death penalty and exile, the newspaper recounts. By the mid-1800s, trial records show, a third…

via New Website Debuts Featuring Searchable Records of 240 Years of Trials at the Old Bailey – News – ABA Journal.

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Thinkpad Android tablet with pen input

July 21, 2011

Link to Techcrunch review of new Thinkpad tablet. It has a digitizer which allows for pen input. This post will be updated with additional information.

http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/19/lenovo-thinkpad-tablet-ideapad-k1/
“The ThinkPad tablet is like a legitimate dream tablet. It has nearly everything a person would want in a Honeycomb tab: an affordable digitizer pen, 2GB of cloud storage, a ton of built-in 3rd party apps, and a 1280×800, 16:10 IPS screen covered with Gorilla Glass. There’s an SD card slot, dual cameras, mini HDMI out, USB 2.0 host, micro USB port, and a SIM card slot. Lenovo states the Tegra 2-powered tab can run with WiFi enabled for 8 hours.

The ThinkPad Tablet is built for enterprise and so security and encryption are throughout the whole system including SD card encryption, lost device disablement and anti-theft software. The tablet ships with McAfee and features layered data security. All this amounts to a tablet with proper data protection whether the owner needs it or not.”

Litigators Provide iPads to 20 Clients, to Help Them Stay Connected to Cases – News – ABA Journal

July 17, 2011

A sign of the changing times. Technology is reshaping how we all interact.

Corporate clients generally have access to smart phones and other cutting-edge technology. But working class individuals often dont. So two litigators at an Arizona law firm have provided iPads to 20 clients in their biggest cases. The devices act as hotlines, helping clients of partner Marc Lamber and associate James Goodnow at Fennemore Craig to keep track of whats happening, and keep the 180-attorney Phoenix firm informed of developments, reports the Arizona Republic. Client Melissa Frankel, 40, was pleasantly surprised to be given an iPad, which she will be expected to return at the conclusion of her case, but has found it useful to take photos of the scene of her accident and have video conferences with her lawyers on Skype. With the help of Google Voice, the devices also make it easy for clients to reach their legal team. By…

via Litigators Provide iPads to 20 Clients, to Help Them Stay Connected to Cases – News – ABA Journal.

Kindle eBooks outsell paperbacks and hardbacks combined

May 20, 2011

Amazon.com customers are now purchasing more books for the Kindle than print books — including hardcover and paperback — combined. Since April 1st,  for every 100 print books that were sold on Amazon.com, the Amazon sold 105 Kindle eBooks. “Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books,” Amazon’s CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos said. “We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happy this quickly — we’ve been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years.”

Amazon.com Now Selling More Kindle Books Than Print Books

SEATTLE, May 19, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) –

(NASDAQ:AMZN)–Amazon began selling hardcover and paperback books in July 1995. Twelve years later in November 2007, Amazon introduced the revolutionary Kindle and began selling Kindle books. By July 2010, Kindle book sales had surpassed hardcover book sales, and six months later, Kindle books overtook paperback books to become the most popular format on Amazon.com. Today, less than four years after introducing Kindle books, Amazon.com customers are now purchasing more Kindle books than all print books – hardcover and paperback – combined.

“Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books. We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly – we’ve been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon.com. “In addition, we’re excited by the response to Kindle with Special Offers for only $114, which has quickly become the bestselling member of the Kindle family. We continue to receive positive comments from customers on the low $114 price and the money-saving special offers. We’re grateful to our customers for continuing to make Kindle the bestselling e-reader in the world and the Kindle Store the most popular e-bookstore in the world.”

Recent milestones for Kindle include:

Since April 1, for every 100 print books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 105 Kindle books. This includes sales of hardcover and paperback books by Amazon where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the number even higher.
So far in 2011, the tremendous growth of Kindle book sales, combined with the continued growth in Amazon’s print book sales, have resulted in the fastest year-over-year growth rate for Amazon’s U.S. books business, in both units and dollars, in over 10 years. This includes books in all formats, print and digital. Free books are excluded in the calculation of growth rates.
In the five weeks since its introduction, Kindle with Special Offers for only $114 is already the bestselling member of the Kindle family in the U.S.
Amazon sold more than 3x as many Kindle books so far in 2011 as it did during the same period in 2010.
Less than one year after introducing the UK Kindle Store, Amazon.co.uk is now selling more Kindle books than hardcover books, even as hardcover sales continue to grow. Since April 1, Amazon.co.uk customers are purchasing Kindle books over hardcover books at a rate of more than 2 to 1.
Kindle offers the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read. The U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 950,000 books, including New Releases and 109 of 111 New York Times Best Sellers. Over 790,000 of these books are $9.99 or less, including 69 New York Times Best Sellers. Millions of free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle devices. More than 175,000 books have been added to the Kindle Store in just the last 5 months.

All Kindle Books let you “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” – on all generation Kindles, as well as on the largest number of devices and platforms, including iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Android-based devices, and soon HP TouchPads and BlackBerry PlayBooks. Amazon’s Whispersync technology syncs your place across devices, so you can pick up where you left off. With Kindle Worry-Free Archive, books you purchase from the Kindle Store are automatically backed up online in your Kindle library on Amazon, where they can be re-downloaded wirelessly for free, anytime.

Warning – Dropbox files may NOT be encrypted from viewing by Dropbox or its employees

May 18, 2011

There are many articles encouraging attorney’s to use Dropbox to share files with others or with themselves. Often it is suggested a great way to get files between a work computer and a laptop or iPad.  However, this is first time I have seen a claim that the files are not securely encrypted and that they can be viewed by Dropbox employees and subject to subpoena.   Please review the below information and take appropriate steps to protect the confidentiality of your client’s data.  I am sure we will hear more about in the days to come.

Christopher Soghoian, a security researcher has published the following information at  How Dropbox sacrifices user privacy for cost savings:

Dropbox, the popular cloud based backup service deduplicates the files that its users have stored online. This means that if two different users store the same file in their respective accounts, Dropbox will only actually store a single copy of the file on its servers.

The service tells users that it “uses the same secure methods as banks and the military to send and store your data” and that “[a]ll files stored on Dropbox servers are encrypted (AES-256) and are inaccessible without your account password.” However, the company does in fact have access to the unencrypted data (if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be able to detect duplicate data across different accounts).

This bandwidth and disk storage design tweak creates an easily observable side channelthrough which a single bit of data (whether any particular file is already stored by one or more users) can be observed.

If you value your privacy or are worried about what might happen if Dropbox were compelled by a court order to disclose which of its users have stored a particular file, you should encrypt your data yourself with a tool like truecrypt or switch to one of several cloud based backup services that encrypt data with a key only known to the user.

The issue is also discussed in this Infoworld article, Dropbox caught with its finger in the cloud cookie jar  and for me the most interesting part of the article was this:

On April 12, the Dropbox help site said:

Dropbox employees aren’t able to access user files, and when troubleshooting an account, they only have access to file metadata (filenames, file sizes, etc. not the file contents)… All files stored on Dropbox servers are encrypted (AES-256) and are inaccessible without your account password.

Starting on or before April 14, Dropbox changed that help page, and changed it again on April 23, so it now says:

Dropbox employees are prohibited from viewing the content of files you store in your Dropbox account, and are only permitted to view file metadata… we have a small number of employees who must be able to access user data for the reasons stated in our privacy policy (e.g., when legally required to do so). But that’s the rare exception, not the rule. We have strict policy and technical access controls that prohibit employee access except in these rare circumstances… All files stored on Dropbox servers are encrypted (AES-256)

A little different, eh?

Dropbox followed up on April 21, discussing employee access to encrypted data, and explaining changes to its Terms of Service Agreement, including this new TOS provision:

We may disclose to parties outside Dropbox files stored in your Dropbox and information about you that we collect when we have a good faith belief that disclosure is reasonably necessary to (a) comply with a law, regulation or compulsory legal request; (b) protect the safety of any person from death or serious bodily injury; (c) prevent fraud or abuse of Dropbox or its users; or (d) to protect Dropbox’s property rights.

So Dropbox appears to be clearly stating they have access to your data and have the right to disclose it as they believe necessary.

Once again, the security of cloud computing for attorneys is brought into question.

Kindle study

May 3, 2011

The information discussed here shows why I was so interested in the Kno, because the biggest part that seems to be lacking in tablets/eBooks is in the note taking department. I really think the stylus handwriting method of input is what is going to drive the next wave of tablet adoption.

Found on Crunchgear:

Researchers at the University of Washington have found that, while useful, Kindles (specifically that larger Kindles DX) aren’t all that popular with students – yet. Their issues, arguably, are UI problems including the need for a “skimmable” abstract of content and better note-taking systems. 

“Most e-readers were designed for leisure reading – think romance novels on the beach,” said co-author Charlotte Lee, a UW assistant professor of Human Centered Design and Engineering. “We found that reading is just a small part of what students are doing. And when we realize how dynamic and complicated a process this is, it kind of redefines what it means to design an e-reader.”

The study also reported some additional issues with reading on e-readers among them:

Students did most of the reading in fixed locations: 47 percent of reading was at home, 25 percent at school, 17 percent on a bus and 11 percent in a coffee shop or office.
The Kindle DX was more likely to replace students’ paper-based reading than their computer-based reading.
Of the students who continued to use the device, some read near a computer so they could look up references or do other tasks that were easier to do on a computer. Others tucked a sheet of paper into the case so they could write notes.
With paper, three quarters of students marked up texts as they read. This included highlighting key passages, underlining, drawing pictures and writing notes in margins.
A drawback of the Kindle DX was the difficulty of switching between reading techniques, such as skimming an article’s illustrations or references just before reading the complete text. Students frequently made such switches as they read course material.
The digital text also disrupted a technique called cognitive mapping, in which readers used physical cues such as the location on the page and the position in the book to go back and find a section of text or even to help retain and recall the information they had read.

Amazon Uses Steve Jobs’ Own Words in Defense to Apple Lawsuit

April 28, 2011

It appears there are additional depositions in Steve Job’s future.  If a company’s CEO is using its “trademark” term in a generic way, doesn’t that weaken its exclusivity and make it easier for a court to find that it is available for other companies to use?

Amazon.com today responded in court to Apple’s lawsuit over the name of its Android Appstore — calling the iPhone maker’s claim to the “App Store” trademark baseless, and pointing to a statement from Apple CEO Steve Jobs as one piece of evidence in its favor.

The Seattle-based online retailer asked a federal judge in San Francisco to throw out Apple’s trademark suit, calling the phrase “app store” generic and not something that Apple can claim for its exclusive use. Amazon’s filing echoed Microsoft’s arguments in a separate dispute at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office opposing Apple’s attempt to register the trademark.

In the filing (PDF, 10 pages), Amazon points in part to comments by Steve Jobs last fall. Speaking on Apple’s quarterly conference call, Jobs referred repeatedly to “app stores,” in a generic sense, while criticizing the fragmentation of Google’s Android platform.

So there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid. This is going to be a mess for both users and developers. Contrast this with Apple’s integrated App Store, which offers users the easiest-to-use largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone.”

Since filing the lawsuit against Amazon, Apple has asked the court to move on an accelerated schedule to impose a preliminary injunction barring Amazon from using the Appstore name. The court has yet to rule on that request, which Amazon opposes.

From: Geekwire

Google Docs gets an Android app, lets you capture text with your phone’s camera

April 27, 2011

Google’s had a mobile-friendly version of Google Docs available for some time now, but it’s now finally gone the extra step and released a dedicated Android app. That will of course let you access and edit your documents on your smartphone, but the real standout feature is the ability to capture text with your phone’s camera and have it instantly made editable thanks to some optical character recognition. Google notes that won’t work with handwriting or some fonts, but it promises it will get better over time.

From: Engadget

Here is the android market link to install it.

Newspapers Fight To Keep Government “Notices”

April 26, 2011

Interesting article about several states reconsidering whether to continue requiring public notices to be published in a newspaper.  This could also affect how public notice of lawsuits is given. It discuss how newspapers are advocating that governments (state and local) keep advertising their notices via newspaper versus providing the information on a government website.  The question should perhaps be, which one is likely to reach the most people and has the newspaper lost its role as the medium best suited to give “notice”.

Click to read the rest on Business Insider

Grooveshark Pens an Angry Open Letter to the Music Industry (cc’s Google, Apple)

April 19, 2011

Interesting tactic from a online music sharing company.

The peer-to-peer music streaming service Grooveshark has had a series of run-ins with mobile providers. Its iOS app was pulled from the App Store in August of last year, and its Android app was booted from the Android Marketplace earlier this month.

The company has now fired back at the music industry and at Apple and Google, contending there’s nothing illegal about its app.

Continue reading at:Grooveshark Pens an Angry Open Letter to the Music Industry (cc’s Google, Apple).


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