There are multiple smartphone contenders in the market, including:
- BlackBerry 10 from Blackberry (fka Research in Motion)
- Windows Phone8 from Microsoft
- iOS 7 from Apple
- Android 4.x from Google
Who better than Nerino Petro to guide us through the pros and cons? One key insight:
Ultimately, the decision may come down to who your current cell phone provider is and which phones fit your budget. Apple has introduced a lower-cost model of its iPhone 5, the iPhone 5C, to reach a broader audience. Google introduced its own smart phones that are designed to its specifications and run stock Android with the guarantee of getting the latest Android updates, such as the Nexus 5, as soon as they’re available.
Many websites, including banks, have gone to the practice of allowing users who have lost passwords to obtain access to their accounts through the use of “secret questions.” For years the classic secret question was “Mother’s Maiden Name.” Though there is now more variety in secret questions, they still represent a giant security flaw. Security guru Bruce Schneier has written many times about this issue.
Serious attackers will often be able to figure out the answers by researching the subject–especially subjects who are indiscreet users of social media. Close friends or relatives inclined to access your accounts may not even have to do all that much research. They may already know the brand of your first car, or the name of your favorite elementary school teacher. At a minimum, protect yourself by never giving a real answer when you set up a “secret question.”
Why do banks like to use such insecure techniques? From their point of view, it’s better than having to deal with an angry customer who has lost his password. Any losses the practice may cause are an “externality,” a cost not born by the bank.
At iPhone J.D. the ever-helpful Jeff Richardson explains an app to allow access to PACER on the iPad and iPhone.
Jim Calloway likes Google’s Chrome web browser and devotes a column to resources to help lawyers make the switch.
Baffled by Bitcoin? Bob Ambrogi and J. Craig Williams are joined by two distinguished guest experts in a podcast:
The Legal Issues Surrounding Bitcoin
My quick take? The investment angle looks like a Dutch tulips experience in its early stages. The funds transfer mechanism? Maybe.
Vote in Lawyerist’s Best Law Firm Websites Competition, 2014 Edition. The only criterion suggested is notable:
Responsive web design turned out to play a big factor in getting to the top ten. A responsive website should look good on any screen, from a big desktop display to a smartwatch. Law websites still have a way to go on this, though. Many great-looking nominations — including some websites built in the last year — wound up in the discard pile because they are not responsive.
Oregon Law Practice Management notes:
According to Business Insider, Google’s own redundant backups ensure that you will eventually reclaim all your data. You can rely on this or implement your own recovery plan. [Hint: implement your own plan].
Pretty good hint! Beverly Michaelis goes on to explain exactly what to do and how to do it.
Lots of things to like about the Oregon Law Practice Management blog, including the elegant and effective “About” page, which has given me some ideas for upgrading mine. My favorite part is the use of Flickr photos showing the natural beauty of that wonderful state.
Did the Department of Justice unwittingly cause the current pathetically weak condition of U.S. computer security weakness?
Some would say that the Department’s treatment of leading encryption advocate Phil Zimmerman in the 90s, the government created a sort of cloud around the use of this common sense security practice. Through threats to prosecute those who developed and distributed strong encryption, the government discouraged vendors from making their products secure.
The case of United States v. Boyajian, 2013 WL 4189649 (C.D. Cal. 2013) (summary) is a great example. The issue was whether use of encryption meant it was more likely that the defendant had committed criminal acts?
The court decided that the encryption evidence carried a substantial risk of unfair prejudice to the defendant because it tended to prove that his character was dishonest and he did not respect the law due to the suggestion that defendant had a character trait for secretively flouting rules and social norms.
Wow! If I put a lock on my front door, it means I don’t want people, especially malefactors, entering at will. It doesn’t mean I’m a criminal. Encrypting my computer is no different.
The ill-considered DOJ policies from the 90s have left a legacy of ugly attitudes that have facilitated the wave of computer crime that threatens to engulf us today.
When I predicted in my 1999 book, The Complete Internet Handbook for Lawyers that the Internet would make outsourcing of legal work to India popular, people thought I was nutty.
What a difference 10 years made. Now the New York Times reports:
The number of legal outsourcing companies in India has mushroomed to more than 140 at the end of 2009, from 40 in 2005, according to Valuenotes, a consulting firm in Pune, India. Revenue at India’s legal outsourcing firms is expected to grow to $440 million this year, up 38 percent from 2008, and should surpass $1 billion by 2014, Valuenotes estimates.
“This is not a blip, this is a big historical movement,” said David B. Wilkins, director of Harvard Law School’s program on the legal profession. “There is an increasing pressure by clients to reduce costs and increase efficiency,” he added, and with companies already familiar with outsourcing tasks like information technology work to India, legal services is a natural next step.
When I published Blogs as a Disruptive Technology in Law Practice magazine a decade ago, my thesis that many law firms would be better off building their websites with blog software than with conventional website design technology was considered by many to be sort of nutty.
I’m pleased to see that an article in Law Practice Today (the online version of Law Practice) shows that the idea has now become conventional wisdom:
Quickly Making a Professional-Looking Website