Wednesday, September 28, 2011

First Look at Amazon's New Tablet

The specs are coming out for Amazon's upcoming Kindle Fire tablet. $199 price point. 7 inch color screen. Android operating system. Wi-fi.

The Kindle name and that $199 price will make the difference as this new product takes on the iPad. Although the seven inch screen sounds a bit small to me. The actual launch is set for November.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

iPad's Data Connection

I still love my iPad! However, my definition of love is changing with the passage of time. When I bought mine I paid the extra money for the wireless/cellular data modem. I then started paying $25 per month for an AT&T data connection. With the passage of time I have learned that neither choice was necessary.

95% of my iPad time is at the office or at home. I have wifi at both locations, and that is how I go online with my iPad. The data transmissions are fast and reliable. On those occasions when I am "on the road" I can usually find free wifi. Plus the AT&T data connection is very slow. Even on 3G the idea of file sharing is impractical. All the iPad is good for is internet surfing, and that requires patience.

In hindsight I would save the money, and go with the wifi only.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

What Is Virtual Lawyering?

For at least 15 years I have been touting the benefits of telecommuting. I go back to the days of telephone modems! Logging on to the office computer and getting work done without actually being in the office. Making calls from the house, with the person on the other end assuming I am at the office. Working in my sweats. All good stuff. Of late I have been overwhelmed with chatter about the virtual law office, and virtual lawyering. It is has been a particularly hot topic in the area of family law. Is it different from what I do from home? I'm thinking not.

Jay Fleischman is a bankruptcy attorney. He is also a techie and a marketing consultant. For years he has been writing on technology in the practice of law, including what I call telecommuting. He also has a home office that he practices from most of the time (I believe the picture above is his setup). On his Legal Practice Pro blog he has a great article on working remotely, virtual lawyering, whatever you want to call it. The importance of the article is that it explains the technology option available to you.

Please click here for Jay's latest thoughts on telecommuting/home office/virtual/elawyering.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Windows 8 -- Already?

Apparently revenues are too far down at Microsoft. With Window 7 just starting to hit its stride, Microsoft is not starting the spin for its release of Windows 8.

My opinion: Buyer beware! The previews for 8 suggest a radical redesign from 7, which is never a good thing coming from Microsoft. Compels me to think of the company's speedy release of Vista, as a replacement for Windows XP.

As you may recall, XP was (and is) a relatively stable and useful operating system. In fact it is still in wide use. Then came Vista. An absolute piece of junk. Not properly written. Not properly tested. Definitely not ready for prime time. Fortunately M released Windows 7, and order was restored.

Now comes Windows 8. Lots of shiny, new graphics. Touch pad capability. "Revolutionary" new features. Hmmnn. Sounds a lot like Vista.... However, in the spirit of full disclosure I direct your attention to a sneak peek preview of 8 from How To You can read about all of the great stuff Microsoft is promising, like:
  • Metro Interface – the new default interface in Windows 8, keep reading for everything about this.
  • Faster Boot Times – Windows 8 will boot much faster than Windows 7, thanks to a partial hibernation mode and a lot of improvements in the loading process. On my old Dell laptop, it boots in less than 10 seconds – on new machines, it’s crazy fast.
  • Less Memory Usage than Windows 7. That’s right. Microsoft is saying that not only will this version use less RAM than Win7, it also uses less running processes.
  • Windows Explorer overhauled, now has the Ribbon UI, Revamped File Copying, and ISO mounting.
  • In-Place PC Refresh will reload Windows in just a couple of clicks, keeping your files intact.
  • ARM processors are now supported, which will lead to an entirely new class of low-power, battery-efficient tablets.
  • Hyper-V is now part of Windows – so now you can create virtual machines easily without installing anything extra.
  • Taskbar can now span multiple monitors – this very simple feature has finally made it into Windows.
  • Wallpaper can now span multiple monitors – yet another feature that should have been around 10 years ago.
  • Universal Spell Check across Metro applications.
  • Windows Live Integration for Sync, Mail, Skydrive lets you sync all your settings across your PCs, including your files, mail, and photos. The sync is available in the preview, but the Skydrive and Mail are not yet.
  • Windows Store will let you purchase Windows apps all in a single place.
  • New Task Manager is completely revamped with much better tools, including a way to disable startup applications, track application resource usage over time, and even easily restart Windows Explorer.
Please click here to read the entire review.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thoughts On Charging A Consultation Fee

When I first started practicing law I offered free consultations. I thought I had to? I needed clients, and free consultations got people in the door. With time I began to realize that I was spending a lot of time giving out free advice. My hire rate from those free consultations was maybe ten to twenty percent. Most of those visits were from people who came right out and said something along the lines of: "I have no intention of hiring a lawyer, but I do want you to tell me how to do my own divorce."

With time I gained confidence, and began charging a consultation fee. At $250 it is still a bargain, but it compensates me for some of my time, and filters out most of the brain pickers (see above).

At her Legal Ease Blog Allison Shields offers her thoughts on consultation fees, and agrees that consultation fees are good practice. It is a good read. Click here for the original article.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

GREAT Blog For Learning About Social Media

Social media: facebook, twitter, LinkedIn. It's all the rage in marketing circles. Some people get it. Most people don't. I was randomly surfing the web when I came across a fantastic blog that teaches about social media. Social Media Examiner is a commercial site, no doubt about it. It is also a visually stunning repository of invaluable learning tools on social media. I have been viewing it fastidiously, and am very impressed. There are tutorial, case studies, videos . . . .

I've read books on the stuff, I have read internet articles galore, I have stacks of magazines with articles on social media. While all valuable information, none of it is any more digestible or relevant that the information on Social Media Examiner. Check it out! And no, this is not a paid celebrity endorsement, i just think it is a great blog.

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P.S. Save the rants. I know I used all caps in the title to this post. No need to send comments explaining such typing is a faux pas. I want you to know about the SME blog. I am yelling. If the caps got your attention, mission accomplished!

Amazon Tablet Coming

I am one of those folks who believes the Amazon Kindle woke people up to the convenience of the tablet platform. I bought one before I got my iPad, and my rapture with the Kindle encouraged me to spend the money on an iPad. The Kindle was forward thinking: light, easy to use, good battery life, clear (albeit black and white) screen. The technology was breathtaking.

Now Amazon is leaking the details of its forthcoming tablet -- which could assume the mantle of second best behind the iPad. The AndroidGuys blog gives us a nice sneak peek:
  • The tablet will feature a 7-inch display and will be called the “Amazon Kindle”.
  • It runs Android but there's no sign of anything Google. No Android Market, no Maps, no Gmail.
  • Form factor closely resembles the BlackBerry PlayBook.
  • This will be the first Kindle with a full-color, back-lit display.
  • Amazon is targeting the end of November for this tablet with a second, 10-inch model for Q1 or Q2 of 2012.
  • The 7-inch Kindle tablet should run $250, same price as NOOK Color.
  • The user interface is "black, dark blue, and a bunch of orange". Look at the splash screen for Amazon Kindle app and you'll see.The tablet features a number of Amazon services (Cloud Player, Kindle app, Instant Video, Amazon Appstore for Android, etc)
  • There is no camera and the device lacks physical buttons.
Click here to read the entire preview report.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ethics Webinar

AAML WEBINAR: Ethical Pitfalls in the Initial Client Interview September 14th 12:00 EST

Lawyers have ethical obligations to ensure that clients can make informed decisions to proposed courses of action. Many of our clients come to us in crisis and an impaired state. The intersection between that emotional volatility, ethical obligations placed on attorneys by the Rules of Processional Conduct, and the range of available process options creates a minefield for lawyers conducting the initial client interview. AAML Fellows David Fink (Northern California chapter) and Mark Weiss (Washington State chapter) with Moderator Mary Pence (Maryland chapter) will lay out a road map for successfully navigating that minefield.

Click here for more info.

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Solo nets Supreme Court win!

I know this has nothing to do with technology, but I think it is pretty cool. Andrew Simpson is a sole practitioner in the U.S. Virgin Is...