Technologist - FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog


Oculus Rift is about as close as we've gotten so far to true virtual reality. It's a head-mounted device that creates an immersive VR experience. A user wearing the headset, for example, can turn his head and the application responds by moving the immersive environment.

Sounds pretty cool -- if it ever comes to fruition (we've been promised the device Real Soon Now for a few years). When immersive VR experiences like Oculus Rift do hit the consumer market, will they have an application in the court room?

Once again, teenagers have been hit with child pornography charge after they, so wisely, posted a group sex video of themselves on Twitter. The kids were arrested and charged with distributing child pornography.

Let the stupidity of children be a reminder to us all, even those of us who are grown and at practice before the bar, your tweets can easily land you in hot water, even if they're not of child porn. Here's five other ways to avoid trouble on Twitter:

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.

We live in the digital age, with the Internet growing exponentially and with our lives becoming more online every day. It is easy to believe that the development of technology has happened primarily in recent times, given this explosion of information technology.

For the past few months, the government has been waging a PR campaign against enhanced phone encryption -- encryption of the type that might make it harder for government snoops to peak into your phones. When Apple announced that it wouldn't be able to break the default encryption in their new operating system, FBI Director James Comey went as far to say that children will die as a result.

Several commentators noted the irony behind Comey's histrionics. The FBI itself recommended that consumers encrypt their phones. Well, not anymore.

As you may have heard, pop star Taylor Swift recently bought TaylorSwift.porn and TaylorSwift.adult. It's not a sign of a career change, though, it's simply good business. Swift and many others are taking proactive steps to snap up embarrassing domain names before anyone else can.

With the growing proliferation of Internet domains, websites have moved far beyond the .com's of yesteryear, making it easier than ever to create a demeaning or misleading URL. Should you follow Swift's lead and head off the domain trolls, before someone lays claim to YourName.Sucks?

What made the Internet the strange, fascinating and sometimes frightening animal that it is today? It wasn't just the Silicon Valley billionaires, ARPANET visionaries or cats -- lots and lots of cats. The legal system bears its share of praise, or blame, as well.

From protecting free speech online, to prosecuting cyber pirates, these five lawsuits helped shape today's information super-highway:

Less than a month after the FCC commissioners voted to regulate Internet service providers as "common carriers" under the Communications Act, the telecoms have filed suit. Well, one industry trade group, USTelecom, representing some of the nation's largest Internet providers, has sued, as has one small Texas ISP, Alamo Broadband.

The suits, brought in the D.C. and Fifth Circuits, come much sooner than expected, as the FCC has just begun to process of regulating ISPs. Has this pair jumped the gun or are they just in time to shoot down the FCC's regulations in their infancy?

Now that we've had the Consumer Electronics Show and Apple's unveiling of the Apple Watch, the question becomes what you can or should buy with your tax refund dollars. Not every piece of technology is worth your time.

Should you spend hundreds on a watch? Or a "learning" thermostat? Or a wireless light bulb? Probably not. Here are three gadgets that are actually worth buying.

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.

Before the explosion of online communications, our world necessarily was smaller and who we came in contact with tended to people we already knew. Then our ability to reach out and communicate with others expanded dramatically and exponentially as we all started traveling at warp speed down the information superhighway.

We learned that not only could we interact with people locally, but with a few keystrokes and mouse clicks we could be communicating with people across the country and even in countries on the other side of the globe. Part of the fun was our ability to communicate anonymously, using pseudonyms.

"Dear Piece of S---," began a response from Life360 CEO Chris Hulls to a demand letter from a company that wanted him to license their technology. (You can guess what three letters the dashes are subbing for.)

That letter was introduced by AGIS in a jury trial against Life360 for infringing on patents related to calling people who appeared on a map. It turned out, reported Ars Technica, that Hulls' testy language may have helped him secure a verdict of noninfringement.