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It's the middle of the night and you're facing a deadline, or you have a "hot pen," to use Justice Ginsburg's phrasing, when suddenly your screen goes black. You have no idea if your current work has been saved, but worse still -- what about all your other work?

Computer crashes are no fun at all, and if you can't make it to an IT professional to fix the problem, you may want to try these suggestions out before you truly start panicking:

One of the big surprises at last night's Oscars was the win of "Citizenfour" for Best Documentary. Though that category often involves controversial issues, "Citizenfour" is Laura Poitras' documentary about the Edward Snowden NSA revelations. Snowden himself remains a controversial figure. Depending on your politics, he's either a whistleblower or a traitor.

Of course, without Snowden, we'd have no way of knowing just how insecure our "secure" communications channels are. Week by week, the news just keeps coming that the NSA is listening in on things every way they possibly can. Including your cellphone calls.

If you recently bought Lenovo computers for your office or firm, then you may want to make sure they're not running a vicious piece of adware that can impersonate a website's security certificate.

According to various reports, confirmed by security researchers, some Lenovo-brand computers ship with a kind of malware called "Superfish" that injects advertisements into users' browsers and impersonates security certificates, meaning the "secure" website you're visiting isn't secure at all.

At the end of January, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the Apple Watch, the vaunted smart timepiece introduced in September, would start shipping in April. The lowest-end version of the watch is the Apple Watch Sport, which rumors believe will start at about $350. The high-end 18K gold version, called Apple Watch Edition, might fetch $3,000.

Fancy lawyers will (and do) pay well over $350 for a fancy watch, but is the Apple Watch worth it? Critics have predicted the watch will be a flop, much like the Samsung Galaxy Gear. The Apple Watch, though, packs enough features into its 38 mm body that lawyers who have to have The Next Big Thing might actually find it useful.

This Is How I Got a Free Vanity Phone Line for My Law Firm

Phone numbers are hard to memorize. True story: At one point, I didn't even know my own cellphone number. Everyone used my Google Voice number, which forwarded to the prepaid cell phone that I carried at school. So when I decided to open my practice, I wanted a phone number that was a little bit easier to memorize.

And my old GV number, part of which spelled out the word "CHUNKY," wasn't going to cut it for a law firm.

I also wanted a landline around the office for support staff and for the once or twice per year that somebody decides that it's time for me to dust off my fax machine. The solution? A $30 adapter and Google Voice.

Every year, the nerds of the world descend on Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, a trade show/press release machine where companies debut new products and tantalize us with proof-of-concept devices that may or may not ever be made, as well as nifty ideas that don't make much sense, like a Wi-Fi-enabled tea kettle.

So what products came out of CES that lawyers will actually care about? Especially the ones that will actually get made and not just chattered about but never released?

Wow, we weren't even three days into the new year before we got the latest in "The machines are taking our jobs!" And I don't just mean in general, I mean specifically lawyers. Every year, we're reminded that our judgment can be mimicked by a computer.

Emphasis on can be. Well, more like could be. Well, more like "it's theoretically possible, but it's expensive and still not as good as a lawyer."

Small Firm Startup: Hardware Wish List for 2015

We haven't done one of these in awhile: a big list of every tech-related item that would come in handy if you were to start a law firm in 2015. Today, we cover hardware -- laptops, monitors, printers, and more. Later this week, we'll tackle software and miscellaneous gadgets (including landline or VOIP phones!).

Think of this series as a wish list, for those of you on a budget. Or a checklist, if you're loaded.

FindLaw's 10 Most Popular Gadget Posts of 2014

It's no secret that FindLaw's Technologist is my favorite of our Legal Professional blogs. Tech + Law = Geek happiness. But this is a surprisingly broad blog: national security, cybercrime, online legal marketing, software, hardware, and gadgets are all fair game.

And out of all that, the gadget review posts are my favorite. Why? It's my chance to play with a new toy and to tell you how that toy might be somewhat, arguably, useful to your practice. (At least if the tax man is asking -- gotta love deductions.)

Anyway, I love gadgets and apparently y'all do too, as our gadget review posts were among our most popular, traffic-wise. Here were our Top 10 legal tech reviews for 2014:

By now, you've read many of our gift guides, including the Black Friday tech gift guide and the plain old lawyer gift guide. All of those gifts were actual gifts, with real utility. Don't you ever want to get someone something that's completely useless?

Well, fear not. We scoured the Internet looking for five gifts for the tech-savvy lawyer that are just completely useless. (OK, some of them have utility, but are otherwise really silly-looking.)