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Federal Drone Regulations Die Before Takeoff

Last month, we wrote about the government's mandatory registration of all civilian drones -- and the groaning that ensued. Now, the U.S. Dept. of Transportation penned a document announcing plans to solicit public comments and suggestions in a soft-power campaign to make sure all hobbyists register their drones so they can be traced.

Submissions for the public comment have already ended. But has any federal program regulating drones actually taken flight?

Most attorneys aren't exactly early adopters of new technology. Plenty of us don't rush to install the newest software when it comes out. (I know a few lawyers who would still use MS DOS if the world would allow them.) But, those of us who are slow to update might be forced to soon.

If you're still using an outdated operating system, Chrome is about to kick you off -- which is great news. There's no better time to update your aging software than today.

5 Tips for Hiring a Legal Tech Consultant

Don't fight the technology: master it. Or get someone who is a master to the job for you.

Small firms are depending on technology more and more to help them keep their business running smoothly. We've previously written about considering a social media dashboard to help you manage the social media accounts associated with your firm, so we're squarely in the camp that technology is your friend.

But you're lawyers Many of you might not have the necessary skills to handle a major tech crisis. And even if you did, we hope you're so busy with clients that you can hire a technology consultant instead. Here are a few suggestions for hiring the right consultant for your legal tech needs.

Harvard, not content to be the world's premier owner of books bound in human flesh, wants to unleash its giant law library on the world. The university announced this week that it will be digitizing its massive law library in order to create a complete, searchable database.

Oh, and it will be free. Suck it, Lexis and Westlaw, says Harvard. (Westlaw, of course, is a valued legal resource and sister company to FindLaw. We wish them only the best.)

Are you supplementing your legal practice by selling Amazon reviews for $5 each? It might be time to find a new side gig, before you get sued.

The online retailer filed a complaint in Seattle court last Friday, suing 1,114 John Does for breach of contract and unfair trade practices. The Does are accused of selling fake Amazon reviews for $5 and up on the website Fiverr.

No Longer a 'Toy': Feds Require Drone Registration

If you're the owner of one of the 1 million drones out there in the United States, get ready to have another one of your vehicles registered with the US Government.

The Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Association announced yesterday that they would require drones to be registered -- ostensibly to promote safer, friendlier skies.

Forget hoverboards, flying cars, and space colonization, the future will be about intelligence augmented by nanobots. And that future's coming fast. Within 15 years, tiny robots in our brain will make us smarter, sexier, and permanently connected to the Internet.

Sure, the prediction may be little more than enthusiastic sci-fi fantasy, but don't disregard it outright. It comes from Ray Kurzweil after all, a well-known futurist, writer, and director of engineering at Google. Plus, our potential cyborg future could have important legal implications.

The technology world is full of hackers and they're not all identity thieves, anti-adultery activists, or Chinese saboteurs. Instead, many are so-called "white hat" hackers, computer security experts who specialize in finding flaws in others' systems. These white hat hackers are an important, respected part of the computer security ecosystem.

Which is what makes a recent dispute between computer security companies so surprising. FireEye is a security firm that reports on flaws in Adobe, Apple, and Google, and provides its own malware protection products. And now it's suing a German security firm to keep it from doing essentially the same thing that FireEye does -- reporting dangerous flaws in FireEye's own products.

Y Combinator, the Silicon Valley tech incubator, is getting into the legal tech industry. YC, which made its name providing initial funding to tech companies like AirBnB, Dropbox, and Reddit, is currently funding the legal tech startup Ironclad.

Ironclad, part automated forms company, part contract management system, part productivity app, is focused on the legal needs of startups themselves, looking to help startup companies avoid some of the cost and inefficiency of the traditional legal system.

The legal community now has its own platform for sharing anonymous data on cybersecurity threats. The forum, the Legal Services Information Sharing and Analysis Organization, launched this Wednesday and should help the legal industry collaborate on and avoid security threats.

As we are fond of reminding our readers, cybersecurity threats are a major issue, threatening everyone from adulterers to government workers to adulterous government lawyers. Law firms are no exception. Eighty out of the 100 largest U.S. firms have been hacked over the past four years according to a report by cybersecurity consulting firm Mandiant.