Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

November 2009 Archives

Video Streaming Media - In Your Face(book)

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

You have to be on another planet not to know that YouTube is the dominant site for accessing video streaming media.  You also have to be on an inaccessible island not to be aware that Facebook has become an Internet social networking beast.  But did you know that Facebook is coming on strong in the video streaming space?  Read on.

The Nielsen Company recently has come out with some interesting U.S. statistics.  For example, the number of unique viewers for online video usage for October, 2009 stood at 138,623,000, up 14.8% from the year before.  The total number of streams was 11,226,935,000 for October, 2009, an increase of 26.2% over the prior year.

Is The Hacker World Targeting Your Law Firm?

It seems that hackers are on the prowl for sensitive information that your law firm has. The AP reports that the FBI has sent out an advisory that warns law firms and PR companies that there is a complex emailing scheme going on that steals their data. The FBI has said that this scheme is just part of a larger growing trend.

The compromises in cyber security typically comes from what is known as "spear phishing". According to the FBI's official website, this is defined as a virtual trap set up by hackers who send out offical looking emails in order to lure you to fake websites in the hopes that you will reveal your personal information. Spear phishing specifically targets a group that has something in common. For example, a group of employees from the same company, bank at the same bank, or attended the same alma mater.

Doing the Right Thing Online

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

So often we hear about bad conduct on the Internet, be it identity theft, distributed denial of service attacks, or online defamation and character assassination.  Well, how about a feel-good story?  Some people actually do the right thing online.  Indeed, blogging now is emerging as a philanthropic force.

Take, for example,, an Internet site which seeks to harness the power of social media to incorporate giving resources.  Its mission is to unite companies and bloggers in an effort to address societal needs.

Learn How to Better Market Your Firm on the Internet

Looking for more and better qualified clients than your current client development strategy is producing? Search engines like Google and Yahoo! have pulled ahead of the printed Yellow Pages as the leading source for local business information. Three out of four Americans now use the Internet on a regular basis. Join a free webcast next Thursday, November 12, to learn how your firm can create an effective Web presence.

The one-hour webcast will show you how to develop your firm's Web site into a valuable marketing tool that will drive more well qualified clients to your firm. Topics to be covered include:

  • How consumers are searching for legal help on the Internet
  • How to identify and leverage critical components of a Web site
  • An evaluation of the different marketing options available and their return on investment

Two highly qualified speakers will provide their insights and practical examples on how to maximize your firm's marketing efforts:

"The Basics of Marketing Your Firm Online" is a FREE one-hour webcast and will take place on Thursday, November 12, 2009.

It will be accessible from any computer with internet access.

Register here for the 12PM EST/11AM CST/ 10AM MST/ 9AM PST time slot.
Register here for the 4PM EST/3PM CST/ 2PM MST/ 1PM PST time slot.

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

In the wake of the airline pilots of infamous Northwest Flight 188 telling National Transportation Safety Board investigators that they were out of touch with air traffic controllers and airline dispatchers because they were working with new crew scheduling programs on their laptops, Congress now is considering a ban on the use of laptops and personal electronic devices in airline cockpits.

According to recent press reports, Senator Byron Dorgan, who is the Chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee, has stated that his staff intends to introduce a bill very soon. He reportedly expressed his surprise that the Federal Aviation Administration does not already go beyond barring the use of laptops and electronic devices below 10,000 feet during landings and take offs.

Senator Dorgan reportedly has expressed the view that his bill could be encompassed into a more expansive aviation bill pending in the Senate. He is reported to have stated that he does not anticipate opposition, and Senator Robert Menendez also is reported to have stated an intent to introduce his own legislation barring the use of laptops and electronic devices by pilots during flights.

Skype and eBay, Ready to Make Nice?

Skype and eBay have been in a hot mess about Skype's peer-to-peer (P2P) online telephone technology for months now.  Well, they might be close to settlement according to the New York Times and other independent sources.

EBay owns Skype.  But Skype, which founded the unique technology that allows people to carry on phone conversations over the internet, claims that it retained ownership of the software code used for the technology.   

The tale of a sale.

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

Like nomads searching for oases, we roam in our quest to find Wi-Fi hotspots from which to connect to the wireless world. Unfortunately, these cozy areas where everything seems so right actually can be black holes where our private data can be siphoned away.

Indeed, BBC's Watchdog reports that connections provided by three major Wi-Fi networks in the United Kingdom are susceptible to hacker attacks, making network users vulnerable to potential fraudulent activities. Watchdog, in a recent program, indicated that literally thousands of UK hotspots, in places such as airports, trains and food establishments, are not as secure as people may think.

Facebook Wins Suit Against Spam King

If you're reading this, chances are you are probably pretty tech savvy.  Maybe you found this post through a search engine, Google, Bing, Yahoo, or other.  Maybe you read it by clicking a shortened link on Twitter.  Maybe you came across it from a post on Facebook.  Or perhaps it was delivered to you via RSS feed.  All are tech-forward ways to get your fill of your favorite news and blogs.

As you explore new social media and integrate it into your online life, you may acknowledge forces threatening your communications. Unsavory schemes such as phishing, online bait-and-switch, and virtual misrepresentation can make users of social media feel uneasy and distrustful of engaging online.  So what does the social media industry do when its users' personal information is being infiltrated and usurped by spammers?  

It fights back.  And sometimes, it wins.