Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

January 2010 Archives

By Jay Kozie and Stan Rabin

Should an upgrade to Microsoft's Windows 7 be on the list of New Year's resolutions at your law firm? With the rollout of Microsoft's new operating system, it's time to think about whether your current version of Windows will meet your firm's needs or if it is time to invest in an upgrade.

For firms running either Microsoft's previous system, Vista, or the older platform, Windows XP, the question will be when, not if, they upgrade to Windows 7. Since Windows 7 was rolled out in 2009, we have found that it offers a very stable platform. To make the right decision for your firm, you should balance several variables. Check with vendors of the applications you use to determine if they are compatible with Windows 7. Expect that your applications will require some updating (i.e. newer versions) in order to be compatible. You should also consider when you will be replacing workstations, since that may be the logical start of the transition to Windows 7. If you want to use existing workstations with Windows 7, Microsoft offers a "Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor" tool on its Web site that will help decide if your current PCs will work, or if Windows 7 should be combined with workstation replacements.

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

The days of reading a daily newspaper appear to be part of the past, and newspapers are trying to come up with solutions to remain viable. With online content available on the internet, less people are reading printed newspapers. Free online content is available, but will charging readers for online content save the newspaper industry?  The answer, unfortunately for now, appears to be "no," according to a recent poll.

An Adwork Media/Harris Poll of last month indicates that while 64% of Americans aged 55 and above still read a daily newspaper practically every day, the percentages of readership go down with age.  Indeed, 44% of Americans aged 45-54, 36% aged 35-44, and only 23% aged 18-34 read a daily newspaper most days.  And 17% of Americans aged 18-34 never read a daily newspaper.

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

Once upon a time, and actually not that long ago, online social networking truly was the province of high school and college students.  Those days are over, and whether the youth likes it or not, older generations now are rampant on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other social networking sites like LinkedIn; who manage online social networking while they carry on other daily tasks.  

The demand for online social networking has become so ubiquitous that a recent reported outage of severe Internet controls in China was greeted with enthusiasm as usually blocked socially networking platforms briefly opened up.  While social networking does present a number of potential benefits, care must be taken that proper practices are followed, especially in the workplace.

The Decade of Technology Convergence

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

I have been writing weekly on technology issues the entirety of the past decade - and what a decade it has been!  Technology convergence has been fantastic, with more to come, but we need to make sure that our gadgets do not extract too much of a social cost.

Sure, when the decade began, there was the initial Internet novelty fascination and the Wild, Wild West free-wheeling mentality associated with all things Internet-related.  VC's were throwing money hand over fist for practically anything tied to a new online idea.  Valuations and share prices of start-up companies went through the roof, even if the supporting economic fundamentals were not in place.