Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

June 2010 Archives

Cisco Cius: iPad-Like Tablet for Businesses Coming Soon

After the massive success of the Apple iPad, Cisco is releasing the Cius in 2011, a tablet designed for business use that runs on Android software. The device (pronounced "see us") is set up with virtual desktop integration, meaning that the device will provide the same experience as the office computer. In addition, the device will include Cisco collaboration and communication applications, high definition video streaming, multi-way video conferencing and full access to view and edit content stored both on the business premises and in the cloud.

The device was demonstrated at the Cisco Live customer event Tuesday by CEO John Chambers, who made a video call to a submarine in the Aegean Sea. (Yes, you read that correctly, a submarine.)

The Cius weighs just over one pound, and has a an Intel Atom 1.6-GHz processor, 720p HD front facing camera, a seven-inch high resolution touch screen, a 5-megapixel rear facing camera, noise canceling microphones, accelerometer, Bluetooth, Micro-USB, detachable eight hour battery, WiFi, 3G cellular capability and is 4G ready. In other words, this baby is loaded.  

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

To date, approved Web site suffixes have included the omnipresent .com, and also the commonly used .gov, .edu and  others.  Is .xxx on the imminent horizon for adult-oriented Web sites?

Well, according to press reports, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization that oversees approval of top-level domains, has finally given in and granted conditional approval of the new .xxx domain.  ICM Registry, which apparently would manage and sell this new domain suffix to adult Web sites, for quite some time has tried to convince ICANN to accept the .xxx as a top-level domain, only to be rejected on prior occasions.

Google Voice Now Available to All: What It Means for Your Firm

Google Voice is a Google application that has been getting a lot of attention from attorneys for quite some time. However, until Tuesday it was by invitation only and millions of potential users were left out in the cold. Now that Google Voice is available to everyone, for the low, low price of free, you should highly consider using it to benefit your law practice. It can save you time and money, and offers a variety of convenient features that a regular phone does not replicate. In addition, you can avoid giving out your cell phone number if you use a personal cell phone to make business calls.

Here's how it works: You go to Google Voice and sign up for a new account. If you already have a Google account, such as Gmail, you can use the same account for Google Voice. After you sign up, you will have the option to pick a new phone number. After you select the phone number, you can set your account to link directly to any phone you want.

For example, you can have all calls forwarded to your cell phone and your office phone. Call forwarding can be modified so that, for example, you can set Google Voice to only forward your calls during the work week. You can require all callers to identify themselves and when you answer you will hear their name before you answer the call, or you can choose to forward them to voicemail. You can even listen to them leave the voicemail live as they're leaving it, something to keep in mind for anyone who messes up voicemails and re-records them, thinking that no one will hear the original message.

Twitter Used to Announce Ronnie Lee Gardner Execution

"I just gave the go ahead to Corrections Director to proceed with Gardner's execution. May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims."

The above statement, issued by Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff just before the execution of Ronnie Lee Gardner, seems rather innocuous. Most would call it a reasonable and respectful way for the Attorney General to announce impending execution convicted killer. But does the context change when the words are tweeted instead of spoken?

In a profound contrast of technology, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff announced the execution of Ronnie Lee Gardner on his twitter account, @MarkShurtleff, just before Gardner was executed by the firing squad at 12:15 a.m. Moments before the execution, Shurtleff tweeted "We will be streaming live my press conference as soon as I'm told Gardner is dead. Watch it at" he wrote. An hour earlier he tweeted: "A solemn day. Barring a stay by Sup Ct, & with my final nod, Utah will use most extreme power & execute a killer. Mourn his victims. Justice"

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

Facebook has been in the press recently in terms of perceived privacy problems and apparent attempts by Facebook to try do better in terms of privacy protection.  While Facebook may be trying to improve, various public interest groups do not believe that Facebook has done enough, as evidenced by a recent open letter by the groups to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The letter, sent on behalf of the ACLU Northern California, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Action, Consumer Watchdog, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, PrivacyActivism, Privacy Lives and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, while conciliatory in tone, demands certain improvements.

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

If you are thinking that the digital universe that comprises all electronically stored data already is gargantuan, well, fasten your seat belt, because this universe is expanding rapidly.

According to IDC, a research and consulting firm, last year, notwithstanding the global recession, the digital universe expanded 62% to 800,000 petabytes.  What is a petabyte?  A petabyte constitutes a million gigabytes, and is represented by a tower of DVDs going from earth to the moon and back, according to IDC.

And IDC says that this year the digital universe will expand almost as rapidly to 1.2 million petabytes, aka 1.2 zettabytes.  With continued expansion, IDC forecasts that the digital universe in 2020 will be 44 times as large as it was in 2009.

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

LimeWire, a software application that allows for free music and music file sharing over the Internet, has suffered a recent and significant judicial defeat in at the hands of 13 major record companies. The LimeWire lawsuit indicates that record companies will not back off from fighting against free music downloads. 

Some years ago, the record companies filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York against certain companies and individuals while asserting a variety of federal and state law claims for their alleged role in the distribution of LimeWire. The complaint alleged that LimeWire users utilize LimeWire to obtain and share unauthorized copies of the record companies' sound recordings, and that the defendants facilitated this infringement by distributing and maintaining LimeWire. After several years of litigation, the parties filed motions for motions for summary judgment to adjudicate some claims prior to trial.

While the court denied some of the motions, holding the issues raised in those motions over to trial, the court did grant the record companies' motions on claims of inducement of copyright infringement, common law copyright infringement, and unfair competition. The granting of those motions, obviously, is not good news for LimeWire.