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FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.
Happy New Year! We're just a week into January, but 2012 seems to be firing on all tech cylinders.
The other night, I went to a shopping mall with my family. While most of the traditional retail stores were not terribly busy, the Apple store was an amazing hive of activity.
In the one room that makes up the store, I literally counted as many as 40 Apple employees who were swamped fielding questions from and helping a never-ending parade of customers. It seemed that everyone and their kid brother and sister was hunting for the latest iPad, iPod, and Apple computer.
At the same time, who doesn't spend countless hours on Facebook with our "friends"? We post our thoughts and share photos, music, and more. And, of course, it's become increasingly important to wish everyone happy holidays and to usher in the new year via social media. Many of us received holiday and New Year's wishes and photos from all over the world.
We can't forget about YouTube, where we can view and post videos of every type. We are living our lives out loud, and YouTube is proof.
There are many other ways to be entertained online these days as well. For example, you can go to Pandora and create your own customized "radio stations." If you like The Beatles, you can create a Beatles station that not only will play songs by the boys from Liverpool, but will also bring up songs by other groups that are musically similar.
No longer is the Internet confined to a desktop computer, or even a handheld device. Even automobiles now are "smart." New cars have built-in navigation systems, Bluetooth connections, and can access Pandora and music from your iPod. All you have to do is talk to your car, and it will respond.
All of this technology is fascinating, fun and exciting. But it also makes it much easier to suffer from nonstop information overload. Indeed, some research has suggested that such overload has led to greater rates of depression in our populace than previously.
So go enjoy your tech toys -- but remember the reverse of the 1960s adage: Rather than always tuning in and turning on, once in a while tune out and turn off.
With that caveat in mind, it will be interesting to see where tech takes us in 2012.
Eric Sinrod is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP (http://www.duanemorris.com) where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes. His Web site is http://www.sinrodlaw.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please send an email to him with Subscribe in the Subject line. This column is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.