November

THE SHRINKING OF THE LONG TAIL

longtail A full-scale war is brewing between Amazon and Wal-Mart and it’s not completely obvious that consumers will be the winners. Prices are not the only thing that matters; we will all be poorer if we have less variety available as a side effect of the war.

Wal-Mart started the war last month by marking down ten best-sellers to ten dollars if they were ordered online from Wal-Mart. […] continued

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Black Friday

blackfriday Have you noticed how the Thanksgiving shopping experience has changed in the last few years?

Until recently, merchants tried to build excitement by keeping the Friday sale prices secret until the Thursday ads appeared in the newspaper. An online cottage industry grew up around early leaks of the sale information, causing WalMart and Target and the other giants to get terribly excited and issue dire threats of lawsuits against anyone daring to publicize their sales. […] continued

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CHANGING THE START MENU POWER BUTTON

It’s one of those little things that nagged at me.

When you click on the Start button in Vista and Windows 7, there’s a power button next to the search bar. Everybody has a strong opinion about what that button ought to do. It turns out people rarely agree about what the right choice is. […] continued

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ONLINE LEGAL RESEARCH TOOLS

PQ_FreeResearchTLW_April17_p21 Lawyers will be paying subscription fees to Lexis-Nexis and West for years to come, but there are some signs that legal information also wants to be free.

Last week Google announced that Google Scholar now has a dedicated search for full-text legal opinions from federal and state district, appellate and supreme courts. […] continued

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GOOGLE TESTS SEARCH OPTIONS

Google built its reputation on its streamlined, minimalist home page and search results, but it may change that design to add more information soon. A small number of people will randomly begin to see “Google Search Options” displayed on the left of the search results as Google runs tests to expose useful features and make results more predictable. […] continued

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THE CONTINUING BATTLE WITH MALWARE

virus-FakeVimes

Two weeks ago my son clicked OK on a message about some security problem. He called out and asked me about it after he clicked. By the time I walked in and unplugged the network cable, there were seven malware startup programs and services installed and over 700 files in C:, C:Windows, C:WindowsSystem32, and a few other places. […] continued

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OLD-STYLE GAMING WITH MACHINARIUM

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Machinarium is a stunningly beautiful game with hand-drawn characters and backgrounds that are packed with detail and personality. Better yet, it’s an adventure game in the old point-and-click style – no shooting, no running, no reflexes! The game has no dialog, so puzzles are solved the old-fashioned way, by hunting for hot spots and picking up items and trying to figure out a sequence that makes some kind of sense. […] continued

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NOT YET FOR NETBOOKS

hp_mini_311_nbDon’t buy a netbook yet.

It’s taking longer than I expected for the next generation of netbooks to become available. There’s no shortage of the very small devices with 10” screens on the market but almost all of them are still slow and underpowered. AT&T just announced two new models that you’ll be able to buy at a discounted price along with a two-year data plan (the Samsung Go and Acer Aspire One); they’re perfectly nice but next year’s models may be even better choices. […] continued

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J RIVER MEDIA CENTER 14

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What software do you use to listen to music on a computer?

Most people use iTunes. A few lonely folks have gotten the new Zune HD and use its software. Still others use Windows Media Player. All of them are just fine. They’re very attractive and they handle basic functions to help you buy and listen to music. […] continued

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ST. ANTHONY

patronsaintofbaconEverywhere I went today the same question came up – who was the stylish figure in the picture of the dual monitors yesterday?

Actually, if you want to be hyper-technical, I didn’t go anywhere today and no one asked, but that’s not important.

That’s St. Anthony, the Patron Saint of Bacon, holding a frying pan with two strips of crispy, delicious bacon. […] continued

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DUAL MONITORS

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I gave in to the allure of dual monitors. Maybe you should too.

If your computer runs Vista or Windows 7, it probably can run dual monitors without any fuss. Look in the back of the computer next to the place where your monitor is plugged in – you’ll likely find an unused monitor port. […] continued

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FREE GUIDES THAT TEACH USEFUL STUFF

makeuseoflogo There is no shortage of how-to guides online, but loyal reader Stan Beck pointed out a particularly nice collection of free manuals – each one short enough to be appealing but long enough to have useful details. If any of these titles sounds appealing, you might want to take a look. […] continued

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LEXISNEXIS KILLS BILLING MATTERS

Billing Matters, the LexisNexis law office billing and accounting program, was killed last week. This was circulated Thursday and appeared in the TechnoLawyer newsletter.

"Effective September 1, Billing Matters® will be placed in maintenance mode. During maintenance mode, LexisNexis will continue to resolve known issues and provide technical support in accordance with our standard practices, but no new features or functionality will be added.

[…] continued Read more

WINDOWS 7 UAC AND DIALOG BLINDNESS

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User Account Control (UAC) was introduced in Vista to make it harder for bad guys to write software that could take over your computer. By default, its volume has been turned down in Windows 7. Here’s some background about why you might want to turn it up again on your new computer. […] continued

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MICROSOFT ONLINE SERVICES LOWERS PRICES

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Microsoft Online Services has unexpectedly become more affordable and a more compelling choice for small businesses. I want all law firms and businesses with five or more employees to consider moving their mail to hosted Exchange mailboxes.

Effective immediately, the price of a hosted mailbox has been cut in half to $5/month per mailbox. […] continued

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