TIMESLIPS & VISTA COMPATIBILITY

Vista compatibility will be hit or miss for the next year. Some business-critical software won’t run on Windows Vista; I’ll be doing what I can to help businesses learn that before they buy new computers.

It will be a moving target. There will be many lists of compatible and incompatible products but I’m not sure we’ll ever find one that’s authoritative and continually up to date. […] continued

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ADOBE ACROBAT 8 PROFESSIONAL

PDFs have become the common language for shared documents in most businesses and law offices, but the frequent upgrades to Acrobat have been uncompelling, with a confusing interface and puzzling features.

Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional is the upgrade we’ve been waiting for. Law offices should elevate it to the rank of a basic tool, as necessary and unavoidable as Word and Outlook. […] continued

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THE SAD TALE OF AMICUS ATTORNEY

At one time, Amicus Attorney was the premier program for law office case management. In version 5, it had a quirky but easy to understand interface, and a lot of power to link information together and present a unified view of a case – contacts, calendar, time sheets, and phone records. […] continued

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E-MAIL RETENTION AND THE NEW FEDERAL RULES

Changes in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have imposed new requirements for retention and production of electronic records in federal court litigation, especially e-mail. Here’s my notes when the changes first came to my attention.

A quick reading of some of the articles about the new FRCP revisions gives the impression that businesses should drastically change their practices to ensure long-term retention of e-mail and backup tapes, but that’s not quite correct. […] continued

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E-DISCOVERY AND FRCP

Lawyer alert: amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure take effect on December 1 governing electronic discovery. Here’s an article from a technology news site about the upcoming changes, and here’s a legal blog with a few more details.

Lawsuits in federal court have always required massive document productions at the beginning of the proceedings. […] continued

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WORD REDACTION TOOL

There have been several embarrassing incidents recently in which information was learned from electronic documents because they were not adequately secured. In some cases, the editing history of a Word document was revealing; in others, text was still readable despite attempts to black it out.

Microsoft has released a tool intended to prevent redaction errors in Word 2003. […] continued

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BLACKBERRY: DEATH BY PATENT

Here’s a fascinating article about the sequence of events leading up to Blackberry’s precarious position – the possibility that the entire Blackberry system will be shut down next month. It’s a “twisted tale of bold inventions, hubris, pride, backroom lobbying and one colossal legal blunder.”

Lawyers will shiver at one story from the trial between RIM (Blackberry’s parent company) and NTP, owners of an arguably prior patent on the Blackberry technology. […] continued

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BE ANNOYING, GO TO JAIL

Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime.

Last week President Bush signed a law authorizing stiff fines and two years in prison for posting “annoying” Web messages or sending “annoying” anonymous e-mail messages. Here’s an article about the new law.

Sen. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republian, slipped the provision into an unrelated bill to fund the Department of Justice. […] continued

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INTEL ANSWERS AMD

Intel filed its answer to AMD’s complaint for unfair competition. An answer is always more dry than a complaint, but the first seven pages are interesting reading, as Intel lovingly alleges that AMD’s market failures are the result of poor planning and bad decisions instead of some nefarious conduct by Intel. […] continued

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AMD vs. INTEL

Litigators (and some normal people) should browse through the complaint filed by AMD against Intel for unfair competition, monopolistic bullying, name-calling, and child abuse. (I’m not sure all of those are in the complaint, but it’s something like that.)

It’s written more as a showpiece than a serious complaint, so it’s surprisingly good reading. […] continued

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MPAA TO SUE MOVIE DOWNLOADERS

The MPAA announced last month that it would follow the example of the RIAA and sue individual movie file-swappers. Here’s an article about their announcement, a few days before the first round of lawsuits was filed. Today the MPAA further announced its intent to file lawsuits against web sites listing links to movies available using BitTorrent or through the eDonkey network. […] continued

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COPYRIGHT CRAZINESS

The House and Senate have been acting as branches of the recording and motion picture industries for some time, seeking to enrich those industries by assigning new “rights” to collect money for the use of creative material.

The payback for all the campaign contributions has already begun; there’s already been threats of federal prosecution for file sharing. […] continued

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CALIFORNIA BANS FRONT-SEAT COMPUTER USE

A new law effective January 1, 2004 bans the use of laptop computers in the front seat of a car. It applies to a laptop being used by a passenger in the car, but it excludes most devices used for mapping or navigation.

A Slashdot reader asked why it should be illegal to have his wife use a laptop in the passenger seat to connect to MapQuest for directions. […] continued

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SPAMMERS HAPPY WITH FEDERAL LAW

As you watch Congress and the President congratulate each other over the new federal anti-spam legislation, keep in mind that the spammers are thrilled with the new law. Here’s an article from Direct Marketer News that will chill you.

“Marketers roundly praised the bill, particularly its pre-emption of more onerous anti-spam legislation in more than 35 states.

[…] continued Read more

MASTER & SLAVE

I’m a fan of politically correct speech. I think it’s important to avoid using expressions that perpetuate stereotypes, even if it’s reasonably clear that the words are meant kindly or inoffensively.

But.

Following complaints by someone within the bureaucracy, the County of Los Angeles has ordered vendors to discontinue use of the words “master/slave” to describe two hard drives sharing a cable. […] continued

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