Technology-Lawyer

Dennis Kennedy

Technology Law and Legal Technology. Dennis Kennedy is one of the few technology lawyers who is also an expert on the underlying technologies. Dennis an award-winning leader in the application of technology and the Internet to the practice of law. DennisKennedy.com gives you access to a wide variety of Dennis Kennedy's resources on legal technology, his writings, his well-known blog, DennisKennedy.Blog, and information about how you can have Dennis speak to your organization or group.

Dennis Kennedy is one of the most knowledgeable legal technologists you will find. - Michael Arkfeld.

Dennis Kennedy, a lawyer and legal technology expert in St. Louis, Mo., has been a significant influence in the ever-evolving relationship between lawyers and the Web. - Robert Ambrogi

Archive for April, 2003

Pocket Presenting

Wednesday, April 30th, 2003

Presentations Magazine has the best little guide to using PDAs for presentations that I’ve ever seen. The print version of the magazine is also free to qualified subscribers and has lots of useful information for speakers.

A Truly Useful Google Tip

Wednesday, April 30th, 2003

Using Google to search for something that you already know is out there on the Internet can be very frustrating, especially when the search terms are common words (e.g., Kennedy, to pull one out of thin air). Elwyn Jenkins, on his excellent Microdoc News blog suggests the simple trick of including your search terms in a sentence that is likely to use those terms and using that in your google search. Unfortunately, that meant that “Dennis Kennedy is a St. Louis lawyer” brought back more accurate results than “Dennis Kennedy is the coolest guy,” but I really like the technique.

Well, Knock Me Over With a Feather!

Wednesday, April 30th, 2003

A new survey from the FTC concludes that “two-thirds of unsolicited commercial e-mail is deceptive in some way,” according to an article in USA Today. Mercifully, the article did not include the taxpayer cost of this study. Compare the survey results to your own experience.

Pocket PC and Tablet PC

Monday, April 28th, 2003

I got a question today from someone trying to decide between a Pocket PC and a Tablet PC. The question reminded me that these questions are extremely difficult to answer in the abstract. The key thing you must know is how you are planning to use it and for what purposes? The correct answer is always “it depends.” However, I put together a few thoughts and thought that they might be worth sharing.
Q: Please help me decide between a pocket PC and a tablet computer. I am leaning toward the pocket PC.
A: For what it’s worth, Bill Gates is using a Tablet PC.
This is a difficult question to answer in the abstract without knowing the intended use, but I won’t let that stop me.
Cost: The cost of a Pocket PC is 10 – 25% the cost of a tablet PC.
Maturity: Pocket PC technology has been around for quite a while. Tablet PCs are clearly generation 1 and improvements are expected in the fall. You are correct in saying that the Tablets did not sell like hotcakes, at least to this point.
Power: A tablet PC is the equivalent of a full-fledged notebook computer. Pocket PCs are much less powerful and are meant to be adjuncts to your main PC.
Apps: Tablet PCs can use any software that runs on Windows. Pocket PCs use “pocket” applet versions of the Office products. That may well be adequate, but you need to know that.
Here are a few rules of thumb:
1. If you are planning to buy a notebook anyway, a Tablet PC is only about $200 more, and, for that reason, deserves a close look.
2. The early consensus on Tablet PCs is that the best choice is a combo notebook/tablet.
3. For someone like a lawyer who likes to write on pads, Tablets deserve a close look.
4. I wouldn’t buy either type without going to a store and trying them out.
5. A Tablet PC would have the higher “cool factor.”
6. If you expect a Pocket PC to take the place of a notebook, you will be disappointed. Pocket PCs are best at enhancing your mobility and letting you synch data to the Pocket PC to carry with you.
7. Shopping on the Internet can net you some great bargains on Pocket PCs these days.
8. It is very easy to have unrealistic expectations with both Pocket PCs and Tablet PCs. A Tablet PC would be the more expensive disappointment.
Shopping tips:
I’m impressed with my Toshiba e740 Pocket PC. They have a newer version called the e750, that would be more current. The Compaq iPaq Pocket PCs are generally considered the top of the line products. The reasonably priced Dell Pocket PCs are also worth a look if you are looking for a more reasonable price. Also, consider buying a foldable keyboard for a Pocket PC to make it more versatile.

Postcards from the Edge

Thursday, April 24th, 2003

Law.com has a very good collection of articles on innovative ways five featured companies are using their intellectual property. As Mark Voorhees says in his introduction to the articles, “But there is perhaps one common element in these tales. The lawyers are playing against type. . . . They don’t teach this stuff in law school.” Highly recommended reading.

Ray Ozzie: Perspective: A Mosaic of New Opportunities

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2003

Ray Ozzie is the CEO of Groove Networks and the creator of Lotus Notes. He’s written a new article outlining his predictions on dominant trends in computing. Not suprisingly, his vision involves greater collaboration and virtual workspaces, but Ozzie, a blogger (and it’s great to see that his sabbatical from posting may be ending), sees the increasing number of inputs and quantity of information we deal with driving this process of change. He notes, “We’re chained to e-mail and the Web, drowning in an information flood that leaves us feeling more and more like human message-processing machines.” Many will agree with this sentiment.
Ultimately, he argues, “these changes will transform the personal computer into an interpersonal computer. This will be a rich, self-synchronized and readily interchangeable device focused specifically on people and what they do with one another online.”
His message is an optimistic one. He says, “Even though our current use of PCs, productivity tools, e-mail and the Web seems quite sophisticated, we’ve only just begun to understand how to apply them and effectively realize their benefits. The next 10 years will find us moving decidedly from an era of personal productivity to one of joint productivity and social software. ”

Practical Protection Practices for Your Intellectual Property

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2003

A great article in CSO (Chief Security Officer) Magazine covers the practical “where the rubber meets the road” issues of protecting a company’s IP on an every day, in the trenches, basis. The article contains excellent examples of what companies like Sony and W. L. Gore do to protect intellectual property through technical, administrative and policy approaches. It all starts with thinking of IP as “intellectual capital.”

RSS Feeds / News Aggregators

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2003

A few more goood resources on RSS feeds and news aggregators:
Via the highly-respected Tom Mighell, the Fagan Finder Explanation of RSS, How You Can Use it, and Finding RSS Feeds covers most of the key practical issues. From Hebig.org, the RSS Feed Reader / News Aggregators Directory is a great collection of resources.

Pattern Recognition

Monday, April 21st, 2003

“The future has never been more like the present than it is now.”
William Gibson hooked my attention with the famous first line of his novel, Neuromancer, “The sky above the port was the color of a television, tuned to a dead channel.” And it’s been a great ride ever since.
I highly recommend his newest book, Pattern Recognition, which touches on many things that I find most interesting these days, including the subject of pattern recognition. In a way, we all see the patterns we want to see, but it struck me that the book touched on the blogging phenomenon in a fundamental way, without ever mentioning them. There is a current dance between art and expression and commerce and marketing that plays out in the book as well on the streets of the Internet these days.
The book is written in Gibson’s superb and challenging style, one in which you must resist the urge to fight in order to be rewarded by the flow of it. There are classic Gibsonian characters and observations on our world – it’s fascinating that the main character has a physical allergy/phobia to trademarks, yet works as a finder/arbiter of what is cool.
While Neuromancer seemingly predicted the nearly two decades that followed it, Pattern Recognition is set right in the present – the post 9/11 present. Pattern Recognition is about 9/11 without explicitly being about 9/11 in much the same way as is Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising, and a strong common thread of “missing” runs through both. Both Gibson and Springsteen, to me, have presented the most artistically rewarding responses to 9/11, both deserving multiple re-readings and re-listenings.

Microsoft Licensing: Showdown at the 6.0 Corral

Monday, April 21st, 2003

CIO Magazine has a good article on the frustrating history and difficulties of Microsoft licensing. So many companies have or will run into these issues that it is important to get a good understanding of the various approaches companies are taking. One very interesting stat: 60% of CIOs surveyed said that changes in Microsoft’s licensing practices have caused them to consider Open Source alternatives.