Show & Tell

Lawyers are often called upon to collaborate, both showdoclogovertically with superiors and subordinates and horizontally with peers. Lawyers also are spending more and more time on-line, as programs and functions migrate from hard drive to servers to web apps. Combine the two concepts – collaboration and web-based application – and you have ShowDocument affords the user a fully synchronized FREE document collaboration session. The service can be used for live discussion on a document while it is being reviewed. The user selects and uploads the desired document and starts a session on the site. A code is provided that permits access to the desired participants. Each session is limited to one document. The app works with Word docs, PowerPoint docs, PDFs, and text files, with a size limit of 2MB. You can invite users to your document session by email, with a link to the session. The flash screen permits markups with pen and highlighter tools, as well as a chat tool for discussion. You can imbed ShowDocument on your own website with a widget here.

While the tool is still in beta form, it seems a promising addition to the on-line lawyer’s toolkit!


Too Much News, Too Little Time

Do you have this problem: lots of paper and on-line news coming in at an increasingly rapid rate; RSS overload; and, not nearly enough time. For lawyers, time is definitely money. With all the flap these days about value billing, death of the billable hour and cost cutting, making the most of what little time is available is high on everyone’s priority list.

Of course, there is a technological answer for every problem these days (or so it seems). There is one for this  problem as well and it is called “Spreed.” According to the site, Spreed is an R & D company that is “determined to prove that digital reading can be and is more efficient than traditional forms of paper and ink based content consumption.”

Using principals of cognitive psychology known as “eye science,” Spreed has developed algorithms that combine grammar, syntax and personal reading pattern considerations. Spreed has developed its “Spreed Reader” using the algorithm to assist readers in increasing their speed and comprehension.

The reader is free. It converts articles from your subscription news feeds into short phrases containing the substance of the article. You can adjust the speed up to 1,500 wpm, which is pretty darn fast. The interface contains links for posting to Facebook or Twitter, as well as a link to supply feedback. There is also an app for iPhone so you can take your speed reading on the go and satisfy your multi-tasking self as well!

Given the amount of on-line reading I do these days, Spreed might come in very handy for me. Perhaps it could come in handy for you too!