Newspapers Without The Papers

It is somewhat difficult to comprehend that the mandatory must-read paper for my college political science courses is now losing the paper. Lifehacker reports that The Christian Science Monitor is abandoning its daily paper and print editions to focus entirely on its digital version. The blog’s author, Matt Mattila, concedes that “free” is good, but waxes about the obvious losses that accompany this change – portability, the need for wi-fi or cell, the need for battery power. How about the crinkle of the newsprint surrounding you on the train or coffee shop? How about being able to pick up the discarded International or comics section left behind by the traveler before you? While tangibility can be retained to a certain degree through the use of readers or e-paper, differences in processing of on-line and print information likely will alter how we interact with the world around us. As if that hasn’t already happened.

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More Innovation. Less Bulk.

For those large firms fresh out of new ideas, I heartily recommend this excellent post by Carolyn Elefant, solo and small law firm coach, at her excellent blog, MyShingle.com. Carolyn talks about how solos and small firms are often found at the cutting edge of legal innovation, providing the rabbit to “BigLaw’s” greyhound. Carolyn explains why solos and small firms are “built for success” when it comes to fostering creativity in the practice.  Carolyn also describes the novel concepts and quality resources made available to solo and small firms by other individual practitioners, such as Tom Goldstein, Enricho Schaeffer, Stephanie Kimbro and Susan Cartier Liebel. This “guild of legal creativity” offers the catalyst to the success in staying ahead and imparting maximum value to clients. These clients could include BigLaw firms looking to outsource work in difficult economic times. Here’s some innovation for those firms: instead of China and India, look locally at the option that will provide the most cutting-edge bang for the buck!

Ready To Turn Away From Vista?

Are you a Vista-hater, on the foothills of the Windows 7 curve? Microsoft debuted its new operating system last week Wednesday, anticipating the next stage of release in early 2009. For those who complain about Vista’s bugginess, never fear – improvements are coming. Michael Calore over at Monkey Bites reports that behind the scenes improvements and gap fillers abound in the new system.

Some of the reported features include reduction in security permission boxes, a new Windows task bar, context-sensitive menus known as “jump lists”, improvements to the “Aero” user interface, unified suggested search, fewer pop-ups, homegroups for networks, and a new improved “device stage” for device management. I sure hope this latter feature improves on the old device manager.

Hit the jump over to Monkey Bites for greater explanations and screen shots.

Free Law For The Common Good

And at Harvard, no less. The ABA reports that Harvard will be instituting a program waiving third-year tuition for those willing to commit fives years of their career to public interest law. This amounts to more than $40,000, and somewhat offsets the difference between public interest and traditional firm salaries. According to Harvard’s own site, this is the first program of its type in the nation.

Way to go, Harvard!

The Business Card – 21st Century Style

Do you blog?  Do you have a web site? Are you a member or user in multiple social media, file sharing, bookmarking and other interactive sites? Would you like to collapse all of this web content onto a single “card” that displays information and active links more effectively than the traditional paper card? Many thinks to Susan Cartier Liebel (check out her blog here) for turning me on to retaggr, a web “profile card” that permits you to automatically display relevant information on sites that are retaggr-enabled.  According to the site, you can include your name, bio, links to your websites and widgets including recent blog posts, recent tweets from twitter, photos and communication information for MSN/Gtalk/Skype and more. On retaggr-enabled sites, the profile card is left automatically when you comment. You also can embed the card into your web page or include it in your email signature.

Coming soon: my retaggr profile in the sidebar

A pretty nifty way to collect and share vital information in one place!