Friday Fun: Top 25 Legal TV Shows of All Time

The ABA is at it again, with picks for the top twenty-five legal television shows of all time. Like with the movies, I am mostly in agreement, with a few exceptions that are pretty far down the list and made me scratch my head. I also couldn’t believe that there had been that many legal shows and how many of these shows I have never heard of! Let’s see if you can guess which one is which from their image, placed in order of rank on the list:

LA LawPerry MasonThe DefendersLaw & OrderThe PracticeAlly McBealRumpole of the BaileyBoston LegalDamagesNight CourtJudging AmyOwen Marshall Counselor at LawJAGSharkCivil WarsHarvey Birdman Attorney at LawLaw & Order Criminal IntentMurder OneMatlockReasonable DoubtsLaw & Order Special Victims UnitJudd for the DefensePaper ChasePetrocelliEli Stone

Advertisements

Silence In The Court! And Leave Your Blackberry At The Door

Fascinating approach to maintaining security in the Southern District of New York: prohibit bringing electronic devices, including laptops and cell phones into the courtroom without prior court approval. Law.com reports on the interim rule and resulting outcry here.

Apparently, the interim rule was put in place around the time of Bernie Madoff’s sentencing on June 29, at which a woman attempted to surreptitiously record the proceedings. The Southern District hastily put the rule in place, citing physical security concerns (i.e. bombs in laptops) and concerns about attempts to circumvent rules preventing live broadcasting of court proceedings.

Attorneys in the Southern District are, understandbly, upset. Representatives of interested Bar groups are planning on attendnig a July 29 hearing on the rules intended to address whether the bans should be made permanent or whether such devices may be permitted subject to restrictions.

The interim rule, known as Local Rule 1.8, presently prohibits anyone other than court personnel or federal prosecutors and defenders from bringing in the devices without prior written permission from a judge. Judges, sensitive to the concerns of attorneys practicing in their courts, are signing blanket orders permitting them to bring their phones, laptops, PDA’s and other gadgets through security and into the courtrooms.

Attorneys are sensitive to the court’s concerns, as well, which are somewhat heightened in the Southern District. Nonetheless, members of the Bar are imploring the court to consider that these devices have become integral to the practice of law both within and beyond the courtroom walls. Computers are used for organizing data and presenting evidence. PDAs and smartphones keep attorneys connected with their offices while in court. Heck, you can even look up the IRC on your iPhone in a pinch if need be. There is little doubt that the implications of the court’s rule could be significant on those attorneys practicing under their weight.

The Southern District appears to be the only court in the country  imposing such an outright ban without prior approval. It will be interesting to learn the results of the upcoming hearing and whether this rather Draconian measure will remain intact.

You can read the text of the rule here.

Presto, Chango, Poof It's Gone! It's Vanish!

Spy Sweeper
Image via Wikipedia

So, all thieving aside, what do you do about that on-line information that you actually want to make disappear? Call up the University of Washington and get your hands on their “Vanish” application. Vanish imposes a time limit and self-destruct on any text uploaded to any web service via web browser. What kind of communications?  Electronic communications such as e-mail, Facebook posts and chat messages. More specifically, web-based e-mail such as Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail, Web chat, and text posted on social networking sites MySpace and Facebook. Using Vanish, they will automatically self-destruct by becoming irretrievable from all web sites, inboxes, outboxes, back up sites and home computers, lost even to the original sender.

Because web services archive indefinitely, hitting the delete button alone is not the answer for complete eradication. The implications become staggering as we move towards cloud computing, where everything resides on sites that can be accessed by the clever and quick.

Techwack explains the Vanish process:

The Vanish prototype washes away data using the natural turnover, called “churn,” on large file-sharing systems known as peer-to-peer networks. For each message that it sends, Vanish creates a secret key, which it never reveals to the user, and then encrypts the message with that key. It then divides the key into dozens of pieces and sprinkles those pieces on random computers that belong to worldwide file-sharing networks, the same ones often used to share music or movie files. The file-sharing system constantly changes as computers join or leave the network, meaning that over time parts of the key become permanently inaccessible. Once enough key parts are lost, the original message can no longer be deciphered.

In the current Vanish prototype, the network’s computers purge their memories every eight hours. (An option on Vanish lets users keep their data for any multiple of eight hours.)

No one need act on the data to make Vanish work: its own inherent properties result in the destruction, akin to a message written in the sand washed away by the tide, as suggested in the Techwhack article. The only way to save the information is to physically print it out before the self-destruct sequence enables, or copy and paste it into a word processing document on your computer’s hard drive.

Vanish was released today. You can get it free and open source on the Firefox browser.

How should lawyers view Vanish? The closing quote from researcher Todayashi Kohno says it all:

“Today many people pick up the phone when they want to talk with a lawyer or have a private conversation,” Kohno said. “But more and more communication is happening online. Vanish is designed to give people the same privacy for e-mail and the Web that they expect for a phone conversation.”

Check out the supporting paper and research prototype here.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Presto, Chango, Poof It’s Gone! It’s Vanish!

Spy Sweeper
Image via Wikipedia

So, all thieving aside, what do you do about that on-line information that you actually want to make disappear? Call up the University of Washington and get your hands on their “Vanish” application. Vanish imposes a time limit and self-destruct on any text uploaded to any web service via web browser. What kind of communications?  Electronic communications such as e-mail, Facebook posts and chat messages. More specifically, web-based e-mail such as Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail, Web chat, and text posted on social networking sites MySpace and Facebook. Using Vanish, they will automatically self-destruct by becoming irretrievable from all web sites, inboxes, outboxes, back up sites and home computers, lost even to the original sender.

Because web services archive indefinitely, hitting the delete button alone is not the answer for complete eradication. The implications become staggering as we move towards cloud computing, where everything resides on sites that can be accessed by the clever and quick.

Techwack explains the Vanish process:

The Vanish prototype washes away data using the natural turnover, called “churn,” on large file-sharing systems known as peer-to-peer networks. For each message that it sends, Vanish creates a secret key, which it never reveals to the user, and then encrypts the message with that key. It then divides the key into dozens of pieces and sprinkles those pieces on random computers that belong to worldwide file-sharing networks, the same ones often used to share music or movie files. The file-sharing system constantly changes as computers join or leave the network, meaning that over time parts of the key become permanently inaccessible. Once enough key parts are lost, the original message can no longer be deciphered.

In the current Vanish prototype, the network’s computers purge their memories every eight hours. (An option on Vanish lets users keep their data for any multiple of eight hours.)

No one need act on the data to make Vanish work: its own inherent properties result in the destruction, akin to a message written in the sand washed away by the tide, as suggested in the Techwhack article. The only way to save the information is to physically print it out before the self-destruct sequence enables, or copy and paste it into a word processing document on your computer’s hard drive.

Vanish was released today. You can get it free and open source on the Firefox browser.

How should lawyers view Vanish? The closing quote from researcher Todayashi Kohno says it all:

“Today many people pick up the phone when they want to talk with a lawyer or have a private conversation,” Kohno said. “But more and more communication is happening online. Vanish is designed to give people the same privacy for e-mail and the Web that they expect for a phone conversation.”

Check out the supporting paper and research prototype here.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

On-Line Transactions: Good. On-Line Insecure Transactions: Bad

ThiefIt is always nice when the hackers warn you that they are going to strike: next week, security researchers are planning on hacking into your “secure” transactions by intercepting data during an on-line transaction on a site allegedly protected by an SSL certificate.

The dirty deed will be taking place at the Black Hat Security conference in Los Vegas, reports Thomas Claburn at InformationWeek. According to the article, experts Mike Zusman, principal consultant at Intrepidus Group, and Alex Sotirov, an independent security researcher, have found and can exploit a weakness in the browser to conduct what is known as a “man in the middle” attack on sites protected by Extended Validation (EV) Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates. This type of attack entails “sniffing” out the desired data as the data leaves the user’s browser or via what is called a “browser cache poisoning attack on EV SSL websites.

The browsers supporting EV SSL? Well, they include the most recent versions of Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. I guess that means pretty much all of them.

What does it all mean? It means that while the Advocate advocates adopting the “free”-ly on-line model and the wonders that all of this great technology and access offers, we all, attorneys in particular, need to be mindful of the hazard these security breaches pose. Carefully consider the risks of sharing or storing sensitive data on-line at all times – you never know where the thieves are hiding, even Las Vegas!

Global Legal Information Network

Logo of the 175th anniversary of the Law Libra...
Image via Wikipedia

Taken from the Library of Congress site:

The Global Legal Information Network is a database of the official texts of laws and other complementary legal materials from a growing number of jurisdictions throughout the world. From their offices at The Law Library of Congress, GLIN Director Janice Hyde and Comparative Law Specialist Hanibal Goitom explain the principals and practices of this network that shares its laws in order to promote global legal understanding.

You can access the approximately 8 minute webcast on this resource here.

Hat Tip to ResourceShelf

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Keeping Your Clouds In Line

Bowl of clouds
Image by kevindooley via Flickr

Instant access to your most valuable information from anywhere at any time is certainly a dream worth indulging. You can get much of the way to realizing that dream with various free and paid services. CIO.com has the lowdown on many of the options in this article by Ryan Faas of Computerworld.

The real challenge to the dream is the ability to make changes at one vantage point along your cloud-like chain and have that change reflected all across the stratosphere. This requires some sort of syncing capability controlled by a server in the cloud.

The four free services explored in the article include Google, Microsoft Windows Live, Yahoo Mail and Plaxo. The two paid services include Apple’s MobileMe and Microsoft’s Hosted Exchange. Hit the jump above for Faas’ take on each service’s strengths and weaknesses.

I primarily am using the paid service MobileMe, which syncs with my desktop’s Outlook 2007, which in turn syncs with Google Calendar. My Google Calendar is accessible by both my husband and I so that we can keep tabs of both business and personal commitments. I am driving the syncing process from my iPhone, as that is my preferred method of calendar entry. I am not fully exploiting the cloud capabilities of MobileMe, mostly using the services for the wireless syncing ability. This system is working well for me at this time.

When considering which approach to use, examine your own habits and determine how you input your information and how you prefer to access that information. One of the options examined by Faas should fit the bill.

Would love to hear what other people are doing about keeping their information up to date at all points along the cloud chain.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wisdom

Have you seen this video by Adam Zuckerman: Wisdom? I won’t clutter or crowd it with commentary. Just watch and consider it food for thought on a Friday night.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Wisdom“, posted with vodpod

Wisdom

Have you seen this video by Adam Zuckerman: Wisdom? I won’t clutter or crowd it with commentary. Just watch and consider it food for thought on a Friday night.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Wisdom“, posted with vodpod

New Technology To Address The Texting While Driving Conundrum

It really is an issue: people just can’t resist the lure of message calling for a response. Following my post a couple days ago about Jalopnik’s map showing anti-texting laws across the country, I got an email from Michael Riemer of ZoomSafer, a new technology to help drivers reduce distractions imposed by technology.

ZoomSafer is a free software and services application for download that manages calls, texts and social networks to ensure that the driver is presented with as few distractions as possible. It is currently in alpha, but will be released in beta in early August. Taken from a recent press release:

ZoomSafer software will automatically detect when users are driving, triggering a set of user defined events, and activating several services, including:

  • The playing of a customizable audio file – from spouse, child, employer or favorite celebrity — reminding the user to “be safe and focus on the road”
  • Auto-updates to social networks including Facebook and Twitter (including the option to share location) so friends, family and co-workers know that the user is driving and are less likely to interrupt
  • Automatic suppression of inbound alerts and issuance of auto-replies to calls, texts, and emails to inform others that the user is focused while driving and will respond when available
  • Personalized audio announcements of select callers so the user does not have to look at their phone to see who is calling
  • Voice safety portal so users can create / send voice-powered emails, text messages, and Tweets as well as well as listen to audio-enabled, personalized content feeds including blogs, RSS, Twitter posts, etc.

ZoomSafer will be available on RIM Blackberry, iPhone, Windows Mobile, Symbian and Android powered devices. Sounds like an interesting way to customize the distractions you want while eliminating the distractions you don’t.

This morning, I stumbled upon another take on a solution to this problem: the DOT. DOT is the brainchild of graphic designer Cyrene Quiamco and is quite ingenious. It is a hybrid cellphone and headset, with the ability to project an active keyboard or other images. It is designed to browse the internet and project pages as well, essentially offering the wearer a heads-up display and reducing the need to look away from the focus target. Check out the concept image below, it is pretty cool:
DOT

DOT 2

Nothing like technology to solve the problems that technology creates! Nice solutions, ZoomSafer and DOT.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]