The Intersection of Art & Law

This is so brilliant, it made my Friday. If a picture is worth a thousand words and you are limited to only 5 pages to get your complicated point across to the U.S. District Court, why not set your argument in the context of a “graphic novelette”? That is exactly what amicus Bob Kohn did when filing his brief U.S. v. Apple, Inc., et al. The font is even the correct 12 point size. Next time my company asks me to comment on whether we should file an Amicus Brief, I am so going to make a mock up! As my friend who pointed this out to me said, “if this starts a trend, you may be extremely well-positioned …” I may have to see about teaching an art course to law students. Hat tip to Eric Diamond, via the abajournal.com.

Advertisements

Multi-Screening It in the New Millenium

Back in the day (and I mean WAY back), most households limited their “screen” time to the traditional TV box. Around the time that Video Killed the Radio Star. Not so in the new Millenium. A recent study by Google reveals that our modern screen habits encompass a variety of screens, from smartphone, to tablet, to computer to television and daily consumption usually  involves all four. And this usage is not necessarily serial – for example, most TV watchers are also using their smartphone or tablet at the same time. Multi-screen, multi-task. Interestingly, the report shows that as the screen gets larger, the amount of time spent on average on that screen is greater, with smartphones averaging 17 minutes at a time and TVs averaging 43 minutes at a time. But smartphones tend to be where activity starts, if not ends – with many users starting a task on a smartphone and then finishing it on a larger-screen device. That task can be anything from searching, to shopping, to arranging travel, to social networking to watching a video.

Companies like Google will need to take heed of these trends – in order to capture the full attention of modern screen-gazers, online services will need to further integrate their services across these properties, encouraging seamless switching from mobile app to computer to television and back again. The easier it is to manage tasks across properties, the more likely users will stay within the ecosystem. It is fascinating, to say the least. What’s going to happen when we can also access the ‘net via Google Glass or other conduits? The mind boggles.

If you are interested in the full report, check out the Scribd embed below.

Cue, Formerly Greplin, Gets Smarter

Readers here may recall me extolling the virtues of Greplin, the app that lets you search across social networks and emails in your cloud to find that needle in the haystack you thought you remember seeing sometime long ago. Well, Greplin has morphed into Cue and has gotten a bit smarter and more agile. The basic premise remains the same – you can organize your information across accounts so you can pull that information and actually use it. But now Cue will actually index your information and combine snippets that appear to be connected, resulting in an almost semantic collection of related data that makes sense. So, if you are searching for a meeting you know you scheduled for a month from now, Cue will not just give you the meeting information in your calendar, it will give you contact information for attendees and emails pertaining to the meeting. Pretty cool.

Cue also has added support for your iOS calendars, and allows you to set which calendars will show up in your Cue. Cue indexes information from Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, iPhone Calendars, Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, iCloud Mail, Dropbox, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for free. Premium, costing $50 a year or $5 monthly, adds Evernote, Salesforce, Yammer, Basecamp, Reddit, Pinboard, Delicious, Tumblr and Google Reader accounts. That is a whole lot of information.

If you haven’t tried Cue, I suggest you do – more than once it has been able to find a lost email or post whose location  I couldn’t quite remember. It’s nice to have the mental backup. Works on your iDevice or the web. Check it out.

Archiving The Web Via PDFs and Dropbox

Hi, my name is Martha and I am a data hoarder. No really. I love to clip and save and organize the cool stuff I find on the web. Perhaps it comes from my professional background as a researcher – you never know when you are going to need that great bit of information in the future.

I also am a fan of PDFs and I love to work with them on my iPad. My favorite PDF app is iAnnotate, but there are other great ones, like the venerable GoodReader which has been around about as long as the iPad has. I also love Dropbox, the web storage / syncing / sharing application that is pretty much everywhere these days.

So, when MacStories published this great hack, I was all ears. Imagine using a web bookmarklet to save a webpage or URL as a PDF and store in your Dropbox so you can edit and sync across devices and access from anywhere? Federico Viticci has a great means of doing just that using the Instapaper Text Bookmarklet, available on the Instapaper web site (scroll down to the bottom of the page) and a command line Mac HTML converter called wkpdf.  Sure, its geeky. But it works great. Mac only, though, so sorry all you Windows users.

Hit the link above for the very explicit details. Viticci offers a couple of ways of getting the job done, but the end result is stored PDFs of sites with active links and images, with the crap stripped out for easy reading. I particularly like the option to use IFTTT by sending a Mail message with the URL, which then appends the body of the message to a text file. Takes a little bit of tweaking and a few apps to set the system up, but once it is up and going, you will be an automated URL / HTML to PDF machine! Thanks Federico!