Mapping the News

Sometimes the standard Google search doesn’t cut it when you are looking to filter by location. If you need to get the best local news in a particular, international region, there is a tool for you: Newspaper Map. Newspaper Map uses Google Maps to show the world’s leading newspapers pinned to their appropriate locale. Zoom into the map for a particular region or search by name and get the best papers. If you click the pin, you are taken to the newspaper’s website and Google Translate is integrated so you don’t need to worry about the language deficit. Filter by major papers only or include all the small town dailies as well. And, if you are on the run (or simply visiting a foreign land and looking for the local goods), Newspaper Map works well on mobile tool. Definitely one for the Cool Tools list.

Hat tip to Digital Inspiration Technology.


iCurrent: Another Super-Cool Custom News Tool

I am all about having the relevant information brought to me, because I am a lazy reader at heart. Always looking for that virtual newspaper boy or girl, slamming that e-paper at my front door. Enter iCurrent – a customizable “front page” with content from newspapers, blogs, magazines and web sites tuned to your interests. From the site:

Think of iCurrent as a newspaper published constantly just for you. It delivers the latest news and information for your interests

Simply enter as many of your interests as you wish, and immediate get a “front page” showing those interests in newspaper format. Hover over the title and see arrows that enable you to push the subject matter up or down. In four clicks, I was able to tailor my “search” interest to completely omit any missing persons news. “Channels” offer news only about your specific interests. Create new channels by surfing on the site. Follow popular topics and view channels crafted by iChannel’s editors. You can even share your channels with friends.

How does it work? Let iCurrent explain:

iCurrent is based on sophisticated indexing technology that harvests and organizes Internet content and matches newly found articles to your interests, constantly. Our harvester aggregates articles from thousands of newspapers, magazines, blogs, and websites. To make it easy for you to have a rich and varied set of channels, our curators and users share thousands of content channels across a wide range of interests.

Sources, Channels, Front Page

It just rocks. Give it a try.

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Save A Briefcase, Use A Kindle

I have long suspected that e-readers in general and the Amazon Kindle in particular could serve a higher purpose for lawyers. There is no doubt that we, as a profession, drown in paper. While we are in much better shape in this regard now than we were, say, 10 – 15 years ago, there is still a lot of paper wending its way through the practice. And, of course, lawyers by definition are avid readers, by both choice and necessity.

Many thanks to Justin Rebello at the Wisconsin Law Journal for his short list, of lawyer-specific reasons to grab a Kindle. Quoting from Justin:

  • Read depositions. The most common use for attorneys is exploring read-only versions of deposition transcripts.

    The Kindle allows the user to make notes on the screen or on the Web via an online content manager.

    There are also applications — such as Accureader — that can transfer a Kindle file (a .ptx file) into a PDF for text conversions, and have it e-mailed to a laptop.

    “It’s an easy way to keep track of the case no matter where you are,” said Finis Price, a personal injury lawyer in Louisville, Ky. “A laptop or other reader is too clunky for [converting files].”

  • Take private records home with you. The days of an attorney piling ultra-sensitive case documents into a brief case are over.

    The Kindle allows the user to upload documents onto the device using Amazon’s Digital Text Platform self-publishing tool.

  • Find new ways to release your own book. Speaking of self-publishing, the Kindle gives attorneys looking to release their own book more options.

    You can use the Digital Text Platform to upload, format and sell your book at the Kindle Store. Hundreds of law-related books are already available.

  • Keep up on blogs. If your Google Reader is constantly showing 1,000+ unread items, the Kindle can download a number of blogs so you can stay up to date while on the go, all without a web browser, says Price. [Yep, the Studio can even be loaded onto your device, via Amazon!]
  • Save on printing costs. The Kindle certainly isn’t cheap ($359 for the current iteration, $489 for the DX), but it can actually save law firms money in the long run.

    Firm policies and manuals can be uploaded in a read-only format. Web versions of magazines and newspapers can also be converted.

As more lawyers adopt this facile method for dealing with the mountains of paperwork (and email) that pervade their lives, briefcases and backs are certain to breathe a sigh of relief.

Hat tip to Legal Writing Prof Blog.

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