Kindle Threatens to Become Lawyer’s Swiss Army Knife

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It’s coming, I know it. I called it a year ago. Who wouldn’t rather have their entire library with automatic updates on a roughly 8 by 5 by 1/2″ tablet? The Wall Street Journal ran this article on Friday by Jeffrey Trachtenberg announcing that Practicing Law Institute (“PLI”) is making its law books available on the Kindle. The discounts off hard copy are not as steep for the PLI’s offerings as for other Amazon titles, but they should measure around 20%. The article quotes a VP from a market research firm on why law-on-Kindle makes sense:

“[t]here are a lot of practical reasons to believe that the digital market may well be more profitable for publishers of legal, medical and educational texts,” said Andrew Frank, a vice president at market-research firm Gartner Inc. “Since these texts are reference material, the ability to index them and set up bookmarks, which you can do easily with the Kindle, will save time and money for users.”

With all due respect, Mr. Frank, no duh! The article goes on to explain why the marriage makes sense: easy updates;  the ability to delete old information; portability; search; and, quick links to footnotes

Well over half of PLI’s 90-book catalog are now available. If all goes well, other legal publishers will follow suit and soon you will have a library in your hands that rivals the one at your law school.

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Kindle Threatens to Become Lawyer's Swiss Army Knife

Image representing Amazon Kindle as depicted i...
Image via CrunchBase

It’s coming, I know it. I called it a year ago. Who wouldn’t rather have their entire library with automatic updates on a roughly 8 by 5 by 1/2″ tablet? The Wall Street Journal ran this article on Friday by Jeffrey Trachtenberg announcing that Practicing Law Institute (“PLI”) is making its law books available on the Kindle. The discounts off hard copy are not as steep for the PLI’s offerings as for other Amazon titles, but they should measure around 20%. The article quotes a VP from a market research firm on why law-on-Kindle makes sense:

“[t]here are a lot of practical reasons to believe that the digital market may well be more profitable for publishers of legal, medical and educational texts,” said Andrew Frank, a vice president at market-research firm Gartner Inc. “Since these texts are reference material, the ability to index them and set up bookmarks, which you can do easily with the Kindle, will save time and money for users.”

With all due respect, Mr. Frank, no duh! The article goes on to explain why the marriage makes sense: easy updates;  the ability to delete old information; portability; search; and, quick links to footnotes

Well over half of PLI’s 90-book catalog are now available. If all goes well, other legal publishers will follow suit and soon you will have a library in your hands that rivals the one at your law school.

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Will Microsoft Build a Better Magnifying Glass?

Not to be outdown by the likes of Google and Wolfram Alpha, Microsoft appears to be unveiling its new search engine next week at the Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things D tech conference in Carlsbad, California, according to Resource Shelf.

The engine’s code name is Kumo, but it is really a rebranding of Microsoft Live Search conjoined with its new semantic ally, Powerset. And guess what? It is going to help us find more relevant results! The screenshots over at All Things Digital / Boomtown show a clean, spare look. PC World reports a three-column search results page with useful tools like related searches, a “single-session search history for quick backtracking”, and other related categories tied to your search inquiry. PC World uses an example of searching for a recording artist with results that include song lyrics, tickets, albums and the artist’s biography. Or searching for a product with results including images, reviews and product manuals.

Will Kumo stand or fall amidst the search stars? Not sure, but I can say this: more semantic competitors add up to us edging closer to a truly semantic on-line world! Kudos to Kumo!!!!

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