This entire situation seems ridiculous. Apparently the previous policy allowed people to work at home full-time and NEVER come into the office. It would seem that some kind of middle ground makes much more sense. But anyway, I stumbled across this “letter” from an employee to the CEO – absolutely hilarious: http://mrsniffen.tumblr.com/post/44600485954/an-open-letter-to-yahoo-ceo-marissa-mayer Personally, I work at home about 25-50% of the time, depending on the week and weather. I find that my productivity is the same in either location. It seems that taking away this capability would be counter-productive in a large corporation, especially in cities where commuting is an ordeal. Will other companies follow? Will law firms follow? I doubt it – I think it will backfire for Yahoo and it will give competitors like Google a chance to cherry-pick Yahoo’s best employees. How many of you work at home routinely? How many solos are there out there who home office 100% of the time? Curious to see what others think about this – share your firm’s policy and your work-at-home experience by commenting.
Well by now everyone is well aware of the leveraged buyout of Dell Computer by a group led by founder and Chairman Michael Dell, along with a consortium of venture partners include Silver Lake Investors and Microsoft. I’ll leave the financial analysis and LBO breakdown to the quantitative numbers wonks out there. What I’m more interested in is what this means for the legions of law practice consumers of Dell computers and support services. The Big Questions You’re Undoubtedly Wondering About: Are you SOL in the wake of the privatization efforts that seem to be focused on turning off the public light of scrutiny on the remaking of Dell, a la IBM post-shedding its PC division to Lenovo, into an IBM-like service-focused profit machine? What will happen to that shiny new Dell PowerEdge Server you just installed next month, next year, or three years from now? Should we continue to purchase Dell computer products at all? The answers to these three big questions is yet to be determined. The ink on the deal isn’t really dry yet – there are hurdles still to be jumped apparently. But presuming the deal is done, this is likely going to be a positive… read more →
A company called Rapid7 has uncovered a really danger security hole that exists in most wireless routers. A setting that activates a function called Universal Plug and Play (usually referred to as “UPnP”) can expose the internal network to intrusion and relatively easy exploit. For the more technically inclined, read this description of the issue or read this one. For the rest of us, Andy Greenberg from Forbes magazines explains it in plain language here. The point is that whether this applies to a router in your law firm or your home router, you need to disable UPnP. Odds are nearly 100% you won’t notice it at all. Do this now – this one is a serious risk to your firm’s and clients’ information and all your personal information at home. Please take this seriously. If you don’t know how to access your router’s control panel, find the manual for it online and read how to turn off UPnP (or have your IT folks do it for you).
Um . . . yawn . . . oh, sorry, nodded off for a moment. What was I saying? Oh, yeah, Google just released its first branded tablet model (made for it by Asus). It’s called the Nexus 7 – c|Net offers its first impressions here today. Okay, maybe it’s not as much of a snoozer as it might seem. There are some noteworthy things about it, as follows: First 7″ tablet to have the 1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core CPU, which includes a 12-core GPU – translation: it should be really speedy. Priced like the Kindle Fire but more physically capable – $199 for the version with 8 GB RAM or $249 for the 16 GB version, each with a $25 credit from Google Play to download apps. First Android tablet to market with Google’s latest Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” edition. Long projected battery life – Google claims 9 hours running 720p video (impressive if true). It does now seem to be the best 7″ Android choice by far. Here’s the purchase link from Google Play (showing shipping in 2-3 weeks). Personally, in addition to my iPad 1 (that “1″ is hard to admit to these days :-)). I’m using a 7″ Acer… read more →
Tablet Deal Alert! Acer Iconia Tab Series Under $200 Just saw these two and thought some of you might be interested: 1) Acer Iconia Tab A200 10″ Android tablet with 16 Gb RAM for $199. http://www.bensoutlet.com/products/acer-iconia-tab-a-series-10-dot-1-touchscreen-tablet. Factory refurb model. 2) Acer Iconia Tab A100 – 7″ version of the above with 8 Gb RAM. Also a factory refurb model: http://www.bensoutlet.com/products/acer-iconia-tab-a-series-android I have one of the latter that I bought from them and love the smaller form factor when I don’t want to use my bigger iPad. It’s also a perfect Kindle reader – just the right size to hold like a book. I did a software update when I got it and it automatically installed Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Hope someone can take advantage of these!
I think it doesn’t take a Krugman-level economist to have predicted that with the rush of new companies into the SaaS practice management space, consolidation would be inevitable. While there would seem to be plenty of room for growth in the legal cloud practice management space, the rush to market inevitably means some companies with lesser funding, ideas not as well thought out, inadequately executed marketing, and a message that isn’t distinctively compelling will fail. And it’s happened. Read Evan Koblentz‘s article on Law.com entitled: “Livia Legal Defunct After Strong Start,” here. This is a reminder that this is still a relatively young market. Clients are regularly asking us to take out a crystal ball and advise them on which SaaS providers – whether practice management companies, billing providers, or generically horizontal companies like backup, storage or e-faxing – will actually survive. I tell them that crystal ball is extremely murky and that anyone who takes a definitive stance at this point is a gambler, plain and simple. That’s not to say we’re not recommending services like Clio, Netdocuments,Dropbox, Metrofax and others. But they recommendations always come with an overt caveat about prospective company longevity: “we just don’t know.” While the odds favor some of these companies v. others,… read more →
Interested proposed federal legislation today related to limiting employer and school access to social media accounts.Here’s the scoop from MSNBC today: “A New York Congressman has introduced federal legislation nicknamed “SNOPA” that would make it illegal for employers and educational institutions to require a potential or current employee, or a potential or current student, to divulge personal online information as part of the hiring, enrollment or discipline process. The bill, with a full name of the Social Networking Online Protection Act, was introduced Friday by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.). . . . The legislation would ban employers from requiring that employees or job candidates share social networking passwords or “other means of accessing a private account”; it would also ban post-secondary schools from disciplining students for failing to provide such access, or from discriminating against applicants who refuse to provide such access. Local educational agencies would also be banned from requiring login credentials.” ——————– Not surprising – something like this was expected soon. I’ll be talking about this very topic at the ABA GP|Solo Spring Meeting in Charleston, S.C. on May 18th at 8AM (info is here) along with technopal Alan Klevan. I’m sure we’ll see a flood of discussion on this –… read more →
Aderant has a voracious appetite for legal software companies. After having munched down RainMaker last year, the Atlanta-based publisher of the AMLaw 200-focused Aderant Expert financial system, has polished off venerable Omegal Legal as well. Now with two mid-market financial/practice management sessions in the corporate fold, one has to wonder if there’s any real competition left in the middle market. Rippe-Kingston remains strong, Orion is still out there and Lexis-Nexis has Juris and the Tabs 3 people continue to move upwards in their suitable customer size. But consolidation seems to be the trend just as strongly in the days when the company f/k/a West and LexisNexis were rampaging through the market on their acquistion warpaths. What does this mean for customers and prospects of Omega’s capable financial and practice management systems? Who knows. Aderant has had Rainmaker in the family for more than a year – a competitor of Omega’s. Is consolidation of the products in the cards? Will one be phased out and its customers migrated to one or the other, or a unified hybrid of the two? Or will Aderant engagement in GM-style brand management, keeping the Rainmaker and Omega brands both alive? Hard to say (but think “Pontiac, Saturn and Oldsmobile”). I had the pleasure of… read more →
Reporting live from ABA TECHSHOW 2012, here’s my broad impressions on the unofficial theme for this year’s conference, based largely on what the marketplace is doing. Based on the buzz and activity in the exhibit hall, there are three things: 1) Cloud everything – whether practice management, document storage, collaboration, discovery, financial and document systems, what gets the crowd excited are any kind of cloud initiative. 2) Mac v. Windows – it doesn’t matter anymore with lawyers able to use both interchangeably when drive by use of cloud apps and services – these serve as the great equalizer rendering one’s hardware platform choice more a matter of preference than anything else. 3) Push harder – in other words, get more out of the software and services you’ve already been using – time to stop fumbling with Word and trying to use it as a glorified, post-WordPerfect typewriter. Stop glossing over the deep range of capabilities within programs like Microsoft Outlook and Adobe Acrobat. Stop being a digital slob with electronic snippets of info all over the place and unify it with tools like Microsoft OneNote or Evernote. Stop accumulating and start really USING the products and services you’ve bought and paid… read more →