Wednesday, November 30, 2005

More bad news on the Blackberry front

Reuters reports :
U.S. District Judge James Spencer rejected RIM's request to delay the case and refused to enforce a disputed, $450 million settlement with patent holder NTP Inc.

"Valid patents would be rendered meaningless if an infringing party were allowed to circumvent the patents' enforcement by incessantly delaying and prolonging court proceedings, which have already resulted in a finding of infringement," Spencer said in his ruling from Richmond, Va.

Spencer said he would request briefs and set a hearing date to deal with NTP's request for damages against RIM and an injunction that would halt U.S. sales of the BlackBerry and shut its service.

Non-spam review and verification request:

Thanks to Blogger Support for whitelisting this blog. It shall be called spam no more.

Your blog has been reviewed, verified, and whitelisted so that it will no longer appear as potential spam. If you sign out of Blogger and sign backvin again, you should be able to post as normal. Thanks for your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Blogger Support

Retrieve Clipboard Text To A Web Page With Javascript

Visit this site to see how might steal you sensitive data from your clipboard and how to fix it. This is an IE only issue. I've tested it and it doesn't work in FireFox.

Via Jim Calloway's Law Practice Tips Blog

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Boot CDs

Two great projects, Ultimate Boot CD - Overview and Emergency Boot CD Homepage. Both projects are designed to help you recover from hardware and software problems.

Via Digg

Friday, November 25, 2005

Saving Linux from the lawyers

ZDNet Australia reports:
Concern has grown over the past year that Linux could be under legal threat from claims it infringes certain software patents.

No court cases have been filed, but the issue is serious enough that several companies have pledged not to use their patent portfolios against the open source operating system.

Sober worm infects one in eight e-mails

Computer Weekly reports today that as many as one in eight of all e-mails are now infected with the Sober.
Security firm MX Logic said that as of noon on Tuesday, its threat centre had blocked more than a million e-mail messages infected with the latest variant of the prolific Sober worm, Sober-Z ? one in every eight e-mails. MX Logic first detected Sober-Z on Monday.

Meanwhile SophosLabs said the worm was spreading at such a rate that it accounted for more than 81% of all reported viruses, making it the world?s most widespread computer virus.

New Look

After listening to Kevin's critique of this blog, I've changed the template. It's not perfect, but it does look better. I've lost some of the customizations in the change, but I did keep most of the sidebar. HaloScan is gone for now, but might come back later.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanks Kevin part 2

I've posted a response to Kevin's criticisms of the look and usability of this blog.

Thanks Kevin but I'm no lawyer

A big thank you goes out to Kevin at LexBlog for the kind word, but for the record I'm no lawyer. I'm an network engineer who has spent years around blogging, law firm marketing, and in the field of law firm IT. While I've spend years being managed by lawyers, I'm by no means an expert on law firm management.

Just Say No to Speaking Without Visual Aids

Illinois Trial Practice Weblog says what I was thinking when listening to John C. Dvorak on This Week in Tech #31 in the car driving home from Thanksgiving dinner.

Oncee vs. Blogger, round 2

Blogger has marked Law Firm IT as a spam blog.
Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. (What's a spam blog?) Since you're an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive.

Before we can turn off mandatory word verification on your posts we'll need to have a human review your blog and verify that it is not a spam blog.

I guess I got too postly for them. I've requested a review. I've had this issue with Blogger before over at my personal blog. I wrote about my previous fight here and here.

BlackBerry 8700c hits stores on Black Friday

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

More Sober Variants

SANS - Internet Storm Center - Cooperative Cyber Threat Monitor And Alert System
IMPORTANT: Antivirus software does not provide any reliable protection against current threats. Viruses like Sober tend to change every few hours well in advance of AV signature updates. The fact that an attachment did not get marked is no indication that it is harmless. We do receive reports of up to date versions of AV software missing some of the recent Sober variants.

Sober is now considered the "largest virus outbreak of the year" according to F-Secure (thanks Matthias J. for pointing this out). It looks like the fake FBI e-mails are working for them.

How Open Can Microsoft's Formats Be?

How Open Can Microsoft's Formats Be?
Opinion: The software giant might convince customers that its formats are sufficiently open for archival purposes, but it is not about to let outside parties exercise any control.

MS moving toward XML formats for Office isn't perfect in my opinion, but it is a step in the right direction.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Training/Tips

I've always been a fan of free training. Here's a good into to SEO: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Training/Tips

Terrorism threat to Net overblown

Security guru Bruce Schneier thinks so.

SANS Top 20 Vulnerabilities for 2005

SANS Top 20 Vulnerabilities - The Experts Consensus
This SANS Top-20 2005 is a marked deviation from the previous Top-20 lists. In addition to Windows and UNIX categories, we have also included Cross-Platform Applications and Networking Products. The change reflects the dynamic nature of the evolving threat landscape. Unlike the previous Top-20 lists, this list is not "cumulative" in nature. We have only listed critical vulnerabilities from the past year and a half or so. If you have not patched your systems for a length of time, it is highly recommended that you first patch the vulnerabilities listed in the Top-20 2004 list.

The use of color and identity in firm maketing material - Law Firms Look to Color for Identity

There's a great summary over at, including charts and graphs.

This study is a must read for any website designer or other person who has a hand in marketing your firm.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Received a worrying email from the FBI or CIA? It could be the Sober worm

Monday, November 21, 2005

Microsoft standardizes Office formats

Alex's brother, Robert points to the annoucement Microsoft will standardize Office formats as XML: Scobleizer - Microsoft standardizes Office formats: Jean Paoli interview

Sunday, November 20, 2005

ProLaw V11 and client-side cursors

Got shells?: V11 finally updated: " ProLaw v11 uses client-side cursors. This is going to shift a large part of the load from the server to the workstation."

MS Exchange 12 to be 64 bit only

Alex Scoble - MS Exchange 12 to be 64 bit only?: "Firms that are already on decent hardware and have Exchange 2003 will find this hard to swallow"

Also see - Got shells?: Exchange 12 will only run on 64 bit machines...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

IT workers win 'worst dressed' award

IT workers dubbed 'worst dressed'

Sometimes IT workers in a law firm stick out like a sore thumb. I've tired dressing up, but you never know when you have to crawl under someone's desk or pick up a dusty monitor. IT can be a dirty job.

Polos and khakis are our uniform.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Test post via Flock

Also testing adding tags via Flock.

technorati tags: ,

OPML Browser

Still trying to wrap you mind around OPML. Take a look at Yafbog's OPML Browser.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Your Google Searches May Be Used Against You In A Court Of Law

Techdirt:Your Google Searches May Be Used Against You In A Court Of Law
While there appears a ton of other evidence (digital and otherwise), one of the pieces of evidence in the murder trial of a man accused of killing his wife was that he searched for "neck snap break" on Google soon before he allegedly killed her.

Government Enters Fray Over BlackBerry Patents

How Appealing has the story and links to reporting of the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times on the isssue.

Goodbye Google Ads

Google has marked Oncee@Blogger as a spam blog. I've requested it be reviewed, but the email is bouncing back. As a protest I've removed the Google Ads from both my blogs.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Law Firm Plans Robot Lawyers

South African law firm Buys Inc. plans to introduce a trio of robot lawyers next year designed to offer online legal advice to customers, Business Day reports.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Blawg Review #31

Andrew Raff at IPTAblog is hosting Blawg Review this week.

Everything You Wanted to Know About T1 But Were Afraid to Ask

T-1, T1, DS-0, DS-1, T-span, DSX, Channel Bank

Geeky, but interesting stuff.

Long sigs

I got a kick out of Mike McBride's post over at Life of a one-man IT department on long sig lines.
As any law-firm IT person can tell you, 18 lines is not an exaggeration. The "standard" sig file for our firm has a 3 line paragraph tax advice disclaimer, a blank line, 8 lines of contact information, (name, title, company, address, phone number, fax number, email address, etc.)another blank line and then concludes with a 6 line "Confidentiality Notice".

Yes, that's 17 lines of text with two paragraph breaks, for a total of 19 lines. And yes, the first time I saw it on an email, the entire contents of which was the word "Thanks", it blew my mind.

For the record mine is only 15 lines, including the "Confidentiality Notice".

Virus scanner for you Mac

Alex Scoble says, "Douglas Schweitzer prefers Sophos for the Mac, which is not free to the general public and free Avast! 4 Home Edition for the PC. Now is a good time to mention that a lot of Mac users, unwisely, use no antivirus protection at all, which is a recipe for future disaster, unless you don't buy the hype that Apple will soon rule the world...again."

While I think someone could write a virus for the Mac, the only threat are Word macro viruses. There are free virus scanners for the Mac such as ClamXav 1.0.1. As they says on their homepage, " Back in the days before OS X, the number of viruses which attacked Macintosh users totalled somewhere between about 60 and 80. Today, the number of viruses actively attacking OS X users is...NONE! However, this doesn't mean we should get complacent about checking incoming email attachments or web downloads, for two reasons. Firstly, there's no guarantee that we Mac users will continue to enjoy the status quo..."

My experience are these products are more trouble than they are worth. OS X is unix and like Linux and other *nix out there, there are currently no know viruses or adware out there. I'm more worried about the threat of root-kits, which patch the kernal than I am viruses.

My advice is run a free virus scanner if you are really worried about it, but I don't think there is much to worry about.