Weekly News Round-up: What You May Have Missed in the World of Android

Next week, or depending on when you’re reading this post, April 5, I’ll be presenting at my two ABA Techshow sessions. I encourage you to join me bright and early for Tablet wars with Tom Mighell and James Province, immediately followed by The 4×4 Challenge. Both sessions will be fun and informative.

This week’s round-up will be the last one until the Friday after Techshow (I usually write these at 3 am on Friday morning or 11 pm Thursday), and posts on this blog might be a little sparse.

Of course, I will be tweeting about my experiences at @jeffrey_taylor, and making regular posts to my Google+ profile. I’m more than happy to follow you back and add you to my circles, but remember, your social media profile must have a picture, a summary of who you are (and not that you’re the greatest _______ attorney in ________ city, and that you help your clients – uh duh, we all do/are that), a great number (over 100) non-marketing tweets or posts. That’s it. In other words, show me that you intend to be social with your social media profiles. If you’re at Techshow and want to meet up, send me a tweet or email (jeff@thedroidlawyer.com). For you DC folks, don’t forget I’ll be there, too.

Speaking of the ABA, I received my copy of the ABA Journal, and low and behold, who’s on the cover? Well, not me, but I do have a one paragraph shout-out in Joe Dysart‘s cover article, The Mobile Lawyer. I was happy to offer my input to relevant apps for lawyers, and although I still like Fastcase, I’m much more fond of ezPDF Reader. I think ezPDF Reader has more versatility and general everyday applicability for lawyers. That’s not saying Fastcase isn’t relevant, it’s just not an everyday tool. You’re also going to see Jeff Richardson’s review, and even though he’s an Apple guy, I still love reading his blog posts.

And before I offend any other app developers, here’s this week’s best stories, as selected by me:

  • I mentioned the ABA Journal’s poll on lawyer’s using apps, and despite my prediction that the results would vary, they haven’t. Of course, this isn’t a scientific poll by any means, but arguably you can garner some information from the results. Today, the actual number, 53.71%, is an increase over yesterday’s number, with an additional 60 votes. This week’s poll is going to be a skewed reflection of the ABA Journal’s.

  • Here’s a bad statistic I saw: Nearly 1/2 of Commuters Have a “Habit” of Texting while Driving. Don’t say you never do it, because I guarantee you do. Here’s an example of a close experience, and I still find myself checking email messages.
  • Google’s Glass experiment is off with 8,000 people being notified they’re “winners” of the #ifihadglass contest. Unfortunately, the “unique” selection process appears like it’s more aptly done at random, since Google is already starting off by kicking people out of the program. Oh, by the way, what’s $1500 times 8,000? Yeah, quick cash.
  • Google’s also pledging to “be like the Swiss” when talking patent litigation. Google announced its Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge, which says “we won’t sue you if you don’t sue us,” or something like that. The pledge is limited to the list of pledged patents, but at least it’s a start in the right direction. You can read the entire pledge here. Sorry, that sucked. I thought the pledge would be shorter, like “I pledge allegiance to Google…,” or closely similar.
  • Incidentally, how great would the patent world be if you had to have an actual working model of your patent? I know, there’s hundreds (okay, maybe 1) of reasons why we have our system to “protect” innovation. But, what if, just for a moment, you couldn’t file a patent without a working product. We’d prevent these kinds of patents, and hopefully, encourage a lot more development. Admittedly, the wrap-around screen is cool.
  • Futurelawyer posted this story discussing the implications of Google Glass and distracted driving. I’m sure we’ll see some regulations, or at least attempts to regulate the use of Glass, and certainly attempts from some publicity-hungry venues. But, is a ban or regulation necessary?
  • Facebook is holding an event to announce its new Facebook Phone, or at least that’s the general speculation. That ultimately means the speculation is true, the phone is real, and shows why Facebook still wants to control your life thinks its service is relevant anymore has money to spend is the most popular social media site. I’m not interested in a Facebook phone unless Facebook will pay me $50 per month for advertising.
  • Here’s a BOLO notice for a serious malware infection because of the IRS. Apparently, there’s a trojan-embedded email circulating “from” the IRS. Of course, if you just ignore all messages from the IRS, you wouldn’t have to worry about this malware. (Audit, say what?) Disclaimer:Internal Revenue Service Circular 230 Disclosure: In compliance with IRS requirements, you are on notice that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. This information contained in this electronic message and any attachments to this message are intended only for the exclusive use of the designated recipient(s). It may contain confidential or proprietary information and may be subject to the attorney-client privilege or other confidentiality protections. If you are not the intended recipient, or the person responsible for delivering the e-mail to the intended recipient, be advised you have received this message in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, or copying is strictly prohibited. Thank you.
  • Having issues with you Galaxy Nexus phone running Android 4.2? You’re not alone. This time, blame Verizon.
  • Google beefed up its Translate app this week. Now, even more languages are available, and there’s an option for offline use. Unfortunately, there’s not a “redneck” or “hillbilly” language pack for those times I travel deep into “the country.”
  • Calling all space geeks and bleeding hearts: UC Berkeley Professor David Anderson, needs your help, or at least your unused computing power. If you don’t know, Professor Anderson directs the SETI@home and BOINC projects at UC Berkeley. Now, Professor Anderson wants your Android devices to aid in the search “to cure diseases, study global warming, discover pulsars, and do many other types of scientific research.” I’m in. My only question is, does this count towards my 50 hours of pro bono work?
  • Oh yeah, for Ouya? There’s a new little Android-based gaming console coming into the world, and it’s called Ouya. At $99 (Amazon pre-order), this guy might be a great little (literally and figuratively) addition to your entertainment. CNet has a great review here. The great thing about Ouya is the fact that all the games are free. The console comes with one controller, additional controllers will set you back another $50.
  • And finally, if you’re considering a tablet, you might want to check out the Google Nexus 10. Here’s a review from Marcus Brownlee:

Here’s to a great week. And for those celebrating Easter or Passover, may God bless you.

Let's discuss this (you can use Markdown in your comment)

Jeff Taylor

I’m just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I’m also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.