Index of Computers & Technology

Blog Index

Oct. 10, 2016 10:00 am
There is an insidious new IRS scam doing the rounds. They send you a phony IRS CP 2000 form and claim the income reported on your tax return does not match the income reported by your employer. This is meant to get you worried. To confuse you further, the bad guys claim this has something to do with the Affordable Care Act. You might receive emails with attached phony forms, text messages and...  Read More
Aug. 5, 2016 1:05 pm
Ransomware. It's what keeps me awake at night as a CIO and technologist. Also known as crpytoware, these malicious tools encrypt your data, delete or disable the ability to use built-in tools in your operating system to roll back to prior versions and then charge you money to provide you with a decryption key. And they just keep getting more and more sophisticated, with some even providing so...  Read More
Aug. 3, 2016 4:21 pm
What is life?? Let’s take a closer look shall we… Once upon a time, not too long ago, I had the great pleasure of spending time with Dr Alan Rayner, a first rate scientist and former President of the British Mycological Society . Alan kindly contributed many insights to my book The Illusion of Separation , about how nature really works once we see beyond our acculturation. This blog post is...  Read More
Jul. 26, 2016 5:23 pm
The Fundamental Building Block of Life Is Not DNA, It's a Relationship, According to a New Scientific Study RIDGEFIELD, Wash., July 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- All origin-of-life theories have a problem: explaining the gap between chemistry and living cells. A new paper by Doug Marman and Alan Rayner offers a solution by posing that the source of life isn't DNA, proteins, or any other kind of...  Read More
Jul. 19, 2016 3:56 pm
By Doug Marman and Alan Rayner (This article has also been published on ) In March 2016, a group of biologists led by Craig Venter announced the creation of ‘independently’ living cells with the smallest genome . Their announcement was hailed as a milestone . The big lesson learned by the biologists is that no one can...  Read More
Jun. 3, 2016 5:29 pm
“Lenses of Perception” by Doug Marman: An Interesting Summer Read for Science Aficionados Let me start out by saying that this book has 359 references that comprise eleven pages of endnotes. If you’re not impressed by that, then this is probably not the book for you. However, if you love science and appreciate revolutionary ideas supported by considerable research that relate to an enigma no...  Read More
Mar. 31, 2016 12:17 pm
A goldmine of useful memes, textbook examples, blueprints for thinking, missed by most philosophers, is in the intersection of mathematics and anthropology. We tend to call this area "ethno-mathematics" by which we mean studying archaic practices from the past, such as Sumerian astronomy or Viking navigation techniques. We don't look at contemporary coding subcultures (such as Python's) nor at...  Read More
Mar. 14, 2016 1:50 pm
Microsoft, I like Windows 10 but the way you are trying to force it on every Windows user leaves me cold. For those of you that are not aware of what is happening, Microsoft has taken a number of steps to, in my opinion, trick users into upgrading to Windows 10. These actions vary from installing Windows 10 upgrades files on a computer without a user's knowledge, force installing a popup that...  Read More
Mar. 2, 2016 7:05 pm
By Doug Marman Lenses are ways of seeing. They frame everything we perceive. They make sense of the situations we find ourselves in, the people we meet—even the ways we see ourselves. They allow us to understand everything from science and art to relationships and teamwork. We recognize drops of water on a window because we have a lens that shows us what they are. Photo by kappachan. For...  Read More
Feb. 19, 2016 4:05 pm
There is a nasty new ransomware infection called Locky that is running rampant currently. This malicious infection is being transmitted by Word documents attached to an email purporting to be an invoice. Check out the following articles and share them with your laweyrs and staff to advise them as to how this is being targeted and to avoid opening one of these emails. The articles include samples...  Read More
Feb. 17, 2016 12:54 pm
Memos are a necessary evil in the business and legal world, but that doesn't mean that you have to write (or endure) crappy ones. Here's a great article from Kopywrting Kourse on How to write an effective memo. Keep them short, sweet and to the point. Check it out and share it with your co-workers.  Read More
Jan. 25, 2016 2:00 pm
In April 2014, Charles F Barnaby wrote a very interesting Article for Best Thinking entitled "Killing by Remote Control" . I left a comment back then - on his article - that it would be only a matter of time before terrorists and other criminals exploited this new technology to kill others. My Comment read: April 2, 2014 at 3:38 am Assassin Drones: The history of hi-tech crime...  Read More
Dec. 18, 2015 4:14 am
A week ago a colleague introduced me to a superb alternative to PowerPoint. Personally, I think it's a superb compliment to PowerPoint, since you can embed a link to it in the middle of a PowerPoint presentation and return back to your comfort zone in PowerPoint. The technology I am writing about resembles that clever stuff we all saw Tom Cruise doing in the 2002 film Minority Report . We knew...  Read More
Oct. 24, 2015 10:12 am
I got my early mathematics education in the early 1960s when the importance of number bases was stressed. Fast forward to 2015 (almost 2016) and many of the popular standards mention the importance of "base 10" arithmetic which ironically is code for "not teaching about bases much at all". My own position as a curriculum developer is the notion of number base indeed belongs in any common core...  Read More
Oct. 23, 2015 11:50 pm
I've had a great opportunity over the last few years, to participate in what seems to me a bold experiment. We've heard about "flipped classrooms" as an example of some new wrinkle, or workflow, in education. That's the ball park of the experiment I was in: alternative workflows for learning, in this case of computer literacy and connected skills, however I think the results generalize to...  Read More
Oct. 9, 2015 3:25 pm
One of the easiest ways to start automating document creation is to use the tools already included in the programs or platform we use daily. For most of us, this will be using text expansion or text replacement[1]. With text expansion or replacement, you type a special word, series of letters or characters and it is replaced with something else, such as a name, phone number, phrase or even an...  Read More
Sep. 21, 2015 1:40 pm
Most lawyers forget that their websites are viewed by disciplinary authorities as a form of client communications. Firms that update their website or delete it for whatever reason may run afoul of ethics rules if they do not maintain a copy of it. Anna Massoglia over at has a good post on this topic Deleting Your Website Can Come Back to Bite you in the Assets . Some folks believe...  Read More
Sep. 10, 2015 10:16 am
If you have a Mac, you already have some sophisticated screen capture tools built into the OS. How-To Geek has a great "How to" tutorial on using Grab in Mac OS X for more advanced screen captures. Check it out here .  Read More
Mar. 5, 2015 5:15 pm
If you want to test your website on accessibility, the user experience, how popular and well designed it is, here's an interesting tool I recently tried. It seems to work though a small sample of pages and gives your website a score. I've got 4.9 so I still have a ways to go. The analysis is rather light but it is free and it gives you some ideas on how to...  Read More
Feb. 2, 2015 7:49 pm
What images conjure forth when you think of a sportsperson? Physically fit athletes playing vigorous, strenuous games? What about when you think of video gamers? Socially excluded, adolescent introverts? From our stereotypes of these two worlds, it would appear that the participants of these different activities are completely different animals. When we look past these preconceived notions...  Read More
Oct. 30, 2014 9:38 am
Today's quick "How To" is useful if you are you are trying to create a whitelist in Gmail or any other time you want to insert a vertical pipe symbol "|" into a document or form. In Gmail you use the filter creation tool to whitelist a domain or domains. Rather than create multiple rules, you can add several domains all at once in one filter. However, the domains need to be separated by a pipe...  Read More
Aug. 6, 2014 10:30 am
Since late 2013 an insidious program that encrypts a users computer and then holds it for ransom unless the victim pays Hundreds of dollars by Bitcoin has been spreading throughout the globe. Cryptolocker and its variants have become the bane of computers users worlwide.Once infected, users had 72 hours to pay the ransom or the price went up; however, even paying the ransom was no guarantee of...  Read More
Jul. 12, 2014 8:23 pm
I've been absent from these pages for a while and wanted to provide a brief update to everyone. For those that are not aware of it, my last day as the Practice Management Advisor of the State Bar of Wisconsin was on May 23, 2014. I decided that this is a year for new beginnings. I had bariatric surgery in January and am now down almost 115lbs. However, when i returned to work after surgery and...  Read More
May 26, 2014 5:20 am
Last year I cringed amidst a captive audience. The very well paid Vice Chancellor of a British university was lecturing us by braying-on about his profound 'expert' observations that in the library of his institution students were using computers to learn and were not just "playing-around on Google." What that so called highly paid 'expert' leader in higher education clearly did not know is...  Read More
Apr. 30, 2014 9:19 am
Here is a great video and post with steps on how to protect yourself form the IE moonster affecting ALL versions of IE that has been making news this week. Steve Gibson created the inital steps but left out a few things. Terry Cole from Cole Informatics added these and created the video and post. If you're running Windows XP, you especially need to check this out. See it here .  Read More
Mar. 24, 2014 10:35 am
ABA TECHSHOW is fast approaching and in addition to all of the other sessions, there are a number of sessions for Android users. And just in time for TECHSHOW, has come out with their new list of the Best 100 Android Apps. There are a number on the list that can make lawyers lives easier such as Anti-virus and security apps, secure text messaging and communication apps and more. ...  Read More
Mar. 11, 2014 3:42 pm
With the continuing onslaught of data breach stories, every lawyer should be aware whether their state has such a law on the books and what it requires in the event of a breach. The National Council of State Legislatures has compiled a chart of which states and territories have such laws and links to them as well. According to the NCSL security breach website : Forty-six states, the District...  Read More
Feb. 21, 2014 11:09 am
Dropbox has a bit of a history when it comes to securing your information and who has access to it. It is definitely not the most secure file synchronization service available, but the reality is that it just works and is easy to use. Despite security concerns raised by many in the technology community, Lawyers and firms continue to use Dropbox and I don't foresee that changing anytime in the...  Read More
Feb. 7, 2014 11:14 am
Where have all the games gone? Much has been said about the fact that Microsoft has removed the “Start Button" and also has eliminated its well-known “Solitaire" games for Windows 8. This is both true and false. It is true that when you open Windows 8.1 you can find a “Start Button." Whereas with Windows 8, the start button is missing. Instead you will find it on a “Start Screen.” We’ve gone...  Read More
Feb. 3, 2014 11:31 am
Teaching seniors, the greatest obstacle. As many of you know I am a senior and I specialize in teaching seniors how to use computers. The question arises, “What’s different about teaching seniors as opposed to teaching younger adults?” I can imagine younger folks having a good time with that question. Is it because seniors are less intelligent than and young adults? Quite the opposite. If you...  Read More
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