#ABATECHSHOW Run-up – thoughts before the rush

28 02 2018

ABA Techshow is a week away so I just thought I’d take a few moments to opine on the journey to Techshow and try to make a few last minute suggestions:

1) Be AT the conference while you’re there – sure work interferes with best laid plans all the time but most people will be traveling to Chicago from out-of-state/out-of-country and you should squeeze every last bit of learning out of the few days you’re there. Delegate or postpone as much as you can before you head out.

2) The Canadians – I know I’ve mentioned the ubiquitous Canucks before but I say this again, seek them out and ask questions about what’s going on with Canadian regulators in Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia. They’re friendly, often know how to drink, are up for almost any kind of food or beverage, and as a bonus will often buy you a drink. (Ask to see their BlackBerry)

3) Go outside – Techshow is hypnotic and a bit overpowering so if you’re like me you start way too early and finish way too late. It’s a good idea when you’ve had your 19th vendor expo break to just skip it and go for a long walk. Walk to the lake, walk to the river, find the Billy Goat Tavern and have a razor thin somewhat tasteless but really cheap cheezborger. What could go wrong?

4) Find the parties – There are parties. Ask around. Some you will need a ticket or will have to get on a list. Get on the list 😉

5) Find the Legal Talk Network guys. They will have their finger on the pulse of Techshow – who they want to interview, who you shouldn’t miss, and where the good spots are for hurried food and drink (they work a lot so don’t harass them too much or they won’t get to eat.)

6) AI will be big this year so listen in to the keynote, the sessions, look for a robot lawyer. Stop and talk to Andrew Arruda (he will have a fresh haircut, big smile, and a TShirt identifying him as some guy named ROSS.)

7) Come to Canada – Did you know you can fly to downtown Toronto from Chicago (Midway) for about $300 return on Porter Air? If you haven’t been to Toronto it’s a world class city with amazing food and communities.

8) Enjoy yourself – there are lots of vendors. Kick the tires on something good! Ever heard of TrialPad? Check them out if you want to litigate and organize/present your trial from an iPad. Heck you can even meet Ian O’Flaherty, the “Honorary Consul of Ireland in Miami.” (He’s also CEO of the aforementioned company.) Practice management software? Yeah there’s lots of that there too from new kids on the block to the big players who have been around for 10 years.

9) Learn something – Go to the new attendee orientation if you have only been once or twice (or have never been.) It’s 07:30AM on March 8th.

Learn about Macs, hotspots, security, incremental backups, NAS, what’s a JungleDisk, cyberinsurance, where is the dark web, what is whaling and spear fishing, and, will you need a bigger boat.

10) Be careful, have fun, enjoy everything and know your limits, be respectful and try not to talk about politics unless you’re among “friendlies.”

Hope to see everyone there!

Twitter: @psuba98


My Continuing Half-Hearted Attempts to Buy a PlayBook, or Not

3 05 2011

I thought I finally had dismissed the idea of purchasing the PlayBook and then Lazaridis (the CEO with some tricks up his white sleeve,) announced today at BlackBerry World in Orlando, that the PlayBook has some enhancements coming. Chris Umiastowski of the Globe and Mail reported on some of the new features here.

RIM has also joined up with Adobe and Bing for some integration on their new devices: Globe article from today

Where does that leave me? Well I have to say I am intrigued by their efforts. Lazaridis claims the number of apps available at launch exceeded what the iPad had available at launch (in fact greater number of apps than any other tablet. The BIG NEWS seems to say that even Rovio likes RIM and soon businessmen will be launching birds at pigs all over the world.

Is RIM losing its way or have they finally found it? Their market projections seem to suggest they are being realistic given the number of players and the market stresses, but the new way they wear their hat seems to suggest they are flexible and a force to be reckoned with once they decide the consumer/business mix. Maybe they finally noticed all of those high school students with BlackBerrys who don’t care about security and want to play games. The Bing-thing and the joinder with Adobe Creative Suite bodes well for RIM and having Balmer in your corner can’t hurt.

Now if only I can get my device OS upgraded to thwart the attempts of my provider to usurp my unlimited data plan, I will acquire a PlayBook (which should have been called a BlackPad,) and I will data squander to my heart’s content.

Did I mention the new integrated email too?


UFC, Blackberrys, Macs, oh my!

30 04 2011

This is my own opinion and not the opinion of my employer.

OK, let me start by observing that the Law Society of Upper Canada has just finished its Bencher election. The Benchers for the governing body that runs the self-governing organization that licenses lawyers and paralegals in Ontario, and protects the public. The stats will undoubtedly show around 25-30% of the 40,000 eligible lawyers voted in this election, about an average turnout. Given the impact the LSUC has on ALL lawyers you would think more would vote, especially since it was an online vote this year for the first time! How simple is that?

Read an interesting article with a heavy Mac bias that “explained” why PlayBook and other devices failed against the iPhone/iPad juggernaut. I have written about this before but the article makes a few good points including the conservative nature of the PlayBook and the lack of security even with the lip service paid to it. Why did RIM talk to IS/IT people when they are never the users and notoriously. . .boring. I use Lotus Notes at my workplace because the tech people think its least vulnerable from a security perspective!?

I didn’t mean to digress, I meant to ask how long will the “slow to adopt Android” RIM device be around? I have a 2 year old BlackBerry device and it won’t synch with a PlayBook and won’t upgrade to the lastest OS to enable it to do so – how ridiculous is that? Now RIM is talking OS7. Didn’t we just open OS6?

Its UFC night in Toronto. Its interesting because Ontario struggled with keeping the MMA/UFC out of the province for years and then finally buckled under the money…er…pressure. This is a stadium event with a 55,000 person attendance at the Rogers Centre. Timely article in the Toronto Star about brain injury and mixed martial arts fighters.

Last thing of note – I will be photographing the League of Rock event Friday, May 6th in aid of the Lawyers Feed the Hungry program – its $25 for tickets or $35 at the door and its for a great cause!


BlackBerry PlayBook – A Few Observations

20 04 2011

First, it looks good. The sales people at Staples didn’t have a lot of product knowledge but they were friendly. They knew nothing about Bridge but tried to fake it as best they could.

Second, they have no idea what ships. The guy I was talking to looked in the box, looked at me, and basically said, “I guess that’s it”

Third, I think I need version 5.0 of the device OS and although version 5 is listed as available for my phone, conveniently it can’t be downloaded and it would be necessary to run Bridge. I guess that means to fully take advantage of tethering options I would need to upgrade my phone as well, something I haven’t considered until now.

Four, RIMs stock dropped with the launch but seems to be levelling today. Yesterday might have been a good day to buy and if the rumours are true the PlayBook will get better once they do the emulation thing with the Android store and there is more positive written about it.

Bottom line – I don’t have one yet, I am cautiously optimistic, and it has to improve. . .for $700 I can wait.


What went wrong – Blackberry PlayBook

14 04 2011

I think of myself as an early adopter. I am a cautious early adopter, not one who jumps in to the newest tech and then unloads it shortly thereafter for a trade-up but I have been in at the beginning of a few themes and occasionally I got burned. Somewhere in one of my drawers I have a lot of ancient technology that should be gently recycled. I have a Palm somewhere, remember them? I also have an iPaq, a little blockier but a small computer-like device that had some power and a few tricks up its electrically charged sleeve. The devices were small enough but they needed chargers and cables and transformers and if you had to travel with them you lugged a lot of weight if you were planning on being away for a few days.

Anyway, this brings me to the tablet conundrum. Everyone is floating their tablets out there in different flavours and colours (yes, Canadian spellings,) and different sizes too, some larger in the 10″ range and then the promised 7″ Playbook. So first let me say I don’t have an iPad and I think I can justify that decision with a look at my wife’s iPhone. She has an iPhone, lots of apps and a nice rounded edge, a thing of beauty. At that point I was a devoted BB fan so I admit I did covet a bit but mostly for the games and some of the cool camera apps. My Blackberry, well, although it has an unlimited data plan it really won’t run any data without putting up a fuss. I can text like crazy and I get to pretend to be in a special club with Blackberry Messenger but after awhile it seems like the club isn’t so special.

Where was I? Right, the sexy iPhone. Well its no fun to text on, and doing a longer email is more than a little annoying if you are/were a Blackberry user so I just couldn’t bring myself to convert. Then the new iPhone came out and I took a second look. The new iPhone has many cool features but it feels bad in your hands. It has edges, and one of the things I liked about the previous iPhone was it just felt so “right” in your hand. Then there were all of those “grip of death” problems with the new phone, and then boom, the first version of the iPad dropped. I looked at the iPad and it is a fun toy, but it was lacking some things in the first version and the second version comes along, something I was waiting on, and by now they have sold I don’t know, 48 million units or something!? I didn’t buy, but this time I didn’t buy because of that unlimited data plan I have and the lure of tethering my Blackberry to the new Blackberry tablet.

The misnamed tablet. What a shame. I was looking for a BlackPad. I wasn’t the only one. I mean its a cool name. The name itself sounds a little dangerous, sort of like the Raiders or something. Blackberry didn’t go with Blackpad. The PlayBook? What were you thinking? You try to sell the “business” application of Blackberry and then you mention “play”. I get it, but it just isn’t a marketing hammer. It just kind of sounds like they aren’t serious. They might have called it the Playpen or something.

Where are the apps? Where is the 3G capability? Blackberry has seen tablets getting released by everyone but Red Lobster and still they are lagging far behind. Sure you can run Android apps on the tablet (which seems like a desperate compromise move) and they can run Flash (did I mention I didn’t buy an iPad?) So I wait until next week to see the big launch of the Black…er….PlayThingy, and I will watch the sales guys in Staples and Best Buy, and wherever try to sell them to people but really, haven’t all of the people interested in tablets picked up their iPads or iPad2s? I’m waiting to give it a try but I’m not in a panic. I was in a Staples this week and they told me excitedly that had pre-sold 4 Playbooks! Isn’t that the death knell? They mentioned I should consider buying because they won’t get many more in stock at first. Gee, I could be one of the first dozen owners. Does that make me an early adopter or a dupe? The iPad 2 went on sale at the Futureshop up the street awhile back and the crowds were lined up for hours – they were sold out in an hour. Guess what, the iPad2s will miraculously be back in stock everywhere next week, at least that’s what a friend of mine suggested and I tend to agree.

Why will the PlayBook be an insignificant player in the tablet tableau? Too late to adopt early, the market was flooded by Apple, the purchase of QNX was too late and nobody is writing apps for them in spite of the offer of the free PlayBook to developers, and they people who are really waiting for it to drop (like me) are waiting because we have unlimited data plans that our Smartphone providers are trying to convince us to give up, and we can’t use them with our Blackberry Curves, Storms, Ratchets, etc. We want the power of tethering to finally burn that data! Is it worth the wait? Well, ask me next week but with the price of an iPad virtually the same as the Blackberry tablet. . .well for a guy who already owns 2 Macs and 3 iPods it might not be a tough choice.

Should have gone with the BlackPad, should have bonded with Android’s OS when you had the chance tossed the device out there with 3G in this iteration. Will the Playbook be around in a year? Probably, but maybe in my discarded tech drawer.