Category Archives: android

ABA TechShow 2009 – Short and SaaSy

Were the ABA Damnit!

We're the ABA Damnit! We own you!

This was my 10th year at ABA Technology Show in Chicago. This year was particularly cool.  Here’s why:

Meeting The Heavies: To me, seeing people like Dennis Kennedy, Tom Mighelle, Bob Ambrogi, Jim Calloway, Kevin O’Keefe, Brett Burney, Andy Atkins, Jay Foonberg (!) and the rest of my pretend blog friends … I mean pretend LinkedIn friends … is like reconnecting with long lost relatives. Exciting and a little intimidating. But all of them were really great and down to earth. Except that Kennedy. Such a prima donna. I kid, I kid.

Meeting Canadians: Who can forget meeting the Great Librarian of Upper Canada! Beat that. Then there was Phil of the Future (my name for him), Steve Matthews (nice guy), Brett Burney (I think he’s Canadian), Dominic Jaar (vive la Quebec libre!), the boys from Clio (or as I called them, the Booth Babes), and a host of other talent from the Great White North. It was great to meet you all: now go back where the ice doesn’t melt until July.

Technology Becoming Accepted: This year for the first time in memory I noticed a preponderance of grey hairs and the careful gait of partners scoping out potential buys for their offices.  This was not the brash, flash-in-the-pan TechShow of the late-90’s in which the Internet was decried as a fad.

SaaS, Saas, and more Saas: Software as a service was all over the place, and by next year it will be pervasive. This year I was knocked out by the number and variety of kick-ass SaaS providers at the show including Clio, RocketMatter, and VLO Tech. Clio was my hands-down favorite for a number of reasons – I intend to use it in my own practice. Whatever your cup of tea, the idea of throwing away the IT department in favor of the Cloud is gaining traction fast.

Less is … Less: One lamentable fact about this  year’s show – there was less of it than I’ve seen in a long time. Another casualty of the economy I’d say, but we shouldn’t overlook the fact that many legal technology vendors have been slaves to profit instead of boosters for innovation and the slow economy is making it painfully apparent what a royal screw job they’ve been giving lawyers all these years. Many players couldn’t make it ? Good riddance to bad company.

Other than that however, it was a great experience as always and one that I heartily recommend to one and all. If you haven’t been to TechShow, go there. If you have, come back. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

For more coverage see my SmallLaw Column in TechnoLawyer.

Check out Twitter coverage of TechShow.

As always, I’d love your thoughts. E-mail me at mhedayat[at] or tweet me @practichacker.

ttyl 🙂

Blackberry Storm – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery


The Blackberry iPhone .. I mean ‘Storm’

Love is a many splendored thing. How else could you explain the way cell-phone companies can say “I envy and desire you” with their eyes while throwing darts at pictures of the iPhone?

As proof, take the latest “iPhone killer” to emerge from RIM. Hot on the heels of the Googlephone,  the Blackberry Storm is Research in Motion‘s  strike at Cupertino, California-based Apple and a sleek little number at that. Of course Crackberry fans have been ablaze with desire and this feature in Time Magazine did nothing to quench their gadget-lust.

Not that it’s a bad looking phone: on the contrary, it is sleek and boasts some innovative features (the ‘clickable screen’ is very cool for openers, and there are others). Then there is RIM’s ability to deliver the goods, which is legendary. Whether you use ‘push’ e-mail of the Microsoft Exchange variety or pop3 such as Hotmail, Gmail, etc., Blackberry will most likely get it to you faster than any other device, and sends replies without missing a beat thanks to RIM’s proprietary network. Even as a hard-core iPhone fan I must admit that the AT&T network is no substitute for Blackberry’s flawless delivery system.

So shine on you crazy diamond. Although we suspect that rumors of the iPhone’s demise are greatly exaggerated, the Storm is still a damn cool phone.

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The Second Coming of the Jesus Phone


Google written all over it

Google written all over it

Feast your eyes on the first cell-phone to have goodies like Gmail, Search, Calendar, and more built in from the get-go via the innovative and, until now, secretive Android mobile OS. The so-called Google Phone has been a myth for as long as the iPhone (dubbed the “Jesus Phone” by Apple fans); even true believers had to wonder if the Google Phone would ever materials. But the Google faithful were duly rewarded last month with the release of Chrome  and this month, the Google Phone.

Far from being a myth, the very real T-Mobile G1 boasts a gaggle of Google applications baked right in, and is the first cell-phone to use a truly open operating system built by a consortium. The upshot is that in theory developers could be popping out applications for the device in no time. Looking further into the future, in a year users should be able to make their Android-powered phones do pretty much anything from turning on the lights at home remotely to automatically letting contacts know they will be late to a meeting based on their GPS-determined position. It’s a brave new world, campers!

Of course the faithful have heard that one before … but hope springs eternal. I mean, they did come out with a phone, and last month a browser right? How badly could they blow this golden opportunity? Do you really want to know the answer? I didn’t think so.

iPhone v. Android v. The World

In the 1999 geek classic, “Pirates of Silicon Valley”, an Apple employee watching the famous “1984” commercial with Steve Jobs points to the Big Brother character — intended to represent IBM — and then points to Bill Gates of Microsoft, whom Jobs has just introduced as part of Apple’s family. The silent message is that the real threat to Apple is Microsoft, not IBM, and indeed the following scene depicts Jobs confronting Gates after Jobs sees Windows 1.0 running on an NEC PC.

That scene, set in 1983, could be easily recreated 25 years later, substituting the iPhone for the Macintosh, Microsoft for IBM as the iPhone’s perceived threat, and Google for Microsoft as the iPhone’s more serious threat. Like Microsoft in 1983, Google is a key Apple partner in 2008. The iPhone features Google Maps, GMail and Google as its default Web search engine, and Google CEO Eric Schmidt even sits on Apple’s board of directors. And also like Microsoft in 1983, Google is working fervently to create a wide range of competitors to Apple’s iPhone. None of these may ever match the integrated experience of Apple’s iPhone, but it’s clear that the first Android phone has come closer to the iPhone experience than Windows 1.0 did to the original Macintosh operating system. Nevertheless, Google’s task is a lot more daunting than Microsoft’s was for several reasons. [read the rest of the story]

Related: See coverage of iPhone v. Android on Read/Write/Web