If you’re driving right now, it’s far more likely you are reading this on your phone than you would have been a year ago.Despite a harrowing surge in traffic fatalities, American drivers appear to be getting worse at avoiding Instagram, e-mail and other mobile-phone distractions while driving. More people are using their phones at the wheel, and for longer periods of time, according to a study published Tuesday from Zendrive, a San Francisco-based startup that tracks phone use for auto insurers and ride-hailing fleets.“As you have more young drivers on the road, and as people increasingly become addicted to their smartphones, it will continue being a major health issue — almost an epidemic — in this country,” said Zendrive founder Jonathan Matus.From December through February, Zendrive technology monitored 4.5 million drivers who traveled 7.1 billion miles, comparing the results with the year-earlier period. Roughly two out of three of … [Read more...] about Americans are texting more behind the wheel, ignoring new laws
Android auto fluence
We are fond of writing about the ongoing evolution of the automotive industry into a technology industry. It seems that the folks at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have been watching the same evolution. Just last week, NHTSA released voluntary guidelines to address driver distraction. These guidelines, Visual-Manual NHTSA Driver Distraction Guidelines for Portable and Aftermarket Devices, seek to further reduce driver distraction, thus reducing traffic accidents and fatalities. How do they do this?A few ways. First, the guidelines apply to mobile devise manufacturers and application/software developers. Thus, NHTSA is not setting guidelines for companies like Samsung, Google, Apple, etc. Second, the guidelines “encourage innovative solutions such as pairing and Driver Mode that, when implemented, will reduce the potential for unsafe driver distraction…” Third, the guidelines recommend that mobile device … [Read more...] about National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Regulates Cell Phones?
“People talk a lot about digital technologies revolutionizing legal practice,” says Tanina Rostain, a law professor at Georgetown Law Center who teaches a course on the potential of Internet-based technologies for legal practice and pedagogy. “This is the area where the revolution is happening.”Not surprisingly, among the earliest promulgators of justice apps are legal aid attorneys, who quickly realized that while many immigrants and low-income people can be intimidated by computers, many more know their way around a smartphone.One of the more innovative apps of this type is Stop & Frisk Watch, which can record a police officer’s actions with the flick of a finger and shut down the app seconds later with a quick shake of the phone.“The technology is never the hard part,” says Lisa Colpoys, executive director of Illinois Legal Aid Online, who helped champion a pair of apps that give her program’s clients easier access to its services. … [Read more...] about 20 apps to help provide easier access to legal help
When a federal judge in California blew away charges of fraud and conspiracy in a controversial stock-option backdating case in December, observers were stunned.Prosecutors had claimed that Henry T. Nicholas III and William Ruehle, the high-profile co-founder and former CFO, respectively, of Broadcom Corp., concealed millions by illegally altering the stock options awarded to employees of the Irvine, Calif.-based technology firm.But U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney instead found that prosecutors had tried to prevent three key witnesses from testifying, improperly contacted attorneys for defense witnesses and leaked grand jury information.That was onerous in itself. What most startled observers was the stormy language Carney used to lash out at prosecutors. “The lead prosecutor somehow forgot that truth is never negotiable,” Carney charged in his Dec. 15 decision. “To submit this case to the jury would make a mockery … of the constitutional right to due … [Read more...] about Aggressive Justice
Late last year, Wired.com reported that the Apple App Store holds more than 700,000 available apps, and more than 600,000 apps for the Android platform crowd into the Google Play Store. But my recent search of the Apple App Store using the terms law firm and lawyer brought up just a few dozen apps. Do these comparative numbers indicate that lawyers are prudently sitting on the sidelines until they see where apps are going, or that they might be missing an opportunity to get into the app world?It’s not an easy question to answer. In some ways the current app environment is reminiscent of the early days of webpages in 1995 or blogging in 2002 or 2003, when there was a small number of early adopters among the legal profession. For some, moving to the Web or blogging was a rewarding and successful step. For at least as many, it was a move that did not make sense. And for the majority, their efforts did not make much of an impact.Unlike the early days of websites and blogging, app … [Read more...] about Apt to make apps? What you need to consider before jumping in