"Paralegals and Smartphones"

I'm not saying you should buy a smartphone, but the Indiana Paralegal Association rightly points out the value of quick email replies:

"I am willing to go out on a limb with this one, but I have come to the conclusion that smartphones are quickly becoming a requirement for paralegals. Whether we like it or not, we live in a world of invisible fences and constant communication (as one of my collegues constantly reminds me). Several weeks ago, I finally broke down and purchased the Samsung Blackjack smart phone (I highly recommend this phone to anyone interested in a slim smart phone)."

"RIM announces Blackberry 8800"

Yay! It's way past time to get a new Blackberry, isn't it?

"Research in Motion (RIM) today announced a new Blackberry smartphone. The new 8800 merges the form factor of the traditional Blackberry with the piano-black design of the 8100. The new phone comes with integrated GPS and a n illuminated 'Pearl' trackball.

"Other than the original 8100 Pearl, the 8800 tries to appeal to traditional Blackberry customers with a security-focused, but enhanced feature set. As the original Blackberry devices, the 8800 is wider than the 8100 and offers a full QWERTY keyboard."

Oh yeah, it's stylish!

"Are BlackBerry users the new smokers?"

Well, people do seem addicted to these devices (cell phones too). What do you think?

"I have a new policy with my friends. I will not meet them in a restaurant or bar - holiday cheer notwithstanding - unless they promise to switch off their cellphones and BlackBerrys.

"It's embarrassing to impose such sanctions. It seems discourteous. Yet I feel like I have to speak up. The idea of a ban came to me after dining with an old college friend. I was confiding something, when it dawned on me that he wasn't even listening. He was staring down at his lap, instead.

"'What are you doing?' I asked, feeling dismayed.

"'I'm sending you an e-mail,' he muttered.


"What is the behavioral equivalent of this socially sanctioned and business-approved use of gadgetry? It's like having a dinner party guest pull out her crime thriller to read while she slurps up your pasta. It's like a man striding 10 feet ahead of his lady companion when they're out for a stroll, or someone firing up a cigarette in an elevator."

The annoyance & rudeness aside, can this in-your-face technology be healthy?

CrunchGear: Best electronics of 2006

Lots of fab tech gifts -- games, music, phones, mobile stuff, sure, but I really liked the infrared trash can!

"CrunchGear’s editors searched far and wide for the best gadgets of 2006. We’ve included devices from our own pages and some things we picked up over the year that made us smile. Read on for everything we loved this year.


"This is hilarious, but I’m nominating the Nine Stars DZT-42-1 11 Gallon Infrared Trash Can. It has an MSRP of $99 but we got it for $37 at Costco and it’s been one of the best kitchen investments we’ve made in a while. The can runs on 4 D batteries and reacts to a presence in front of the sensor. No more foot switches, no more touching a dirty trash can lid. It’s going to be a great toy for the boy when he’s old enough to peer over the top edge.

"Not sure how you’d be able to sneak this under the tree, but give it a go. -JB"

BTW, "Crunchgear is a blog covering gadgets, gear and computer hardware. It is a part of Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch Network."

"Free Services to Inspire Your Cellphone"

Helpful NY Times techie, David Pogue, offers up a batch of useful cell phone services:

"With every passing month, cellphones are becoming even more useful. Sure, it’s nice that they let you call people from the road. But lately, their reach has grown, thanks to clever programmers making links between the cellular world and the Internet.

"Here, for your gratitude-generating pleasure, is a rundown of some of the most exciting and powerful services awaiting your cellphone at this very moment. Better yet, at the moment, they’re all free."

Descriptions included:

§          Free Directory Assistance

§          Free Answers

§          Free International Calls

§          Free ‘Pings’

§          Free Fun

§          Free Price Comparisons

You've got to try the personalized outgoing messages from YouMail.com!

"My cell phone is bigger than yours..."

Yeah, this AlterNet post is only tangentially related to the legal field. But don't most lawyers & paralegals use cell phones?

"Just a short reminder that we're all hopeless monkeys trapped inside one giant National Geographic special, via TechDirt [links below are from original post]:

"Well, it appears some things don't change much. Almost exactly six years ago, we wrote about a study that said that men tend to use mobile phones in the same way that peacocks display their plumage: as a mating call to try to impress women. A new study has found that this still happens. Men are much more likely to actively display their mobile phones in social situations. The article suggests it's a way to pick up women, but it also notes that men are just as eager to display their mobile phones to other men to make themselves appear more important. Of course, what makes this even more interesting is the study we saw this past summer that found that women use mobile phones for almost the exact opposite purpose. They do it to keep men from approaching them. That is, if they see someone approaching them, they may pull out the phone so they have an excuse to avoid talking to the man. No wonder the sexes have so much trouble communicating. They don't even use communication devices the same way."

So, tell us how you use cell phones!