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July 2011 Archives

July 1, 2011

A preview of Gmail's new look - Official Gmail Blog

StartingJUne 30, 2011, you'll see the "Preview" and "Preview (Dense)" themes in the Themes tab in Gmail Settings. Why two themes? Their new interface will eventually expand dynamically to accommodate different screen sizes and user preferences, but until then you can pick the information density that you prefer. 

Here's what one of the new themes currently looks like:

And in conversation view:

Click the images above to see larger versions.

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July 2, 2011

Preliminary Revised Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program

Full Text of Preliminary Revised Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program

Well Permit Issuance for Horizontal Drilling And High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing to Develop the Marcellus Shale and Other Low-Permeability Gas Reservoirs

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 

July 1, 2011

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July 5, 2011

With Salary Freeze, More New York Judges Are Leaving the Bench - NYTimes.com

Now, for the first time in memory, judges are leaving the bench in relatively large numbers -- not to retire, but to return to being practicing lawyers. Turnover in New York has increased rapidly in the last few years: nearly 1 in 10 judges are now leaving annually, a new study shows.

In New York State, at least a dozen have resigned and explicitly cited the pay. The latest is James M. McGuire, a judge on the intermediate state appeals court in Manhattan, who last week resigned his position at the white marble courthouse on Madison Avenue. His judicial salary was $144,000. He stepped down to be a partner at a law firm, Dechert LLP, where average partner pay is $1.4 million.

New York, as the state with what officials say is the longest judicial pay freeze, is the focus of a national debate about whether controversial rulings, court corruption and politicized judicial campaigns have so eroded support for courts that there is no constituency for increasing judges' pay. "I never expected to get rich as a judge, but I never expected to get poor either," said Robert A. Spolzino, who resigned as an appellate judge in Brooklyn two years ago to return to law practice.

Read entire NYTIMES article here.  (Requires registration)


July 6, 2011

Gizmodo: Facebook + Skype Video Chat = "Something Awesome" (Updated: Hands-On)

Facebook started Rollout Season 2011 with its answer to Google+ Hangouts today in the form of an integrated video chat feature built on Skype technology.

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July 7, 2011

How to control a PC remotely with your iPad | How To - CNET

iPad is a Wi-Fi 64 GB version (another one beh...

Image via Wikipedia

TeamViewer, a free iOS app, lets you remotely access your computer with your iPad. With the steps below, you can use it to send yourself a file or control a friend's computer for hands-on tech support. Your friend will see you moving the mouse and controlling the screen from your iPad, no matter where you are.

But if you're looking to actually stream media from your desktop to your iPad remotely, check out AirVideo. It's another free iOS app that lets you stream movies, saving you a lot of local storage space on your tablet.

Read entire "How To--CNET" article, with video, here.

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Dropbox vs. the Alternatives: Which Online Syncing Service Is Right for You?-LifeHacker

Image representing Dropbox as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Dropbox may be the most popular service for syncing files and storing them online, but that doesn't mean it's the best. Some of us are currently considering Dropbox alternatives due to recent security orprivacy concerns, while others just want to see what else is available. Here's how Dropbox stacks up against four other major online syncing services: Windows Live Mesh,SpiderOakSugarSync, and Wuala.

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July 8, 2011

National Law Journal: House committee proposes $104 million funding cut for LSC

Zoe Tillman

The Legal Services Corporation is warning that the House Appropriations Committee's proposal to cut $104 million in funding next year could leave hundreds of thousands of low-income individuals without access to legal assistance

The committee on Wednesday released its proposed fiscal year 2012 budget. Funding for the LSC would drop by about 26 percent, from $404 million this year to $300 million. In April, Congress reduced the group's fiscal year 2011 funding from the original $420 million allocation. 

According to a statement released by the LSC, the cuts would roll back funding to its lowest level since 1999. 

The bulk of LSC's funding is distributed to 136 nonprofit legal aid programs across the country. By the end of 2011, the group anticipates that at least 200 attorneys will have been laid off from Legal Services Corporation-funded programs across the country and many more will be laid off following the 2012 cuts. 

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July 10, 2011

Oil & Gas Law Brief : Keith B. Hall : Louisiana Lawyer : Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann Law Firm

Click here for an excellent summary from "Oil and Gas Law Brief", Posted by Keith B. Hall on July 09, 2011 of the current status of natural gas drilling in New York, with links to primary source documents; e.g.:


The DEC made various documents available on July 1, 2011, including an Executive Summary of the revised draft GEIS.  The full revised draft of the GEIS was made available yesterday.  The documents now available include: atime line regarding the GEIS, a fact sheet regarding what DEC believes it has learned from Pennsylvania's experiences with hydraulic fracturing, a press release regarding the DEC's recommendations, a list of the members of a new Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel, a PowerPoint presentation from DEC's July 1, 2011 press conference, a simple diagram showing how an intermediate casing would help protect ground water, and the full draft GEIS, which can be download in its entirety or in portions from a web page that allows downloads by individual sections of the GEIS.  A video of the DEC's July 1, 2011 press conference regarding its recommendations also is available.


For timely natural gas legal info, ADD THIS BLOG to your feeds or subscribe by email.

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July 12, 2011

Official Google Blog: The first Google eBooks-integrated e-reader: iriver Story HD

Image representing Google eBooks as depicted i...

Image via CrunchBase

Starting this coming Sunday, July 17, the iriver Story HD e-reader will be available for sale in Target stores nationwide and on Target.com. The iriver Story HD is the first e-reader integrated with the open Google eBooks platform, through which you can buy and read Google eBooks over Wi-Fi. 

The iriver Story HD, which retails for $139.99, is slim and lightweight with a high-resolution e-ink screen and a QWERTY keyboard for easy searching. It includes over-the-air access to hundreds of thousands of Google eBooks for sale and more than 3 million for free. With the Story HD you can now browse, buy and read Google eBooks with your e-reader through Wi-Fi, rather than downloading and transferring them from computer to e-reader with a cord as you can already do with more than 80 compatible devices.

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July 13, 2011

makeuseof.com: The 100 Best Android Apps

Android robot logo.

Image via Wikipedia

On this page, you will find the best 100 Android applications for all your needs. makeuseof.com has taken the effort to categorize the apps and picked only those they believe to be the best ones and which will most likely be useful to you.

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Governor Cuomo Signs Law Strengthening Enforcement Against Drivers Caught Using Handheld Electronic Devices | Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed a new law that strengthens the enforcement against drivers who use handheld electronic devices for activities such as texting while a vehicle is in motion. The legislation makes this action a primary traffic offense, giving law enforcement the power to stop drivers solely for engaging in this activity.


The Governor also announced today that he will increase the penalty for using a cellular phone without a hands-free device or a handheld device while driving from two to three points through changes in state regulations.

The new law makes it a primary traffic offense and it will go into effect immediately. The monetary penalty for a violation of this law continues to be a fine of up to $150.


Illegal activity includes holding an electronic device and:


  • Composing, sending, reading, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving, or retrieving electronic data such as e-mail, text messages, or webpages
  • Viewing, taking, or transmitting images
  • Playing games


The law does not penalize drivers using a handheld electronic device that is affixed to a surface or using a GPS device that is attached to the vehicle. The law also exempts police officers, fire fighters, or emergency vehicle drivers while they are performing their duties. In addition, a driver is exempt from the law if the driver is communicating or attempting to communicate with law enforcement, the fire department, or medical personnel during an emergency situation.

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July 14, 2011

NYLJ: HSBC Bank USA v. Taher, 9320/09

Supreme Court, Kings County
Creditors and Debtors Rights 

HSBC Executive Ordered to Attend Sanction Hearing in Foreclosure Case...decision details continued robo-signing abuses, post -OCA affirmation requirement (Administrative Order 548/10 of October 20, 2010).

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Dragon Go!

With Nuance Dragon Go! all you have to do is say what you want and Dragon Go! will deliver your results within seconds. 

You just say what you want and Dragon Go! not only hears what you say - it also understands what you want and gives you direct access to the best sites on the Mobile Web delivering what you want.

For iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), and iPad on the iTunes App Store

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July 16, 2011

NYSHA Animal Cruelty Investigation Manual

New York State Humane Association's manual, "How to Investigate Animal Cruelty in New York State - A Manual of Procedures" is a comprehensive document which includes chapters on how to be prepared ahead of time - before you actually receive a cruelty complaint, how to receive and investigate a complaint, examples covering many situations, all NYS laws pertinent to animals - annotated with explanations, case law relevant to animal cases, basic animal care standards, appendices containing forms to use in cruelty investigations, handouts on various animal care topics, and articles pertinent to various animal issues.

Sue McDonough, NYSHA President and Police Officer, provided technical input and expertise; Pat Valusek, NYSHA Vice-President and technical writer, researched supplementary material and additional examples, and wrote the text. Material was gathered from individuals who worked for various agencies, such as DA's offices, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, the ASPCA, SPCA with active cruelty investigation programs, state agencies such as the Dept. of Ag. & Mkts., and various police agencies.

The entire manual, HTML format -or- 8M PDF file, is now available online. Use the HTML option if you want to view/print specific sections of the manual. Use the PDF option to view a printer-friendly version of the manual in its entirety. Downloading may take a while, but, in Adobe Acrobat Reader, you'll then be able to save SAVE-AS icon a copy of the file or to print PRINTER icon the file.

NYSHA Fact Sheets relevant to animal cruelty

· Memorandum Regarding the Issue of Sustenance Including Veterinary Care
· Step by Step Example Animal Cruelty Case Investigation by Law Enforcement
· Peace Officers employed by SPCAs and What They Can Do by Law
· Jail Time and Probation in New York State
· Animal Hoarders
· Forfeiture of Animals in an Anmal Cruelty Case

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July 19, 2011

Six out of every ten users run vulnerable versions of Adobe Reader-AVAST

AVAST Software researchers have discovered that six out of every ten users of Adobe Reader are running unpatched versions of the program, leaving them vulnerable to a variety of malware attacks.


"There is a basic assumption that people will automatically update or migrate to the newer version of any program. At least with Adobe Reader, this assumption is wrong - and it's exposing users to a wide range of potential threats," said Ondrej Vlcek, CTO at AVAST Software.


Updates are the key security issue as the AVAST Virus Lab did not detect a causal link between specific versions of Adobe Reader and exposure to malware.

Read the entire AVAST press release here with an interesting chart.

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60 Apps in 60 Minutes 2011 - iPhone J.D.

One of the great traditions of ABA TECHSHOW is to have sessions with a title of 60 ____ in 60 Minutes.  The final session of the conference is the very popular 60 Sites in 60 Minutes, and equally popular is the annual session 60 Tips in 60 Minutes.  In that spirit, last week at TECHSHOW 2011, Reid TrautzJosh Barrett and Jeff Richardson presented 60 Apps in 60 Minutes, a collection of notable apps for attorneys using an iPhone or an iPad.

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ModulR iPad Slim Case: Brilliant, Radical, with a Billion Accessories [Review] | Cult of Mac

July 20, 2011

IRS Delays Overseas Bank Reporting Rule Criticized by Aegon - Bloomberg

The Internal Revenue Service is giving overseas banks an additional year before they will have to make any withholdings from U.S. customers who fail to disclose enough identifying information to U.S. tax collectors.The second round of IRS guidance issued today on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, doesn't require banks to make 30 percent withholdings on non-compliant U.S. customers until Jan. 1, 2014. Other withholdings on gross proceeds and income that might be indirectly sourced to the U.S. won't start until Jan. 1, 2015.

The requirements, which Congress approved last year, were originally slated to take effect at the beginning of 2013. Today's announcement is intended to address the concerns of overseas financial institutions, including Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) of Canada, Allianz SE (ALV) ofGermany and Aegon NV (AGN) of the Netherlands, which have said the proposal is too complex.

Read entire Bloomberg article on FATCA postponement here.

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July 22, 2011

NYLJ: N.Y. Court (A.D. 3rd Dept) Dissolves Civil Union in Ruling Grounded on 'Equity'


We disagree with Supreme Court's conclusion that, in the absence of any legislatively created mechanism in New York by which a court could grant the dissolution of a civil union entered into in another state, it was powerless to grant the requested relief. While plaintiff lacks a remedy at law, the dissolution of a civil union falls squarely within the scope of Supreme Court's broad equity jurisdiction.

In other words, even in the absence of any direct grant of legislative power, Supreme Court has the "inherent authority...to fashion whatever remedies are required for the resolution of justiciable disputes and the protection of the rights of citizens," tempered only by our Constitution and statutes (Matter of AT&T Info. Sys. v. Donohue, 113 AD2d at 400 [internal quotation marks and citation omitted]).


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July 26, 2011

NYLJ: Gay Marriage Opponents Attack New Law on Multiple Fronts

A non-profit group called New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, backed by the Liberty Counselcharged in a lawsuit filed yesterdaythat the law had been rammed through the state Senate on the night of June 24 in violation of the Open Meetings Law and the Senate's own rules.

"Constitutional liberties were violated. Today we are asking the court to intervene in its rightful role as the check and balance on an out-of-control State Legislature," said Reverend Jason J. McGuire, executive director of the group and a resident of upstate Livingston County, where New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms v. New York State Senate was filed.

A spokesman for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement that "the plaintiffs lack a basic understanding of the laws of the state of New York. The suit is without merit."

Read entire NYLJ article here.

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The 106 Best iPhone Apps

Image representing MakeUseOf as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

On this page, you will find the best 106 iPhone applications for all your needs. makeuseof.com has made the effort to categorize the apps and picked only those they believe to be the best ones and which will most likely be useful to you. (+) denotes Universal apps, which can run on both iPhones and iPads.

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Apple - Support - iPad - AirPrint Assistant

iPad with on display keyboard

Image via Wikipedia

Do you need to print a document from your iPad? Are you unable to locate your printer? This troubleshooting assistant will help you setup your printer and resolve the most common printing issues.
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July 28, 2011

Experts: OS X now much more secure than rivals | MacNN

Consultants with several computer security firms say that Wednesday's release of Mac OS Lion makes it "king of the jungle" in terms of mainstream operating system security, surging ahead of rivals such as Windows 7 and Ubuntu Linux with very signifiant security overhauls throughout the OS, reports The Register, including a robust implementation of ALSR, sandboxing of vulnerable processes, and locking down web interactions.

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Office 365 is Online Versions of Microsoft Software in the Cloud

Microsoft Office 365 Logo

Image by Microsoft Sweden via Flickr

Office 365 offers Microsoft Office collaboration and productivity tools delivered through the cloud, including anywhere access to email, web conferencing, documents, and calendars. Business-class security.

View, share and edit your Microsoft Office documents on the web with Microsoft Office Web Apps. Using virtually any device connected to the internet*, view your Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft OneNote documents online and make basic edits on the go. 

Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses (Plan P) is a $6 per user/per month subscription service that lets you access your email, important documents, contacts, and calendar from virtually anywhere on almost any device*.

This plan is ideal for organizations with fewer than 25 employees that do not have IT staff or expertise.

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July 30, 2011

Two-Year Limit No Longer Applies to Many Innocent Spouse Requests

Available only to someone who files a joint return, innocent spouse relief is designed to help a taxpayer who did not know and did not have reason to know that his or her spouse understated or underpaid an income tax liability. Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief, has more information about the program.

The change to the two-year limit is effective immediately, and details are in Notice 2011-70, posted today on IRS.gov.

Existing regulations, adopted in 2002, require that innocent spouse requests seeking equitable relief be filed within two years after the IRS first takes collection action against the requesting spouse. The time limit, adopted after a public hearing and public comment, was designed to encourage prompt resolution while evidence remained available. The IRS plans to issue regulations formally removing this time limit.

Read full IRS article here.

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IRS Live presents The Fresh Start Initiative

Seal of the Internal Revenue Service

Image via Wikipedia

The Internal Revenue Service presents an IRS Live webinar, The IRS Fresh Start Initiative, on Aug. 31, at 2 p.m. ET. The topic is "Learn about the IRS Fresh Start Initiative - Help for Struggling Taxpayers." This webinar will broadcast for 60 minutes. In the Aug. 31, broadcast, viewers will learn about helping individual and small business taxpayers get a Fresh Start with their tax liabilities including changes to Collection policy for:

  • Lien filing threshold
  • Lien withdrawals
  • Installment agreements
  • Offer in compromise
Viewers can register anytime before the program and download a calendar reminder. A certificate of completion will be offered for this webinar. Enrolled agents receive one CPE credit, and other tax professionals may receive credit if the broadcast meets their organization's or state's CPE requirements. The webinar will be available on demand on the IRS Video Portal one month after the live program airs. 

For more information click here.

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July 31, 2011

31 Essential Google+ Resources--Mashable

Already using Google+? Follow Mashable's Pete Cashmore for the latest about the platform's new features, tips and tricks as well as social media and technology updates.

Google+ hit the news feeds like a strategic and popular ton of bricks. But we haven't stopped there. In addition to breaking news, Mashable has provided how-tos and tools for maximizing your Google+ experience. We've sourced reviews from some of the network's early adopters, and we've also welcomed your input as you navigate one of the most buzzworthy social outlets of the year.

Read on for Mashable's roundup of all resources Google+. 

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WalkingOffice: Mobile Solutions for Legal Professionals

The iPad has officially found its way into the offices of Proskauer, a New York law firm.

Malcolm Collingwood, Senior Technology Strategist at Proskauer, said attorneys will be required to use GoodReader ($4.99) to annotate documents and DocsToGo Premium($16.99) to edit documents. Cloud apps are not used by the firm's attorneys, and it is too early to decide whether the firm will use Apple iCloud when it is released later this year.

Read entire Walking Office interview here.

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About July 2011

This page contains all entries posted to General Practice Section in July 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

June 2011 is the previous archive.

August 2011 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.