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Top 5 legal technology news stories of 2021--ABA Journal

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BY NICOLE BLACK

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In other words, if nothing else, 2021 was an eventful year. Identifying the top five legal technology news stories of the year wasn't easy, but the common thread of remote work and its effects filtered through the newsworthy items that made the list.

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Why this personal injury firm set up shop in the metaverse--ABA JOURNAL

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BY LYLE MORAN

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Dating back to his time watching The Jetsons as a child, New Jersey lawyer Richard Grungo Jr. has been fascinated by depictions of the role that new technologies may play in the way that we live our future lives.

In more recent years, his imagination has been captured by the possibilities offered by virtual reality, including the virtual universe featured in the 2018 film Ready Player One.

Richard Grungo Jr.

And with the continued growth of digital worlds featuring attributes of the real world, including 3D virtual spaces located in the so-called metaverse, Grungo thinks that the future is "really here now."

As a result, Grungo Colarulo, based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and with offices also in Philadelphia; Medford, New Jersey; and Hamilton Square, New Jersey, recently launched an office in an online metaverse world known as Decentraland.


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Amazon now hopes to launch a total 7,774 internet satellites • The Register

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Amazon wants to launch another 4,538 satellites to provide wireless broadband internet under Project Kuiper, according to a fresh filing to America's communications watchdog.

The mega-corp was previously approved to send 3,236 birds into low Earth orbit by 2029. Now, it wants to expand that number to 7,774.

"Kuiper Systems LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon, requests FCC authority to launch and operate a non-geostationary satellite orbit fixed-satellite service system as a part of Kuiper's second-generation constellation," it said in its application [PDF].


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Failing to understand technology is not just for outside counsel!

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FTI Consulting and the Blickstein Group surveyed various stakeholders within corporate legal departments earlier this year to produce Law Department Operations Technology Survey: The Journey To Modernization, a rich report for those of us trying to take the temperature of the corporate legal department space.

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The Best iPad (2021): Which Apple Tablets to Buy, or Avoid | WIRED

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BUYING AN IPAD should be simple. You just buy whatever's new, right? If only. Apple sells four main iPad models, each with its own strengths. In addition, a growing number of older iPads are floating around the eBays of the world. Since all these devices look pretty much the same, it's important to know what you're buying and what you should pay for it. This guide covers the best iPads available right now, the important differences between models, and every old model that exists (including the ones you shouldn't buy at any price).

Be sure to check out all our buying guides, including the Best iPad AccessoriesBest iPhonesBest iPhone 12 Cases and AccessoriesBest Tablets, and Best MacBooks.

Updated September 2021: We've added our thoughts on the 2021 iPad and iPad Mini 6.


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The 3 Best Wi-Fi Mesh-Networking Kits 2021 | Reviews by Wirecutter (NYTIMES)

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By Joel Santo Domingo

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Wi-Fi that sucks can be more frustrating than no Wi-Fi at all, and the culprit in many cases is one router trying to cover too much house. Mesh-networking kits take the weight off just one router, instead spreading multiple access points around your house to improve the range and performance of your Wi-Fi. After spending hundreds of hours evaluating and testing 52 Wi-Fi mesh-networking kits in home and lab environments, we're confident that the Asus ZenWiFi AC (CT8) set is the best mesh router for most people who need one.

Most people, however, don't need mesh Wi-Fi, and if you live in an average home or apartment, a regular router is just fine.

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Read more...see rationale for choices...enjoy the data...


Is Going to the Office a Broken Way of Working? | The New Yorker

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Earlier this month, a technology entrepreneur named Chris Herd posted a thread on Twitter. "I spoke to 10 x Billion $ companies who canceled return to the office due to the delta variant," he began. "A few predictions on what else is going to happen." His first salvo was titled "Office Death," and claimed that "by the time people can return to the office a lot of companies will no longer have space to return to." His next prediction was about "City Flight." He stated that workers would continue to flee cities and would quit if their employers forced them back into urban offices. The thread continued with sixteen more tweets.

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Form 8936: Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit--Investopedia

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers tax credits to owners and manufacturers of certain plug-in electric drive motor vehicles, including passenger vehicles, light trucks, and two-wheeled vehicles. Taxpayers who own vehicles that qualify may file Form 8936 with their income taxes to claim the tax credit.

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The number of electric vehicle stores in the state is now limited to five, all operated by Tesla, the company headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

The legislation Environmental Advocates and a second group, the Alliance for Clean Energy, is promoting is sponsored by Sen. Todd Kaminsky, D-Long Island, and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, D-Albany.

Their bill argues the limits on manufacturer-run stores has made it onerous for upstate New Yorkers to get an electric vehicle of their choice.

"Due to overwhelming demand, these stores are all located downstate, leaving upstate residents without convenient and accessible locations to purchase zero-emission vehicles and preventing any additional electric vehicle companies from opening stores in the state," the legislation states.

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How AI-powered tech landed man in jail with scant evidence--AP

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By GARANCE BURKE, MARTHA MENDOZA, JULIET LINDERMAN and MICHAEL TARM

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Williams was jailed last August, accused of killing a young man from the neighborhood who asked him for a ride during a night of unrest over police brutality in May. But the key evidence against Williams didn't come from an eyewitness or an informant; it came from a clip of noiseless security video showing a car driving through an intersection, and a loud bang picked up by a network of surveillance microphones. Prosecutors said technology powered by a secret algorithm that analyzed noises detected by the sensors indicated Williams shot and killed the man.

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Williams' experience highlights the real-world impacts of society's growing reliance on algorithms to help make consequential decisions about many aspects of public life. Nowhere is this more apparent than in law enforcement, which has turned to technology companies like gunshot detection firm ShotSpotter to battle crime. ShotSpotter evidence has increasingly been admitted in court cases around the country, now totaling some 200. ShotSpotter's website says it's "a leader in precision policing technology solutions" that helps stop gun violence by using "sensors, algorithms and artificial intelligence" to classify 14 million sounds in its proprietary database as gunshots or something else.

But an Associated Press investigation, based on a review of thousands of internal documents, emails, presentations and confidential contracts, along with interviews with dozens of public defenders in communities where ShotSpotter has been deployed, has identified a number of serious flaws in using ShotSpotter as evidentiary support for prosecutors.

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Another report...from the UK.


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This week, wireless carrier T-Mobile confirmed reports of a major data breach in which hackers obtained personal information belonging to more than 40 million past, present and potential customers.

And in a sign that the extent of the data breach is more severe than previously expected, T-Mobile on Friday confirmed that personal data belonging to an additional 5.3 million customers was obtained in the hack.

That means full names, date of birth, social security numbers, information from driver's licenses as well as unique identifiers for customers' phones were leaked, potentially putting millions of those at a greater risk of identify theft.

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Investigation: How TikTok's Algorithm Figures Out Your Deepest Desires

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A Wall Street Journal investigation found that TikTok only needs one important piece of information to figure out what you want: the amount of time you linger over a piece of content. Every second you hesitate or rewatch, the app is tracking you. Photo illustration: Laura Kammermann/The Wall Street Journal

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The Wall Street Journal created dozens of automated accounts that watched hundreds of thousands of videos to reveal how the social network knows you so well.

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A powerful hacking tool called Pegasus, sold to governments around the world by the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group, has been used to spy on journalists, human rights activists, the fiancée of the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and others, according to a months-long investigation by 17 news organizations, including FRONTLINE.

The investigation of the spyware was coordinated by the journalism nonprofit Forbidden Stories, with technical support from Amnesty International's Security Lab. Forbidden Stories and Amnesty had access to a leak of more than 50,000 records of phone numbers concentrated in countries known to be NSO clients. NSO has disputed the findings of the reporting and said it will investigate all credible claims of misuse and take appropriate action.

FRONTLINE is producing a documentary with Forbidden Stories. We are linking here to major stories from our partner news outlets.

ARISTEGUI NOTICIAS | DARAJ | DIE ZEIT | DIREKT36
FORBIDDEN STORIES | HAARETZ | KNACK | LE MONDE | LE SOIR
OCCRP | PROCESO | RADIO FRANCE | SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG
THE GUARDIAN | THE WASHINGTON POST | THE WIRE


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In response to Covid-19 many states, including New York, implemented temporary orders authorizing remote witnessing and notarization of wills.  In January 2021, in Matter of Ryana Will was admitted to probate in New York under the remote witness and notarization law.

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Predictive policing strategies for children face pushback--NBC NEWS

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By Olivia Solon and Cyrus Farivar

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Pasco County's approach to "intelligence-led" policing, developed over a decade, has drawn particular concern from civil liberties experts because of a data-sharing arrangement with the local school district, which was first reported by Tampa Bay Times. That partnership gave the police access to data relating to students' grades, attendance and behavior as well as any history of abuse or other "adverse childhood experiences."

School records were used to allocate students one of four labels: on track, at risk, off track or critical. Getting a D grade or having a parent or sibling go to prison could be enough to put a child in the "at risk" category, according to Pasco's own 83-page "Intelligence-Led Policing Manual," first obtained by the Tampa Bay Times.

The manual, last updated in January 2018, states that the data-sharing was designed to identify "at-risk youth who are destined to a life of crime" and intervene to "set them on the right path."

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 Writing for the majority, Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett said Van Buren, though he flouted departmental policy, did not violate the CFAA by abusing his computer system access.

"This provision [of the CFAA] covers those who obtain information from particular areas in the computer -- such as files, folders, or databases -- to which their computer access does not extend," Associate Justice Barrett wrote. "It does not cover those who, like Van Buren, have improper motives for obtaining information that is otherwise available to them."

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In the News--new podcast

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The news you need to know from the past week covering iPhones, iPads, and related mobile technology. Brought to you by Brett Burney from www.appsinlaw.com and Jeff Richardson from www.iphonejd.com 


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CHP: Backseat Tesla driver arrested | YourCentralValley.com

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OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) - The backseat driver of a Tesla has been arrested, according to the California Highway Patrol.

On Tuesday, authorities announced that 25-year-old Param Sharma had been arrested without incident. He has been booked into the Santa Rita Jail on two counts of reckless driving and disobeying a Peace Officers. 



By David ParedesVicky Nguyen and Rich Schapiro

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Experts say police departments need to implement three basic rules in order for the cameras to be effective: tell officers specifically when to hit record, ensure they announce they are filming, and outline clear consequences for when the rules are broken.

But many of the nation's major police departments don't follow these basic guidelines. Examining the body camera policies of 28 large police departments in a geographically representative array of U.S. states, along with the policy in Chester, NBC News found 45 percent gave specific instructions for when officers should start recording. Roughly 41 percent required officers to announce they're recording. And only 34 percent clearly stated there are consequences for not recording.

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BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

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Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein has been working from Dubai and Israel for the last three months while he participates in a program to improve cultural understanding of people with disabilities.

Bernstein, who is blind, said he is working full time as a justice, connecting remotely to arguments, while working with a program that is part of the Abraham Accords, signed byIsrael, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

The Detroit Free PressMLive.com and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency have coverage.

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