Printers can provide more evidence than most might suspect. Digital evidence hidden on the printed page is a wild idea. But apparently the FBI is well aware that many printers hide yellow dots on printed text that identify when a document was printed and the serial number for the printer. So, if your client paid for a printer with a credit card and then used it to create anonymous threatening letters sent to a number of important government officials, there could be an FBI knock on the door in the client’s future.

This isn’t a new idea. But if you want to learn more about it, read Why Printers Add Secret Tracking Dots.

Scribble is a new feature in iPadOS 14. It looks quite handy.

Jeff Richardson of iPhoneJD explains Scribble in this post:

“One of the interesting new features in iPadOS 14 is Scribble, the ability to use an Apple Pencil to write text into a text field instead of using the on-screen keyboard.  I wasn’t sure how useful the feature would be when it was announced, but now that I’ve been using it, I really like it. When I then need to enter some quick text — such as to search for something in Safari or Mail — it is incredibly convenient to just write a few letters or words with the Pencil that is already in my hand….  If you haven’t tried it out yet, I encourage you to do so.  It is yet another reason that the Apple Pencil makes me more productive in my law practice”

This isn’t so much a profound tip as an interesting story. DSL lines can be subject to different types of interference. You will probably never forget that fact after you read this story:

“A 400-resident village in Wales suffered 18 months of DSL Internet outages each morning until the culprit was identified as electrical interference from an old TV set,” according to this post on Ars Technica. Eighteen months! The service provider replaced cables and took every remedial measure that they could think of.

Finally, they resorted to walking around the village with something called a Spectrum Analyzer. The technicians recounted that they “walked up and down the village in the torrential rain at 6 am to see if we could find an “electrical noise” to support our theory. And at 7 am, like clockwork, it happened! Our device picked up a large burst of electrical interference in the village….The source of the “electrical noise” was traced to a property in the village. It turned out that at 7am every morning, the occupant would switch on their old TV which would in turn knock out broadband for the entire village.”

The embarrassed TV owner promised never to turn on that TV again. So, the story has a happy ending!

Sitting too much is an occupational hazard for lawyers. The same is true for many who use a computer every day. Sitting too much is dangerous and can lead to long-term health problems. We have seen many office workers opt for a standing desk environment. Proper stretching can also help. In 14 Stretches to Counteract The Effects of Sitting, From a Physical Therapist stretching exercises to counteract the challenge of too much sitting are outlined, as well as some other techniques and ideas.

Speech recognition in Teams is still under development. In fact, there have been reports that even muting a Teams call still doesn’t allow one to use Microsoft Speech recognition to operate without exiting Teams entirely.

I was in my Teams staff meeting and needed to type several sentences into Teams. I decided to try a modest hack. Without even muting our conversation in the Teams video conference, I opened up Microsoft Word and hit the Dictate button to dictate those sentences into Word, fully expecting a failure or error message of some sort. But, no, Microsoft Word recognized every word correctly. Then I could copy and paste into Teams. Since then I have tried it several times and it always worked. Until Teams has native speech recognition, this is an easy and simple workaround.

Tracking of our internet use, personal interests and the sites we visit online is getting more pervasive. You are not going to avoid it all unless you are willing not to go online. But you can minimize the tracking. Most of us have by now had creepy experiences that make us question how much we are being tracked, like the evening my wife showed me her phone with a coat for sale on Amazon she thought I’d like and within the hour I was served an ad for the very same coat on a social media stream on my phone.

Our June 8, 2020 Tip Avoid Having Your Online Searches Tracked with DuckDuckGo is an important piece of the puzzle for online search privacy. I installed the DuckDuckGo app on my phone and placed it next to Google, so I could be reminded, “Should I use Google for this search?” The first time I used the DDG app for a search it informed me it blocked six websites trying to follow me.

Many lawyers are familiar with privacy-focused search tools. But do you know which browsers are bigger “snitches” than the others?

Bleeping Computer recently published Privacy-focused search engines & browsers that protect your data. You will be interested to read how highly this author ranks your browser of choice and learning about some privacy-focused browsers.

Podcasts are hot right now and many more people are listening to them. As shelter in place for the pandemic began, I thought less commuting might cause podcasts to be less popular but instead, the opposite seems to have occurred.

Attorney@Work posted a feature today Lawyer Tech Tips: Favorite Podcasts for Learning Something New?

Sharon Nelson and I have produced over 150 podcasts for our Digital Edge Podcast and I have guest hosted several other podcast interviews for Legal Talk Network, often at ABA TECHSHOW or ABA Annual Meetings.

Anytime you get a group to name their favorite podcasts, you will get an eclectic mix revealing each contributor’s professional and personal interests. Contributors on this favorite podcast feature are Sheila Blackford, Anne Haag, Jay Harrington, Gina Rubel, Ben Schorr, Camille Stell and Reid Trautz. You will enjoy reading about their favorites, both personal and professional. Quite a range of podcasts were mentioned. Sharon and I were pleased that a couple of the contributors mentioned our Digital Edge Podcast.

As soon as we started using USB drives and other connectors, we started plugging them in upside down. The extremely frustrating experience was trying it three or four times when there were only two options.

IT professionals learned the simple secret to avoid this quickly, but many other computer users never did. So, if you are still spinning USB drives trying to plug them in, here’s the secret:

Look at a USB plug. See that USB symbol on the plug? If you are plugging the USB cable in horizontally, the symbol faces us so you can see it. If you are plugging into a vertical USB connector, the symbol faces you. So, if you are trying to plug a USB cable or drive into a connection and you cannot see the symbol, you have it upside down.

For those who didn’t know this, you’re welcome.

Some iPhone users can’t wait to see what the new iOS update will bring. Others don’t like the changes come to their phones with software updates. I know one lawyer who refuses to let automatic updates install because “the last thing I want first thing in the morning is to learn my phone changed overnight.”

But iOS14 is worth the effort. Just look at the graphic of how you can improve your home screen to show your next two scheduled events by using the improved widgets on the home screen. Doesn’t every lawyer want to do this?

The Verge calls it a Revolution— iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 review: iPhone revolution, iPad evolution (Subtitle) It’s time to blow up your iPhone’s home screen.

C|Net’s You need to know these 9 hidden iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 features is a great starting place to learn of the possibilities.

iOS14 itself installs a widget to See What’s New in iOS14.

IPhone JD’s Jeff Richardson recently posted an In the News Item with links to his review of the features and posts from many others.

You can unlock your phone and see your next two appointments without clicking on anything (or click on the widget to open your calendar.) That’s a good starting place for customizations.

I’m a reader. Given the choice on a web page of reading the content or watching a video, I’m normally heading for the text. (How-to Videos are certainly the exception to this rule.)

An increasing number of consumers prefer videos as the preferred method to receive new information. There are certainly generational differences at play here. Lawyers may believe a twenty-page brief has to be better than a ten-page brief. But for many, the belief is that shorter reading material is superior to lengthier treatments.

So the lessons for law firm websites include having more videos and tightening the text in some of your TL;DR online content. (Here’s the TL;DR Wikipedia entry for the uninitiated.)

Here’s a simple idea for law firm videos. If you have a website, you probably have an About or Profile page for each lawyer. How about posting a short video for each lawyer on each of those pages? By short, I mean approximately two minutes with a maximum of two and one-half minutes. I strongly suggest the content be very personal to the attorney with only about 10-15 seconds on practice areas and employ a light tone. “Hi, I’m Bob K. My wife Kelly and I have four children ranging from toddler to first grade. Our hobbies are having four children ranging from toddler to first grade. [Big Smile] For our law firm, I handle mainly X, Y and Z.” Anything is fair game from hobbies to unusual past jobs to that barbecuing championship you won years ago. Focus on the personal content that would have been deemed unprofessional in the early days of law firm web sites— because when people click on the link to your video, they want to learn about you. Don’t repeat what is already on your bio page.

Videos inspire trust, which can sometimes be hard to appreciate if you are a reader first. See this lengthy post How video can inspire consumer trust in your business by Victor Blasco, founder/CEO of the video production company Yum Yum Videos. (And did the word “lengthy” make you less likely to click on the link?)