LegalBoard, Echo, and Fake News!

LegalBoard is a first of its kind computer keyboard designed by lawyers for lawyers/legal professionals. Via simply plugging LegalBoard in and pressing a button you are switched to legal mode which lets “you add track changes, comments, and common legal terms, symbols (i.e. §, ¶, and ©) and citations with a single keystroke”. Genius! Wonder for which profession will get the next customized professional keyboard?

Amazon Echo appears to be the latest craze in hands-free voice activated tools. While primarily intended for personal use it does have features that could be useful for attorneys but all users should be aware of potential risks. By saying a wake word – Alexa, Amazon, or Echo – anyone within hearing distance of the device, which cannot distinguish between voices, has “access to every single account you’ve linked to it” and potentially allowing a houseguest to ask the amount of your bank account or letting children inadvertently order food, toys etc.  Moreover, due to the confidentiality of client conversations and data, extra caution is in order if using Echo in a law office as requests are stored on Amazon’s server for a yet undetermined period of time.

Developed by researchers at Indiana University Hoaxy (Beta) is a partial solution to the “fake news” phenomenon. It tracks “social sharing of links to stories published by two types of websites: (1) Independent fact-checking organizations, such as snopes.com, politifact.com, and factcheck.org … and (2) Sources that often publish inaccurate, unverified, or satirical claims.” While Hoaxy does not verify if the claim is true or false, it is a good starting point for researching the veracity of a news claim.

About Cheryl Niemeier

Cheryl Niemeier is Director of Knowledge & Research Services at Bose McKinney & Evans LLP. Ms. Niemeier received her Master of Science in Library Science from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1986 and her Bachelor of Science in Education from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana in 1981. Ms. Niemeier has held multiple professional leadership positions in local, regional and national library associations. She frequently speaks at professional association conferences and continuing legal education seminars. Ms. Niemeier has authored multiple articles and seminar publications.
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