Thursday, July 30, 2015

Windows 10? Whatever...

Windows 10?  Yawn.

If nothing else, the imminent launch of the new Windows OS gives us opportunity again to wonder why the Powers-That-Be at Microsoft continue to fail to grasp the obvious.

In terms of user interface, they got it right – with Windows XP.  Its been mostly downhill from there.

XP set the gold standard for user satisfaction.  That seminal OS would probably still have many millions of added, happy home and office users if the company hadn’t eliminated support for it a bit more than a year ago.

At its front-end, Windows 7 represented fairly lateral change from its predecessors, but Windows 8 and 8.1 were functional and marketing disasters. For many, the inevitable, reluctant change to Windows 8 came only with new computer purchases, and was followed by an equally inevitable scramble to find add-ons, including start menu hacks, that made Windows 8 function mostly like Windows 7 and XP.

While I am sure there have been many improvements along the way in the back end of these post-XP operating systems, from a strictly function-based analysis, I can’t think of a single thing I do on my Windows 8 computers that I couldn’t do on my Windows XP computers – or mostly, for that matter, on my Windows 95 computers that came before.

I’m hardly a casual computer user. It says a lot, then, that these fancy new operating systems mean so little in terms of the quality of my digital life.

So now, Windows 10 is about to arrive, a free download for many, and like most (I suspect), I will eventually make the change out of curiosity, if nothing else.

I fully expect that I will continue to ignore whatever this version does with its “Metro” apps, as I do on Windows 8.1. If there are additional, unpleasant quirks in 10 that fundamentally change my desktop experience, I will find workarounds to allow me continue to work in the comfort of an XP-like environment that’s as familiar as possible.

It was never broke, and now they are fixing it again, down at Microsoft.

For my part, I do not want my Windows experience to be like my iPad experience. I typically use my desktop and laptop for heavy lifting – concentrated and extensive law-related and creative tasks.

In my view, the iPhone and iPad are adequate or better for just about everything else – emails, documents, web-surfing, and social media, included.

I don’t want a dumbed-down environment for laptops and desktops that tries to emulate the simplicity of a tablet. The desktop and laptop cannot survive as products by trying to be as tablet-like as possible.  Windows products are still genuinely better for certain things. Its complexity makes it so.

Microsoft would be well advised to pay closer attention to why and when people actively choose to use their Windows-based computers, rather than reaching for their readily accessible phones and tablets.  If only Microsoft would just make it easier for users to do those things, and forget about the bells and whistles so few actually use…Not gonna happen.  I know.

So change and Windows 10 are now upon us.

We will adjust.  Most of us will take whatever steps are necessary to make Windows 10 feel like Windows 7 or XP, and life will go on until Microsoft finally gets it – or Windows products become truly obsolete (whichever comes first).

Rant complete.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Monday, July 27, 2015

140 Law - Current Leading Legal Headlines

Here are the current leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter:

- Rachel Spence, Law Clerk

Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Monday, July 20, 2015

140 Law - Current Leading Legal Headlines

Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter:


- Rachel Spence, Law Clerk

Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Monday, July 13, 2015

140 Law - Current Leading Legal Headlines

Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter:


-Rachel Spence, Law Clerk

Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

140 Law - Current Legal Headlines

Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter:


- Rachel Spence, Law Clerk

Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Monday, June 29, 2015

140Law - Legal Headlines for the Week of June 29, 2015

Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter:


- Rachel Spence, Law Clerk

Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

140Law - Legal Headlines for the week of June 22, 2015

Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter:


- Rachel Spence, Law Clerk

Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mindfulness for Lawyers Goes Mainstream

The Wall Street Journal, of all places, had a feature this week on the increasing prevalence – and acceptance – of mindfulness training for lawyers.

In Lawyers Go Zen, With Few Objections, writer Jacob Gershman delivers more than just a clever headline.  He focusses on the enhanced listening skills that can be developed through mindfulness techniques.

I don’t have much personal expertise in this area, but I do have the luxury of deferring on this topic to my significant other, Toronto marketing consultant Sandra Bekhor, who has completed mindfulness training.

She notes:
“Sharper listening skills will make you a better lawyer, presumably, whether you are listening to your client, opposing counsel or a judge. What you do with that information is up to you.
“Mindfulness training puts you into the present moment, so your observation skills are sharpened. You’re not distracted by preconceptions about the person you’re dealing with or the situation you are in. Being present helps you pick up on subtle messages like body language or emotional responses that you might otherwise miss.
Picking up on it can be a gold mine.  It helps you see past the game face.
Of course, mindfulness is far more than just another tool to be utilized to gain tactical advantage, Bekhor notes.

Mindfulness training reduces anxiety, allows us to decompress and sharpens our ability to enjoy life, as humans and professionals.

Those interested in learning more can access the Ontario Bar Association’s Mindful Lawyer CPD series.

Archived video of the OBA’s six-module programme is available free online to OBA members.

Cross posted at Slaw Tips
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Monday, June 15, 2015

140 Law - Legal Headlines for the week of June 15, 2015

Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter:


- Rachel Spence, Law Clerk

Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Sunday, June 14, 2015

@wiselaw on "Top 20 Ontario Law Twitter Accounts" Listing

BY GARRY J. WISE

Thanks to the good folks at Lawsome for including us in their list of Top 20 Ontario Law Twitter Accounts, reproduced below:
  1. Law Times: @LawTimes (Ontario legal news online publication)
  2. Obiter Dicta: @obiterdictaoz (Osgoode Hall student newspaper)
  3. Precedent Magazine: @PrecedentMag (Toronto lifestyle magazine for lawyers)
  4. Ultra Vires: @UltraVires (Student newspaper for @UTLaw)
  5. Ontario Bar Association: @OBAToday
  6. Toronto Lawyers Association: @TLAVoice
  7. Law Society Upper Canada: @LawsocietyLSUC
  8. Brenda Hollingsworth: @OttawaLawyers (Ottawa personal injury lawyer)
  9. Mr. Toronto Lawyer: @selwynpieters (Human rights and civil litigator)
  10. Chantal Desloges: @Twimmigration (Toronto Immigration Lawyer)
  11. Omar HaRedeye: @OmarHaRedeye (Toronto Lawyer and legal academic)
  12. Daniel Brown: @DanielBrownLaw (Toronto Criminal Defense Lawyer)
  13. Sean Robichaud: @SeanRobichaud (Toronto criminal defense lawyer)
  14. Anjli Patel: @bluechipfashion (Toronto Fashion Lawyer)
  15. Melissa Kluger: @MelissaKluger (Lawyer and publisher of Precedent Magazine and Precedent A-List)
  16. Jeff Gray: @jeffreybgray (Law Reporter, Globe and Mail)
  17. Lisa Feldstein: @lisaFeldstein (Ontario health Lawyer with focus on family health law)
  18. Garry J. Wise: @wiselaw (Toronto lawyer-  employment and family law)
  19. Andrew Mercer: @AndrewLMercer (Toronto insurance lawyer and author)
  20. Kathryn Marshall: @KVMarshall (Lawyer and Columnist – creator of Lawsome.ca)
There are some very good accounts in this listing, so do check them out.

And of course, we invite you to follow @wiselaw on Twitter.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

More on 'Mobilegeddon'

BY GARRY J. WISE

Law Times picked up on our April 30 post about Google's new mobile compliance requirements with an excellent article last week by writer Michael McKiernan, Focus: Law firms slow to respond to ‘Mobilegeddon’ .

I'm quoted in the article quite extensively:

For Garry Wise, founder of Toronto-based Wise Law Office, Mobilegeddon came in the middle of an update of the firm’s web site.

“Neither the old site nor the new version was going to be mobile compliant,” he says, noting the coming changes led to a redesign on short notice.

According to Wise, somewhere between 30 and 50 per cent of the firm’s web site traffic comes from users of mobile technology.

Although the precise consequences of a failure to become mobile friendly remain unclear thanks to the secrecy that surrounds the exact composition of Google’s algorithms, he says he’d rather not take any chances.

“If you’ve traditionally done really well on Google searches, then failing to be mobile friendly could have serious consequences as to where you fall on a mobile search,” he says.

“It’s going to have a direct impact on how many clicks you’re getting and how many people are finding your web site. We’ve made a number of adjustments on the fly and we’re still adjusting.”

Wise says law firms should treat the new rules as a spur to adjust to the new realities of Internet use and think more about mobile users at the earliest stages of web site design.

“I think for anyone who is building a new web site or updating an old one, they should probably think about mobile-first technology. A lot of things that work well in a desktop universe just do not translate well to mobile. This is going to affect creative design as well as content,” he says.

“Lawyers need to build their web sites with mobile in mind and the first question of designers should be: How will this look on an iPhone or similar device? If the answer is you can’t read it, then get back to work because you haven’t got it right.”
Many thanks to Michael for the kind mention.
 - Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net