[From our friends at Hogan & Hartson] "Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 InPrivate Browsing May Affect Online Activities." On August 25, 2008, Microsoft announced on its Internet Explorer Blog that Internet Explorer 8, for which Beta 2 was released on August 27, 2008, included a new suite of features designed to limit the information stored or shared when users browse the Internet. Collectively referred to as InPrivate and described in greater detail in Trustworthy Browsing – Guidance for Third Party Content Providers (rev. August 21, 2008), a whitepaper distributed by Microsoft to select web publishers and content providers, these new features include Deleting Browser History, InPrivate Browsing, InPrivate Blocking, and InPrivate Subscriptions. If these new features are successfully implemented as they are presently described in Microsoft’s documents, they may have a significant impact on a number of common Internet business practices, including online behavioral marketing and web traffic analytics. August 28, 2008 [View Article]
This Friday, we will be adding several much-requested features to your group:
- Discussion forums: Simple discussion spaces for you and your members. (You can turn discussions off in your management control panel if you like.)
- Enhanced roster: Searchable list of group members.
- Digest emails: Daily or weekly digests of new discussion topics which your members may choose to receive. (We will be turning digests on for all current group members soon, and prompting them to set to their own preference.)
- Group home page: A private space for your members on LinkedIn.
We're confident that these new features will spur communication, promote collaboration, and make your group more valuable to you and your members. We hope you can come by LinkedIn on Friday morning to check out the new functionality and get a group discussion going by posting a welcome message.
Sincerely, The LinkedIn Groups Team
My hat is off to the library at Thompson Coburn in St. Louis for putting a spin on getting rid of their entire National Reporter Set (you know those tan books with all the cases in them....) I had to read this article twice when I read how they announced that they had a "completely electronic case law system," and that they "freed up 1,500 linear feet of shelving" in the library so that attorneys could "access [the cases] through their terminals." Now that is some impressive marketing phraseology!!
Don't get me wrong, I've been saying that we are moving to a completely electronic case law system all the way back in 2001 when I talked about it in the AALL publication Beyond the Boundaries. But, we called it by it's less popular name of "getting rid of the books" and "moving the attorneys to Westlaw/Lexis case law searching only." If only I had such a turn of the phrase that some of my colleagues have, I could have put that lipstick on the pig years ago!!
Hmmm.... I wonder how I could spin the outsourcing of legal jobs to India in such a positive light?? Anyone have a suggestion??
- Create a list of questions just like you would any other survey -- say a generic survey on available online resources provided by the library
- Have the participant create an avatar -- no restrictions on the avatar, just point them to a webpage or software that allows them to create an avatar (I'm still trying to find a free/no-registration avatar website... )
- Instead of rating things on a scale from 1 - 5, create a slider bar that represents the scale of the response. For example, a question could ask "How happy are you with the current set of online resources?" And the scale could start off at "highly depressed" and go to "I'm so happy I nearly wet my pants!"... (or perhaps something more professional if you feel.) If possible, the range should also have a color variation going from blue to red (based on a rainbow scale.)
- Depending upon the anonymity needed for the survey, you could also track such things as the city, state, and/or region of the respondent. Maybe see if you can capture the environmental variables -- hot/cold; cloudy/sunny; day/night etc...
The results of the survey should do at least two things:
- Tell a story
- Allow the reader of the story to interact
To see a sample of what I mean, you can visit another Jonathan Harris site called We Feel Fine. I'm hoping that I'm just scratching the surface of this idea, and can actually come up with a prototype of this survey method -- and then sell it to a big vendor like Thomson Reuters or LexisNexis!!.
- Can a suicide lead to restrictions on using the Internet for Competitive Intelligence?
- Could a 'click-through' agreement on a company website prevent competitors from using information found on that website?
- Is Prosecutors' Discretion the only thing that is keeping CI analysts out of the courtroom?
One of my favorite things to do is to monitor the top law firms' websites to see what are the current "hot-button" issues of the day. Kind of my own personal competitive intelligence gathering. I ran across one last week that really caught my eye because it seemed to hit on two different areas that I like, and talked about how a suicide in one area, could cause a ripple effect in the other.
Jim Eiszner, a partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon, authored an article that tackled the idea of how broadly could 18 U.S.C. § 1030(e)(2)(B) be interpreted if a prosecutor wanted to come after a company's competitive intelligence operations. Eiszner looked at the current criminal litigation surrounding the infamous MySpace suicide case of US v. Drew, where the ultimate "meanie-mom" (Lori Drew) posed as a teenage boy in order to harass a neighborhood girl. The prank ultimately lead to the girl committing suicide, and the federal government bringing criminal charges against Ms. Drew under a statute originally intended to be used against computer hackers.Eiszner raises three issues that a company should consider in protecting its company and competitive intelligence personnel against criminal liability:
- Whenever an employee retrieves information from a website containing a 'click-through' agreement, should you have your attorneys review that agreement before obtaining any information?
- Would the posted policies of a website (absent a 'click-through' agreement) cause potential liability on behalf of an employee obtaining information from the website?
- Is ignorance truly bliss? Would it be better for your employees to not be aware of the scope of authorization of a website, thus keeping them in the gray area of "inadvertent or careless" access?
One of the first things you will hear when discussing competitive intelligence, is that CI is the ethical gathering of intelligence. There is an ongoing debate on where the ethical line is drawn, and where the legal line is drawn. Usually, the ethical line is reached before you get to the legal line. However, the bringing up of the Drew case may move the legal line so far in that what you think is "ethical" may turn out to be "illegal." And that is a concept that many of us may find hard to follow.
We've all followed cases where prosecutors use RICO statutes, originally intended for organized crime activity, to go after executives; and, using Tax statutes to go after organized crime bosses; so, it shouldn't be a surprise to see a computer hacking statute being used to punish a prank-gone-wrong by a soccer mom. Now that the seal has been broken on § 1030, could we see it being used against someone gathering competitive intelligence?
Another feature of Xobni is that it uses the LinkedIn API to connect my contacts with their LinkedIn profile. This sounds like a great resource, and I email my results to some friends, and immediately, one of my 6 friends responds that her information is just flat wrong. It says she doesn't have a LinkedIn account (which she does), and the phone number that Xobni says is hers actually belongs to someone that posted a message to a list serv a few months ago. So, it isn't perfect. But, 5 out of 6 isn't too shabby, so I'm not uninstalling it yet. Although Xobni allows you to correct things like the contacts' phone number and other personal information, it does not allow you to correct a wrong LinkedIn match. I'm hoping that Xobni figures out a way to fix this part.
Besides analytics and LinkedIn API's, Xobni also tracks files you've shared via email to your contacts, and it also shows your contacts' contacts. This last part is a little "iffy" sometimes, and needs a little bit of tweaking to make it better (there seems to be a lot of false contacts.)Although Xobni isn't the do-all to end-all, it does have some pretty nice features that can help you better understand your email habits. Once you've played around with it a bit, I think you'd find that it can be a useful tool. On a usefulness scale of 1 to 10, I'd have to give it a solid 7.