The Best Legal Practice Management Software: Clio

Clio is easily the best legal practice management software I have ever used. While I have not used all the available competing "software" day-to-day, I have taken quite a few for a test drive, and have used Amicus attorney day-to-day in the past. Amicus Attorney seemingly dominates or at least dominated the legal practice management software space in my experience, and Amicus now provides Amicus-Cloud, a Clio competitor, which is less robust and less costly than Amicus Attorney at about $49.95 per user per month compared to $999 per license for traditional Amicus Attorney software. Clio starts at $39,99 per user per month. Still, this is not a critique of Amicus' offerings nor any other legal management “software,” so much as it is an explanation of why I use Clio, and why it is perhaps the best practice management software you’ll find.

The Best Slim Wallet: Bellroy Elements Sleeve

About 2 years ago I purchased Bellroy’s Card Sleeve in “cocoa”. It was great except for one thing. Prior to the Card Sleeve I had developed the sensible habit of only purchasing wallets with a spare key holder. Before my habit, I’d been locked out of my home on occasion as a result of losing my key, or forgetting to unbundle my home and car keys when loaning my vehicle to a family member. Incidents like that can easily lead to a “Gates Gate”, and that's no fun for anyone. Needless to say, though I loved my Card Sleeve, I missed the security of a spare key in my wallet. Back-up plans are a good thing. Speaking of contingencies, I also prefer to have a wallet with a couple of honest-to-goodness cards and identification, as opposed to solely relying on Apple Pay, or alternatively conjoining my phone case and wallet into the love-it-or-hate-it mutant wallet phone case. Sentinels hate it. Still, I am mostly a minimalist and refuse to carry an Indiana Jones satchel as a wallet.

Enter the Elements Sleeve.

The Best OEM Headlamp Bulb Replacement: LEDs

It would be remiss of me not to mention the difference between how LEDs and Halogen bulbs work at the outset, since many advantages and disadvantages of each lighting system, is tied directly to how they work. In fact while this post ultimately compares CG Automotive's LED bulb kit, with my OEM Halogen bulbs, you will find that the difference in processes and the choices made for the particular Bulb kit, imposed by the processes, drives the comparison. Lets dive in. Regarding the LEDs process, I can do no better than Phillips' explanation that:

as indicated by its name, [light-emitting diode], the LED is a diode that emits light. A diode is a device that allows current to flow in only one direction. Almost any two conductive materials will form a diode when placed in contact with each other. When electricity is passed through the diode the atoms in one material (within the semiconductor chip) are excited to a higher energy level. The atoms in that first material have too much energy and need to release that energy. The energy is then released as the atoms shed electrons to the other material within the chip. During this energy release light is created. The color of the light from the LED is a function of the ingredients (materials) and recipes (processes) that make up the chip.

Compare this to a Halogen bulb's incandescence process.

Its not your stream box, its your rubbish remote

If you care about streaming video and other media you’re probably familiar with the plethora of "stream boxes" available for media consumption. None are awesome; most of the ones you’ve heard of are decent. I've been using Rokus since 2008, or about the time Netflix lifted their cap on streaming. It has always been a solid option ("no one ever got fired for buying a [Roku]"), and now we have several other options, such as Apple TVAmazon Fire TV, or Google Chromecast - to name any other stand-alone stream box you should consider purchasing. Of course there are also the consoles, PlayStation 4Xbox One and Nintendo’s horribly underpowered, still-no-HD-Zelda-box, to name the latest. With the vast majority of these stream boxes you will be able to watch the non-negotiables: Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, YouTube, or Amazon Prime. As you might expect, there are a few annoyances in content procurement, like iTunes and Apple TV exclusivity. Streaming content on any of the devices mentioned above is a fair experience, but not devoid of stutter, lag and freezing during rewind, fast forward and playback - even with the abundance of processing power in the meekest of said devices.

Ultimately however, the biggest problem by far is not that you can't get content, but...

Tesla Powerwall

This is exciting. Tesla's rechargeable lithium-ion battery for the home, Powerwall, looks like the Future. It may be the first viable option for supplying sustainable electricity to remote locations, dwellings during devastating natural disasters, and for those of us looking to unplug. Although only time will tell, combining Tesla's Powerwall with a good solar panel setup, will likely be the best option for anyone who needs electricity but looking to live, or already living untethered.

Apple's Force Touch Trackpad: the hype is not enough

After this month's Macbook announcement I joked that the metal hinge and all aluminum chassis was its best feature. Of course, at most, the hinge is its second best feature. Earlier this week I stopped into BestBuy and made a beeline to play with the new Force Touch Trackpad in the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Initially, I wasn't sure whether BestBuy had updated their display-unit to one sporting the new trackpad. They did. As just about every tech journalist has stated, the Force Touch trackpad completely fools your brain into thinking that you are clicking a standard MacBook Trackpad. That fact alone is remarkable. However, it is even more impressive as you tinker with the tech a bit more; you quickly come to realize that this technology, in this implementation, is nothing like you have ever experienced before.

Best Feature of Apple's All New 2015 MacBook

With a smidgen of prematurity and even less information, I say the integrated metal hinge is the best feature of the all new MacBook. The graphic below shows that most people who visit this site by way of a search engine (overwhelmingly Google), typically do so after searching for a replacement for their troubled MacBook plastic clutch cover.  

Close to perfect: 2004 G35 Sport Coupe with modifications

In December of 2003, I brought home a G35 Sport Coupe with leather and premium package (see original Window Sticker for full Specs). I first saw the G35 concept at the New York Auto Show a year or so earlier, and immediately thought it would be one of the most beautiful affordable cars on the road if the production version stayed true to the concept. Well, as Infiniti promised, the production version was strikingly similar to the concept. This meant that the production G-Coupe looked as if it should easily have cost twice as much as it did. At $31,550.00 without the premium package, the price was not far from a well-equipped Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6. However, the cars were worlds apart. The G35 was rear wheel drive, 280 HP, 270 ft-lbs torque, tiptronic, and had a beautiful exhaust note. Meanwhile, "boring" would have been an understatement for the 2004 Honda Accord. As the Q60 Concept looms large, I thought I’d pay homage to my old G-Coupe by posting the ways in which I modified it over the years, my reasons for each modification, and of course tons of pics. Dive in after the break.

The Infiniti Q60 and Other Stupid Car Names

According to Motor Trend, Infiniti is set to unveil its all new "very, very, very, very close to [production]" Q60 at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show around mid January next year. Without condemning the yet to be revealed vehicle too much, the fact that I am not eagerly awaiting the all new 2016 "G37” or “G38” has left a bad taste in my mouth, possibly the remnants of curse words. I am more than a bit annoyed that I will not be able to refer to the impending vehicle as the “G Coupe”. I’m troubled in part because people who truly like cars probably get what's in a name and understand that a rose called 'protoplasma' [sic] smells a little less sweet.

The annoyance has led to this post and the following free points for automobile manufacturers: (1) I don't care what Don Draper or the ying-to-his-yang from Wharton tells you, people remember words best, and, (2) where fortune smiles on you and more than a modicum of success exists with an arbitrary silly alphanumeric nomenclature, leave it alone. 

Found Flash-age

remember Flash Player. A while back during one of my favorite past times (deleting useless files from my MacBook), I found the .swf file below I created, still lingering, much like the mighty indomitable cockroach. It was the beginnings (and end) of my own "site assistant" for my long defunct web development operation - all well before iOS was a glimmer in its father's eye. Naturally it reminded me of Jobs' "Thoughts on Flash" (TOF). I had no trouble understanding why it made lots of sense to use open standards when TOF was first published. However, the annihilation of Flash was lost on me. As it turns out, Flash isn't like the cockroach at all.

iPhone 6 Plus: The Burden of Abundance and Choice

It has been one week since Apple announced new iPhone models. During that time, the commentary has been most surprising (although maybe it should not be) on many popular tech sites and from video bloggers surrounding the larger model, the iPhone 6 Plus. Some people seem taken back at just 'how large' the 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus appears. I use "appears" since many, like myself, have not had a chance to experience the phone in person. Even individuals claiming that the iPhone 6 (as opposed to the 6 Plus) will be their next device seldom talk about the iPhone 6. Stranger still, persons with no plans to purchase an iPhone 6 Plus, and with seemingly no good reason to do so, have heavily focused on this phone. Without ranting too much, I believe this exemplifies a common problem in our society; namely, the burden of abundance and choice.

"Hello" 2014 Moto X

The first generation Moto X belongs in the the rare group of Android phones I've cared about. It just seemed as if Motorola had something from the beginning with the Moto X and the newest iteration looks awesome. It's lovely from the metal frame that surrounds it, to the plethora of materials of varying designs consumers can choose have adorn the rear of the phone. It's classy of Motorola to have mostly left Android alone and the specs aren't-too-shabby either.

Curiosity killed the Schrödinger Cat

This is the month in which Nobel Prize winning physicist, Erwin Schrödinger was born (August 12, 1887). On his birthday, I found myself wondering about the english idiom, "curiosity killed the cat" along with Schrödinger's famous thought experiment - explained well in the above video.

I wondered with whom it originated, around what time, and how it is typically used today as compared to Schrödinger's remix of the idea that 'curiosity kills.'

Navdy: May be the best Aftermarket Heads-Up Display (HUD)

The aftermarket Heads-Up Display (HUD) space has been horrendous - a wasteland. It's almost as if companies who are in a position to make good iOS or Android phone-integrated-HUD systems, decided that they need not break a sweat while vehicle manufacturers continue to sell terrible $2000 dollar navigation systems. That is, expensive OEM solutions are so egregious and offensive to the public-at-large, that the big players in aftermarket car electronics can sell their lesser-of-two-evils $1000 head-units into perpetuity. I'm primarily referring to Alpine, Pioneer, and Sony here. Perhaps a bit less so for Pioneer, who at least made this in between watching "the fast and the furious," or whatever it is their mobile-audio department does nowadays. Garmin, with a "half-heartier" attempt, (and I use 'heartier' loosely) also threw their hat-in-the-ring with this thing.

Needless to say, Navdy looks as if it will easily be the best of its kind available when it launches. Jump into the post for some really cool tech not only from Navdy, but also from a company called MVS-California.

Macbook Pro clutch cover (plastic hinge cover) replacement

The hinge clutch cover is the long black plastic part that covers the mechanical parts by the hinge of your MacBook, or the only plastic part visible to you at the fulcrum of your machine. It's visible from the back when your MacBook is closed and also when it is open at the base of your screen. Over time, the clutch cover can become cracked and eventually even break, exposing some part of the internals of your machine. This typically doesn't affect the operation or functionality of your computer. However, in addition to aesthetics it serves the purpose of keeping dust and other undesirables out of your MacBook.

The clutch cover on my 2011 15 Inch MacBook Pro eventually cracked. I purchased a new clutch cover from amazon for under $17.00 USD, and replaced it in less than an hour.

Am I a Apple or iPhone fanboy?

Before you answer that question, let me tell you a few things about myself that may help inform your judgment. First, I have a computer science degree and usually make reasoned purchasing decisions when it comes to technology, not all of which is based on pure specifications. I have never waited in a crazy line or camped out to buy an iPhone. Second, I have a law degree; this may be relevant as an indicator that I have a modicum of logical reasoning ability. Third, I like engineers and companies that make some attempt or strive toward caring about more than the products they sell, if for no other reason than that it is good business practice. For example, I prefer Westinghouse and Tesla to Edison. Lastly, I like and truly appreciate, companies such as Intel, Microsoft and Google. I use their products daily and have done so for many years. For example, I’ve built my Windows desktops since the early days of the Intel Retail Edge program, and my personal Gmail address is simply ‘my very common name’ (at) gmail (dot) com.

Click the link below for 10 reasons why I easily choose iPhone and iOS over Android and the plethora of available Nexonaxy devices.

OWC Data Doubler: Replace that rarely used MacBook optical drive

You can stop living like an animal, and forget about backing up your MacBook by installing an OWC Data Doubler Optical Drive to HDD/SSD converter. For the longest time I had forgotten that my MacBook Pro came with an optical drive. Now, I know what some of you kids with brand-spanking-new MacBooks are wondering, "what in the world is an optical drive”? First, this post isn’t for you. Second, an optical drive is something Apple ‘puters used to come with wherein the user would insert a shiny plastic disk, that held all off, at most, about 8 GBs of data.

Click the link below  to find out why you should get an OWC Data Doubler.

The Best Lawyer Briefcase: Bosca's Old Leather Partner's Brief

The Best Lawyer Briefcase: Bosca's Old Leather Partner's Brief

Some products are good because they are well designed. That is, they are functional, good looking, and give no cause to question the taste or decision-making-ability of the user. Better products also come with a great warranty. The best products, have the aforementioned, but come with a lifetime warranty, or a continuing guarantee of performance, and excellent customer service. 

Bosca's "Partner's Brief" is among the best of products, and if you need a lawyer bag, it should more than do the job.

4.7” iPhone 6 front Panel: confirmed super durable, super clear - likely sapphire

At this rate its safe to bet eating your hat, that at least the 4.7 inch iPhone, will have a vastly superior display cover to anything that has come before it. Sonny Dickson and Marques Brownlee has confirmed the iPhone 6 display cover as being super durable and high quality, and likely made of sapphire crystal.