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Showing posts from June, 2013

Thoughts on Digg Reader

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I finally got my grubby mitts on the eagerly awaited Digg Reader today. And just in time, too, as Google are turning Google Reader’s lights out on Sunday night. Sob, sob. First things first, the import process (from Google Reader) works well; it retained the folder structure and the arrangement of RSS feeds within folders. My preference is to have folders stacked in an order which suits me and for the individual subscriptions within those folders to be sorted alphabetically. The fact all this was carried over intact from Google Reader was an unexpected surprise. Good show. Perhaps most importantly, Digg have kept to their brief. They have made something very lightweight and utilitarian, that does a few things very well (resisting the temptation to turn it into a kitchen-sink type of web app). Less is definitely more when it comes to RSS aggregators. Overall performance is surprisingly good. It seems slightly more responsive than Google Reader and, quite frankly, it’s nice to have a…

iPop – Woman’s fake boob explodes after lying on floor to play phone game

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That thing exploded I tell you.  EXPLODED! Story at: NY Daily News 26/06/13: A Chinese woman's breast implant exploded after she lay on her stomach playing an iPhone game for four hours, it's claimed. Doctors think the poor quality of the fake boob, combined with the pressure placed on them for such a long time, caused it to rupture.This should come as a stark warning to gamers (or anyone sporting a silicon-enhanced chest): you need to take care of those sweater puppies when lying on hard floors. Surely your surgeon warned you… The woman had been playing "Dragon Summoner" in bed when she felt a searing pain in her chest.I hope the paramedics gave the woman her phone back on the way to hospital. Why let a medical emergency get in the way of gaining extra ‘achievement unlocked’ points? I wonder if any claim-snouting ambulance-chasing lawyers were in hot pursuit. After all, there’s a potential medical negligence claim in there somewhere (besides the smell of burst silic…

Digg Reader to launch next week. A heaven-sent gift to bloggers?

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From the Guardian 18/06/13: The Google Reader RSS aggregator service shuts down on 1 July, leaving many of its users scrambling to choose and migrate to a suitable replacement. One of the candidates, Digg Reader, is now confirmed to launch next week.Make that the only potentially viable replacement, subject to the world, you know, actually seeing it. It's the work of a five-person team within Digg, which is enjoying its second lease of life as part of startup incubator Betaworks, which acquired the social news website in July 2012. Digg announced plans to build a Google Reader replacement in March 2013, promising to rebuild that service's best features "but also advance them to fit the Internet of 2013". It proceeded to survey more than 18,000 people on their wishlists for the new product. Three months later, version one of the Digg Reader has a launch date – 26 June – and the promise that it will be fast, simple and focused on the keenest users of Google Reader as t…

Whiplash – A matter of fact or fiction

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Are Courts Finally Beginning to See Fathers as Equal Parents?

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Guest PostWhen a couple separates or files for divorce, their first thoughts should be about how to create the best possible situation for their children. Studies have shown that children can be greatly affected by their parents’ divorce- the results include a drop in grades, changes in attitudes or behaviour, or even depression. In an ideal situation, both parents would come to an amicable decision which would result in both parents having equal responsibilities and time with the kids. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many divorces or separations; and often both parties cannot reach an agreement on temporary custody of the kids. This is when the court steps in. The Family Law Act states that “each parent has parental responsibility for each of their children until aged 18”. The law acknowledges the importance of the parental responsibilities of both the mother and the father to their children. The court encourages both parents to come to an agreement with the best interest of …

Lending and Borrowing Laws for Loans

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Guest PostIf you’re considering taking out a loan, it’s important to be aware of your rights beforehand. This means becoming acquainted with the laws which govern lending and borrowing terms in the UK. Doing so will ensure that you are fully aware of the risks of taking out a loan, and will help you to understand how best to manage the financial repercussions of doing so – including what may happen if you can’t make your repayments. Taking Out a LoanWhen you take out a loan you will always be asked to sign an agreement. This agreement will set out the terms of your loan, and by signing it you will be indicating that you are both aware of and in agreement with these terms. In the UK, most lending and borrowing agreements are regulated by the Consumer Credit Act. This Act gives rights to borrowers, and dictates the terms under which lenders can provide loans. If a lending agreement is governed by the Consumer Credit Act, you will receive a written copy of your agreement which clearly de…

Tax Tips for Small Businesses

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Guest PostFor a small business owner, dealing with the ins and outs of tax can be a confusing and intimidating matter. Here are seven top tips to help you navigate the subject and maximise your profits 1: Classify Your Business CorrectlyDifferent tax rules apply to different business structures, so small business owners should think carefully about how they intend to operate, be it a partnership, sole trader or limited company. This initial decision can have huge implications on the amount of tax and national insurance a business will pay, so it is vital to research and take advice on this question before starting your small business. 2: Keep Precise RecordsBy keeping track of all your receipts and invoices, and making sure all of the paperwork relating to your business is kept in a secure place, you can ensure you are paying the correct amount of tax and avoid the penalties that are incurred as a result of inaccurate or incomplete records. 3: Be Aware of Allowable DeductionsThere …

Pooting PC declared hero in drugs haul

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From the Metro 13/06/13:A cannabis factory was sniffed out by police after they wound down their car windows to escape the smell when one officer kept breaking wind.The team noticed a second strange scent as they sucked in the welcome fresh air, and tracked it to a house before enforcing the pong arm of the law, the Police Federation’s magazine reported.‘They asked their colleague in the back what he had been eating, and after fits of giggles and denials, they realised the cannabis smell was in the air in the street outside,’ it said.It’s nice to see the officers maintaining a high degree of professionalism and maturity whilst on patrol!‘All three officers’ suspicions were raised and they left the car to get some fresh air and find the cause of the cannabis smell.[T]he officers, following their noses, found a cannabis factory with a crop worth £12,000.Seven people at the property in Leicester were arrested.The officer with the wind problem had been on a high-protein diet after taking …

Why is there a rise in certain types of personal injury claim?

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Guest PostWhiplash claims and industrial illness have been major personal injury talking points of late, and it's vital to know what to do if you wish to make a claim.In recent weeks, a number of stories have appeared in the mainstream media that focus on certain types of personal injury compensation claims. Personal injury solicitors have become embroiled in a dispute with insurers over a sharp increase in accident claims, while the recent Queen's Speech could also prompt a flurry of industrial disease claims. We consider these two areas in more detail below: Whiplash claims
At the start of this year, many GPs reported experiencing a large number of cases in which patients appeared to be seeking treatment for whiplash injuries sustained in road traffic accidents that were either greatly exaggerated, or simply did not exist. This in turn has reportedly led to an 80% rise in motor insurance in the last five years. The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) was drawn in…

Playground brawl between parents resolved by police with CS spray

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From BBC News 30/05/13: Police used CS spray to break up a fight between parents in the playground of an infants [sic] school. The fight broke out at Penryn Infants School in Cornwall as children waited to be collected. Devon and Cornwall Police said some people began "behaving in a disorderly way". Officers were forced to use captor spray, a pepper-based CS spray, on a man who was allegedly assaulting a pupil's mother. A man was arrested and has been released on bail until July, pending further inquiries. The spray is believed to have been deployed in front of children in the school playground during the incident last Thursday. A force spokesman confirmed that the spray was used in the playground.Oh that’s just lovely. It’s nice to see the parents of Penryn setting such an example to their children as to how to behave in a playground. What was that about do unto others? I wonder what happened. Did one parent push in line at the kids’ pick-up time? I miss Cornish life so…

Head and Brain Injuries

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ABS don’t smell (that) bad

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(It’s just they don’t smell too good either - says ill-informed respondents to survey) From the Solicitors Journal 04/06/13: Students remain in the dark when it comes to changing legal services, says survey. More than half of law students would not seek work with an ABS, a recent survey has reported. According to the University of Law's 'ABS Survey', 58 per cent of students said they would not want to work for ABS. Director of family law and head of professional practice at the Co-operative Legal Services Jenny Beck […] said: "ABS is a very significant development for the legal industry and law students need to be aware of the opportunities it brings."Read: working as perpetual career paralegal. Within larger ABSs, said Beck, trainee solicitors have the opportunity to develop not only their core legal skills, but also complementary business skills to further their professional development.Oh give me strength. “Complementary business skills”? Is this the new “comm…

The Importance of Research in Employing a Conveyancer

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Guest PostDoing your research and making sure that a solicitor or conveyancer has your best interests at heart before you employ them is very important. The quality of a conveyancer could mean the difference between your sale falling through and your sale completing quickly and easily. It could all depend on the conveyancer. There are three things you should look for in a conveyancer- the price, the quality of service and trust. The Price
Don’t just plump for the first firm you find or for the conveyancer that your agent recommends, as this will likely mean that you’ll spend unnecessary amounts of money. Get at least three quotes from different firms, and make sure that you can compare them directly. Ask about hidden charges or any fees that might occur if the sale was to fall through. Compare conveyancing quotes easily with a comparison website like www.compareconveyancingquotes.co.uk. However, a really cheap quote is usually an indication of poor service. A really cheap conveyance…

Making the Law Accessible

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Guest PostBefore the internet, legal service and the law itself was complicated, confusing and inaccessible. It still can be complicated and confusing, but through various schemes and technology like the internet, people no longer have to have access to the physical volumes of the law itself to gain knowledge or understanding of the law. The Internet and Online Lawyers
The dawn of the internet has revolutionised the way that people are able to access the law. Now, instead of having to seek out the places that have physical copies of the law as well as having to organise how to get there, most people are just a click or two away from things like the Human Rights Act. There are also sites that help people to create their own legal documents too, making the process simpler and easier to understand. Not only can they now find the law itself within easy reach, but access to lawyers and solicitors has vastly improved too. This means that the cost of legal services is also reduced. The impr…

Cambridge criminal law exam – what’s all the fuss about

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I saw this piece of overblown stupidity was doing the rounds earlier. Everywhere. What’s all the fuss about? As an undergraduate, I don’t remember answering a question on sexual offences (despite it being on the syllabus) but I do remember that some of the questions around murder / offences against the person on the exam paper I sat were quite graphically worded. Not jaw-dropping, mind you, just the kind to trigger a supressed grin. We’ve all had that reaction sitting an exam, right? But here’s the point: any law student studying criminal law has already been subjected to far worse material detailing graphic injuries, mutilations, extremely ripe language and all the rest - simply by virtue of reading case law. (Seriously, I’ve read stuff in law reports that would make a whore blush). It goes with the territory, sadly. And besides – give them a little credit. Law students are made of tougher stuff than people seem to think; they aren’t going to be scarred for life from an exam ques…

Judge compares lawyers to airline pilots and an F1 pit crew

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In a speech delivered to SJ Live conference delegates, District Judge Monty Trent drew a number of interesting analogies between solicitors and other jobs – airline pilots and an F1 pit crew. No, the fit isn’t an obviously natural one, is it? And wolf packs have to go. Teams of 5, 10, 15 lawyers, throwing emails around between themselves and other lawyers; they have got to go. They're not going to be allowed on grounds of proportionality. I have nothing against teams but they should be used more efficiently. Watch a Formula 1 racing team changing tyres; there are about 16 people running around, but each one has one specific task and one task only, and it's all choreographed so that it's all played exactly in the right way. They rush in, rush out, and in less than a minute the car has new tyres.I don’t think DJ Monty has watched an F1 race in a while; it takes a LOT less than a minute to change a car’s tyres. Prior to 2010, when refuelling was still permitted, a car was s…