Friday, January 31, 2003

Dean finance update

I’ll be wrapping up our initial fundraising effort here in Illinois (if you’re in Illinois and haven’t contacted me yet, please do so asap) in the next couple days. But there’s an update from the AP that just hit a couple hours ago indicating that Governor Dean had $157,000 on hand at the beginning of the month.

Slate gets it wrong

In The Dot-Firm’s Dot-Bomb, writer Daniel Gross lays out more on the conventional wisdom on why Brobeck failed, and tries to generalize out to the law firm market. Here are some, um, surprising assertions:

  • “During the ’90s, law firms happily rode the technology wave without fundamentally altering their business. As associates defected to dot-coms and venture capital firms, law practices raised salaries and hiked bonuses. But they didn’t seek to transform the business of law.”
    Sounds good, but he misses his mark by a long shot. Technology spending in the legal market still lagged corporate America throughout the 1990s. And suggesting that they “happily rode the technology wave” is a laughable statement for anyone who’s been selling technology to lawyers. (Trust me on this one – I started my career in the 90s selling tech to lawyers. Still doing it, and it ain’t exactly a hot knife through butter.) And suggesting that the firms “didn’t seek to transform the business of law” is off by half. While it’s true that the profession as a whole has been slow to move off the billable hour, it’s by no means true that the business of law is a different landscape today from 1990. Wholly-owned subsidiaries and ancillary spin-offs are now common – for precisely the reasons Gross sets out above.

  • “Most blue-chips occupy nice but not lavish offices and marketing is generally discreet – advertisements in the American Lawyer, booths at professional conferences.”
    Whoa there. Has he been in a blue-chip law firm office lately? Marble floors, multi-story glass lobbies, oak paneling. “Nice but not lavish?” In that case, I’ll take a nice-but-not-lavish house, thank you very much. And the legal marketing profession blossomed in the 90s. By the end of the decade, Chief Marketing Officers at AmLaw 100 firms were making in excess of $200,000 (with some as high as $400,000 in salary) and were spending 2% of revenues on marketing. (For firms in the top 10, that’s a marketing budget of $10m to $20m.) You call that discreet? Right. Look at the airport kiosks in most major metropolitan airports – Womble Carlyle’s bulldog stares back at you in DC and other mid-Atlantic and southeast airports, Orrick’s Absolut-like “O” is in just about every major financial center in North America and Asia, and Fenwick & West was a full-page, full-color advertiser in The Industry Standard in the late 90s (and a sponsor of its tech conferences). And those are just the off-the-top-of-my head recollections. There’s more.

  • “And so Brobeck began to do things that law firms didn’t do… [it] entered the venture-capital business.”
    This reads as if other firms weren’t doing this. Check out this Fortune comment from last summer: “Valley law firms had long taken equity in some of their startup clients in lieu of fees, especially when the young firms had no money to spend.” Oops.

The story here (apologies for the skipping record quality of this tirade) is not that Brobeck failed. The story is why Cooley, Fenwick, Venture Law Group, Gray Cary and others are still around. What did Brobeck do that the others didn’t?Is anyone asking how a business that essentially zeroes out its balance sheet at the end of the year can amass $90m in debt?

Governor Dean on C-Span - Sunday 2/2

Tune in to C-Span on Sunday for clips from the “Road to the White House”:

Gov. Dean spoke to a gay rights advocacy group in Charleston and visited the U.S.M.C. Recruit Depot on Parris Island. (On C-SPAN, Sunday at 6:30 & 9:30)

Links will be on the video page once they’re available online.

Press Coverage on Brobeck


West Coast Law Firm Closing After Dot-Com Collapse


Partners at the San Francisco law firm of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison decided yesterday to wind down the firm, bringing to an end a 77-year-old Bay Area institution that rose flamboyantly and rapidly on the Internet boom. [ full article]

Top S.F. dot-com law firm to close
Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison grew with tech boom

Todd Wallack, Harriet Chiang, Chronicle Staff Writers

One of San Francisco’s largest and most prestigious law firms told shocked employees Thursday that it was shutting down, a victim of the tech implosion.

Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, which rose to national prominence by handling hundreds of dot-com IPOs and mergers during the Internet bubble, leaves 1,100 lawyers and support staff in 14 cities out of work. [SF Chronicle: full article]

But the San Jose Mercury News seems to dig beneath the sound bite and get closer to some of the root causes of this implosion:

  • “The firm prospered until 2000, but made some bad moves at the peak of the stock market. Its most expensive: agreeing to a 12-year lease for 191,000 square feet of the brand-new $260 million University Circle office-retail complex in East Palo Alto — just before real estate rents in the area plunged almost 70 percent.”

  • “Then, in another big blow, former chairman Tower Snow defected from the firm in May, taking with him 21 partners to a London competitor, Clifford Chance. Snow kept poaching, snapping up another 30 or so Brobeck lawyers since then.”

  • “Other firms, smelling blood, began poaching too, and soon Brobeck was reeling — having even fewer partners to help pay the debt. Its lawyer ranks shriveled to 500, from a high of 921 in 2000. Last week, the firm’s partners had to cough up $26 million to reduce its debt with its nervous lead-lender, Citibank.”

What the Times and the Chronicle fail to address is why other firms who were equally dependent on the tech boom haven’t failed so spectacularly. If Brobeck’s failure were truly a failure of relying on the tech companies, you would have seen a number of other high profile firms go belly-up as well. But that hasn’t happened.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Brobeck's bubble burst

Brobeck Dissolving

Brenda Sandburg
The Recorder
Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison — just two years ago the most profitable firm in the Bay Area — is dissolving following the collapse of merger negotiations with Philadelphia-based Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. [more…]

This has been in the cards a while. When you rack up $90m in debt, don’t pay your bills and have tens of thousands of square feet of office space you’re not using, your choices are pretty slim. They tried merging with Morgan Lewis & Bockius, but my bet (and this is just a guess) is that the Brobeck guys were just a tad strong in their demands. When your hat is in your hand you shouldn’t hold out for richer offers.

A little over a year ago, I predicted that Brobeck (which was then more than 600 lawyers) would be at 300 lawyers by this summer. Turns out I was wrong – I was being conservative.

The firm’s demise is really rather spectacular. I reported on this back in May of last year:

It has been a tough year for Brobeck. Their attorney ranks have shrunk by 26% (mostly by layoffs, but attrition is included), they pulled their first-of-a-kind-for-law-firms ad campaign on CNN and MSNBC (and the CMO left as a result)their managing partner (Tower Snow) was ousted, profits per partner are down more than 40%, [and] they let more than half of their team of KM lawyers go. [full post]

And it only got worse. When Snow ultimately left to go to Clifford Chance, he brought Jeff Rovner with him which marked the end of Brobeck’s well- publicized KM efforts. (At its peak, Rovner led a team of five attorneys in a full-time KM initiative. Rovner is now at Clifford Chance – as head of KM for Clifford Chance Americas – and the other KM lawyers were let go.) Snow’s CMO (David Geyer) is now the CMO at Orrick. The lawyer attrition got worse – and the debt and unused office space just got higher and higher.

Morgan Lewis & Bockius made the right call. While Morgan Lewis needs a strong west coast presence, their culture is 180 degrees from Brobeck’s ax-at-the-door culture. It would have been a match made in hell – and I’ll be willing to wager that a number of the more progressive lawyers from Brobeck will end up at Morgan Lewis anyway once the dust settles.

What a shame. Brobeck had an opportunity to leave a legacy of forward-thinking, aggressive business-oriented law firm management. Instead, they’ll be remembered for the back-stabbing, the in-fighting, and the implosion triggered by a pile of debt and a whole lot of bitterness. Out of Brobeck’s ashes, the largest law firm in the world (Clifford Chance) got bigger. And if a significant number of lawyers end up with Morgan Lewis, Brobeck will end up just making two already-strong law firms stronger.

For many of the non-law firm press, the angle on this will be that the law firm that rode the .com wave finally got its due. There’s a whole lot more to it than that. But it’ll at least be a nice sound bite.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Audio/video page updated

Audio/video links updated. Swing by the Audio/Video page – I’ve added a couple historical links (August 2002 NPR profile, July 2002 NPR one hour interview) and added Friday’s Tavis Smiley show link.

As always, let me know if you’ve got links to audio or video that aren’t linked here.

Howard Dean - Not Nuancing

Added a link in the Press Page to the upcoming Newsweek article by George F. Will about Governor Dean. Overall, Will doesn’t cover new ground but does identify some rough edges in Dean’s positions – specifically, Dean’s “rhetorical retreats” on the Bush Administration/Taliban remark, and the is-it-five-justices-or-three that are “too far to the right”. (And what’s with Will’s alliteration? “Rhetorical retreats”? “Penchant for pungent phrases”? At least it’s not “nattering nabobs of negativity“…)

It’s interesting to note that Will doesn’t really paint Governor Dean into the “ultra-liberal” corner that seems popular lately; instead, he simply points out that Dean’s biggest obstacle will be overcoming the “compressed schedule of Democratic nominating events.” He’s got a point.

I’m glad to see Will treat Dean as both a credible candidate and one with some staying power.

Governor Dean on the State of the Union

As picked up by the AP:

“The president continues to threaten war without making a case for war; he promises to stimulate the economy yet runs the federal budget deep into debt; and he proposes no serious health care reform.” —Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.

RNC Talking Points on Howard Dean

Linked from the Dean2004 blog at, here’s a pointer to the RNC talking points on Dean.

Yeah, but what about my feet?

I’m at a trade show this week, where you spend the majority of your waking hours on your feet. It feels an awful lot like Groundhog Day – except that the “day” is five minutes long and you have the same five minute conversation with hundreds of people.

I saw this post by Ross Mayfield show up today, and I’m very intrigued by the possibilities of what he terms “augmented reality” (it reminds me of William Gibson’s Virtual Light). Think about how this could simplify a trade show – as people walk up, you see who they are, who they’re with, and if you have an interface to your CRM system, a list of the most recent interactions between you and them. Nice.

But my feet still hurt from standing all day long. Gotta work on that.

Monday, January 27, 2003

Deja vu all over again

Check this out:

Guess we haven’t really come that far in four years after all… (This is a recurring theme… I’m at my seventh LegalTech. Kinda feels like Groundhog Day.)

Jen Klyse is deploying InterAction 5...

… and she’s documenting the plans here.

Jen’s taking a smart approach, recognizing that success is dependent on more than simply buying a great product (though that certainly helps!). Keep an eye on this page for more details.


OK, OK. I’m waaaaay overdue on a post about Sabrina Pacifici’s new blog, beSpacific. Sabrina graciously dropped me an e-mail about it on its launch, and I came up for air long enough to check it out and walk away impressed.

Then it got buried with weeks of e-mails waiting for reponses… until I saw Sabrina today at LegalTech in NYC. Let me strongly recommend dropping by Sabrina’s site – it has a ton of content (over 1000 posts so far) and is very well-designed. Sabrina, who by day is a law librarian par excellence, excels at providing links to source material and far more depth of info than you’ll find at other sites.

Bonus – she has an XML feed (RSS and RDF).

Now Sabrina – let me turn the guilt table around for a sec. What’s up with the links to Ernie, Denise, Jenny, Jerry – but not me? Sheesh.


Saturday, January 25, 2003


Look out world, Ernie’s out testing software. Sounds like NewzCrawler deserves a look:

News Aggregating – a call for input – okay I’ve played with NewzCrawler enough to know that this is a much more flexible tool for reading blogs and gathering news.  First, as I said it allows me to have a folder organized with my legal blog feeds, which I can order however I choose.  It also allows organization of websites, which is useful for keeping abreast of Glenn Reynolds new site on MSNBC because it is not an RSS feed.  I’ll add more to this post later, but I want to know from the legal bloggers which news aggregator, if any, they are using.  If you’re not using one then I recommend you try out NewzCrawler.  It’s free (with annoyances) and then it’s $24 if you want to buy it. [Ernie the Attorney]

The WYSIWYG Candidate

More indications that Governor Dean’s campaign is trying to appropriate the McCain “straight talk express” mantra from yesterday’s Concord (NH) Monitor:

What New Hampshire voters liked about Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the 2000 Republican presidential primary winner, is what they will like about him, Dean said: “My directness.”

“With me, what you see is what you get,” he said. “And you’re not going to like every bit of it, but you’re always going to know where I stand and why I stand there.’”

Friday, January 24, 2003

Fineman on Dean:

Howard Fineman comments on Governor Dean’s appearance at the NARAL dinner this week:

I came away from the annual National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League dinner here the other night with one conclusion: Howard Dean is going to be a player.

Overall, Fineman gives Dean little chance of winning but does admire that he’s true to his ideals, articulate, and passionate. Fineman raises an interesting twist – having Dean in the race may be a boost to Kerry, who can play off Dean’s more-liberal leanings to differentiate himself as a more moderate (i.e., “electable”) Democrat.

Then again, if you can position Kerry’s centrist leanings as too Bush-like, he doesn’t look all that attractive to the party base. The early primaries will reward the more liberal, energetic candidates. If Kerry stumbles early, he may have a hard time recovering.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

TNR: Stage Left

Posted tonight (from the 2/3 issue) at The New Republic is a great summary of the candidates who went before NARAL this week. Dean gets the most positive write-up of the six:

[Dean’s] style is to grab the political live wire that everyone else is terrified of touching. And so Dean took partial-birth abortion, NARAL‘s most controversial and difficult-to-defend position, and made it the centerpiece of his speech, insisting that the term itself was an artifice manufactured by the right. “This is an issue about nothing,” he proclaimed to the most boisterous applause of the evening. He then moved on to the next most divisive issue: parental notification. One of his twelve-year-old patients became pregnant after she was raped by her father, the Vermont physician said. “You explain that to the American people who think that parental notification is a good idea.”

The Dean campaign has been going through cycles that are the opposite of the Edwards campaign: Long periods where everyone forgets about him are followed by bursts of great publicity and hype. He’s on the cusp of another one of those surges. All recent reports from Iowa and New Hampshire say that he is electrifying the party faithful.

The other candidates were mostly predictable. Lieberman was uninspiring (“Lieberman hasn’t figured out how to talk about values without simply repeating the word over and over again”), Edwards had another “unexpected thud” (“Edwards seems to go through cycles of exceedingly high expectations and intense media buzz punctuated by disappointing public performances that leave one wondering, ‘What is all the fuss about?’”), Sharpton was entertaining (he “was funny, served up a freezer full of ideological red meat, and left the podium to cheers from an audience packed with wealthy white women”).

The article also notes that Dean has largely inherited Bradley’s campaign from 2000, while Kerry has inherited Gore’s. Full article is here. overhauled

Sometime in the past hour, the Dean campaign released a completely new web site. It’s mostly cosmetic at this point – most of the content appears to be from the old site – but it’s a much more professional look and appears to have placeholders for more substantive content down the road.

Dean speech at Linn County fundraiser

Video on C-SPAN: Dean in Iowa

C-SPAN has updated their site with a link to Dean’s speech at the Linn County Iowa Democratic Fundraising Dinner :

 CSPAN Video

posted by Aziz Poonawalla     Tuesday, January 21, 2003 []

A few things to note about the speech:

Governor Dean mentioned Bill Clinton by name repeatedly, calling attention to some clear successes of the Clinton Administration. (Interestingly, Gephardt did too.) This will be a trend to watch – how the Democratic candidates try to reinvigorate the party by relying on some of Clinton’s star power. While it’s a shrewd tactic (clearly they’re playing to the party’s loyalists), it’s a sad commentary that there aren’t any leaders in the party after two years without Clinton at the helm.

Dean’s style of laying out a framework for a Democratic party that’s defined by ideals – of identifying a path for the party’s members to be proud to be Democrats again – is a smooth leadership tactic. Become a front runner by acting like one. The purpose of a leader is to identify where we should be going. Governor Dean certainly picked his battles with President Bush – but this was not an overly negative speech. Rather, it gave him a platform to articulate clear, identifiable goals for the party. He made his platform bigger than himself – and this is most certainly a way to inspire enthusiasm and optimism among a group who’s been beaten down for a few years.

Oddly enough, the fact that he stumbled over a few words actually rounds him out as a candidate. The early primaries are all about personal connections – and Governor Dean managed to appear both articulate and down-to-earth. Contrast that with Edwards’ polish (and corresponding lack of zeal) – and I think you get favorable indications towards Dean. And let’s be clear about it – stumbling over a few words (a la Dean) is a far cry from stumbling over a few speeches (a la Bush). Dean was clear in his message, passionate in his delivery. And you walk away feeling like he honestly believes in his words, that he’s thought them through, and that he is capable of acting on them.

In a word: refreshing.

New blog

I wrote the other day about getting involved in the Dean Campaign. After watching his speech last weekend in Iowa (I caught the archived version on the web at, I’m even more convinced that he’s the only candidate who’s saying what needs to be said.

But I also recognize that most of the people who swing by this blog are reading the tech posts, the stuff about the legal profession, business strategy issues, and related topics. I decided to start a blog dedicated to Howard Dean, where I can write about the campaign, archive articles about him, etc.

The blog is located here; I’ve put a copy there of the e-mail I sent out to a number of friends requesting their support. I’ve also started an archive of articles about Dean as a candidate; I will add to it as new articles come out. (Judging by the recent press, this will take some effort!) The site has an RSS feed you can subscribe to; Radio users can just click here.

I remain interested in hearing from you if you want to get involved.

Now back to our regularly-scheduled programming…

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Got WiFi?

So here I am at LAX in the American Airlines Admirals Club. And thanks to T-Mobile, I’m now a T-Mobile Hotspot customer – and this post comes to you via a WiFi high speed connection in the flight club.

$50/month for unlimited minutes nationwide. I’m trying it out for a month – but may ultimately scale back to the pay as you go plan (effectively $10/hour) as I’m not sure I like a 12 month contract.

Since I’m already a T-Mobile customer (my GSM Treo is on a T-Mobile calling plan) – don’t you think they’d cut me a deal? Apparently not.

Notes from the Marketing Partner Forum

Some quick notes from the Marketing Partner Forum, which wraps up in a few hours:

  • about 35% of attendees are lawyers (managing partner, marketing partner), while the majority of attendees are marketing directors or CMOs. This is a departure from years past, where the balance was often 50/50.

  • One third of firms in the room were more than 500 lawyer firms. Only 20% were under 50.

  • 38% of firms report spending 2-3.9% of gross revenues on marketing (including staff salaries). 2% of firms report spending more than 15% of revenues on marketing; 36% spend less than 2%.

  • 42% saw no increase in marketing spending in 2002, 10% saw a decrease.

  • 31% report that they reward marketing activities by lawyers with “subjective rewards”. Only 7% actually use any kind of formula to reward same.

  • 68% of firms use some marketing training. 49% do presentation skills training, but only 42% do sales training.

In all, the format of this conference has been panel-heavy – which has resulted in many long sessions that fail to adequately capture the value the panelists can convey. Maggie Kavalaris (marketing partner at Gray Cary) was a great speaker – and had some fantastic points – but was fourth on a panel of six. And she didn’t start talking until more than an hour into the panel. (But I sure did appreciate when she proclaimed that one reason for her firm’s success was InterAction. Exact quote? “God bless InterAction!” Nice.)

Not too much earth-shattering discussions took place. It’s certainly a great place to network though. And it was nice to see that the three winners of the awards (sponsored by one of my competitors, no less) were all my customers:

Not looking forward to the red-eye back to Chicago tonight…

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Biggest argument for WiFi...

… has gotta be that the telephone in my hotel bathroom has a dataport.

That’s right – it’s a separate room with nothing but a toilet – and barely enough room to turn around – but sure enough, there’s a dataport in the telephone.

What were they thinking?

Right back at ya, babe...

Chicago, x2. The movie Chicago not only offers superb dance, music and acting, but the story deliciously assaults courtroom acrobatics and media manipulation. DO check it out.Not speaking of which, Chicago blawger extraordinaire Rick Klau spoke today at the Marketing Partner Forum (on the subject of knowledge managment in law firms), and impressed and entertained me no end last night at the Salt Creek Grille. [Bag and Baggage]

Well, the pleasure was definitely all mine. Denise is a delight to spend time with – and I’m almost embarassed that it didn’t occur to me to let her know I was coming to town until I got here. We had a great meal, and spent much of the evening sharing stories about how our blogs had produced many unexpected surprises and gifts over the past year.

Next week I’ll be speaking at LegalTech New York, where I’m getting together with Joy (congrats on the move, Joy!) (and Chris too? I know he doesn’t “do” these shows, but maybe he’d make an exception…), and two weeks later I’m having beers with Matt Mower in London. Anyone else in NYC next week want to get together for beers? How about London the week of February 10?

Who said the Internet was impersonal? I’m meeting cooler people and developing stronger friendships – all thanks to a simple piece of software. You just can’t beat that with a hammer. (That sounds better with a thick Irish brogue, by the way – but you’ll have to take my word for it.)

By the way, Denise mentioned that I spoke today at the Marketing Partner Forum. I’ve got a ton of notes that I’ll post here later tonight on the conference – definitely some interesting indicators for the legal profession.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

It's warm here...

Left Chicago this afternoon – it was 17 degrees and flurries decorated the sky.

Just checked into the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel, where it’s 70 and sunny.


By the way, I’m here attending and speaking at the Marketing Partner Forum, a conference focused on marketing directors and marketing partners at law firms. There are some good topics I’m looking forward to see covered:

  • Monday’s keynote session which will feature Maggie Kavalaris (Gray Cary) and Tower Snow (formerly of Brobeck, now a partner at Clifford Chance) and others talking about the role of marketing in a consolidating marketplace
  • Monday afternoon, which has Diane Hamlin (Fenwick & West) and Paul Mickey (Shaw Pittman) on a panel talking about strategic vs. operational marketing
  • Tuesday’s breakouts which focus on technology’s role in driving business (unfortunately, there are 8 breakouts scheduled concurrently over two session times that I would like to see – and I’m speaking during one of them!)
  • Jim Catchcart, author of Relationship Selling, talking about that topic in the context of selling legal services

I will take add comments periodically as I have time for those that are interested…

Friday, January 17, 2003

Blog Encounter

As Ernie mentioned a few days ago, we had a chance to meet for real when we were both in Orlando on vacation. (Side note – I missed getting to meet Buzz, but will no doubt do that on my next swing through Florida.)

In any event, it was great to meet Ernie in person. He’s a terrific guy and will no doubt be a friend for a long time. Maybe he’ll even teach me to play guitar…

That makes Ernie the fourth blog friend I’ve met face to face – I met Chris, Joy and Matt last year. I’m hoping to add several more on my trip to San Francisco next  month (end of February/beginning of March). We’ll see.

The Dean Campaign

I’ll keep the advocacy to a dull roar (for now), but I’m starting to get involved with the Dean campaign. Right now, this includes helping out on some technology projects and fund raising. I spoke yesterday with the guy heading up technology strategy for the campaign, and once the dust settles and they get their feet under them, I’ll likely start doing some “real” volunteer work.

If you’d like to learn more about the campaign, feel free to drop me a line. If you’re interested in making a donation to the campaign, I’d love to hear from you.

And there’s a great blog devoted to the Dean campaign at

Treo update

I’m finally coming up for air after two weeks of being radio silent (or is that Radio silent?). First off – my Treo arrived and I’m in love. It’s exactly the device I was hoping for – and a lot of folks at work are quite jealous. Some items that make it particularly attractive for me:

  • I can edit outlines on my Treo and have the outlines sync with Radio

  • Our Exchange server supports POP mail retrieval, so I can send/receive e-mail from my corporate e-mail account (it seems a lot of people didn’t know that Exchange supports POP, so I thought this was worth mentioning)

  • The browser (Handspring’s own Blazer) is very functional – certainly the best of the “small” browsers I’ve seen

  • The phone integration is outstanding, though I did need to download one hack to close the loop (see below)

In order to make the device exactly what I wanted, here’s the software I installed to round it out:

  • SnapperMail. This is a fully-featured e-mail client designed specifically for PalmOS smart-phones. It supports SMTP authentication (so my Exchange server will allow me to send e-mail as well as receive it), supports multiple accounts (so I can get my personal e-mail as well as corporate e-mail), allows me to delete messages off the server with one tap, supports periodic send/receive (so I don’t have to manually check), and can also handle attachments (JPG, ZIP, TXT, vCard, vCal, etc.). It’s still considered a public beta, but works very well for me. Coming soon – IMAP support which will improve my Treo/Exchange experience.

  • Natara Bonsai. A very robust outlining application that supports outline exporting – this allows me to edit outlines on my Treo and export them to OPML, where Radio then can upstream to my corporate intranet (where the files are viewed by several people inside the company).

  • AA Flights. I’m a dedicated American Airlines traveler; having an updated flight schedule for the next several months has come in handy on a number of occasions.

  • AvantGo. A must for staying synched with various news sites.

  • Documents To Go. I keep a handful of MS Office documents on my PC – like our company directory (in Excel), my 2003 objectives (in MS Word), a list of customers segmented by industry (in Excel) – that stay synched with my Treo now thanks to DTG.

  • MarknDial. This is one of many useful “hacks” from that make the Treo more functional. But this is the one I mention above that seems like it should just be part of the Treo system: it lets me copy any phone number from any app (browser, e- mail, notepad, calendar, etc.) and dial it from that app. Very nice. (Bonus: it’ll also launch a URL into Blazer from any other app automatically.)

  • Landware’s Expensable for PalmOS. This makes keeping expenses a slightly less onerous process by letting me capture them in the Treo, then worry about doing the desktop report later. It certainly saves me time – if only it would make the expense report itself more enjoyable!

Thanks again to Ernie, whose rave reviews about the Treo convinced me to take the plunge. I’m very glad I did.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

What he said!

Blawg, the law blog – well it was bound to happen.  There is now a site called Blawg, which aspires to be “your source for law & legal-related weblogs.”  Looks pretty slick, and even has a definition of the term “blawg.”  But I didn’t see any attribution for the origins of that term.  Unless I have lost huge chunk of my memory banks, I distinctly remember that it was Denise Howell who coined this term (see e.g.   post dated 3/3/2002).  I’m sure I will register for the site and join up and all, but I’d like to see proper attribution for the origin of the term “blawg” first.  Maybe I’m being too picky. [Ernie the Attorney]

Emperor, Shedding Clothes?

From The Economist:

America’s policy towards Iraq seems confused and towards North Korea seems erratic. Is the Bush administration’s diplomacy doomed?

Mr Bush’s post-September 11th foreign policy, apparently so robust, will continue to be assailed by doubts, fears and details. Perhaps most important of all for Mr Bush, doubts about war with Iraq seem to be growing at home. The president’s popularity has fallen below 60%, high by normal standards but the lowest since September 11th. One poll found only a quarter of Americans support a war without allies in Iraq. And the anti-war movement, though still much smaller than in Europe, seems to be growing. Is the policy coming unstuck? [full article]

Tuesday, January 14, 2003


WhoWas. Simply brilliant. Why didn’t I think of that? From the Trademark Blog:

Whois, Who Was, and Who Will Be. … Which brings me to today’s topic: market solutions for regulatory short-coming.  Snapnames (provider of SnapBack name “back order” services and whose State of the Domain reports I have praised previously), and Dialog (a Thomson Group company), have come up with a WhoWas database containing archival whois data back to 1997.  The service is available both to Dialog subscribers and as an open access credit-card based Web service.  The GC at SnapNames was nice enough to demo the product for me and it worked as advertised. [The Trademark Blog]

Thursday, January 9, 2003

Don't Mix Shoes, Batteries, a Power Strip and Cracklin' Oat Bran

From, the latest tale of complete idiots cluttering the skies:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A Maine couple’s attempt to make a political statement by rigging up a fake bomb in their checked luggage led to their arrest, officials said Thursday.

Paul Kenneth Donahue, 50, and Teresa Marie Wood, 46, had been scheduled to fly from San Jose, California, to Atlanta, Georgia, on Delta Flight 576 Tuesday. When their bags were put through a bomb detection machine, federal screeners found what turned out to be a snow boot with batteries, wires and an electrical power strip arranged in a suspicious way.

Screeners also found a note that read, “To the uniformed puppet opening this bag — congratulations. You’ve just brought this once free nation one step closer to becoming a fascist police state,” according to Transportation Security Administration spokesman Robert Johnson. The note was scribbled on one side of the cardboard torn from a box of Cracklin’ Oat Bran. [more…]

Wednesday, January 8, 2003

I'm back

Well, I’m not at 100% yet – Radio is still hiccupping on a few things – but it appears that I can once again publish to my site. I won’t go into all the details, but let’s just say that moving from one computer to another was not an entirely smooth process.

On the plus side – I now have a laptop with 1 gig of RAM, a 2 ghz processor, and lots and lots of disk space. (Yes, WillI’ll be careful.) I’ve finally got a ThinkPad again, after two years of suffering with the company’s Gateways. I feel liberated.

Anyway, I’ve got a ton of stuff to get caught up on – seems like a lot of great things happened over the holidays. Stay tuned…

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