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Dennis Kennedy

Dennis Kennedy is an award-winning leader in applying the Internet and technology to law practice. A published author and...

Tom Mighell

Tom Mighell has been at the front lines of technology development since joining Cowles & Thompson, P.C. in 1990....

Whether it’s playing music, reading legal articles, or answering your question about how much sugar to put in a batch of snickerdoodles, voice-enabled technology is quickly growing in capability and popularity. In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss voice-enabled technology like Amazon Echo and Google Home and the potential uses this technology has for legal professionals. They also talk about the Legal Hackers movement which is bringing together legal and tech professionals in order to create legal technology innovations. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots in which Tom describes his experience with bluetooth headphones and Dennis suggests taking a scenic train ride.

Special thanks to our sponsor, ServeNow.

Transcript

The Kennedy-Mighell Report

Alexa, Play the Kennedy-Mighell Report Podcast

01/27/2017

[Music]

Intro: Web 2.0, Innovation, Trend, Collaboration, Software, Metadata… Got the world turning as fast as it can, hear how technology can help, legally speaking with two of the top legal technology experts, authors and lawyers, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Welcome to The Kennedy-Mighell Report here on the Legal Talk Network.

Dennis Kennedy: And welcome to Episode 184 of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I am Dennis Kennedy in St. Louis.

Tom Mighell: And I am Tom Mighell in Dallas.

Dennis Kennedy: In our last episode we went on the record with our 2017 tech resolutions. I’ve already taken some big steps on mine and I’m wondering how Tom is doing with his.

In this episode, we’re going to revisit the topic, we’ve covered before, but we’ve been hearing so much about it that we want to take a fresh look. It’s the technology that people are really talking about. Tom, what’s on our agenda for this episode?

Tom Mighell: And I see where you were going there. Dennis, in this edition of the Kennedy-Mighell report, we’ll be talking about developments in what people are starting to call voice tech.

In our second segment, we’re going to discuss the Legal Hackers movement and the rise of localized legal tech organizations and as usual, we’ll finish up with our parting shots that one tip, website or observation that you can start to use the second that this podcast is over.

But first up, voice tech or voice-enabled technology is certainly nothing new. I think lawyers had been using Dragon Dictate for years to create documents, Siri, believe it or not is almost six years old at this point. And the Amazon Echo has actually been a thing for more than two years. I think it came out in 2014 sometime, but as with most technologies catching up to a phenomenon can take some time; I think especially for lawyers.

And I think as we’ve seen recently in the news and in the Christmas season, voice tech is officially a hot technology. Dennis, are you going to claim that Alexa suggested this topic to you?

Dennis Kennedy: There is a temptation sometimes when I’m trying to come up with topics for the podcast just to ask Alexa, and I know that one of our concerns as we record this is whether by saying the code names and/or code phrases, we’re going to accidentally set off devices either for ourselves or for listeners.

So if we do, we apologize, but I think that – I was listening to a podcast where they talked about this phenomenon of the personal assistance, voice commands, voice and speech recognition under the topic of voice tech, and talked about some of the voice tech innovations or our new things that were unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show this year.

So that kind of interested me, because I just like the phrase voice tech and I thought we should go back and look at it because it does seem like there’s a lot going on. And I guess that one of the key things, Tom, and you sort of alluded to this is that during the holiday season Amazon sold out of the Echoes and the smaller version of that, that we will talk about, called the Dot.

Tom Mighell: It did. It had a very good season although Amazon is never going to tell you how many they actually sell of anything. I just went by today to Amazon’s website to see if I could purchase an Echo and it said available the 26th of January. So as we’re recording here on January 19th, it’s about a week delay.

So they are I guess rushing to get things back in stock now, but I think there’s no question that at this point, it’s Amazon’s most popular product at the moment and really who could blame them or who could blame anybody for being finding that it’s popular because it really is and I think it’s interesting how it has exploded, because it was something that kind of was slow to catch on, and then all of the sudden, everybody seems to either want one or be talking about it.

Dennis Kennedy: And Tom, I will defer to you as the expert on this during the podcast and then the Google Home also came out recently or fairly recently and it has gotten a lot of mention and people are comparing and contrasting the two devices. So we will dig into that.

And then the other thing at the Consumer Electronics Show that really made me start to think was, they’re talking about the Alexa or the Amazon Voice System and Personal Assistant System, I guess, being embedded into cars and other devices.

So 4:43 I sort of outside of the Echo itself, and so you start to say, well, this voice technology if it’s – is its ability to be embedded into other systems; whether it’s the Amazon, the Google or Siri, that starts to become really interesting because I think that for me and we will probably talk about this a little bit, it was using voice in the car that kind of got me thinking about some of the possibilities of voice as it’s gotten so much better.

(00:05:12)

Tom Mighell: Well, that’s right. And I think that what’s nice about the fact that you’re able to embed this voice technology into things means that the devices don’t have to worry about it themselves. They don’t have to develop their own ecosystem for it. They can just implement whether it’s Amazon or whoever’s ability to use the voice.

I think that at CES, at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, I think really the Echo pretty much established itself as the front-runner. I think it’s hard to say that anything else and we’re going to talk about Google Home in just a minute. But frankly, just looking at the list of the things that the products that announced that they had capabilities for the Echo, there was a Smart InstaView Refrigerator, where you can order things from this big touchscreen.

A ton of smart home accessories and we’ll talk a little bit later that one of the main purposes and benefits of having a tool like an Echo or like Google Home is that you control your smart home devices, whether it’s light switches or lamps or turning on your television or turning on or off or modifying your home security.

Whirlpool announced that they’re going to have a whole suite of connected appliances, where you can say start the washer or turn the oven off if you forget to do that. I think it’s interesting to me that Ford has announced a partnership with Amazon, where they’re going to have the Echo capabilities in their car as well.

I think we’re going to maybe talk a little bit more later about what that functionality looks like, but like I said, Amazon has really shown that it is the leader here and I think that it’s up to everybody else to catch up at this point. And I’d say Google is next and I would argue that the others are very, very far behind and by that, I mean, Siri and Cortana.

Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, well, so Siri is the Apple voice system, Cortana in Windows. And so you’ll see those more in connection with the specific devices and that’s why I think the Echo in the standalone devices are sort of interesting because you would have thought that where the evolution would come is to say, oh, it’s just great, I’ll use Siri on my phone, I’ll use Cortana in connection with Windows.

The voice works on Windows, in Windows 10, when you start up it’s really cool.

Tom Mighell: It’s really good, yeah.

Dennis Kennedy: But for some reason it’s a standalone device that has really started to hook people and it’s the one that I tend to use most often. And I have some ideas around that. I sort of think the Echo in these devices are, one of the attractions is the fact that you can just play music and it’s a very nice speaker and it’s easy to do that.

But, there are something else that’s happening there that makes it really attractive and in a way I’m not really surprised that they sold out of these because often I find time and I think you have as well that, it kind of goes back to one of those earlier times like the early days of PalmPilots or some other things like that work.

The Echo, when you run into somebody else who has one, they just gush about how much they love their Echo.

Tom Mighell: And what’s funny about this really any of these voice-enabled technologies is that it’s a solution that nobody realized they had a problem with until they realized what it could do for them.

I am still not — for example, I’m still not convinced on the whole smart home business that I really need to have the ability to turn my lights on and off to make sure I get the right ambience to dim the lights in the bedroom or to make the lights of blue color in the den.

I’m not sure that I need that, that’s not something — I’d rather just go turn the lights on and off, but I would say that two or three years ago, I would feel a lot stronger but I will go really, that’s just crazy, now, it’s outside the realm of crazy, it’s something that’s actually doable and something that I’ve thought about.

But I think what it is, is that is was things that you really didn’t even think that you could do. You didn’t think you could use your voice to get lots of information or to consume other information or to listen to music or to listen to audio books or podcasts or things like that.

And I think that, we’ve talked on this podcast before about the notion of podcast, the fact that audio consumption and being able to listen to things is really catching on more than reading or writing. And I will tell you and we’ll talk, when we talk about the benefits of using these tools; it’s preventing you or keeping you from having to go and get on the computer and type in something; that’s really the convenience factor of these devices is that you can do all of this, just by opening your mouth and it’s just very simple and for the most part easy to use.

(00:10:05)

Dennis Kennedy: Yes, so I think that I had a conversation the other day with a friend of mine who I consider my sort of millennial friend who speaks for all Millennials although he doesn’t, but we are talking about the Echo and he was saying he just fled out didn’t get it, and he says, what do you use it for? And I said, oh, you know, you can play music. Just say, tell it to play music and he pulls out his phone, he says — and he taps it a couple of times, he goes I can do that with my phone. And I said, I really like using the timer thing. And he’s like, again, on my phone, he tap, taps a couple of times, I can do that, and I said, get to weather and use other things, and he used to go like, phone will do it. And I go, see, this is really interesting because I’m thinking of how I use Alexa and you pulling out the phone and doing a couple of taps just seems like it’s — you’re adding like a bunch of extra steps to it.

And so, this was an interesting conversation. It also made me realize because there was somebody else at the table who had an Echo that people find their own things that they find it really useful for, and I think that has become part of the appeal as well. So, I was — for me a lot of times I say I just like the fact I can set timers and alarms. That’s incredibly useful to me, and yeah, I could have an Echo timer or something like that, but it is so for me to do that and so helpful. And then I was listening to somebody talk about how one of the things they do is that they have an Echo that’s close enough to them that when they get out of the shower they can say, Alexa, what time is it?

And they said if they’re like traveling or something, that’s the biggest thing they miss. Okay, well, yeah, you have a watch or you have a clock, but it’s just one of those things where you go, you start from that and you go like, oh, here’s something I can do with my voice, it’s really easy, and then you start to say, well, what other kind of simple command-type things, because, Alexa gets most of the stuff once you figure out what it can and can’t do. And so I think that has also become part of the appeal that you can personalize it to you, there are certain things that will be useful and that you’re not trying to say like, oh, I’m trying to dictate a whole brief if you’re a lawyer and have it get a 100% right. All I am trying to do is do a command to accomplish something that I want to do, didn’t know I can do hands-free or in one simple step by using my voice.

Tom Mighell: Well, and I think that’s right. I mean, I think that there are very specific use cases for voice technology and I think that how an individual chooses to or wants to or finds it useful to use one of these tools, whether it’s an Echo or a Google Home or any of these is going to vary by individual. What’s important to me may not be important to you. And so, when I talk about why I like it and how I use it, none of this may resonate with people, but I think that it’s a matter of going out and finding out everything that it can do that really allows you to give it a chance to see if it’s going to work.

For me the primary benefits are being able to accomplish tasks or learning information when I’m busy or I don’t have time to do it myself manually, to pull out the phone and just with a few clicks. I do appreciate the irony of the baby-boomers talking to the Millennials about being more efficient with their time and about saving time and doing stuff, but I think that, for example, I’m in the bathroom, I’m getting ready for my day and I remember that I need something to add to the shopping list or I need to add something to the to-do list. It is so simple for me to just talk to, well, I am right now using Google Home and say, add this to my to-do list or add this to the shopping list. I used to have to go pick up the phone or carry it around with me, pick it up and manually type it in.

Now I’m getting ready, I’m jumping out of the shower, I’m doing something. I can automatically add it, and if it hits me all I have to do is say it. I think getting information is a huge deal, especially for Google Home, and we’ll talk about this in a little bit more. My parents actually use Google constantly to settle bets, to remind themselves of things they have forgotten. It’s so much easier for them to just ask Google the question rather than type it in somewhere and just getting the weather or a sports score is so much easier, more convenient by voice, especially when you’re doing something else, you’ve got your hands full.

Like we mentioned before, listening to music, news, podcasts, audio-books, I can pull up. The other night I said, let me listen to the BBC World Service, it pulled it up and I was able to start listening to it. It’s amazing, how many things you can listen to. I can pull up something specifically and say, play such and so by the Rolling Stones, it’ll play that song immediately. Again, we’ve talked about the benefits to people who like smart homes, turn on the outside lights, turn the thermostat up to 72 degrees, I think there’s definitely benefits there.

(00:15:02)

And I was just reading today as a matter of fact that a researcher has designed his own skill for the Echo. He’s designed his own app that you can actually download yourself and do it, where it reads the latest articles that are uploaded to a scholarly article archive. They get hundreds of articles submitted each day and rather than search through it, he’d rather have the Echo read it to him every day. So he designed his own skill and so he could listen to it while he was doing other things rather than have to manually go through and read it himself.

So, again, I think we’re only at the beginning of the things that you can do with it. Some of it may seem rather trivial or minor, but I think that’s going to change as time goes on. I think we’re going to find new and better ways to do it as the technology matures.

Dennis Kennedy: I think it’s one of those things where I saw two observations. I think it’s one of those technologies where the benefits can be a little difficult to describe, so the reaction of my friend was, I think not surprising. It was like, oh, so what I can do that some other way and I compare sometimes the way that I love paying for things using my Apple Watch and I know it’s just like a few seconds difference, but do not have to pull out my wallet, not to have to pull out a card, not to put them on the phone to pay, but just to kind of hit a button twice on my watch and put it up by the reader and pay for something is just great for me.

And so I think that that sometimes if you say, oh, this is a selling point; that can be difficult for somebody. I know I’m resistant when people are saying, oh, this is totally cool, and I go, yeah, I don’t know I can do that just as easily some other way. So kind of keep that in mind because there may be something that appeals to you or works really great for you. So I sometimes use the example of, say, you have parents who need to take a number of medications and if you had this Echo that had the timer in to remind them at a certain time that they need to take medicine, that’d be great, that you could give that to them and there will be sort of one less worry as you think about older parents especially.

So that’s one thing and then I think that it does sort of illustrate the platform notion which is what the CES and the embedding Alexa into things was. So I think when you started there was like a limited number of things Alexa could do, but now they add skills and features and all these other things, so you start to really understand it as a platform and it just gets better. And so you can do more things on it, it advances, it’s sort of a learning platform, so it learns from the behaviors of people and we will talk about the concerns some people have about that, but I think that platform notion is really great.

Tom Mighell: I agree the platform notion is great, but one of the things and I was reading a while back about this and I tend to agree that one of the things that makes the Echo powerful and I think what will make Google Home powerful as it begins to develop is like you say, the addition of what they call the skills. And so a skill basically is like an app that an independent developer can develop to do for the Amazon Echo. So just like I mentioned that that researcher developed a skill that would read him articles every day, there are skills that — there are hundreds and hundreds of skills that are available for the Echo and I’d make the argument that most of them are frivolous and sometimes downright just kind of trashy. But things that if I started, I was trying to show people some of the benefits of using the Echo by looking through some of the skills and I couldn’t really find one that had a wow factor, I mean, we could play jeopardy, there’s a couple of jeopardy questions, you could play 20 questions or you could ask for your horoscope or get a mini therapy session from a therapist that’s on there, but I’ve read recently where — and I tend to agree with this thought is that I think that Amazon, maybe Google even, need to find a way to monetize the development of skills when there’s a little skin in the game, when we pay like an app price, that we pay 99 cents for a skill, it incentivizes the developer to do something really useful, and I’d like to see a tier of skills that actually we paid for.

I would be interested to see where we got with that and whether we could get something more innovative and more interesting and more powerful and useful for the tools because right now a lot of these skills are just kind of like sideshows or kind of like the circus. It’s all fun and games but it’s not terribly useful.

Dennis Kennedy: And then we’ve been talking about the Home and sometimes people ask about, well, could these things work for you in the workplace, and I will say that when I am in the office I miss having the Echo nearby and I would see like a completely different set of uses, but I can definitely see the value of it and even on things like saying, it can check the traffic for you, so you’d say how long is my commute got to be in and so, or you might find that there was a problem on the road and then you could leave earlier or leave later, that sort of thing, and I think you would find an interesting new set of uses if you had it in the workplace.

(00:20:15)

The other thing I find really interesting about the Echo as I am using it and I am amazed by is that with both my wife and my daughter — and if you go back to the early days of speech recognition, this is utterly amazing that Alexa recognizes what both of them are saying in addition to me.

And so I think that’s really cool, and I also think that you don’t have to — you can be pretty conversational like I always build in a pause after I say, Alexa, and I think that helps, but you really don’t have to modify the way that you’re talking to them that much. I think that being modification is you need to understand what it is that they can and do.

So our first example of what would be a great topic Alexa is, it’s going to say it doesn’t understand what you’re asking, but for specific fact-based things, it’s great.

So Tom, I know we’re running out of time a little bit, but I want to see if you would maybe talk about the big brother’s listening concerns that people have started to have and then give your — as the expert using both, give your comparison and overview that Echo v. Google Home for somebody who might be looking into getting started?

Tom Mighell: Well, I think that ever since the Echo came out, a lot of lawyers have been nervous about the idea that the Echo is always listening and the notion that it can hear everything and why would I want to have something that is listening to my clients’ confidential conversations in the office all the time.

Recently there has been a story in the news about how the Echo is effectively becoming a witness in a murder case, because there was an Echo present in a house where a person happened to be murdered and the police have subpoenaed or have gotten a warrant, I guess, or tried to get the recordings from Amazon to understand, maybe if they could hear something that the Echo was listening to.

From what I understand about what the Echo and similar tools Google Home are able to do is, is that for the most part they are listening for their wake word, for the word, I am going to say, I am going to set things off for the A, Alexa word or for either Okay or Hey Google, and it’s really only listening to that. And my understanding is, is that there is kind of a loop for that. It listens to it for a few seconds, it records the sound to listen to it and then it scrubs that and it starts over again for a couple of seconds.

And then in terms of actual recordings what it really records is, is if you ask it a question it will record your request to it but not only that and that’s where it came up in the murder case is it records everything behind the scenes. So the police were interested in what was going on in the background of asking the question or of talking to the Echo.

So I think that’s intriguing, that’s interesting. I am not that concerned about it recording things when we’re not talking to it. I think I can control myself when I do talk to it, so I am not giving it information I don’t want.

Of course, all of that history is available within the apps for each of these devices. You can go and see every request or everything you said to it, so you can go in. I think you have the ability to delete your history, you certainly do in Google. I think you do in Amazon with the Echo as well, but I think it’s something to be aware of. I think it’s something to appreciate and understand, but I don’t think it’s quite the issue that some people talk about. I will defer to my friends in the security realm who may know this better than me, but I think in general as long as you behave when you’re around it you just shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Now real quick, let me talk kind of about my experiences, like Dennis said, I have — I have used both. I started with the Echo about a year-and-a-half ago, almost two years ago when it came out. I recently in the past couple of months moved over to Google Home, and the reason why, is primarily because for what I use it I tend to think that Google Home is much smarter.

So I have got them both set up in my office today. I have a little Echo Dot, which is the smaller version, it’s just a little small version. The speaker is not quite as good but the technology is just the same as in the tall cylinder version of the Echo.

And I have been asking questions and I will ask questions about tell me the status of American Airlines flight, whatever, Google Home handles that pretty well, Echo doesn’t know what I am talking about. They both knew when Queen Victoria lived, they looked at — they were able to tell me about that; but, Google really has access to a lot more information. They have got their whole search functionality behind them. They have got everything that if you’re in the Google world they have got everything you have ever shared with them. So they are able to give you a more personalized experience.

(00:24:59)

I think the Echo has a lot of capabilities but I tend to think that Google Home has the better chances of being the smarter device moving on, but it has fewer skills, it has fewer integrations with other tools where I think Echo is far ahead of it in that regard.

I have read an article the other day that said that Google Home is actually better for playing music where the Echo is better for playing just about everything else.

So again, I can’t really say that one is better than the other, I tend to like the Google one because I live in the Google world and it just makes sense, but I think you really can’t go wrong with either of the tools.

Dennis Kennedy: And if you go back many years and do, just do a Google search on this with the notion of ubiquitous computing was the idea that you would have devices or computers in every room and they, some might be specialized and some might not be, but you would have them everywhere. That’s why I think the Echo Dot is really interesting and Tom’s use also points to something, where you would say, the Google Home might be really great for certain types of questions and getting me information, and so in my home office or certain place I might have that.

The Echo Dot, which is cheaper than the full-blown Echo, the thing is it is as great a sound system. So you could say, might say, well, where I listen to music and I care about the sound quality, I might want to have the regular Echo and then I might throw these cheaper dots into other, other rooms where I would say, oh, here in the kitchen I would use the device that is best on recipes, and I can use it as a timer and do all these sorts of things. And I think it kind of works us toward that world of ubiquitous computing where these devices are cheap enough and we don’t have to think about it and we’ll sort of wherever we are we will have something that can be helpful to us.

And obviously the more techie you are the more this will appeal to you. But again I go back to something where — somebody has health issues or somebody is older or you have kids, I guess, could be another, you could see uses where these devices that you can use by voice just become really interesting, and especially where you would be hands-free and to just get a quick answer or to have something happen based by talking rather than firing a computer or doing a bunch of taps or typing something out.

So I think this is a really cool technology, Tom, and it seems like it’s come a long way even in the last year, so I am really looking forward to more-and-more things we can do using voice.

Tom Mighell: Yup, I agree. I think just in the past couple years that the Echo has been out it’s really come a long way and I’m interested to see where it goes over the next year or two.

Before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick break for a message from our sponsor.

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Tom Mighell: And now let’s get back to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I am Tom Mighell.

Dennis Kennedy: And I am Dennis Kennedy. We were on a constant quest to keep up with what’s happening in legal tech and recently we’re seeing a little a growing movement of local legal tech events, local groups, local hackathons, they all seem to be focused on legal innovation and the use of technology to deliver services, and that could be access to justice or it can just be new applications of different types that will make legal services more accessible to everyone.

One of the classic examples these days is this bot based on a little bit of — I wouldn’t call it AI, but certainly some learning type of program, or decision tree program that will help people fight parking tickets.

And so I think it’s led to this local movement and they are happening all over the world, so groups have name like Legal Hackers, Law Hackers, and in some cities they have regular monthly meetings of these groups.

And we’ve seen a lot more, I have been to a couple of group meetings of this type, meet-up type events when I have been in Chicago and I have always found they have a lot of great energy.

So Tom, I think this is a really cool trend. Do you think it’s a cool trend as well?

Tom Mighell: I do think it’s a cool trend, of course. I think it’s a great idea, lawyers have never been known as innovators in the technology space. So the fact that this happens at all I think is amazing to me.

(00:30:01)

To a certain extent this is mirroring the startup trend that we saw in Silicon Valley with anybody with coding experiences putting together an app, they have the ability, not that it’s happening very often I don’t think — I’m not seeing that there’s been a lot of traction here, but they’ve got the ability to actually get funding and wind up being very successful with it, but I think the fact that they are just coming up with useful or unique ideas for applying technology towards the practice of law in some way, outside of major software manufacturers is really interesting.

But I think that for legal hackers to be successful I’m not an expert on this, but I would think that two things are necessary, there needs to be a great idea and that doesn’t have — it don’t have to be a technology-base where you’ve got to identify a need, but then you’ve got to have somebody with the coding skills to create it, somebody who can take that idea and put it into technology, and I think that’s the real challenge for the legal space, because I’d argue that most lawyers don’t even know what I’m talking about when I say “coding”, they don’t really understand what that means, but fortunately, I think a lot of law schools they’re catching on to this, they’re understanding that this is something needs to be explored, there are other groups that are understanding this too, and so more and more younger lawyers, law students and others they’re really getting into these types of skills that I think are necessary in order to develop some of these interesting tools.

Now you had sent me a link to the DC Legal Hackers group, I went and looked at it kind they had an award show, they awarded things to some of the interesting tools that they had developed, which I thought were interesting, they were quick and clean ways to do better legal research or to get information from court clerk records, but here’s the problem that I identified or maybe it’s not a problem but here’s the common thread that I see is that the picture from the meeting of the group, it only show that there are 12 people in the room, and so I think that this is still an area that’s growing, it’s not something that has reached any level of critical mass, I think it’s still at the grassroots level, but the good news is, I think law schools continue to pour out students, a lot of them are going to need some kind of job and whether that’s in the legal field or whether that’s helping in technology for the legal field, I think it’s a very real option. What about you, Dennis?

Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I really liked this and so what I’m seeing more and I’m using Twitter to pick up on some of this. So I know like in the US I see things in DC, Seattle, Portland, LA, Chicago, I know, where you see it’s at least quarterly sometimes monthly meetings which I think is going to start to pull people together so we’re both inside the legal profession and outside and that’s the sort of thing you need to bring those people together. Really cool things I’m seeing in Europe in a number of different countries; UK, Netherlands, other places in particular, and I think it’s really exciting in a way and it harkens back to me not to reveal how long I’ve been doing this stuff, but in St. Louis back in the mid-90s when the Internet came along the local bar association, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis known as BAMSL to us here in St. Louis had something that we call the Internet Committee and the idea was, we’ve got people together who were looking to see how the Internet was going to affect the profession.

Well, it turned out to be just a way that people were really interested in technology and they were probably a good 33:27 of us who met on a regular basis, shared ideas, and that’s how we first learned about speech recognition and PalmPilots and all this became this tech thing, and a number of people went on and started projects or businesses together or came up with new ways of doing things, and so I think, I just remember that great energy that happened with that group and I get the feeling that you kind of see this happening here, because it is also geared toward producing some things that would be a benefit that could turn into businesses, and I think pull people together and so it’s a way to get the coders, the lawyers, the people with the ideas, the people with money, the people who can distribute, the people with experience altogether and just a fascinating area, and so, if you happen to be in a city where something is going on I’d recommend checking it out and I’d love to get the chance — when I travel, to go to one of these meetings and see what’s going on or to present something, I just think it would be — it looks like a really fun energetic thing that’s happening.

Now it’s time for parting shots that one tip website or observation that you can use the second this podcast ends. Tom, take it away.

Tom Mighell: As we are recording this podcast we’re seeing a lot of reviews, glowing reviews just adoring Apple’s new AirPods, they are wireless earbuds, and I don’t have an iPhone although the AirPods work with any phone.

(00:34:52)

I don’t have an iPhone and they are right now two months away from being back in stock again, so I had the opportunity, have been trying out some wireless earbuds from a company called Bragi. I think that’s how you say it B-R-A-G-I. They had something called a Bragi Dash which was not well-received, then they simplified it and created something that they just call The Headphone. These are too small little black earbuds that go into your ears, they have no wires to connect them, but they connect via Bluetooth to your phone and I’ve been using them now for about a week and I’m amazed at how well they work I have no wires to connect to me, I’m able to listen to music or to podcast or anything on my telephone.

If I pull one of the buds out of my ears they both stop and the phone pauses, it’s a really nice feature, you can also filter in or out sounds of the city or where you — the environment around you if you want to be able to hear what’s going on, you can adjust that if you like, and I think it’s — although they’re not perfect I think that we’re getting to the point that I think they’re pretty decent competitor to the AirPods and I think we’re getting to the point where, having these little devices like in Star Trek or in your ears or you can do things, we are getting much, much closer to them with something like this. The Bragi headphones are also I think cheaper than the AirPods they are about a $129 and I think definitely worth the cost.

Dennis Kennedy: So, Tom, your parting shot really kind of disappointed me there because I was looking forward to getting myself or giving myself some AirPods for my birthday.

Tom Mighell: It’s okay. I’m still going to get — I’m still going to — I’m still going to get AirPods because I want to try them out. So I’m not dissuading, you’re the Apple user, you can get —

Dennis Kennedy: No, no — I want to get it for my birthday in February and it doesn’t sound like they’re going to be available, so they are kind of —

Tom Mighell: Give it a shot. I looked online and it said, “shipping March 7” is what it said.

Dennis Kennedy: So my parting shot is if you stretch your perspective it’s kind of headphone related, this is one of these cool posts you just see and it just kind of sets your imagination often, which is a good thing for a parting shot, and what would be a better place for trying out your new headphones on a nice train trip. So Lifehacker had this great post and we will put the link to it, in the show notes for the 12 most scenic train trips in the world.

So there are some in the US and Canada, some are in Asia, some in Europe, but just as for taking a little break in during the day and thinking of something that could be really fun with your new cool headphones and on a train ride this article was really a great little break in the day for me and I recommend it to other people as well.

Tom Mighell: So that wraps it up for this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Thanks for joining us on the podcast. You can find show notes for this episode at  HYPERLINK “http://www.tkmreport.com” tkmreport.com. If you like what you hear please subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or on the Legal Talk Network site where you can find archives of all our previous podcasts.

If you’d like to get in touch with us please email us at [email protected] or send us a tweet I’m @TomMighell and Dennis is @denniskennedy. So until the next podcast, I’m Tom Mighell.

Dennis Kennedy: And I’m Dennis Kennedy and you’ve been listening to The Kennedy-Mighell Report, a podcast on legal technology with an Internet focus. Help us out by telling a couple of your friends and colleagues about this podcast.

Outro: Thanks for listening to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Check out Dennis and Tom’s book, ‘The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together’ from ABA books or Amazon, and join us every other week for another edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report only on the Legal Talk Network

[Music]

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Episode Details
Published: January 27, 2017
Podcast: Kennedy-Mighell Report
Category: Legal Technology
Podcast
Kennedy-Mighell Report
Kennedy-Mighell Report

Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell talk the latest technology to improve services, client interactions, and workflow.

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