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StreetArt2016ggWould that NYC officials included and reported on EMF risks in their Air Flow Study.


MummiesAtTheMet1Metropolitan Museum of Art, August 6, 2015

Photograph: Stephen Wise

Wheels2Photograph: Stephen Wise


ServiceDogThis is a Service Dog (not to be confused with a Compassion Dog or an Emotional Support Dog) at the Chambers Street subway station this week—looking a bit run down, perhaps from Wi-Fi exposure.

WiFiThe decision by New York officials to make NYC, including subways, a big WiFi hot spot is misguided, and will lead to negative health consequences for New Yorkers of all persuasions.

The day is coming when “Wi-Fi Free” will be more desirable than “Free Wi-Fi.”

MarsRoverSiemensSiemens, a global powerhouse in electronics and electrical engineering, joined with Industry Week to host a recent conference in New York: Manufacturing in America. The focus of the conference was Additive Manufacturing (3D-Printing), a high growth area in which Siemens is a leader.

Additive Manufacturing has been around for 25 years, but has really taken off in the last couple of years, as new usages are found not just for modeling and prototyping but final manufacturing as well. Industry analyst Terry Wohlers projects 3D-Printing revenues will to be $3 billion this year, and $6 billion in 2014 — with 28% coming from parts considered to be final manufacturing.

BeHappyJuly9-2013“Look over your ranks watch them with care.” Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1973

A camera on a pole in Jackson Heights (Queens), NY — put up on July 9, 2013. In the background is a McDonald’s “Be :)” sign.

BicyclistOnFifth“The culture of American business is enveloping everything in its path by appealing to individualistic instincts while it reinforces its messages with the imagery of technological gadgetry and consumer delights.” Herbert I. Schiller, The Mind Managers (Beacon Press, 1973)

Photograph: Stephen Wise

LegalTech2013dAccording to Kroll Ontrack the challenges facing e-Discovery over the next five years are “monstrous,” as Big Data becomes ‘bigger data’ and exabytes grow to zetabytes.

In the document review process that means more of the work done by attorneys is now being done by TAR — Technology Assisted Review (also known as predictive coding, intelligent review and computer assisted review).

Discovery has always been expensive. Yet in the digital age, the costs of discovery are spiraling out of control. Unfortunately, true to Moore’s law, discovery will likely become more costly as electronically stored information (ESI) continues on the path of exponential growth. As a result, the trend of data growth will likely increase the weighty discovery burdens that litigants–especially organizations–already bear. Consider the following example. In 2008, the average end-user may have owned 100 gigabytes of information. Just four years later, that number is now closer to 1,000 all of which could be subject to review for discovery purposes in a given action. This calculus is weighty for individual parties, but crushing for enterprises with thousands of employees, each of whom may respectively have a terabyte of potentially discoverable information.

LegalTech2013eThis trend of growth figures to continue given the proliferation of new communication and storage media. Indeed, it appears that there is or will be a discoverable recordable digital format for everything conceivable: from email, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and social media, to short message service (SMS) and instant messages (IM). Even the GPS in your car could be subject to discovery. ESI is not just limited to text or audio data either– it even encompasses data about that data. Meanwhile, all of this electronic detail is archived and stored in an increasing number of smart phones, tablet computers, servers, clouds, and databases, often with multiple redundancies and no central index. With an average cost of at least $18,000 per gigabyte for document review–not to mention the costs of processing and collection–discovery of all matters relevant to a claim or defense can quickly surpass the value of the controversy. In summary, the information explosion has generated and will continue to generate extremely complex and expensive litigation conundrums for organizations. Philip J. Favro & The Honorable Derek P. Pullan, Michigan Law Review, 2012

Commentary: Technology is being allowed to overrun society and along with it the legal profession. The costs associated with productivity gains can be seen in fewer workers, inflated costs, and ‘review’ by robots rather than humans. The lawyers who remain are trying to stem the tide through ‘proportionality’ in the hope of finding balance and fairness, at least in discovery costs.