I dropped one of my Verizon land-lines and switched to Vonage's voice-over-Internet phone system. My monthly bill dropped by $40 and I now have more features. My voicemail also comes by email and I get unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada (with Lingo, you also get Western Europe). There are modest compromises, but the change was well worth it.
One interesting phenomenon. When I went to Europe last month, I took my phone and Vonage adapter with me. I plugged them in to my hotel room broadband, and "Voila!" -- I was able to call the States from Europe for free. Even better, when friends called me at my New York number, I answered the phone seamlessly in my European hotel room. Again, no charge. This sure beat the $45 "local call" I had placed from my European hotel room last year.
The qualifier? One hotel somehow has its broadband set up to allow computer access, but to block telephone access. I had to request an unblocking, which the hotel granted. My concern is that as more and more Americans travel with their own phones, more and more European hotels will try to preserve their outrageous phone charges by blocking independent phone access.
I'm continually amazed by Google. For instance, type an airline and flight number into the search box (e.g., "JetBlue 44" or "AA 685") and Google will link to its flight status. Type a product's UPC bar code to learn about the product, an area code to learn its location, a FedEx, UPS, or Postal tracking number to locate a package, or a car's Vehicle Identification Number to learn the car's year, make, and model. To learn more, click here.
From ABC News this morning: When a religious group gets "allied with any political party, it's like mixing ice cream with horse manure. It may not hurt the horse manure, but it will ruin the ice cream."
You can spend a lot of money buying books or tapes to learn what a lawyer can and cannot do. Or you can learn about attorney conduct with PLI's professional responsibility lecture. The lecture, which can be accessed free over the Internet, is designed for law students and attorneys preparing for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (the MPRE). It is useful also for anyone concerned about legal ethics or attorney conduct. The lecture is four hours in length, taught by moi.
Numerous songs have been written about the U.S. Supreme Court and sodomy. Few, however, have been sung in public by a law professor. Thanks to a heads-up from U of Houston's law dean, we can link to the most recent rendition.
The bar exam pass rate in California and elsewhere keeps dropping. Examiners wonder if the exam has gotten too difficult. Yet New York proposes making the exam even more difficult. And Florida has already made its exam harder to pass.
Another (albeit unspoken) theory of the decline in the California pass rate is that the dramatic reduction in bar review competition since West Publishing bought competing bar review courses, then shut down what had become the nation's second largest bar review course, and then bought the nation's largest bar review course has caused law students to be less prepared for the MBE and the local portion.
Am I the only one who loves TiVo Basic? I have three TiVo's (Is that the correct plural?) and I have no desire to use the features, or pay the price, of TiVo Plus. Basic does everything I need done. I'm just waiting for TiVo with built-in DVD recording to come down in price. My guess? Under $300 in six months. Or maybe I should wait for Sony's new computer that can record six channels at a time.