Monday, June 27, 2011

2011 PLTC Conference Survey - Participate!

Have you attended the Pacific Legal Technology Conference before? It's an exceptional opportunity to learn ways to use technology to its full potential in the legal setting.

It's not just for lawyers -- law students and law firm admin staff (especially library folks) will find the conference packed with creative tips and techniques and insightful discussion on emerging trends and technologies.

This year's conference will take place Friday, October 7, 2011 at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre., and its organizers (myself included) would like to know what attendees want to see in terms of theme, session topics, keynote speech scheduling, etc.

To that end, they've prepared a quick survey (it shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to complete), and anyone who completes it will get a special registration rate - $325+ HST CDN or $225+HST CDN for law students/staff. This works out to $50 off the Early Bird Rate!

(The fine print: This special survey rate is only good until July 31, 2011 - you'll need to complete the survey by June 30, 2011 and send in the registration by July 31, 2011 to be eligible for this offer. Once you complete the survey, you'll get access to the registration form.)

Bonus: Those who complete the survey will also be entered to win one of two free admissions to the conference.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Apple changes in-app purchasing rules for publishers

Apple has changed a couple rules on how in-app purchases will work, which could have an effect on publishers selling subscriptions. AllthingsD has a good roundup of the changes, notably:
  • As long as publishers don't have an in-app button or external link within the app to purchase a new subscription on an external store, publishers can display subscribed content, and get around giving Apple a 30% cut of revenue.
  • Publishers can now markup subscription prices within apps to cover Apple's cut of the subscription price.
Neither situation was allowed previously. Publishers couldn't offer in-app subscription content without giving Apple its cut, unless that same content was available both inside & outside the app for purchase; and secondly, the in-app price for subscriptions had to be the same or less than publishers were offering on their outside store environment. Advantage: Apple.

Is this enough to bring the big publishers into Apple's fold? Perhaps. The door has certainly been opened. But the problem, as I see it, is that neither side is bringing everything to the table. Apple was quoted in the article as having billing relationships "with 225 million customers", which could be a huge boost to digital subscriptions.

That's great. But they also want a 30% rev-share without providing much more than audience access. Something publishers currently have in a non-digital format, in spades, along with a big chunk of audience loyalty. The price is simply too steep for publishers not to build their own distribution channels. If Apple wants to own 'the pipes', they need a better sales proposition.

It's like cable T.V. without the network programming -- good content sounds easy; until you try to fill 500 channels.

Good businesses should know when they're getting greedy. It seems that Apple's got their eyes open now; but whether they can become a utility-like company (in the gas, hydro and telephone company sense) will depend on their long term vision. Investing now, for becoming infrastructure-esque later... Unfortunately, as much as I like Apple, I think they've got the blinders on.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Quickscribe Manual Updates for May 2011

There were three Quickscribe Manual updates in May:

As always, daily updates to BC statutes & regulations are available at

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