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It really is a “smart” pen

At the outset, I confess to being a gadget lover. But I recently discovered the Pulse Smartpen from Livescribe which is a very useful tool for the litigation bag. This little gadget has revolutionized the note taking experience, and I felt compelled to share this unsolicited info.

The pulse is essentially a writing implement with a small computer wrapped around it. The Smartpen uses a camera (just under and behind the pen) and custom paper with millions of microdots to capture every stroke and notation. And while you’re taking notes on paper, the pen simultaneously records every sound and connects the resulting audio to the captured image. All the captured material is timeline based, so turning back to any page in your notes and tapping the pen on a word will restart your audio at the precise moment your wrote that word.

I started using electronic pens several years ago with the Logitech ioPen. It was great having electronic copies of notes uploaded to my computer, but the Pulse’s added dimension of linking audio to the notes was a feature that was too good to pass up. I use the pen during meetings, depositions, and for client intakes. When I get back to the office, I plug the pen into its cradle, and the notes and audio upload to my PC for later use.  Having the notes and audio in one location and easily accessible allows me to focus more during the meeting or deposition. And when I need to refer back to what was said, it’s just a click away.

My experience with the pen has been so positive that when I was asked several weeks ago to share my thoughts for a video that Livescribe was producing, I did not hesitate. You can view the video and see what others had to say about the pen by clicking here or on the video image.

If you are interested in learning more about the pen and how it works, the Livescribe web site has a great deal of information and video demos that you can view by clicking here.

10 Things Your Hospital Won’t Tell You

In recent years errors in treatment have become a serious problem for hospitals, ranging from operating on the wrong body part to medication mix-ups. According to a report from the Institute of Medicine, at least 1.5 million patients are harmed every year from being given the wrong drugs — that’s an average of one person per U.S. hospital per day.

read more | digg story

Have you lost your right to sue?

If you’ve bought a cell phone, computer, home or car, you may have forfeited rights to sue, as cited in your contract’s fine print. Consumer advocates say that’s not good for buyers.

Many companies force consumers into binding arbitration as opposed to traditional court proceedings through fine print in multi-page user agreements. In addition, many contracts contain forum selection clauses which force you to make claims in far away states. While businesses love arbitration and forum selection clauses, it’s often not the best deal for consumers. For more information, read the article from Bankrate.com which you can view by clicking here.

And, as always, don’t forget to check the fine print on any contract, or you may wind up giving away valuable consumer rights.