Simon Law Firm - January 2020

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January 2020

Turning Off the Listening Capabilities on Your Phone Privacy Problems

It is generally accepted that Siri, Google, and Alexa are all passively listening to everything we say and do. They wake up and answer your questions when you summon them, but for years, these companies claimed they ignored all the other data these devices were collecting.

appear that same day on your social media pages and the websites you frequent.

These are benign uses, but this is a very unnecessary and personal invasion to me. So, as part of my New Year’s resolution, I decided to turn the microphone feature off on my phone. You can, too! Here’s how. Apple Go into your settings, then privacy, and select “microphone.” Then uncheck anything you don't want listening to you. (Sidebar: Why does Facebook have permission by default? That’s scary.) Next, head to the Siri option. There, you should search and delete your dictation history, which is being sold to advertisers who can push ads to you while you surf the web. These are typically seen as banner advertisements. If you want Siri to stop listening, switch off "listen for" and activate "press side button." The side button on the right must now be pressed to turn it on. Androids Go to your settings and tap the general tab. Under “personal,” search for “language and input.” Find "Google voice typing,” and tap the settings button, which will look like a large cog. Tap "Ok, Google” detection. Under the "From the Google app” option, move the slider to the left. Technology is a marvel that helps society in many ways, but it should not be used as a tool to invade your personal privacy. I would encourage you to reclaim yours by checking the settings on your phone.

This cannot be true.

Research has shown that Facebook is using the microphone feature to gather conversation topics and sell it to advertisers who can post ads that are relevant to the conversation. Test it yourself by repeating a phrase about a vacation or new phone component — you could really talk about anything — and watch the applicable advertisements

Happy New Year!

–Christopher Simon

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Who Wears the Pants? Lady Justice! HOWONE JUDGE LOSTAFRIVOLOUS LAWSUITANDHISDIGNITY

After losing an article of clothing from a dry cleaner, most would say “c’est la vie” and move on. At most, someone might leave a bad review and ask for a few dollars to cover the loss, but for one administrative law judge, that wasn't enough. He decided instead to launch an all-out legal battle. Roy Pearson, a Washington, D.C., judge at the time, sought $54 million to cover the loss of his pants after his dry cleaner lost them. He argued that the “same-day service” sign located in the window of the dry cleaners meant that the company had to provide same- day service. However, Pearson never specified a specific time he needed his clothes returned. He also insisted that the “satisfaction guaranteed” sign meant that the cleaners had to satisfy a customer’s wishes without limit. Based on those arguments, he claimed the signs were fraudulent. Here we are in the future. We may not have flying cars yet, but 2020 promises to be an exciting year for multiple tech industries. Judging by predicted developments for this year, this new decade could see many of our sci-fi fantasies come to life. Here are a few of the most promising trends we have our eyes on. Expanded 5G Access While the long-coveted 5G mobile network became a reality in 2019, it was by no means widespread. Now, with many cellphone companies upgrading their equipment at the beginning of this year, it’s likely the average American will soon have access to this latest generation of mobile internet. If it’s anything like the rollout of 4G, we may not see much of a difference in our connectivity right away. However, as access increases, 5G devices will become more common, paving the way for some very high- speed experiences in 2021 and beyond. After the initial allegations, the dry cleaners scoured their business to find the pants and,

to their credit, found the judge’s trousers untarnished. Even so, Pearson argued that he didn’t need to prove the pants were lost or damaged to satisfy his “satisfaction guaranteed” claim. Unfortunately for the judge, the court found his position to be ridiculous and ordered him to pay the dry cleaner’s attorneys’ fees. In response, Pearson sought that his own attorneys’ fees be covered to oppose this motion. In the end, Pearson did pay the dry cleaner’s legal fees, but the case isn’t the only thing he lost. The verdict also cost the judge his job and any semblance of professional dignity. Ten years after the case closed, the District of Columbia Board on Professional Responsibility sought a 90-day suspension. As the board put it, Pearson “failed to conduct an objective appraisal of the legal merits of his position. He made and continues to make arguments that no reasonable attorney would think had even a faint hope of success on the legal merits.”

From a legal standpoint, we’d call this judge’s behavior “dissatisfaction guaranteed.”

Tech of Tomorrow WHAT’S COMING IN 2020?

Extended Reality Extended reality, or XR, is an umbrella term covering virtual reality headsets, Instagram filters, augmented reality devices, and more, and it is expected to become a household term this year. While price and hardware limitations have made this technology little more than a novelty until now, interest in XR is burgeoning

in major industries like architecture and education. The line between digital and physical worlds may truly start to blur this year. Medical Implants While devices like pacemakers and artificial hips have been around for decades, a new generation of implanted care devices has begun to emerge. For example, Stimwave’s micro-stimulators made a splash in the medical world last year when early tests showed they were an effective means of pain relief. As an alternative to drugs, these wireless implants block pain signals using an electrical field. This breakthrough alone may bring an end to the opioid epidemic. No one can say for certain what the future may hold, but with so many promising new technologies being implemented and improved upon today, the sky’s the limit for what we might see tomorrow.

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WORD SEARCH

HOW TO SET A FAMILY MEDIA USE PLAN Screen-Time Strategies

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With 24/7 media exposure from TVs, computers, and smartphones, it feels like life is dominated by screens. Consider implementing a media use plan for your family so they don’t miss out on the real world. Set a Curfew Limiting the time your children spend staring at a screen is good for their health. Try to keep screen-time usage to under two hours per day. Implement a rule for no screens at mealtimes, and keep all screens out of bedrooms at night. Keep track of the devices by having a communal charging dock in a shared area where you can make sure everything is plugged in for the night. Have a Chat Don’t shy away from warning your kids about what exists in the digital world. Explain to them that certain content isn’t age-appropriate, and teach them what movie and TV ratings mean. Remind them to be careful about what they put on the internet because anything they upload never really goes away. Teach them to be smart with their decisions. Connect with them on social media if it helps you keep an eye on things. programs with them. You’ll have a better sense of what they’re seeing and can point them toward the programming that’s right for them. Look for educational media choices that teach good values. There are a lot of great educational opportunities on the internet, but there’s also a lot of room for negative exposure. If this is a concern, keep the family computer in a public part of your home so you can see what they’re accessing online. It’s important to educate your children about proper media health, but it’s even more important to encourage your kids to be healthy in other ways. Beyond the tips mentioned above, encourage them to play outdoors and read physical books so they can participate more actively in the real world. Construct a ‘Media Diet’ Take an active role in what your children watch by co-viewing

F J R O M R N X O K P V R I A K T S C A P R I C O R N K M S Y E B T F W A E Z I S M S F T R V E V T Y L G U E T N C X H S U I R A U Q A N F E H U N D W O N S Z N Z D W E G R X E O N E W Y E A R D S O I J F T T B J I K H P A I R G D F N G M E W V K T J W B C X T V K E R

AQUARIUS AQUARIUS CAPRICORN CELEBRATE CHAMPAGNE FIREWORKS CHAMPAGNE JANUARY PARTY SNOW

CAPRICORN FIREWORKS MIDNIGHT

CELEBRATE FREEZING NEW YEAR RESOLUTION

FREEZING JANUARY MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR PARTY

PIG RESOLUTION

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Simple Pancakes From Scratch

Everyone should be able to make pancakes without a boxed mix. This recipe is no-frills fantastic and can probably be made without so much as a trip to the grocery store.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 eggs

2 tsp baking powder

1 3/4 cups milk

1/4 tsp salt

Unsalted butter or canola oil, to grease skillet

1 tbsp sugar, optional

DIRECTIONS 1.

Heat a griddle or skillet to medium-low. 2. In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (including sugar if you like a sweeter pancake). In a separate bowl, beat eggs into milk. Gently stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ones. Mix only until flour is moistened. Clumps are fine. 3. Add some butter or oil to the skillet. If the butter foams or oil shimmers, the temperature is correct. Pour in a pancake of any size, cooking until bubbles form, about 2–4 minutes. 4. Flip and cook other side for 2–4 minutes. Serve warm.

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What’s Listening to Your Private Conversations? 1 The Curious Case of Roy Pearson’s Pants The Tech of 2020 2 Tips to Establish a Family Media Use Plan

Simple Pancakes From Scratch 3 Real Winter Wonderlands

Escape to a Winter Wonderland CHILL OUT IN THESE FROSTY DESTINATIONS

The Dolomites, South Tyrol, Italy

Snow is magical and gorgeous — unless you have to commute in it. If you want to enjoy all the wonder that winter has to offer without the hassle, why not turn it into a vacation? Here are a few breathtaking, snow-covered destinations that any winter lover can enjoy.

If you want the feel of a ski trip to the Alps without the packed slopes and ritzy resorts, the Dolomites are just for you. Located in northeastern Italy, this stunning mountain range is home to some of the best skiing in Europe, as well as many historical sites. The secluded villages that dot the mountain valleys are an attraction in their own right, especially for the rustic cuisine you’ll find there. Don’t expect pasta though. This region is a melting pot of flavors from Austria, northern Italy, and the local Ladin people. Ricotta and sauerkraut pancakes, anyone?

Bulguksa Temple, South Korea

Above the city of Gyeongju, this ancient Buddhist temple has stood on the slopes of Tohamsan Mountain since the eighth century. Bulguksa, or “Temple of the Buddha Land,” is South Korea’s No. 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a popular attraction for domestic and international tourism. The crowds and school tours die down during the winter, however, which also happens to be when Bulguksa is at its most pristine. The iced-over lotus ponds and snow-dusted pagodas add to the sense of tranquility this site naturally exudes.

temperatures of the southernmost continent are at their most hospitable. The Antarctic has become an increasingly popular tourist destination, with cruises taking adventure seekers through the vast, untouched beauty of this far-flung destination. Some tourists even enjoy kayaking or cross-country skiing through this icy paradise.

The Antarctic

This is the one entry on this list that is best enjoyed during the summer months, which is December–February in the Southern Hemisphere, because that’s when the freezing

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