With Amazon Alexa a possible "witness" in an upcoming murder trial, this article asks: should the Justice system know more about ESI (electronically stored information) than the average teenager? Particularly as IoT devices are expected to outnumber human by three-to-one by 2020!
This post has now been revised to include an update on the Amazon story!
Arrested Development: you are more likely to be arrested for using Facebook than any other socialmedia
We reported last month that Adobe had added a neat free scan-to-PDF facility to its Adobe Acrobat Reader app but what if you want to move in the opposite direction – from PDF to another file format?
One option is to go with Adobe, who offer a number export options (to Text, Word & Excel) but at a cost – you will need to sign up for an annual subscription, currently £17.99 pa UK prices. (In fact until recently the scan-to-PDF facility was also only available on subscription.) However there are plenty of alternatives out there and the best we've found is PDF Converter Ultimate - All In One Converter from Cometdocs.com Inc.
Although only the basic convert-to-PDF functionality is free, the app (for Andoid & iOS – the latter both iPad & iPhone) offers such a range on conversion options (both in terms of file formats it converts to PDF andgoing the other way – not just to Text, Word and Excel but also PowerPoint, JPEG and even AutoCad) that it becomes a no-brainer purchasing decision. You can buy individual conversion upgrades as in-app purchases for $9.99 however the cheaper option is to go for the All Conversions option at $49.99 (UK £39.99) – and this is a one-off fee, not an annual charge.
In terms of using the app, simplicity itself – as long as you remember everything must be done from within the app.
For example, if your target file is stored in Dropbox (the app also supports other popular cloud storage options) you can't simply click on a PDF file and then look for a "convert to" menu option, you must first open the file within Dropbox but via the app and then select the flavour of conversion. Cometdocs say they are likely to add a FAQs/user manual in a subsequent app patch/update although once you start using the app regularly, the app becomes second nature.
What else do you need to know? There are no limits on file sizes or the number of files you can convert. Better still, all the heavy lifting processing takes place in the cloud using Cometdocs own servers and OCR engines, so there is no burden on your device – or its battery consumption. On a security note, Cometdocs add that once the converted file is downloaded to the user's device, it is deleted from their servers.
Verdict: if you work with documents on your mobile and need to embrace the PDF file format, this is a no-brainer app to buy.
Links: Apple iTunes/App Store + Google Play Store + www.cometdocs.com
LexisNexis Australia has collaborated with the Australian Human Rights Commission to develop RightsApp, which is claimed to bethe world’s first mobile application that allows users to quickly and easily search international human rights conventions and declarations by topic and right.
Launched by the Commission President Professor Gillian Triggs, RightsApp contains the text of some of the world’s most important international human rights treaties and agreements, as well as signatory information and relevant United Nations committees’ general comments.
“RightsApp is a significant breakthrough in ensuring that vital information and resources are readily available and easily accessible to individuals so they can understand their rights. It will also assist businesses, employers and community groups to check their obligations under international human rights law,” says Professor Triggs.
The App sets out Australia’s and other nation’s responsibilities across a broad cross section of human rights treaties such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Punishment.
“Every day, in virtually every country around the world we hear or read about a human rights issue. It is something that affects us all and something that more and more businesses are focusing on. That’s why LexisNexis collaborated with the Human Rights Commission to develop this simple to use tool which makes it easy for people to understand and exercise their rights and responsibilities under international law. And because it is free it is available for everyone,” says Joanne Beckett, Managing Director LexisNexis Australia.
“Our mission at LexisNexis is to be the world leader in developing ground-breaking technology and tools that not only improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our clients’ businesses, but also to develop the tools and resources that can make a positive contribution to our community. In this case by giving people equal access to the rights they are entitled to, regardless of their status. This is why LexisNexis is so proud to have partnered with the Commission to develop RightsApp, a world first App that has the potential to dramatically change a person’s life for the better,” Ms Beckett added.
RightsApp is available for free from the Apple App Store.
Although there are an increasing number of apps that fall into the category of solutions in search of a problem, the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader app for iOS and Android is one that is definitely worth downloading, if you don't already have it. (Or upgrading if you haven't set your smartphone or tablet to auto-update.)
Why? Because it includes free scan-to-PDF functionality, so you can capture illustrations, documents, receipts, whiteboards etc with the device's camera and save them in a PDF file format.
After that, you can store the file in Dropbox (or similar), scribble annotations on it, add a signature etc. In other words do a lot of the stuff you are used to doing with the desktop version of Acrobat Reader.
In fact this functionality has been available for some time but it was previously only offered as a chargeable extra subscription service.
From a personal point of view, it has also meant I've been able to ditch a couple of separate apps (Evernote Scannable & Skitch) I previously had purely for scanning and annotating captured images.
The only caveat is the app does not work with some older devices. If you are a Mac user then it only works for iPhone 5s+, iPad 3+ and iPad Mini 2+ otherwise great.
Weird Tales Radio Show
The latest Weird Tales Radio Show (episode 12) is now available as a podcast. This is our our Grey Lady haunting, Brown Monk lamenting, Skipping and Pancake Bell ringing, Seven Things you didn’t know about St Valentine’s Day, Arthur C Clarke Remembering, Tales of Brave Ulysses Ancient Origins editor interviewing edition.
Follow this link to access all episodes of the Weird Tales Radio Show podcasts. Click player button below to hear latest show.
New on the Grievous Angel
We've a new dark fantasy story for you now, by Australian writer Alice Godwin, that will leave you feeling a little uneasy. You can read it HERE
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