Briefs: BarBri Faces ADA Lawsuit, Say Goodbye to Thomas, Etc.


Lawsuit: BarBri Isn’t ADA-Compliant

BarBri’s online bar prep is a great idea in that you no longer have to slog to some semi-disused auditorium all summer and sit in the dark, mole-like, for four weeks. Instead, you can sit in the relative comfort of your own home and be terrified that you do not know enough about parol evidence. However, online bar prep isn’t that great if it isn’t accessible to everyone.

Three law students have filed a federal lawsuit against BarBri Inc. contending that the company’s online bar-exam preparation materials aren’t fully accessible to the blind.

The suit, filed Monday in Dallas, alleges that BarBri violates the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing appropriate accommodations […]

The plaintiffs are seeking class action status, a court order requiring BarBri to provide such accommodations and compensation for those who have suffered without them.

USB Ports and Devices Can Be Computer Virus Vectors

Some people (cough cough Sam Glover) have been telling us all along that we should be wary of USB ports. thanks to a malicious hack where malware is installed in the firmware of the USB device. Perhaps it is time to start paying attention. For example, a nuclear power plant in Germany was just found to be riddled with viruses spread by USB.

The viruses, which include “W32.Ramnit” and “Conficker”, were discovered at Gundremmingen’s B unit in a computer system retrofitted in 2008 with data visualization software associated with equipment for moving nuclear fuel rods, RWE said.

Malware was also found on 18 removable data drives, mainly USB sticks, in office computers maintained separately from the plant’s operating systems. RWE said it had increased cyber-security measures as a result.

W32.Ramnit is designed to steal files from infected computers and targets Microsoft Windows software, according to the security firm Symantec. First discovered in 2010, it is distributed through data sticks, among other methods, and is intended to give an attacker remote control over a system when it is connected to the Internet.

The same article recites a litany of other times that USB data drives were used to spread viruses or steal information, from plane cockpits getting infected because workers charged their phones via the USB ports in the cockpit to a U.S. power plant needing to go dark for three weeks after a tech inserted a USB stick that infected the turbine control system. Scared yet?

Google Just Made Scheduling Easier for Organizations Using Google Apps

If you are using Google Apps to run your organization and you and your colleagues are using Android devices, you can now find meeting times that work for everyone much more quickly.

Starting today, if you use Google Apps for Work or Edu, you can schedule meetings from anywhere with “Find a time” in Google Calendar for Android.

With a single tap, “Find a time” helps you find meeting times that work for everyone—even if they’re in different time zones—based on their availability and the times they usually have meetings. If there are no times that work, Calendar will look at which conflicting meetings can most easily be rescheduled.

If Google made that available cross-platform and device agnostic, requiring only that you use GCal, who wouldn’t want to use it?

It Is Finally Time to Say Goodbye to Thomas

Oh, Thomas! When  launched 21 years ago (!!) it was groundbreaking: free and full public access to Congressional bills and other information and a noble goal of consolidating Congressional information scattered all over other government websites.

Over the past few years, the Library of Congress has been working on Thomas’s replacement, In just a few months, Thomas goes dark and a newer, shinier, more responsive Congress takes its place. is the system that we wished THOMAS could be, but could not because of its older, fragile infrastructure.

There are great features like responsive design (which means it adapts to the device you are using), facets to refine your search results, member and legislation email alerts, status of legislation tracker, and member pages. All of these features were unavailable on THOMAS. […]

We are retiring a twenty-one year old website and replacing it with a more modern, robust site with an agile development plan in place.

Let the countdown begin until THOMAS retires to Monticello on July 5, 2016.


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