Saturday, October 17, 2009


MSNBC writer, Daniel Harrison on Google Wave, which reportedly heralds "either the death or the future of e-mail:"
All the average Joe wants to know, of course, is: Do I have to worry about all this Google Wave stuff or can I go back to poking people on Facebook for a few more months?
See: Google Wave: What is it? Why Should You Care?

Legal professionals may be particularly interested in David Carns' comments on the complications Google Wave will pose in the context of e-discovery and document retention:
The Wave allows you to use dynamic web technologies (such live maps, automatic content generation, live news content, etc) to augment each wave conversation. This means that, unlike email, a wave has the potential to change each time you view it. The idea of creating a TIFF image of a wave is as vexing as creating a TIFF image of a Facebook page - it may never be the same twice. Time and context in the wave matter just as much as content.

...Robots are participants in a wave, just like a client or colleague, but they are fully automated. Robots can check your typing for spelling errors and fix them. Robots can “sanitize” a wave, by going back and omitting expletives from some one’s text. Robots can even write whole paragraphs in a wave on your behalf (imagine a stock broker who mentions a stock in a wave to a customer and a Robot which immediately comes behind and inserts disclaimer text about risks and assurances). And although every action a Robot makes is recorded in a wave’s XML file (so we know what was automated and what was “hand-written”) there is the potential for lots of confusion about who wrote what and when.

Gadgets are possibly even worse for e-discovery. Gadgets are wave add-ons that extend the wave and add outside content. A Gadget can be a map, a slideshow to a Flickr photo gallery or local weather. They can look fancy, but in the end a Gadget is simply an XML file that can store data in a wave. What makes Gadgets frustrating from an e-discovery perspective is that Gadgets are hosted outside the Wave on a separate web server. In order to piece together the content of a Gadget, you will need to collect information not only from the Wave server, but also the web server that published the Gadget. It can get very confusing and it is leap-years more complex than today’s email.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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