Smartphones have disrupted a lot of old school technology – the humble alarm clock being one of them. Few people under 30 own an alarm clock, and I’m sure many don’t even know what an alarm clock is.
Even for the over-30 set, a lot of us rely on our phone to wake up. But is it the best way? The alarm clock was a specialist device – it told time and woke us up. That’s it. Our phones are generalist devices. While they can do a lot of things, they may not do each task as well as a specific device made for a specific purpose. That’s why many people still buy cameras, and calculators, and stopwatches, even though their phones can do all of those tasks.
Here’s the thing about alarm clocks: they’ve come a long way. And many of these innovations could be a big improvement over using the alarm function on your phone. Take a look at these two innovative approaches to alarm clocks that could change your mind about your phone alarm:
Ruggie – no more snooze
The MIT Technology Review quotes a study that found that Americans spend 3.5 months of their lives hitting the snooze button. Since studies have shown that our snooze button habit actually hurts us more than helps us, snoozing is truly wasted time that negatively impacts our lives.
Enter the Ruggie, an alarm rug that only turns off when you get up and stand on it for several seconds. It forces you out of bed and keeps you up. Kiss the snooze button goodbye!
See the light
The sound of an alarm can be jarring, even for good-natured morning people. So here’s a twist: an alarm – the Philips Wake-up Light – that uses a combination of light and sound to wake you up. The light begins with soft dawn red before moving to orange and then yellow. And it starts 30 minutes before your actual wake up time, so you can ease gradually into wakefulness.
Other innovative approaches
This recent article on the Digital Trends site has several other “alternative” alarm clocks. Check them out – there may be one that wakes you up in a whole new way!
Enjoy your day!
This week on Hull on Estates, Paul Trudelle and Nick Esterbauer discuss the state of the law in Canada regarding fiduciary access to digital access, as well as the potential for the Uniform Access to Digital Assets by Fiduciaries Act to provide clarity in respect of the authority of estate trustees and guardians/attorneys of property.
As society is becoming more and more digitized, there is an increased need for individuals to consider their online accounts in their estate planning. Today, computers and cellphones can store a wealth of important information about an individual through applications such as Facebook, Twitter and online banking websites. Furthermore, there are many other online platforms such as online gaming websites that individuals can win money or put real money into.
In January 2016, CBC profiled a widow, Peggy Bush, in Canada who had lost her spouse, and a setback in dealing with his property was access to his Apple account. We previously wrote a blog post surrounding this case and online password access here. In Canada, there is currently no legislation or case law that deals with access to online accounts after the account holder is deceased.
To expand further on the accessibility of accounts, it is important to focus on the profitability of such accounts. With the expansive opportunity to play poker online, and put money into things such as betting websites, an issue may be raised in regard to who gets access to those funds upon death. While one may be able to make a small fortune in online activity, there is the chance it may be forgotten in the process of estate planning. This argument can go one step further. With the new craze surrounding games such as World of Warcraft or Pokemon Go, accounts have been selling on websites such as Kijiji for around $400.00. With the ability of individuals to make money off selling gaming accounts, the question becomes whether there is an obligation on an Estate Trustee or administrator to take these potential assets of value into account in distributing an estate. If one has accounts of value online, whether on a poker or betting website or another platform that may result in a profit for the individual, it may be worth considering planning for the distribution of the account.
When conducting your individual estate planning, it is becoming an increasingly important consideration to put in precautions or safeguards for your online accounts. This will ensure that your beneficiaries and estate trustees can access your valuable information or assets. Some options for individuals would be to store their passwords in an online service that would provide the information to selected trustees once the account owner passes away, or to attach a memorandum with a will, or put a provision in one’s will containing all of the individual’s online passwords. Furthermore, if one was an avid online poker player or had a particularly valuable account in the online gaming world worth money, it would be prudent to make a plan to cash out or sell the account.
With society moving in a more digital direction, and many aspects of people’s personal and business lives being increasingly stored or managed online, it is becoming necessary for individuals to consider their digital assets and account access upon the event of their death.
National magazine, published by the Canadian Bar Association, has commended the efforts of Hull and Hull LLP as being amongst the best in digital marketing. In its biennial survey, starting at p. 38 of the July/August 2011 issue, the National panel recognized Hull and Hull LLP as standing out in the area of “Use of Video” and “Solo/Small Firm Websites”.
On the use of video, National noted Hull and Hull’s “Media Centre”, where “prospective clients and staff can glean expertise and, in the process, get to know Hull & Hull lawyers.”
On the topic of solo/small firm websites, National said: “Hull & Hull’s website … is bright, interactive, and client friendly,” says [panellist Jordan] Furlong. “Visitors are immediately introduced to the firm’s blogs, videos, newsletters, and other resources. The firm also asks precisely the right question on its from page: ‘Can we help you?’”
We take great pride in our social media presence, and sincerely appreciate the recognition.
Thanks for reading.
Paul E. Trudelle – Click here for more information on Paul Trudelle.
In the days prior to the evolution of the Internet, planning and administering an estate was relatively simple as the physical belongings of the deceased could be carefully sorted through, packaged, and divided according to the Deceased’s testamentary document or the applicable legislation.
In the days since the Internet has become a common household tool, planning and administering an estate has not been so easy. In a study commissioned by Remember A Charity, The Dying in a Digital Age, it was discovered that four in five people own digital assets, but only nine per cent have considered how these will be distributed upon their death.
According to the study, the nation’s digital music collection is worth an estimated £900 million alone.
Three quarters of those surveyed for the study indicated that their digital music and photo collections had strong sentimental value, while eight out of ten said their digital assets were financially valuable.
Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity said: ”Bank accounts, music and photograph collections are increasingly stored online…meaning families will wave goodbye to a small fortune if details are not passed on.”
There is now an entire cyber existence that both the Deceased and Trustees need to turn their mind to when planning or administering an Estate. For instance, what will become of Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and PayPal accounts? One easy solution is to subscribe to a website called Legacy Locker. Legacy Locker was created in 2009 and it maintains a master list of user names and programs for online bank accounts, social networking sites and document repositories.
In the digital era, it is important that we consider and make arrangements for how our digital assets will be distributed, and for estate planners, it may be just as important that you consider including in your questionnaire or checklist, a question that forces a client to turn their mind to consider their digital assets.
Thank you for reading, and have a great weekend.
Rick Bickhram – Click here for more information on Rick Bickhram.
Given the prevalence of scepticism amongst lawyers (see my earlierblog), it is entirely in keeping with character for lawyers to be slow to openly embrace social media.
Judging from a recent study, it would seem that this might be doubly so for Canadian lawyers. In this article about Digital Life, the world’s largest study into consumers’ digital behaviours and attitudes ever conducted, the following observations were made about Canadians’ online activities:
- Canada lags in digital engagement.
- Canadians aren’t much for blogging.
- Canadians are average picture-sharers.
- Canadians do less social networking, more email.
- Canadians spend less time on social networking sites on their mobile devices.
- Canadians will be slower to transition social networking on mobile phones.
- With an average of 150 friends in our social networks, Canadians are not as "friendly" as consumers in some other countries.
If the President of the United States can win an election based in part on social media strategy, then even the most sceptical of lawyers cannot deny there just might be something to it. Barack Obama has so many friends on facebook and contacts on LinkedIn that even I am a 3rd level connection.
We have also seen this week much texting and tweeting from the courtroom during the sentencing hearing of Russell Williams. Justice Robert Scott agreed to allow the media to use electronic devices for the purpose of taking notes but said any use of laptops, handheld communications or recording devices must be done an a way that was not obtrusive to the court process.
Social media is a pretty big wave. It is changing our behaviour and it is here to stay. Whether you are a Canadian, a lawyer, or both, you might as well just hang on and enjoy the ride!
Sharon Davis – Click here for more information on Sharon Davis.