This Spring we’re likely to see what for so long has been a mythical creature waiting to pounce on the world of costly cloud storage: Google Drive. This system would and will be an online file storage system run by Google which will be revealed, if sources speaking with Om Malik of GigaOM are correct, early this April. This system has been rumored for several years and indeed did pop up under a different name in 2010, with Google allowing you to upload documents and files to Google Docs, but this is the real deal folks.
Legal professionals will always play a vital role in building up trial evidence. However, writes Matt Packer, a creature called ‘the crowd’ is starting to do this automatically – all through everyday online usage
‘Mob rule’ and ‘herd mentality’ are just two of the many phrases used by journalists to criticise ignorant or sheep-like behaviour in large masses of people. The internet, though, helps to bring crowd wisdom to life. ‘Crowdsourcing’ is a term coined in 2006 by technology expert Jeff Howe, who became interested in how companies were engaging customers in key corporate functions, such as marketing. That year, Doritos gave an example by launching its Crash the Superbowl campaign, inviting snack fans to create their own Doritos commercials and upload them to a website for user rating. The winner was broadcast in a commercial break during Superbowl XLI.
Since then, crowdsourcing has had a positive impact on the world of intellectual property (IP) through the Peer to Patent initiatives in the US and UK. These enable technical experts of all types to sign up and provide their insights on select patent applications. But this year, web-based crowds have also played major roles in the gathering of raw evidence – firstly, for litigation in a US trademark suit; and secondly, for the prosecution of key participants in the UK riots.