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Friday, July 17, 2015

Distracted Driving Is Not Worth A Life

Effective ad by AT&T about the dangerous consequences when a mom glances at her cell phone while driving: No Post is Worth a Life | It Can Wait

We are introduced to characters on a perfectly average day. Their lives are then irrevocably changed by the devastating consequences of a seemingly innocent glance at a phone while driving.

As noted in the ad:
    • No post is worth a life.
    • No glance is worth a life.
    • No email is worth a life.
    • No search is worth a life.
    • No text is worth a life.

AT&T's "It Can Wait" is the carrier's campaign against distracted driving. You can learn more about the campaign and steps you can take to help stop distracted driving at:

Distracted driving is dangerous. Do not do it; it is not worth a life.
Blog Image: Distracted Driving Is Not Worth A Life

Monday, June 29, 2015

Lapin Law Offices' Patrick Driver: Getting In Shape

Patrick Driver, of Lapin Law Offices, was featured today in an article in the Lincoln Journal Star, "State Games of America gives Lincoln dad that extra push."
Pat Driver and his son Logan try out wrestling moves at their home in Lincoln in preparation for the State Games of America.
Photograph by Jenna Vonhofe/ Lincoln Journal Star
Since January 2014, Patrick has lost 65 pounds and has gotten in significantly better shape. After losing 25 pounds his son, Logan, provide an extra push by getting Patrick to compete in wrestling in the State Games of America, which is in Lincoln, Nebraska, this year, later this summer. As he stated in the article, "I look forward to showing my son, as well as my family and friends, that you can reach a goal through hard work and dedication.”

Competing in the State Games is not Pat's only fitness goal. He plans on running a marathon among other things.

Great work so far Patrick and good luck in the State Games. Everyone at Lapin Law Offices is rooting for you.

Source Article: Lincoln Journal Star: State Games of America gives Lincoln dad that extra push

Article by Ali Butchko; 
Photographs by Jenna Vonhofe

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Lincoln Crashes Following Last Weekend's Winter Storm

Last weekend's winter storm posed a challenge to many Lincoln, Nebraska, drivers. There were a total of 151 crashes reported to the Lincoln Police Department as of February 2, 2015. The actual number is likely a lot more. Unfortunately, there was one fatal crash involving two semitrailer trucks. More snow is predicted for Lincoln this evening and tomorrow with a lot of roadways still ice and snow covered.


According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Lincoln Weather and Climate site, the weather in Lincoln for the past three days has been:
  • January 31, 2015 (Saturday)
    • Snow Total: 3.0 inches
    • High Temperature: 39°
    • Low Temperature: 32°
  • February 1, 2015 (Sunday)
    • Snow Total: 4.9 inches
    • High Temperature: 32°
    • Low Temperature: 3°
  • February 2, 2015 (Monday)
    • High Temperature: 19°
    • Low Temperature: -7°
This information is based on data taken by the UNL weather instruments. Temperatures and snow fall amounts could be different in other areas of Lincoln.

Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Lincoln Weather and Climate:


The Lincoln Police Department received the following number of reports about vehicle crashes:
  • January 31: 43
  • February 1: 53
  • February 2: 55
It is not clear how many of these crashes are attributable to the weather or roadway conditions.

Source: Lincoln Police Department: Daily Call Summary  (Summaries for January 31, 2015 - February 2, 2015)


Lapin Law Offices has blogged about winter driving safety on our website blog:


With the potential for more snow and cold weather tonight and tomorrow, drivers are urged to stay home if possible. If you have to drive, do so very carefully and safely.

Blog Post: Lincoln Crashes Following Last Weekend's Winter Storm

Friday, November 7, 2014

"Secure" Messaging Not As Protected As You Might Think

Messaging May Not Be Secure
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), created a scorecard to measure the actual security of thirty-nine different “secure messaging” tools and apps, such as FaceTime, Skype and Google Hangouts. These were judged using criteria the EFF defined. The results may be very surprising to some who thought their messages were very secure. Of the more popular apps, Apple's messaging products had some of the highest scores although none had a perfect EFF score.

Many users are using messaging tools that are not every secure. The reason, the EFF post explains:
It boils down to two things: security and usability. Most of the tools that are easy for the general public to use don’t rely on security best practices--including end-to-end encryption and open source code. Messaging tools that are really secure often aren’t easy to use; everyday users may have trouble installing the technology, verifying its authenticity, setting up an account, or may accidentally use it in ways that expose their communications.
The EFF used seven different criteria in rating 39 messaging apps and tools. These 7 criteria were:
  1. Is your communication encrypted in transit?

  2. Is your communication encrypted with a key the provider doesn't have access to?

  3. Can you independently verify your correspondent's identity?

  4. Are past communications secure if your keys are stolen?

  5. Is the code open to independent review?

  6. Is the crypto design well-documented?

  7. Has there been an independent security audit?
EFF Green Checkmark
Using the 7 criteria, either a green checkmark or a red "no" symbol was placed on the Scorecard.

Only six apps received all green checkmarks: ChatSecure; CryptoCat; Signal/Redphone; Silent Phone; Silent Text; and TextSecure.

The EFF Scorecard results for some of the more popular messaging apps and tools:
  • Apple FaceTime: 5 green checkmarks
  • Apple iMessage: 5 green checkmarks 
  • Facebook chat: 2 green checkmarks 
  • Google Hangouts: 2 green checkmarks 
  • Skype: 2 green checkmarks 
  • SnapChat: 2 green checkmarks 
  • WhatsApp: 2 green checkmarks 
  • AIM: 1 green checkmark 
  • Kik Messenger: 1 green checkmark 
  • Yahoo! Messenger: 1 green checkmark
These scores may be surprising to some who thought their messages were more secure.

The EFF is quick to point out that the scorecard results “should not be read as endorsements of individual tools or guarantees of their security” and that closer examinations of many of the apps and tools will be conducted later.

Read the full EFF post and see the Scorecard: SECURE MESSAGING SCORECARD: Which apps and tools actually keep your messages safe?

EFF Secure Messaging Scorecard - Featured Tools - Screenshot
EFF Secure Messaging Scorecard - Screenshot

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Phishing Scams - How To Warn People

​Phishing is the use of an email that attempts to scam a user into revealing private information. These emails appear to come from legitimate companies and usually direct you to an "official" looking webpage to update your personal information.

Warning Sign For Phishing
A recent article in Consumer Affairs by Mark Huffman, "Why you might fall for a phishing scam" describes some of the problems there are in trying to warn people about phishing scams:
Information is power and, when it comes to the criminal underground, it might as well be gold. Scammers who pick up chunks of information about you can quickly pick your pocket.
An effective phishing scam almost always involves trickery and deception. A message in your email inbox is not what it first appears. ...
The challenge, then, is to find a way to identify these bogus pitches/threats and warn consumers before they make a costly error in judgment.
Two professors at the University of Alabama in Huntsville are studying phishing scams to determine the best way to help protect people from them:
The researchers say your response to a [phishing scam] warning is based on the strength of the authority issuing it. In addition, you have to understand it, remember it, change your attitude and be motivated enough to change your behavior. ...
[P]hishing is not just a problem of technology, though fixes are normally offered only in those terms. Rather, a lot of it involves psychology.

MY ADVICE: Until better warnings are developed, despite the temptation of a promised, highly prized reward, always remember if something seems too good to be true, it usually is. There is very little in life that is free.

Source: Why you might fall for a phishing scam by Mark Huffman via Consumer Affairs

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Opinion Poll: More Enforcement of Texting Laws

Public opinion about texting and driving and enforcement of laws against it have changed. A new public opinion poll by the National Safety Council finds that almost 75% of respondents believe there should be more enforcement of laws against texting and driving. Most states have laws against texting and driving but no state has completely banned cell phone use.

National Safety Council - Put An End to Distracted Driving

According to a new National Safety Council public opinion poll about texting and driving:

  • 73% of respondents think there should be more enforcement of texting laws; and
  • 22% said current level of enforcement is fine.

As it relates to the types of penalties for texting and driving, respondents chose:

  • Penalties including a point system that could lead to the loss of a driver's license or increased insurance costs: 52%
  • Different levels of penalties for first vs. repeat offenses: 51%
  • Large monetary fines: 50%

NSC president and CEO Deborah Hersman stated, 
Today, the polls show the public is behind stronger penalties because most people recognize that it will take more than awareness campaigns to stop this dangerous behavior [texting and driving].
No state has laws banning all cell phone use while driving. Forty-four states plus the District of Columbia ban texting for all drivers, and 13 states and the District of Columbia have laws banning handheld driver cell phone use.

Distracted driving is dangerous. Do not do it.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

No Constitutional Right To Sell Cold Beer in Indiana

Blog Post Image: No Constitutional Right To Sell Cold Beer in IndianaA federal judge in Indiana dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association that had challenge a state law that prohibits the sale of cold beer by convenience and grocery stores. The law only permits the sale of “ chilled” beer by package liquor stores. 

The Association alleged, at least in part, that the law violates the equal protection of the U.S. Constitution by favoring one class of retailer over another. 

The judge rejected the equal protection and other arguments.