Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Forensic Kindle?

Forensic Kindle? Well ... sort of. I was packing my Kindle for a day of sitting and waiting to be called to testify. I wanted to trim down the amount of stuff in my kit, so I started wondering about putting my notes in my Kindle. A little bit of experimentation was all it took.

I looked at the encoding of the "My Clippings.txt" file - Unicode 8 - and used my text editor to save my notes appropriately. I had a little cleaning up to do afterward, MS Word and other programs leave a lot of proprietary junk in the files. This junk shows up as stray characters when the file is viewed on the Kindle.

With the file saved correctly, I put it into the Documents folder. When I turned on the Kindle, my notes were there on the Home page. I now had my Lee Child novels ... and my trial notes. I was ready for a day spent waiting to get called in to the courtroom.

Check it out for yourself. The Kindle just got cooler.


HumbleOpinion said...

Would you open your Kindle while on the witness stand to read your notes? Would that be a distraction to the court?

Jim Hoerricks said...

In most cases, you won't be in trial until months or years after you've worked the case. You would have handled hundreds of other cases in the mean time. You can't be expected to have complete recall in these situations.

Think about Traffic Cops, writing dozens of tickets per day. When/if someone wishes to have their day in court, it may be months later. Officers refer to their notes all the time. How can we expect them to remember details from a 2 minute encounter that happened months earlier?

HumbleOpinion said...

I understand that you would have notes on the stand with you. I'm just a citizen and have very limited experience in court. But I have seen that the judge sometimes would prefer to talk about anything other than the case at hand. New technology, like a Kindle, would be something he/she would want to see, touch, and examine. To most of the people sitting in the court, the Kindle in its case would look like a notebook, but to the judge, it might look like a new toy. It is just my own lack of confidence, but sometimes I am afraid that bringing a 'toy' makes me look less credible.