Mar
03
2010
0

My trusty brick

Ye olde cell fone

Ye olde cell fone

Here’s some trivia for you.  I have the world’s crappiest cell phone.  I get a lot of flack for my cell phone.  It’s beat to hell, got a cracked screen, dented, scratched, and it’s ridiculously old.

How old?  Well, March 15 will be the six year anniversary of the FCC’s acceptance.  My cell carrier has been sending me ever more frantic flyers for the latest cell phones for about four years now.  It’s gotten pretty pathetic, really.

Unfortunately my trusty phone is now taking it’s last gasps and I need to find a replacement.  :(

Written by Jay Shergill in: Cell Phones,Not Workers Compensation,Technobabble |
Sep
06
2009
0

I Just Make It Look Easy

Easy-to-make iPhone

Easy-to-make iPhone

A company once told me someone had offered to build permanent disability calculators for their website in three months for $7,500.  One said six months and $20,000.  Recently, another suggested it would take them a year and $40,000.  My response is usually some variation on “You’ve got to take that deal.  You’re wasting your time talking to me.”

It’s no big secret that building a great product takes a lot of work.  The important thing to remember is that just because something is easy-to-use, that doesn’t mean its easy-to-make. [1]

Real iPhone

Difficult-to-make iPhone

Let’s take the iPhone for example.  Everyone will concede its an easy phone to use.  However, it was released more than two years ago on 6/29/2007. [2]  In that time the other players – BlackBerry, LG, Nokia, and Palm have all been trying to catch up.  If this easy-to-use phone were easy-to-build everyone would have their own version.

Look, there’s no special magic to building a website like this.  Really, anyone can do it.  All you have to do is learn the calculations inside-and-out, deconstruct the math involved in the various calculations, learn some client and server side programming languages, learn a content management system, make it all work together, keep current on changes in the law, start all over again each time the law changes, and earn the respect of the workers’ compensation community.  Once done, you’ll have your very own workers’ compensation calculator website!

To return to the lesson of the iPhone, building a touch screen phone that can play music and surf the web is totally doable.  Doing it right is another matter entirely.

  1. Visit the link for a PDF of a cut-and-fold iPhone.  Thanks Gizmodo! []
  2. Wikipedia link. []
Aug
31
2009
0

What do you use Verify!® for?

Theres nothing silly about Verify!(R)

There's nothing silly about Verify!®

A few weeks ago I launched a Social Security Number verification tool powered by Verify!®.  Since its launch its become a very popular tool.  One of the coolest things about having these calculators is finding out all of the new ways people think of to use them.  These new and unintended uses are almost always far more interesting than the original pedestrian reasons for which a tool was created.

Take Silly Putty for instance.  Silly Putty was originally created as a potential replacement for rubber during World War II.  It didn’t work as a replacement for rubber, scientists were unable to think of a use for it, and it sat in a lab for years before a toy store owner began stuffing it in plastic eggs.[1]

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Use it to determine whether someone is a U.S. citizen.
  2. Use it to double-check someone’s year of birth.
  3. Use it to determine approximately when someone became a U.S. citizen.[2]
  4. Use it to determine whether someone is potentially Medicare eligible.[3]

What other uses can you think of?

  1. Photo courtesy of unloveablesteve []
  2. I thought of this one during a deposition last week when a deponent couldn’t recall when they first came to the United States.  I just fired up the cell phone web browser, went to the calculator page, and asked the follow up question. []
  3. Thanks Chris! []
Jun
07
2009
0

Permanent Disability Calculators Updated

Up, dates!

Up, dates!

Unfortunately, one of the coolest features of my calculators is that some of them will give you the answer you’re looking for before you’ve even finished typing the search term.  This works with the:

While these are all very cool while you’re sitting at your computer, I found out (much to my dismay) that this system didn’t work at all when using these online calculators from my cell phone! [1] Well, I’ve updated the calculators to make them more compatible with more phones.[2]

Save yourself from your own workers’ compensation claim and just leave that heavy rating manual at home.

  1. It has to do with cross-browser compatibility and inconsistent support for javascript events.  I doubt anyone is interested in this. []
  2. Photo courtesy of Hunda []
Jun
05
2009
0

Riddle Me This

Riddle me this!

Riddle me this!

Yesterday afternoon in Fresno I showed another attorney how I could perform an Ogilvie calculation on my cell phone using the best workers’ compensation calculator website in the world.

  • He looked at me and asked me, “How much does this cost?”
  • I answered, “They’re free.”
  • He asked me, “Well, why the heck am I paying for _______?”[1]

I don’t know.[2]

  1. Oh, YOU know who he was talking about… []
  2. Photo courtesy of Santheo []

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