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CHAPTER 02 LEGAL TECHNOLOGY

CLOUD COMPUTING Looking back on the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, Nick Abrahams writes that: ... startups had to spend money on hardware and services to set up websites. Today, cloud providers like Amazon Web Services make this infrastructure available on demand and at a bare fraction of the price it used to cost. 19 According to data provided by legal software company LEAP, more than 3,600 firms in Australia currently use its cloud-based practice management and accounting products. 20 As the company’s Executive Chair, Richard Hugo-Hamman, told flip, practitioners’ shift to the cloud has “already happened”, 21 driven by the forces of competition.

INCREASINGLY MOBILE TECHNOLOGY & CONNECTIVITY

According to David Abrahams, there is a compelling case that the movement of ideas since the invention of the internet in the late 1960s and into the contemporary era has vanquished the “tyranny of distance” that has defined Australia for so long. 22 As Mr Abrahams reminded flip, “the largest transport network in the world is now available on mobile phones ... likewise, the largest accommodation provider, AirBnB, doesn’t own a physical asset.” The “internet of things” is now very much a reality with predictions, for example, that by 2022, 14 billion devices in households within OECD countries will be connected to the internet. 23 Mobility of people and of devices means that we are far less tied to location, whether that be the Sydney office or a remote New South Wales country town. 24 Sydney solicitor Leonie Chapman told flip that until recently, she was employed by Macquarie Bank and often worked from her laptop in the cafe attached to the office.

FIGURE 2.5 THE MANY DIMENSIONS OF MOORE’S LAW

1,000,000,000,000,000

Supercompterspeed (FLOPS)

1,000,000,000,000

1,000,000,000

Supercomputerenergyefficiancy (FLOPS/watt)

1,000,000

Residential InternetDownloadspeed (kilobytes/second)

MicroprocessorTransistors/Chip

1,000

1

Harddrivecostefficiancy (gigabytes/dollar)

0.001

LOGARITHMICSCALE

1970

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

2015

Erik Brynjolfsson and AndrewMcAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (WW Norton & Co, 2014) 48.

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THE FLIP REPORT COMMISSION OF INQUIRY THELAWSOCIETYOFNEWSOUTHWALES

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