In this article I describe in quite some technical detail what happens if you were to place a telephone call to our office. In this article I also describe a failover measure that I set up today. You might want to set up a similar failover measure for your own telephone system.
A long time ago the way to log in was with a user ID and password. Then people started using two-factor authentication (2FA or “something you have, and something you know”). USPTO’s particularly poor choice for 2FA was the Entrust Java Applet. After a while some organizations started using a text message on a cell phone as the second factor. This turns out to be a really poor choice as well because it is very easy to hack.
The smart way to do this nowadays is TOTP (time-based one-time password). For most people the way you do this is to install an authenticator app onto your smart phone, and you scan a QR code. The app displays a six-digit code that changes every thirty or sixty seconds. The code is the second factor.
The point of this article is to invite you to consider smarter ways to do TOTP. Continue reading
I am delighted to be able to report that the Oppedahl Patent Law Firm LLC listservs are working again. Just now I successfully migrated the listservs from a previous hosting provider to a new hosting provider.
If you are a member of one or more of the listservs, you should have received one or more test emails in recent minutes, letting you know that the listservs are working again. Continue reading
Update: The listservs are working again.
I’ve learned that our listservs (email discussion groups) are broken.
Our listservs are hosted by a hosting company in Boulder, Colorado. The hosting company of course provides services to others besides us. I did some troubleshooting, and I see that the IP address from which the listserv emails get sent has gotten blacklisted by one of the spam blacklisting services.
The blacklisting service has good intentions, of course. The service tries to notice patterns of email sending so that spammers can be identified and blocked.
I’d guess that some new customer of the hosting company started sending spam.
Now the hosting company will have to figure out which new customer is sending the spam, and shut them down. And then the hosting company will have to ask the blacklisting service to re-evaluate the email traffic for the IP address. And eventually the IP address will be removed from the blacklist. And then our listservs will start working again.
There are many ways that a web site could be insecure. One of the ways is to implement SSL (“https://”) poorly. It turns out to be quite easy to find out whether your SSL implementation is strong or weak. You simply plug your web address into the SSL tester provided by Qualys. Maybe your web site will get an A+ rating! Here are how some well-known intellectual property law firm web sites performed in this SSL test. Continue reading
Readers of my blog will recall that I have mentioned the importance of protecting your web site with SSL (meaning that the web site supports “https://”). The SSL protects the visitors to your web site, as well as boosting your Google search ranking. Now comes yet another smart thing that you should do to protect your web site — setting up DNS Certification Authority Authorization (CAA). CAA is a thing that does not cost you any money to do, and you only need to do it once. CAA greatly reduces the risk that a bad person could compromise the SSL protection on your web site.
Recently I scheduled a PCT Seminar which will take place in Silicon Valley in October. One question was, how to publicize it? And I realized that one possible approach would be to mail out post cards to people in Silicon Valley who are registered to practice before the USPTO.
So the question was, how to accomplish getting post cards sent to these people?
In the old days, the way one would accomplish this is to go to a local printer, get post cards printed, put stamps on them, and mail them. Or you would obtain a postal permit and go through the many steps required to mail such post cards without putting stamps on the cards. And of course one would need to print address labels and put the labels onto the cards.
Regular readers of this “office tech” department of my blog can guess what is coming next in this blog article. Of course it turns out that nowadays there are Internet-based ways to do this that are much more efficient and very inexpensive. Continue reading
When I founded our firm a quarter of a century ago, I did some of the things that were absolutely mandatory in those days, for example:
- Contact Martindale-Hubbell to get the firm listed there
- Get a postage meter
- Get a fax machine and connect it with a dedicated land line telephone line
We used to pay a thousand dollars a year for our listing in Martindale-Hubbell, but we dropped that maybe ten years ago. We got rid of our postage meter, which used to cost us a hundred dollars a month, maybe five years ago. And now in 2018 we have dropped our public fax number. Maybe you should, too. Continue reading