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If you are not yet using RSS, you are missing out on the single best way to acquire news and updated information via the Internet. An acronym for “really simple syndication,” RSS is already a handy tool for legal professionals. Now the addition of many new information sources that your computer can scan automatically for you means it’s become even more powerful. Here are the basics: RSS grabs Web material you have asked it to find and delivers it directly to one spot on your desktop. You can receive, for example, a mix of headlines from The New York Times and Law.com, postings from your favorite blogs, and updates from the federal government � all without surfing from site to site. Just look over the material in the window, and decide what you would like to open for a closer look. To get RSS up and running, you must first download a news aggregator, or reader. There are two main types: easy-to-configure stand-alone programs, like SharpReader for Windows and NetNewsWire (and its free “lite” version) for the Macintosh; and those, like Bloglines, that work with a browser. Or, if you have a Mac with the most recent version of OS X, you can read RSS feeds with the latest version of Safari, Apple Computer, Inc.’s Web browser. The choice you make depends on your computer’s operating system, and whether you mind having different programs open at the same time � as you do with a stand-alone. Many people would rather, instead, have everything in their browser window. Once you’re set up, you need to subscribe to RSS feeds. To find out if a site you want to use offers one, look for an orange “XML” button, or an “RSS” link, which is usually found in the portion of the page that contains other links. Clicking on it will take you to the news site’s URL. Then either drag or copy-and-paste that URL into the subscribe box of your news reader. (For more detail on how RSS works, go to Wikipedia, which is at wikipedia.org; you’ll also find links to desktop software and online services that can read RSS feeds.) A number of recently launched feeds are particularly useful for legal professionals. Injury or consumer lawyers should check out Auto Recalls, at auto-recalls.justia.com. This free service tracks automobile recalls � by any combination of make, model, and/or year � listed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It was developed by Tim Stanley, cofounder of FindLaw and now CEO of the Web site development company Justia. Intellectual property lawyers will find that they can more easily search patents these days. A new service called PatentMojo scans U.S. Patent and Trademark Office data daily and delivers updates. Unlike many services that offer information via an RSS feed, PatentMojo charges a subscription fee of $15 a month; however, you can check it out through its seven-day free trial. Find out more at patentmojo.com. Another provider of IP information, the U.S. Copyright Office, recently began offering four RSS feeds: one for updates to its home page, another for its NewsNet service, a third for Federal Register notices, and the fourth for current legislation. The Copyright Office provides information links to the feeds via copyright.gov/help/rss.html. In fact, a quick count turned up some 240 federal government RSS feeds, covering a wide range of topics, including product safety news, food and drug recalls, medical news, census statistics, economic reports, U.S. Department of State briefings, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reports, and much more. You can identify most of them through the U.S. Government RSS Library, firstgov. gov/Topics/Reference_Shelf/Libraries/RSS_Library.shtml, which is part of the federal government portal, FirstGov, at firstgov.gov. Other recently developed sources of information that lawyers will return to time and time again include:

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