Weinberger Law Newsletter – June 2020
Incredibly Exciting Times
These are incredibly exciting times for our firm! We have a beautiful new office in North Scottsdale, a new logo and branding, and now the first of what will be many monthly newsletters to come. Our commitment is to provide you with fresh, pertinent information about current legal issues and our development as a firm. If there are subjects you would like to read about in our newsletter, or if we can be of assistance with any concerns, please let us know.
The past few months have been challenging for all of us, and many new legal issues have emerged. As a firm, we took this unique opportunity to grow and expand, in both our learning and our ability to deliver timely, high-quality, creative legal services to our clients in a cost-effective way.
“Power. Creativity. Results.” This is our slogan. This is who we are. We are privileged to have you join us on our journey and hope that we can serve you well for many years to come.
A non-competition agreement, most commonly referred to as a “non-compete,” is a contract under which a party agrees not to engage in a certain line of business for a specified period of time in a specific geographic region. Non-compete agreements are typically used in two contexts: in the employment setting and when a business is being sold.
In our next newsletter, we will give a more in-depth view of the details and the ins-and-outs of these types of agreements. Be sure to look for the July newsletter from Weinberger Law, for this and other timely topics.
The History of Video Conferencing: From Herbert Hoover to Zoom
Video conferencing has become a necessity of daily life in the past several months. Companies like Zoom and Skype dominate currently, but AT&T, PictureTel, and Compression Labs paved the way for today’s more advanced technologies and market leaders.
In 1927, AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories created the first device that could transmit a moving image. Using a cable, the engineers were able to beam Herbert Hoover’s likeness to New York, almost 200 miles away. Most historians file this event under the history of television, but it also represents the first time an image was transmitted while audio was as well, albeit outgoing visual only. In 1930, AT&T made a giant leap forward by completing the first two-way audiovisual telecommunication system, and the following year, a true interactive video call between two Manhattan AT&T offices took place as the public witnessed. The rest of the 1930s brought innovations by a German inventor, but as fate would have it, delays in these technologies began back in 1929 with the Great Depression; the delays turned into a grinding halt with the start of World War II in 1939.
AT&T, the ultimate pioneer in the field of video communications, reignited their interest, and in 1956, began research into transmitting images over analog phone lines. They dubbed it Picturephone, and the then revolutionary 1 frame per 2 seconds video call made its debut at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. For comparison, Zoom currently supports up to 30 frames per 1 second (fps); the default in Skype for business meetings is 15 fps.
In the early 1970s, AT&T was ready to roll out the Picturephone service, but it had several drawbacks. Not only was it out of reach due to its cost, but the equipment was bulky, difficult to use, and only produced a tiny, blurred picture. Compression Labs made innovations of its own, and released a big, expensive device for video conferencing in 1982. It was the only real choice until PictureTel came out with a less costly machine in 1986, and with that, the company gained the momentum to team up with IBM in 1991, and introduce a PC-based video conferencing system (the first of its kind). For the rest of the 1990s, companies made improvements to the concept and devices, and the 2000s brought the free video call capabilities through Internet services that we know and use today.
While the ability to video conference has been around for decades, the etiquette and best practices for using this technology have changed over time. This is in part because what gained traction as a fun, special way to communicate with friends and family morphed into an essential tool for modern businesses. In next month’s newsletter, we will outline our best practices for video conferencing.
How Do I Get Out of This Contract?
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent downturn in our economy, this may be the most oft-asked question that we hear. A similar question asked by business people who are trying to retain the business and contracts that they have is: “Can I still enforce this contract?”
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