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Archive for March, 2006

The Friday Fillip

This week’s fillip is a hoot — literally. The buzz is all about Sounddogs.com, where you’ll find a wonderful selection of sound effects ranging from 3 second pops to long clips of a crowd in a food mall, all of which can be sampled and then purchased if you wish. (Think of the possibilities — podcasting about Quicklaw with thunder and lighting in the background…). When you go to Sounddogs.com, you’re presented with subsets of the “earthquake” category; when the earth’s moved enough for you, use the menu to explore the vast reaches of “sound effects.” Perhaps one . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The World’s Biggest Hotspot?

Announcements from both Bell Canada and Rogers came out today, in what appears to be a race to see who can make all of Canada wireless.

From the Bell Canada press release:

Bell Canada today announced the availability of Sympatico High Speed Unplugged, a nation-wide wireless broadband service which delivers a simple and portable way to get online. Available in both urban and rural areas, the service will offer wireless internet access with speeds of up to 3 mbps to more than two-thirds of Canadians in less than three years.

Sympatico High Speed Unplugged will be launched in

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ontario Gazette – Website Relaunched

The Ontario Gazette, containing the province’s legal notices as well as regulations, has relaunched its website today: http://www.ontariogazette.gov.on.ca/. The Recent Issues section includes issues from about the last three months linked directly from the page. Issues back to January 2000 are available from a database linked from the aptly named Back Issues page.

This is great news since previously a number of back issues had been removed. Law librarians and others had been quite vocal about having the issues reinstated, so it is good to see them back.

There is also the ability to search across the gazettes . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

EDUCAUSE Horizon Report

Educause has recently released the 2006 Horizon Report. This is the abstract of the report from their home page:

The annual Horizon Report is a collaborative effort between the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI). Each year, the report identifies and describes six areas of emerging technology likely to have a significant impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression in higher education within three adoption horizons: a year or less, two to three years, and four to five years.
The areas of emerging technology cited for 2006 are:
• Social computing
• Personal broadcasting
• . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Clustering

Some time ago I made a post about Topic Mapping, in short creating a visual map with search results and grouping similar hits together. This is especially interesting as a tool for all the visual learners out there. Along those lines is another interesting search tool Clusty. (The logo looks a bit like Corner Gas but that is a plus in my book.) This is a metasearch engine powered by Vivisimo, which clusters search results into topics. I have run a search for the Sir James Dunn Law Library (I’m not above self-promotion), if you . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Michael Geist and Our Own Creative Land

This is in the nature of an experiment, since I’m sitting in Hart House waiting for Michael and blogging on a BlackBerry, which certainly isn’t an optimal input device for a Blog. I doubt if I’m going to be putting URLs or images in this post.

A full house and folks queued up waiting for rush tickets. The multimedia Flickr enhanced slide show has been running in best Beckman Centre fashion but much quieter. We are in Hart House after all.

As simon pointed out earlier today this is being live webcast and podcasted so you can point out any . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Power of Search?

One of our lawyers alerted us to www.zoominfo.com – it describes itself modestly:

“the premier summarization search engine, delivers fresh, comprehensive information on over 31 million business professionals and 2 million companies across virtually every industry”.

Try checking out a few names – the results are quite amazing. Before you rely on the information, however, review the information retrieved for people you know well. When I decided to take a few minutes (rather than a few seconds) to review the results, I was still amazed, but also concerned. Information showed up on my search that seemed very questionable and probably . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

“The Vanishing Middle”

The March 29th post on Bruce McEwen’s BLOG – Adam Smith, Esq. – is called “The Vanishing Middle” – and is based on a McKinsey analysis that “both premium and no-frills products grow at the expense of middle-of-the-road offerings”.

How does one apply this analysis to Canadian legal research? Presumably, the on-line legal research services and other more traditional research tools available to us are “premium”. But are we researchers requiring “premium” tools so that we in turn can provide “premium” research to our clients?

If we are seeing a consolidation of clients in Canada (through never-ending mergers . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Best Practices for Law Firm Technology Committees

Last week, I sat in on Dennis Kennedy’s video webinar, Best Practices for Law Firm Technology Committees. It was worth it.

The information provided was solid, practical and based on Dennis’s extensive experience with law firms and technology. Not only was the information useful and well-presented, the vehicle for the video conferencing technology provided by Aspen Conferencing was pretty slick, too. This was an excellent way to get the benefits of a superb presentation that I couldn’t have otherwise attended.

Dennis opened with some technology committee horror stories (youch!) and then presented ways to avoid such scenarios. There was . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous