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Archive for January, 2007

Sweden to Set Up Embassy in Second Life

26th January 2007 18:02 CETSweden is to become the first country to establish diplomatic representation in the virtual reality world of Second Life, officials said on Friday.“We are planning to establish a Swedish embassy in Second Life primarily as an information portal for Sweden,” Swedish Institute (SI) director Olle Wästberg told AFP.
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Brewster, Larry Et Al. & the 9th Circuit

After reading and several times re-reading it, I am constrained to conclude that Judge Farris’s 8-page opinion [in Brewster Kahle v. A.-G. U.S.] for the 9th Circuit panel is simply indefensible. I had the strong impression at oral argument that the panel had not understood (or perhaps even read) the briefs we or the government had submitted, and was in any event not particularly interested in the real issues in the case. By my lights, the opinion confirms this.
C. Sprigman, “9th Circuit rejects constitutional challenge to copyright laws in Kahle v. GonzalesPublic Knowledge

The suit . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Environment Canada – Historical Weather Database

Environment Canada – Climate Data Online

It’s been a while since I’ve needed to use this wonderful web tool. It’s one of those sites that I would expect most legal researchers to know about but there are surely some who don’t. It’s a gem and I don’t think it’s been highlighted on Slaw before.

Use the “customized search” option to further narrow your search. You can even select a park or a location by longitude and latitude.

It was -25 and clear during the hour that I was born. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

Eggs, today. Cooking and eating them, that is. And in particular the eternal struggle to boil the perfect egg (I leave aside the challenging business of poaching an egg properly.) And for the way to win that struggle I can do no better than to point you to khymos.org, a site on “molecular gastronomy and the science of cooking.” The formula for boiling an egg is clear:

There’s hardly anything more to say on the subject, you might think. Well, for me, whose mathematics education approached (but never reached) zero, it’s important to explore some of the variables rather more . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

LISNews: 10 Library Blogs to Read in 2007

News from the biblioblogosphere!

Earlier this month Michael Lines notified us that blog LISNews was looking for nominations of blogs for the library set. Well, I received a note from Blake Carver that he has now posted the results!

See: 10 Blogs to Read in 2007.

One of my favourites, Tame the Web by Michael Stephens, was the clear winner. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Citizendium Goes Live

Citizendium, the “expert-led, public participatory, wiki-based project to sum up human knowledge” is now open for business. They have roughly a thousand articles on tap at this point and will presumably increase that count regularly over time. There’s nothing on law, yet, that I could see, so the field’s wide open, people. They need editors and authors; signing up is easy.

For a test cruise, try hitting the “random page” button. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Video Explaining Peer Assist

University of Ottawa’s uOttawa Centre for e-Learning and the Bellanet International Secretariat have created a nice animation showing how to use the “peer assist” technique in solving a problem. I was expecting it to involve electronic media to allow people to work together; however, in this case it describes bringing together a group of people face to face with a mediator to help in solving one problem. It also describes a rotating peer assist, wherein more than one problem needs solving so several groups of people are brought together and the mediator and person with the problem rotate through the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Customized Search Tool for Reference Sites

Bill Drew of the Morrisville State College Library has created a custom search engine that aggregates content from more than 200 reference sites.

The sites are those included in the 1999-2006 annual lists issued by the Best of Free Reference Web Sites Committee of the Machine-Assisted Reference Section (MARS) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of American Library Association (wow – I wonder what the committee president’s business card looks like!).

The search engine is built using Google Custom Search Engine. Essentially, it is now possible to create a search engine that only covers the specialized websites . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Birth of Quicklaw

My next door neighbour at Heenan Blaikie, Ryan Teschner lent me this morning a history of the Queen’s Law School at 50 – “Let Right Be Done”:
A History of the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University by Professor Mark D. Walters
I was very pleased to see 3 pages about the early days of computerized legal research in Common Law Canada, which all started at KingstonThe story of Datum/Soquij is for another day..
The Genesis of Quicklaw
In October 1972, it was reported that a sense of manic chaos reigned in the house at 140 Beverly Street, just one . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Buddha to Schopenhauer, Schopenhauer to Wittgenstein…

Sounds like a surreal double-play in baseball (“Tinker to Evers to Chance“) but it’s simply the path of influence as charted by Mike Love using an application called Touchgraph. I’m fascinated by tools that visualize data, and moreso by those that reveal the relationships among parts. Mike Love’s Genealogy of Influence charts the ways in which 500 seminal thinkers have influenced each other over time; and the dynamic nature of the table lets you bring any particular thinker to the fore — as figure, with the others as ground. This sort of dynamic charting has been around for . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous