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Archive for March, 2008

Google Docs Goes Offline

Google Docs has announced that as of today, they’re rolling out an offline capacity. (I’ve checked my account and I’m not one of the lucky ones — yet.) If you’re among the favoured, you’ll see the word Offline in the top right menu, as in this graphic, taken from a simple video demonstrating how it works. You’ll have to have Google’s Gears installed to make it work.

This is a Good Thing, I suppose: any increase in functionality is valuable. But at the same time it does seem to be a bit of a zag after so much Web 2.0 . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Has the Internet Failed to Provide Public Access to the Law?

That’s the question raised in a webcast from Outlaw, consisting of an interview with BAILII executive director Joe Ury.

The article based on the Interview, announces that Bailii will shortly publish the 3000 most important decisions in the English common law:

Bailii approached academics at universities all over the UK and asked them to list the most important rulings in their area of expertise. It then sought permission to publish those rulings one by one.

“It’s been a long slog,” said Ury. He said that the project was returned a list of 2,600 judgments, and that it has . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

BestCase Born Today

We’ve discussed the transition of the Canada Law Book Company caselaw materials from Lexis-Nexis to a new BestCase product providing electronic access to almost all the caselaw that CLB has ever produced ((Due to licensing restrictions in the arrangements that CLB has with Thomson-West, the Canadian Patent Reporter is excluded)).

Today it launched. Tomorrow Lexis-Nexis’ Canadian materials will have an entirely new set of source materials.

Along with the other Toronto research lawyers, I had an advance look at the interface last week.

The good news is that in an amazingly short period of time, CLB has managed to develop . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Laser Printer Tracking Dots

An article in today’s London Free Press by David Canton of eLegal talks about the concern the European Commission for Justice, Freedom and Security has about tracking dots that some colour laser printers leave on printed material. From David’s article:

Printer makers are able to encode the serial number, manufacturing code and the date of printing through a series of small yellow dots interspersed on the printed paper. These dots are invisible to the naked eye…

Xerox has admitted it provided tracking dots to [the U.S.] government. At present, only select enforcement agencies have the capacity to read the codes.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology

Shaping Canadian Web Access Revisited

Last week Simon Fodden caught all of us up on the issue of “throttling” of web access by Bell Canada that broke in the news in his post When It All Goes Peer Shaped. This issue has continued to be the talk of the tech industry all week with no indication of letting up.

The crux of the story is that Canadians are being denied access to certain aspects of the Internet with ISPs Bell and Rogers making the decisions as to which parts are denied, including access to peer-to-peer downloads of CBC TV episodes to which Canadian taxpayers . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Transcript Repository

Tscript.com is in the business of putting litigation transcripts online and so making them accessible at any time from anywhere. It seems that sometimes when a public body holds an inquiry the transcripts are made generally available on Tscript, something I discovered when I was exploring the Ipperwash Inquiry. Every word in a transcript is indexed and linked to the pages where it occurs, the index appearing in a frame to the left of the document. (This might make searching awkward, depending on your browser; Safari searches both the text and the index; but if you have difficulty, you’ll . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Practice of Law

Davos – Business Week, IBM and Global Workforce

What do you get when you cross Davos, Business Week, IBM and Global Workforce? An interesting article with implications for KM practitioners and researchers alike that doesn’t use the term ‘knowledge management’ once; but is teeming with KM ideas.

There was an interesting article in the January 17th issue of Business Week. It was buried in a Davos Special Report and more specifically in a series focused on Managing the Global Workforce. What caught my eye was an article on IBM (“International Isn’t Just IBM’s First Name“). In this article, without a singular explicit reference to Knowledge Management, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Google Advanced Search Improvement

I may be the last to realize this, but Google’s Advanced Search page has been AJAXified nicely, such that as you fill out the boxes that filter your search, you can see the search terms appear correctly formatted in the uppermost text box. This is, I suppose, a way of letting you correct whatever might have been wrongly entered, but also, I suspect a way of instructing people who want to learn how to build a complex search without the help of a form or a wizard. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet

The Friday Fillip

One of the joys of having iTunes on a Mac is the ability to share music with others on the same network, at work, say, or in the home. (You can do something similar on both PC and Mac with the help of Simplify Media, which mediates between your iTunes and that of those you invite to share.) And now with a new entry into the shared playlist field, Muxtape, you can upload a dozen MP3 files to make up a playlist available via a browser. Your tunes are generally available, but essentially a listener would have to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Dr. Gaylen A. Duncan (1948-2008)

Today’s Globe and Mail carried an announcement of the death of Gaylen Duncan, whom many Slaw readers will recall as the dynamic Executive Director of the Canadian Law Information Council.

He was a witty, passionate, charming, brilliant pioneer, schooled by Michael Kirby (still in Halifax then) in the dark arts of making things happen. CLIC brought together lawyers, librarians, publishers and government – Gaylen was skilled in making us all share in his vision of what might be possible in a world where legal practice was empowered by technology and universal access to legal information. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Deeper Free Online Coverage of Supreme Court of Canada Decisions

As has been discussed multiple times on SLAW and based on two emails over the past few days, it appears the first phase of adding of older Supreme Court of Canada decisions to the court’s website has been completed. This is great news. I like the fact that the PDFs are of the actual Supreme Court Reports version (i.e., a PDF of the print version). See, for example:

Trust and Loan Co. v. Ruttan (1877), 1 S.C.R. 564
PDF file (40 pages): http://scc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/1877/0rcs1-564/0rcs1-564.pdf

The message from colleague Rosalie Fox (Director of the SCC Library) to the CALL listserv was as . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Reminiscences of Bench and Bar — 1904

Gutenberg Canada, our local wing of the internet publisher of public domain texts, has just published its 100th e-book. For the honour, it’s chosen a 1904 publication, Osgoode Hall – Reminiscences of the Bench and Bar by lawyer James Cleland Hamilton (1836-1907).

For reasons of efficiency and ease of preservation, the Gutenberg folks often provide materials in the simplest of forms, which can make reading them — online or off — something of a chore rather than a pleasure. But I’m happy to say that for this work they’ve confined the html column of text to a readable width (but, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law, Substantive Law