The New Yorker has a fascinating piece, Brain Gain, by Margaret Talbot, that explores the various current and likely future uses of neuroenhancing drugs. Typically stimulants prescribed for such conditions as attention deficit disorder, prescription drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall, Provigil (modafinil), or piracetam are now commonly taken "off label" by people wishing to enhance their mental powers in some respect or other. It would seem that the principal effect of these drugs is an increase in the ability of the user to focus attention and to persist in a task that would otherwise be too tiresome . . . [more]
Archive for April, 2009
I spent some time last week working with John Hochfelder on his Blawg Review that went up this morning. Mostly picture editing & being a sounding board to what, I think, is a very unique and personal approach.
John's edition of the review was intentionally requested for today because it coincides with his late father's birthday. The review is dedicated to him, and then proceeds to craft the theme around the highlights to his father's life – including being awarded the Silver Star in the battle of Iwo Jima during WWII.
The pictures and the story are really amazing, and . . . [more]
PM announces appointment of new Librarian and Archivist of Canada
24 April 2009
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today the appointment of Daniel J. Caron as Librarian and Archivist of Canada, effective April 25, 2009.
Mr. Caron, currently Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management and Horizontal Integration Sector, Library and Archives Canada, replaces Ian E. Wilson, who is retiring from the Public Service after a very distinguished career.
The Prime Minister also announced that, upon his retirement, Mr. Wilson will hold the title of Librarian and Archivist of Canada Emeritus
. . . [more]
Case Law and Legislation Updates
Changes to the RHPA
This past week I attended a session hosted by the Health Law section of the Ontario Bar Association on Critical Issues in Health Law: Case Law and Legislation Updates.
Richard Steinecke of Steinecke Maciura LeBlanc, Barristers & Solicitors, spoke about recent amendments to the Regulated Health Professions Act in Ontario. As part of a 5 year review by the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC), a number of changes will become effective June 4 2009 under Bill 171. . . . [more]
Twitter is undeniably the social media darling of 2009. From celebrity stalking to Oprah coverage, the monopoly of micro-blogging is now pushing 10 million active users. The legal profession is equally aboard this bandwagon, with adoption numbers rising fast. Where tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook have traditionally helped to create value from existing relationships, Twitter is fast gaining its reputation as a tool to help generate new relationships.
So Twitter gets your foot in the door? A great tool for business development, right? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is a very lawyeresque ‘it depends’. While deriving business value . . . [more]
Book off an hour or so at 3 p.m. ET this coming Tuesday, April 28, to join, via webcast, the "sneak preview" of the grandly named Wolfram/Alpha Computational Knowledge Engine at Harvard's Berkman Center. As we told you last month in One to Watch?, Wolfram, a mathematician, has kept wraps around his project while talking up its potential in general terms. Will it be a search engine? Will it be an answering tool? Will it be so much more? Now you can tune in as Stephen Wolfram and Jonathan Zittrain, law prof at Harvard expose some of the . . . [more]
A fellow employee supposedly noticed her surfing on Facebook and reported her. And yes, it cost her the job.
Most workers are becoming aware that privacy controls should be used to protect personal information, even from employers. And persons added as "friends" probably shouldn't include those that will try to get . . . [more]
We've blogged recently on studies showing the colossal waste of time and energy that spam causes. But fret not, the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, today announced that the Government of Canada is delivering on its commitment to protect consumers and businesses from the most dangerous and damaging forms of spam. The proposed Electronic Commerce Protection Act (Bill C-27) will deter the most dangerous forms of spam, such as identity theft, phishing and spyware, from occurring in Canada and will help drive spammers out of Canada.
“Our government knows how damaging spam can be to Canadians and Canadian . . . [more]
Here are a few interesting projects, ideas, and initiatives highlighted on library blogs over the last couple of days. First, from Instructibles, how to build a high-speed book scanner from spare parts, trash, and cheap cameras, for about $300. According to the author, this is for a "greener future with more books rather than fewer books."
Next, Free Green, a place to get free building plans that are energy efficient and green in other ways. Each one comes with detailed stats on energy consumption, materials, etc. They also offer advice customization, and finding builders. The site is a . . . [more]
Yesterday's Federal Court decision of Mr. Justice O'Reilly, Omar Ahmed Khadr v. The Prime Minister Of Canada, The Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and The Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police 2009 FC 405, is available in PDF.
 I am satisfied, in the special circumstances of this case, that Mr. Khadr’s rights under s. 7 of the Charter have been infringed. I will grant his request for an order requiring the respondents to seek his repatriation from the United States. Given my conclusion regarding s. 7, it is unnecessary for
. . . [more]
It's hard for some of us to read a book without feeling compelled to comment as the author's argument unfolds. It may be that you scoff or cheer out loud. Or you may be one of those who read a book with a pencil or pen at the ready, leaving your remarks on the page to persist beside the printed marks, in which case you create what are known as marginalia.
It seems that this urge to annotate has existed for as long as Gutenberg's gifts have been around — longer, indeed, as you see in the picture below, where . . . [more]
The notice from Quicklaw about legislation that Shaunna just mentioned has been causing a fair bit of discussion in TALL's listserv. As a result, Louis Mirando, Chief Law Librarian at Osgoode Hall Law School has described the Ontario historical legislation digitizing project that is currently underway. With a slight bit of editing, here is Louis' message, reprinted with permission:
most recent efforts have been undertaken as part of, and are funded by, the "Ontario Digitization Initiative" (ODI) of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL). As its pilot ODI project, OCUL is digitizing Ontario legislative materials from the
. . . [more]