Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Miscellaneous’

It’s the Time of the Year for Year End Lists

Well the wire services are reporting the top legal stories of 2005, as graded by the legal experts:
1. Katrina
2. Rehnquist-Roberts transition
3. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act

A touch insular, perhaps.

In the wider world, what were the top issues?

I’m tempted to list some of the huger mistakes that courts have made, ranging from the RIM saga [of which the New Yorker has a great piece today] and the collapse of the BCCI brought by Deloittes on behalf of BCCI investors against the Bank of England, which collapsed after 12 years. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Building Beyond Wikipedia

We noted last month the Cornell wiki that required that experts be validated.

Today’s Register has a venture that builds beyond similar scepticism about the reliability of an encyclopaedia on which anyone can post.

$10m for a Wikipedia for grown-ups

The Register notes:

Digital Universe aims to garner the best of both worlds: harness wide public input, but with acknowledged experts acting as stewards.

The project has a long list of institutions signed up, including the National Council for Science and the Environment, the American Museum of Natural History, the World Resources Institute, the UN and UCB.

Material will . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Death of Traditional Book Publishing

At this time of year, I indulge in one of my favorite pastimes: browsing bookstores. The theory is that I’m looking for gifts for friends and family, while the reality is that I also end up at the till with books for me. Guessing that most of us are bibliophiles, I thought you’d be interested in the above article. The link is to a publisher’s view of the future of the book publishing industry. The link takes you to “The death of traditional book publishing”; there is a link from there to another post by the same publisher, which . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Open Source, Collaboration and Getting Beyond the IP Innovation Roadblocks

This morning an announcement from four information technology companies, seven American universities and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation that Higher education and the IT industry address open software research

ARMONK, N.Y. and KANSAS CITY, MO., December 19, 2005 — Leaders from four information technology companies, seven American universities and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation announced today that they have adopted guiding principles to enable open collaborative software research.

Summit participants developing and adopting these principles include the Kauffman Foundation, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Stanford, University of California at Berkeley, University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

No to Just Legal Information – Yes to Work Process

In an interesting profile in the Star-Tribune for November 15, entitled On Business: Thomson West becomes the go-to firm for online legalese the company’s strategy is clearly away from simply being in the information provision business. Indeed it’s so wedded to content and process, that Thomson West is more like an integrated information and software company. Some of this was becoming clear in its early and ambitious Westworks, whose birth is lauded at The ASP Approach: Experience Equals New Products and whose obituary can be found at WestWorks Melds Into ProLaw

The new West vision is shown at On Business: . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

My Take on Blogging – and Slaw

My column for the OBA this month is part one of a two parter on Blogs, Wikis and RSS. Here is part one, in which Slaw features prominently.

Blogs, Wikis and RSS – barbaric words that sound strange.

What do they have to do with practising law? If you’re not thinking about building Blogs, Wikis and RSS into your practice – you’re not alone among Ontario lawyers. But I think you should be, for these odd neologisms describe new tools within the reach of every lawyer, which for the right practice can expand your marketing reach for minimal out-of-pocket cost.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Come Back to Northern Light

Our recent discussions of mega-search engines reminded me of the message I received earlier this week from Northern Light. When I used to use it, Northern Light was a free service that pulled up news articles available on the web. I believe this was before Yahoo! News and Google News were prevelant. They then changed their business model, allowing for deep searching of the web plus consultant and other business reports. At that time a cost was added on. Well, the message reprinted below indicates they are changing their business model again–more features, and now just a token cost . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Dennis’ Meditation on the Fully Connected Law Firm

Wonderful provocative essay by Dennis Kennedy in which he talks about the role of information within law. The piece is just a lttle dated, but still wonderfully provocative.
He ends with Ten Recommendations:

Here are ten ideas about what to do – and a lot of them are still valid:

1. Meditate on the word “reintermediation.” In what ways can you reinsert value into the process in which you are involved?

2. Embrace the Internet. Use the Internet develop your ideas. As you develop your Internet presence, consider how the Internet changes your business model.

3. Think about what services . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The View From the Trenches

One first year law student blogger describes What I’ve Learned in Legal Research:
1) The belief that Hitler carried around a copy of Nietzsche’s The Prince is a lie: it was really the Harvard Blue book.
2) You can find anything if you use the proper Boolean search: “meth lab” and “how to make” for example.
3) Don’t ever adopt a child or try to visit your grandchild – it’s too much fucking work. Buying a puppy is a lot less grief.
4) The answers to the questions aren’t really on Lexis. Instead, you have to find the top-secret missile . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Meta Searching

Jux2 is a meta search, currently in beta version, that brings back results from Google, Yahoo and Ask Jeeves. Each return comes with the ranking it received in each of the above listed search engines. It also includes a feature indentifying what is available exclusive to each engine and what is missing from each engine.

The results can be very interesting and a good reminder that there are varied options for internet searching. (There is also a Mozilla plugin available). . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Google and Julian

I’m reading Google Hacks, by Tara Clishain (of ResearchBuzz) and Rael Dornfest, and enjoying, if not always understanding, it. There’s a bunch of interesting things about simply searching Google that I didn’t know, let alone the main business of how to create special search tools with Perl scripts etc. I’ll take care not to pepper you with my ignorance-reduction moments as I work my way through the book, never fear; but I can’t resist passing on a thing or two.

For example: when imposing a date range on your Google search you must use Julian days.

Now I . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous