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Archive for ‘Technology: Internet’

Following Computers in Libraries 2010

Every year at this time librarians from across North America (and the odd one from other parts of the world) gather together in Crystal City, Arlington, VA for the Computers in Libraries conference. This year almost 1,500 delegates are attending. All aspects of technology in libraries is covered, from the computers that make the catalogue and library records hum all the way to the social media presence of libraries. Focus tends to be on service, so there is a great human element in the discussion, not just bits and bytes.

It is one of my favourite conferences, where I truly . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Imagery Today – Making Advanced Satellite Images Available

In this talk from O’Reilly Media’s Where 2.0 2010 conference, Walter Scott of DigitalGlobe discusses imagery techniques available today using images from satellites and airplanes. He discusses accuracy and the related manipulation of data sets. Data and imagery previously only available to governments is now becoming more widely available. Now depth maps of the ocean can also be made. Graphic processing units from the gaming industry can be leveraged to provide advanced geospatial-type imagery. Before and after images can now also be more effectively used to accurately track changes in what is happening on the ground. Data available from DigitalGlobal’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Legislation on the Go

Thanks to a good question from a new associate I have done some exploring of mobile access to legislation. The question was, “Is there any way to have a copy of an act that I use all the time available on my Blackberry?”

I can now say, “Yes”, and here is the method:

  1. Open your Blackberry (or other smartphone)
  2. Go to the mobile Web Browser and enter the URL for Canlii
  3. Once there, you can search for the act name by
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

U.S. Government Uses Web 2.0 to Go Paperless

Wow! Yet another indication that social media is becoming woven into all aspects of our daily lives. In the US the Office of Management and Budget issued a memo yesterday that will make it easier for US federal government agencies to communicate with citizens and collect feedback from them by way of the Internet and social media: Social Media, Web-Based Interactive Technologies, and the Paperwork Reduction Act.

To engage the public, Federal agencies now have guidance on expanding their use of social media and web-based interactive technologies such as blogs, wikis, and social networks, as a means of “publishing” solicitations . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

“The Times” to Disappear Behind Paywall

Sadly, what I recently learned from Times columnist, Richard Susskind, is indeed the case: The Times, TimesOnline and the Sunday Times will begin charging for online access. Presented by the publisher as the advent of something new and better — “timesplus” — the wall will go up around the garden at some near but as yet unidentified time. In the meantime, you’re invited “register for our exclusive preview” and they’ll get in touch when it happens.

The economic plight of newspaper organizations has been in the news for years now, so this attempt to monetize internet access . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading, Technology: Internet

Nomus: A New Canadian Caselaw Search Engine

Here’s a turn-up for the books: there’s a new entry in the Canadian legal search engine market. CanLII notwithstanding, Kent Mewhort, a McGill law student and experienced software engineer, has launched Nomus, a free search engine for Canadian legal decisions.

This is no Google-based amateur effort, but rather a serious tool running with at least one interesting algorithm and one valuable additional feature. I’ve had a small exchange of emails with Mr. Mewhort, and some of the material in this post comes from that.

First the scope: the database is drawn from publicly available, i.e. governmental, sites . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Internet

Google to Address Buzz Privacy Concerns

Connie Crosby previously outlined some of the privacy concerns surrounding the use of Google Buzz.

Following its launch, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Google in a San Jose Federal Court, as well as a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission by the Electronic Privacy Information Center which stated that Google had engaged in unfair and deceptive practices.

Google responded to the feedback (read complaints) with a number of changes to Buzz, including a shift from auto-follow to auto suggest, ability to block users, and better inbox controls.

Some time today Google is expected to . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Free Access to Legislation: How Do They Do It?

The Toronto Association of Law Libraries (TALL) hosted a Publishers’ Forum at the University of Toronto Law School last week entitled “Free Access to Legislation: How Do They Do It?”

The meeting was well attended by TALL members.

Publishers making presentations to the forum included representatives for the Department of Justice Laws website, CanLII, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario website, and Ontario e-Laws.

All four of these sites and their developers are to be applauded. Although not necessarily the intent of the session, I came away with a better sense of appreciation for their hard work . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

Removing Content From Google

Putting it out there can get you into trouble. Not only is there “publisher’s remorse” but also the more serious take-down notice that may crash into your client’s inbox from time to time claiming that the content of their web page has infringed one of the sender’s rights. It’s easy enough if the client owns the site to eliminate the offending material or whole pages; that’s why delete buttons were made. But Google is not so easily deterred. Having indexed material it may continue to serve up links to that material, if only in its cache; and its bots may . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Privacy Commissioner of Canada Releases Consultation Paper on Cloud Computing

The Officer of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has released a consultation paper on cloud computing.

Cloud computing “describes any system where information and/or applications are stored online, allowing access to be achieved by the user via a device.”

For example, cloud computing includes:

  • storing photos online on Flickr
  • uploading videos to YouTube
  • using online applications such as Google’s Docs or Google Reader
  • Facebook or Twitter
  • using webmail like Gmail or Hotmail
  • backing up files online

The Privacy Commissioner is interested in issues such as who has jurisdiction over cloud computing, security, data intrusions, lawful access, processing and misuse . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Justin Bieber’s Manager Charged for Not Tweeting

If you do not have a pre-teen or teenage girl in your household, you may be forgiven for not having heard about the Justin Bieber Twitter debacle.

Justin Bieber (for those who haven’t been paying attention to MuchMusic or TMZ) is the 16 year old teen pop sensation from Stratford, Ontario. He originally gained popularity at the age of 13 with videos he posted himself (with his mother’s help) on YouTube, garnering 10 million views. He was then signed by pop/R&B artist Usher, and has crossed over into new heights of mainstream stardom.

Last November a crowd . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

More Unanticipated Legibility

In university history classes the textbooks provided shots of cuneiform for our wonderment. It was hard to imagine reading the stuff, though, and I recall being told that the ancient Messopotamian tablets were mostly accounting documents. Well, no more. According to Knowlegde and Power:

The Neo-Assyrian capital of Nineveh in northern Iraq, from the mid-7th century BC, is the earliest attested site of courtly scientific patronage in world history. This website presents the scholars’ letters, queries, and reports to their kings and provides resources to support their use in undergraduate teaching. Since the summer of 2008 it also gives

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology: Internet