Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘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

Spreed: Speed Reading on the Small Screen

Spreed:Inc, a Canadian IT startup, offers to provide online publishers with the ability to present their content in such a way that readers can grasp it quickly, even — or perhaps especially — on the small screen of a smart phone. The notion has been kicking around for some time: flash one or a few words at a time in the centre of the screen, so that the eye doesn’t have to track left and right the way it might with a line of text. Those of you who have seen a Lawrence Lessig PowerPoint presentation will know that . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

The SCC and Technological Change

Last week, David Cheifetz collected the salient paragraphs of the SCC’s decision on R. v. Morelli (2010 SCC 8) in a post here on Slaw, but only limited discussion followed. The dissent, though, has some interesting observations that deserve highlighting, such as this one from paragraph 144:

In light of the inevitability of technological change, it is important not to needlessly handcuff the courts to a concept of possession that is limited to certain technologies or to current-day computer practices. Control has been the defining feature of possession, not the possibility of finding data files on a hard drive. To

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet

What if the Cloud *Evaporates*?

♫Some sunny day-hey baby
When everything seems okay, baby
You’ll wake up and find out you’re alone
Cause I’ll be gone
Gone, gone, gone really gone…♫

Lyrics and Music by Don Everly and Phil Everly, recorded by The Everly Brothers.

The ABA Journal today published an article “Get Your Head in the Cloud” which states:

The early indications from ethics authorities are that storing client data in the cloud does not violate ethics rules, as long as the lawyer took appropriate steps to safeguard the information from inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure.

While I agree about taking . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

iPhone App vs. Mobile Friendly Site

Omar wrote recently about the Tory’s iPhone app. And some individuals, such as Michael Geist and Jim Carroll have created iPhone apps. They essentially provide an iPhone friendly way to consume one’s web site, blogs, twitter, etc.

There is another point of view that says to forget that kind of iPhone app – and just make your web site or blog phone friendly. This point of view essentially says that people don’t want to download an app for every site they want to go to. And not everyone has an iPhone.

My blog, for instance, is readable on . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet