Canada’s online legal magazine.

Whither Google

Google seems to be an idea factory moving in more directions than we can track (unless you set up your own Google Alert) or subscribe to the somewhat perky Google Blog.

That’s why yesterday’s Observer feature on Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience was really helpful. And on Friday, BBC’s Money programme had a web broadcast on her called The World According to Google. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Dictionaries

Experience researchers know how valuable legal dictionaries can beAnd if you don’t know why this brief note by Ed Akkawi and me will tell you.
This month with the addition of Bouvier’s Legal Dictionary, the LawyerIntl.com
goes to the front of the competition for free online legal dictionaries.
The announcement is worth reading.
It does seem to be more tuned to the legal user than the law.com’s legal dictionary which is built on Merriam-Webster’s Legal Dictionary

As for Canada, Lloyd Duhaime’s work covers some Canadian terms but isn’t anything like as comprehensive as Daphne Dukelow‘s print version.

Bottom line . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Managing Privacy While You Search

This is an important topic, highlighted by the Gonzales v. Google case we mentioned last week.

A couple of very helpful practical guides to what you should be doing to avoid privacy breaches:

Firstly, in today’s Wired a piece by Ryan Singel on How to Foil Search Engine Snoops, which has drawn comments from our friends at Search Engine Watch in the form of a great page on Protecting Your Search Privacy: A Flowchart To Tracks You Leave Behind

Among the topics addressed are
* Why Mozilla Firefox is a smarter choice
* Removing local search histories
* Care . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Writing Blogs

In addition to the West Perspectives publication, Slaw readers should also consider monitoring or getting RSS feeds on some of the more interesting blogs on legal writing:

Nancy Soonpaa, at Texas Tech.

Not to mention Scribes – the American Society of Writers on Legal Subjects.

Wayne Schiess at the University of Texas.

Raymond Ward, who’s an appellate lawyer with Adams and Reese LLP in New Orleans.

Many of these blogs touch on subjects of concern to Slaw, and each wrestle with the issue of how to communicate legal ideas more effectively. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Slaw Réchauffé

One of the Google alerts I run, well, alerted me to the fact that something called Sedna RSS is catching our RSS feed and in effect reposting Slaw. We’re only one of seemingly more than a hundred blogs warmed over by this French site? organization? person? — I can’t seem to penetrate to any explanatory page.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. We run over a Creative Commons license that lets our content be used for non-commercial purposes and in derivative works, so as it stands now there’s probably no copyright beef. (I think I’ll change the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Palimpsests

A palimpsest -- one of my favourite words -- is, according to Wikipedia, “a manuscript page, scroll, or book that has been written on, scraped off, and used again,” dating from a time when wax tablets and parchments were bases for writing. Stuff from the past, right?
Posted in: Miscellaneous

RSS Without the Blog

Either by email or in-person, I’ve been asked a few times recently how one creates an RSS feed from a static website. A pretty good question, where the answer could involve anything from installing a single CGI script, to adding a blog or CMS to the website, to a custom programming solution.

But just a couple of days ago, I came across a new solution posted at both RSS4Lib & Techcrunch called FeedXs that will allow for the manual posting of items to an RSS Feed with no online publishing required whatsoever.

This isn’t a perfect solution, simply because one . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip: Quacks Like a Computer

When your friends (are they really friends?) suggest that you’re spending more time with IT and computers than you should be, you’ll soon be able to answer them back that everything is really a computer, or part of one, so there’s no alternative.

Coming in March is a book by Seth Lloyd, a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, called Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes on the Cosmos (Knopf, ISBN 1400040922 / also available now as an e-book). As the title suggests, Lloyd shows how the universe is in fact a computer. Here’s an excerpt (via . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

More Odd Legislation

Simon C’s post from earlier this week reminded me of one of my favourite oddities from Nova Scotia Statutes and inspired me to take a closer look to see what else I could find:

– My favourite (which hasn’t been much of a problem this year), is section 34 (1) of the Public Highways Act, which requires all able bodied males between the ages of 16-60 ” to work with their shovels on the highways during the winter whenever the highways become impassable from snow.”

– Another favourite is from section 6(2) of the Beaches Act. It seems . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

How to Find Websites You Can Trust

Librarians are often shocked at how uncritical, even gullible, lay researchers can be in approaching websites that the search engines throw up. It’s therefore wonderful to have the folk-wisdom of caution in a single place. See Karen’s Schneider’s Beyond Algorithms: A Librarian’s Guide to Finding Web Sites You Can Trust . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous