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Yahoo Contextual Search

Yahoo, the underdog, is trying out in beta a contextual search tool called Y!Q (“IQ” — get it?). The notion, so far as I understand it, is that the search engine is able to discern from a passage of web page text that you highlight what the key terms are and to let you search for a particular term or set of terms within that context.

It seems that there are two ways to use this tool. One is, as a web site manager, to load the JavaScript on your pages and thereby cause little icons to appear next to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Data Mining

There’s an interesting article in the recent D-Lib Magazine: “From Babel to Knowledge: Data Mining Large Digital Collections,” by Daniel J. Cohen. He talks about the task of refining search tools in a couple of specific ways so that a researcher can extract the kind of document needed from the welter of uncatalogued documents on the internet (or in offline collections). It’s not hard to see the potential for getting better access to law-related documents or otherwise making better use of full-text-indexed law related databases.

You might take a particular look at two of the tools his . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Only Think!

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A University of Memphis law professor has banned laptop computers from her classroom and her students are passing a petition against it.

Professor June Entman says her main concern is that students are so busy keyboarding they can’t think and analyze what she’s telling them.

Students have begun collecting signatures on petitions and tried unsuccessfully to file a complaint with the American Bar Association.

Student Cory Winsett says if he must continue without his laptop, he’ll transfer to another school. Winsett says he won’t be able to keep up if he has to rely on hand-written notes,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Netvibes

I’m a bit late in finding out about Netvibes. (Thanks, fellow Slawyer Louise Tsang.) It’s a Web 2.0 browser desktop, that much like Google’s News effort, is customizable both as to content and layout. But it offers a whole lot more, taking advantage of all of the Web 2.0 stuff that’s out there. As well, it’s a fairly good-looking thing, which helps if you’re gunning to be folks’ home page.

What you see on the left is a list of the functions/objects that by drag and drop you can place on your Netvibes page. I particularly like the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Sleepless in Seattle

I’m just back from the fabulous ABA Bricks Bytes and Continuous Renovation conference, held at the University of Washington in Seattle. It was one of the most useful and practical conferences I have been to in a very long time, with some great speakers and tours of fabulous new libraries at the University itself, Seattle University, the new Federal Courthouse and also Microsoft’s Office of the Future. Great to hear librarians and architects talking about new building plans and what went right – and just as important, wrong, when building. What they would do differently if given the chance. People . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Xen and the Art of Multi-Processor Virtualization

This doesn’t have much to do with law or even anything immediately practical, but Bernard Golden’s note, Why new chips + Xen = dream machines just happened to catch my eye. Both Intel and AMD are now building multi-core processors. According to Golden, these will run cooler and increase battery-life for portable machines–great news for students, barristers and other occasional transients. In addition, these chips are designed to do some of the virtualization work that all had to be done with software before. This will make it possible for people to run more than one operating system (Windows XP, Linux, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

New RSS Tools

Did you know that RSS stands for ‘Real Simple for Steve’? … well it should, at least this week. :-)

I had a couple of new RSS finds that seem to be making a difference. First up, I stumbled across a new RSS feed filter called FeedRinse.

There are lots of great tools for combining multiple syndication sources into a single feed – known as mixing or splicing, but the market is very thin on tools to filter feed sources down to a subject or conceptual level.

I have always felt that these two . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legis Legs It

I was browsing through some online guides to legal research and for Canadian legislation got referred by one to the www.legis.ca site, a place I hadn’t visited for quite some time. So I went for a look. It’s gone. Well, the content’s gone, replaced with a curious mix of advertising and ravings — a folie á deux, if you will:

XXe si?le, eh well it would not remain large thing of the modernit? maudits, debt consolidation non profit organization Fante?Bukowski To lose conscience, so d?en to know more: wouldn’t this be the word d?ordre of modern litt?ature? To lose its

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Finally the Times Notices

The Times Law Page for Tuesday March 28 contains an assessment of where English law firms are on the blogosphere: ‘A blog shows we are not a stuffy, old-style firm.’ Discuss

Not surprisingly English law firms are divided as to the usefulness of the legal blog – a few quotes:

BLOGGING is to public relations what e-mails are to letters and is one of the most important technological innovations for law firmsAndy Havens, a US legal marketing manager.

“If your firm doesn’t have at least one lawyer who is blogging, you look like a firm who, in 1996,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous