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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

Black Helicopters and Google Earth Prompt Complaints From Governments

Since 9.11, democracy and openness have been at odds with security. Now Google earth has caught the attention of governments such as in India where concern has been raised about the detailed satellite pictures available featuring sites from the Taj Mahal to some of the world’s most secret military installations.

Want to know more: Here is a story originating from the Christian Science Monitor “Google’s Open Skies Raise Cries” courtesy of CBS News; also an article from The Indian Sunday Express: “Technology: Search and Destroy — Google has stunning entries for its photos of the world’s most secret military installations” . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Broadband Meets Cellular

… bring it on!

I have been a user of the Sierra Wireless AirCard® 510 on Bell Mobility for the last year and a half — having switched over from a similar Fido card. This 1X card, which works on the Bell cellular network has bailed me out many times where I could not find a (802.11x) wireless network connection or plug unto the nearest Ethernet port. It has allowed me to stay in touch with the office from my laptop.

I must confess, I have resisted the temptation to go with a pocket device for email for two reasons. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ontario Legislative Website – Status of Bills Information

Vicki Whitmell, the Executive Director of the Ontario Legislative Library, posted the following information on the CALL-L listserv today regarding checking for status of bills information:

Subject: Re: Ontario Bills – heads up UPDATE

At present, there are two places that you can find status of bill legislation. The first one is the public bills index:

This site is updated by the Journals Branch of the Assembly usually the same day or overnight.

The second site is the Library’s Bills before the House database.

As the Library site relies on the information from the Status of Bill

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Canadian Bar Review Call for Submissions

This from Christine Sopora, Coordinator, The Canadian Bar Review:

The Canadian Bar Review Special Edition on Ethics
Call for Submissions

The Canadian Bar Review invites submissions for a special issue on ethics and the legal profession to be published in June 2006, which will contain articles and comments from selected authors. The special issue seeks to include a broad range of subject areas and perspectives. Suggested topics include conflicts and the duty of loyalty, whistleblowing, the adversarial role, judicial ethics, emerging legal ethics issues from new technologies, parallels between legal ethics and other professions, the legal history of ethics,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Footnote to Wikipedia Reliability Debate

One of our open-source savvy articling students, Jon Smithen, just drew my attention to a piece in this week’s Nature which strongly suggests that Wikipedia’s integrity in the scientific field approaches that of the conventional encyclopaedias. My experience on the legal side endorsed that view too. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Footnote on Indian Outsourcing

Thanks to Ron Friedmann at Prism Legal for a piece from the AmLaw Texas publication entitled A Smaller Legal World – More and more companies are outsourcing work overseas — where the price is right

The story describes an American company that decided to abandon its regular US counsel for legal research services. I quote:

Gorton says he hired his primary law firm (which he wishes to keep anonymous) to conduct research on legal issues in half a dozen states. The firm’s fee came to nearly $250,000.

So Gorton approached an outsourcing company he had read about in Texas Lawyer. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Lloyds Law Reports

At my old firm, we often wondered whether anyone in Canada read Lloyds Law Reports. We had a complete run, and served as the borrowing point of choice for most of Bay Street.
It was strange to see how closely they followed significant Canadian maritime cases, in much the same way as the American Maritime Cases did.
Today, an announcement of I-Law, which looks to be a portal for all of the Lloyds Law Report series. brings together in one online environment titles such as Lloyd’s Law Reports and Lloyd’s Maritime Law Newsletter; LLR: Insurance & Reinsurance . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous