Canada’s online legal magazine.

The Power of Search?

One of our lawyers alerted us to www.zoominfo.com – it describes itself modestly:

“the premier summarization search engine, delivers fresh, comprehensive information on over 31 million business professionals and 2 million companies across virtually every industry”.

Try checking out a few names – the results are quite amazing. Before you rely on the information, however, review the information retrieved for people you know well. When I decided to take a few minutes (rather than a few seconds) to review the results, I was still amazed, but also concerned. Information showed up on my search that seemed very questionable and probably . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

“The Vanishing Middle”

The March 29th post on Bruce McEwen’s BLOG – Adam Smith, Esq. – is called “The Vanishing Middle” – and is based on a McKinsey analysis that “both premium and no-frills products grow at the expense of middle-of-the-road offerings”.

How does one apply this analysis to Canadian legal research? Presumably, the on-line legal research services and other more traditional research tools available to us are “premium”. But are we researchers requiring “premium” tools so that we in turn can provide “premium” research to our clients?

If we are seeing a consolidation of clients in Canada (through never-ending mergers . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Best Practices for Law Firm Technology Committees

Last week, I sat in on Dennis Kennedy’s video webinar, Best Practices for Law Firm Technology Committees. It was worth it.

The information provided was solid, practical and based on Dennis’s extensive experience with law firms and technology. Not only was the information useful and well-presented, the vehicle for the video conferencing technology provided by Aspen Conferencing was pretty slick, too. This was an excellent way to get the benefits of a superb presentation that I couldn’t have otherwise attended.

Dennis opened with some technology committee horror stories (youch!) and then presented ways to avoid such scenarios. There was . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Global Information Technology Report 2005-2006

“The United States tops the rankings of The Global Information Technology Report 2005-2006's ”Networked Readiness Index“ for the third time in five years, maintaining its eminent position as a leader in the area of innovation and confirming its position as an information and communication technology powerhouse.
Posted in: Miscellaneous

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