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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 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

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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,

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Plagiarism Happens to Judges Too

A fascinating post from Australia about a judge who just found it too tempting to copy from another judge’s earlier work.

‘Plagiarist’ magistrate refuses to quitBy Hedley Thomas, 25-03-2006, From: The Courier-Mail

COPYCAT federal magistrate Jennifer Rimmer has rejected a top-level invitation to “take the honourable step” and quit her $220,000 job to save further public embarrassment.

Federal Chief Magistrate John Pascoe asked Ms Rimmer to resign her job-for-life after it was revealed she had copied more than 2000 words from a Victorian colleague’s judgment in a sexual harassment case.
Mr Pascoe, concerned that public confidence in the

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Fighting Words – Googling To/for Dummies

The NYT has a provocative op-ed today on whether students are being so spoon fed by search engines that they lose their ability to research and think for themselves.

We have to warn articling students about the dangers of Googling, but after a while, they’re back on the engines.

Are we just too trusting about web-based research? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

As befits a Friday Fillip, this one has the merest connection to the law, let alone to legal research — though somewhat more to IT. The connection is the voice. Law is/was an oral discipline in part and this is all about the marvel of the human voice.

It’s a Honda ad, in which a choir impersonates a car, so to speak. No trivial “zoom-zoom” here. Here we have the full experience. You go to The intro – Discover the New Honda – starts you off, but then you find yourself in a garage. When you get there, click . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

LSAT Thumbprint

From the March issue of the CAUT Bulletin: Canada to Investigate Use of Thumbprint for Law School Test. And Michael Geist in a February article in the Toronto Star.

Personally, I think it is time for a cage match pitting the Patriot Act vs. PIPEDA. And because I’m in a ranting mood, why don’t we start giving our acts catchy stage names? Think of the possibilities, PIPEDA could be the Beaver Libertarian Act. The Criminal Code could be the Evildoers Disincentive Act, you get the idea. I’m sure we can come up with lots of catchy names that will get . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Continuous Partial Attention

One of my IT colleagues, who freely admits that he does not carry a Blackberry because of its addictive nature — even in the evenings when with family, brought to my attention a Newsweek article that recaps a presentation by Linda Stone, a former Apple and Microsoft executive, on the social implications of a syndrome she calls continuous partial attention. At a technology conference who’s theme was The Attention Economy, where speakers were reportedly competing with laptops and Blackberries for their audience’s attention, this speaker apparently struck a nerve.

The article says:

Stone first noticed the syndrome a decade

. . . [more]
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