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mei.govonca, Delicious, and Korax

Someone at the Ontario Ministry of Engergy and Infrastructure has been pumping bookmarks up to delicious.com (a service formerly known as del.icio.us) under the username of mei.govonca. They’re up to 314 as of yesterday. Nothing wrong with this, of course: I doubt that anyone is going to glean information that would otherwise be secret from scanning the list of bookmarks, nearly all of which are tagged “stakeholder” in addition to whatever other labels they may have. Still, it feels odd to find a government ministry making use of a service outside of the firewall like this.

It might be . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Spare a Tear for the Profit-Challenged Legal Publishers

Well Thomson Reuters reported this morning and as is consistent with its competitors’ results, this hasn’t been a happy quarter.

Thomson has had indigestion-expenses from the Reuters acquisition, but even so, the sort of profit margins that management have been expecting over the past decade from legal publishing haven’t been as easy this year. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

U.N. LEX Databases

[Image via Wikipedia] The United Nations is a huge source of legal information, much of which is available in searchable databases. (I’ve not found any single entry point into all of the U.N.’s legal and law-related material.) A number of these sources are marked by the “LEX” in the URLs or titles. To wit:

  • ILOLEX
    ILO database on international labour standards. A list of the database contents is available.
  • NATLEX
    Another ILO database, this one containing national labour, social security and related human rights legislation. The database offers 65,000 records covering over 190 countries and over 160 territories
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

Welcome Nick Holmes!

As you’ll notice from his first post below, Slaw has added another contributor from outside Canada. This time we’ve picked up a UK correspondent in Nick Holmes.

Nick, as you might already know, is the founder of infolaw, and a well respected legal blogger, having published his very popular Binary Law since February, 2004.

We are very pleased to welcome Nick as an occasional contributor to Slaw, and hoping he’ll morph into one of our weekly regulars. (hint, hint…) As Connie Crosby pointed out to me when I first started blogging, guys like Nick Holmes and Scott Vine . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Canadian Olympic Athletes Are Blogging

I am an Olympics fan-girl, and have been absorbing as much television coverage as possible. What I find new this Olympics are all the references by reporters to blogs written by athletes. I was a bit surprised that the athletes would be into blogging, but in a CBC interview following his Olympic competition this weekend, Kyle Shewfelt said that he likes to write and he finds writing about his day of training to be a good way to unwind and “let it all out”.

And write he does! I had a look at his personal blog, simply called Kyle Shewfelt . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Technology, Technology: Internet

Iurisconsulti Canadae Vivunt in Terra Incognita

One of the more interesting parts of Guy Joubert‘s recent interview with the Canadian Lawyer is his observation that there is only scant accurate and current statistical information on the Canadian legal profession. We encountered this in drafting a background chapter of the CBA Conflicts Report in which we discussed trends within the population of Canadian lawyers and access to justice. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law

We Are All Publishers Now

I’m chuffed (is that a peculiarly British expression?) to have been invited onboard Slaw as a contributor and will aim to provide a UK slant to some of the the core issues Slaw addresses surrounding legal information in the digital age.

I have been fortunate to have been involved at first hand in the entire modern publishing revolution. When I first started out in law publishing, authors produced copy on manual typewriters, editors used pens and literal cut and paste to hack it into shape, typesetters set the copy in movable lead type or “slugs” and made it up . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Passwords Passé

An article in yesterday’s New York Times, “Goodbye, Passwords. You Aren’t a Good Defense,” by Randall Stross, talks about the need for a new way of authenticating users at sites that require a login. Passwords, as we all know, can be cracked, stolen or simply guessed. The coming prodedure, it seems, involves “identity selectors.” These are applications that live on your computer and manage your “identity cards,” which in turn are, so far as I can tell, bits of code that “talk” to paired bits of code on sites you want to log in . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Beating (Or at Least Dodging) the Unnamed Force

Last week, in my first posting on Slaw, I wrote about what appears to be some sort of unnamed force that draws certain people into law school and then into law firms with little conscious agency on the part of the individual. Years after this process has pushed the lawyer onto a certain path, the lawyer will look up from his or her desk and wonder how they got there and why they are miserable in their chosen career.

I also suggested in my last posting that I have an answer to this problem. “Answer” may be too strong a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law