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Après Le Deluge De Data…quoi?

An article in the recent Communications of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), “Got data?: a guide to data preservation in the information age,” makes the case for urgent investment in data cyberinfrastructure — whatever is required to store, manage, catalog and access data.

(Note: that link won’t give you much joy unless you happen to subscribe to the ACM portal. Fortunately, the author, Francine Berman, who is Director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center, has put up on her website a version of the piece in PDF, “Surviving the Data Deluge.” Such is the . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Technology

Walking in the Other Person’s Steel Toed Boots

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.
Master Yoda, P.C., C.J.C.

In this award-winning 2006 film produced in cooperation with the CBC, Steel Toes tells the story of a neo-Nazi living in Montreal. He viciously attacks an Indian immigrant without provocation, mistaking him for a Muslim, with serious injuries that resulted in death.

He is frustrated, angry with the millions of immigrants who come to Canada and reproduce in large numbers. They supposedly take jobs away from working-class whites like him and are changing his . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

The Shorty Awards – for Law

Twitter users have been abuzz over the Shorty Awards, The best producers of short (140 characters or less) content in 2008.

After a little bit of pestering there is now a law category.

There are some heavyweight “Tweeters” among Slaw readers and contributors, so I figured this would be of some interest. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Domain Names of Well-Known People

An arbitrator under the WIPO domain name dispute resolution policy has held that Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay for ten years, has no remedy against someone who registered several domain names relating to a possible attempt by Ms Whitman to run for governor of California in 2010. The report on has a link to the decision itself.

Some of the domains were and

The essence of the decision is that Ms Whitman did not have a custom of commercial use of her name and thus had not established a ‘common law trademark’ in it. Mere fame was . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

‘Tis the Season…

for Counter-feiting, fa la la la la, la la la la. Interestingly enough there are not many catchy carols about the counterfeiting season. But as I was about the other day, I saw a sign at a particular business to mark the season, the sign was to the effect that the business would no longer be accepting 100 dollar bills. Which got me to thinking, can they do that? So I headed straight for the Currency Act, R.S.C. 1985, c.C-52 in order to figure it out. And what to my wondering eyes did appear? …. well, not the answer to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

The Friday Fillip

As winter sets in, all grey and grim, it’s natural, I think, to find your thoughts wandering to warmer climes, or, if you’re nostalgic, warmer times. Well say no more. Today’s fillip does the work for you, taking you to a place (very) long ago and (very) far away.

The place: the Ténéré desert in what is now Niger. The time: oh, about 9,000 years ago.

And the way there (and thence) is photographs. Photographer Mike Hettwer went with an archeological expedition to Gobero, where once the Sahara was wet and hippos roamed the mud. They uncovered evidence not . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

UK ISP Service Bans, Un-Bans Wikipedia Page

Last week Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a collaborative service of Britain’s Internet Service Providers, banned a page of Wikipedia that contained a picture of a record album cover (in the UK called the ‘sleeve’) from 1976. The picture showed a young girl, about 10 perhaps, naked, in a sexually suggestive pose.

The ban was done by putting the page on a blacklist that IWF updates twice a day to help British ISPs avoid making potentially illegal images available.

An unintended consequence of the ban was to prevent any British internet users from editing any page on Wikipedia. This consequence comes . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law

The British Colonist

Yesterday, UVic Libraries announced the launch of The British Colonist, an online archive of The British Colonist newspaper, one of the earliest newspapers published in British Columbia. From the UVic Digital Collection page:

When complete, the archive will consist of approximately 100,000 page images spanning 52 years from the newspapers beginning in 1858 until 1910, when the paper changed its name to The Daily Colonist. The above link will connect you with the database allowing you to search by keyword or browse by date.

The project is sponsored by Victoria Times-Colonist, University of Victoria Libraries, University of British

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

Once Again, Karlheinz Schreiber

The ubiquitous Karlheinz Schreiber has lost his latest round of legal whack-a-mole. This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected his application for leave to appeal the most recent court decision allowing his extradition to Germany.

Germany initially requested Mr. Schreiber’s extradition on August 27, 1999. Since then, he has sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada no fewer than five times, and obtained it once (not counting his earlier trip to the SCC in 1998, challenging Canadian assistance to a Swiss investigation). He managed to delay the first court decision on the merits of his extradition . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Legal Education; the Alternatives

There was an article in a recent number of the Law Times on a conference at Ryerson on legal education. The focus seemed to be on whether law schools should stick with their current model of education, i.e., teaching students “how to think”, not what they need to know to be lawyers—what I call the “Harry Arthurs” model. This attitude was juxtaposed with “clinical” legal education.

It seems to me that this is a false dichotomy and that there is an alternative—whether it’s called a “middle way” or not. One such alternative would be to require students to undertake . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training


Shortcuts, those little things that make our tech-life easier, have been making headlines this week.

Here at Slaw, Dan Pinnington posted about his excellent article on essential technology skills. David Canton followed up with more shortcuts and some pet peeves that came to mind. Technolawyer offered up some iPhone shortcuts (Blackberry users can look here) and the Legal Writing Prof Blog mentiond Dan’s tips. My colleagues in the Field Law library learned and shared some useful shortcuts for our Microsoft Access database: Contrl ‘ (moves to the line above) and Control ; (pastes todays date).

I find . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology