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The Friday Fillip

A Slaw Six – Tech6

1. Machinist – Salon’s tech blog. Tagline “Inside tech: Gizmos, people and big ideas” RSS.

2. “Earth-rise” – video of the Earth rising above the moon’s horizon, an astonishing film taken by JAXA‘s (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s) moon explorer KAGUYA. More HD shots of the moon and the distant home planet.

3. Strange and Sci-Fi Sounds – from thefreesoundproject. I’m partial to Sirens of Amygdala.wav.

4. typographical music video- a video titled “The Child” that shows a virtual world created only with animated typographics.

5. Start – . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

“College Part-Timers Closer to Union Rights”

This Ottawa Citizen article on the appointment of Kevin Whitaker to review the Ontario ban on unionization of part-time College workers went out on the CAUT Contract Academic Staff wire today.

The past decade has seen great strides in unionization of part-time (aka Sessional or Contract Academic Staff) university teachers. While some full-time faculty associations have acquired rights for these additional units, many are organized by national unions such as CUPE (which tend to hold rights for Teaching Assistant units as well). The article indicates that the “newly formed Organization of Part-time and Sessional Employees of the Colleges of Applied . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Digitisation Overview

An article today in the Times Online provides quite a library friendly overview of many book digitisation projects underway. It also makes me realise I’ve been here too long, because I can understand why we have such a reader un-friendly non- lending rule here – only at the Bodleian libraries, not the majority of Oxford libraries, I hasten to add. The idea was/is that you can come from anywhere at any time, and the book you want should be available for consultation somehwere on the premises. It’s possibly a result of not allowing books to be borrowed that there is . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Canada Orders Review of Use of Tasers

Public Security Minister Stockwell Day told the federal Parliament today that he is ordering a review relating to the use of Tasers, weapons that paralyze subjects by administering shocks of 50,000 volts.

Day’s announcement came after eyewitness video was released that shows police at Vancouver International Airport using a Taser stun gun more than once last month against Robert Dziekanski, an unarmed Polish immigrant.

Dziekanski, who had never been on an airplane before and who didn’t understand a word of English, had flown to Canada to live with his mother in Kamloops, British Columbia. He had spent more than 10 . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Rowling Row: Lex and the Lexicon

This from CBC News:

A publisher in Michigan has halted plans to release a Harry Potter encyclopedia after author J.K. Rowling launched a lawsuit.

Roger Rapoport of RDR Books, located in Muskegon, Mich., said he has stopped publication of the guide to Potter lexicon until a judge in New York City rules whether the work is a violation of Rowling’s intellectual property rights.

The suit was evidently filed some weeks ago. The book is an outgrowth of a prior blog, The Harry Potter Lexicon, which appears to have been running unmolested for some seven years. Plaintiffs are quoted . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Making Law Librarians Happy

The Care and Feeding of a Law Librarian” briefly discusses what firms can do to keep law librarians happy. Some highlights:

  • Provide opportunities for law librarians to continually work with and assist colleagues.
  • Recognize and acknowledge their unique and valuable skills.
  • Give constructive criticism and feedback.
  • Offer opportunities for them to contribute to the overall work of the firm/parent organization.
  • Encourage professional development and mentoring.
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

Resources on Extraordinary Rendition

((Last week, Maher Arar was back in the news again as his U.S. lawyers argued in front of a U.S. Court of Appeal panel for the right to restart a lawsuit against the policy known as “extraordinary rendition”.

Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian engineer, had been intercepted by U.S. authorities in 2002 on his way home via the U.S. from a trip abroad. He was then shipped off to Syria where he was held in prison – without legal recourse and totally beyond the reach of the law – and tortured as an Islamist terrorist suspect.

After his return to Canada, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Human Rights Blog Tracking List of Arrestees in Pakistan

HRCP Blog, the blog of the independent NGO Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, has been documenting the repression of members of that country’s legal, human rights and academic communities since President Musharraf imposed a state of emergency earlier this month.

One of the major targets of what has been described as a coup has been the increasingly independent-minded judiciary of the South Asian country.

The blog has been trying to make sure that the names of people arrested remain in the public eye.

Cross-posted to Library Boy. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

US Case Law Freed

Here’s an announcement that 1.8 million pages of US case law are soon to be available online for free under a CC licence, and will be explicitly marked as public domain. The database will be a

free archive of federal case law, including all Courts of Appeals decisions from 1950 to the present and all Supreme Court decisions since 1754.

This via Library Stuff, Open Access News, and BoingBoing . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

What Is Hein Up To?

Hello folks

We just got an email press release from Hein today announcing its partnership with Serials Solutions.

The press release is here:
http://www.serialssolutions.com/press/press10-18-07.pdf

I wonder what Hein means when it says:
“William S. Hein & Co., Inc. announces the availability of the first direct and authorized federated search connection”…

I could be wrong here, but I think they are trying to suggest to us that perhaps our digging into Hein collections by any other federated search would be “unauthorized”.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but the mere suggestion irritates me. How else are library users supposed . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Universal Search – Interwoven Universal Search

I saw an in-person demo today by RBRO Solutions on the new Interwoven Universal Search. Nice product.

Pros:

- it can crawl and search pretty much any type of data or document management system (i.e., it is not limited to Interwoven for DMS searching)

- the “universal” element means you can choose to search, for example, on “motion to compel” on your internal document management system, on Lexis or Westlaw, the World Wide Web and your internal library catalog, all in one search (the product comes “out of the box” with a fairly large number of “connectors” to allow . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Technology

Globe & Mail Article on JD vs LLB

There’s an article in today’s Globe & Mail on the continued JD-vs-LLB debate, and an email list exchange among Queens alumni gone awry on the subject. This post is not about the article directly, as I’m sure many of Slaw’s readers have already read plenty on the subject. But rather, I have a few questions about statements made within the article. And specifically this passage:

“Canadian law graduates typically spend the same seven years in school before they are granted an LLB but, because of its commonwealth roots, the degree is often confused by international employers with the British LLB.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training