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The Friday Fillip

It’s barely possible that if someone had told me when I was young that you could become an inventor as an alternative to becoming a “doctor, lawyer, teacher etc. etc.,” I would have gone for that as a career. I’ve always enjoyed dreaming up and building devices that do things that don’t get done otherwise or efficiently. Mind you, these contraptions — concatenations of bits and bobs and glue — more often than not turn into Heath Robinson (“I really have a secret satisfaction in being considered rather mad.”) or Rube Goldberg machines. Still, there’s something deeply satisfying to me . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Open Access and Academic Reputation

Open access is an initiative that seeks to find ways of making the journal literature published online freely available to readers. It is having the effect of not only taking us a step closer to the ideal of universal access to the knowledge needed to advance knowledge, but it is also altering, if every so slightly, the traditional means by which reputations are established and maintained within academic life.

About twenty percent of the research literature published today ends up open access, whether through authors archiving their published work in their library’s open access repository (with the publishers’ permission) or . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Martin Luther King Jr. Collection Now Available to the Public

The Woodruff Library at Morehouse College in Atlanta has just made their collection of M.L.K. papers, books and other items available to the public. Via the website you can find the archival descriptions and other study aides. They purchased the collection in 2006 with the help of the Atlanta Mayor just before it was to go to auction, a coup for the city and an end to the controversy surrounding the estate.

From the website:

The Morehouse King Collection includes approximately 1,000 books from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s personal library with his handwritten notes throughout. In addition, there

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law

Court Orders White House to Preserve Bush-Era E-Mails

IT World Canada has an interesting article today by Grant Gross. Last week, there was buzz about how the National Archives is concerned that the volume of e-mail may overload its servers. Now we hear that 5 million e-mails concerning the invasion of Iraq and Hurricane Katrina have disappeared.

We’re working on strategies at my office to ensure that business related e-mail gets migrated into appropriate repositories. It’ll be interesting to see over the coming months how successful we’ve been in convincing people to move e-mail into those shared repositories, and out of pst folders or other silos.

Outlook is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Want to Go to the Big Apple?

LegalTech New York (this year February 2 to 4 at the NY Hilton) want the blogosphere to come to the party.

They’ve announced complimentary passes to bloggers, with front-row mains power access seating for bloggers in each room. On the second day, following ABA TechShow‘s Bloggers’ Ball model, Legal Tech has a bloggers’ breakfast from 9 to 10.

[I can’t resist commenting on how great the design is of the ABA page in comparison with the ALM LegalTech, though as a former TechShow chair, I might well be biased.]

LegalTech has always enjoyed strong exhibit space and it should . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Google Shutting Down Projects

An interesting story… even Google seems to be pulling back in this troubled economy. Search Engine Land is reporting the shutdown of new development on a number of projects, and Google themselves have acknowledged the shutdown of Google Video, Catalog Search, Notebook, Jaiku, and Dodgeball.

All of these cutbacks were reportedly based on a lack of revenue, which makes sense. But one does have to wonder why a serious effort was never made to let Jaiku compete in the growing micro-blogging market? While Twitter may have been an impossible chase, the association of the Google name . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

RIAA and Unwanted Publicity

Good fun over at the latest RIAA show trial. The defendant, Joel Tenenbaum, (who has countersued), has hired Harvard law prof Charlie Nesson, whose law school team is employing a full range of social networking and IT tools to effectively embarrass the RIAA, which has since the start of the trial abandoned its policy of suing downloaders. (See my post over at Ipilogue for more on the story.) As part of this strategy, Nesson moved to obtain permission to live-stream video of the trial. The judge has today agreed to let the January 22 hearing be streamed over the internet, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

More Public Discussion on the 40th Parliament

In the form of David Bilinsky, I start this post with a lyric:

♬ power to the people, power to the people, right on ♬
John Lennon

As Connie posted this week our current parliamentary situation is facilitating a raft of public discussion.

Coming up in Edmonton on January 22, and presented by the Centre for Constitutional Studies, the Legal Resource Centre, the Department of Political Science, and the Department of History & Classics we have this:

Canada’s 40th Parliament in Crisis: What Happened, What’s Next?

Join faculty from the University of Alberta in a panel discussion addressing the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

A (Free) Book About Lawyers

Project Gutenberg has released Pleasantries of English Courts and Lawyers: A Book about Lawyers, by John Cordy Jeaffreson, originally published in London in 1875. (The book has been variously available over the years, last published by Hein in 1974.) Gutenberg makes the book available for downloading in HTML and plain text formats, in addition to Plucker format, which is new to me but makes texts suitable for reading on smart phones and the like.

This is a quaint, not to say arch, look at life at the English bar that can be amusing and may provoke thoughts about . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Reading, Substantive Law

Westlaw Browser Policy

According to the Law Librarian Blog there is a message from Westlaw circulating outlining a new restrictive browser policy:

Westlaw access will be blocked when using Web browsers that are no longer supported by the companies that created them. The lack of support can create problems during Westlaw development which may result in a security risk. Users attempting to access Westlaw using one of these browsers will receive an explanatory message that offers alternatives.

Westlaw access using the following browsers will be blocked:

  • Netscape (all versions)
  • Mozilla Firefox versions lower than 1.5
  • Safari versions lower than 2.0
  • Internet Explorer versions
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Jactitation of Marriage – the Unnecessary Legal Phrase of the Day

In a rare immersion into a point of family law for something I was researching last week, I stumbled across – by accident because I wasn’t researching it – the phrase “jactitation of marriage” as a potential cause of action and recall having stumbled across the phrase in the past, having looked up its meaning in the past, and (of course) subsequently forgetting what it meant every time I came across it.

I assume that perhaps only two of our SLAW readers know the meaning, being the two Simons, one of whom wrote a book on family law and the . . . [more]

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