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mesh08 is finally approaching! This 2-day Web conference is again being held in May (May 21st and 22nd) and tickets are now on sale. Visit the mesh site for the list of keynotes, panelists and other speakers on board so far. A new feature added for this year is meshU, a full day of hands-on workshops and panels for start-ups, web designers and developers being held on May 20th.

I’ve been attending mesh for the past 2 years and I can’t recommend a more inspiring Web conference experience. . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Clay Shirky Talks About Everybody

Clay Shirky, who writes on the effects of the internet and technology on society, recently published Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. If you’d like to get a sense of what he has to say on the subject of groups, you should take a look at a [40-minute] video of his talk at Harvard’s Berkman Center.

Shirky has also started a blog focused on the book.

Given the recent emphasis on collaboration as the coming thing among lawyers (see, e.g., What’s Hot – According to New York Legal Tech and Collaboration on Slaw.), Shirky’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Youth Initiative Uses Virtual World to Support International Criminal Court

An organization called the Global Kids’ Digital Media Initiative launched the International Justice Center last week in support of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

The official ceremony featured ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Lloyd Axworthy (former foreign affairs minister of Canada), Louise Arbour (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former Supreme Court of Canada Justice), Allan Rock (former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations), and Kenneth Roth (Executive Director, Human Rights Watch).

The Center will use web technologies and ensure a presence in the virtual reality world of Second Life to mobilize young people around human . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

When It All Goes Peer Shaped

Net neutrality has slipped away even further in Canada recently, as Bell has “shaped” the bandwidth available to ISPs that rent space on the network from Bell, slowing down peer-to-peer transmissions in some cases from 5MB/sec to 60KB/sec. Bell has apparently shaped the traffic of its own direct customers for some time, but has until now kept their hands off other ISPs. The Globe and Mail article reporting this story estimates that p2p traffic accounts for something like 80% of online bandwidth use — that by perhaps 10% of all users.

The issue of throttling (as this restriction is sometimes . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Technology Gone Wrong

From the Wall Street Journal, here’s a cautionary tale about relying too heavily on new technology to give you the right answer. Apparently GPS devices have been steering drivers wrong all around the US. The article tells the story of a man who, following the directions of the disembodied voice, found himself staring out over a 200-foot cliff in New Mexico.

One of the problems is that the software in the devices has difficulty distinguishing between a highway and a dirt track – only one of which is appropriate to take your car down of course.

I may be stretching . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

A Year in Law and Technology

Those of you who would like to catch up on what happened with law and technology in Europe last year might want to take a look at CMS Cameron McKenna‘s Technology Annual Review [PDF], released last week.

From the Foreword:

Topics in this year’s Review include: selling spam lists, illegal spyware, software copyright, VoIP, the i-Gasm, CD-WOW, the Fresh Prince, E-Commerce defences, data retention, digital downloads, domain name decisions, patent ambushes, the smiley :-), Bluetooth spam, and much, much more.

I’m fairly certain I myself missed the i-Gasm.

[via Lexology – registration required] . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Leg@l.IT2008: Canada’s Premier Legal Technology Conference

For all you law and IT lovers, I am pleased to announce that Leg@l.IT is back this year! With Canada’s Privacy Commissionner, Jennifer Stoddart, and Prof. Pierre Trudel as co-presidents, three tracks with the most interesting and en vogue subjects (here is the agenda) and an impressive group of speakers, including fellow Slawers (Simon Chester, Jordan Furlong and Vincent Gautrais) and blogger (David Bilinsky), it is THE event you don’t want to miss!

Leg@l.IT is an accessible and spearheading conference, the most important of this kind in Canada, about the potential and . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s T-Shirt Contest

Did you miss the deadline? The Privacy Commission of Canada posted a contest to their blog last week, looking for slogans and designs for T-shirts they are planning to hand out at conferences. Unfortunately they did not give a lot of lead time; deadline was March 25th. I think the concept is a great one and would have liked to try my hand at a slogan or two. I’m sure fellow Slawyers would have come up with something witty. I’ll keep an eye on it, whether they extend the deadline.

Link courtesy of Vancouver web marketing guru Kate Trgovac . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

A Factual Question

A study from the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review reportedly finds that the question of whether an exchange is a sale or a licensing agreement is not entirely a matter of contract. According to Gizmodo, Boing Boing, and Sivacracy,

…just because Sony or Amazon call it a license, that doesn’t make it so. “That’s a factual question determined by courts,”…

From the summary:

The (Potential) Legal Validity of E-book Reader Restrictions By Rajiv Batra, John Padro, Seung-Ju Paik and Sarah Calvert

Many users are unhappy that e-book readers, such as the Sony Reader and the Amazon

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

What Was It?

The latest issue of the Virginia Law Weekly contains a look back at the law school from 1958 to 1967, a period so far back in history that even I was back in school.

But I was surprised to read one sentence about the firm library:

In 1962 the head law librarian attended a meeting to assess the workability of a “computer-like” machine designed to index and retrieve whole bodies of legal information

Okay Slaw, what was this about? . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Can It Really Help Business?

For many of us, E-Discovery has become a thorn in our side as we attempt to ensure that our organizations are able to be compliant with the court’s demands – particularly when dealing with the US Courts. Perhaps it’s time to look at some of the benefits of an effective e-discovery capability within an organization.

Of course the first value that is often commented on is related to Records Management and the ability to facilitate and strengthen the Records Management goals, thereby leading to a connection with Risk Management and the Chief Risk Officer’s portfolio. This generally is successful through . . . [more]

Posted in: e-Discovery

Slaw Timeline

Herewith a new feature: the Slaw Timeline for the past week. Clicking on the link or on the graphic below will take you to a PDF file that shows you the posts on Slaw this week at a glance. Best of all, the title of each post is linked to the entry, so you can catch up on any reading you missed. And if you pop all the Slaw Timeline files in a folder (or go to our Timeline Folder) you’ll be able to consult a graphic record of where we’ve been.

Let me know what you think.

. . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw