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Google Advanced Search Changes

After years of looking the same, the Google Advanced Search page has changed. For the better:

It looks simpler, more straightforward to use. As far as I can remember, the features I used to use still seem to be there. Is anyone else missing anything?

This was quietly changed (no mention on the official blog) following the implementation of Google Teleportation. Note that, toward the bottom of the Advanced Search form, there is an option to search any one specific website domain which has been available all along. If you don’t get the Teleportation option from the Google . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Dominic Jaar Featured in Lexblog Q&A

Just a quick note to highlight the fact that Slaw’s own Dominic Jaar is featured on today’s lexblog Q&A.

This week’s interviews were all geared toward the upcoming ABA Techshow, but they were also very kind to Canadians. LSBC practice management advisor, and legal management blogger Dave Bilinsky was featured earlier in the week.

Congrats gentlemen! . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Inattention Devices

There’s a story I recall about some famous and brilliant mathematician — perhaps Norbert Wiener — who rarely took his nose out of a book and who didn’t like to waste time: he would read while walking to and from the classroom (or perhaps his office) but have his arm out such that with a small part of his (very big) brain he could count the doorframes as they were ticked off against his hand; at the right count, his wrist would stiffen, and with his arm as a lever, rotate himself into the room still reading.

Now, that’s multitasking. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

What Happens When Your Library Is Finally Empty?

As Clay Shirky’s latest book makes clear, the internet’s reduction of publishing costs to effectively zero has critical implications for all the professions that are built upon the former reality of high publishing costs, librarianship and journalism among them. What will happen to libraries in the coming decades? Do libraries have staying power in the face of a total reversal of the economic reality they are predicated upon?

As the recent discussions on Slaw about changes at Lexis-Nexis Quicklaw and Canadian Law Book indicate, many expect primary legal resources in the digital age to be free of costs, perpetually available, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Special Report on Technology and Government

In the February 14 edition, the Economist printed a special report on how governments are using technology to better communicate with citizens. The report contained a number of fascinating examples of the creative uses of information technology, but highlights the fact that governments are light-years behind businesses in using communication technology to serve people more efficiently.

The report tosses around two key terms: “i-government” and “e-government” . The first refers to the basic process of using the internet to provide information to citizens, while the second refers to providing government services directly to people through the internet.

A second way . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Recommind for Email Filing and Litigation/e-Discovery Management

I just saw an excellent demo by Recommind of two of their products: Decisiv Email and Axcelerate eDiscovery.

A huge challenge for every knowledge enterprise is capturing email on a centralized document management system. This is particularly so for “sent” email.

The Decisiv Email product uses Recommind’s “smart” technology to anticipate which folder to file an email in, whether the email arrives in your Outlook inbox or is being sent by you from Outlook. As you type the subject and content of an outgoing email, for example, the software predicts which client folder the email should be filed in. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Scrabble: Playin’ It Old School for Literacy

While Scrabulous is still dealing with various legal and copyright issues and two game companies are rumoured to be creating legitimate online versions of the game, one can easily forget about the joys of playing this board game for real. Yes, with real live people, pen and scorepad (and calculator for us mathematically-challenged), an agreed upon dictionary, and a few hours to kill, you too can spell your way to fun! But why not take it one step further and participate in Frontier College’s Scrabble Night in Canada:

The SCRABBLE® Friends and Family Challenge is a SCRABBLE® event that . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Same Sex Weddings in Toronto – Information Sources


Spring–wedding season–is just around the corner! This post is in response to a question that came to me via email this morning. Here are some key resources for those looking for information about same sex weddings in Toronto:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

The Information Literate Legal Researcher

Information literacy is a well-established principle in library and information studies. Ensuring that their target population – users of their libraries and information centres – are information literate is a key goal of librarians and information specialists. The concept requires that library users know (or know how to determine) the questions they need to ask, how to find (or seek assistance in finding) the information they need to answer their questions, and – crucially – how to critically (and perhaps skeptically) examine and understand that information.

This goal applies equally to the specific context of legal analysis and legal research. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

One Lump or Two

Have you ever had the experience of working at something fairly important only to have your attention hijacked by a jot, a mustard seed, a thing so insignificant as to be an absence, even? The memo is due by the end of the day and along about 3 p.m. it strikes you that there’s this blemish on the “k” key; you can feel it with the tip of your ring finger, you swear you can; and it’s… irritating. What you really need is a Q-tip and maybe some nail polish remover. You go looking…

As I’ve mentioned a couple of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous